Home Blog Compare and Contrast Essay - A Complete Guide With Topics & Examples

Compare and Contrast Essay - A Complete Guide With Topics & Examples

Compare and Contrast Essay - A Complete Guide With Topics & Examples

Have you been given the assignment of writing a compare and contrast essay?

You’re struggling, wondering what does compare and contrast mean?

Well, you are at the right place!

This article will serve as a guide that will help you write the perfect essay!

What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

Compare and contrast essay simply evaluates the differences and similarities between the two subjects. These subjects will be of the same category but different. Such as two different kind of pets or two two books based on the same historical event.

The best way to demonstrate the thinking behind a good compare and contrast essay, is to assume a "fact situation."

For example:

You're shopping and only have the budget to buy one shirt. You find two that you like now you look at the comparisons and contrasts.

You want to buy both of them, but unfortunately you can't.

You now notice that one of the shirts is similar to the one you already have in your closet.

The choice is simple; you will buy the shirt that is unlike the one you already have.

Now, that you have understood the compare and contrast essay definition, the next step is to learn the writing steps.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay is written to indicate similarities and differences between the two subjects. This can be done by drawing a Venn diagram.

There are different ways you can adopt to structure such an essay. For example, subject by subject, point by point and block organizational structure.

Putting every type of essay aside, the compare and contrast essay requires the writer to follow a specific essay outline. This kind of essay is written after researching both the subjects leading to a conclusion.

Choose your Subjects

To write a successful compare and contrast essay, choose your subjects that are different but from the same category group. Following are a few things you should consider while choosing subjects for your essay:

  • Subjects from the same category. For example, a home-cooked meal and frozen grocery store food.
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Look for Similarities and Differences

To indicate the similarities and differences between the subjects, the best way is to make a Venn diagram. This figure will indicate the similarities and differences at a glance.

To create a Venn diagram, draw two overlapping circles, one for each subject that you are comparing.

Note down the differences in the separate circles drawn to the sides.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

If you’re wondering how to start a compare and contrast essay, then the trick is to start by developing an essay outline. The usual format followed for this type of essay includes an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and conclusion.

Stay with us to know how to write a compare and contrast essay according to the outline.

Writing the Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

Once you have figured the topic title, the next step is writing the opening paragraph.

  1. Make a list of all the points you are going to discuss in the introductory paragraph. Write them down as simply and concisely as possible, in the most logical order that comes to mind.
  2. Now list the issues and subjects you are going to discuss without stating their similarities and differences.
  3. Compose a strong thesis statement of 1-2 sentences. It should state the main argument and your purpose in comparing and contrasting the subjects at hand.

Compare and Contrast Essay Body

Most academic essay formats can be boiled down to five paragraphs.

When writing the essay outline, you may find yourself with more than five points to be addressed. Comparing similarities and differences may actually double the number of points and paragraphs in your comparison essay.

Be sure to follow any instructions for writing your essay as you format the body of the essay . Don’t exceed the number of paragraphs called for.

Analyze your subjects and discuss the similarities and differences. You can provide your personal opinions and give evidence to support what you have to say.

Writing the Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

Students often neglect the conclusion and end their essay abruptly, leaving the reader unsatisfied and confused about the author’s findings. Use transition words to create a smooth flow. A connection between body paragraphs and a conclusion is essential.

Proofread your Essay

Once you are done writing your essay, always revise and proofread your document at the end. Look for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in your essay and try your best to make your document completely flawless.

Sometimes, while reading the same essay over and over again, some mistakes can get overlooked by the writer. To avoid this, you can ask a friend to help you proofread your document with fresh eyes.

Write the similarities between the two subjects in the overlapping parts of circles.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

A compare and contrast essay example is something you should consider when learning to write this important academic paper.

Here is an example to give you an overall idea on how to structure and write an effective compare and contrast essay.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Example

Here are some more compare and contrast essay examples to give you a clear idea.

Approaches to the Compare and Contrast Essay Format

Students are always confused about how to compare and contrast when writing an essay. There are two different approaches to choose from:

  • The Alternating Method
  • The Block Method

The Alternating Method

This is a simple point-by-point method. You present an idea related to object A and then an idea related to object B.

With this alternating method, you will discuss all relevant information about the subject regardless of any similarities and differences.

The Block Method

This is a subject by subject technique.

You present your ideas and points associated with one subject. Do the same for all ideas and points related to the second subject.

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Whether you are all set to write your compare and contrast essay or you are in the process of inventing a catchy topic. It would be helpful to checkout these compare and contrast ideas for your next paper.

The key to finding good compare and contrast essay topics is to avoid broad and narrow topics. Look for something you are passionate about and pay attention to every detail to improve its quality.

As promised earlier, here are a few essay topics. We have divided the topics for a compare and contrast essay list into categories to make it easy for you to choose one. The list starts with the interesting compare and contrast essay topics to the relevant college level and high school level topics.

Interesting Compare and Contrast Topics

  • What are the differences between Bachelor's and Master's Degree?
  • What are the similarities between attending a College or distance-based learning?
  • What are the differences or similarities between writing a research paper and composing a creative writing paper?
  • What are the underlying differences between the US education system and that of the UK?
  • What is the most effective way of completing an assignment? Doing it at home or a library?
  • How are young adult relationships similar to teenage relationships?
  • Compare and contrast highschool and college life.
  • The difference between apples and oranges.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students

Here are some of the interesting topics to compare and contrast in a college essay.

  • School vs. college: What is new?
  • Pros and cons of having a job in college
  • Persuasive and Argumentative Paper: Same or differentt
  • Remote learning or traditional education?
  • British English and American English: Differences and Similarities
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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

Here are some of the brainstorming topics to compare and contrast in a high school essay.

  • Public and private schools: Difference and Similarities
  • Live-In Relationship Vs. Marriage
  • Obama Vs. Donald Trump
  • Audio books or paper books
  • Autumn Vs. spring

Aren't these topics interesting? You may pick any two similar topics that you choose to compare and write down your essay. There is an abundance of subjects to write a compare and contrast essay, you just have to pick two.

Have you still not decided on a topic?

Well, if you still need more inspiration then we have compiled a list of the best compare and contrast essay topics for your convenience.


Nobody has ever said writing compare and contrast essay was easy.

In fact, writing the compare and contrast paper requires very specific skills. You also require approach to subject matter that is often unfamiliar to students.

If you are confused about writing your essay, then you can hire writing services for your help. It's time for you to reach out to the professional academic writing specialists at 5StarEssays.com. Specific subject matter essay experts are ready to help you choose the best possible compare and contrast essay topic. Feel free to contact the experts who will guide you through the writing process.

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