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A comprehensive guide to crafting a successful comparison essay.

How to write comparison essay

Comparison essays are a common assignment in academic settings, requiring students to analyze and contrast two or more subjects, concepts, or ideas. Writing a comparison essay can be challenging, but with the right approach and guidance, you can craft a compelling and informative piece of writing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and examples to help you master the art of comparison essay writing. Whether you’re comparing two literary works, historical events, scientific theories, or any other topics, this guide will equip you with the tools and strategies needed to create a well-structured and persuasive essay.

From choosing a suitable topic and developing a strong thesis statement to organizing your arguments and incorporating effective evidence, this guide will walk you through each step of the writing process. By following the advice and examples provided here, you’ll be able to produce a top-notch comparison essay that showcases your analytical skills and critical thinking abilities.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into writing a comparison essay, it’s essential to understand the basics of comparison writing. A comparison essay, also known as a comparative essay, requires you to analyze two or more subjects by highlighting their similarities and differences. This type of essay aims to show how these subjects are similar or different in various aspects.

When writing a comparison essay, you should have a clear thesis statement that identifies the subjects you are comparing and the main points of comparison. It’s essential to structure your essay effectively by organizing your ideas logically. You can use different methods of organization, such as the block method or point-by-point method, to present your comparisons.

Additionally, make sure to include evidence and examples to support your comparisons. Use specific details and examples to strengthen your arguments and clarify the similarities and differences between the subjects. Lastly, remember to provide a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces the significance of your comparison.

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

When selecting a topic for your comparison essay, it’s essential to choose two subjects that have some similarities and differences to explore. You can compare two books, two movies, two historical figures, two theories, or any other pair of related subjects.

Consider selecting topics that interest you or that you are familiar with to make the writing process more engaging and manageable. Additionally, ensure that the subjects you choose are suitable for comparison and have enough material for analysis.

It’s also helpful to brainstorm ideas and create a list of potential topics before making a final decision. Once you have a few options in mind, evaluate them based on the relevance of the comparison, the availability of credible sources, and your own interest in the subjects.

Remember that a well-chosen topic is one of the keys to writing a successful comparison essay, so take your time to select subjects that will allow you to explore meaningful connections and differences in a compelling way.

Finding the Right Pairing

When writing a comparison essay, it’s crucial to find the right pairing of subjects to compare. Choose subjects that have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison. Consider the audience and purpose of your essay to determine what pairing will be most effective.

Look for subjects that you are passionate about or have a deep understanding of. This will make the writing process easier and more engaging. Additionally, consider choosing subjects that are relevant and timely, as this will make your essay more interesting to readers.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when finding the right pairing. Sometimes unexpected combinations can lead to the most compelling comparisons. Conduct thorough research on both subjects to ensure you have enough material to work with and present a balanced comparison.

Structuring Your Comparison Essay

When writing a comparison essay, it is essential to organize your ideas in a clear and logical manner. One effective way to structure your essay is to use a point-by-point comparison or a block comparison format.

Point-by-Point Comparison Block Comparison
In this format, you will discuss one point of comparison between the two subjects before moving on to the next point. In this format, you will discuss all the points related to one subject before moving on to the next subject.
Allows for a more detailed analysis of each point of comparison. Provides a clear and structured comparison of the two subjects.
Can be helpful when the subjects have multiple similarities and differences to explore. May be easier to follow for readers who prefer a side-by-side comparison of the subjects.

Whichever format you choose, make sure to introduce your subjects, present your points of comparison, provide evidence or examples to support your comparisons, and conclude by summarizing the main points and highlighting the significance of your comparison.

Creating a Clear Outline

Before you start writing your comparison essay, it’s essential to create a clear outline. An outline serves as a roadmap that helps you stay organized and focused throughout the writing process. Here are some steps to create an effective outline:

1. Identify the subjects of comparison: Start by determining the two subjects you will be comparing in your essay. Make sure they have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison.

2. Brainstorm key points: Once you have chosen the subjects, brainstorm the key points you want to compare and contrast. These could include characteristics, features, themes, or arguments related to each subject.

3. Organize your points: Arrange your key points in a logical order. You can choose to compare similar points side by side or alternate between the two subjects to highlight differences.

4. Develop a thesis statement: Based on your key points, develop a clear thesis statement that states the main purpose of your comparison essay. This statement should guide the rest of your writing and provide a clear direction for your argument.

5. Create a structure: Divide your essay into introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should serve a specific purpose and contribute to the overall coherence of your essay.

By creating a clear outline, you can ensure that your comparison essay flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas to the reader.

Engaging the Reader

When writing a comparison essay, it is crucial to engage the reader right from the beginning. You want to hook their attention and make them want to keep reading. Here are some tips to engage your reader:

  • Start with a strong opening statement or question that entices the reader to continue reading.
  • Use vivid language and descriptive imagery to paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Provide interesting facts or statistics that pique the reader’s curiosity.
  • Create a compelling thesis statement that outlines the purpose of your comparison essay.

By engaging the reader from the start, you set the stage for a successful and impactful comparison essay that keeps the reader engaged until the very end.

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

When writing a comparison essay, you have two main options for structuring your content: the point-by-point method and the block method. Each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable depending on the type of comparison you are making.

  • Point-by-Point Method: This method involves discussing one point of comparison at a time between the two subjects. You will go back and forth between the subjects, highlighting similarities and differences for each point. This method allows for a more detailed and nuanced analysis of the subjects.
  • Block Method: In contrast, the block method involves discussing all the points related to one subject first, followed by all the points related to the second subject. This method provides a more straightforward and organized comparison but may not delve as deeply into the individual points of comparison.

Ultimately, the choice between the point-by-point and block methods depends on the complexity of your comparison and the level of detail you want to explore. Experiment with both methods to see which one best suits your writing style and the specific requirements of your comparison essay.

Selecting the Best Approach

When it comes to writing a comparison essay, selecting the best approach is crucial to ensure a successful and effective comparison. There are several approaches you can take when comparing two subjects, including the block method and the point-by-point method.

The block method: This approach involves discussing all the similarities and differences of one subject first, followed by a thorough discussion of the second subject. This method is useful when the two subjects being compared are quite different or when the reader may not be familiar with one of the subjects.

The point-by-point method: This approach involves alternating between discussing the similarities and differences of the two subjects in each paragraph. This method allows for a more in-depth comparison of specific points and is often preferred when the two subjects have many similarities and differences.

Before selecting an approach, consider the nature of the subjects being compared and the purpose of your comparison essay. Choose the approach that will best serve your purpose and allow for a clear, organized, and engaging comparison.

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5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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A compare and contrast essay selects two or more items that are critically analyzed to demonstrate their differences and similarities. Here is a template for you that provides the general structure:

compare and contrast essay format

A range of example essays is presented below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

#1 jean piaget vs lev vygotsky essay.

1480 Words | 5 Pages | 10 References

(Level: University Undergraduate)

paget vs vygotsky essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay will critically examine and compare the developmental theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, focusing on their differing views on cognitive development in children and their influence on educational psychology, through an exploration of key concepts such as the role of culture and environment, scaffolding, equilibration, and their overall implications for educational practices..”

#2 Democracy vs Authoritarianism Essay

democracy vs authoritarianism essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this analysis is that, despite the efficiency and control offered by authoritarian regimes, democratic systems, with their emphasis on individual freedoms, participatory governance, and social welfare, present a more balanced and ethically sound approach to governance, better aligned with the ideals of a just and progressive society.”

#3 Apples vs Oranges Essay

1190 Words | 5 Pages | 0 References

(Level: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade)

apples vs oranges essay

Thesis Statement: “While apples and oranges are both popular and nutritious fruits, they differ significantly in their taste profiles, nutritional benefits, cultural symbolism, and culinary applications.”

#4 Nature vs Nurture Essay

1525 Words | 5 Pages | 11 References

(Level: High School and College)

nature vs nurture essay

Thesis Statement: “The purpose of this essay is to examine and elucidate the complex and interconnected roles of genetic inheritance (nature) and environmental influences (nurture) in shaping human development across various domains such as physical traits, personality, behavior, intelligence, and abilities.”

#5 Dogs vs Cats Essay

1095 Words | 5 Pages | 7 Bibliographic Sources

(Level: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade)

Thesis Statement: “This essay explores the distinctive characteristics, emotional connections, and lifestyle considerations associated with owning dogs and cats, aiming to illuminate the unique joys and benefits each pet brings to their human companions.”

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

I’ve recorded a full video for you on how to write a compare and contrast essay:

Get the Compare and Contrast Templates with AI Prompts Here

In the video, I outline the steps to writing your essay. Here they are explained below:

1. Essay Planning

First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you’re comparing.

I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

compare and contrast worksheet

Grab the Worksheet as Part of the Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Pack

2. Writing the Essay

Once you’ve completed the worksheet, you’re ready to start writing. Go systematically through each feature you are comparing and discuss the similarities and differences, then make an evaluative statement after showing your depth of knowledge:

compare and contrast essay template

Get the Rest of the Premium Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Pack (With AI Prompts) Here

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement

Compare and contrast thesis statements can either:

  • Remain neutral in an expository tone.
  • Prosecute an argument about which of the items you’re comparing is overall best.

To write an argumentative thesis statement for a compare and contrast essay, try this AI Prompts:

💡 AI Prompt to Generate Ideas I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that pass a reasonable judgement.

Ready to Write your Essay?

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Take action! Choose one of the following options to start writing your compare and contrast essay now:

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compare and contrast examples and definition

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  • Comparing and contrasting in an essay | Tips & examples

Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples

Published on August 6, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing . It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them.

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Table of contents

When should i compare and contrast, making effective comparisons, comparing and contrasting as a brainstorming tool, structuring your comparisons, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about comparing and contrasting.

Many assignments will invite you to make comparisons quite explicitly, as in these prompts.

  • Compare the treatment of the theme of beauty in the poetry of William Wordsworth and John Keats.
  • Compare and contrast in-class and distance learning. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

Some other prompts may not directly ask you to compare and contrast, but present you with a topic where comparing and contrasting could be a good approach.

One way to approach this essay might be to contrast the situation before the Great Depression with the situation during it, to highlight how large a difference it made.

Comparing and contrasting is also used in all kinds of academic contexts where it’s not explicitly prompted. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.

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As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place.

For example, you might contrast French society before and after the French Revolution; you’d likely find many differences, but there would be a valid basis for comparison. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies.

This is why it’s important to clarify the point of your comparisons by writing a focused thesis statement . Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way. Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with any comparisons you make, and be sure to make this clear to the reader.

Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might use it to compare different theories and approaches you’ve encountered in your preliminary research, for example.

Let’s say your research involves the competing psychological approaches of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them.

Behaviorism Cognitive psychology
Dominant from the 1920s to the 1950s Rose to prominence in the 1960s
Mental processes cannot be empirically studied Mental processes as focus of study
Focuses on how thinking is affected by conditioning and environment Focuses on the cognitive processes themselves

Or say you’re writing about the major global conflicts of the twentieth century. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram.

A Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.

These visualizations wouldn’t make it into your actual writing, so they don’t have to be very formal in terms of phrasing or presentation. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.

When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method.

The alternating method

In the alternating method, you structure your text according to what aspect you’re comparing. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:

Mouse over the example paragraph below to see how this approach works.

One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class. In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises. They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. Meanwhile, in a Zoom-based class, the lack of physical presence makes it more difficult to pay attention to individual students’ responses and notice frustrations, and there is less flexibility to speak with students privately to offer assistance. In this case, therefore, the traditional classroom environment holds the advantage, although it appears likely that aiding students in a virtual classroom environment will become easier as the technology, and teachers’ familiarity with it, improves.

The block method

In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you’re comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you’ve already said about the first. Your text is structured like this:

  • Point of comparison A
  • Point of comparison B

The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week (and to live near enough to feasibly do so), students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling. However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation. Furthermore, discomfort and distractions can hinder an individual student’s ability to engage with the class from home, creating divergent learning experiences for different students. Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

Note that these two methods can be combined; these two example paragraphs could both be part of the same essay, but it’s wise to use an essay outline to plan out which approach you’re taking in each paragraph.

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If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.

Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .

Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.

You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

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34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Topics cover education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more.

template of compare and contrast essay

Do your writers need some inspiration? If you’re teaching students to write a compare and contrast essay, a strong example is an invaluable tool. This round-up of our favorite compare and contrast essays covers a range of topics and grade levels, so no matter your students’ interests or ages, you’ll always have a helpful example to share. You’ll find links to full essays about education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more. (Need compare-and-contrast essay topic ideas? Check out our big list of compare and contrast essay topics! )

What is a compare and contrast essay?

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  • Pop culture essays
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When choosing a compare and contrast essay example to include on this list, we considered the structure. A strong compare and contrast essay begins with an introductory paragraph that includes background context and a strong thesis. Next, the body includes paragraphs that explore the similarities and differences. Finally, a concluding paragraph restates the thesis, draws any necessary inferences, and asks any remaining questions.

A compare and contrast essay example can be an opinion piece comparing two things and making a conclusion about which is better. For example, “Is Tom Brady really the GOAT?” It can also help consumers decide which product is better suited to them. Should you keep your subscription to Hulu or Netflix? Should you stick with Apple or explore Android? Here’s our list of compare and contrast essay samples categorized by subject.

Education and Parenting Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Private school vs. public school.

Sample lines: “Deciding whether to send a child to public or private school can be a tough choice for parents. … Data on whether public or private education is better can be challenging to find and difficult to understand, and the cost of private school can be daunting. … According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, public schools still attract far more students than private schools, with 50.7 million students attending public school as of 2018. Private school enrollment in the fall of 2017 was 5.7 million students, a number that is down from 6 million in 1999.”

Read the full essay: Private School vs. Public School at U.S. News and World Report

Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education

Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education

Sample lines: “Home schooling, not a present threat to public education, is nonetheless one of the forces that will change it. If the high estimates of the number of children in home schools (1.2 million) is correct, then the home-schooling universe is larger than the New York City public school system and roughly the size of the Los Angeles and Chicago public school systems combined. … Critics charge that three things are wrong with home schooling: harm to students academically; harm to society by producing students who are ill-prepared to function as democratic citizens and participants in a modern economy; and harm to public education, making it more difficult for other parents to educate their children. … It is time to ask whether home schooling, charters, and vouchers should be considered parts of a broad repertoire of methods that we as a society use to educate our children.”

Read the full essay: Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education at Brookings

Which parenting style is right for you?

Sample lines: “The three main types of parenting are on a type of ‘sliding scale’ of parenting, with permissive parenting as the least strict type of parenting. Permissive parenting typically has very few rules, while authoritarian parenting is thought of as a very strict, rule-driven type of parenting.”

Read the full essay: What Is Authoritative Parenting? at Healthline

Masked Education? The Benefits and Burdens of Wearing Face Masks in Schools During the Pandemic

Sample lines: “Face masks can prevent the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2. … However, covering the lower half of the face reduces the ability to communicate. Positive emotions become less recognizable, and negative emotions are amplified. Emotional mimicry, contagion, and emotionality in general are reduced and (thereby) bonding between teachers and learners, group cohesion, and learning—of which emotions are a major driver. The benefits and burdens of face masks in schools should be seriously considered and made obvious and clear to teachers and students.”

Read the full essay: Masked Education? The Benefits and Burdens of Wearing Face Masks in Schools During the Pandemic at National Library of Medicine

To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans?

To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans?

Sample lines: “In recent years, book bans have soared in schools, reaching an all-time high in fall 2022. … The challenge of balancing parent concerns about ‘age appropriateness’ against the imperative of preparing students to be informed citizens is still on the minds of many educators today. … Such curricular decision-making  should  be left to the professionals, argues English/language arts instructional specialist Miriam Plotinsky. ‘Examining texts for their appropriateness is not a job that noneducators are trained to do,’ she wrote last year, as the national debate over censorship resurged with the news that a Tennessee district banned the graphic novel  Maus  just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Read the full essay: To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans? at Education Week

Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Netflix vs. hulu 2023: which is the best streaming service.

Sample lines: “Netflix fans will point to its high-quality originals, including  The Witcher ,  Stranger Things ,  Emily in Paris ,  Ozark , and more, as well as a wide variety of documentaries like  Cheer ,  The Last Dance ,  My Octopus Teacher , and many others. It also boasts a much larger subscription base, with more than 222 million subscribers compared to Hulu’s 44 million. Hulu, on the other hand, offers a variety of extras such as HBO and Showtime—content that’s unavailable on Netflix. Its price tag is also cheaper than the competition, with its $7/mo. starting price, which is a bit more palatable than Netflix’s $10/mo. starting price.”

Read the full essay: Netflix vs. Hulu 2023: Which is the best streaming service? at TV Guide

Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes?

Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes?

Sample lines: “In the past, we would have to drag around heavy books if we were really into reading. Now, we can have all of those books, and many more, stored in one handy little device that can easily be stuffed into a backpack, purse, etc. … Many of us still prefer to hold an actual book in our hands. … But, whether you use a Kindle or prefer hardcover books or paperbacks, the main thing is that you enjoy reading. A story in a book or on a Kindle device can open up new worlds, take you to fantasy worlds, educate you, entertain you, and so much more.”

Read the full essay: Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes? at Books in a Flash

iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?

Sample lines: “The iPhone vs. Android comparison is a never-ending debate on which one is best. It will likely never have a real winner, but we’re going to try and help you to find your personal pick all the same. iOS 17 and Android 14—the latest versions of the two operating systems—both offer smooth and user-friendly experiences, and several similar or identical features. But there are still important differences to be aware of. … Owning an iPhone is a simpler, more convenient experience. There’s less to think about. … Android-device ownership is a bit harder. … Yet it’s simultaneously more freeing, because it offers more choice.”

Read the full essay: iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you? at Tom’s Guide

Cutting the cord: Is streaming or cable better for you?

Sample lines: “Cord-cutting has become a popular trend in recent years, thanks to the rise of streaming services. For those unfamiliar, cord cutting is the process of canceling your cable subscription and instead, relying on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu to watch your favorite shows and movies. The primary difference is that you can select your streaming services à la carte while cable locks you in on a set number of channels through bundles. So, the big question is: should you cut the cord?”

