Compare and Contrast Essay: Full Writing Guide and 150+ Topics
Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences. For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc.
Good compare and contrast papers from college essay writer focus on a central point, explaining the importance and implications of this analysis. A compare and contrast essay thesis must make a meaningful comparison. Find the central theme of your essay and do some brainstorming for your thesis.
This type of essay is very common among college and university students. Professors challenge their students to use their analytical and comparative skills and pay close attention to the subjects of their comparisons. This type of essay exercises observance and analysis, helps to establish a frame of reference, and makes meaningful arguments about a subject. Let's get deeper on how to write a compare and contrast essay with our research writing services .
How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences
Now that you know what is compare and contrast essay and are set with your topic, the first thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and make a list with two columns: similarities and differences. Jot down key things first, the most striking ones. Then try to look at the subjects from a different angle, incorporating your imagination.
If you are more of a visual learner, creating a Venn diagram might be a good idea. In order to create it, draw two circles that overlap. In the section where it overlaps, note similarities. Differences should be written in the part of the circle that does not overlap.
Let’s look at a simple example of compare and contrast essay. Let one of the subjects be oranges, and the other one be apples. Oranges have thick peel, originally from India, and are tropical fruit. These characteristics pertain only to oranges and should be in the part of the circle that does not overlap. For the same section on apples, we put thin peel, originated in Turkey or Kazakhstan, and moderate to subtropical. In the section that overlaps, let’s say that they are both fruit, can be juiced, and grow on trees. This simple, yet good example illustrates how the same concept can be applied to many other complicated topics with additional points of comparison and contrast.
This format of visual aid helps to organize similarities and differences and make them easier to perceive. Your diagram will give you a clear idea of the things you can write about.
Another good idea for brainstorming in preparation for your comparison contrast essay is to create a list with 2 columns, one for each subject, and compare the same characteristics for each of them simultaneously. This compare and contrast format will make writing your comparison contrast paper argument a breeze, as you will have your ideas ready and organized.
One mistake you should avoid is simply listing all of the differences or similarities for each subject. Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format.
Compare and Contrast Essay Structure and Outline
So, how do you structure this compare and contrast paper? Well, since compare and contrast essay examples rely heavily on factual analysis, there are two outline methods that can help you organize your facts. You can use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline.
While using the block structure of a compare and contrast essay, all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained. This concludes one block. The second block takes the same approach as the first for the second subject.
The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.
Both formats have their pros and cons. The block method is clearly easier for a compare and contrast essay writer, as you simply point out all of the information about the two subjects, and basically leave it to the reader to do the comparison. The point-by-point format requires you to analyze the points yourself while making similarities and differences more explicit to the reader for them to be easier to understand. Here is a detailed structure of each type presented below.
- Introduce the topic;
- Specify your theme;
- Present your thesis - cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.
Example thesis: Cars and motorcycles make for excellent means of transportation, but a good choice depends on the person’s lifestyle, finances, and the city they live in.
Body Paragraph 1 - LIFESTYLE
- Topic Sentence: Motorcycles impact the owner’s lifestyle less than cars.
- Topic 1 - Motorcycles
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles are smaller and more comfortable to store.
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles are easy to learn and use.
- Topic 2 - Cars
- ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal - they are like a second home.
- ~ Argument: It takes time to learn to become a good driver.
Body Paragraph 2 - FINANCES
- Topic sentence: Cars are much more expensive than motorcycles
- ~ Argument: You can buy a good motorcycle for under 300$.
- ~ Argument: Fewer parts that are more accessible to fix.
- ~ Argument: Parts and service are expensive if something breaks.
- ~ Argument: Cars need more gas than motorcycles.
Body Paragraph 3 - CITY
- Topic sentence: Cars are a better option for bigger cities with wider roads.
- ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than with cars.
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles work great in a city like Rome, where all the streets are narrow.
- ~ Argument: Big cities are easier and more comfortable to navigate by car.
- ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside of the city is much easier.
- Sum up all you wrote in the article.
- Thesis — cover all areas of the essay in one sentence
Body Paragraph 1
- Topic Sentence: Motorcycles are cheaper and easier to take care of than cars.
- Aspect 1 - Lifestyle
- Aspect 2 - Finances
- ~ Argument: Fewer parts, easier to fix.
- Aspect 3 - City
- ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than cars.
Body Paragraph 2
- Topic sentence: Cars are more expensive but more comfortable for a big city and for travelling.
- ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal—like a second home.
- ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside the city is much more comfortable.
Body Paragraph 3
Use the last paragraph to evaluate the comparisons and explain why they’re essential. Giving a lot of facts can be intense. To water it down, try to give the reader any real-life applications of these facts.
Depending on the structure selected, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. The typical comparison essay follows the format of having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion — though, if you need to focus on each subject in more detailed ways, feel free to include an extra paragraph to cover all of the most important points.
To make your compare and contrast essay flow better, we recommend using special transition words and phrases. They will add variety and improve your paper overall.
For the section where you compare two subjects, you can include any of the following words: similarly, likewise, also, both, just like, similar to, the same as, alike, or to compare to. When contrasting two subjects, use: in contrast, in comparison, by comparison, on the other hand, while, whereas, but, to differ from, dissimilar to, or unlike.
Show Your Evidence
Arguments for any essay, including compare and contrast essays, need to be supported by sufficient evidence. Make good use of your personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper articles, movies, or anything that will make your argument sound credible. For example, in your essay, if you were to compare attending college on campus vs. distance-based learning, you could include your personal experiences of being a student, and how often students show up to class on a daily basis. You could also talk about your experience taking online classes, which makes your argument about online classes credible as well.
Helpful Final Tips
The biggest tip dissertation writing services can give you is to have the right attitude when writing a compare contrast essay, and actively engage the reader in the discussion. If you find it interesting, so will your reader! Here are some more compare and contrast essay tips that will help you to polish yours up:
- Compare and contrast essays need powerful transitions. Try learning more about custom writing transition sentences using the words we provided for you in the 'Compare and Contrast Structure and Outline' section.
- Always clarify the concepts you introduce in your essay. Always explain lesser known information—don’t assume the reader must already know it.
- Do not forget to proofread. Small mistakes, but in high quantities, can result in a low grade. Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.
- Have a friend or family member take a look at your essay; they may notice things you have missed.
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Now that you know everything there is to know about compare and contrast essays, let’s take a look at some compare and contrast examples to get you started on your paper or get a hand from our essay helper .
Different countries across the world have diverse cultural practices, and this has an effect on work relationships and development. Geert Hofstede came up with a structured way of comparing cultural dimensions of different countries. The theory explains the impacts of a community’s culture on the values of the community members, and the way these values relate to their behaviors. He gives scores as a way to help distinguish people from different nations using the following dimensions: long-term orientation, individualism, power distance, indulgence, necessity avoidance, and masculinity. Let us examine comparisons between two countries: the United Kingdom and China — based on Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture.
Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers, spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and 2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution — compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).
Still feeling confused about the complexities of the compare and contrast essay? Feel free to contact our paper writing service to get a professional writing help.
Finding the Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For You
When choosing a topic for your comparison essay, remember that subjects cannot be drastically different, because there would be little to no points of comparison (similarities). The same goes for too many similarities, which will result in poor contrasts. For example, it is better to write about two composers, rather than a composer and a singer.
It is extremely important to choose a topic you are passionate about. You never want to come across something that seems dull and uninspiring for you. Here are some excellent ways to brainstorm for a topic from essay writer :
- Find categories: Choose a type (like animals, films or economics), and compare subjects within that category – wild animals to farm animals, Star Wars to Star Trek, private companies to public companies, etc.
