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How To Organize A Compare And Contrast Essay: Detailed Guidelines


A compare and contrast essay is a basic but lengthy form of writing assignment usually taught in school. You basically need to take two things, and then write about how similar or dissimilar they are. But it's easier said than done.

You would usually need a deeper understanding on the subjects you want to write about. This form of writing requires skill and critical thinking. It’s not something you can whip out from the top of your head. This requires proper data gathering and structuring.

Organizing a compare and contrast writing assignment

This sort of an assignment can be structured typically in two ways.

  • Type 1:

  • Discuss subject A. Do not write about anything else. Briefly analyze the topic. Give some useful information and facts that you intend to build on later.

    Discuss subject B. This should be an isolated paragraph or set of paragraphs just like when you would discuss subject A. Do not mention the previous subject here. Again present some data or facts about the current topic which you intend to build on later.

    Analyze both the subjects together and state their similarities and differences in consecutive paragraphs.

    Present a conclusion. This is a neat and stacked form of presenting comparison and contrast.

  • Type 2:

  • Start by stating the similarities between subject A and B in an isolated paragraph or multiple paragraphs.

    Transition to and stack the differences between the two subjects in later paragraphs.

    Come to a conclusion.

Additional tips

There are some basic guidelines that should help you structure such an assignment. They are mentioned below:

  • Introduction - The introduction should be catchy enough to capture the attention of the reader. It should be interesting enough to make the reader keep reading. Try mentioning something new or something no one noticed before.

  • Basic rules - You should follow the basic rules of essay writing and proofread before you hand in your work.

  • Focus - Do not get distracted and start blabbering. That is one of the sure fire way of messing up such an assignment.

  • Facts and examples - Your paper should have enough examples and facts to support the similarities and differences between the two subjects you chose.

  • Themes - Try selecting topics which have a similar background. For example, Baseball and Soccer. Both of them are sports. Another fine example is World War I and World War II, their causes, developments and global impact.

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