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What does Compare and Contrast Essay Mean? Definition and Tips

When students are asked to compare and contrast a certain object or event, it means that they need to conduct a deep analysis of two matters and to find all the things, which make them similar or different.

Such a task requires attention to details, ability to analyze huge volumes of information and a skill to notice links between issues, which don’t seem to relate. That is why students often find it difficult to write a comparison and contrast essay, postponing the assignment and risking their grades.

The first thing you need to remember is that the sources you use should be relevant and modern, not older than five years. Such sources can include books, textbooks, scientific journals, documentaries, academic magazines, reports and newspapers.

If you want to make your essay flawless, try to avoid such mistakes as absence of proofreading and editing, plagiarism, using too much generalities and basing your arguments on unreliable sources.

In addition, to learn how to write a compare and contrast essay we offer you to get familiar with the following tips:

  • Analyze the given texts or subjects thoroughly before getting started. If you need to analyze an event, a book or any other issue, devote enough time to reading it carefully. This will help you to understand the matter and make up your mind on the subject. Don’t forget to make notes in the process, which is a great beginning for a strong essay;
  • Make lists. Any time you process an article, a book or any other text, take a separate piece of paper and make lists of all the things, which analyzed objects have in common or different. Such lists will keep you organized and you will always have ideas of what to write about, savings lots of energy and time. In addition, such a useful tool will keep your essay structured;
  • Always create an outline. You need to have a clear understanding of what you are going to write about. A regular length of your essay will be around 5-6 paragraphs, including introduction, main paragraphs and conclusion. In the first section introduce the topic to your audience, then explain how analyzed matters differ or are alike, and make conclusion on the topic, summarizing all the obtained results;
  • Concentrate on the most important features, not trying to cover all the differences and similarities. Run through your lists over again and range everything you have written down according to relevance and importance. Pick several items and concentrate on them, as too many details will bore the reader. Make sure all the chosen elements interlink with the main topic and explain the key question;
  • Remain as detailed, as possible. You need to remember that such an essay is all about presenting your point of view and backing it with reliable sources and information. That is why it is very important to fill your text with details, numbers, pictures, statistics and other relevant elements;
  • Proofread and edit your work. Once you are done with your argumentation and your conclusions are written, take some time to relax and then give your essay a fresh look. Check it line by line to make sure that every word and phrase is relevant and readable, contains no typos and has no grammar or lexical errors. You can also read your paper aloud, ask someone to do it for you or use online software, which detects and even fixes imperfections;
  • Follow required formatting style. Always ask your professor for specific recommendations on the formatting. This may greatly influence the general look of your essay, especially the list of references. If there are no requirements, you can choose one the most common fonts (like Times New Roman) in a 12 pt size, double-space your text and make 1’ margins on all of the sides.

Your final score depends not only on the information you provide but also on the format, style and personal touch, so try to pay maximum attention even to the slightest detail.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

When completing a comparison essay, many students face such difficulties as lack of knowledge on the subject, not knowing how to structure their work properly or simply not being able to choose a good topic.

That is why thousands of students across the world prefer comparing and contrasting their objects based on other scholar’s works.

It shouldn’t be considered a fraud and you can use such samples as a pattern for your own essay.With its help, you can create a correct structure and argumentation, following examples of successful students.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Example

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Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

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Compare and Contrast Essay Format

compare and contrast essay outline

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

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Compare and Contrast Graphic Organizer

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Compare and Contrast Worksheets

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline, Template and Format

To learn how to write a compare and contrast essay you should get familiar with its structure and content, because such an assignment greatly differs from others and has some peculiarities. Depending on the strategy you want to use, you will need to select an appropriate compare and contrast essay outline. However, you should always base your paper on three main sections:

  • Introduction, where you tell the reader about the topic;
  • Main paragraphs, where you present ideas and then narrow them down to concrete issues;
  • Conclusion, where you sum up all the thoughts and results you have obtained.

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When you start working on the main sections, you need to choose the following structure:

  1. First issue - Aspect 1
  • Nuance;
  • Nuance
  1. Second issue - Aspect 1
  • Nuance;
  • Nuance
  1. First issue - Aspect 2
  • Nuance;
  • Nuance.

The number of paragraphs in your compare contrast paper will depend on the quantity of issues you are willing to discuss. Ask your professor about specific recommendations and if you are free to choose the number of paragraphs dd on your own, try to stick to three - five not to bore the audience.

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Writing a compare and contrast essay always starts with choosing an appropriate topic. It may greatly improve the final score or get you down, so be very serious when choosing a thing to discuss. Here is a list of the topics, which are popular with students of different academic levels:

  1. US Constitution vs Constitution of the UK;
  2. European political regimes across centuries;
  3. Being a software developer and a quality assurance specialist: similar duties;
  4. Differences of Baroque and Renaissance art;
  5. Similarities and differences of private and public schooling;
  6. How European football differs from American soccer?
  7. Should couples choose official marriages over civil ones?
  8. Why Christmas is celebrated in the US with more attention?
  9. Who are the heroes of adults and children?
  10. Can distant education have more benefits over traditional schooling?
  11. Superman VS Batman;
  12. Pros and cons of winter and summer sports;
  13. Which literature can be more education: non-fiction or fiction one?
  14. Is it more comfortable to travel a train or a plane?
  15. Video games vs outside games. What is the difference?
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With such a variety of topics to choose from, you need to be very careful. Write down a list of topics you find appealing, analyze all the possible sources and choose the one, which is not only interesting but has a lot of evidence to base your essay on.

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