How to write a compare and contrast essay

how to write a compare and contrast essay

No-one should be daunted by the process of how to write a compare and contrast essay. There are a number of thing that an author should consider before they begin to write.

Firstly, an author should carefully select the subject that they are going to write about. Selecting a good topic can make writing an essay rather simple as a good subject or topic will contain a number of points that may be discussed.

As the name suggests, a compare and contrast assignment is one that examine two things that are within the same subject area and compares them for similarities and contrasts their differences. The structure of an essay is also very important. When writing any essay you should always write in a logical order. Your work will lose a great deal of credibility if you jump from one subject to another without connecting them. A good essay is one that will move logically and fluently from one topic of focus to the next. Most commonly comparative and/or contrasting essays will cover all the comparisons they can before moving on to contrasting the differences.

There are many ways that an author can approach the issue of how to write a compare and contrast essay. Depending on the subject which they are to write about they can compare and contrast something in different ways. An author may if they wish, focus in on a very specific aspect of a subject comparing and contrasting two different points relating to the matter. For example if they are meant to 'Compare and contrast the army tactics used in the Battle of the Bulge' they may focus on the German tactics to resist the advance of the allies and compare them to the Allied tactics for resisting the German counterattack. However (if they are given a subject that allows them a bit of room for interpretation) they may look more broadly e.g. 'compare and contrast the army tactics used in World War One' they may take a look at how the different strategy and battle tactics of both sides evolved during the course of the war.


Researching is greatly important when writing any essay. An essay cannot be of any good quality if the work that it contains is not well researched and based upon well-informed information. To support the points that you want to make - in any essay you write - you should only use information that comes from a reliable and variable source, making sure that all sources you use are well referenced and credited. It is important to understand that you should only us sources and work b other authors to support the ideas that you are putting forward. You should not solely base your work on the ideas of someone else. If you want a few more ideas about how to write compare and contrast essays, look online, but just don't copy.

When making comparisons you can compare things in different ways. For example you don't have to look at two things that are exactly the same. You may compare how different people or groups have set out to achieve the same objective by different methods e.g. If you're writing a comparing and contrasting work on economics you may compare how governments have tried to solve their financial problems by austerity measures and public service cuts when other governments have tried to improve their countries economies by spending money and investing in their public services.

Finally, it should be understood that a comparative and contrasting essay or a discursive essay does not always have to be equally balanced. The writer can favor one side of a subject over another as long as they provide evidence to support their opinion.