Writing a Compare and Contrast Essays: The 'How To' Guide

Throughout your learning, you definitely have come across these two words, “compare” and “contrast.” They are commonly used in examinations and other academic tests during your study. So, what does it mean to compare and to contrast? It’s simple, your work is to bring out similarities and differences between two things. For instance, you can compare and contrast rural and urban life setups in third world countries. What makes them the same and in what ways are they different?

In this kind of essay, think about the similarities that exist between your two opposing ideas first. That is what makes them comparable in the first place. However, this is not to mean they are the same. There will be some differences to take note of, which are part of the essay writing structure. Look at the topic in general and draw distinct aspects concerning it as you prepare to write your essay.

The Plan and Structure for Compare and Contrast Essays 

Once you have been given this type of essay, where do you begin? If you are not sure, don't worry. Here is a detailed approach to writing a high-quality compare and contrast essay:

  • Write an outline. List items that you will be talking about in comparing and contrasting your chosen subjects. Assess the features that will help you come up with clear points about your topic.
  • Introduce the topic. This is a compare and contrast essay but you have to make an introduction of the topic to your audience. Where possible write definitions of the two terms before talking about the similarities and differences between them. 
  • Discuss similarities. It will be a good idea to start off with the similarities before picking out the differences between your two contrasting sides. Why are these items or topics worthy of comparison? Let the reader see that as you talk about their similarities in this section.
  • Highlight Differences. Once you have written about the similarities, the next thing to do is writing about the differences. The two subjects you picked are unique in their way. Therefore, this is the section to look at these differences and present them in your writing.
  • Summarize your views. This is the section to bring your comparisons and contrasts together. In your summary, the reader should see the similarities and differences clearly without any difficulties. Bringing these two sides together will paint the exact picture concerning the objectives of writing this type of essay.
  • Write a Conclusion. In the end, there has to be a conclusion. This is where you restate the essay objectives.  Show how you have been able to discuss these two subjects and bring out their similarities and differences.

Final Thoughts

Your compare and contrast essay should be structured in a good way to make everything clear to your readers. The introduction should shed light on the topic and pave the way for a look into the similarities and differences. At the end of the discussion, the readers should be in a position to tell the facts concerning the topic. 

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