- Random Surprising Fact: Dig for fun facts which could make great topics. Did you know that chickens can be traced back to dinosaurs?
- Movie vs. Book: Most of the time, the book is better than the movie — unless it’s Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you’re a pop culture lover, compare movies vs. books, video games, comics, etc.
Use our rewrite essay service when you need help from professionals.
How to Choose a Great Compare and Contrast Topic
College students should consider providing themselves with a chance to use all topic examples. With enough revision, an advantage is gained. As it will be possible to compare arguments and contrast their aspects. Also, discuss numerous situations to get closer to the conclusion.
- Choose a topic from the field of your interests. Otherwise you risk failing your paper.
- It is a good idea to choose a topic based upon the class subject or specialist subject. (Unless the requirements say otherwise.)
- Analyze each argument carefully. Include every detail for each opposing idea. Without doing so, you can definitely lower grades.
- Write a conclusion that summarizes both arguments. It should allow readers to find the answer they’re looking for.
- It is up to you to determine which arguments are right and wrong in the final conclusion.
- Before approaching the final conclusion, it’s important to discuss each argument equally. It is a bad idea to be biased, as it can also lower grades.
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150 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Consider
Choosing a topic can be a challenging task, but there are plenty of options to consider. In the following sections, we have compiled a list of 150 compare and contrast essay topics to help you get started. These topics cover a wide range of subjects, from education and technology to history and politics. Whether you are a high school student or a college student, you are sure to find a topic that interests you. So, read on to discover some great compare and contrast essay ideas.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For College Students
When attending a college, at any time your professor can assign you the task of writing this form of an essay. Consider these topics for college students from our custom essay writing team to get the grades you deserve.
- Attending a College Course Vs. Distance-Based Learning.
- Writing a Research Paper Vs. Writing a Creative Writing Paper. What are the differences and similarities?
- The differences between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
- The key aspects of the differences between the US and the UK education systems.
- Completing assignments at a library compared with doing so at home. Which is the most efficient?
- The similarities and differences in the behavior among married and unmarried couples.
- The similarities and differences between the EU (European Union) and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations)?
- The similarities and significant differences between American and Canadian English.
- Writing an Internship Report Vs. Writing a Research Paper
- The differences between US colleges and colleges in the EU?
Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Some topics for the compare and contrast essay format can be boring. To keep up motivation, doing a research , have a look at these topics. Maybe they can serve you as research paper help .
- Public Transport Vs. Driving A Car. Which is more efficient?
- Mandarin Vs. Cantonese: What are the differences between these Chinese languages?
- Sports Cars Vs. Luxurious Family Cars
- Wireless Technology Vs. Wired Devices
- Thai Food Vs. Filipino Cuisine
- What is the difference and similarities between a register office marriage and a traditional marriage?
- The 2000s Vs. The 2010s. What are the differences and what makes them similar?
- Abu Dhabi Vs. Dubai. What are the main factors involved in the differences?
- What are the differences between American and British culture?
- What does the New York Metro do differently to the London Underground?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students
When writing essays for high school, it is good to keep them informative. Have a look at these compare and contrast sample topics.
- Highschool Life Vs. College Life
- Paying College Fees Vs. Being Awarded a Scholarship
- All Night Study Sessions Vs. Late Night Parties
- Teenager Vs. Young Adult Relationships
- Being in a Relationship Vs. Being Single
- Male Vs. Female Behavior
- The similarities and differences between a high school diploma and a college degree
- The similarities and differences between Economics and Business Studies
- The benefits of having a part-time job, instead of a freelance job, in college
- High School Extra Curricular Activities Vs. Voluntarily Community Services
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Science
At some point, every science student will be assigned this type of essay. To keep things at flow, have a look at best compare and contrast essay example topics on science:
- Undiscovered Species on Earth Vs. Potential Life on Mars: What will we discover in the future?
- The benefits of Gasoline Powered Cars Vs. Electric Powered Cars
- The differences of the Milky Way Vs. Centaurus (Galaxies).
- Earthquakes Vs. Hurricanes: What should be prepared for the most?
- The differences between our moon and Mars’ moons.
- SpaceX Vs. NASA. What is done differently within these organizations?
- The differences and similarities between Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox’s theories on the cosmos. Do they agree or correspond with each other?
- Pregnancy Vs. Motherhood
- Jupiter Vs. Saturn
- Greenhouse Farming Vs. Polytunnel Farming
Sports & Leisure Topics
Studying Physical Education? Or a gym fanatic? Have a look at our compare and contrast essay topics for sports and leisure.
- The English Premier League Compared With The Bundesliga
- Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona
- Football Vs. Basketball
- Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner
- Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team: Main Factors and Differences
- Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing
- Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team
- Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.
- Manning Team Vs. Brazil Team
- Swimming Vs. Cycling
Topics About Culture
Culture can have several meanings. If you’re a Religious Studies or Culture student, take a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics about culture.
- The fundamental similarities and differences between Pope Francis and Tawadros II of Alexandria
- Canadian Vs. Australian Religion
- The differences between Islamic and Christian Holidays
- The cultural similarities and differences between the Native Aboriginals and Caucasian Australians
- Native American Culture Vs. New England Culture
- The cultural differences and similarities between Italians and Sicilians
- In-depth: The origins of Buddhism and Hinduism
- In-depth: The origins of Christianity and Islam
- Greek Gods Vs. Hindu Gods
- The Bible: Old Testament Vs. New Testament
Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
What about writing an essay which is out of the ordinary? Consider following these topics to write a compare and contrast essay on, that are unique.
- The reasons why some wealthy people pay extortionate amounts of money for gold-plated cell phones, rather than buying the normal phone.
- The differences between Lipton Tea and Ahmad Tea
- American Football Vs. British Football: What are their differences?
- The differences and similarities between France and Britain
- Fanta Vs. 7Up
- Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones
- The differences and similarities between Boston Dynamics and the fictional equivalent Skynet (From Terminator Movies).
- Socialism Vs. Capitalism: Which is better?
- Curved Screen TVs’ Vs. Regular Flat Screen TVs’: Are they really worth big bucks?
- Is it better to wear black or white at funerals?
Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Sometimes, it may be a requirement to take it back a notch. Especially if you’re new to these style of writing. Consider having a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics that are pretty easy to start off.
- Is it a good idea to work on weekdays or weekends?
- Black of White Coffee
- Becoming a teacher or a doctor? Which career choice has more of an impact on society?
- Air Travel Vs. Sea Travel: Which is better?
- Rail Travel Vs. Road Travel: Which is more convenient?
- What makes Europe far greater than Africa? In terms of financial growth, regulations, public funds, policies etc…
- Eating fruit for breakfast Vs. cereals
- Staying Home to Read Vs. Traveling the World During Holidays. Which is more beneficial for personal growth?
- Japanese Vs. Brazilian Cuisine
- What makes ASEAN Nations more efficient than African Nations?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About TV Shows, Music and Movies
We all enjoy at least one of these things. If not, all of them. Why not have a go at writing a compare and contrast essay about what you have been recently watching or listening to?
- Breaking Bad Vs. Better Call Saul: Which is more commonly binge watched?
- The differences between Dance Music and Heavy Metal
- James Bond Vs. Johnny English
- Iron Man Vs. The Incredible Hulk: Who would win?
- What is done differently in modern movies, compared to old black and white movies?
- Dumber and Dumber 2 Vs. Ted: Which movie is funnier?
