Compare and Contrast Essay Topics, Layout, and More

Among thousands of written tasks assigned at college compare and contrast essays are probably a bit confusing. It seems quite easy. Just take two things and find difficulties and similarities between them. But when it comes to actual writing, ideas won’t come easy.

There are lots of details to keep in mind when working on contrast essays. If you want an outstanding piece of writing that attains to high academic level, simply saying that apple differs from tomato like fruit from vegetable won’t fly. High-grade winning essays of this genre focus on sophisticated topics and have complicated and yet logical layout.

Let’s make most challenging aspects clear.

How to write a compare and contrast essay from scratch

Obviously, a compare and contrast essay is focused on similarities and differences between two things. However, it is far from simple comparison. Often this paper genre is called to reveal new information, prove particular viewpoint or show how one thing relates to another one.

Based on these peculiarities you define how to start a compare and contrast essay and what structure it will have.

Below are three ways to structure your comparison essay:

  • Passage by passage. If you stick with this layout, you first describe one thing and then switch to another. As a result, every paragraph will be dedicated to a separate topic. This seems to be least confusing text organization form. However, it may influence the way a reader will understand the main idea since the content is roughly arranged with no smooth information flow;
  • Point by point. In this text layout you have criteria used to compare two things. First, you describe one topic and then pass over to another one. Topics are compared in turns within one passage. This way it is clear what is being contrasted. On the other hand, such structure requires logical transitions between sentences;
  • Similarities and differences. The most common compare and contrast essay format is when you speak about differences between the two things and then discuss their similarities. Depending on what features you want to emphasize, you either start with similarities or differences between the topics. The only disadvantage about this text layout is that it might be hard for the readers to see the reason for contrasting or comparing things.

Naturally, before you start comparing topics using either of the text mentioned above organization types, you should craft introductory part. Make your opening sentence attention-grabbing. Then formulate clear thesis statement emphasizing specific aspects of the two things you will be contrasting. Once this is done you may proceed with actual comparison.

If you got stuck, try writing essay outline first. This is a kind of plan with some ideas for every part of your paper. Follow it to make the writing process easier and faster.

Winning compare and contrast essay examples

Undoubtedly, good essay topic is half the battle. If you are free to choose what to write about you have the chance to craft outstanding paper. However, topic choice might lead you to a dead end. To make the right decision, think how the topic you like relates to the subject, or what new information you can get comparing and contrasting particular things.

Here are some topic ideas for your inspiration:

  • Historic events or epochs;
  • Significant figures in history;
  • Philosophical ideas;
  • Personalities;
  • Pieces of art;
  • Political systems;

The main criteria to observe when choosing the topic for your contrast essay are that it should generate some value, be interesting and subject relevant.

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