Read the full essay: Cutting the cord: Is streaming or cable better for you? at BroadbandNow

PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch

PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch

Sample lines: “The crux of the comparison comes down to portability versus power. Being able to migrate fully fledged Nintendo games from a big screen to a portable device is a huge asset—and one that consumers have taken to, especially given the Nintendo Switch’s meteoric sales figures. … It is worth noting that many of the biggest franchises like Call of Duty, Madden, modern Resident Evil titles, newer Final Fantasy games, Grand Theft Auto, and open-world Ubisoft adventures like Assassin’s Creed will usually skip Nintendo Switch due to its lack of power. The inability to play these popular games practically guarantees that a consumer will pick up a modern system, while using the Switch as a secondary device.”

Read the full essay: PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch at Digital Trends

What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram?

Sample lines: “Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Facebook and Instagram? Instagram and Facebook are by far the most popular social media channels used by digital marketers. Not to mention that they’re also the biggest platforms used by internet users worldwide. So, today we’ll look into the differences and similarities between these two platforms to help you figure out which one is the best fit for your business.”

Read the full essay: What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram? at SocialBee

Digital vs. Analog Watches—What’s the Difference?

Sample lines: “In short, digital watches use an LCD or LED screen to display the time. Whereas, an analog watch features three hands to denote the hour, minutes, and seconds. With the advancement in watch technology and research, both analog and digital watches have received significant improvements over the years. Especially in terms of design, endurance, and accompanying features. … At the end of the day, whether you go analog or digital, it’s a personal preference to make based on your style, needs, functions, and budget.”

Read the full essay: Digital vs. Analog Watches—What’s the Difference? at Watch Ranker

AI Art vs. Human Art: A Side-by-Side Analysis

Sample lines: “Art has always been a reflection of human creativity, emotion, and cultural expression. However, with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), a new form of artistic creation has emerged, blurring the lines between what is created by human hands and what is generated by algorithms. … Despite the excitement surrounding AI Art, it also raises complex ethical, legal, and artistic questions that have sparked debates about the definition of art, the role of the artist, and the future of art production. … Regardless of whether AI Art is considered ‘true’ art, it is crucial to embrace and explore the vast possibilities and potential it brings to the table. The transformative influence of AI art on the art world is still unfolding, and only time will reveal its true extent.”

Read the full essay: AI Art vs. Human Art: A Side-by-Side Analysis at Raul Lara

Pop Culture Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Christina aguilera vs. britney spears.

Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera was the Coke vs. Pepsi of 1999 — no, really, Christina repped Coke and Britney shilled for Pepsi. The two teen idols released debut albums seven months apart before the turn of the century, with Britney’s becoming a standard-bearer for bubblegum pop and Aguilera’s taking an R&B bent to show off her range. … It’s clear that Spears and Aguilera took extremely divergent paths following their simultaneous breakout successes.”

Read the full essay: Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears at The Ringer

Harry Styles vs. Ed Sheeran

Sample lines: “The world heard our fantasies and delivered us two titans simultaneously—we have been blessed with Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles. Our cup runneth over; our bounty is immeasurable. More remarkable still is the fact that both have released albums almost at the same time: Ed’s third, Divide , was released in March and broke the record for one-day Spotify streams, while Harry’s frenziedly anticipated debut solo, called Harry Styles , was released yesterday.”

Read the full essay: Harry Styles versus Ed Sheeran at Belfast Telegraph

The Grinch: Three Versions Compared

Sample lines: “Based on the original story of the same name, this movie takes a completely different direction by choosing to break away from the cartoony form that Seuss had established by filming the movie in a live-action form. Whoville is preparing for Christmas while the Grinch looks down upon their celebrations in disgust. Like the previous film, The Grinch hatches a plan to ruin Christmas for the Who’s. … Like in the original Grinch, he disguises himself as Santa Claus, and makes his dog, Max, into a reindeer. He then takes all of the presents from the children and households. … Cole’s favorite is the 2000 edition, while Alex has only seen the original. Tell us which one is your favorite.”

Read the full essay: The Grinch: Three Versions Compared at Wooster School

Historical and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Malcolm x vs. martin luther king jr.: comparison between two great leaders’ ideologies .

Sample lines: “Although they were fighting for civil rights at the same time, their ideology and way of fighting were completely distinctive. This can be for a plethora of reasons: background, upbringing, the system of thought, and vision. But keep in mind, they devoted their whole life to the same prospect. … Through boycotts and marches, [King] hoped to end racial segregation. He felt that the abolition of segregation would improve the likelihood of integration. Malcolm X, on the other hand, spearheaded a movement for black empowerment.”

Read the full essay: Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King Jr.: Comparison Between Two Great Leaders’ Ideologies  at Melaninful

Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear

Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear

Sample lines: “The contrast is even clearer when we look to the future. Trump promises more tax cuts, more military spending, more deficits and deeper cuts in programs for the vulnerable. He plans to nominate a coal lobbyist to head the Environmental Protection Agency. … Obama says America must move forward, and he praises progressive Democrats for advocating Medicare for all. … With Obama and then Trump, Americans have elected two diametrically opposed leaders leading into two very different directions.”

Read the full essay: Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear at Chicago Sun-Times

Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Lebron james vs. kobe bryant: a complete comparison.

Sample lines: “LeBron James has achieved so much in his career that he is seen by many as the greatest of all time, or at least the only player worthy of being mentioned in the GOAT conversation next to Michael Jordan. Bridging the gap between Jordan and LeBron though was Kobe Bryant, who often gets left out of comparisons and GOAT conversations. … Should his name be mentioned more though? Can he compare to LeBron or is The King too far past The Black Mamba in historical rankings already?”

Read the full essay: LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant: A Complete Comparison at Sportskeeda

NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison

NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison

Sample lines: “Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were largely considered the best quarterbacks in the NFL for the majority of the time they spent in the league together, with the icons having many head-to-head clashes in the regular season and on the AFC side of the NFL Playoffs. Manning was the leader of the Indianapolis Colts of the AFC South. … Brady spent his career as the QB of the AFC East’s New England Patriots, before taking his talents to Tampa Bay. … The reality is that winning is the most important aspect of any career, and Brady won more head-to-head matchups than Manning did.”

Read the full essay: NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison at Sportskeeda

The Greatest NBA Franchise Ever: Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers?

Sample lines: “The Celtics are universally considered as the greatest franchise in NBA history. But if you take a close look at the numbers, there isn’t really too much separation between them and their arch-rival Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, you can even make a good argument for the Lakers. … In 72 seasons played, the Boston Celtics have won a total of 3,314 games and lost 2,305 or a .590 winning mark. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers have won 3,284 of 5,507 total games played or a slightly better winning record of .596. … But while the Lakers have the better winning percentage, the Celtics have the advantage over them in head-to-head competition.”

Read the full essay: The Greatest NBA Franchise Ever: Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers? at Sport One

Is Soccer Better Than Football?

Sample lines: “Is soccer better than football? Soccer and football lovers have numerous reasons to support their sport of choice. Both keep the players physically fit and help to bring people together for an exciting cause. However, soccer has drawn more numbers globally due to its popularity in more countries.”

Read the full essay: Is Soccer Better Than Football? at Sports Brief

Lifestyle Choices Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Mobile home vs. tiny house: similarities, differences, pros & cons.

Mobile Home vs. Tiny House: Similarities, Differences, Pros & Cons

Sample lines: “Choosing the tiny home lifestyle enables you to spend more time with those you love. The small living space ensures quality bonding time rather than hiding away in a room or behind a computer screen. … You’ll be able to connect closer to nature and find yourself able to travel the country at any given moment. On the other hand, we have the mobile home. … They are built on a chassis with transportation in mind. … They are not built to be moved on a constant basis. … While moving the home again *is* possible, it may cost you several thousand dollars.”

Read the full essay: Mobile Home vs. Tiny House: Similarities, Differences, Pros & Cons at US Mobile Home Pros

Whole Foods vs. Walmart: The Story of Two Grocery Stores

Sample lines: “It is clear that both stores have very different stories and aims when it comes to their customers. Whole Foods looks to provide organic, healthy, exotic, and niche products for an audience with a very particular taste. … Walmart, on the other hand, looks to provide the best deals, every possible product, and every big brand for a broader audience. … Moreover, they look to make buying affordable and accessible, and focus on the capitalist nature of buying.”

Read the full essay: Whole Foods vs. Walmart: The Story of Two Grocery Stores at The Archaeology of Us

Artificial Grass vs. Turf: The Real Differences Revealed

Sample lines: “The key difference between artificial grass and turf is their intended use. Artificial turf is largely intended to be used for sports, so it is shorter and tougher. On the other hand, artificial grass is generally longer, softer and more suited to landscaping purposes. Most homeowners would opt for artificial grass as a replacement for a lawn, for example. Some people actually prefer playing sports on artificial grass, too … artificial grass is often softer and more bouncy, giving it a feel similar to playing on a grassy lawn. … At the end of the day, which one you will choose will depend on your specific household and needs.”

Read the full essay: Artificial Grass vs. Turf: The Real Differences Revealed at Almost Grass

Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases

Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Maximalists love shopping, especially finding unique pieces. They see it as a hobby—even a skill—and a way to express their personality. Minimalists don’t like shopping and see it as a waste of time and money. They’d instead use those resources to create memorable experiences. Maximalists desire one-of-a-kind possessions. Minimalists are happy with duplicates—for example, personal uniforms. … Minimalism and maximalism are about being intentional with your life and belongings. It’s about making choices based on what’s important to you.”

Read the full essay: Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases at Minimalist Vegan

Vegetarian vs. Meat Eating: Is It Better To Be a Vegetarian?

Sample lines: “You’ve heard buzz over the years that following a vegetarian diet is better for your health, and you’ve probably read a few magazine articles featuring a celeb or two who swore off meat and animal products and ‘magically’ lost weight. So does ditching meat automatically equal weight loss? Will it really help you live longer and be healthier overall? … Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure  and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than meat eaters. Vegetarians also tend to have a lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic disease. But if your vegetarian co-worker is noshing greasy veggie burgers and fries every day for lunch, is he likely to be healthier than you, who always orders the grilled salmon? Definitely not!”

Read the full essay: Vegetarian vs. Meat Eating: Is It Better To Be a Vegetarian? at WebMD

Healthcare Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Similarities and differences between the health systems in australia & usa.

Sample lines: “Australia and the United States are two very different countries. They are far away from each other, have contrasting fauna and flora, differ immensely by population, and have vastly different healthcare systems. The United States has a population of 331 million people, compared to Australia’s population of 25.5 million people.”

Read the full essay: Similarities and Differences Between the Health Systems in Australia & USA at Georgia State University

Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate

Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate

Sample lines: “Disadvantages of universal healthcare include significant upfront costs and logistical challenges. On the other hand, universal healthcare may lead to a healthier populace, and thus, in the long-term, help to mitigate the economic costs of an unhealthy nation. In particular, substantial health disparities exist in the United States, with low socio-economic status segments of the population subject to decreased access to quality healthcare and increased risk of non-communicable chronic conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes, among other determinants of poor health.”

Read the full essay: Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate at National Library of Medicine

Pros and Cons of Physician Aid in Dying

Sample lines: “Physician aid in dying is a controversial subject raising issues central to the role of physicians. … The two most common arguments in favor of legalizing AID are respect for patient autonomy and relief of suffering. A third, related, argument is that AID is a safe medical practice, requiring a health care professional. … Although opponents of AID offer many arguments ranging from pragmatic to philosophical, we focus here on concerns that the expansion of AID might cause additional, unintended harm through suicide contagion, slippery slope, and the deaths of patients suffering from depression.”

Read the full essay: Pros and Cons of Physician Aid in Dying at National Library of Medicine

Animals Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Compare and contrast paragraph—dogs and cats.

Compare and Contrast Paragraph—Dogs and Cats- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Researchers have found that dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have. Specifically, dogs had around 530 million neurons, whereas the domestic cat only had 250 million neurons. Moreover, dogs can be trained to learn and respond to our commands, but although your cat understands your name, and anticipates your every move, he/she may choose to ignore you.”

Read the full essay: Compare and Contrast Paragraph—Dogs and Cats at Proofwriting Guru via YouTube

Giddyup! The Differences Between Horses and Dogs

Sample lines: “Horses are prey animals with a deep herding instinct. They are highly sensitive to their environment, hyper aware, and ready to take flight if needed. Just like dogs, some horses are more confident than others, but just like dogs, all need a confident handler to teach them what to do. Some horses are highly reactive and can be spooked by the smallest things, as are dogs. … Another distinction between horses and dogs … was that while dogs have been domesticated , horses have been  tamed. … Both species have influenced our culture more than any other species on the planet.”

Read the full essay: Giddyup! The Differences Between Horses and Dogs at Positively Victoria Stilwell

Exotic, Domesticated, and Wild Pets

Sample lines: “Although the words ‘exotic’ and ‘wild’ are frequently used interchangeably, many people do not fully understand how these categories differ when it comes to pets. ‘A wild animal is an indigenous, non-domesticated animal, meaning that it is native to the country where you are located,’ Blue-McLendon explained. ‘For Texans, white-tailed deer, pronghorn sheep, raccoons, skunks, and bighorn sheep are wild animals … an exotic animal is one that is wild but is from a different continent than where you live.’ For example, a hedgehog in Texas would be considered an exotic animal, but in the hedgehog’s native country, it would be considered wildlife.”

Read the full essay: Exotic, Domesticated, and Wild Pets at Texas A&M University

Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos

Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos

Sample lines: “The pros and cons of zoos often come from two very different points of view. From a legal standard, animals are often treated as property. That means they have less rights than humans, so a zoo seems like a positive place to maintain a high quality of life. For others, the forced enclosure of any animal feels like an unethical decision. … Zoos provide a protected environment for endangered animals, and also help in raising awareness and funding for wildlife initiatives and research projects. … Zoos are key for research. Being able to observe and study animals is crucial if we want to contribute to help them and repair the ecosystems. … Zoos are a typical form of family entertainment, but associating leisure and fun with the contemplation of animals in captivity can send the wrong signals to our children.”

Read the full essay: Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos at EcoCation

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Plus, if you liked these compare and contrast essay examples check out intriguing compare and contrast essay topics for kids and teens ..

A good compare and contrast essay example, like the ones here, explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects.

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template of compare and contrast essay

Compare and Contrast Essay: Full Writing Guide and 150+ Topics

template of compare and contrast essay

Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences. For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc.

Good compare and contrast papers from college essay writer focus on a central point, explaining the importance and implications of this analysis. A compare and contrast essay thesis must make a meaningful comparison. Find the central theme of your essay and do some brainstorming for your thesis.

This type of essay is very common among college and university students. Professors challenge their students to use their analytical and comparative skills and pay close attention to the subjects of their comparisons. This type of essay exercises observance and analysis, helps to establish a frame of reference, and makes meaningful arguments about a subject. Let's get deeper on how to write a compare and contrast essay with our research writing services .

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences

Now that you know what is compare and contrast essay and are set with your topic, the first thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and make a list with two columns: similarities and differences. Jot down key things first, the most striking ones. Then try to look at the subjects from a different angle, incorporating your imagination.

If you are more of a visual learner, creating a Venn diagram might be a good idea. In order to create it, draw two circles that overlap. In the section where it overlaps, note similarities. Differences should be written in the part of the circle that does not overlap.

Let’s look at a simple example of compare and contrast essay. Let one of the subjects be oranges, and the other one be apples. Oranges have thick peel, originally from India, and are tropical fruit. These characteristics pertain only to oranges and should be in the part of the circle that does not overlap. For the same section on apples, we put thin peel, originated in Turkey or Kazakhstan, and moderate to subtropical. In the section that overlaps, let’s say that they are both fruit, can be juiced, and grow on trees. This simple, yet good example illustrates how the same concept can be applied to many other complicated topics with additional points of comparison and contrast.

Example of compare and contrast

This format of visual aid helps to organize similarities and differences and make them easier to perceive. Your diagram will give you a clear idea of the things you can write about.

Another good idea for brainstorming in preparation for your comparison contrast essay is to create a list with 2 columns, one for each subject, and compare the same characteristics for each of them simultaneously. This compare and contrast format will make writing your comparison contrast paper argument a breeze, as you will have your ideas ready and organized.

One mistake you should avoid is simply listing all of the differences or similarities for each subject. Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format.

Compare and Contrast Essay Structure and Outline

So, how do you structure this compare and contrast paper? Well, since compare and contrast essay examples rely heavily on factual analysis, there are two outline methods that can help you organize your facts. You can use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline.

While using the block structure of a compare and contrast essay, all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained. This concludes one block. The second block takes the same approach as the first for the second subject.

The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.

Both formats have their pros and cons. The block method is clearly easier for a compare and contrast essay writer, as you simply point out all of the information about the two subjects, and basically leave it to the reader to do the comparison. The point-by-point format requires you to analyze the points yourself while making similarities and differences more explicit to the reader for them to be easier to understand. Here is a detailed structure of each type presented below.

Point-by-Point Method

  • Introduce the topic;
  • Specify your theme;
  • Present your thesis - cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.
Example thesis: Cars and motorcycles make for excellent means of transportation, but a good choice depends on the person’s lifestyle, finances, and the city they live in.

Body Paragraph 1 - LIFESTYLE

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles impact the owner’s lifestyle less than cars.
  • Topic 1 - Motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are smaller and more comfortable to store.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are easy to learn and use.
  • Topic 2 - Cars
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal - they are like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: It takes time to learn to become a good driver.

Body Paragraph 2 - FINANCES

  • Topic sentence: Cars are much more expensive than motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: You can buy a good motorcycle for under 300$.
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts that are more accessible to fix.
  • ~ Argument: Parts and service are expensive if something breaks.
  • ~ Argument: Cars need more gas than motorcycles.

Body Paragraph 3 - CITY

  • Topic sentence: Cars are a better option for bigger cities with wider roads.
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than with cars.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles work great in a city like Rome, where all the streets are narrow.
  • ~ Argument: Big cities are easier and more comfortable to navigate by car.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside of the city is much easier.
  • Sum up all you wrote in the article.

Block Method

  • Thesis — cover all areas of the essay in one sentence

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles are cheaper and easier to take care of than cars.
  • Aspect 1 - Lifestyle
  • Aspect 2 - Finances
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts, easier to fix.
  • Aspect 3 - City
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than cars.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence: Cars are more expensive but more comfortable for a big city and for travelling.
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal—like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside the city is much more comfortable.

Body Paragraph 3 ‍

Use the last paragraph to evaluate the comparisons and explain why they’re essential. Giving a lot of facts can be intense. To water it down, try to give the reader any real-life applications of these facts.