- Are Horror movies or Action Movies best suited to you?
- The differences and similarities between Mozart and Beethoven compositions.
- Hip Hop Vs. Traditional Music
- Classical Music Vs. Pop Music. Which genre helps people concentrate?
Topics About Art
Sometimes, art students are required to write this style of essay. Have a look at these compare and contrast essay topics about the arts of the centuries.
- The fundamental differences and similarities between paintings and sculptures
- The different styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci.
- Viewing Original Art Compared With Digital Copies. How are these experiences different?
- 18th Century Paintings Vs. 21st Century Digitally Illustrated Images
- German Art Vs. American Art
- Modern Painting Vs. Modern Photography
- How can we compare modern graphic designers to 18th-century painters?
- Ancient Greek Art Vs. Ancient Egyptian Art
- Ancient Japanese Art Vs. Ancient Persian Art
- What 16th Century Painting Materials were used compared with the modern day?
Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Almost every student at any stage of academics is assigned this style of writing. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider looking at some of the best compare and contrast essay topics to get you on track with your writing.
- The United States and North Korea Governmental Conflict: What is the reason behind this phenomenon?
- In the Early Hours, Drinking Water is far healthier than consuming soda.
- The United States Vs. The People’s Republic of China: Which economy is the most efficient?
- Studying in Foreign Countries Vs. Studying In Your Hometown: Which is more of an advantage?
- Toast Vs. Cereal: Which is the most consumed in the morning?
- Sleeping Vs. Daydreaming: Which is the most commonly prefered? And amongst who?
- Learning French Vs. Chinese: Which is the most straightforward?
- Android Phones Vs. iPhones
- The Liberation of Slaves Vs. The Liberation of Women: Which is more remembered?
- The differences between the US Dollar and British Pound. What are their advantages? And How do they correspond with each other?
Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
In all types of academics, these essays occur. If you’re new to this style of writing, check our easy compare and contrast essay topics.
- The Third Reich Vs. North Korea
- Tea Vs. Coffee
- iPhone Vs. Samsung
- KFC Vs. Wendy’s
- Laurel or Yanny?
- Healthy Lifestyle Vs. Obese Lifestyle
- Forkes Vs. Sporks
- Rice Vs. Porridge
- Roast Dinner Vs. Chicken & Mushroom Pie
- What’s the difference between apples and oranges?
Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Deciding upon good compare and contrast essay topics for psychology assignments can be difficult. Consider referring to our list of 10 psychology compare and contrast essay topics to help get the deserved grades.
- What is a more severe eating order? Bulimia or Anorexia
- Modern Medicine Vs. Traditional Medicine for Treating Depression?
- Soft Drugs Vs. Hard Drugs. Which is more dangerous for people’s psychological well-being?
- How do the differences between Lust and Love have an effect on people’s mindsets?
- Ego Vs. Superego
- Parents Advice Vs. Peers Advice amongst children and teens.
- Strict Parenting Vs. Relaxed Parenting
- Mental Institutions Vs. Stress Clinics
- Bipolar Disorder Vs. Epilepsy
- How does child abuse affect victims in later life?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Sixth Graders
From time to time, your teacher will assign the task of writing a compare and contrast essay. It can be hard to choose a topic, especially for beginners. Check out our easy compare and contrast essay topics for sixth graders.
- Exam Preparation Vs. Homework Assignments
- Homeschooling Vs. Public Education
- High School Vs. Elementary School
- 5th Grade Vs. 6th Grade: What makes them different or the same?
- Are Moms’ or Dads’ more strict among children?
- Is it better to have strict parents or more open parents?
- Sandy Beaches Vs. Pebble Beaches: Which beaches are more popular?
- Is it a good idea to learn guitar or piano?
- Is it better to eat vegetable salads or pieces of fruit for lunch?
- 1st Grade Vs. 6th Grade
Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Sometimes, it is good to have a laugh. As they always say : 'laughter is the best medicine'. Check out these funny compare and contrast essay topics for a little giggle when writing.
- What is the best way to waste your time? Watching Funny Animal Videos or Mr. Bean Clips?
- Are Pug Dogs or Maltese Dogs crazier?
- Pot Noodles Vs. McDonalds Meals.
- What is the difference between Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson?
- Mrs. Doubtfire Vs. Mrs. Brown. How are they similar?
- Which game is more addictive? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds?
- Big Shaq Vs. PSY
- Stewie Griffin Vs. Maggie Simpson
- Quarter Pounders Vs. Big Macs
- Mr. Bean Vs. Alan Harper
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26 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Topics cover education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more.
Do your writers need some inspiration? If you’re teaching students to write a compare and contrast essay, a strong example is an invaluable tool. This round-up of our favorite compare and contrast essays covers a range of topics and grade levels, so no matter your students’ interests or ages, you’ll always have a helpful example to share. You’ll find links to full essays about education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more. (Need essay ideas? Check out our big list of compare and contrast essay topics! )
What is a compare and contrast essay?
When choosing a compare and contrast essay example to include on this list, we considered the structure. A strong compare and contrast essay begins with an introductory paragraph that includes background context and a strong thesis. Next, the body includes paragraphs that explore the similarities and differences. Finally, a concluding paragraph restates the thesis, draws any necessary inferences, and asks any remaining questions.
A compare and contrast essay example can be an opinion piece comparing two things and making a conclusion about which is better. For example, “Is Tom Brady really the GOAT?” It can also help consumers decide which product is better suited to them. Should you keep your subscription to Hulu or Netflix? Should you stick with Apple or explore Android? Here’s our list of compare and contrast essay samples categorized by subject.
Education and Parenting Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Private school vs. public school.
“Deciding whether to send a child to public or private school can be a tough choice for parents. … Data on whether public or private education is better can be challenging to find and difficult to understand, and the cost of private school can be daunting. … According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, public schools still attract far more students than private schools, with 50.7 million students attending public school as of 2018. Private school enrollment in the fall of 2017 was 5.7 million students, a number that is down from 6 million in 1999.”
Which parenting style is right for you?
Sample lines: “The three main types of parenting are on a type of ‘sliding scale’ of parenting, with permissive parenting as the least strict type of parenting. Permissive parenting typically has very few rules, while authoritarian parenting is thought of as a very strict, rule-driven type of parenting.”
Masked Education? The Benefits and Burdens of Wearing Face Masks in Schools During the Current Corona Pandemic
Sample lines: “Face masks can prevent the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2. … However, covering the lower half of the face reduces the ability to communicate. Positive emotions become less recognizable, and negative emotions are amplified. Emotional mimicry, contagion, and emotionality in general are reduced and (thereby) bonding between teachers and learners, group cohesion, and learning—of which emotions are a major driver. The benefits and burdens of face masks in schools should be seriously considered and made obvious and clear to teachers and students.”
Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Netflix vs. hulu 2023: which is the best streaming service.
Sample lines: “Netflix fans will point to its high-quality originals, including The Witcher , Stranger Things , Emily in Paris , Ozark , and more, as well as a wide variety of documentaries like Cheer , The Last Dance , My Octopus Teacher , and many others. It also boasts a much larger subscription base, with more than 222 million subscribers compared to Hulu’s 44 million. Hulu, on the other hand, offers a variety of extras such as HBO and Showtime—content that’s unavailable on Netflix. Its price tag is also cheaper than the competition, with its $7/mo. starting price, which is a bit more palatable than Netflix’s $10/mo. starting price.”
Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes?
