A comparison and contrast essay is an essay whereby the author has the aim of comparing the differences and the similarities that exist among two subjects. Given the fact that it’s an essay that involves a lot of brainstorming, its main purpose is to enable the reader to compare the two subjects and understand them in depth based on their differences and similarities.

Tips for writing a comparison and contrast essay

1. Topic:
Regarding the introduction of a comparison and contrast essay, one has to come up with meaningful subjects that have sufficient content to write about in that they can be compared and contrasted. As well, the author should brainstorm the subjects to identify possible similarities and differences to write about to have a chronologically arranged work once the writing begins. Failure to brainstorm can lead to the lack of ideas in the middle of writing hence making it difficult for the author to think further. Another tip of choosing a good topic for a comparison and contrast essay is to consider the main points so that the writer can be able to choose the strong ones to fit the length of the essay. Weak points lead to a bad quality essay. Development of the thesis statement requires a good understanding of the topic and the chosen points. As a result, this will ensure that the thesis statement is clear and gives a self-explanatory understanding to the reader.

2. How to write the body
Also, the body of a comparison and contrast essay makes up the largest part of the essay. Hence, it requires a good planning of ideas. The initial thing is to decide on the structure that is suitable and easy for the author to use. Among the available structures are the “subject by subject,” “compare then contrast” and the “point by point” structures. Another tip is to outline the essay regarding the introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion. This will help in the organization of ideas to avoid being mixed up in the process of writing the essay and placing ideas at the wrong place. Regarding the body paragraphs, make sure to have the topic sentence, explanation and a conclusion for each of the paragraphs. As a result, the essay will be easy to understand due to the smooth flow. The topic sentence states the main point that will be discussed in that particular paragraph. It is also important to explain the “why” factor that results from any part of the essay because failure to explain it can result in a questionable essay which is of poor quality.

3. How to conclude a comparison and contrast essay
As well, once an individual has decided on the points to write about, then they have the obligation of coming up with a precise conclusion that sums up all the points. This section should not be long, and the topic sentence should be the thesis statement. The topic sentence is followed by a brief explanation of the body paragraphs. Finally, one has to give their opinion on the topic based on the research that they have done. In addition to the above, the author can decide to put a statement or a question that provides room for the readers to think more about the essay or answer a particular question.

4. How to polish the essay
One of the key tips in this section is to use transitional words that bring out a clear aspect of contrast or comparison. This makes it easy for the reader to understand the essay. Besides, proofreading and editing are also important to correct any possible errors that could make the essay to be of low quality. Ensure that all the points are organized as planned and that all the paragraphs begin with a topic sentence. As well, the points should be arranged from the strongest to the weakest to show the reader that the author has a full understanding of the topic subjects. The explanations should be done in a manner that it brings out the comparison or the contrast.

Common mistakes

One of the mistakes done when writing a contrast and comparison essay is basing the argument on one side. There should be contrasting and similar points. Also, authors may forget to mention all the points in the thesis statement and instead talk about the strong points. Every point that will be included in the essay is equally important. Another mistake is made during the choice of the topic. Some writers may choose topics that do not have sufficient content to write about and end up writing about the wrong thing. In addition to the mistakes is the incomplete explanation of points.

How to choose a good topic

According to essayzoo.org, the best way to choose a topic for a comparison and contrast essay is identifying the common things in life. There is always a lot of content available about such topics. Also, the topic should be easy to understand without having to read the essay. Below are some examples:

  • Compare and contrast power and leadership
  • Compare and contrast centralized and decentralized governments
  • Compare and contrast two forms of communication
  • Compare and contrast Apple and Nokia
  • Compare and contrast computers and phones
  • Compare and contrast English and Mathematics
  • Compare and contrast the African and Jewish culture

When writing a comparison and contrast essay, it is important to come up with a good topic that has content to write about. Also, the structure to be used should be one that the author is familiar with. As a result, this will bring out a well-arranged essay with brainstormed arguments.