Depending on the structure selected, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. The typical comparison essay follows the format of having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion — though, if you need to focus on each subject in more detailed ways, feel free to include an extra paragraph to cover all of the most important points.

To make your compare and contrast essay flow better, we recommend using special transition words and phrases. They will add variety and improve your paper overall.

For the section where you compare two subjects, you can include any of the following words: similarly, likewise, also, both, just like, similar to, the same as, alike, or to compare to. When contrasting two subjects, use: in contrast, in comparison, by comparison, on the other hand, while, whereas, but, to differ from, dissimilar to, or unlike.

Show Your Evidence

Arguments for any essay, including compare and contrast essays, need to be supported by sufficient evidence. Make good use of your personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper articles, movies, or anything that will make your argument sound credible. For example, in your essay, if you were to compare attending college on campus vs. distance-based learning, you could include your personal experiences of being a student, and how often students show up to class on a daily basis. You could also talk about your experience taking online classes, which makes your argument about online classes credible as well.

Helpful Final Tips

The biggest tip dissertation writing services can give you is to have the right attitude when writing a compare contrast essay, and actively engage the reader in the discussion. If you find it interesting, so will your reader! Here are some more compare and contrast essay tips that will help you to polish yours up:

types of writing

  • Compare and contrast essays need powerful transitions. Try learning more about writing transition sentences using the words we provided for you in the 'Compare and Contrast Structure and Outline' section.
  • Always clarify the concepts you introduce in your essay. Always explain lesser known information—don’t assume the reader must already know it.
  • Do not forget to proofread. Small mistakes, but in high quantities, can result in a low grade. Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.
  • Have a friend or family member take a look at your essay; they may notice things you have missed.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Now that you know everything there is to know about compare and contrast essays, let’s take a look at some compare and contrast examples to get you started on your paper or get a hand from our essay helper .

Different countries across the world have diverse cultural practices, and this has an effect on work relationships and development. Geert Hofstede came up with a structured way of comparing cultural dimensions of different countries. The theory explains the impacts of a community’s culture on the values of the community members, and the way these values relate to their behaviors. He gives scores as a way to help distinguish people from different nations using the following dimensions: long-term orientation, individualism, power distance, indulgence, necessity avoidance, and masculinity. Let us examine comparisons between two countries: the United Kingdom and China — based on Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture.
Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers, spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and 2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution — compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).

Still feeling confused about the complexities of the compare and contrast essay? Feel free to contact our paper writing service to get a professional writing help.

Finding the Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For You

When choosing a topic for your comparison essay, remember that subjects cannot be drastically different, because there would be little to no points of comparison (similarities). The same goes for too many similarities, which will result in poor contrasts. For example, it is better to write about two composers, rather than a composer and a singer.

It is extremely important to choose a topic you are passionate about. You never want to come across something that seems dull and uninspiring for you. Here are some excellent ways to brainstorm for a topic from essay writer :

  • Find categories: Choose a type (like animals, films or economics), and compare subjects within that category – wild animals to farm animals, Star Wars to Star Trek, private companies to public companies, etc.
  • Random Surprising Fact: Dig for fun facts which could make great topics. Did you know that chickens can be traced back to dinosaurs?
  • Movie vs. Book: Most of the time, the book is better than the movie — unless it’s Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you’re a pop culture lover, compare movies vs. books, video games, comics, etc.

Use our rewrite essay service when you need help from professionals.

How to Choose a Great Compare and Contrast Topic

College students should consider providing themselves with a chance to use all topic examples. With enough revision, an advantage is gained. As it will be possible to compare arguments and contrast their aspects. Also, discuss numerous situations to get closer to the conclusion.

For example:

  • Choose a topic from the field of your interests. Otherwise you risk failing your paper.
  • It is a good idea to choose a topic based upon the class subject or specialist subject. (Unless the requirements say otherwise.)
  • Analyze each argument carefully. Include every detail for each opposing idea. Without doing so, you can definitely lower grades.
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes both arguments. It should allow readers to find the answer they’re looking for.
  • It is up to you to determine which arguments are right and wrong in the final conclusion.
  • Before approaching the final conclusion, it’s important to discuss each argument equally. It is a bad idea to be biased, as it can also lower grades.

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150 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Consider

Choosing a topic can be a challenging task, but there are plenty of options to consider. In the following sections, we have compiled a list of 150 compare and contrast essay topics to help you get started. These topics cover a wide range of subjects, from education and technology to history and politics. Whether you are a high school student or a college student, you are sure to find a topic that interests you. So, read on to discover some great compare and contrast essay ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For College Students

When attending a college, at any time your professor can assign you the task of writing this form of an essay. Consider these topics for college students from our team to get the grades you deserve.

  • Attending a College Course Vs. Distance-Based Learning.
  • Writing a Research Paper Vs. Writing a Creative Writing Paper. What are the differences and similarities?
  • The differences between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
  • The key aspects of the differences between the US and the UK education systems.
  • Completing assignments at a library compared with doing so at home. Which is the most efficient?
  • The similarities and differences in the behavior among married and unmarried couples.
  • The similarities and differences between the EU (European Union) and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations)?
  • The similarities and significant differences between American and Canadian English.
  • Writing an Internship Report Vs. Writing a Research Paper
  • The differences between US colleges and colleges in the EU?

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Some topics for the compare and contrast essay format can be boring. To keep up motivation, doing a research , have a look at these topics. Maybe they can serve you as research paper help .

  • Public Transport Vs. Driving A Car. Which is more efficient?
  • Mandarin Vs. Cantonese: What are the differences between these Chinese languages?
  • Sports Cars Vs. Luxurious Family Cars
  • Wireless Technology Vs. Wired Devices
  • Thai Food Vs. Filipino Cuisine
  • What is the difference and similarities between a register office marriage and a traditional marriage?
  • The 2000s Vs. The 2010s. What are the differences and what makes them similar?
  • Abu Dhabi Vs. Dubai. What are the main factors involved in the differences?
  • What are the differences between American and British culture?
  • What does the New York Metro do differently to the London Underground?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

When writing essays for high school, it is good to keep them informative. Have a look at these compare and contrast sample topics.

  • Highschool Life Vs. College Life
  • Paying College Fees Vs. Being Awarded a Scholarship
  • All Night Study Sessions Vs. Late Night Parties
  • Teenager Vs. Young Adult Relationships
  • Being in a Relationship Vs. Being Single
  • Male Vs. Female Behavior
  • The similarities and differences between a high school diploma and a college degree
  • The similarities and differences between Economics and Business Studies
  • The benefits of having a part-time job, instead of a freelance job, in college
  • High School Extra Curricular Activities Vs. Voluntarily Community Services

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Science

At some point, every science student will be assigned this type of essay. To keep things at flow, have a look at best compare and contrast essay example topics on science:

  • Undiscovered Species on Earth Vs. Potential Life on Mars: What will we discover in the future?
  • The benefits of Gasoline Powered Cars Vs. Electric Powered Cars
  • The differences of the Milky Way Vs. Centaurus (Galaxies).
  • Earthquakes Vs. Hurricanes: What should be prepared for the most?
  • The differences between our moon and Mars’ moons.
  • SpaceX Vs. NASA. What is done differently within these organizations?
  • The differences and similarities between Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox’s theories on the cosmos. Do they agree or correspond with each other?
  • Pregnancy Vs. Motherhood
  • Jupiter Vs. Saturn
  • Greenhouse Farming Vs. Polytunnel Farming

Sports & Leisure Topics

Studying Physical Education? Or a gym fanatic? Have a look at our compare and contrast essay topics for sports and leisure.

  • The English Premier League Compared With The Bundesliga
  • Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona
  • Football Vs. Basketball
  • Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner
  • Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team: Main Factors and Differences
  • Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing
  • Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.
  • Manning Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Swimming Vs. Cycling

Topics About Culture

Culture can have several meanings. If you’re a Religious Studies or Culture student, take a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics about culture.

  • The fundamental similarities and differences between Pope Francis and Tawadros II of Alexandria
  • Canadian Vs. Australian Religion
  • The differences between Islamic and Christian Holidays
  • The cultural similarities and differences between the Native Aboriginals and Caucasian Australians
  • Native American Culture Vs. New England Culture
  • The cultural differences and similarities between Italians and Sicilians
  • In-depth: The origins of Buddhism and Hinduism
  • In-depth: The origins of Christianity and Islam
  • Greek Gods Vs. Hindu Gods
  • The Bible: Old Testament Vs. New Testament

Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

What about writing an essay which is out of the ordinary? Consider following these topics to write a compare and contrast essay on, that are unique.

  • The reasons why some wealthy people pay extortionate amounts of money for gold-plated cell phones, rather than buying the normal phone.
  • The differences between Lipton Tea and Ahmad Tea
  • American Football Vs. British Football: What are their differences?
  • The differences and similarities between France and Britain
  • Fanta Vs. 7Up
  • Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones
  • The differences and similarities between Boston Dynamics and the fictional equivalent Skynet (From Terminator Movies).
  • Socialism Vs. Capitalism: Which is better?
  • Curved Screen TVs’ Vs. Regular Flat Screen TVs’: Are they really worth big bucks?
  • Is it better to wear black or white at funerals?

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it may be a requirement to take it back a notch. Especially if you’re new to these style of writing. Consider having a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics that are pretty easy to start off.

  • Is it a good idea to work on weekdays or weekends?
  • Black of White Coffee
  • Becoming a teacher or a doctor? Which career choice has more of an impact on society?
  • Air Travel Vs. Sea Travel: Which is better?
  • Rail Travel Vs. Road Travel: Which is more convenient?
  • What makes Europe far greater than Africa? In terms of financial growth, regulations, public funds, policies etc…
  • Eating fruit for breakfast Vs. cereals
  • Staying Home to Read Vs. Traveling the World During Holidays. Which is more beneficial for personal growth?
  • Japanese Vs. Brazilian Cuisine
  • What makes ASEAN Nations more efficient than African Nations?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About TV Shows, Music and Movies

We all enjoy at least one of these things. If not, all of them. Why not have a go at writing a compare and contrast essay about what you have been recently watching or listening to?

  • Breaking Bad Vs. Better Call Saul: Which is more commonly binge watched?
  • The differences between Dance Music and Heavy Metal
  • James Bond Vs. Johnny English
  • Iron Man Vs. The Incredible Hulk: Who would win?
  • What is done differently in modern movies, compared to old black and white movies?
  • Dumber and Dumber 2 Vs. Ted: Which movie is funnier?
  • Are Horror movies or Action Movies best suited to you?
  • The differences and similarities between Mozart and Beethoven compositions.
  • Hip Hop Vs. Traditional Music
  • Classical Music Vs. Pop Music. Which genre helps people concentrate?

Topics About Art

Sometimes, art students are required to write this style of essay. Have a look at these compare and contrast essay topics about the arts of the centuries.

  • The fundamental differences and similarities between paintings and sculptures
  • The different styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Viewing Original Art Compared With Digital Copies. How are these experiences different?
  • 18th Century Paintings Vs. 21st Century Digitally Illustrated Images
  • German Art Vs. American Art
  • Modern Painting Vs. Modern Photography
  • How can we compare modern graphic designers to 18th-century painters?
  • Ancient Greek Art Vs. Ancient Egyptian Art
  • Ancient Japanese Art Vs. Ancient Persian Art
  • What 16th Century Painting Materials were used compared with the modern day?

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Almost every student at any stage of academics is assigned this style of writing. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider looking at some of the best compare and contrast essay topics to get you on track with your writing.

  • The United States and North Korea Governmental Conflict: What is the reason behind this phenomenon?
  • In the Early Hours, Drinking Water is far healthier than consuming soda.
  • The United States Vs. The People’s Republic of China: Which economy is the most efficient?
  • Studying in Foreign Countries Vs. Studying In Your Hometown: Which is more of an advantage?
  • Toast Vs. Cereal: Which is the most consumed in the morning?
  • Sleeping Vs. Daydreaming: Which is the most commonly prefered? And amongst who?
  • Learning French Vs. Chinese: Which is the most straightforward?
  • Android Phones Vs. iPhones
  • The Liberation of Slaves Vs. The Liberation of Women: Which is more remembered?
  • The differences between the US Dollar and British Pound. What are their advantages? And How do they correspond with each other?

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

In all types of academics, these essays occur. If you’re new to this style of writing, check our easy compare and contrast essay topics.

  • The Third Reich Vs. North Korea
  • Tea Vs. Coffee
  • iPhone Vs. Samsung
  • KFC Vs. Wendy’s
  • Laurel or Yanny?
  • Healthy Lifestyle Vs. Obese Lifestyle
  • Forkes Vs. Sporks
  • Rice Vs. Porridge
  • Roast Dinner Vs. Chicken & Mushroom Pie
  • What’s the difference between apples and oranges?

Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Deciding upon good compare and contrast essay topics for psychology assignments can be difficult. Consider referring to our list of 10 psychology compare and contrast essay topics to help get the deserved grades.

  • What is a more severe eating order? Bulimia or Anorexia
  • Modern Medicine Vs. Traditional Medicine for Treating Depression?
  • Soft Drugs Vs. Hard Drugs. Which is more dangerous for people’s psychological well-being?
  • How do the differences between Lust and Love have an effect on people’s mindsets?
  • Ego Vs. Superego
  • Parents Advice Vs. Peers Advice amongst children and teens.
  • Strict Parenting Vs. Relaxed Parenting
  • Mental Institutions Vs. Stress Clinics
  • Bipolar Disorder Vs. Epilepsy
  • How does child abuse affect victims in later life?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Sixth Graders

From time to time, your teacher will assign the task of writing a compare and contrast essay. It can be hard to choose a topic, especially for beginners. Check out our easy compare and contrast essay topics for sixth graders.

  • Exam Preparation Vs. Homework Assignments
  • Homeschooling Vs. Public Education
  • High School Vs. Elementary School
  • 5th Grade Vs. 6th Grade: What makes them different or the same?
  • Are Moms’ or Dads’ more strict among children?
  • Is it better to have strict parents or more open parents?
  • Sandy Beaches Vs. Pebble Beaches: Which beaches are more popular?
  • Is it a good idea to learn guitar or piano?
  • Is it better to eat vegetable salads or pieces of fruit for lunch?
  • 1st Grade Vs. 6th Grade

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it is good to have a laugh. As they always say : 'laughter is the best medicine'. Check out these funny compare and contrast essay topics for a little giggle when writing.

  • What is the best way to waste your time? Watching Funny Animal Videos or Mr. Bean Clips?
  • Are Pug Dogs or Maltese Dogs crazier?
  • Pot Noodles Vs. McDonalds Meals.
  • What is the difference between Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson?
  • Mrs. Doubtfire Vs. Mrs. Brown. How are they similar?
  • Which game is more addictive? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds?
  • Big Shaq Vs. PSY
  • Stewie Griffin Vs. Maggie Simpson
  • Quarter Pounders Vs. Big Macs
  • Mr. Bean Vs. Alan Harper

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How to start a compare and contrast essay, how to write a thesis for a compare and contrast essay.

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Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

template of compare and contrast essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

How to Write a Creative Essay

Feb 15, 2023

How to write a Compare and Contrast Essay | Outlines and Examples

Need help writing a compare and contrast essay check out these tips and examples to get you started.

A compare and contrast essay is a differentiation of two or more topics, explaining similarities and differences between them through an essay writing format. It is essential that each topic is clearly highlighted in order to be accurately compared.

This form of academic writing works best for essay topics that have similarities to be compared to each other. For example, you can compare and contrast two novels or authors, or two school subjects or cuisines. In order to write this type of essay well, it is important to conduct research and use reliable sources to ensure the accuracy of your work.

If you want to write high-quality compare-and-contrast essays, we recommend using Jenni.ai's Free Essay Writer for AI assistance. Get your essays done 10x faster with the help of artificial intelligence!

What is a compare and contrast essay?

A compare and contrast essay is a type of written work where the writer analyzes and compares two or more subjects to identify their similarities and differences (e.g., cats and dogs as pets). This essay is a useful tool for gaining a deeper understanding of the subjects being compared and for improving our knowledge of them.

In a compare and contrast essay, the first step is to identify the subjects that will be analyzed. This could also be two books, historical events, pieces of art, or any other subjects that can be compared. The writer must then gather information on each of the subjects in order to develop a strong thesis statement.

The body of the essay is where the writer compares and contrasts the subjects. This can be done in a point-by-point or block comparison format. The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement in a new, more insightful way.

Types of Compare and Contrast Essays

A compare-and-contrast type of essay has two main approaches. There is the block method and the point-by-point style. Let's dive a little deeper into each one!

Block Method - The block method presents all arguments related to the initial statement in the essay and compares them directly to the opposing statement. The purpose is to provide an in-depth analysis of each point by presenting supporting evidence in the form of examples that focuses on one statement over the other.

Phrases such as "in relation to" or "in the same way" is best used in the block method as it helps establish the relationship between each argument. Keep in mind that in order for the points to be presented effectively, these quotes are presented in relation directly to the initial statement in order to analyze the relationship between the two subjects.

Point-by-point Method - The point-by-point method presents an argument for each point that is directly compared against the opposing statement. In this method, the writer focuses on one point or aspect at a time, describing both statements and how they are similar or different in a precise manner.

This method is used more in academic writing and essay writing because it is simpler and easier to use than the block method. However, writers are not discouraged from using either approach as long as they understand how to effectively use each of them.

Tips on how to create your Compare and Contrast Essay

Creating a compare and contrast essay is relatively simple once you understand the basic concepts behind it. Here are some helpful tips to get you started with creating a high-quality essay:

Create a general overview that defines each of the paragraphs and how they relate to each other. This is essential after doing research to give the readers a general idea of what the essay will be about.

Create a structure for your paper by creating a roadmap for each paragraph that clearly outlines how the information will be presented. This will help the writer structure their thoughts and ideas and make sure nothing is left out or forgotten about during the editing process.

Transitions are very useful in comparing and contrasting essays as they provide a clear connection between each point being discussed and how it relates to the other points.

Create symmetrical comparisons when presenting your ideas to the readers to ensure everything is explained properly. For example, if you are comparing and contrasting two literary works, it should be clear for the reader how the ideas presented in one work relate to the ideas presented in the other work.

After finishing your entire essay, make sure to proofread and edit accordingly to make sure that all the relevant talking points are panned out correctly throughout the whole essay structure. 

How to Outline Compare and Contrast Essays?

Now that we have talked about the basics of a compare and contrast essay, we will now talk about the process and steps for outlining to help you out accomplish your essay effectively.