Sample lines: “In the past, we would have to drag around heavy books if we were really into reading. Now, we can have all of those books, and many more, stored in one handy little device that can easily be stuffed into a backpack, purse, etc. … Many of us still prefer to hold an actual book in our hands. We love how books feel. We love how books smell (especially old books). We love books, period. … But, whether you use a Kindle or prefer hardcover books or paperbacks, the main thing is that you enjoy reading. A story in a book or on a Kindle device can open up new worlds, take you to fantasy worlds, educate you, entertain you, and so much more.”
iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?
“The iPhone vs. Android comparison is a never-ending debate on which one is best. It will likely never have a real winner, but we’re going to try and help you to find your personal pick all the same. The latest version of both operating systems—iOS 16 and Android 13—are both excellent, but in slightly different ways. Many of their features overlap, but design-wise they look quite different, aside from the basic touchscreen-focused layout. … Owning an iPhone is a simpler, more convenient experience. … Android-device ownership is a bit harder. …”
Cutting the cord: Is streaming or cable better for you?
Sample lines: “Cord-cutting has become a popular trend in recent years, thanks to the rise of streaming services. For those unfamiliar, cord cutting is the process of canceling your cable subscription and instead, relying on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu to watch your favorite shows and movies. The primary difference is that you can select your streaming services à la carte while cable locks you in on a set number of channels through bundles. So, the big question is: should you cut the cord?”
PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch
Sample lines: “The crux of the comparison comes down to portability versus power. Being able to migrate fully fledged Nintendo games from a big screen to a portable device is a huge asset—and one that consumers have taken to, especially given the Nintendo Switch’s meteoric sales figures. … It is worth noting that many of the biggest franchises like Call of Duty, Madden, modern Resident Evil titles, newer Final Fantasy games, Grand Theft Auto, and open-world Ubisoft adventures like Assassin’s Creed will usually skip Nintendo Switch due to its lack of power. The inability to play these popular games practically guarantees that a consumer will pick up a modern system, while using the Switch as a secondary device.”
What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram?
Sample lines: “Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Facebook and Instagram? Instagram and Facebook are by far the most popular social media channels used by digital marketers. Not to mention that they’re also the biggest platforms used by internet users worldwide. So, today we’ll look into the differences and similarities between these two platforms to help you figure out which one is the best fit for your business.”
Digital vs. Analog Watches—What’s the Difference?
Sample lines: “In short, digital watches use an LCD or LED screen to display the time. Whereas, an analog watch features three hands to denote the hour, minutes, and seconds. With the advancement in watch technology and research, both, analog and digital watches have received significant improvements over the years. Especially, in terms of design, endurance, and accompanying features. … At the end of the day, whether you go analog or digital, it’s a personal preference to make based on your style, needs, functions, and budget.”
Pop Culture Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Christina aguilera vs. britney spears.
Sample lines: “Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera was the Coke vs. Pepsi of 1999 — no, really, Christina repped Coke and Britney shilled for Pepsi. The two teen idols released debut albums seven months apart before the turn of the century, with Britney’s becoming a standard-bearer for bubblegum pop and Aguilera’s taking an R&B bent to show off her range. … It’s clear that Spears and Aguilera took extremely divergent paths following their simultaneous breakout successes.”
Harry Styles vs. Ed Sheeran
Sample lines: “The world heard our fantasies and delivered us two titans simultaneously—we have been blessed with Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles. Our cup runneth over; our bounty is immeasurable. More remarkable still is the fact that both have released albums almost at the same time: Ed’s third, Divide , was released in March and broke the record for one-day Spotify streams, while Harry’s frenziedly anticipated debut solo, called Harry Styles , was released yesterday.”
The Grinch: Three Versions Compared
Sample lines: “Based on the original story of the same name, this movie takes a completely different direction by choosing to break away from the cartoony form that Seuss had established by filming the movie in a live-action form. Whoville is preparing for Christmas while the Grinch looks down upon their celebrations in disgust. Like the previous film, The Grinch hatches a plan to ruin Christmas for the Who’s. … Like in the original Grinch, he disguises himself as Santa Claus, and makes his dog, Max, into a reindeer. He then takes all of the presents from the children and households. … Cole’s favorite is the 2000 edition, while Alex has only seen the original. Tell us which one is your favorite.”
Historical and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Malcom x vs. martin luther king jr.: comparison between two great leaders’ ideologies .
Sample lines: “Although they were fighting for civil rights at the same time, their ideology and way of fighting were completely distinctive. This can be for a plethora of reasons: background, upbringing, the system of thought, and vision. But keep in mind, they devoted their whole life to the same prospect. … Through boycotts and marches, he [King] hoped to end racial segregation. He felt that the abolition of segregation would improve the likelihood of integration. Malcolm X, on the other hand, spearheaded a movement for black empowerment.”
Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear
Sample lines: “The contrast is even clearer when we look to the future. Trump promises more tax cuts, more military spending, more deficits and deeper cuts in programs for the vulnerable. He plans to nominate a coal lobbyist to head the Environmental Protection Agency. … Obama says America must move forward, and he praises progressive Democrats. … With Obama and then Trump, Americans have elected two diametrically opposed leaders leading into two very different directions.”
Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Lebron james vs. kobe bryant: a complete comparison.
Sample lines: “LeBron James has achieved so much in his career that he is seen by many as the greatest of all time, or at least the only player worthy of being mentioned in the GOAT conversation next to Michael Jordan. Bridging the gap between Jordan and LeBron though was Kobe Bryant. … Should his name be mentioned more though? Can he compare to LeBron or is The King too far past The Black Mamba in historical rankings already?”
NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison
Sample lines: “Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were largely considered the best quarterbacks in the NFL for the majority of the time they spent in the league together, with the icons having many head-to-head clashes in the regular season and on the AFC side of the NFL Playoffs. Manning was the leader of the Indianapolis Colts of the AFC South. … Brady spent his career as the QB of the AFC East’s New England Patriots, before taking his talents to Tampa Bay.”
Lifestyle Choices Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Mobile home vs. tiny house: similarities, differences, pros & cons.
Sample lines: “Choosing the tiny home lifestyle enables you to spend more time with those you love. The small living space ensures quality bonding time rather than hiding away in a room or behind a computer screen. … You’ll be able to connect closer to nature and find yourself able to travel the country at any given moment. On the other hand, we have the mobile home. … They are not built to be moved on a constant basis. … While moving the home again *is* possible, it may cost you several thousand dollars.”
Whole Foods vs. Walmart: The Story of Two Grocery Stores
Sample lines: “It is clear that both stores have very different stories and aims when it comes to their customers. Whole Foods looks to provide organic, healthy, exotic, and niche products for an audience with a very particular taste. … Walmart … looks to provide the best deals … and every big brand for a broader audience. … Moreover, they look to make buying affordable and accessible, and focus on the capitalist nature of buying.”
Artificial Grass vs. Turf: The Real Differences Revealed
Sample lines: “The key difference between artificial grass and turf is their intended use. Artificial turf is largely intended to be used for sports, so it is shorter and tougher. On the other hand, artificial grass is generally longer, softer and more suited to landscaping purposes. Most homeowners would opt for artificial grass as a replacement for a lawn, for example. Some people actually prefer playing sports on artificial grass, too … artificial grass is often softer and more bouncy, giving it a feel similar to playing on a grassy lawn. … At the end of the day, which one you will choose will depend on your specific household and needs.”
Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases
Sample lines: “Maximalists love shopping, especially finding unique pieces. They see it as a hobby—even a skill—and a way to express their personality. Minimalists don’t like shopping and see it as a waste of time and money. They’d instead use those resources to create memorable experiences. Maximalists desire one-of-a-kind possessions. Minimalists are happy with duplicates—for example, personal uniforms. … Minimalism and maximalism are about being intentional with your life and belongings. It’s about making choices based on what’s important to you.”
