In a compare and contrast essay, you take two similar things that have dissimilarities too and write about them. A strong essay of this type can make for interesting reading and is not too difficult to compose. You only have to practice regularly and follow some simple rules to create a good essay.
- Find a great topic
You need to have a great topic or topics on hand to write a good essay. You need two subjects that are pretty similar but also have differences that you can describe meaningfully. Two subjects that are simply from different planets, so to speak, just will not do. You can compare and contrast coffee and tea but you cannot do the same for coffee and iron ore.
Some great examples of topics are:
Formula One cars from two different teams
Investment banking and corporate banking
- Find the similarities and differences
Once you have chosen your topic, start your research to find what makes them similar and what makes them different. Make a list of both. Try and make the lists as comprehensive as possible. Then do a cursory review of your lists to find the most meaningful similarities and differences. Once you have decided the best ones, do deeper research to find as much about them as possible. Note down this information too.
- Establish a thesis and write a thesis statement
Once you have all the information you need, formulate your particular thesis about your subjects. Your thesis statement is one sentence that informs the reader why your two subjects are similar and what is it exactly that makes them different. It should also be stated in a way that engages the reader and enhances their desire to read the following paragraphs.
- Make an outline
With your research and your thesis statement in hand, make an outline for the essay. Start with an introduction and list down points in the order you will write them down.
- Write the Essay
With your outline in hand, start writing your essay. In your introduction, start with your thesis statement or a question about the subjects and write an interesting short background. This will help with retaining the reader’s interest.
In the main body, give a short summary of each subject and why it is important to compare and contrast them. One by one, write about meaningful similarities and then the differences. Include the controversial aspects, if any, here. In the end tie up all loose end and draw up your conclusions.