Tips for College Students: How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

When you are setting out to write any school assignment you will find a slew of formats that you will need to adhere to. One such example is a compare and contrast essay. This essay is where you compare and contrast two items. It is typically seen in a literature course where you compare and contrast pieces of literature. The most common essay form that is used in a typical educational setting is the compare and contrast essay. Whether you are in third grade, or you are further along in your education, such as pursuing your doctorate, it is very important that you know and understand how you correctly write a compare and contrast essay. The goal of this type of essay is to show why the differences between your subjects actually matter.

  1. First of all, before you can even think about writing, you will need to consider the topics that you want to address in your essay. Most compare and contrast essay will cover two to three topics, but this will vary depending on the length of your essay.

  2. Now, you will first write your introduction paragraph, which will set up the basis for your essay and offer a general outline of the subject matter. This paragraph should end with your thesis statement, which is the sentence that describes the goal of your essay.

  3. Write one to two paragraphs on the first topic and then one to two paragraphs on each of the other topics. The paragraphs should analyze each topic separately, so do not refer back to a different topic in each of the individual paragraphs.

  4. Then, write one to three paragraphs analyzing the different topics together. You can discuss how they relate to each other and what makes them part of the topic of the essay.

  5. Finally, write your conclusion paragraph, which will wrap up your essay and bring home the thesis of your essay. You can even repeat the thesis just as you wrote in the introduction paragraph. Make sure that you explain how you have proven your thesis in the essay.


Keep in mind that there are several different formats for compare and contrast essays. This is only one example. If you need a shorter essay, you can write your introduction, then address the similarities between your topics, address the differences in your topics and then form a conclusion.

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Structured Content and Logic Presentation

Each of essay sections should be well defined and written clearly. This means you should know what details to include while minimizing the amount needed. You may need to rewrite each section more than once before settling on your final copy. You should also remember to proofread, edit, and revise as these elements help make your structure more solid. Think about your details in how you want readers to view it from your perspective.

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