Healthcare Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Similarities and differences between the health systems in australia & usa.
Sample lines: “Australia and the United States are two very different countries. They are far away from each other, have contrasting fauna and flora, differ immensely by population, and have vastly different healthcare systems. The United States has a population of 331 million people, compared to Australia’s population of 25.5 million people.”
Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate
Sample lines: “Disadvantages of universal healthcare include significant upfront costs and logistical challenges. On the other hand, universal healthcare may lead to a healthier populace, and thus, in the long-term, help to mitigate the economic costs of an unhealthy nation. In particular, substantial health disparities exist in the United States, with low socio-economic status segments of the population subject to decreased access to quality healthcare and increased risk of non-communicable chronic conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes, among other determinants of poor health.”
Animals Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Compare and contrast paragraph—dogs and cats.
Sample lines: “Researchers have found that dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have. Specifically, dogs had around 530 million neurons, whereas the domestic cat only had 250 million neurons. Moreover, dogs can be trained to learn and respond to our commands, but although your cat understands your name, and anticipates your every move, he/she may choose to ignore you.”
Giddyup! The Differences Between Horses and Dogs
Sample lines: “Horses are prey animals with a deep herding instinct. They are highly sensitive to their environment, hyper aware and ready to take flight if needed. Just like dogs, some horses are more confident than others, but just like dogs, all need a confident handler to teach them what to do. Some horses are highly reactive and can be spooked by the smallest things as are dogs. … Another distinction between horses and dogs … was that while dogs have been domesticated , horses have been tamed. … Both species have influenced our culture more than any other species on the planet.
Exotic, Domesticated, and Wild Pets
Sample lines: “Although the words ‘exotic’ and ‘wild’ are frequently used interchangeably, many people do not fully understand how these categories differ when it comes to pets. ‘A wild animal is an indigenous, non-domesticated animal, meaning that it is native to the country where you are located,’ Blue-McLendon explained. ‘For Texans, white-tailed deer, pronghorn sheep, raccoons, skunks, and bighorn sheep are wild animals … an exotic animal is one that is wild but is from a different continent than where you live.’ For example, a hedgehog in Texas would be considered an exotic animal, but in the hedgehog’s native country, it would be considered wildlife.”
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Compare & Contrast Essays How things are similar or different
Compare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs which compare or contrast. This page gives information on what a compare and contrast essay is , how to structure this type of essay, how to use compare and contrast structure words , and how to make sure you use appropriate criteria for comparison/contrast . There is also an example compare and contrast essay on the topic of communication technology, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area.
What are compare & contrast essays?
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To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ. A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two characters in a novel, etc. Sometimes the whole essay will compare and contrast, though sometimes the comparison or contrast may be only part of the essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed. See the examples below.
- Compare and contrast Newton's ideas of gravity with those proposed by Einstein ['compare and contrast' essay]
- Examine how the economies of Spain and China are similar ['compare' only essay]
- Explain the differences between Achaemenid Empire and Parthian Empire ['contrast' only essay]
There are two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure. For the block structure, all of the information about one of the objects being compared/contrasted is given first, and all of the information about the other object is listed afterwards. This type of structure is similar to the block structure used for cause and effect and problem-solution essays. For the point-by-point structure, each similarity (or difference) for one object is followed immediately by the similarity (or difference) for the other. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is easier to write, while the latter is generally clearer as it ensures that the similarities/differences are more explicit.
The two types of structure, block and point-by-point , are shown in the diagram below.
Compare and Contrast Structure Words
Compare and contrast structure words are transition signals which show the similarities or differences. Below are some common examples.
- both... and...
- not only... but also...
- neither... nor...
- just like (+ noun)
- similar to (+ noun)
- to be similar (to)
- to be the same as
- to be alike
- to compare (to/with)
- Computers can be used to communicate easily, for example via email. Similarly/Likewise , the mobile phone is a convenient tool for communication.
- Both computers and mobile phones can be used to communicate easily with other people.
- Just like the computer, the mobile phone can be used to communicate easily with other people.
- The computer is similar to the mobile phone in the way it can be used for easy communication.
- In contrast
- In comparison
- By comparison
- On the other hand
- to differ from
- to be different (from)
- to be dissimilar to
- to be unlike
- Computers, although increasingly small, are not always easy to carry from one place to another. However , the mobile phone can be carried with ease.
- Computers are generally not very portable, whereas the mobile phone is.
- Computers differ from mobile phones in their lack of portability.
- Computers are unlike mobile phones in their lack of portability.
Criteria for comparison/contrast
When making comparisons or contrasts, it is important to be clear what criteria you are using. Study the following example, which contrasts two people. Here the criteria are unclear.
- Aaron is tall and strong. In contrast , Bruce is handsome and very intelligent.
Although this sentence has a contrast transition , the criteria for contrasting are not the same. The criteria used for Aaron are height (tall) and strength (strong). We would expect similar criteria to be used for Bruce (maybe he is short and weak), but instead we have new criteria, namely appearance (handsome) and intelligence (intelligent). This is a common mistake for students when writing this type of paragraph or essay. Compare the following, which has much clearer criteria (contrast structure words shown in bold).
- Aaron and Bruce differ in four ways. The first difference is height. Aaron is tall, while Bruce is short. A second difference is strength. Aaron is strong. In contrast , Bruce is weak. A third difference is appearance. Aaron, who is average looking, differs from Bruce, who is handsome. The final difference is intelligence. Aaron is of average intelligence. Bruce, on the other hand , is very intelligent.
Below is a compare and contrast essay. This essay uses the point-by-point structure . Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. similarities, differences, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary , as these repeat the comparisons and contrasts contained in the main body.
Title: There have been many advances in technology over the past fifty years. These have revolutionised the way we communicate with people who are far away. Compare and contrast methods of communication used today with those which were used in the past.
Before the advent of computers and modern technology, people communicating over long distances used traditional means such as letters and the telephone. Nowadays we have a vast array of communication tools which can complete this task, ranging from email to instant messaging and video calls. While the present and previous means of communication are similar in their general form , they differ in regard to their speed and the range of tools available . One similarity between current and previous methods of communication relates to the form of communication. In the past, both written forms such as letters were frequently used, in addition to oral forms such as telephone calls. Similarly , people nowadays use both of these forms. Just as in the past, written forms of communication are prevalent, for example via email and text messaging. In addition, oral forms are still used, including the telephone, mobile phone, and voice messages via instant messaging services. However , there are clearly many differences in the way we communicate over long distances, the most notable of which is speed. This is most evident in relation to written forms of communication. In the past, letters would take days to arrive at their destination. In contrast , an email arrives almost instantaneously and can be read seconds after it was sent. In the past, if it was necessary to send a short message, for example at work, a memo could be passed around the office, which would take some time to circulate. This is different from the current situation, in which a text message can be sent immediately. Another significant difference is the range of communication methods. Fifty years ago, the tools available for communicating over long distances were primarily the telephone and the letter. By comparison , there are a vast array of communication methods available today. These include not only the telephone, letter, email and text messages already mentioned, but also video conferences via software such as Skype or mobile phone apps such as WeChat, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In conclusion, methods of communication have greatly advanced over the past fifty years. While there are some similarities, such as the forms of communication , there are significant differences, chiefly in relation to the speed of communication and the range of communication tools available . There is no doubt that technology will continue to progress in future, and the advanced tools which we use today may one day also become outdated.
