Comparison Essay: Introduction and Examples

Academic essays that compare and contrast two or more topics are called “compare and contrast essays.”

Comparing two things involves looking for similarities, while contrasting two things involves doing the opposite.

Although there may be some distinctions between the two subjects being compared, in most cases, they belong to the same group. For instance, two movies, two institutions, two automobiles, etc.

A solid comparative article zeroes in on one key aspect, elucidating its significance and ramifications. The thesis of a compare and contrast essay needs to draw a substantial parallel between two points.

fountain pen on black lined paper
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

How to Choose the Best Topics for Your Comparative Essay

Topics for an essay should not be too dissimilar; otherwise, there will be no basis for comparison (similarities). Too many parallels, likewise, will lead to weak contrasts. If you want to write about music, choose two composers over one composer and one singer.

Picking a subject you care deeply about is crucial. Go for topics that excite and intrigue you. The following are some great techniques for coming up with ideas:

1. Compare two things that belong to the same group

Wild and domesticated animals, Star Wars and Star Trek, private and public companies, etc.

2. Find amusing and surprising facts

Find entertaining and surprising facts that can be mined for excellent discussion points. To what extent do you know that chickens had a prehistoric ancestor?

3. Films vs. books

For the most part, movies don’t live up to the books they’re based on. If you’re a fan of film and literature, television, video games, comics, etc., compare and contrast your favorite elements of each.

Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay With Example

1. Brainstorm Points of Agreement and Disagreement

As soon as you’ve decided on a subject, you should get a piece of paper and divide it into two columns. One for commonalities and the other for distinctions. 

Get the most important and resonant points down first. After that, you should strive to imagine the topics from a new perspective.

Let’s look at a basic illustration to see what I mean. Let’s say oranges are one issue and apples are another. 

Difference: Oranges are a tropical fruit with a particularly thick peel and an Indian heritage. Apples are from a temperate or subtropical origin (Turkey or Kazakhstan) and have a thin peel.

Similarity: Both fruits can be juiced and are grown on trees. 

This simple example explains extending the same notion to cover more complicated issues by adding contrast and comparison.

Having your ideas prepared and organized in this way will make writing your comparison and contrast paper argument a breeze.

Avoid the common pitfall of merely cataloging every difference or similarity between topics. Students get caught up writing a compare and contrast essay and fail to explore similarities and differences.

Your essay should compare and contrast the issues, draw inferences, and link them using a predetermined structure.

Outline and Organization: Compare and Contrast Essay

The analysis of facts is crucial to the success of a compare and contrast paper. You can use either the block or point-by-point method to develop an outline for your comparison and contrast essay.

1. Block Method

The block method is a time-tested framework for organizing the main elements of a compare and contrast essay. When you pick points of agreement and disagreement and organize them, the essay swiftly takes shape.

Using the block style, the first topic is introduced, and its qualities and details are discussed in length. One section is complete. The second section applies the same methodology to the second topic.

2. Point By Point Method

The format is a point-by-point rundown of every shared feature and divergent characteristic, carefully noting both topics simultaneously. You can compare and contrast the two topics by outlining their shared and differentiated features.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both formats. The block method is unquestionably simpler to write because all you have to do is list the similarities and differences between the two themes. 

The point-by-point structure forces you to perform your analysis while making the similarities and contrasts between the two more transparent to the reader. 

It explains how the comparisons stack up and why they matter in the final paragraph. 

Guidelines for Comparison Essay Introduction

Once you’ve decided on an essay structure, you may start planning your paper. A standard essay will include an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

If you need to go into greater depth with any of these topics, feel free to add an additional paragraph.

1. Transitional Words and Phrases

If you want your compare and contrast essay to read more smoothly, you should include transitional words and phrases. They will spice up your paper and make it better all over.

Similar, likewise, too, both, just like, similar to, the same as, and similarly are all viable options when making comparisons.

When contrasting thoughts, use “in contrast,” “in comparison,” “by comparison,” and “on the other hand.” Other words to utilize are “while,” “whereas,” “but,” “to differ from,” “dissimilar to,” and “unlike.”

2. Prove your claims

You need to back up your claims in any essay, whether you’re writing a compare and contrast piece or an academic psychology paper. 

Use anything at your disposal to bolster your case, be it first-hand experience, books, scholarly articles, magazine/newspaper articles, films, etc. 

If you’re comparing traditional college to online education, you may compare how often you attend class to your distant learning experiences.

You can add credibility to your case concerning online classes by discussing your own experience taking them.


The first step in writing a good essay is identifying the topic and developing a thesis. Students frequently write a comparison essay while they are enrolled in higher education.

Students are pushed to develop their analytical and comparative abilities and focus intently on the details of their comparisons with their professors.

This essay format is useful for practicing close observation and analysis, setting the scene, and presenting convincing arguments.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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