Compare and Contrast Essay

Tips on Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

In academic circles, the compare and contrast essay is another popular type of writing assignment. Essays of this type are based on a particular question and they are reasonably easy to write. When it comes to the actual writing, there are a few different approaches the writer can take. One crucial thing to bear in mind is structure. A lot of otherwise great essays fail because of poor structure. So, it is important to check the rules and then structure your essay in one of the ways described below.

The Introductory Paragraph

As happens in the 5-paragraph essay format, the introductory paragraph usually begins in a general way, e.g., with an anecdote, quote, or some generalization. This opening should then lead to a thesis statement. 

First Topic

The next part of the essay, which can be made up of one or several paragraphs, usually covers one part of the compare and contrast topic. Essays of this type usually cover two topics and show how these are alike and/or different. The second topic should not be referred to in this first part.  

Second Topic

The next part of a compare and contrast essay, which can also be made up of one or several paragraphs, usually covers the next (or second) of the topics. The first topic should not be referred to in much detail in this part. Because you have probably already written about it in considerable detail, it is permissible to refer briefly to the first topic, but you should not analyze it. This part of your essay should focus on discussing the second topic in detail.   

Combining the First and Second Topic

Once the first and second topic has been analyzed separately, they should now be looked at side by side. This part may also be made up of one or a number of paragraphs.

The Concluding Paragraph

Like the introductory paragraph, the concluding paragraph should also refer to the thesis statement in a general way. The writer can use this last paragraph to express their full knowledge or certainty about the subject. The thesis should be reaffirmed but in different words and the writer should recap on how they proved it. 

Alternative Format

Introductory Paragraph

Again, as is the case with the 5-paragraph essay format, the introduction should begin in a general way with an anecdote, quote or some broad-ranging statement. This should also lead to the thesis statement.  

Compare Everything – The First and Second Topic

This part, which is usually comprised of a number of paragraphs, should describe all the likenesses between both topics. List a minimum of three comparable features i.e. three brief paragraphs. Include examples from the two comparison topics in each paragraph. 

Contrast Everything – The First and Second Topic

In this part, which should also comprise of a number of paragraphs, describe all the differences in both topics. Again, you should list a minimum of three contrasting points with examples taken from the two topics.

The Concluding Paragraph

The concluding paragraph wraps everything up i.e. every point that you have proved in your essay. This paragraph should also reiterate the thesis statement in a fresh and more formal way. Be confident in the way you write. 

The following is a breakdown of how a compare and contrast essay should look:

First Type

  1. First paragraph: Introductory paragraph with thesis statement
  2. Second paragraph: First topic (with first comparison)
  3. Third paragraph: First topic (with second comparison)
  4. Fourth paragraph: First topic (with third comparison)
  5. Fifth paragraph: Second topic (with first contrast)
  6. Sixth paragraph: Second topic (with second contrast)
  7. Seventh paragraph: Second topic (with third contrast)
  8. Eight paragraph: (if required) Combine comparisons and contrasts on any of the topics
  9. Ninth paragraph: The concluding paragraph

Second Type

  1. First paragraph: Introductory paragraph with thesis statement
  2. Second paragraph: First comparison of both topics
  3. Third paragraph: Second comparison of both topics
  4. Fourth paragraph: Third comparison of both topics
  5. Fifth paragraph: First contrast of both topics
  6. Sixth paragraph: Second contrast of both topics
  7. Seventh paragraph: Third contrast of both topics
  8. Eight paragraph: The concluding paragraph.

Read Our Free Compare and Contrast Essay Sample!

Compare and Contrast (Poetry) Essay

Today, the role of the woman has changed in comparison with the past years. In spite of the fact that emancipation has started a long time ago, women still have problems regarding their role in the society. Women became more independent and free, they can achieve everything they want in every field of life, but they still feel the pressure of the stereotypes existing in the modern society. Physical appearance is still the most necessary requirement to achieve the success both in professional and personal life. Sexton’s and Piercy’s works are written in a very similar style and have almost the same root of sense, so it is possible to make a literature analysis of these two poems. Many authors of the modern literature are willing to recognize the role of a woman in today’s society, the stereotypes that rule them, and corresponds rules that put a pressure on women. The significant works as ‘Barbie Doll’ by Marge Piercy and ‘Cinderella’ by Anne Sexton, conclude such topics as role of a woman, female beauty, and love.
‘Cinderella’ is one of the most significant fairytales’ heroines. Anne Sexton’s ‘Cinderella’ differs a lot from well-known Disney heroine. In the popular version, Cinderella is a victim of her stepmother and stepsisters. She lost her mother when she was just a child, and with the help of fairy godmother, she gets a change to meet prince on the ball. Cinderella and prince fall in love, get married, and live happily for the rest of their life. Is it possible in the real life to have such ideal happy-ends? Is it possible to apply fairytale’s concept in the real life? (Sexton 138) Author of the story focuses on these questions. Sexton’s Cinderella is a dark and even comedic version of the well-known heroine. In the poem, the author uses different literary devices such as imagery, style, and tone. (Hacker 237). Sexton calls upon the reader to view the silliness of a traditional fairytale’s endings in comparison with the reality. In the fairytale version, Cinderella meets her decent and handsome prince, and at the end of the story, he finds her with the help of her beautiful little shoe. In Sexton’s version, their story of love has ironic and almost gothic tone. According to the imagery, such words as ‘axe’ and ‘amputation’ add darkness to rosy fantasies of the fairytale. Traditional fairytales were written in the Middle Ages, when the reality was not as fascinated and rosy as it was described in the fairytales. The reality was that princes were cruel and imperious, who always got everything they wanted using force. Women who were engaged with princes or kings felt pressure of their ego and were killed in the cruelest ways possible. Moreover, women of that time were not as emancipated as the modern women, and in very rare cases, they could marry for love. That time was very cruel and severe. Consequently, fairytales were a so-called ‘escape’ from reality for ordinary people. Nevertheless, do people still believe in fairytales and need to believe in the happy endings? Sometimes, the author uses even slang and vulgar style of writing, which fits well with the sense of the plot. In her poem, Sexton describes 
ball is a ‘marriage market’, and one of stepsisters ‘cut off her heel’ to wear a shoe:
“Next came the ball, as you all know. Read more…

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