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Below is a checklist for compare and contrast essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.
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Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .
Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.
Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).
Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.
Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).
Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.
Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.
50 Great Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Compare and contrast refers to the process of demonstrating the differences between two concepts. It’s an essential higher-order skill required for getting higher grades in your essays!
The compare and contrast method is a way to demonstrate your depth of understanding about two or more topics.
It is considered a type of analysis , which is often a target verb in your assessment outlines. So, if you are told to “analyze” something, comparing and contrasting is a strategy to achieve this!
How to Compare and Contrast
One simplified way to compare and contrast is to consider ‘compare’ as identifying similarities and ‘contrast’ as identifying differences :
More complex strategies include the Venn Diagram method, criterion analysis, and rank ordering, as displayed below.
See Also: Best Transition Words for Essay Paragraphs
1. Venn Diagram Method
A Venn Diagram is a concept map that asks you to demonstrate similarities and differences between concepts. It involves two overlapping circles. In the overlapping part (red, below), write the similarities. In the side sections, write the unique aspects of each item:
In my seminars, I ask my students to complete Venn Diagrams of the topics they are comparing and contrasting in their essays. This simple procedure helps you to clarify what you want to say is unique about each item, as well as how you want to demonstrate differences between them.
Have a go at creating your own venn diagram for your compare and contrast topic before writing your essay – it will surely help you focus and get the information down on the essay in a clear and ordered way!
2. Criteria Analysis
Criteria analysis involves comparing and contrasting two or more items based upon a pre-determined criteria. For example, if comparing cats and dogs, you criteria might be ‘domestication history’, ‘social structure’, ‘grooming’, ‘training and obedience’, and exercise needs. We can then compare them as below:
I find that criteria analysis can help us to create a well-ordered and more objective structure for your essay.
Once you’ve selected your criteria and created a table like the one above, you can write one paragraph for each criterion, so the above table would be turned into five compare and contrast paragraphs in your essay .
3. Rank Ordering
Rank ordering involves comparing items or ideas by placing them on a scale or hierarchy. This goes a step beyond criteria analysis by comparing and contrasting based upon scales and analyses.
Take, for example, rank ordering London versus New York versus Paris on a range of rankable criteria:
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
The following are 5-paragraph essay outlines that use my compare and contrast method, which is broken down into the following five paragraphs:
- The definition paragraph ( description level)
- The similarities paragraph ( analysis level)
- The differences paragraph ( analysis level)
- The evaluation paragraph ( evaluation level)
- The implications paragraph ( evaluation level)
City Living vs. Country Living
- Definitions of Terms: City living refers to residing in an urban area, while country living pertains to life in rural environments.
- Similarity 1: Both city-living and country-living provide opportunities for community engagement.
- Similarity 2: Both environments necessitate some form of transportation for commuting and access to essential services.
- Difference 1: City living often implies faster-paced life with more stressors, whereas country living is typically slower paced and quieter.
- Difference 2: Urban areas offer more amenities such as shopping centers, restaurants, and cultural venues, whereas rural areas have abundant natural spaces.
- Evaluation: Both lifestyles have their advantages and drawbacks, dependent largely upon individual preference .
- Implications: The choice between city and country living can significantly affect one’s quality of life, stress levels, and access to services.
Public Schools vs. Private Schools
- Definitions of Terms: Public schools are government-funded institutions open to all students, while private schools are funded by tuition fees and private donations and may have selective admissions.
- Similarity 1: Both public and private schools are committed to educating students and developing their skills and talents.
- Similarity 2: Both types of schools must adhere to general educational standards and employ qualified teachers.
- Difference 1: Public schools offer a diverse environment due to their open admission, whereas private schools often have a more homogeneous student body.
- Difference 2: Private schools often have more resources and smaller class sizes than public schools.
- Evaluation: Both school types strive to provide high-quality education but may do so via different methods and resources.
- Implications: The choice between public and private schooling can have implications for a student’s educational experience, social diversity exposure, and family finances.
Traditional Books vs. E-books
- Definitions of Terms: Traditional books refer to physical, bound print media, while e-books are electronic versions of printed books read on digital devices.
- Similarity 1: Both traditional books and e-books convey written information or literature to the reader.
- Similarity 2: Both formats allow the reader to enjoy a multitude of genres and titles.
- Difference 1: Traditional books provide a tactile reading experience, whereas e-books are read on a device.
- Difference 2: E-books are more portable and storage-friendly than traditional books.
- Evaluation: Choosing between traditional books and e-books largely falls to personal preference and convenience.
- Implications: The decision may influence the reading experience, accessibility, cost, and even eye health.
Movies vs. Theater Plays
- Definitions of Terms: Movies are recorded visual content typically played in cinemas or on TV, while theater plays are live performances staged in theatres.
- Similarity 1: Both movies and theater plays offer formatted storytelling mediums to entertain audiences.
- Similarity 2: Both mediums provide a broad spectrum of genres, from drama to comedy, romance to action.
- Difference 1: Movies leverage advanced technology to enhance storytelling, whereas theater plays rely more on human performances and minimal props.
- Difference 2: Theater plays introduce the unique element of live performance, while movies provide perfectly timed and edited scenes for a flawless viewing experience.
- Evaluation: Preference between movies and theater plays tends to hinge on one’s taste for technological enhancements or live performances.
- Implications: The choice affects one’s engagement in the storyline and can influence the level of immersion in the presented piece.
Working Part-time vs. Volunteering
- Definitions of Terms: Part-time work refers to paid employment with fewer hours per week compared to full-time jobs, while volunteering involves donating one’s time and skills for altruistic purposes without pay.
- Similarity 1: Both part-time work and volunteering provide opportunities to gain experience and build skills.
- Similarity 2: Both require commitment and dedication.
- Difference 1: Part-time jobs provide income, while volunteering does not.
- Difference 2: Volunteering often offers a wider range of roles, with more flexibility than part-time jobs.
- Evaluation: The preference for part-time work or volunteering is likely to depend on personal needs, priorities, and financial stability.
- Implications: Choosing between the two can shape an individual’s career path, financial situation, and personal growth.
Cats vs. Dogs
- Definitions of Terms: Pet ownership refers to being responsible for an animal’s wellbeing. Cats and dogs are two of the most popular domesticated animals in this context.
- Similarity 1: Both cats and dogs provide companionship for their owners.
- Similarity 2: Caring for either a cat or dog requires a significant time, effort, and financial commitment.
- Difference 1: Dogs typically demand more attention and exercise than cats.
- Difference 2: Cats, being more independent creatures, are often easier to care for in terms of day-to-day demands.
- Evaluation: The decision between a cat or dog depends on one’s lifestyle, commitment level, and personal preference.
- Implications: Adding a pet to your life can bring joy, companionship, and additional responsibilities, affecting an individual’s routine, expenditures, and emotional wellbeing.
Handwriting vs. Typing
- Definitions of Terms: Handwriting refers to writing by hand using instruments like pens or pencils, while typing involves entering text via a keyboard.
- Similarity 1: Both handwriting and typing serve to record information and thoughts.
- Similarity 2: Both methods can be used across a variety of platforms, like notebooks or digital devices.
- Difference 1: Handwriting tends to enhance memory retention more than typing due to its motor movements.
- Difference 2: Typing is often faster and enables easier edits than handwriting.
- Evaluation: The effectiveness of note-taking can depend on the individual preference between handwriting or typing.
- Implications: The preferred note-taking method may have an effect on productivity, learning efficiency, and workflow organization.