Block Method Outline:

In a block format compare and contrast essay, the writer discusses all the similarities and differences between one subject before moving on to the next subject.

Here is an example of how the block format in a compare and contrast essay might be structured:

I. Introduction Paragraph

A. Background information on the subjects being compared and contrasted

B. Thesis statement outlining the purpose of the essay

II. Block format of Subject 1

A. Detailed description of Subject 1

B. Analysis of the similarities and differences between Subject 1 and Subject 2

III. Block format of Subject 2

A. Detailed description of Subject 2

B. Analysis of the similarities and differences between Subject 2 and Subject 1

IV. Conclusion

A. Summary of the main points of the essay

B. Restatement of the thesis statement in a new, more insightful way

In this format, the writer first provides a detailed description of one subject and then analyzes its similarities and differences with the other subject. This is repeated for the second subject, ensuring that all similarities and differences are thoroughly discussed. This format allows the writer to provide a comprehensive analysis of each subject before moving on to the next, making it a useful format for writing a detailed and thorough compare-and-contrast essay.

Point by point Method:

A point-by-point compare and contrast essay is a type of essay where the writer compares and contrasts two or more subjects by discussing a specific aspect or point of each subject in relation to the other.

Here is an example of how a point-by-point compare and contrast essay might be structured:

I. Introductory Paragraph

II. Point 1: Comparison of aspect 1 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 1 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 1 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 1 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

III. Point 2: Comparison of aspect 2 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 2 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 2 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 2 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

IV. Point 3: Comparison of aspect 3 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 3 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 3 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 3 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

V. Conclusion

In this format, the writer focuses on one aspect or point at a time, comparing and contrasting it between the two subjects. This allows the writer to provide a detailed and thorough analysis of each aspect, making it a useful format for writing a highly specific and focused compare-and-contrast essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Now that we have talked about all the essential things needed to create a compare and contrast essay, let's move on to some examples that will inspire you to create your very own essay! 

Example #1: iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?

"The iPhone vs. Android comparison is a never-ending debate on which one is best. It will likely never have a real winner, but we're going to try and help you to find your personal pick all the same.

The latest version of both operating systems — iOS 16 and Android 13 — are both excellent, but in slightly different ways. Many of their features overlap, but design-wise they look quite different, aside from the basic touchscreen-focused layout. Whichever of the best phones available today you buy, they'll be running one of these two OSes.

Pitting iPhone vs. Android, we take a look at the respective strengths of each mobile platform, so you can pick the right one for you the next time you buy a smartphone. If you want to see the current flagships for Android and iOS, be sure to check out our Pixel 7 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 vs. iPhone 14 face-offs. And if you're convinced to want to leave your iPhone, read more about Google's new Switch To Android app that will help you move over.

Why iPhone is better

You're invested in Apple's ecosystem. This might seem like a shallow reason, but Apple obviously makes a wide breadth of tech products, and if you already own a Mac, iPad or Apple Watch, getting an iPhone makes a lot of sense.

Apple has designed a multitude of continuity features that allow you to carry over work and data from one of its devices to another, and these features can certainly save you time. Take Handoff, for example, where calls on your iPhone and web pages in Safari can move seamlessly between iOS and macOS. Universal Clipboard makes text copied on one platform usable on the other. Another one of our favourites is Continuity Camera, which allows you to take pictures and scan documents using your iPhone's camera, and then view and edit them on your Mac. You can even complete purchases on your Mac by using biometric authentication features on your iPhone via Apple Pay.

Only a handful of Android phone makers have hardware ecosystems that approach Apple's, and even for some that come close, like Samsung, you won't get the depth of integration possible between the iPhone and other Apple-built devices. Microsoft is helping Google close the gap somewhat with its new Your Phone app for Windows, which allows Android users to respond to texts and notifications on their PCs, though the experience is a little clunky and there is still work to be done."  

Example #2: MOBILE HOME VS TINY HOUSE | SIMILARITIES, DIFFERENCES, PROS & CONS  

"A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT

Interestingly, the modern tiny house movement sprouted in the 1980s, increasing in popularity these last three decades. Thanks to blogging, books, and magazine spotlights, the tiny house bug has spread and grown significantly.

While the real estate crisis has had an impact on the tiny house movement’s popularity, that’s not all that makes it appealing.

People love the tiny house options for practical, ethical, and emotional reasons.

PRACTICAL REASONS

Additionally, choosing a smaller home can save you lots of money. You’ll spend less on utilities. Maintenance will cost you less as there is not so much house to maintain and remodel. They are more economical than a stick-built home, and your property taxes are something to brag about.

Another practical point is minimalism in your belongings. In a tiny home, you will have no choice but to whittle down your belongings to what you will actually use. There is freedom in this.

ETHICAL REASONS

From an ethical standpoint, tiny house proponents are environmentally friendly. They use less CO2 than the average home. Due to the smaller space, energy spent on heating and cooling is greatly reduced. Oftentimes these tiny homes are made out of recycled materials. They are usually self-sufficient, making use of renewable energies such as rainwater. Thus they provide homeowners with everything they need.

Homeowners like to choose the way of the tiny home in an effort to help the environment.

There you have it. A brief scoop on the mobile home vs tiny house movement. We hope you found this article interesting and helpful."

Creating compare-and-contrast essays is quite fun to write especially if you have familiarized yourself with the topics at hand. Just make sure to keep our tips in mind to create high-quality essays.

If you want your compare-and-contrast essays done 10x faster, we recommend using Jenni.ai along with the tips and guidelines we provided you in this post. Jenni.ai is a fantastic AI software that aids your essay writing process so that you could produce your writing needs faster and better than ever!

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Compare And Contrast Essay Guide

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Template & Examples

By: Barbara P.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay

Are you struggling with writing a compare-and-contrast essay? When it comes to writing a compare and contrast essay , you might be wondering where to begin.

Composing a properly formatted and well-structured outline is a great starting point. Your ability to create a perfect compare and contrast paper depends on making a perfect outline. It allows you to organize the data and information into a standard structure.

Middle school and high school students have to write compare and contrast essays. It teaches students the analytical writing process that prepares them for more advanced types of academic writing. Writing a compare and contrast essay is relatively easy if you follow the proper procedure.

Throughout this article, we will show you how to compose an outline for a compare-and-contrast essay. You’ll also get compare and contrast essay outline templates to help you craft an outline for your essay.

So keep reading to know how to write a compare and contrast essay outline like a pro!

Compare and Contrast Essay

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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Many students find it scary and stressful to write a good compare and contrast essay. This essay asks to compare and contrast two things that belong to the same category. For example, compare and contrast two apples or two oranges. But, you cannot compare or contrast cats with dogs because they belong to different groups.

To compare means finding the similarities, and contrasting means to look at the differences between the two subjects. To find the similarities and differences, the subjects must belong to the same category.

Check out this video on an in-depth view on writing compare and contrast essay:

Always bear that in mind while choosing the subject and incorporate the following things in your essay:

  • State, discuss and elaborate on something unknown.
  • Clarify common misunderstanding.
  • Focus on a central point and make an analysis
  • Make a meaningful comparison.
  • Support your claim with facts and evidence collected from reliable sources

To ensure everything will be added to the essay, a smart trick is to create an outline before writing an essay. Compare and contrast essay follows two different structures; the point-by-point method and the block method. When you start writing your essay, it is important to decide which method you need to follow.

1. Point by Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Point by point pattern (organization by criteria) compares and contrasts the more similar subjects in nature. It presents the similarities and differences one by one making notes of both subjects. Each point is evaluated against particular criteria, followed by another point evaluated against other criteria.

Here is a structure of compare and contrast point by point outline:

Here is a block diagram of the point-by-point structure to help you get a clear idea of this format.

point-by-point compare and contrast essay format

Check this sample for your help.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE POINT BY POINT

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The block pattern (organization by item) compares and contrasts extremely different subjects from each other. It discusses one subject and its evaluation criteria, facts, and any evidence at one time in one paragraph. The next paragraph discusses the second subject and its relevant facts.

Here is a structure of compare and contrast essay block outline:

Check out the block diagram given below. It will help you understand the block structure in a better way.

block method compare and contrast essay format

Here is a sample for your ease.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE BLOCK METHOD

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?

Now that you have two organizational structures and patterns, what should be stated in each part of the essay? Then, depending on the structure selected, you can begin developing the outline for your essay.

A typical compare and contrast essay outline comprises the following components.

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3

When you begin writing an essay, the first thing you need is an interesting and eye-catching essay topic. As discussed above, compare and contrast essay topics should belong to the same category having some similarities and differences simultaneously. Also, choose interesting and unique subjects that are relatively new to the readers. After selecting the topic, you are ready to move on to the essay writing process.

A compare and contrast essay is strictly based on facts and evidence. So you need to make sure to provide sufficient information. According to a typical format, an essay has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. However, if you need to share more details, feel free to add more body paragraphs to cover all essential points.

Essay Outliner

Outline Your Way to Writing Excellence!

Let’s see the breakdown of each paragraph.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

The introduction is the most important part of the whole essay, so it should be well-structured and properly formatted. Furthermore, it should grab the reader’s attention and make him read the complete essay.

Before you start writing the essay, thoroughly research your topic to collect facts and evidence from credible sources. The research will give you insight into the topic and help you support your argument. You need to clarify both concepts in the introduction paragraph to make the reader understand both subjects.

The introduction is the lead in part of the essay. So, you should give a glimpse of what you are going to evaluate.Then, catch the reader’s attention and mark the essay’s tone of the essay with a strong thesis statement.

Compare and Contrast Essay Body Paragraphs

The body section is used to discuss the similarities and differences in detail with facts and evidence. Typically, there are three body paragraphs, and each one discusses only one criterion or aspect of the subject. However, you can use as many paragraphs as the number of criteria or aspects you have to discuss.

Explore one aspect or criteria in one paragraph and the next aspect or criteria in the next paragraph. For example, if you have to compare two aspects, you’ll need two paragraphs. Three paragraphs will cover three criteria and so on. To make the comparison easier, draw a Venn diagram which will ease the whole comparison process.

Here is an example of a Venn diagram for your help.

Compare and Contrast Essay Venn Diagram

Once you list down all the similarities and differences in the Venn diagram, you can easily analyze them in the essay. Moreover, add special transitional words and phrases to make powerful transitions throughout the essay.

For comparison, you can use words like: both, also, similarly, likewise, or alike. While contrasting, you can use words like whereas, while, in comparison, in contrast, or on the other hand.

The body section should be analyzed from the reader’s perspective. Ideally, the reader and your paper both should not be biased.

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

Generally, the conclusion section is relatively simpler than the body and the introduction section. However, it holds the same significance as the introduction paragraph, making sure it is structured properly.

In the conclusion paragraph, summarize all the main points and analyze what you have discussed in the essay. Then, synthesize the thesis statement with the information presented in the body section. State the significance of comparison and contrast to clarify the importance of the main topic.

Here is a compare and contrast essay outline worksheet that you can use to organize your essay.

Proofreading

Once you are done with the writing, spend some time proofreading your essay and pay attention to grammar and punctuation. A minor mistake can ruin the essence of all points of comparison and contrast. Ask your friend, parents, or any family member to proofread your essay. There is a high chance that they notice the mistakes that you have missed.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE SAMPLE

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples

Now that you know everything about compare and contrast essay outline and structure let’s look at some examples for more help. The compare and contrast essay examples will help you get started with your paper.

MLA COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE COLLEGE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE HIGH SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE MIDDLE SCHOOL

AP WORLD HISTORY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE TEMPLATE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE WORKSHEET

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE 5TH GRADE

Hopefully, the guidelines and examples given above will help you craft an impressive compare and contrast essay outline. However, if you are still not sure, you can get help from a professional essay writer. They will help you compose an outline according to the guidelines and also write a complete essay.

5StarEssays.com is a reliable essay writing service that you can trust with your academic essay writings. We are available round the clock so feel free to contact us anytime to place your order . Our writers can write all types of essays and papers, including a research paper, thesis, or dissertation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a compare and contrast essay.

Here are some steps that you should follow and start writing the essay.

  • Choose a good essay topic.
  • Do the research and gather meaningful information.
  • Write a good thesis statement.
  • Create the essay outline.
  • Write a compelling introduction.
  • After an introduction, write the main body paragraphs.
  • Conclude the essay with a strong conclusion.

What is a compare and contrast sentence?

A compare and contrast sentence analyzes or examines two or more things that share a common trait while contrasting seeks out the differences between them

How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?

A great way to start an introduction is, to begin with, a hook. A hook sentence or a hook statement is a starting sentence of an essay. For an interesting and powerful start, it could be a bold statement, a rhetorical question, or something that grabs the audience’s attention instantly.

Barbara P.

Literature, Marketing

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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  • How to Write an Essay Outline: Full Guide With Examples

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Table of Contents

Compare and contrast essay outline toolkit.

  • How to write an outline for an Compare and contrast essay
The first step in creating an outline for a compare and contrast essay is to identify the topic you will be writing on, this would involve clearly stating what the essay is going to be about. This would provide your reader with an idea of what to expect in the essay.If you are writing an essay on historical architectural styles, your topic can be “A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Roman Architectural Styles”
Once you've identified your topic, the subsequent step involves clarifying the purpose of your essay. The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to examine subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.If your objective is to provide a comparison of both architectural styles, you can state, “The aim of the essay is to examine the similarities and differences in Greek and Roman architectural styles.”
This section of your outline is dedicated to crafting the central argument, known as the , for your essay. thesis statement of a compare and contrast essay introduces the reader to the result of the comparison and the significance of the contrastContinuing the example, your thesis statement for the topic could be, “While both ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles have made significant contributions to the field, they exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, purpose, and cultural influences.”
Now, it's time to chart the course for your essay by outlining the key components. A compare and contrast essay follows two structures, a block structure, and point by point structure.The main points for your essay could be
After introducing the main points of your essay, the next step involves in-depth elaboration on each of these points, substantiated by relevant examples. In this section, you will explicitly outline the main points to be discussed and specify the examples that will reinforce your arguments.In your main point “Architectural Design and Characteristics”, sub-points you can include can be All will be explained with examples and backed with statistical data.
Academic essays will require you to cite all information presented, along with the need to attribute examples, quotes, and data that support your arguments. Within this context, you should clearly outline the sources from which you will be citing informationYou can cite historical papers that define each style, also you can also mention research papers that define the characteristics of certain designs.
A hook serves the purpose of capturing the reader's attention and piquing their curiosity. A good hook for a Compare and contrast essay is an unexpected fact, a hook that dispels a common misconception surprises the reader, and educates them about something they likely misunderstood.You can start the introduction with an unexpected fact to create a hook like “Did you know the Dome of Pantheon in Rome is still the world's largest unsupported concrete dome”. Then continue to introduce both architectural styles and provide an overview of their features.
After you have stated your key points, it's time to conclude your essay. You should conclude the compare and contrast essay with a paragraph stating the points discussed and also sharing your opinion so your readers can have something to think about after they finish reading.In the conclusion, you will Reiterate the thesis statement, emphasizing the distinct differences between ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles, and then summarize key points you made in the essay.
Transition words play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless flow of your writing, facilitating smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and topics. Comparison and contrast transitions are generally used to show a similarity or difference in these .In compare and contrast essay, you can use words like “even so”, “conversely”, etc. to transition from one concept, idea, or sentence to another.
With your outline now complete, take a moment to revisit it, ensuring it maintains logical coherence and comprehensiveness. Make any necessary revisions as you reviewFinally, during the review, you will need to ensure that each point flows logically and you have included all the necessary information and didn’t add any extra points..

Once you are done with these steps, this is what your structure will look like

Introduction.

  • Introduce the significance of ancient Greek and Roman architecture in shaping Western architectural traditions
  • Provide a brief overview of the key features of both architectural styles

While both ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles have made significant contributions to the field, they exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, purpose, and cultural influences.

Architectural Design and Characteristics

  • Discuss the architectural design principles of ancient Greek buildings, including columns, symmetry, and proportions.
  • Analyze the distinctive features of Roman architecture, such as the use of arches, domes, and concrete
  • Compare and contrast the design elements of Greek and Roman structures.

Architectural Purpose and Function

  • Explore the primary purposes of ancient Greek architecture, including temples, theaters, and public buildings
  • Examine the diverse functions of Roman architecture, encompassing aqueducts, arenas, and public baths.
  • Compare and contrast the intended functions and uses of Greek and Roman architectural achievements.

Cultural Influences and Symbolism

  • Investigate the cultural influences that shaped Greek architectural styles, including religion, philosophy, and mythology.
  • Analyze the cultural influences on Roman architecture, such as engineering prowess and imperialism.
  • Reiterate the thesis statement, emphasizing the distinct differences between ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles
  • Summarize the key points presented in the essay.

This is what your outline will look like

Firstly, the essay will discuss the architectural design and characteristics of both by analyzing the distinctive features and comparing and contrasting design elements of both structures. Secondly, the essay will shed light on the respective purposes and diverse functions of both architectures and compare and contrast them. Lastly, the essay will investigate the cultural influences and symbolism of each style, by stating its religion, philosophy, and mythology.

How to write an outline for an Compare and Contrast essay

1. identify the topic.

The first crucial step in crafting an effective outline for your compare and contrast essay is to clearly identify and define the topic you will be exploring. This initial stage is essential for providing your readers with a clear understanding of what to expect in your essay.

If you are writing an essay on historical architectural styles, your topic can be “A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Roman Architectural Styles”

2. Define the objective

Once you have your topic in mind, the next step is to define the objective of your essay. In a compare and contrast essay, the objective is to examine the nuanced differences or perhaps discover unexpected similarities between the two subjects of comparison.

If your objective is to provide a comparison of both architectural styles, you can state, “The aim of the essay is to examine the similarities and differences in Greek and Roman architectural styles.”

3. Craft the thesis

The thesis statement is the core element of your outline, serving as the central argument that will drive your essay. In a compare and contrast essay, the thesis statement introduces readers to the outcome of your comparison and the significance of the contrast.

Continuing the example, your thesis statement for the topic could be, “While both ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles have made significant contributions to the field, they exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, purpose, and cultural influences..""

4. Main points

Now, let's structure your outline by outlining the key components. A compare and contrast essay can follow either a block structure or a point-by-point structure, both of which have distinct advantages depending on your chosen topics.

The main points for your essay could be

5. Sub-points

After introducing the main points, the next step is to provide in-depth elaboration on each of these points, backed by relevant examples and evidence. In this section, you will explicitly outline the specific aspects you plan to discuss and specify the examples that will reinforce your arguments.

