An Easy Guide to Write a Perfect Compare-and-Contrast Essay

Almost every day, students are required to write essays. Some of them are simple to accomplish, while others may be difficult. The compare-and-contrast essay is one of several sorts of essays. And if this is the task that has you stumped, this easy-to-follow instruction is for you!

To understand every smallest piece of this kind of assignment, you have to learn: 

  1. What a Compare-and-Contrast Essay Is 
  2. What Is the Purpose of Such Essays? 
  3. How to Choose a Topic for This Essay Genre
  4. What Is the Best Structure for a Compare-and-Contrast Essay? 
  5. About the Writing Process As It Is

Sure thing, this guide won’t be the only way to write the best essay your professor has ever read. Following some tips has nothing to do with forgetting about your creative vision! So, never put your original ideas back. 

What a Compare-and-Contrast Essay Is

If you know it already, save your time and skip this introductory part. Yet, if this “genre” is new to you, then we go to the explanation. 

Compare-and-Contrast papers explain themselves by their designation. So, your task is to juxtapose two objects of observation and point out their resemblance and contradistinctions. Sometimes your professor might ask you to work with three, four, or even more objects. Even though this is a rarity, this still happens, in the history class especially. Like, when you’re learning about the conflicts of the XX century, you’ll have to see how the Soviet Union, Germany, and Italy positioned themselves. And when topics like this come up, you can’t ignore one of the “characters”, as their relation is too noticeable. 

Even though some of the objects may seem more important than others, you shouldn’t ignore any of them. In your essay, there are no things that aren’t worth full elucidation. So, you have to balance the extent of their showcasing. 

This is the only kind of essay that covers more than one topic. Of course, this means that there are peculiarities of elucidation. You have to focus on two or more characters but grasp them evenly. 

What Is the Goal of Such Essays?

Basically, your professor wants you to do it to see how analytical you are. When writing compare-and-contrast papers, you must break down each thing into smaller parts. Only in this way can you see what they have in common and where the differences are.

It will also put your structural abilities to the test. Because you’re working with various themes, it’s much more important.

Without a doubt, your argumentation is crucial. Even if it’s your view of how your products are similar and distinct, you’ll need proof to back up your claims.

How to Choose a Topic for This Essay Genre 

You won’t have to think about it if your professor made the decision for you. If you have to pick it out on your own, look for items that have something in common.

When you point out the similarities, you’ll naturally notice the differences. It’s a little easier than the other way around, but you may have different preferences.

The real-life connection between your objects isn’t obligatory. So, your essay can be about the same things that existed in different countries. For instance, you can take a look at the implementation of different architecture styles in two or more countries. 

Here are some obvious topic options: 

  • attitudes towards propaganda in XX century and today;
  • Greek and Roman culture;
  • themes of homosexuality in Greek culture and today;
  • the early period of creativity of the writer/artist and further development;
  • conservatism and traditionalism;
  • the image of a “strong leader” in countries with a totalitarian system;
  • Feminism in XX century and today; 
  • medicine of the ancient world versus medicine of the Middle Ages. 

What Is the Best Compare-and-Contrast Essay Structure?

Such essays have a typical outline.

You present your argument and explain why your items are worth comparing in the beginning. Then, depending the length of your paper, you put out your arguments in the body text, juxtaposing all components. You must repeat your thesis and distill the meaning of your study in your conclusion. So there’s nothing unusual about it; it’s almost the same as in other circumstances.

Yet, the actual comparing process in this kind of essay can be different. So, your essay writing can go in: 

  • Blocks. This is a method where you fully depict the first object and then go to the second to do the same thing. So, the subjects go in a row. 
  • Alternating way. This is the way of essay writing when you take one aspect and depict it regarding every subject. Then you write about another aspect, and another, and another. 
  • Similarities/differences organization. This way of essay writing is somewhat like creating blocks. Yet, if in the first case blocks are about subjects alone, here your blocks are about the likeness and contrast of your subjects. 

About the Writing Process As It Is 

Again, as with any other essay, you need to go through several steps. The phases are: 


This is not the essay writing yet, it’s the preparation for it. Write everything without deep analysis. Point out all the obvious things. If it seems like there is a similarity or a difference, write it down too. In any case, you have no obligations to use every single idea. 


Gather materials that can back your thoughts up. You’ll need evidence in any case. Moreover, you can find more components that seem to be alike or contrasting. 

Deciding the structure 

This will depend on which ideas you have. But if you choose the block method, you won’t make a mistake in any case. 


It’s not obligatory. You can start writing what you want to submit instantly. Still, anything you write will be a draft first and foremost. It will be a valid essay only after proofreading and editing. 


One of the most tedious parts as you have to re-read what you’ve written multiple times. There may be a problem if you chose the wrong structure. If this point is okay, then just eliminate grammatical and other flaws and typos, and you’re ready to go. 

In Conclusion 

Compare-and-contrast essays are not what should make you nervous. It won’t be tougher than writing other essays as long as you’re diligent in the process of essay writing. And remember that you can modify your custom essays as you wish! No requirements should make you block your creative energy. 

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