Compare and contrast essay is quite a popular type of essay students are often asked to write. You need to compare and contrast any number of ideas like books, theories, situations, etc. The quality of your essay mainly depends on the topic that you choose, along with the structure that you follow. Check out the most updated topics that can help you write a scoring compare and contrast essay. Also, check out the two different methods of writing this essay.
What are ‘compare and contrast essays’?
A compare and contrast essay determines the differences and similarities between the two ideas. Talk about the ways in which both ideas are SIMILAR when you compare. Discuss the ways both the ideas are DIFFERENT from each other when you contrast.
The three purposes of a compare and contrast essay are:
· Motivates critical thinking
· Connects between two ideas
· Helps you gain a deeper understanding of the two ideas
Common examples of compare and contrast essays are
- Day or Night- Which is a better time for studies
- Shakespeare or Ben Jonson: — Who was better at drawing comparisons?
- Work Experience or Good qualification- Which serves the industry better?
Comparison means to look for similarities AND differences. But, contrasting means only looking for differences. So, if we draw a Venn diagram of these two activities, it would look somewhat like this.
The keywords used in both comparison and contrast are different.
Comparison Keywords- like, likewise, same, similar, akin to, just like both, in a similar fashion, not only, but also, neither
Contrast keywords- in contrast, instead, unlike, conversely, although, even though, nevertheless, however, still, on the other hand, differing from, etc.
Using the wrong keyword can bring down the quality of your essay. So, make sure you use the right keyword while writing this essay. Now that you know what a compare and contrast essay is, let’s check out the tips for writing it.
How To Write A Compare and Contrast Essay?
Students may find it confusing to write this essay initially. Thus, here is a list of steps that can help you nail this essay like a pro.
1. Pick an arguable topic
You must choose the topics that belong to the same category. Make sure the topics consist of both similarities as well as differences between each other. Sunflowers and daisies, for example, both belong to the flower category. So you can write your essay on it. But, you can’t write the same on ‘Sunflowers’ and ‘Saturn.’ Other Kind of arguable topic can where you are opinionating based on some facts.
Ex: Source: LexiConn
“ Content writers should write for readers, not for search engines.”
2. Write a precise introduction
The introduction of your essay should be impressive enough to grab the attention of your readers. It should consist of an interesting hook and a compelling thesis statement.
(a) Hook- Hooks can be of many types.
It may be
- some anecdotes
- poetry lines
- live scenario
- scientifically validated facts
- quotes or jokes
The hook shows why it was appealing to take up the topic. It motivates your readers to read the essay until the end.
Say your topic is ‘Night or Day- Which is better for studies?’
You can start with a hook-like “Ernest Hemingway took to writing in the early dawn when the first light rays struck the earth.” Or. “It is believed that the theory of relativity occurred to Einstein during the night when he was dreaming about cows being electrocuted.”
(b) Thesis statement- The thesis statement should clearly state the items or subjects to be compared or contrasted. It should also provide the reason for comparing or contrasting them. Here you also need to make a claim to help your readers understand your point or opinion.
Thesis Statement- Good qualifications like MBA are much more viable for companies than just work experience, but in the practical scenario, people with work experience deliver more and better.
3. Write the main body paragraphs
Here, you analyze the subtle differences and the similarities between the subjects or ideas. You not only have to analyze the relationships between the subjects but also critically analyze the subtle or unstated differences or similarities. There should be at least four to five body paragraphs in your compare and contrast essay. The organizational methods of writing body paragraphs are discussed below. Take a look at them and see if you are able to write a perfect compare and contrast essay.
4. Conclude the essay
This section is where you will highlight the importance of your topic. A good conclusion of a compare and contrast essay should consist of the following:
· Restatement of the thesis statement
· A brief summary of all the major points of your essay
· Transition words or phrases
After the conclusion, do not forget to cite the sources you may have used to write this essay. The different citation formats are APA, MLA, Harvard, etc. follow the format as instructed by your professor.
Now take a look at the two methods for organizing a compare and contrast essay.
How to Organise a Compare and Contrast Essay?
You can use any one of the following methods to organize your compare and contrast essay.
1. Point by Point method
This is where you need to discuss one point at a time and how the point applies to each subject. Then, move on to the next point. You can implement this method on longer essays, such as a comparison of two short stories or articles. The pattern looks something like this:
The first point (1st body paragraph)
Discuss point #1 of both the subjects after the introduction. Compare and contrast the manifestation of this point in each subject.
Second point (2nd body paragraph)
Discuss point #2 of both the subjects after the introduction. Compare and contrast the manifestation of this point in each subject.
And so on.
2. Block method
This is where you discuss one subject, point by point, before moving on to the next subject. You need to choose points by which both subjects can be examined. This method is applicable when you compare short essays like in-class essays. The pattern looks something like this:
First subject (1st body paragraph)
Discuss point #1 of the first subject.
First subject (2nd body paragraph)
Discuss point #2 of the first subject
The second subject (3rd body paragraph)
Discuss point #1 of the second subject. Provide similarities and differences with point #1 of the first subject.
The second subject (4th body paragraph)
Discuss point #2 of the second subject. Provide similarities and differences with point #2 of the first subject.
And so on.
20+ Scoring Topics For Compare and Contrast Essay
Here are the top 23 topics for your perfect compare and contrast essay. Get some inspiration from the following ideas and write your essay in no time.
1. Friedrich Hegel vs Karl Marx: Who made the most impact?
2. Western Governments vs African Government: Which one’s better?
3. Working full time vs freelancing
4. Compare and contrast different religions like Islam vs Buddhism
5. Natural languages vs Artificial Languages
6. Texting vs Writing Letters
7. Raising children in nuclear families vs raising children in joint families
8. Magazines vs Comic Books
9. Cartoons vs Anime
10. World War I vs World War II
11. Living in the 18th century vs Modern Lifestyle
12. Syrian War vs. The Military Situation in Ukraine
13. Fiction Literature vs Non-fiction Literature
14. Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots
15. High school education vs College Learning
16. Living at home with parents vs Living Alone
17. Manufacturing jobs vs service sector jobs
18. Scandinavian Mythology vs Greek
19. Baroque Art vs Renaissance
20. New England Colonies vs Southern Colonies
21. Superman vs Batman: Who is the true hero of the world?
22. Instagram vs Snapchat: Which one’s better?
23. Music vs Poetry: How do they affect people?
These are just some of the topic ideas you can choose to write your compare and contrast essay. Make sure your data is accurate while working on the essay. Proofread the essay before submitting it to your professors. Talk to your professors if you still aren’t able to write the essay.