Skip Nav

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Build the Framework

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

❶There is a lot of info here that I think all students, especially future journalists, can use. The introduction will also introduce the general outline of the essay.

TIP 2: Choose an appropriate structure for a contrast paper

Winning Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Navigate Guide
The Introduction

Show readers why one subject is more desirable than the other. If your teacher recommends this form, go for it. However, you should be aware that especially in college, teachers and professors tend to want students to break out of this limited mode. Decide on a structure. There are several ways to organize a compare-and-contrast essay. Which one you choose depends on what works best for your ideas. This organization deals with all of the points about Topic A, then all of the points of Topic B.

For example, you could discuss all your points about frozen pizza in as many paragraphs as necessary , then all your points about homemade pizza. This type of organization switches back and forth between points. For example, you could first discuss the prices of frozen pizza vs. The disadvantage is that you do switch back and forth between topics, so you need to make sure that you use transitions and signposts to lead your reader through your argument.

This organization presents all the comparisons first, then all the contrasts. Putting the contrasts last places the emphasis on them. However, it can be more difficult for your readers to immediately see why these two subjects are being contrasted if all the similarities are first. Outlining your essay will help you work out the main organizational structure and will give you a template to follow as you develop your ideas.

No matter how you decided to organize your essay, you will still need to have the following types of paragraphs: This paragraph comes first and presents the basic information about the subjects to be compared and contrasted.

It should present your thesis and the direction of your essay i. These are the meat of your essay, where you provide the details and evidence that support your claims.

Each different section or body paragraph should tackle a different division of proof. It should provide and analyze evidence in order to connect those proofs to your thesis and support your thesis.

Many middle-school and high-school essays may only require three body paragraphs, but use as many as is necessary to fully convey your argument. This paragraph acknowledges that other counter-arguments exist, but discusses how those arguments are flawed or do not apply.

This paragraph summarizes the evidence presented. It will restate the thesis, but usually in a way that offers more information or sophistication than the introduction could.

Take it to the next level! Outline your body paragraphs based on subject-to-subject comparison. Let's say you're working with the following statement: This method of organization can be unwieldy, so if you choose it, be sure not to let your paragraphs become page-long lists of points about each subject.

A subject-to-subject body paragraph outline could look like this: Body Paragraph 1 Woods: Types of Activities and Facilities Conclusion. Outline your body paragraphs based on point-by-point comparison. This is the more common method used in the comparison and contrast essay. For example, in this case, you could write one paragraph describing the weather in both the woods and the beach, one paragraph describing the activities in each location, and a third describing the facilities in both.

Here's how the essay could look: Discuss first difference between woods and beaches: Woods Beach Body Paragraph 2: Discuss second difference between woods and beaches: Woods Beach Body Paragraph 3: Discuss third difference between woods and beaches: Outline your body paragraphs based on compare then contrast.

This type of organization works best for when you want to emphasize the contrasts between your subjects. First, you discuss how your subjects are similar. Introduction Body Paragraph 1: Similarity between woods and beaches both are places with a wide variety of things to do Body Paragraph 2: First difference between woods and beaches they have different climates Body Paragraph 3: Second difference between woods and beaches there are more easily accessible woods than beaches in most parts of the country Body Paragraph 4: Emphasis on the superiority of the woods to the beach Conclusion.

Organize your individual body paragraphs. Once you've chosen an organizational method for your body paragraphs, you'll need to have an internal organization for the body paragraphs themselves. Each of your body paragraphs will need to have the three following elements: This sentence introduces the main idea and subject of the paragraph. It can also provide a transition from the ideas in the previous paragraph.

These sentences provide concrete evidence that support the topic sentence and main idea. Use your brainstorming ideas to fill in your outline.

Look at the lists and diagrams you generated to help you find the evidence for your comparisons and contrasts. If you are having trouble finding evidence to support your argument, go back to your original texts and try the brainstorming process again. It could be that your argument is evolving past where it started, which is good! You just need to go back and look for further evidence. For example, in a body paragraph about the quality of ingredients in frozen vs.

It can also let you express your imagination. Pineapple and peanut butter pizza? Using your own ingredients lets you have fun with your food. Come up with a title. Depending on your audience and the situation, you may make a joke or a pun, ask a question, or provide a summary of your main point. One of the most common mistakes student writers make is to not give themselves enough time to take a step back from their essays for a day or two.