  • Examine the emotional appeals used in the speech to evoke empathy and solidarity among the audience
  • Reflect on how the rainforest's biodiversity impacted your perspective

All will be explained with examples and backed with statistical data.

6. Evidence and citations

In any academic essay, citing sources and providing proper attribution is essential. Make sure to clearly outline the sources from which you will be citing information, quotes, and data that support your arguments.

You can cite historical papers that define each style, also you can also mention research papers that define the characteristics of certain designs.

7. Introduction and hook

Your introduction is your chance to captivate the reader's attention and spark their interest in your essay. A well-crafted hook can be an unexpected fact, a dispelled misconception, or a surprising statistic that piques the reader's curiosity.

You can start the introduction with an unexpected fact to create a hook like “Did you know the Dome of Pantheon in Rome is still the world's largest unsupported concrete dome”. Then continue to introduce both architectural styles and provide an overview of their features.

8. Conclusion

After you have stated your key points, it's time to conclude your essay. You should conclude the compare and contrast essay with a paragraph stating the points discussed and also sharing your opinion so your readers can have something to think about after they finish reading.

In the conclusion, you will Reiterate the thesis statement, emphasizing the distinct differences between ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles, and then summarize key points you made in the essay.

9. Transitions

Transition words play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless flow of your writing, facilitating smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and topics. Comparison and contrast transitions are generally used to show a similarity or difference in these types of essays.

In your compare and contrast essay, you can use words like “even so”, “conversely”, etc. to transition from one concept, idea, or sentence to another.

10. Refine and review

Finally, before you begin writing your essay, take a moment to revisit and review your outline. Ensure that it maintains logical coherence and comprehensiveness. Make any necessary revisions to ensure that each point flows logically, and all the required information is included while avoiding the addition of unnecessary points.

Finally, during the review, you will need to ensure that each point flows logically and you have included all the necessary information and didn’t add any extra points.

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Comparing and Contrasting

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you first to determine whether a particular assignment is asking for comparison/contrast and then to generate a list of similarities and differences, decide which similarities and differences to focus on, and organize your paper so that it will be clear and effective. It will also explain how you can (and why you should) develop a thesis that goes beyond “Thing A and Thing B are similar in many ways but different in others.”

Introduction

In your career as a student, you’ll encounter many different kinds of writing assignments, each with its own requirements. One of the most common is the comparison/contrast essay, in which you focus on the ways in which certain things or ideas—usually two of them—are similar to (this is the comparison) and/or different from (this is the contrast) one another. By assigning such essays, your instructors are encouraging you to make connections between texts or ideas, engage in critical thinking, and go beyond mere description or summary to generate interesting analysis: when you reflect on similarities and differences, you gain a deeper understanding of the items you are comparing, their relationship to each other, and what is most important about them.

Recognizing comparison/contrast in assignments

Some assignments use words—like compare, contrast, similarities, and differences—that make it easy for you to see that they are asking you to compare and/or contrast. Here are a few hypothetical examples:

  • Compare and contrast Frye’s and Bartky’s accounts of oppression.
  • Compare WWI to WWII, identifying similarities in the causes, development, and outcomes of the wars.
  • Contrast Wordsworth and Coleridge; what are the major differences in their poetry?

Notice that some topics ask only for comparison, others only for contrast, and others for both.

But it’s not always so easy to tell whether an assignment is asking you to include comparison/contrast. And in some cases, comparison/contrast is only part of the essay—you begin by comparing and/or contrasting two or more things and then use what you’ve learned to construct an argument or evaluation. Consider these examples, noticing the language that is used to ask for the comparison/contrast and whether the comparison/contrast is only one part of a larger assignment:

  • Choose a particular idea or theme, such as romantic love, death, or nature, and consider how it is treated in two Romantic poems.
  • How do the different authors we have studied so far define and describe oppression?
  • Compare Frye’s and Bartky’s accounts of oppression. What does each imply about women’s collusion in their own oppression? Which is more accurate?
  • In the texts we’ve studied, soldiers who served in different wars offer differing accounts of their experiences and feelings both during and after the fighting. What commonalities are there in these accounts? What factors do you think are responsible for their differences?

You may want to check out our handout on understanding assignments for additional tips.

Using comparison/contrast for all kinds of writing projects

Sometimes you may want to use comparison/contrast techniques in your own pre-writing work to get ideas that you can later use for an argument, even if comparison/contrast isn’t an official requirement for the paper you’re writing. For example, if you wanted to argue that Frye’s account of oppression is better than both de Beauvoir’s and Bartky’s, comparing and contrasting the main arguments of those three authors might help you construct your evaluation—even though the topic may not have asked for comparison/contrast and the lists of similarities and differences you generate may not appear anywhere in the final draft of your paper.

Discovering similarities and differences

Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. To make a Venn diagram, simply draw some overlapping circles, one circle for each item you’re considering. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each one of the areas that doesn’t overlap; in those areas, you can list the traits that make the things different. Here’s a very simple example, using two pizza places:

Venn diagram indicating that both Pepper's and Amante serve pizza with unusual ingredients at moderate prices, despite differences in location, wait times, and delivery options

To make a chart, figure out what criteria you want to focus on in comparing the items. Along the left side of the page, list each of the criteria. Across the top, list the names of the items. You should then have a box per item for each criterion; you can fill the boxes in and then survey what you’ve discovered.

Here’s an example, this time using three pizza places:

Pepper’s Amante Papa John’s
Location
Price
Delivery
Ingredients
Service
Seating/eating in
Coupons

As you generate points of comparison, consider the purpose and content of the assignment and the focus of the class. What do you think the professor wants you to learn by doing this comparison/contrast? How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course? Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself?

Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. These are by no means complete or definitive lists; they’re just here to give you some ideas—you can generate your own questions for these and other types of comparison. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? If you’re talking about objects, you might also consider general properties like size, shape, color, sound, weight, taste, texture, smell, number, duration, and location.

Two historical periods or events

  • When did they occur—do you know the date(s) and duration? What happened or changed during each? Why are they significant?
  • What kinds of work did people do? What kinds of relationships did they have? What did they value?
  • What kinds of governments were there? Who were important people involved?
  • What caused events in these periods, and what consequences did they have later on?

Two ideas or theories

  • What are they about?
  • Did they originate at some particular time?
  • Who created them? Who uses or defends them?
  • What is the central focus, claim, or goal of each? What conclusions do they offer?
  • How are they applied to situations/people/things/etc.?
  • Which seems more plausible to you, and why? How broad is their scope?
  • What kind of evidence is usually offered for them?

Two pieces of writing or art

  • What are their titles? What do they describe or depict?
  • What is their tone or mood? What is their form?
  • Who created them? When were they created? Why do you think they were created as they were? What themes do they address?
  • Do you think one is of higher quality or greater merit than the other(s)—and if so, why?
  • For writing: what plot, characterization, setting, theme, tone, and type of narration are used?
  • Where are they from? How old are they? What is the gender, race, class, etc. of each?
  • What, if anything, are they known for? Do they have any relationship to each other?
  • What are they like? What did/do they do? What do they believe? Why are they interesting?
  • What stands out most about each of them?

Deciding what to focus on

By now you have probably generated a huge list of similarities and differences—congratulations! Next you must decide which of them are interesting, important, and relevant enough to be included in your paper. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s relevant to the assignment?
  • What’s relevant to the course?
  • What’s interesting and informative?
  • What matters to the argument you are going to make?
  • What’s basic or central (and needs to be mentioned even if obvious)?
  • Overall, what’s more important—the similarities or the differences?

Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. For most literature classes, the fact that they both use Caslon type (a kind of typeface, like the fonts you may use in your writing) is not going to be relevant, nor is the fact that one of them has a few illustrations and the other has none; literature classes are more likely to focus on subjects like characterization, plot, setting, the writer’s style and intentions, language, central themes, and so forth. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. For example, if you are writing a paper about Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” and Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight,” pointing out that they both have nature as a central theme is relevant (comparisons of poetry often talk about themes) but not terribly interesting; your class has probably already had many discussions about the Romantic poets’ fondness for nature. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems.

Your thesis

The thesis of your comparison/contrast paper is very important: it can help you create a focused argument and give your reader a road map so they don’t get lost in the sea of points you are about to make. As in any paper, you will want to replace vague reports of your general topic (for example, “This paper will compare and contrast two pizza places,” or “Pepper’s and Amante are similar in some ways and different in others,” or “Pepper’s and Amante are similar in many ways, but they have one major difference”) with something more detailed and specific. For example, you might say, “Pepper’s and Amante have similar prices and ingredients, but their atmospheres and willingness to deliver set them apart.”

Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument (that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different), your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis. In this case, the obvious question is “So what? Why should anyone care that Pepper’s and Amante are different in this way?” One might also wonder why the writer chose those two particular pizza places to compare—why not Papa John’s, Dominos, or Pizza Hut? Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument. Here’s a revision of the thesis mentioned earlier:

Pepper’s and Amante both offer a greater variety of ingredients than other Chapel Hill/Carrboro pizza places (and than any of the national chains), but the funky, lively atmosphere at Pepper’s makes it a better place to give visiting friends and family a taste of local culture.

You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage.

Organizing your paper

There are many different ways to organize a comparison/contrast essay. Here are two:

Subject-by-subject

Begin by saying everything you have to say about the first subject you are discussing, then move on and make all the points you want to make about the second subject (and after that, the third, and so on, if you’re comparing/contrasting more than two things). If the paper is short, you might be able to fit all of your points about each item into a single paragraph, but it’s more likely that you’d have several paragraphs per item. Using our pizza place comparison/contrast as an example, after the introduction, you might have a paragraph about the ingredients available at Pepper’s, a paragraph about its location, and a paragraph about its ambience. Then you’d have three similar paragraphs about Amante, followed by your conclusion.

The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points (in my example, three) about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter. Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.

A subject-by-subject structure can be a logical choice if you are writing what is sometimes called a “lens” comparison, in which you use one subject or item (which isn’t really your main topic) to better understand another item (which is). For example, you might be asked to compare a poem you’ve already covered thoroughly in class with one you are reading on your own. It might make sense to give a brief summary of your main ideas about the first poem (this would be your first subject, the “lens”), and then spend most of your paper discussing how those points are similar to or different from your ideas about the second.

Point-by-point

Rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may wish to talk about one point of comparison at a time. There are two main ways this might play out, depending on how much you have to say about each of the things you are comparing. If you have just a little, you might, in a single paragraph, discuss how a certain point of comparison/contrast relates to all the items you are discussing. For example, I might describe, in one paragraph, what the prices are like at both Pepper’s and Amante; in the next paragraph, I might compare the ingredients available; in a third, I might contrast the atmospheres of the two restaurants.

If I had a bit more to say about the items I was comparing/contrasting, I might devote a whole paragraph to how each point relates to each item. For example, I might have a whole paragraph about the clientele at Pepper’s, followed by a whole paragraph about the clientele at Amante; then I would move on and do two more paragraphs discussing my next point of comparison/contrast—like the ingredients available at each restaurant.

There are no hard and fast rules about organizing a comparison/contrast paper, of course. Just be sure that your reader can easily tell what’s going on! Be aware, too, of the placement of your different points. If you are writing a comparison/contrast in service of an argument, keep in mind that the last point you make is the one you are leaving your reader with. For example, if I am trying to argue that Amante is better than Pepper’s, I should end with a contrast that leaves Amante sounding good, rather than with a point of comparison that I have to admit makes Pepper’s look better. If you’ve decided that the differences between the items you’re comparing/contrasting are most important, you’ll want to end with the differences—and vice versa, if the similarities seem most important to you.

Our handout on organization can help you write good topic sentences and transitions and make sure that you have a good overall structure in place for your paper.

Cue words and other tips

To help your reader keep track of where you are in the comparison/contrast, you’ll want to be sure that your transitions and topic sentences are especially strong. Your thesis should already have given the reader an idea of the points you’ll be making and the organization you’ll be using, but you can help them out with some extra cues. The following words may be helpful to you in signaling your intentions:

  • like, similar to, also, unlike, similarly, in the same way, likewise, again, compared to, in contrast, in like manner, contrasted with, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even though, still, but, nevertheless, conversely, at the same time, regardless, despite, while, on the one hand … on the other hand.

For example, you might have a topic sentence like one of these:

  • Compared to Pepper’s, Amante is quiet.
  • Like Amante, Pepper’s offers fresh garlic as a topping.
  • Despite their different locations (downtown Chapel Hill and downtown Carrboro), Pepper’s and Amante are both fairly easy to get to.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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A compare and contrast essay, as the name suggests, is used to analyze the similarities and differences between two or more congruent topics. Contrary to popular belief, a compare and contrast essay doesn’t simply list out the similarities and distinctions between two subjects. Rather, it analyzes these similarities or distinctions and explains their significance. 

Do you have difficulty writing a compare and contrast essay? In this article, we will walk you through the basics of this essay and how to write it. To give you a gist of how these essays are written, we will also provide plenty of compare and contrast essay formats and examples. 

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Let’s start with the basics: What is a compare and contrast essay?

What is a compare and contrast essay?

A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay in which the similarities and differences between two or more corresponding subjects are highlighted and analyzed. The main goal of this essay is to come up with an original argument based on the breakdown of two or more topics.

1. Comparing two subjects that can be better analyzed as a pair.

A compare and contrast essay can be used to highlight the similarities or differences between two subjects that cannot be explained on their own. For instance, comparing the marketing strategies of two competing fast-food chains can uncover similarities in their advertising techniques and consumer appeal. In this way, a compare and contrast essay can help you analyze two subjects that cannot be explained on their own.

2. Highlighting differences between two seemingly identical subjects.

You can use this essay to highlight the distinction between two subjects that are often confused. For instance, poisonous and venomous are two terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct meanings and implications. Your compare and contrast essay could highlight the differences between these two kinds of organisms. 

3. Highlighting similarities between two seemingly unrelated subjects.

You can also use the compare and contrast essay to point out similarities between seemingly dissimilar subjects. For instance, the 1970s and the 2020s are separated by several decades and have distinct characteristics. However, both these eras have been marked by significant sociopolitical activism. 

To guide you further, we’ve included additional topics for compare and contrast essays.

Compare and contrast essay topics

While choosing an essay topic, it is important enough to pick topics that are comparable yet not too similar. The goal is to find dissimilarities to analyze the assets and drawbacks of each subject. However, the subjects should still be analogous enough to be compared. 

To better understand this let’s take a look at a few good compare and contrast essay topics:

  • Traditional education vs. online education
  • Ancient Greek vs. Roman civilization
  • Examining the similarities between the American and French Revolution
  • Eastern philosophies vs. Western philosophies 
  • Capitalism vs. socialism
  • Examining the differences between Romanticism and Realism in Literature
  • Traditional medicine vs. alternative medicine
  • Comprehensive analysis of dystopian societies in George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.”
  • Examining the similarities and differences between classical and operant conditioning.
  • Psychiatry vs. Psychology

Now that we’ve got the gist of standard compare and contrast essay topics, let’s move on to the tricky part of actually writing compare and contrast essays.

How to write a compare and contrast essay

Before you begin writing your compare and contrast essay, it is important to make sure that you are using the same metrics to compare both your subjects. For instance, you cannot make a comparison by stating that an apple is red or green while a papaya produces a large number of seeds!

You must use identical metrics for comparison. For instance:

  • An apple is red or green in color while a papaya is yellow or orange.
  • The apple is a winter fruit, whereas the papaya grows in a tropical climate.
  • Both apples and papayas are seed-bearing fruits.

Let’s take a look at writing a comparative essay in a bit more detail:

1. Establish similarities and differences between the two subjects

If you’re still debating how to start a compare and contrast essay, you can follow this simple step. You can create two or more columns for your subjects and note down their major characteristics. You can then compare their characteristics and note down any similarities or differences. 

Here’s an example:

Now that we’ve listed the characteristics of each bird, let’s note down the similarities and differences between the two:

  • Both sparrows and hummingbirds feed on nectar.
  • The sparrow is much larger in size as compared to the hummingbird. The average sparrow measures 15–18cm. whereas the average hummingbird only measures 7–13cm.
  • The sparrows are much more adaptable and can be found in grasslands, woodlands as well as urban areas. However, the hummingbird is confined to the Americas, generally residing in subtropical regions. 

If you are more of a visual learner, you can also make use of a Venn diagram. You can simply draw two circles with an overlapping portion. Note down the characteristics unique to each subject in the portion that does not overlap, and note down the similarities in the overlapping portion. Here’s an example:

2. Create a meaningful argument and thesis statement

A thesis statement explains the reason why two subjects need to be compared. It establishes the significance of their comparison. Although developing a meaningful thesis statement can be tricky, you can figure it out by asking yourself “So what?”.

For instance, if you’re comparing the lifestyle of the royal families in the Eastern and Western civilizations, you must have a reason to choose those particular subjects. One reason could be to study the impact of these civilizations on modern-day society. Here’s an example thesis statement based on this premise: 

The contrasting lifestyles of royal families in Eastern and Western civilizations, rooted in cultural traditions and historical developments, have shaped their roles as figureheads and influencers, impacting modern-day society through ceremonial symbolism, media presence, cultural preservation, and fashion trends.

3. Create an essay outline

If you’re still contemplating how to start a compare and contrast essay, you can create a flow for all your ideas with the help of an essay structure. This structure or outline divides your essay into three basic sections:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraphs

Most school and college essays consist of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. You can certainly extend the number of body paragraphs of your essay depending on the topic and complexity of your essay. However, the number of paragraphs in the introduction and conclusion remains the same.

An essay introduction consists of an opening line, relevant background information, and the thesis statement. The body paragraphs are arranged according to different topic sentences. Relevant explanations, facts, and statistics are provided to substantiate the claims made in these topic sentences. The conclusion, like the introduction, also consists of three facets. It includes an updated version of your thesis statement, a summary of the main points of your essay, and a conclusion.

The outline for your compare and contrast essay serves as a base you can build upon. You can use it as a guide while writing your essay. We will take a closer look at compare and contrast essay outlines in the next section of the article. 

