How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay? Examples, Topics

This article describes how to present one’s ideas through comparison and contrast essay writing. Furthermore, the article offers a guide on how to write a compare-and-contrast essay through examples. The steps and formats used for such kind of writing are also emphasised in the article. Moreover, the text includes tips for formulating and enhancing your essay.

As the name implies, compare and contrast essays are usually written to explore and identify the similarities and differences between two or more ideas, concepts, situations, circumstances or theories. When we write about a topic, we tend to mention its significance and importance when describing it. Using compare and contrast essay format, you can further emphasize that point. It is possible to compare the topic with its alternative or replacement to better understand it and determine which is the most suitable choice. It is the best format to apply when there is confusion or ambiguity about a topic. Additionally, it helps to separate and connect the different subtopics of the topic under discussion.

By comparing and contrasting topics or situations, the reader can better understand the concept with help from the other examples that are compared and contrasted. It also enables the reader to decide in their mind since they have an indirect list of pros and cons in front of them.

Let us take a current topic to understand it further. The famous social networking site Twitter has been in news recently for various reasons. The primary one was the takeover of Twitter by business magnate Elon Musk. Since the handover of Twitter to Musk, a significant amount of changes have been witnessed at Twitter. From firing staff to charging a minimal amount for official handles and blue ticks, there has been a revolt against the same on social media by netizens. From pop stars to politicians, many have criticised this move. Many alleged that the microblogging site was better before the arrival of Musk and that he is curbing free speech since his takeover. This topic can be further elaborated with the help of compare and contrast essay format. The analysis will help to compare Twitter’s operations before and after Elon Musk’s arrival, to shed light on how they differ and relate. A reader who is not well-versed with the global or tech changes might also get a better understanding of what the buzz is about by reading the essay.

How to write a compare and contrast essay?

Compare and contrast essays are unlike your normal essays that flow as we write. In this case, you need to structure them first and write down key points before starting with your essay directly.

  • First Step: Selecting a subject -The selection of the topic can prove to be arduous at times especially when you have to choose it on your own. The topics can be different from each other or from the same domain which possess few similarities. The relevance of topics to each other can help to compare them in a better manner. However, this doesn’t imply that they should be identical. The comparison of the usage of a smartphone and tablet or iPad might not lead to a more profound comparison or contrast since they have similar functions and structures. But comparing a smartphone to a laptop might help you understand the differences as well as similarities. Similarly, two distinct and different ideas, individuals or topics can’t be compared. One can’t compare an animal with a bird or the usefulness of a car with an aeroplane. It might appear to be preposterous. Selecting a topic requires extensive and profound research. Using the Twitter situation as an example, we can compare its current state to similar situations of taking over other social media sites and contrast the results.

Compare and contrast the following situations – The takeover of Instagram and WhatsApp by Mark Zuckerberg and the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk. Since both are social networking sites, their takeover might have multiple resemblances and disparities.

  • Second Step: Organization- Once the topic has been decided, the next step is organising your content. First, the flow of the essay should be divided into three parts. The introduction must contain the information you are about to example, the body should have the similarities, differences and examples to compare and contrast the topics at hand and the conclusion should wrap up and encapsulate your topic and ideas. The introduction and conclusion part is akin to other essay formats. The main body is where people get confused. You need to mention both sides and both topics in an equal manner and for that, you need to first list down sub-topics that you want to mention in your essay. You can also use a Venn diagram since it will make it easier to understand the topic.

For instance, in similarities, one can write about the nature and hurdles of acquisition. The change in the top management. The reforms brought after the takeover.

In the differences, the nature behind the acquisition deal can be mentioned, since Mark Zuckerberg took over Instagram to eradicate competition and Elon Musk took over Twitter to enable free speech. Also, the layoffs that followed along with people’s acceptance of the deal that differs in both cases can be mentioned.

However, one needs to find a balance while describing these similarities and differences in your paper. Otherwise, it will turn out to become a dog’s breakfast. All scattered and haywire.

