Best Guide on How to Write a Comparison and Contrast Essay

A request for learning how to write a comparison and contrast essay is extremely popular in online spaces. Students from countries all over the world type it when they receive this kind of college assignment, hoping to find clear answers and instructions. If you’re here, then you’ve come to the right place. We always strive to help students, and the best way of doing that is by starting with basic definitions. 

Comparison & contrast essay is a kind of writing where you choose at least two subjects or groups of subjects and start analyzing their differences and similarities. The goal of such task lies in stimulating critical thinking and teaching writers to pay close attention to even the most intricate and subtlest nuances. For getting a good grade here, students have to know the specifics of comparison & contrast writing and be prepared to follow several useful strategies.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Learn About Its Structure

What should an essay based on contrast & comparison model entail? It won’t surprise you if we mention introduction, thesis, body, and conclusion. After all, most papers rely on an identical structure framework. But the elements that fill these parts differ, and that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss.


  1. Hook. This should be the first sentence of introduction, and it must intrigue your readers enough to entice them into reading more. Offer curious fact or piece of statistics. If the tone of your paper is light-hearted, joke might be suitable, too. Make sure it’s interesting enough, that’s all that matters in this compare and contrast paragraph.  
  2. Introduction of two subjects & background. Present your subjects. Do it one by one or place them together in one sentence — both options are appropriate for an essay like this. Propose at least some basic facts about them so that readers could figure out what they’ll be reading about. Don’t overdo it, though — remember, only general comparison info should be present here. You’ll explore the rest in the body.
  3. Thesis. This is the underlying essence of your whole paper, vital detail within compare and contrast essay structure. It comes as the last introduction sentence, and just by reading it, people must be able to understand what your writing goal is. So, make a claim. It should concern both subjects as well as list similarities and differences between them. Here’s a simple version: “Subject A and Subject B both portray the topic of obsessive love, but Subject A treats it lightly while Subject B delves into exploration of its dark consequences.” Do something similar in your essay.


How to structure a compare and contrast essay when it comes to the body? It’s simple: roughly break it into as many paragraphs as there are parts within your thesis. Note that in comparison and contrast essay, there are two models you could follow. You could divide your paragraphs based on subjects or in accordance with their features. For example, using our topic from above, this is how an essay could look like.

Option 1:

  1. First body paragraph is about one similarity in depictions of obsessive love in subjects A and B.
  2. Second paragraph is about one difference in these depictions.

Repeat this comparison scheme as many times as needed for covering all the points.

Option 2:

  1. First body paragraph deals with how Subject A portrays love.
  2. Second paragraph focuses on Subject B’s depiction.
  3. Third paragraph concerns similarities and differences analysis.

Choose a comparison model you prefer most — they are both highly appreciated by college professors.


Here, compare and contrast format doesn’t differ from other papers in any relevant area. Restate all major points you’ve made in the body; rephrase thesis for reminding your readers about it; mention what conclusion can be made based on your analysis. Just avoid such common mistakes as making this part too long or putting new information into it, and you’ll be fine.

Five Best Steps For Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

Now, let’s look at the guidelines that could get you through all the stages of writing comparison & contrast essay. There are potentially tens of options, but we limited them to five major steps. Follow them and you won’t face any serious problems.

  1. Pick a motivating comparison topic. Whatever ideas are going through your mind, they must revolve around something you really like. Don’t go for bland, boring topics: for writing great comparison and contrast essays, you need to love the subject you’re exploring. Maybe it’s a book you’ve read: you could love one but hate another one on the same topic. School subjects, paintings, movies, scientific concepts, even food — anything goes. Focus on something that you find engaging.
  2. Create an outline. What is your thesis? How many body paragraphs will your paper have? Consider the number of words you were told to write and plan accordingly. Give each outlined section a name and/or add a one-sentence description to it. This will guide you through your paper later when you finally start writing it.
  3. Do researchHow to write a similarities and differences essay? You’ll need to find sources for this. Clarify how many of them you need with professors, then start your search. Academic databases or college library — anything goes. Even Internet sites could be helpful as long as they are credible enough. Just be sure all your sources are academic & relatively new (such as created in the last 5 years).
  4. Seek help if needed. Not everyone can write an essay from start to finish without relying on anyone else. So, at whatever stage this occurs, look for assistance. If you cannot find good comparison ideas, ask for advice on online forums or brainstorm with friends. If writing creates difficulties and you’re stuck, look for help from academic writing platforms.
  5. Edit your essay. Try thinking from perspective of your teacher: what is a compare and contrast essay to them? What could motivate them to give it the highest grade? It should look perfect. After you’re done writing, re-read everything from the start. Better do it after some time has passed since your mind needs to be freshly rested for this process. Edit text for grammar issues; watch out for content mistakes. Don’t hesitate to re-write, cut, or add bits if this could make your comparison paper better.

Help With Looking for Essay Topics

If students are getting frustrated with their inability to settle on any topic appropriate for comparing and contrasting essay format, there is still a solution. Our site has specialists who keep working hard for assisting people & meeting their academic needs in every way possible. That’s why we have a whole category of topics on all education levels, from high school to college and university.  They are all unique and refreshing, so you won’t find stale themes that have long since become outdated. Look at options in comparison & contrast group and use any of them. If anything inspires you, we’ll consider it a success!

Pick a Paper Sample & Make Writing Idea Clearer

In case you’re still wondering how to do a compare and contrast essay, we have another suggestion. Why don’t you look at the existing samples? Before you, millions of students have completed similar essays. They also learned rules, took their time to understand structure, looked for sources, and crafted their papers. So, if you are in need of some more practical assistance, go through samples we’ve collected. They have been double-checked by people with proven academic credentials, so you can safely rely on them. Once again, use them as comparison guidelines; check confusing bits & sharpen your own ideas. Don’t copy samples — turn them into inspiration instead.

Appreciate Writing By Making It Interesting

Now that you understand how to write a compare and contrast essay, you know that selecting a great topic is vital. In many respects, it’s the key to everything because if you love what you’re working on, you’ll put enough of yourself into it for making your audience riveted. Keep brainstorming, look at online topic lists, talk to friends for getting your confidence & inspiration in order, and start writing. But despite all the optimism, you should also remember that sometimes reality interferes with the best plans. If this happens, go for other solutions.

Our team of experienced and professional writers specializes in academic tasks, so they could compose a perfect compare contrast essay for you. If you lack time, cannot summon even a drop of motivation, feel bad, or need to focus on some other thing, let us know. Drop us a line via chat option, describe demands you were given, and discuss other requirements, such as deadlines and number of sources. We’ll get on with the work right away, and with the help of our money-back guarantee, you can rest assured that you won’t be disappointed. 

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Elizabeth Baldridge
Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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