4. Begin writing your first draft

After constructing a well-structured outline, you can start building your essay with the help of the key points that you’ve jotted down. The comparisons that you’ve noted down earlier can provide the talking points in your essay. Each paragraph consists of three main aspects:

  • Topic sentence : The aspect paragraph revolves around
  • Explanation : For compare and contrast essays this may include the characteristics of both your subjects and how they relate to each other
  • Transition statement : A connecting link to the subject of the next topic sentence

Since you’ve already created a rough outline, your job becomes much easier. You can elaborate on the main talking points of your essay by data collated from various reputed sources. This can include facts, statistics, experiments/studies conducted, or even expert opinions. To make your argument stronger, you can also include tables, figures, or diagrams. 

Here’s an example of how you can build on your basic outline:

Topic sentence : A comparison of the Aztecs and Mayans reveals distinct differences in their social structures shedding light on the unique characteristics of these two Mesoamerican civilizations.

Explanation: The Aztecs and Mayans, two prominent Mesoamerican civilizations, displayed striking disparities in their social structures, religious beliefs, and artistic expressions. The Aztecs established a centralized empire with a powerful government headed by an emperor, wielding supreme authority. This hierarchical society comprised nobles, commoners, and slaves, offering limited social mobility. In contrast, the Mayans organized themselves into independent city-states, each with its own ruler and governing system. Their social structure encompassed rulers, nobles, priests, merchants, farmers, and artisans, allowing for some degree of social mobility.

Translation statement: Along with the social structure, the Mayans and Aztecs also had very different everyday routines.

5. Revise and edit

After completing the first draft of your essay, take a break for a day or two before getting back to it. This not only helps you look at your work from an objective point of view but also makes room for new ideas. 

In case you notice an abundance of errors while revising your essay, don’t fret, it’s a part of the process. You may need two or three revisions, but make sure to tweak and revise your essay until it is up to the mark. If required, you can also get help from friends, seniors, or even family members.

Once you’re satisfied with the structure and content of your essay, you can start with the editing process. The editing process involves everything from making major structural adjustments for the sake of clarity to correcting mechanical and typesetting errors for the sake of readability.

If the deadline is drawing closer and there’s not enough time, you can also consider working with an essay editing service . These services help you avoid the convoluted and time-consuming process of editing your essay.

Compare and contrast essay outline

Although the introduction and conclusion paragraphs of a compare and contrast essay format remain the same, there are three main methods by which body paragraphs can be arranged. They are:

  • Block method: Discussing one subject in its entirety before moving on to the other
  • Alternating method: Discussing the stance of both the subjects on one metric, before moving on to the other.
  • Similarities and differences: Discussing all the similarities between the two subjects before moving on to the differences.

Depending on the purpose and topic of your essay, you can make use of any of the three formats. Let’s take a closer look at the outlines of each of these compare and contrast essay formats:

Block outline

In the block outline, the analysis of the characteristics of one subject is completed before moving on to the next. Although this method discusses a subject in its entirety and creates a flow, it’s often difficult to draw parallels between the two subjects. 

Let’s understand this outline with the help of an example. The following comparative essay block outline example analyzes the positive effects of the color green and the drawbacks of the color red on the human mind.

The Impact of Colors on Your State of Mind

I. Introduction

A. Engaging opening statement about the impact of colors on human perception

B. The significance of colors and their effects on emotions

C. Main argument stating that green is more soothing to the eye than red and should be implemented more often

A. Discussion of Green

1. Characteristics of green and its association with nature and tranquility

2. Examples, statistics, or research findings that demonstrate the soothing effects of green on the human eye

3. Positive impact of green on mental well-being and stress reduction

B. Discussion of Red

1. Characteristics of red and its association with intensity and stimulation

2. Examples, statistics, or research findings that show the potentially overwhelming or agitating effects of red on the human eye

3. Negative impact of red on mental state and a potential increase in stress levels as a result

C. Comparison of Green and Red

1. Visual contrast between the calming effect of green and the stimulating effect of red

2. Emotional responses elicited by green and red, that emphasize the soothing nature of green and the potentially disruptive nature of red

3. Surveys or studies that indicate a higher preference for green in various settings

III. Conclusion

A. Updated main argument: Green is more soothing to the eye than red and should be implemented more often

B. Summary of the key points from the body paragraphs: The benefits of green and the drawbacks of red

C. Using green in various environments, such as interior design, healthcare facilities, and urban planning, to promote a soothing visual experience for individuals

D. Impactful ending sentence: The importance of color choices for a harmonious environment

Alternating outline

If you want to establish a stronger connection between your different points of comparison, consider using the alternating outline. In this type of outline, the comparison between subjects is much more blatant as both of the subjects are evaluated against a particular metric. However, the alternating outline can result in two disjointed sections. 

Each body paragraph consists of a single metric against which both subjects are measured. Let’s better understand the alternating essay outline with the help of the same example: 

A. Captivating hook about the influence of colors on human perception

B. Overview of the significance of colors and their impact on emotions

C. Thesis statement stating that green is more soothing to the eye than red and should be implemented more often

II. Body Paragraph 1: Comparison of Green and Red

A. Visual Characteristics

1. Green: Associated with nature, calmness, and tranquility

2. Red: Associated with intensity, excitement, and stimulation

B. Emotional Impact

1. Green: Elicits feelings of relaxation, harmony, and rejuvenation

2. Red: Evokes emotions like passion, energy, and even agitation or stress

C. Effects on Eye Fatigue

1. Green: More restful for the eyes due to its position in the color spectrum

2. Red: Prolonged exposure to red can strain the eyes and potentially lead to eye fatigue

III.  Body Paragraph 2: Benefits of Implementing Green

A. Psychological Well-being

1. Green: Promotes a sense of calmness, reduces stress, and improves overall mental well-being

2. Red: Excessive exposure to red can potentially increase stress levels and negatively impact psychological health

B. Environmental Impact

1. Green: Incorporating green elements in urban environments, interior design, and healthcare facilities can create a soothing atmosphere

2. Red: Potential disruptive effects of excessive red usage in certain settings and its contrasting impact on visual comfort

IV. Conclusion

A. Updated thesis statement: Green is more soothing to the eye than red and should be implemented more often

B. Summary of key points in body paragraphs:  Difference between green and red, emphasizing the soothing qualities of green and the potential drawbacks of red

C. Implementation of green in various contexts, and its positive impact on well-being and creating visually comfortable environments

D. Impactful concluding statement: The significance of color choices and their influence on our daily lives

Similarities and differences outline

If you want the focus to be on the comparison between the two topics, it is a good idea to implement the similarities and differences outline. This format bears a resemblance to the alternating outline. 

However, the metrics of comparison are the similarities and differences between the two subjects, as opposed to certain characteristics. A single paragraph lists all the similarities between the two topics, followed by a paragraph that lists all the distinctions. 

Here’s an example outline for a compare and contrast essay using the similarities and differences method: 

A. Intriguing statement about the impact of colors on visual perception

B. Brief overview of the significance of colors and their effects on emotions

II. Body Paragraph 1: Similarities between Green and Red

1. Green: Visual characteristics of green, such as its association with nature and tranquility

2. Red: Visual characteristics of red, such as its association with intensity and stimulation

1. Green: Both green and red can evoke emotional responses, such as calmness or excitement, albeit to different degrees

2. Red: Both green and red can elicit emotions, but red tends to evoke more intense and stimulating feelings

III. Body Paragraph 2: Differences between Green and Red

A. Soothing Qualities

1. Green: Green is inherently soothing to the eye due to its position in the color spectrum and its association with nature

2. Red: Red, on the other hand, can be visually intense and potentially overwhelming, making it less soothing

B. Psychological Effects

1. Green: Green promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and enhances mental well-being

2. Red: Prolonged exposure to red can potentially increase stress levels and negatively impact psychological health

C. Eye Fatigue

1. Green: Green is considered more restful for the eyes, as it requires less eye strain and can reduce eye fatigue

2. Red: Excessive exposure to red can strain the eyes and potentially lead to eye fatigue

IV. Body Paragraph 3: Benefits of Implementing Green

A. Environmental Impact

1. Incorporating green elements in various environments, such as interior design, urban planning, and healthcare facilities, can create a soothing atmosphere

2. Potential positive effects on mental well-being and overall quality of life

V. Conclusion

B. Summary of key points in body paragraphs: Similarities and differences between green and red, that emphasize the soothing qualities of green and the potential drawbacks of red

C. Need for the implementation of green in different settings, and its positive impact on visual comfort and well-being

D. Thought-provoking statement: Significance of color choices and their influence on our daily lives

Now that we’ve understood the three basic outlines for compare and contrast essays let’s take a look at compare and contrast essay examples for these three formats. 

Compare and contrast essay examples

There are three main formats that you can use to write a compare and contrast essay. You can select one of these formats depending on what you’d like to convey to the reader. We will provide example essays for all three formats and pick a topic best suited for each essay format. 

Let’s take a look:

Block method essay example

The following compare and contrast essay example is based on the comparative analysis of two of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works. 

A Comparative Analysis of The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe, a master of Gothic literature, created two captivating and chilling tales, The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart . While both stories delve into the realms of madness, guilt, and obsession, they differ in their narrative structures, character portrayals, and themes. Take a closer look at and uncover the unique elements that make these literary masterpieces enduring classics in the world of dark fiction.

The Raven is a narrative poem composed of eighteen stanzas, employing a rhyming scheme of ABCBBB. It follows a straightforward linear progression, recounting the narrator’s interaction with the mysterious raven, which repeatedly utters the word “nevermore.” The narrator is a grieving man consumed by sorrow and melancholy, haunted by the loss of his beloved Lenore. The raven assumes a symbolic role, representing an otherworldly and ominous presence that fuels the narrator’s descent into madness. The poem primarily explores themes of grief, loss, and the inability to escape from painful memories, while also delving into the supernatural, the macabre, and the fragility of the human mind when faced with the unknown.

On the other hand, The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story narrated in the first person by an unnamed protagonist who is determined to prove their sanity. The story follows a non-linear structure, with the narrator recounting the events leading up to and after the murder of the old man with a “vulture eye.” The protagonist is an unnamed and unreliable narrator whose intense obsession with the old man’s eye leads to murder. The old man, with his “vulture eye,” becomes a symbol of the narrator’s guilt and paranoia, fueling the story’s suspense. The Tell-Tale Heart explores themes of guilt, paranoia, and the dark recesses of the human mind. It delves into the thin line between sanity and insanity, highlighting the overwhelming power of a guilty conscience.

The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart , both masterpieces by Edgar Allan Poe, showcase his profound understanding of the human psyche. While The Raven takes the form of a narrative poem and focuses on grief, loss, and the supernatural, The Tell-Tale Heart is a short story with an unreliable narrator, delving into guilt, paranoia, and the blurred boundaries of sanity. Despite their structural and thematic differences, both works captivate readers with their exploration of the darkest aspects of the human soul. Through their masterful storytelling, Poe leaves an indelible mark on literature, inviting readers to confront their own fears and delve into the depths of the human psyche.

Alternating method essay example

The following compare and contrast essay example highlights the stark contrast between life during the 1800s and the present day. 

Contrasting Life During the 1800s and Life Today

Society during the 1800s and present-day society are characterized by stark differences in technological advancements, societal norms, and overall quality of life. There have been significant developments areas of communication, transportation, healthcare, and social dynamics between the two eras. By examining the contrasting aspects of life during the 1800s and present-day life, we can gain a deeper insight into how society has evolved.

In the 1800s people relied primarily on written letters, which often took weeks or even months to reach their destination. The introduction of the telegraph provided a faster means of long-distance communication but remained limited in accessibility. Today, communication is instant and global, thanks to the widespread use of smartphones, social media platforms, and the internet. People can connect through video calls, messaging apps, and social networking sites, bridging distances and facilitating real-time conversations.

People in the 1800s primarily relied on horse-drawn carriages, ships, and railways as modes of transportation. Long-distance travel was slow and arduous, often taking weeks or even months to complete, while local transportation was limited to walking or horseback riding. In contrast, modern transportation is characterized by the advent of automobiles, airplanes, and high-speed trains. These advancements enable swift and efficient travel across the globe. Air travel has become commonplace, allowing people to reach distant locations in a matter of hours, while cars provide individual mobility and flexibility.

Healthcare in the 1800s was marked by rudimentary medical knowledge and practices. There was often a lack of scientific understanding and proper sanitation measures, resulting in limited and ineffective medical treatments. This led to high mortality rates for common illnesses and diseases. In recent times, advances in medical science, technology, and research have revolutionized healthcare. Cutting-edge treatments, vaccines, and surgical procedures have significantly increased life expectancy and improved overall well-being.

The 1800s were characterized by strict social hierarchies, class divisions, and limited opportunities for social mobility. Gender roles were rigidly defined, with limited rights and opportunities for women. However, contemporary society has made significant strides toward equality and inclusivity. Movements advocating for gender, racial, and LGBTQ+ rights have pushed for social progress. Social mobility and opportunities for personal and professional growth have expanded, promoting a more diverse and inclusive society.

In conclusion, life during the 1800s and life today differ significantly in terms of communication, transportation, healthcare, and social dynamics. Technological advancements, scientific progress, and societal changes have transformed the way we live and interact with the world. While the 1800s were marked by limitations and hardships, the modern era offers unprecedented convenience, connectivity, and opportunities for personal growth. By examining these contrasting aspects, we gain a deeper appreciation for the advancements that have shaped our lives today and a better understanding of the progress humanity has made over time.

Similarities and differences method essay example

The following example of a compare and contrast essay studies the similarities and differences between amphibians and reptiles.

Exploring the Fascinating Worlds of Amphibians and Reptiles 

Amphibians and reptiles are two distinct groups of animals that belong to the larger classification of vertebrates. While they share some similarities, they also exhibit significant differences in their physical characteristics, life cycles, habitats, and reproductive strategies. Let’s take a closer look at both these species by highlighting their unique features and adaptations to their respective environments.

Although different species, amphibians, and reptiles share several similarities. Both groups are cold-blooded, or ectothermic, which means their body temperatures are regulated by the environment. This characteristic influences their behavior and activity levels, as they rely on external heat sources to warm their bodies. Both species also lay eggs for reproduction. The eggs of both groups are covered by protective membranes, which provide a suitable environment for development outside the parent’s body. Additionally, amphibians and reptiles have a similar general body plan, characterized by a backbone, four limbs (or remnants of limbs), and a well-developed skull.

Despite these similarities, there are notable differences between the two species. Amphibians have a dual life cycle, which involves an aquatic larval stage and a terrestrial adult stage. They typically lay their eggs in water and undergo metamorphosis from aquatic larvae, into terrestrial adults with lungs. A frog is one classic example of an amphibian. In contrast, reptiles have a direct life cycle, with offspring hatching from eggs that are laid on land. They bypass the aquatic larval stage and are born as miniature versions of the adults, equipped for a terrestrial existence. Alligators and crocodiles are the most commonly known reptiles.

Another significant difference lies in their respective habitats. Amphibians are often associated with moist environments, such as swamps, rivers, and ponds, as they require 

water for breeding and maintaining skin moisture. They are highly adapted to live in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Reptiles, on the other hand, have evolved to inhabit a wider range of environments. They can be found in various habitats, including deserts, forests, grasslands, and even oceans. Reptiles have developed strategies to conserve water, such as the ability to excrete uric acid instead of urea, allowing them to thrive in arid conditions.

Physiologically, amphibians and reptiles differ in their skin structure and respiration. Amphibians have moist and permeable skin that serves multiple functions, including gas exchange and water absorption. This unique characteristic allows them to respire through their skin, particularly during their larval stage. In contrast, reptiles have dry and scaly skin that acts as a protective barrier against water loss. They rely on lungs for respiration and have more efficient respiratory systems compared to amphibians.

In conclusion, while amphibians and reptiles share some similarities, such as being ectothermic and laying eggs, they have distinct differences in their life cycles, habitats, and physiological characteristics. Amphibians undergo metamorphosis and have a dual life cycle, adapting to both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Reptiles, on the other hand, have a direct life cycle and are adapted to a wide range of habitats. Understanding these similarities and differences helps us appreciate the diverse adaptations that have allowed these fascinating creatures to thrive in different ecosystems across the world.

We hope that these examples of compare and contrast essays guide you in acing your essay assignment! As editing and proofreading experts, we realize the importance of submitting error-free essays. 

To help you minimize errors, we have created detailed resources about several important aspects of essay writing. Go through the following resources to enhance your essay-writing skills! 

  • Guide to Essay Editing: Methods, Tips, & Examples
  • How to Format a College Essay: Format Template & Tips

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Compare & Contrast Essays How things are similar or different

Compare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs which compare or contrast. This page gives information on what a compare and contrast essay is , how to structure this type of essay, how to use compare and contrast structure words , and how to make sure you use appropriate criteria for comparison/contrast . There is also an example compare and contrast essay on the topic of communication technology, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area.

What are compare & contrast essays?

compare

For another look at the same content, check out YouTube » or Youku » , or this infographic » .

template of compare and contrast essay

To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ. A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two characters in a novel, etc. Sometimes the whole essay will compare and contrast, though sometimes the comparison or contrast may be only part of the essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed. See the examples below.

  • Compare and contrast Newton's ideas of gravity with those proposed by Einstein ['compare and contrast' essay]
  • Examine how the economies of Spain and China are similar ['compare' only essay]
  • Explain the differences between Achaemenid Empire and Parthian Empire ['contrast' only essay]

There are two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure. For the block structure, all of the information about one of the objects being compared/contrasted is given first, and all of the information about the other object is listed afterwards. This type of structure is similar to the block structure used for cause and effect and problem-solution essays. For the point-by-point structure, each similarity (or difference) for one object is followed immediately by the similarity (or difference) for the other. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is easier to write, while the latter is generally clearer as it ensures that the similarities/differences are more explicit.

The two types of structure, block and point-by-point , are shown in the diagram below.





Compare and Contrast Structure Words

Compare and contrast structure words are transition signals which show the similarities or differences. Below are some common examples.

  • both... and...
  • not only... but also...
  • neither... nor...
  • just like (+ noun)
  • similar to (+ noun)
  • to be similar (to)
  • to be the same as
  • to be alike
  • to compare (to/with)
  • Computers can be used to communicate easily, for example via email. Similarly/Likewise , the mobile phone is a convenient tool for communication.
  • Both computers and mobile phones can be used to communicate easily with other people.
  • Just like the computer, the mobile phone can be used to communicate easily with other people.
  • The computer is similar to the mobile phone in the way it can be used for easy communication.
  • In contrast
  • In comparison
  • By comparison
  • On the other hand
  • to differ from
  • to be different (from)
  • to be dissimilar to
  • to be unlike
  • Computers, although increasingly small, are not always easy to carry from one place to another. However , the mobile phone can be carried with ease.
  • Computers are generally not very portable, whereas the mobile phone is.
  • Computers differ from mobile phones in their lack of portability.
  • Computers are unlike mobile phones in their lack of portability.

