Essays are a special form of academic writing that deals with the analytical writing process based on a certain topic. A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay that deals with not a single topic but discusses two subjects. It points out how both the subjects are similar in certain respects and different in others. It is a useful way of demonstrating what separates and relates these things. Compare and contrast essays have some basic structures that are in common with other essay types, but also differ in many ways.
The purpose of these essays is to give the readers a better understanding of each of the subjects under discussion and compare them using some frame of reference. Compare and contrast essay requires the writer to place two subjects on the same platform and analyze the similarities and contrast. There have to be some descriptive details and critical analysis that cover the relationship between the subjects. A compare and contrast essay can provide thoughtful information about events, persons, products, services, career paths, or travel destinations.
- Purpose of a Compare and Contrast Essay
- Compare and Contrast Essay Structure
- How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?
- Guidelines for Comparing and Contrasting Essays
- How does a compare and contrast essay differ from any other type of essay?
- What type of subjects should be selected for compare and contrast essays?
- Which are the different ways to compare subjects in the compare and contrast essay?
A compare-and-contrast essay can be a very effective way of providing information about two topics that relate to each other but also have contrasting features. A compare and contrast essay would better explain both subjects by highlighting their similarities and differences. This gives much clarity on the topics that are often confused for having similar attributes and helps readers to get a fair idea about both topics by knowing what features are similar between them and what distinguishes them from each other.
Often it becomes necessary to study the features of certain things by comparing them with their alternative which helps in better decision making. The compare and contrast essays give readers exposure to the different subjects and allow comparisons based on some reference points.
The structure of compare and contrast essays follows a certain basic format like any other essay topic which is explained as follows:
- Introduction: It describes what the essay is all about and should also include some information about the subjects to be discussed to create a sense of interest in readers’ minds.
- Body: It is the main part of the essay that elaborates on the similarities and differences between the subjects.
- Conclusion: This is the final part where the writer summarizes the points already discussed along with some analytical points of view on the subjects.
Check out for different Essay Writing Topics Ideas and learn the structure, format, tips on how to write one.
An effective way of writing an essay is to follow some systematic steps that would eventually lead to a well-researched and organized piece of writing. The steps that are required to be followed for writing a compare and contrast essay are described as follows:
Brainstorming for ideas: The content of compare and contrast essays is based on the study and analysis of the subjects. This is best done by brainstorming to generate various points related to the subjects that constitute the main content of the essay.
Developing an objective statement: After gathering adequate information, it is time to study the relationships between the subjects and to find out relevant comparative aspects for starting a discussion. This is established through the topic statements that build a road map for the essay.
Creating a framework: A good compare and contrast essay has to follow a format including an introduction, body, and conclusion. A well-structured framework helps to keep focus and make the writing crisp and to the point.
Making a good introduction: A good introduction makes the essay interesting for readers and sets the tone for further discussion. The introductory note gives preliminary information on the subjects with the relevance and importance of making comparisons between them.
Writing the body of the essay: The body or main part of the essay explains each subject along with the areas of comparison between them. Comparative essays usually take the subjects individually and compare through several points of similarities and differences.
The body of the essay should be descriptive enough to compare the two subjects from a variety of viewpoints. It is a very important part of a compare-and-contrast essay as the writer has to decide how to make the comparison to help readers understand the concept with much clarity. Usually, this is done in three ways as follows:
Block method: This is a method to discuss subject by subject which means one subject is discussed in full and then moving on to the next subject to give readers a scope to compare.
Alternating method: The discussion is based on a certain point of comparison by taking two subjects’ take on that aspect one by one and then moving to another aspect.
Similarities and contrasts: In this method, all the similarities between both subjects are discussed and then all the differences are discussed, or vice versa.
The first method is more descriptive and less analytical and leaves more opportunity for readers to find the similarities and differences. The second and third methods are based on analytical thinking to establish the reference points for comparison and place each of the subjects according to the reference to produce a clear view.
Writing the Conclusion: A compare and contrast essay serves its purpose only with a great conclusion that summarizes all the points discussed in the essay. At this point, the writer has already revealed all the viewpoints about how the two subjects are similar and different from each other. The concluding paragraph aims to share any final insights and helps to emphasize the analysis of the topics under discussion. The conclusion should not include any new information or ideas but only summarize the points discussed in the entire essay.
A compare and contrast essay essentially deals with two or more subjects. It requires a thorough groundwork on those subjects before proceeding with the writing. An essay usually is based on a single topic but a compare and contrast essay handles two or more subjects which is a big challenge for the writer.
A compare and contrast essay must communicate clearly to the readers the similarities and contrast between subjects through the comparative analysis without being partial.
FAQs on Compare and Contrast Essay
An essay usually deals with a single topic but a compare and contrast essay deals with two or more subjects through a comparative analysis.
A compare and contrast essay is best suitable for subjects that are often confused for having similar attributes but require comparisons for better understanding and decision making.
The different ways of making the comparison between two subjects are by discussing them separately one by one, or by highlighting the attributes of each subject based on some selected criteria.