  • Third Step: Selecting a format- The trickiest part is to comprehend how to write both points and elaborate them equally. Rather than writing haphazardly, you can write using the following methods like the block method, the alternative method or the similarities and differences method. In the block method you need to write the entire information of one topic first and then the second topic. For instance, you can write the entire information about the Instagram takeover first and then the takeover of Twitter. In the alternative method, you have to write the sub-topics of both topics and write them together. For example, the nature of the acquisition of both Instagram and Twitter can be written successively and similarly other sub-topics like characteristics, profits, and layoffs can be written together.
  • Fourth Step: Drafting – Write a rough draft of the article first. Follow the format of noting down points and methods before writing it. Also, with it, you must note down the transition words since it helps to compare and contrast your ideas. The transition or signaling words include words like however, likewise, whereas, still, yet, on the other hand, on the contrary, as well as, in common with. Most of the time, your first draft is not your final draft. You need to edit the method, and format or sometimes re-write from scratch if the essay is not portraying your thoughts or idea. After a final revision, you must proofread your article to rectify grammatical or punctuational mistakes. Don’t forget to add and strong introduction supported by a conclusion that encapsulates your point or the result of a process of compare and contrast.
How to write Compare and Contrast Essay? Example topics and outlime photos

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples-

  1. Democracy or Dictatorship, which is the best form of government for steady economic growth and development.
  2. Compare and contrast the functioning of UNO with G20.
  3. What is the best way to reduce weight – Gym or Yoga?
  4. Compare and contrast the single-party, bi-party and multi-party systems in governments across the world.
  5. Is the 4-day work-week better than the traditional 5 or 6-day work-week?
  6. Traditional classroom learning vs online learning.
  7. Compare and contrast the freedom of speech in China and France.
  8. Is the book better as compared to its adapted movie version?
  9. Conventional career choices vs upcoming careers.
  10.  Capitalism and communism.
  11.  Is cryptocurrency replacing the function of digital payments?
  12.  A better GDP rank or HDI rank defines progress and growth in a country?
  13.  Examine the differences between two different working patterns-freelancing and full-time employment.
  14.  Netflix or Amazon Prime Video- the better OTT Site.
  15.  Compare and contrast the softcopy version and the paperback version of a book.
  16.  Live-in relationships vs Marriage.
  17.  Work from home or work from the office.
  18. A comparison of men with senior positions in the office and women with higher positions in the office.
  19.  Hydropower or Solar power
  20.  The West or the East, the centre of Geopolitical events for the upcoming decades.

Also Read: How to Write Sociological Essay

Tips to write compare and contrast essay-

  • Brainstorming –

Before forming any Venn diagram or similarities and differences list, try to brainstorm about your topic. Jot down things that come into your mind while you are pondering bout your topic. Research it and enhance your existing knowledge about the topic. Learn new things and write them down. Don’t figure out or worry about whether it will fit in the similarities or differences list, just keep listing things that will help you in your essay. Then you can narrow down your ideas and perspectives, and you can write your essay accordingly based on the way you want it to unfold.

  • Formulate a thesis statement-

A thesis statement is more than an introduction to the topic. It guides the topic and also helps to formulate the conclusion. The thesis statement or a hypothesis will help to understand the purpose of the question to the writer as well as the reader. It helps to connect the dots. Your writing is guided by it. As such, thinking of your thesis statement as a compass that pilots your paper is less intimidating than considering it as the first point you need to establish. Here is what a thesis statement would look like – Compared to the previous social media sites acquisitions, Twitter represents the most misstep. The statement can be further supported or refuted by examining research data and the after-effects of other acquisitions.

  • Plagiarism and Citations Check-

Always remember to cite the articles you have used during your research since you are not going to collect more fresh data but are going to rely solely on existing data and facts. Your essay should also go through a plagiarism check to ensure that your work is fully authentic and original.

Also Read: How to Avoid Plagiarism

Compare and contrast methods or formats are very helpful since it develops a person’s eloquence, critical thinking, and analytical skills. The topics at hand can be viewed from multiple perspectives or viewpoints to gain a better understanding of them. As a result, you will be able to view a topic from another’s perspective. It is a helpful tool for exploring the complex thinking behind any situation, humanity’s behaviour, or understanding of any subject. As a writer and debater, you can certainly benefit from the habit of writing compare-and-contrast essays!


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Isha Rane is a sociology graduate with a keen interest in research and analysis, focusing on areas such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Resources, and Public Policy. She is an avid reader, particularly enjoying books about the history and political scenario of India. Isha also likes to write about pressing issues and topics that require a voice in the conversation. Her career aspirations lie in the development sector. Additionally, she has a passionate interest in mythology and calligraphy.