Criteria for comparison/contrast

When making comparisons or contrasts, it is important to be clear what criteria you are using. Study the following example, which contrasts two people. Here the criteria are unclear.

  • Aaron is tall and strong. In contrast , Bruce is handsome and very intelligent.

Although this sentence has a contrast transition , the criteria for contrasting are not the same. The criteria used for Aaron are height (tall) and strength (strong). We would expect similar criteria to be used for Bruce (maybe he is short and weak), but instead we have new criteria, namely appearance (handsome) and intelligence (intelligent). This is a common mistake for students when writing this type of paragraph or essay. Compare the following, which has much clearer criteria (contrast structure words shown in bold).

  • Aaron and Bruce differ in four ways. The first difference is height. Aaron is tall, while Bruce is short. A second difference is strength. Aaron is strong. In contrast , Bruce is weak. A third difference is appearance. Aaron, who is average looking, differs from Bruce, who is handsome. The final difference is intelligence. Aaron is of average intelligence. Bruce, on the other hand , is very intelligent.

Example essay

Below is a compare and contrast essay. This essay uses the point-by-point structure . Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. similarities, differences, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary , as these repeat the comparisons and contrasts contained in the main body.

Title: There have been many advances in technology over the past fifty years. These have revolutionised the way we communicate with people who are far away. Compare and contrast methods of communication used today with those which were used in the past.

 
         
 
 

Before the advent of computers and modern technology, people communicating over long distances used traditional means such as letters and the telephone. Nowadays we have a vast array of communication tools which can complete this task, ranging from email to instant messaging and video calls. While the present and previous means of communication are similar in their general form , they differ in regard to their speed and the range of tools available . One similarity between current and previous methods of communication relates to the form of communication. In the past, both written forms such as letters were frequently used, in addition to oral forms such as telephone calls. Similarly , people nowadays use both of these forms. Just as in the past, written forms of communication are prevalent, for example via email and text messaging. In addition, oral forms are still used, including the telephone, mobile phone, and voice messages via instant messaging services. However , there are clearly many differences in the way we communicate over long distances, the most notable of which is speed. This is most evident in relation to written forms of communication. In the past, letters would take days to arrive at their destination. In contrast , an email arrives almost instantaneously and can be read seconds after it was sent. In the past, if it was necessary to send a short message, for example at work, a memo could be passed around the office, which would take some time to circulate. This is different from the current situation, in which a text message can be sent immediately. Another significant difference is the range of communication methods. Fifty years ago, the tools available for communicating over long distances were primarily the telephone and the letter. By comparison , there are a vast array of communication methods available today. These include not only the telephone, letter, email and text messages already mentioned, but also video conferences via software such as Skype or mobile phone apps such as WeChat, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In conclusion, methods of communication have greatly advanced over the past fifty years. While there are some similarities, such as the forms of communication , there are significant differences, chiefly in relation to the speed of communication and the range of communication tools available . There is no doubt that technology will continue to progress in future, and the advanced tools which we use today may one day also become outdated.

 
     
 
 

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Below is a checklist for compare and contrast essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

The essay is a essay
An appropriate is used, either or
Compare and contrast are used accurately
The for comparison/contrast are clear
The essay has clear
Each paragraph has a clear
The essay has strong support (facts, reasons, examples, etc.)
The conclusion includes a of the main points

There is a downloadable graphic organiser for brainstorming ideas for compare and contrast essays in the writing resources section.

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Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 08 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Last Updated: May 12, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 29 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,104,506 times.

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to analyze the differences and/or the similarities of two distinct subjects. A good compare/contrast essay doesn’t only point out how the subjects are similar or different (or even both!). It uses those points to make a meaningful argument about the subjects. While it can be a little intimidating to approach this type of essay at first, with a little work and practice, you can write a great compare-and-contrast essay!

Formulating Your Argument

Step 1 Pick two subjects that can be compared and contrasted.

  • You could pick two subjects that are in the same “category” but have differences that are significant in some way. For example, you could choose “homemade pizza vs. frozen grocery store pizza.”
  • You could pick two subjects that don’t appear to have anything in common but that have a surprising similarity. For example, you could choose to compare bats and whales. (One is tiny and flies, and the other is huge and swims, but they both use sonar to hunt.)
  • You could pick two subjects that might appear to be the same but are actually different. For example, you could choose "The Hunger Games movie vs. the book."

Step 2 Make sure that your subjects can be discussed in a meaningful way.

  • For example, ask yourself: What can we learn by thinking about “The Hunger Games” and “Battle Royale” together that we would miss out on if we thought about them separately?
  • It can be helpful to consider the “So what?” question when deciding whether your subjects have meaningful comparisons and contrasts to be made. If you say “The Hunger Games and Battle Royale are both similar and different,” and your friend asked you “So what?” what would your answer be? In other words, why bother putting these two things together?

Step 3 Brainstorm your topic.

  • A “Venn diagram” can often be helpful when brainstorming. This set of overlapping circles can help you visualize where your subjects are similar and where they differ. In the outer edges of the circle, you write what is different; in the overlapping middle area, you write what’s similar. [2] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • You can also just draw out a list of all of the qualities or characteristics of each subject. Once you’ve done that, start looking through the list for traits that both subjects share. Major points of difference are also good to note.

Step 4 Consider your main points.

  • For example, if you are comparing and contrasting cats and dogs, you might notice that both are common household pets, fairly easy to adopt, and don’t usually have many special care needs. These are points of comparison (ways they are similar).
  • You might also note that cats are usually more independent than dogs, that dogs may not provoke allergies as much as cats do, and that cats don’t get as big as many dogs do. These are points of contrast (ways they are different).
  • These points of contrast can often be good places to start thinking about your thesis, or argument. Do these differences make one animal a superior type of pet? Or a better pet choice for a specific living situation (e.g., an apartment, a farm, etc.)?

Step 5 Develop your thesis.

  • Show readers why one subject is more desirable than the other. Example: "Cats are better pets than dogs because they require less maintenance, are more independent, and are more adaptable."
  • Help readers make a meaningful comparison between two subjects. Example: "New York City and San Francisco are both great cities for young professionals, but they differ in terms of their job opportunities, social environment, and living conditions."
  • Show readers how two subjects are similar and different. Example: "While both The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird explore the themes of loss of innocence and the deep bond between siblings, To Kill a Mockingbird is more concerned with racism while The Catcher in the Rye focuses on the prejudices of class."
  • In middle school and high school, the standard format for essays is often the “5-paragraph form,” with an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 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. Don’t get so locked into having “three main points” that you forget to fully explore your topic.

Organizing Your Essay

Step 1 Decide on a structure.

  • Subject by subject. 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. The strength of this form is that you don’t jump back and forth as much between topics, which can help your essay read more smoothly. It can also be helpful if you are using one subject as a “lens” through which to examine the other. The major disadvantage is that the comparisons and contrasts don’t really become evident until much further into the essay, and it can end up reading like a list of “points” rather than a cohesive essay. [4] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • Point by point. This type of organization switches back and forth between points. For example, you could first discuss the prices of frozen pizza vs. homemade pizza, then the quality of ingredients, then the convenience factor. The advantage of this form is that it’s very clear what you’re comparing and contrasting. 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.
  • Compare then contrast. This organization presents all the comparisons first, then all the contrasts. It’s a pretty common way of organizing an essay, and it can be helpful if you really want to emphasize how your subjects are different. 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.

Step 2 Outline your essay.

  • Introduction. 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.e., what you will discuss and why your readers should care).
  • Body Paragraphs. 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.
  • Acknowledgement of Competitive Arguments/Concession. This paragraph acknowledges that other counter-arguments exist, but discusses how those arguments are flawed or do not apply.
  • Conclusion. 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. Remember: your audience now has all the information you gave them about why your argument is solid. They don’t need you to just reword your original thesis. Take it to the next level!

Step 3 Outline your body paragraphs based on subject-to-subject comparison.

  • Introduction: state your intent to discuss the differences between camping in the woods or on the beach.
  • Body Paragraph 1 (Woods): Climate/Weather
  • Body Paragraph 2 (Woods): Types of Activities and Facilities
  • Body Paragraph 3 (Beach): Climate/Weather
  • Body Paragraph 4 (Beach): Types of Activities and Facilities

Step 4 Outline your body paragraphs based on point-by-point comparison.

  • Introduction

Step 5 Outline your body paragraphs based on compare then contrast.

  • 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

Step 6 Organize your individual body paragraphs.

  • Topic sentence: This sentence introduces the main idea and subject of the paragraph. It can also provide a transition from the ideas in the previous paragraph.
  • Body: These sentences provide concrete evidence that support the topic sentence and main idea.
  • Conclusion: this sentence wraps up the ideas in the paragraph. It may also provide a link to the next paragraph’s ideas.

Putting It All Together

Step 1 Use your brainstorming ideas to fill in your outline.

  • 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.

Step 2 Remember to explain the “why.”

  • For example, in a body paragraph about the quality of ingredients in frozen vs. homemade pizza, you could close with an assertion like this: “Because you actively control the quality of the ingredients in pizza you make at home, it can be healthier for you than frozen pizza. It can also let you express your imagination. Pineapple and peanut butter pizza? Go for it! Pickles and parmesan? Do it! Using your own ingredients lets you have fun with your food.” This type of comment helps your reader understand why the ability to choose your own ingredients makes homemade pizza better.

Step 3 Come up with a title.

  • Reading your essay aloud can also help you find problem spots. Often, when you’re writing you get so used to what you meant to say that you don’t read what you actually said.

Step 5 Review your essay.

  • Avoid bias. 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. In some cases, your teacher may encourage you to use “I” and “you” in your essay. However, if the assignment or your teacher doesn’t mention it, stick with third-person instead, like “one may see” or “people may enjoy.” This is common practice for formal academic essays.
  • Proofread! Spelling and punctuation errors happen to everyone, but not catching them can make you seem lazy. Go over your essay carefully, and ask a friend to help if you’re not confident in your own proofreading skills.

Sample Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Write a body paragraph for a point-by-point compare and contrast essay.

  • "When one is deciding whether to go to the beach or the woods, the type of activities that each location offers are an important point to consider. 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."

Step 2 Write a body paragraph for a subject-by-subject compare and contrast essay.

  • "The beach has a wonderful climate, many activities, and great facilities for any visitor's everyday use. 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."

Sample Essay Outline

template of compare and contrast essay

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About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write a compare and contrast essay, try organizing your essay so you're comparing and contrasting one aspect of your subjects in each paragraph. Or, if you don't want to jump back and forth between subjects, structure your essay so the first half is about one subject and the second half is about the other. You could also write your essay so the first few paragraphs introduce all of the comparisons and the last few paragraphs introduce all of the contrasts, which can help emphasize your subjects' differences and similarities. To learn how to choose subjects to compare and come up with a thesis statement, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Types & Examples

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Creating a winning essay from scratch is a real challenge. But starting with a good outline helps a lot. In this article we will show you how to write a compare and contrast essay outline. Having a structured plan ensures that you build your arguments in an easy-to-follow manner. For that reason, this article is jam-packed with detailed writing tips followed by outline templates. Besides, you will find some examples you are sure to like. So let’s dive deep into the details!

What Is Compare and Contrast Essay Outline and Why Is It Important?

A compare and contrast outline is a scheme of your future paper on the basis of which you can contrast two or more objects. It’s a visual structure of your piece showing a clear plan for your work.  Outlines  are used to show connections between critical ideas within your text. Writing a compare and contrast essay outline helps you in a number of ways:  

  • Organizing your ideas
  • Shaping the pattern of descriptions
  • Listing all similarities & differences between objects
  • Review your paper’s structure
  • Correcting all mistakes at the early stage.

You can choose between two main types of compare and contrast essay outlines:

  • Point-by-point method
  • Block pattern.

Each of these methods depends on the way you want to arrange facts about 2 or more items. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. We will describe them down below so you can choose the most suitable method.

Compare and Contrast Essay: Point-By-Point Outline

Compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline is used to analyse one aspect of 2 items within one paragraph. You can choose any similar or different characteristic. Then, you will explore each object in terms of this aspect. A point-by-point method is very helpful if you have multiple items for comparison. Let’s see how its structure should look:  

  • Engaging hook
  • List of items to compare
  • Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics of comparison
  • Brief Summary

This structure helps to provide an organized review of the objects or situation you compare against the whole list of criteria you have selected. You can create as many paragraphs as you need to cover your topic in detail. The point-by-point method may be quite hard at first, but once you master it, you will be able to create an explicit overview of any objects. We recommend using a good compare and contrast essay example .

Compare and Contrast Essay: Block Method Outline

A compare and contrast essay block method outline typically involves comparison of multiple items which are quite different from each other. Each item is described within its own block, where you put it against all criteria you have selected for analysis. This is how it should look like:

  • Captivating hook
  • List of items for comparison
  • Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics for contrast
  • Aspect 3, etc
  • Brief summary

The block method is way easier than the point-by-point one. So if you are a beginner or want to keep things simple, use this method without hesitation.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should set a proper organization of your ideas in this plan from the start. First, choose one of the best compare and contrast essay topics and introduce it. Then, you list the items or subjects you compare against each other. After that, provide your thesis statement with criteria for comparison. Finally, you will write one sentence per each paragraph, showing what is similar and what is different between the items. Let’s look at each section more in detail.  

Introduction for Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Let us start with the compare and contrast essay introduction. Outline should be short so better give only 1 sentence per each element. Here are the key components your essay introduction should contain:  

  • Main topic of your essay Start with an interesting hook.
  • Items you will compare This could be people, animals, concepts, academic areas , drinks – whatever you chose to write about.
  • Thesis statement with the list of aspects Size, color, usability, negative consequences of usage or consumption, etc – depending on the context.

Make sure your thesis statement is clear. For better results, feel free to use  Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement Generator .  

Body Paragraphs in Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When it comes to body paragraph, outline for compare and contrast essay should follow an appropriate pattern – block or point-to-point one. It depends on the number of selected items as well as aspects they will be compared by. If you analyze 2 items using 3 criteria, your block pattern outline will have two body paragraphs. At the same time, a point-to-point pattern may have 3 body paragraphs. This happens because you can choose 3 characteristics for comparison. It would be useful to conduct a preliminary research before writing the outline. This way, you will understand which pattern is better to use.  

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline – Conclusion

Last but not the least – an effective compare and contrast essay conclusion. It should briefly summarize the key ideas of your work. This boils down to:

  • Restatement of your thesis presented in introduction.
  • Key findings discovered during the comparison.
  • Significance of your comparison.

Each part of the conclusion in your plan should be one sentence long. Remember to keep your outline brief as it will make it easier to review before writing an entire text.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

We have prepared a simple compare and contrast essay outline template for your reference. Feel free to use the template by StudyCrumb to make your own outline on the topic you have selected.

  • Main topic mentioning the items for comparison
  • Thesis statement with the list of characteristics
  • Compare the items by the first criterion
  • Or put the first item against all criteria
  • Compare the items by the second criterion
  • Or put the second item against all criteria, etc
  • Re-evaluating your thesis
  • Summarizing comparison results

You can also find more templates for inspiration below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Point-By-Point Outline Template

Here is another compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline template for your in more detail.

  • Main topic: comparison of Item A & Item B
  • Thesis statement: find out the relation between A and B using criteria
  • Inspect A using criterion 1
  • Examine B using criterion 1
  • Inspect A using criterion 2
  • Examine B using criterion 2
  • Inspect A using criterion 3
  • Examine B using criterion 3
  • Highlight the relation between A & B
  • Summarize the comparison results
  • Elaborate on the significance of findings.

Keep in mind that your own outline could differ a lot since you might have much more criteria to analyze your selected items.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template for Block Pattern

Here is another template: compare and contrast essay block method outline. Check it out and proceed with writing on your specific topic.

  • Main topic: presenting the contrast between Item A & Item B
  • Thesis statement: list criteria 1, 2 and 3 for analysis of A & B
  • A's criterion 1
  • A's criterion 2
  • A's criterion 3
  • B's criterion 1
  • B's criterion 2
  • B's criterion 3
  • Highlight the contrast between A & B
  • Summarize your findings
  • Explain the importance of your analysis.

Remember that your outline doesn’t need to be perfect. Just make it informative. This way, it will turn out very helpful for you.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Example

Are you looking for some helpful compare and contrast essay outline examples? We’ve got some for you to analyze. Take it and use it to make your own essay.

Example of Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Have you found some new ideas of what to write about? Good luck to you and thanks for visiting this page.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Final Thoughts

We have explored a compare and contrast essay outline in detail. Now it’s time to use all rules covered in this blog post to create your own plan. Use our templates to organize your thoughts when comparing items to each other. Make sure to review your plan before writing a full version of your essay. Remember that compare and contrast essay is a typical assignment that can influence your final results.

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Feel free to get in touch with our custom academic writing service at any time. Our academic experts will be happy to write a tailored paper from scratch or add professional touches to your draft.  

FAQ About Compare and Contrast Essay Outlines

1. how do you write a college compare and contrast essay outline.

A typical college compare and contrast essay outline presents 1 specific subject in each paragraph. It either offers a comparison or contrast of some items. The goal of a college essay is to demonstrate how well you can describe similarities and differences between your different items. Still, you should keep your essay structure plain. Do not make any overcomplicated statements.

2. How do you write a 5 paragraph compare and contrast essay outline?

A 5-paragraph compare and contrast essay outline is a simple type of work. It consists of an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a brief conclusion. Here is how you write your plan:

  • Pick your topic carefully.
  • Organize your ideas.
  • Develop your thesis statement.
  • Decide on the structuring method.
  • Assign key characteristics to each item.
  • Write, proofread & edit.

3. What is a compare and contrast essay outline with transition words?

While writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should use transition words to provide a smooth flow. It must look logical: each transition between sentences and paragraphs should be meaningful. The following transition words are expected to be used in your outline:

  • In the same way
  • In like manner
  • By the same token
  • On the contrary etc.

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Family Diversity Essay Plan

Written by : [YOUR NAME]

I. Introduction

Equip [YOUR NAME] with a structured format to write a comprehensive essay that explores the concept of family diversity, addressing its various forms and societal implications.

