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How to Structure a Compare and Contrast Essay

In this article, we are taking you through the structure of a compare and contrast essay, a construction that can be used to write any good compare and contrast essay of any study level.

A comparison and contrast essay is a great way to demonstrate your understanding of the topic you’ve chosen.

In this type of essay, you’ll compare two different things that are similar or have some connection.

You’ll then explain why they’re similar or different by giving examples and explaining how they work together.

Section: The first step in writing a compare and contrast essay is drafting your introduction section.

This will be your chance to introduce yourself as an author who can write well about something specific, so take this opportunity!

Section: Next up: Write out your body paragraphs.

Each one should begin with a sentence that tells readers “Here’s what I’m going to talk about.”

Then follow up with brief explanations of how each part compares/contrasts with another part so far (and ends with one last sentence that summarizes what’s been said).

Your Introduction in the Structure of your Compare and Contrast Essay

How to Structure a Compare and Contrast EssayThe introduction of your compare and contrast essay should be a short, simple paragraph.

You want the reader to know what they’re getting themselves into before they start reading the rest of your paper.

It’s also important to use this section as an opportunity to preview some of the information you’ll discuss later on in the body of your essay.

This will help keep readers engaged and make sure they stay tuned in until all their questions are answered!

For example: “The two novels discussed are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.”

This short introductory paragraph is an excellent way to give your reader a preview of the novel you’re discussing.

You can also use this section to explain what makes your novel unique and how it fits into the larger context of literature.

For example: “Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice are both classic works of fiction that belong on any English literature syllabus.

Thesis Statement must be included in the Structure of a Compare and Contrast Essay

The thesis statement is a one sentence summary of your topic.

It should be the last sentence of your introduction, and it should be clear, concise, and specific.

Your thesis statement should also be debatable—that is to say that there are multiple ways you could write it depending on which point of view or perspective you have chosen to take on the topic at hand.

For example:

“In this essay I will compare and contrast two different methods for measuring the success rate of sports teams across various leagues around the world by looking at how they differ from each other in terms of their effectiveness in achieving goals set out by executives within organizations such as soccer associations or hockey leagues.”

The thesis statement should also be debatable—that is to say that there are multiple ways you could write it depending on which point of view or perspective you have chosen to take on the topic at hand.

Point-by-Point Organization (Block Method)

Compare and contrast essays are organized by comparing two or more things, or contrasting two or more things.

The first section of a compare and contrast essay should be the introduction.

This is where you explain what you’re going to do in your essay, how it relates to other essays that have been done before, and why this particular topic is important for your reader.

After that, there are several different types of compare-and-contrast structures:

  • Point-by-point organization—this type of organization involves organizing points into paragraphs based on similarities between them (e.g., “The first paragraph talks about similarities between both stories.”).

You can use this method when comparing two different ideas (like comparing apples with oranges).

  • Block structure—this method organizes points into blocks with each block consisting of three parts: topic sentence; main idea/jumping off point; supporting details/inference(s).

How to Structure a Compare and Contrast EssayYou can use this if there are multiple topics being discussed at once (e.g., comparing apples vs oranges), but only one main idea needs to be listed per page.

Instead, multiple main ideas on each page as well as additional supporting details within those sections.

This will help connect everything together into one cohesive whole rather than separate pieces floating around somewhere out there in space somewhere else entirely unrelated but similar enough.

Nonetheless, since both have something important in common which makes them similar enough despite differences between them both being so vast even though they seem small now but not necessarily because sometimes all those little things add up over time.

Topic 1 – Detail/Example

In this section, you will be writing about the topic of your essay.

You must give a detailed example of each of your topics and how they relate to one another.

Be sure to take into consideration every aspect of your paper when writing this section:

  • Detail/Example: Include specific facts and details about what you are discussing in your paper (for example, “I have found that by using such and such method, we were able to increase our sales by 20% in three months”). Also include any supporting evidence that supports these claims (e.g., graphs or charts).
  • Contrasting Examples: Compare one thing with another thing(s) through examples from both sides so that readers can see how they differ in some way; also note any similarities between them as well (e.g., similar benefits).

Topic 2 – Detail/Example

In this section, you’ll be comparing two opposing views or ideas.

You can use specific examples to illustrate your point, or simply describe how they are similar or different.

How you choose to structure your compare and contrast essay, or how you structure an argumentative essay is up to you; there’s no wrong way!

A good example of this would be comparing two political parties’ platforms on healthcare reform: Democrats want universal coverage while Republicans want more private options for people who can afford them.

The Democrats’ platform focuses on health care as a human right and subsidizing insurance for everyone who needs it; meanwhile, the Republican platform emphasizes affordable access to high-quality health care through measures like tort reform (reducing lawsuits against hospitals).

This is just one example of a political comparison essay you could write.

You could also examine how two different authors’ works reflect their cultural context, or compare the effects of globalization on local economies.

The possibilities are endless!

Conclusion (re-word your thesis statement)

The conclusion is a place where you can summarize your points and provide a final thought.

To make sure you’re getting your point across, try re-writing your thesis statement in the last sentence of this section:

“The compare and contrast essay is a good way to compare two different things while providing an interesting perspective on each.”

It’s important that readers understand what they’re reading and why it matters, so here’s how I would rewrite my original conclusion:

“The compare and contrast essay is a good way to compare two different things while providing an interesting perspective on each.”

I’ve highlighted two sentences that are particularly important.

The first sentence emphasizes how the compare and contrast essay is a good way to compare two different things while providing an interesting perspective on each.

The second sentence explains why this type of essay can be so useful: readers will be able to understand what they’re reading and why it matters.

Comparing and contrasting can be a tricky thing.

When it comes to comparison and contrast, there are two common misconceptions that students often have.

First, comparison is not the same as contrast.

Second, a single idea doesn’t necessarily need both types of writing.

The two terms are actually very different when it comes to structure:

  • Comparison focuses on similarities between two or more things; contrast focuses on differences between them.

For example: “My favorite animal is a monkey because they’re funny.”

In this sentence you can see how comparing different things works in practice—you compare monkeys with other animals (their physical characteristics), then make comparisons within the topic area of your essay (funny vs serious).

Contrasting implies taking two separate topics together for comparison at once—for example: “Monkeys aren’t always funny but they can be very smart!”

You might also use contrasting when comparing one thing with another that has nothing else in common besides being similar, like comparing apples and oranges (or sayings).

Conclusion of the Structure of a Compare and Contrast Essay

Take a minute or two to think about your paper.

Write down the topic you want to address, and use that as the framework for your introduction and conclusion.

Use the rest of your essay to compare and contrast 2 or 3 ideas from each side.

Section: Identify the main ideas of your essay

Section: Summarize these main points in a clear way using concrete examples

Section: Draw connections between them with specific details (e.g., “We can see that…”)

Section: Explain how these ideas relate to each other (e.g., “These two examples show that…”)

Last Updated on October 3, 2022

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