Comparison and Contrast Essay — Guidelines and Tips

Even if you didn’t take a first-year composition course, it doesn’t mean you will never face the comparison/contrast essay task. At first glance, this creative assignment is pretty easy because all you are required to do is compare several things. However, if you dig deeper, you’ll see that there are numerous pitfalls which may prevent you from creating a top-notch essay. If you feel the same way, why not check out our review which will help you understand what techniques to use to come up with an A+ paper?

Here are the questions we’re going to discuss:

  • What is a comparison and contrast essay?
  • What is the general purpose of this task?
  • How to structure an essay?

Clear Comparison and Contrast Essay Definition

Before analyzing the basic tips, we should understand the general purpose of a comparison and contrast essay. That is a short multi-paragraph composition which compares and contrasts different aspects of the same thing. For instance, if you study Biology and your task is to compare and contrast the life of lions in the wild and captivity, you should focus on similarities and dissimilarities of living in both environments. In other words, your essay should provide the reader with information on what are the common and different aspects of these two environments.

First, you need to compare the objects of your investigation by focusing on their similarities, and after that, you can contrast them. This assignment can cover absolutely any subject area. However, if you are not sure what to write on and can’t consult with your professor, you should determine whether your facts are relevant. Even if there are a number of aspects you want to discuss in your essay, you should decide which of them are worth comparing. Simply put, one way to determine which details to include in your comparison-and-contrast essay is to check their relevance and importance for the discussed topic.

Comparison and Contrast Essay Structure Rules

Writing the compare and contrast essay requires you to come up with a detailed description of a topic. To get the highest grade, you need to study the subject, process the relevant literature and use only trusted resources. Keep in mind that this creative assignment shouldn’t be based on your personal viewpoint (though you are allowed to express it in your conclusion). Your objective is to provide the readers with a detailed comparison of several things, and this comparison should be based on truthful information.

You may have a number of ideas floating through your head, but it is really hard to start writing if you can’t decide how to organize the facts. Though the format is contingent on the subject, a typical comparison and contrast essay structure should look like this:

  • Introduction, including an informative thesis statement.
  • Main paragraphs based on the subject-to-subject comparison.
  • A compelling conclusion.

Now, let’s focus on defining the most crucial writing stages.


You should begin by composing the comparison and contrast essay introduction which will get the readers to read your essay all the way through. How do you go about making it attention-grabbing?

You need to brainstorm the information on the chosen topic and come up with facts which can grab the attention of the target audience. The easiest thing you can do is, to begin with, a thought-provoking question which will make the readers continue reading your essay. Keep in mind that you can also use some statistical data or funny stories. You shouldn’t start your essay with a long and boring prelude because it may scare the readers away.

Body Part

After writing a compelling introduction, you can move on to comparing objects in subsequent paragraphs. Keep in mind that each paragraph should be devoted to a particular aspect. First, you need to identify similarities between the chosen things, and after that, you can contrast them. The task will be easier if you create an outline in which you’ll indicate what particular characteristics you want to describe in your essay. Keep in mind that by following your outline, you’ll have a much easier time covering the topic. Besides, the whole essay will look much more organized.


What about the main things you’d better know while writing a comparison and contrast essay conclusion? It is the final section of your paper, and its primary goal is to leave a lasting impression on the reader. In other words, this is your last chance to increase your grade! Your final paragraph should consist of several sentences which will help the reader understand the importance of your investigation. Some seasoned writers believer that the best thing you can do here is to paraphrase your thesis statement, thus making it a perfect ending for your essay.

You can share your views regarding the subject in the final paragraph. However, you shouldn’t impose your opinion on the reader by continually repeating that your solution is the only correct one. Keep in mind that your goal is to compare, contrast, and inform but not to persuade!

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