Name: [YOUR NAME]

Course Title: [COURSE TITLE]

Instructor's Name: [INSTRUCTOR'S NAME]

Due Date: June 11, 2050

Thesis Statement: [YOUR THESIS STATEMENT] - A statement that encapsulates your analysis of how family diversity impacts society and the evolving definition of family.

The purpose of this essay is to critically analyze the changing dynamics of family structures, understand different types of family diversity, and evaluate their effects on social norms and individual development.

II. Definitions and Types of Family Diversity

Definitions.

Family: [DEFINITION OF FAMILY]

Diversity: [DEFINITION OF DIVERSITY]

Family Diversity: [DEFINITION OF FAMILY DIVERSITY]

Types of Family Diversity (Table Format):

Structural Diversity

Variations in family structure.

Single-parent, blended, extended

Cultural Diversity

Differences based on cultural background.

Varying norms, roles, expectations

Socioeconomic Diversity

Economic status impacts family dynamics.

Differences in access to resources

Age Diversity

Families with significant age differences.

Large gaps in children’s ages, older parents

Orientation Diversity

Families formed by LGBTQ+ individuals.

Same-sex parents, transgender individuals raising children

III. Historical Context

Evolution of Family Structures: Provide a brief history of how family structures have evolved in different cultures.

Traditional vs. Modern Family Models: Compare and contrast the traditional family models with modern variations to highlight the shift in societal norms.

IV. Impact of Family Diversity

Social Norms: Analyze how diverse family structures challenge or reinforce societal norms.

Policy Implications: Discuss the impact of family diversity on social policies, such as marriage laws, childcare, and welfare.

On Individuals

Identity and Personal Development: Assess how growing up in diverse family structures affects individual identity and emotional development.

Economic Impact: Consider the economic advantages or challenges faced by diverse families.

V. Case Studies

Case studies table.

Case Study 1

How it interact with societal norms

Case Study 2

Economic implications and challenges

Case Study 3

Impact on integration and acceptance

Case Study 4

Effects on access to education and health

VI. Conclusion

Summary: Recap the main points discussed in the essay, emphasizing the thesis and the findings from the analysis.

Implications for Future Research: Suggest areas where further study is needed to understand the implications of family diversity better.

Personal Reflection: Reflect on how the research and findings have influenced your understanding of family diversity.

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Comparison of emission properties of sustainable aviation fuels and conventional aviation fuels: a review, 1. introduction, 2. aviation fuel emissions, 2.1. lca of co 2 emissions, 2.2. aviation no x emissions, 2.3. aviation co emissions, 2.4. aviation so 2 emissions, 2.5. aviation pm emissions, 2.6. aviation uhc emissions, 2.7. comprehensive comparison of emissions performance between safs and conventional aviation fuels, 3. conclusions, author contributions, conflicts of interest, abbreviations.

IATAInternational Air Transport Association
SAFsSustainable aviation fuels
FT-SPKFischer–Tropsch hydroprocessed synthesized paraffinic kerosine
ATAGAir Transport Action Group
CAGRCompound annual growth rate
HEFA SPKSynthesized paraffinic kerosene hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids
SIPSynthesized iso-paraffins
ATJ-SPKAlcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene
HC-HEFAsHydroprocessed hydrocarbons, esters, and fatty acids
APUsAuxiliary power units
LCALife cycle analysis
RFRadiative forcing
ERFEffective radiative forcing
EI-CO CO emission indices
EI-NO NO emission indices
EI-COCO emission indices
EI-SO SO emission indices
PM/EI-PMParticulate matter/PM emission indices
GHGs/EI-GHGsGreenhouse gases/GHGs emission index
UHC/EI-UHCUnburnt hydrocarbons/UHC emission indices
WTWaWell-to-wake
HRJHydroprocessed renewable jet
NGNatural gas
FERFossil energy ratio
HDCJHydroprocessed depolymerized cellulosic jet
DSHCDirect sugar to hydrocarbons
O Ozone
CH Methane
SWVStratospheric water vapor
RCPRepresentative concentration pathways
MBJMedium-chain fatty acids to biojet
TTTTurbine-inlet temperatures
CLDChemiluminescence detector
CDCColorless distributed combustion
SMDSauter mean diameter
FAMEFatty acid methyl ester
AAFXAlternative Aviation Fuel Experiment
BCBlack carbon
EGTExhaust gas temperature
FAEEFatty acids ethyl esters
LTOLanding-take-off
BDBiodiesel
nvPMNon-volatile particulate matter
vPMVolatile particulate matter
PM Particulate matter with a dry diameter less than 2.5 µm
aCAEAerosol cloud albedo effect
FSCFuel sulfur content
ULSJUltra-low sulfur jet fuel
RERadiative effect
GMDGeometric mean diameter
GSDGeometric standard deviation
VOCsVolatile organic compounds
PAHsPolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
MESMain engine start
ECSEnvironmental control system
NLNo load
HCHJHydrothermal-condensation-hydrotreating jet
AFRAir to fuel ratio
PPBBPremixed pre-evaporated Bunsen burner
GTLGas to liquid
JMEJatropha methyl ester
CTMECotton methyl ester
CRMECorn methyl ester
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Click here to enlarge figure

Ref.FuelSulfur Content (ppm)Method/Burning PlatformSO Emissions
ASTM D7566 [ ]FT-SPK<15D5453/D2622-
HEFA-SPK<15
SIP<2
FT-SPK/A<15
ATJ-SPK<15
CHJ<15
HC-HEFA SPK<15
ASTM D1655 [ ]Jet A or Jet A-1<3000D3227/IP 342-
Corporan et al. (2007) [ ]JP-8600T63 EngineSO emissions of JP8, 25% synjet, 50% synjet and 75% synjet were approximately 34, 23, 15, and 7 ppm, respectively.
25% synjet500
50% synjet400
75% synjet200
synjet<100
Bulzan et al. (2010) [ ]JP-81148CFM56-2C1 Engine
Garrett GTC 85-98CK (APU)
50:50, the emissions of SO from blended fuels are approximately half that of pure JP-8.
FT119
FT1 Blend699
FT222
FT2 Blend658
Yakovlieva et al. (2019) [ ]Jet A-1250Calculating10% FAEE blend fuel reduced SO emissions by nearly 57%.
FAEE of RO85
Cican et al. (2019) [ ]Jet A-JETCAT P80 MicroengineWith a 20% blend of BD, the EI-SO decreases to around 10 ppm.
Biodiesel
Tran et al.
(2020) [ ]
Jet A-1500GE CF700-2D2 EngineThe increase in fuel sulfur content correlates with elevated emissions of volatile particulate matter.
JP-5200
ATJ-SPK Blend0
ATJ-SPK Neat0.96
Corporan et al.
(2010) [ ]
JP-8a800F117-PW-100 enginePercentage of engine max thrust = 4, 33, 45, 54, 63%, JP-8/HRJ and JP-8a/HRJ/FT exhibit a reduction in EI-SO exceeding 40%.
JP-8b800
JP-8b/HRJ500
JP-8a/HRJ/FT500
Ref.FuelAromaticsMethod/Burning PlatformPM Emissions
ASTM D7566 [ ]FT-SPK<0.5 m%D2425-
HEFA-SPK<0.5 m%
SIP<0.5 m%
FT-SPK/A<20 m%
ATJ-SPK<0.5 m%
CHJ8.4–21.2 m%D2425 or D6379/IP 436
HC-HEFA SPK<0.5 m%D2425
ASTM D1655 [ ]Jet A or Jet A-1<25/26.5 v%D1319, etc.-
Durdina et al. (2021) [ ]Jet A18.1 v%CFM56-7B26 enginenvPM number decreased by 60% and 10% during ground idle and take-off phases, respectively. nvPM mass and nvPM number decreased by 20% and 25% over a standardized LTO cycle, respectively.
32% HEFA-SPK
blend
11.3 v%
Schripp et al. (2019) [ ]Jet A-115.6 v%CFM56-5C4 engine70% reduction in particle mass for ATJ fuel compared with Jet A-1.
ReadiJet20.9 v%
ATJ<1 v%
Kurzawska et al. (2021) [ ]Jet A-117.3 v%GTM-120 engineTotal particle number and mass by approximately 18% and 53%, respectively
50% ATJ-SPK blend8.8 v%
Chan et al. (2016) [ ]Jet A-118.3 v%GE CF-700-2D-2 turbofan engine100% CH-SKA, 50% HEFA-SPK, and 100% FT-SPK respectively reduce EI-PM by 7–25%, 40–60%, and 70–95%.
CH-SKA17 v%
FT-SPK0.5 v%
HEFA-SPK10.4 v%
Tran et al.
(2020) [ ]
Jet A-118.5 v%GE CF700-2D2 EngineATJ-SPK blend reduced total particle number emissions by up to 97% compared with Jet A-1
JP-520.1 v%
ATJ-SPK Blend8 v%
ATJ-SPK Neat0 v%
Voigt et al.
(2021) [ ]
Jet A-118.8/17.2/18.6/
16.5 v%
Airbus
A320 equipped with two V2527-A5 engines
Semisynthetic jet fuels lead to a 50% to 70% reduction in both soot and ice number concentrations
41% FT-SPK blend11.4 v%
49% HEFA-SPK blend8.5 v%
30% HEFA-SPK blend9.5 v%
Lobo et al.
(2015) [ ]
Jet A-115.55 wt%Garrett GTCP85
(APU)
50% UCO-HEFA blend fuel reduced nvPM number and mass emissions by approximately 35% and 60%, respectively.
UCO-HEFA1.91 wt%
Moore et al.
(2017) [ ]
Medium-sulfur-content Jet A fuel21.1 ± 0.7 v%DC-8 aircraft equipped with four CFM56-2-C1
engines
Compared with medium-sulfur-content Jet A fuel, the 50% HEFA blend fuel reduced the number of vPM and nvPM by 52% and 45%, respectively, while decreasing vPM volume, nvPM volume, and total PM volume by approximately 50%.
Low-sulfur-content Jet A fuel21.4 ± 1.4 v%
50:50 HEFA: Low-sulfur-content Jet A fuel12.9 ± 1.2 v%
Ref.FuelMethod/Burning PlatformUHC Emissions
Undavalli et al. (2022) [ ]Jet A-1GTCP85 aircraft APUWith the increase in HEFA proportion, there is no clear trend of change; the UHC emissions of HEFA-blended fuel slightly decrease.
18 different ratios of HEFA and Jet A-1 blend fuels
Liu et al. (2023) [ ]RP-3ZF850 jet engineThe impact of HCHJ doping on the EI-UHC of RP-3 shows no clear trend.
5% and 10% HCHJ blend fuels
Badami et al. (2014) [ ]Jet-ASR-30 turbojet workbenchGTL fuel > Jet-A > 30% JME blend fuel (50,000–60,000 rpm).
GTL fuel
30% JME blend fuel
Sundararaj et al. (2019) [ ]Jet A-1High enthalpy rig with combustorEI-UHC decreases with the increase of Camelina or the decrease of Jatropha in the fuel mixture.
Biofuel (Camelina)
Biofuel (Jatropha)
Ali et al. (2017) [ ]Jet A-1Olympus E-start HP turbojet engine50% CTME blend fuel and 50% CRME blend fuel respectively reduced EI-UHC by 36.5% and 30.8%.
50% CTME blend fuel
50% CRME blend fuel
Rehman et al.
(2011) [ ]
DieselIS/60 Rovers gas turbineDiesel > 15% Jatropha biodiesel > 25% Jatropha biodiesel
15% Jatropha biodiesel
25% Jatropha biodiesel
GE [ ]Conventional aviation fuelGE engineThe emissions of UHC increase by 20–45%.
Bio-SPK
Rolls Royce [ ]JP-8Annular rigNot much difference.
FT fuel
Pratt and Whitney [ ]Jet A-1a Pratt and Whitney Canada small turbofan engineNot much difference.
Neste oil
50% Neste oil blend fuel
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Song, Z.; Li, Z.; Liu, Z. Comparison of Emission Properties of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Conventional Aviation Fuels: A Review. Appl. Sci. 2024 , 14 , 5484. https://doi.org/10.3390/app14135484

Song Z, Li Z, Liu Z. Comparison of Emission Properties of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Conventional Aviation Fuels: A Review. Applied Sciences . 2024; 14(13):5484. https://doi.org/10.3390/app14135484

Song, Zehua, Zekai Li, and Ziyu Liu. 2024. "Comparison of Emission Properties of Sustainable Aviation Fuels and Conventional Aviation Fuels: A Review" Applied Sciences 14, no. 13: 5484. https://doi.org/10.3390/app14135484

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  1. Essay Outline Template

    template of compare and contrast essay

  2. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    template of compare and contrast essay

  3. Perfect Compare and Contrast Essay with Tips, Examples and Outline

    template of compare and contrast essay

  4. Strong Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    template of compare and contrast essay

  5. How to Write a Compare & Contrast Essay

    template of compare and contrast essay

  6. Compare and Contrast Essay

    template of compare and contrast essay

VIDEO

  1. The Guide to Writing: Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

  2. Compare and Contrast Essay in Urdu/ Hindi

  3. Week 2: Compare OR Contrast Essay

  4. Writing Tip: avoid the Compare/Contrast trap! #goodwriting #writingtips #essaywriting

  5. Compare Contrast Essay Insight

  6. Comparison and Contrast Essay|| How to Write || BBS 1st Year English || Patterns for college writing

COMMENTS

  1. Ultimate Guide to Writing a Comparison Essay: Tips and Examples

    Make sure they have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison. 2. Brainstorm key points: Once you have chosen the subjects, brainstorm the key points you want to compare and contrast. These could include characteristics, features, themes, or arguments related to each subject. 3.

  2. 5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

    Here they are explained below: 1. Essay Planning. First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you're comparing. I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

  3. PDF Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

    Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template A. Introduction a. Introduction to the broad topic b. Specific topic c. Thesis statement B. Body Paragraphs a. Body paragraph #1—First aspect that's similar or different i. Subject #1 1. Detail #1 2. Detail #2 ii. Subject #2 1. Detail #1 2. Detail #2 b.

  4. Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

    In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you're comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you've already said about the first. Your text is structured like this: Subject 1.

  5. 15+ Outstanding Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    Research and brainstorm the points that make them similar and different. Create and add your main statement and claim. Create a Venn diagram and show the similarities and differences. Choose the design through which you will present your arguments and claims. Create compare and contrast essay outline.

  6. 34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    Compare and Contrast Paragraph—Dogs and Cats. Sample lines: "Researchers have found that dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have. Specifically, dogs had around 530 million neurons, whereas the domestic cat only had 250 million neurons.

  7. Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences.

  8. How to write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    Here is an example of how the block format in a compare and contrast essay might be structured: I. Introduction Paragraph. A. Background information on the subjects being compared and contrasted. B. Thesis statement outlining the purpose of the essay. II.

  9. Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Like a Pro

    Point by Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline. Point by point pattern (organization by criteria) compares and contrasts the more similar subjects in nature. It presents the similarities and differences one by one making notes of both subjects. Each point is evaluated against particular criteria, followed by another point evaluated against ...

  10. How to write an outline for a compare and contrast essay

    Example. Step I. Identify the Topic. The first step in creating an outline for a compare and contrast essay is to identify the topic you will be writing on, this would involve clearly stating what the essay is going to be about. This would provide your reader with an idea of what to expect in the essay. If you are writing an essay on historical ...

  11. Comparing and Contrasting

    Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. To make a Venn diagram, simply draw some overlapping circles, one circle for each item you're considering. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common.

  12. Compare and Contrast Essay

    The outline for your compare and contrast essay serves as a base you can build upon. You can use it as a guide while writing your essay. We will take a closer look at compare and contrast essay outlines in the next section of the article. 4. Begin writing your first draft.

  13. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    Compare and contrast essays examine topics from multiple viewpoints. This kind of essay, often assigned in middle school and high school, teaches students about the analytical writing process and prepares them for more advanced forms of academic writing. Compare and contrast essays are relatively easy to write if you follow a simple step-by-step approach.

  14. Compare & Contrast Essays

    To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ. A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two ...

  15. Compare & Contrast Essay

    Compare and Contrast Essay Outline. The point-by-point method uses a standard five-paragraph essay structure: Introduction (contains the attention-getter, preview of main points, and thesis) Body ...

  16. What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

    A compare and contrast essay is a type of analytical essay that explores the similarities and differences between two subjects. We guide you through one with some examples. ... Sample Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction. A compare and contrast essay's introduction doesn't have much variance from intros in other essays, so don't skimp ...

  17. PDF COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE. I. Introduction . A. Hook: _____ _____ B.

  18. 4.1: Introduction to Comparison and Contrast Essay

    Construct an outline for a five-paragraph compare & contrast essay; Write a five-paragraph compare & contrast essay; Use a variety of vocabulary and language structures that express compare & contrast essay relationships; Example Thesis: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they ...

  19. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (with Pictures)

    4. Outline your body paragraphs based on point-by-point comparison. This is the more common method used in the comparison and contrast essay. [6] You can write a paragraph about each characteristic of both locations, comparing the locations in the same paragraph.

  20. Compare & Contrast Essay

    A compare and contrast essay does two things: It discusses the similarities and differences of at least two different things. First, you must find a basis of comparison to be sure that the two things have enough in common. After that, you identify their differences. You may structure the compare and contrast essay using either the alternating ...

  21. Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Writing Tips & Templates

    Correcting all mistakes at the early stage. You can choose between two main types of compare and contrast essay outlines: Point-by-point method. Block pattern. Each of these methods depends on the way you want to arrange facts about 2 or more items. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages.

  22. Compare & Contrast Assignments

    Sample Point-By-Point Paragraph: Organizing a Compare-Contrast Essay. If you are asked to write a compare-contrast essay, use the following structure: Compare-Contrast Essay Structure Introduction: Your first paragraph should introduce both topics to your reader, briefly summarizing each, and lead to your thesis statement. Your thesis will ...

  23. Family Diversity Essay Plan

    III. Historical Context. Evolution of Family Structures: Provide a brief history of how family structures have evolved in different cultures. Traditional vs. Modern Family Models: Compare and contrast the traditional family models with modern variations to highlight the shift in societal norms. IV. Impact of Family Diversity On Society. Social Norms: Analyze how diverse family structures ...

  24. Applied Sciences

    In contrast, according to ASTM D1655, Jet A or Jet A-1 fuel allows for maximum aromatic volume fractions and total sulfur mass fractions of 26.5% and 0.3%, respectively . The composition of the fuel not only closely correlates with combustion performance within the combustion chamber but also influences engine exhaust emissions [ 12 , 13 , 14 ].