Start early so that you can let your finished draft sit for a day, or at least a few hours. Then, come back to it with fresh eyes. Reading your essay aloud can also help you find problem spots. Look out for any grammatical errors, confusing phrasing, and repetitive ideas.

Look for a balance in your paper: Here are some things to consider before you turn in your paper: Don't use overly negative or defamatory language to show why a subject is unfavorable; use solid evidence to prove your points instead.

Avoid first-person pronouns unless told otherwise. Spelling and punctuation errors happen to everyone, but not catching them can make you seem lazy. Write a body paragraph for a point-by-point compare and contrast essay. Here is a sample paragraph for a body paragraph that uses point-by-point comparison: At the beach, one can enjoy the water by swimming, surfing, or even building a sandcastle with a moat that will fill with water.

When one is in the woods, one may be able to go fishing or swimming in a nearby lake, or one may not be near water at all. At the beach, one can keep one's kids entertained by burying them in sand or kicking around a soccer ball; if one is in the woods, one can entertain one's kids by showing them different plans or animals.

Both the beach and the woods offer a variety of activities for adults and kids alike. Write a body paragraph for a subject-by-subject compare and contrast essay. Here is a sample paragraph for a body paragraph that uses subject-by-subject comparison: If a person goes to the beach during the right day or time of year, he or she can enjoy warm, yet refreshing water, a cool breeze, and a relatively hot climate.

At the beach, one can go swimming, sunbathe, or build sandcastles. There are also great facilities at the beach, such as a changing room, umbrellas, and conveniently-located restaurants and changing facilities.

The climate, activities, and facilities are important points to consider when deciding between the beach and the woods. Start out by naming both of the things you are comparing. For example, with apples and oranges, start out by saying, "Apples and oranges have many differences.

Not Helpful 10 Helpful To conclude an essay, you might summarize your argument. Then you'll want to show your reader why your paper is significant and finally, leave them with something new to think about. Not Helpful 22 Helpful Start with a hook to draw your reader into the essay. Introduce your topic with a few sentences that explain what you'll be writing about and end with a sentence that helps you transition into the first body paragraph. Not Helpful 4 Helpful Some connectors could start with, "Although," "Even though," "While these are the differences Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4.

Support your analysis by providing primary textual support; in this case, the primary sources are the novels Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.

For each point you address, whether in a tandem or an alternating pattern, offer textual evidence for your positions either by directly quoting from the text or by paraphrasing.

Be sure to properly cite each quote or paraphrase in whatever format your instructor requests e. Some instructors may ask that you use sources other than the text itself to support your argument.

A secondary source is anyone other than the original author. Use secondary sources to provide additional backing for your thesis, especially in arguing for why the compare-and-contrast approach you have selected is valid.

One of the biggest challenges for a writer is to offer his or her own take on a topic. You may feel that everyone else has already said everything there is to say about your subject. Your own interpretation is what is most valuable in the end. Compare-and-contrast essays can often become convoluted if a tight check is not kept on your writing.

Review your work often to make sure you have not suffered the sins of summarizing plot, soapboxing, or wandering pointlessly in the literary woods.

Move or delete text if you have to: Separate your pros and cons into two camps. A rough list might look something like this:

Related Questions

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Jun 11,  · In a compare and contrast essay, you are discussing both the similarities and the differences between two subjects. While you may be someone who can start an essay off of the top of your head with no problem, many people find it easier to Author: Kiri Rowan.

Privacy FAQs

This mode of comparison will result in your essay having 5 paragraphs. In it, you will need to consecutively compare and contrast each of the similarities and differences in the given subjects: In the introduction you state your thesis. Then you discuss both of your subjects together for each point of comparison and contrast.

About Our Ads

In the simplest terms, a compare and contrast essay takes two subjects (i.e., objects, events, people, or places)—closely related or vastly different—and focuses on what about them is the same or what’s different or focuses on a combination of similarities and differences. Being able to write a solid compare and contrast essay introduction helps authors in the academic and non-academic fields better convey information. Compare and Contrast Topic Choices The first step in writing a comparison and contrast essay is choosing a topic that fits with the essay format and is relevant to your assignment.

Cookie Info

Considering a compare and contrast essay introduction example specifically, it is obligatory to remember that the beginning of the text should lure into reading by, for example, demonstrating some interesting facts that illustrate a dual nature of studied phenomena. For example, if you pick up a book review essay, then the question of how to start a compare and contrast essay can be easily sorted out by comparing and contrasting any two main characters or .