Compare and contrast essays are regarded as the most arduous and time-consuming papers after dissertations and 5,000-word research papers. For this reason, you should mind the structure of this essay. Yet, an order of your paragraphs isn’t the only thing that matters. It is also the essence of each statement you write.
Since you compare and contrast particular opinions or phenomena, it’s important to start right. By this, I mean not an introduction but the approximate word count and the number of paragraphs. Usually, you get the expected numbers in an assignment to your essay. Yet, if you have to decide yourself, focus on the 5-paragraph structure and at least, 800-1000 words.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topic Ideas
If your essay task is even more complicated and you have to brainstorm a topic first, have a look at this short list of Compare and Contrast Essay Topic Ideas.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?
Basic tips to handle all the difficulties
If you have already decided on your compare and contrast essay, then it is the right time to get down to building your outline and the first draft. Before you move further, decide on the structure you choose.
There are two different ways on how to write a compare and contrast essay:
A point-by-point method
Using this method, you compare or/and contrast both objects in one paragraph. Each paragraph should cover one aspect of your comparison. In the sample of a point-by-point outline, you can see two contrasted objects, PC to Mac. The main body is divided into 3 paragraphs. Each one focuses on a separate feature or benefit for the software users. Apart from this, you can also include a paragraph about the preferred or dominating object over another.
This type of comparison/contrasting is clearer and easier for the reader because all the similarities and differences are gathered in one particular paragraph. The difference with the block structure is huge because a reader can find the aspect he’s interested about faster and shouldn’t compare two blocks of information as in the block method. In this case, the point-by-point structure is easier for the reader to contemplate but more difficult for the student to write and analyze all the details in one paragraph.
A block-by-block method
It was my favorite method of writing because it took less time to write a comparison and contrast essay with it. Generally, you craft the same number of paragraphs in the main body, but only two describe what you compare (if you talk about two objects). Each paragraph focuses on a separate object, its aspects, features, and benefits to contrast to another. Both methods require the same number of aspects for each object. The third paragraph of your main body will be essential to compare and/or contrast both objects. Unlike the point-by-point structure, where you restate your thesis statement, in a block structure, you present your main message in such a paragraph. It either shows the dominance of one object over another or proves that one could serve as a substitute to another.
Writing a compare and contrast essay, aka a division essay, takes a good deal of analysis. Yet it’s far more interesting than a usual classification essay or a descriptive essay. First of all, it’s because you can’t operate with your own opinion. As you know, limitations motivate and induce us for deeper researching. And secondly, you must rely only on the true facts and statistics. More than that, you need to use your analytical skills to compare and/or contrast various objects or opinions.