Renting Movies vs. Streaming Services
- Definitions of Terms: Renting movies involves obtaining a movie for a temporary period, usually through DVD rental shops, while streaming services provide access to broad libraries of movies via a subscription model.
- Similarity 1: Both renting movies and streaming provide access to a variety of films.
- Similarity 2: Both provide the comfort of watching movies at home.
- Difference 1: Renting movies usually involves a physical exchange, while streaming services utilize internet access.
- Difference 2: Streaming services offer an extensive library for a flat fee; renting movies usually incurs a cost per movie.
- Evaluation: The choice between renting and streaming comes down to factors such as cost, convenience, movie availability, and technological prowess.
- Implications: This choice can impact one’s entertainment experience, movie choices, and related spending.
Early Birds vs. Night Owls
- Definitions of Terms: Early birds are individuals who tend to wake up and function best in the morning, while night owls are people who stay up late and are productive at night.
- Similarity 1: Both early birds and night owls have specific periods of peak productivity.
- Similarity 2: Both can adjust their schedules to maximize productivity during their preferred time frames.
- Difference 1: Early birds may benefit more from the conventional 9-to-5 work or school schedules, while night owls may possibly struggle with early starts.
- Difference 2: Night owls might find peace and silence in the late evening hours for focused work, while early birds would experience similar conditions in the early morning.
- Evaluation: Being an early bird or a night owl generally aligns with an individual’s biological predisposition or lifestyle preferences.
- Implications: One’s designation may influence productivity levels, schedule preferences, and overall health.
Modern Pop Music vs. Classic Rock
- Definitions of Terms: Modern pop music is a genre characterized by its wide appeal and catchy style, often championed by younger demographics, while classic rock represents a genre of music that peaked in popularity in the late 20th century, characterized by strong rhythms and guitar-based sounds.
- Similarity 1: Both modern pop and classic rock aim to entertain, express, and connect with the audience.
- Similarity 2: Both genres have produced renowned artists and timeless music.
- Difference 1: Modern pop often incorporates electronic elements and is more influenced by contemporary trends, while classic rock heavily encompasses natural instrumentation and iconic guitar solos.
- Difference 2: The thematic contents and lyrical construction of the two genres vary significantly, with classic rock often embodying a more rebellious spirit compared to pop music.
- Evaluation: The choice between modern pop and classic rock usually comes down to personal taste, cultural exposure, and age.
- Implications: The music genre preference can reflect an individual’s personality, influence mood, and shape emotional experiences.
Sociology Compare & Contrast Essay Topic Ideas
- Eastern Family Traditions vs. Western Family Traditions
- Capitalism vs. Socialism
- Urban Living vs. Rural Living
- Individualistic Societies vs. Collectivist Societies
- Monogamy vs. Polygamy
- Nuclear Families vs. Extended Families
- Secular Societies vs. Religious Societies
- Traditional Education vs. Homeschooling
- Ageing Populations in Japan vs. Young Populations in Nigeria
- Ethnic Enclaves vs. Assimilated Communities
- Role of Women in Western Societies vs. Middle Eastern Societies
- Developed Countries vs. Developing Countries
- Single-child Policy in China vs. Expansive Families in India
- Arranged Marriages vs. Love Marriages
- Rural Migrations to Cities in Africa vs. Asia
- Gender Roles in Traditional Societies vs. Modern Societies
- Subcultures vs. Countercultures
- Social Impacts of the Internet Age vs. The Industrial Revolution
- Role of Community in Individualistic vs. Collectivist Cultures
- Social Effects of Unemployment in European vs. African Nations
Psychology Compare & Contrast Essay Topic Ideas
- Freudian vs. Jungian Psychoanalysis
- Nature vs. Nurture
- Behaviorism vs. Cognitive Psychology
- IQ Tests vs. EQ Tests
- Child vs. Adult Cognitive Development
- Classical Conditioning vs. Operant Conditioning
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs vs. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
- Short-term Memory vs. Long-term Memory
- Traditional Therapy vs. Online Therapy
- Anxiety vs. Depression
- Bipolar Disorder vs. Schizophrenia
- Stress in Adolescents vs. Stress in Adults
- Dream Analysis: Freudian vs. Jungian
- Social Psychology vs. Cultural Psychology
- Substance Addiction vs. Behavioral Addiction
- Humanistic Psychology vs. Evolutionary Psychology
- ADHD vs. Autism
- Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation
- Introverted vs. Extroverted Personalities
- Psychoanalytic Therapy vs. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Compare and contrast is all about higher-order thinking . To conduct a compare and contrast, you’re engaging in analysis , which is a step required in order to achieve the next layer of higher-order thinking skills : evaluation. Whether you’re writing a direct compare and contrast essay or simply an argumentative essay , comparing and contrasting your ideas helps you to demonstrate your depth of knowledge to your teacher and build your grades!
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Compare And Contrast Essay Guide
Compare And Contrast Essay Examples
Last updated on: Jun 2, 2023
Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples For Your Help
By: Barbara P.
Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.
Published on: Mar 22, 2023
Are you ready to challenge your critical thinking skills and take your writing to the next level? Look no further than the exciting world of compare and contrast essays!
As a college student, you'll have the unique opportunity to delve into the details and differences of a variety of subjects. But don't let the pressure of writing the perfect compare-and-contrast essay weigh you down.
To help guide you on this journey, we've got some great compare-and-contrast essay examples. It will make the writing process not only manageable but also enjoyable. So grab a pen and paper, and let's get started on this exciting adventure!
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Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
A compare and contrast essay is all about comparing two subjects. Writing essays is not always easy, but it can be made easier with help from the examples before you write your own first. The examples will give you an idea of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay.
We have compiled a selection of free compare-and-contrast essay examples that can help you structure this type of essay.
SAMPLE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY INTRODUCTION EXAMPLE
BOOK COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
CITY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
CATS & DOGS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
SCIENCE & ART COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
E-BOOKS & HARDBACK BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
HOMESCHOOLING BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
PARENTING STYLES COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY
Don't know how to map out your compare and contrast essay? Visit this link to learn how to perfectly outline your essay!
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples University
Compare and contrast paper is a common assignments for university students. This type of essay tells the reader how two subjects are the same or different from each other. Also, show the points of comparison between the two subjects.
Look at the example that is mentioned below and create a well-written essay.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE UNIVERSITY
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples College
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE COLLEGE
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples High School
Compare and contrast essays are often assigned to high school students to help them improve their analytical skills .
In addition, some teachers assign this type of essay because it is a great way for students to improve their analytical and writing skills.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE HIGH SCHOOL
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE 9TH GRADE
Check out the video below to gain a quick and visual comprehension of what a compare and contrast essay entails.
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Middle school
In middle school, students have the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay. It does not require an expert level of skills, but it is still a way to improve writing skills.
Middle school students can easily write a compare-and-contrast essay with a little help from examples. We have gathered excellent examples of this essay that you can use to get started.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLES 5TH GRADE
Literary Analysis Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
The perfect way to inform readers about the pros and cons of two subjects is with a comparison and contrast essay.
It starts by stating the thesis statement, and then you explain why these two subjects are being compared in this essay.
The following is an example that you can use for your help.
LITERARY ANALYSIS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion Example
The conclusion of an essay is the last part, in which you wrap up everything. It should not include a story but rather summarize the whole document so readers have something meaningful they can take away from it.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY CONCLUSION EXAMPLE
Struggling to think of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay topic ? Visit this link for a multitude of inspiring ideas.
Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips
A compare and contrast essay presents the facts point by point, and mostly, the argumentative essay uses this compared-contrasted technique for its subjects.
If you are looking for some easy and simple tips to craft a perfectly researched and structured compare and contrast essay, we will not disappoint you.
Following are some quick tips that you can keep in mind while writing your essay:
- Choose the essay topic carefully.
- Research and brainstorm the points that make them similar and different.
- Create and add your main statement and claim.
- Create a Venn diagram and show the similarities and differences.
- Choose the design through which you will present your arguments and claims.
- Create compare and contrast essay outline. Use either the block method or the point-by-point structure.
- Research and add credible supporting evidence.
- Transitioning is also important. Use transitional words and phrases to engage your readers.
- Edit, proofread, and revise the essay before submission.
Create captivating essays effortlessly!
In conclusion, writing a compare and contrast essay can be an effective way to explore the similarities and differences between two topics. By using examples, it is possible to see the different approaches that can be taken when writing this type of essay.
Whether you are a student or a professional writer, these examples can provide valuable insight to enhance your writing skills. But you still don’t have to take on this challenge alone.
If you don’t feel confident in your writing skills, you can always hire our professional essay writer .
5StarEssays.com offer comprehensive essay writing service for students across the globe. Our experts are highly trained and qualified, making sure all of your essays will meet academic requirements while receiving top grades.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do i write a compare and contrast essay.
Here are some steps that you should follow and write a great essay.
- Begin by brainstorming with a Venn diagram.
- Create a thesis statement.
- Develop an outline.
- Write the introduction.
- Write the body paragraphs.
- Write the conclusion.
How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?
When writing a compare and contrast essay, it is important to have an engaging introduction that will grab the reader's attention. A good way to do this would be by starting with a question or fact related to the topic to catch their interest.
What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?
Here are some good topics for compare and contrast essay:
- E-books or textbooks.
- Anxiety vs. Depression.
- Vegetables and fruits.
- Cinnamon vs. sugar.
- Similarities between cultural and traditional fashion trends.
How long is a compare and contrast essay?
Usually, a compare and contrast essay would consist of five paragraphs but there are no hard and fast rules regarding it. Some essays could be longer than five paragraphs, based on the scope of the topic of the essay.
What are the two methods for arranging a comparison and contrast essay?
The two ways to organize and arrange your compare and contrast essay. The first one is the Point-by-Point method and the second one is the Block method.
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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- Student Sample: Compare/Contrast Essay
Compare and Contrast Essay
Comparing and contrasting london and washington, dc.
Both Washington, DC, and London are capital cities of English-speaking countries, and yet they offer vastly different experiences to their residents and visitors. Comparing and contrasting the two cities based on their history, their culture, and their residents show how different and similar the two are.
Both cities are rich in world and national history, though they developed on very different time lines. London, for example, has a history that dates back over two thousand years. It was part of the Roman Empire and known by the similar name, Londinium. It was not only one of the northernmost points of the Roman Empire but also the epicenter of the British Empire where it held significant global influence from the early sixteenth century on through the early twentieth century. Washington, DC, on the other hand, has only formally existed since the late eighteenth century. Though Native Americans inhabited the land several thousand years earlier, and settlers inhabited the land as early as the sixteenth century, the city did not become the capital of the United States until the 1790s. From that point onward to today, however, Washington, DC, has increasingly maintained significant global influence. Even though both cities have different histories, they have both held, and continue to hold, significant social influence in the economic and cultural global spheres.
Both Washington, DC, and London offer a wide array of museums that harbor many of the world’s most prized treasures. While Washington, DC, has the National Gallery of Art and several other Smithsonian galleries, London’s art scene and galleries have a definite edge in this category. From the Tate Modern to the British National Gallery, London’s art ranks among the world’s best. This difference and advantage has much to do with London and Britain’s historical depth compared to that of the United States. London has a much richer past than Washington, DC, and consequently has a lot more material to pull from when arranging its collections. Both cities have thriving theater districts, but again, London wins this comparison, too, both in quantity and quality of theater choices. With regard to other cultural places like restaurants, pubs, and bars, both cities are very comparable. Both have a wide selection of expensive, elegant restaurants as well as a similar amount of global and national chains. While London may be better known for its pubs and taste in beer, DC offers a different bar-going experience. With clubs and pubs that tend to stay open later than their British counterparts, the DC night life tend to be less reserved overall.
Both cities also share and differ in cultural diversity and cost of living. Both cities share a very expensive cost of living—both in terms of housing and shopping. A downtown one-bedroom apartment in DC can easily cost $1,800 per month, and a similar “flat” in London may double that amount. These high costs create socioeconomic disparity among the residents. Although both cities’ residents are predominantly wealthy, both have a significantly large population of poor and homeless. Perhaps the most significant difference between the resident demographics is the racial makeup. Washington, DC, is a “minority majority” city, which means the majority of its citizens are races other than white. In 2009, according to the US Census, 55 percent of DC residents were classified as “Black or African American” and 35 percent of its residents were classified as “white.” London, by contrast, has very few minorities—in 2006, 70 percent of its population was “white,” while only 10 percent was “black.” The racial demographic differences between the cities is drastic.
Even though Washington, DC, and London are major capital cities of English-speaking countries in the Western world, they have many differences along with their similarities. They have vastly different histories, art cultures, and racial demographics, but they remain similar in their cost of living and socioeconomic disparity.
- Compare/Contrast Essay. Authored by : Anonymous. Provided by : Anonymous. Located at : http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Writing%20for%20Success.pdf . License : CC BY-NC-SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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Comparing and contrasting may seem like the same action. But it’s not. That’s why writing a compare and contrast essay sample may be confusing. Once you get into the topic though, it won’t take much time until you have your paper completed.
So, without further ado, let’s move on to helping you with your compare-and -essay writing!
What Is a Compare And Contrast Essay Examples
So what exactly is a compare and contrast essay? It’s an analytical or informative type of writing that digs into the differences as well as similarities of two subjects. In the end, it usually leads to a much larger insight into the two. The key trick here is to trace not-so-obvious connections between the subjects. That’s where this “great insight” will come from – from more nuanced and subtle similarities/differences.
Note also that, if you look at an example of compare and contrast essay, you won’t see some sort of a definite argument or opinion statement. This type of paper is more about an objective analysis of two things. You won’t criticize them, but rather present the necessary details. And the final decision about what is better or worse is not yours to make but belongs to the readers.
Compare and Contrast Essay Example: Format & Structure
In terms of structure, your compare and contrast essay will mostly depend on your chosen subject, the word count you need to reach, and the time you have to complete it. It’s not always like your general five-paragraph paper.
However, basically, the structure goes as follows:
- An introduction – a paragraph that has a thesis statement (what and why you are comparing/contrasting) and gives the reader the background context.
- A 1st body paragraph – concentrated on discussing similarities
- A 2nd body paragraph – focused on discussing differences
- A conclusion – restates the thesis, poses further potential questions
With body paragraphs, you can also take on a different approach. For example, if you compare and contrast city and country life, you could choose to contrast and compare them within specific aspects. One body paragraph could be discussing both similarities and differences in terms of social dynamics and relationships in both areas, and the second could be dedicated to conveniences and amenities. This is a point-by-point method.
You can also use a block method, where your first body paragraph is dedicated to fully examining one subject, and the second – the other. So here, you have more variations as to how you can build your paper.
Writing Comparison and Contrast Essay Examples: Suitable Subjects
Now, after you learned the most important parts, we can move on to writing. Before you start, you need to pick a topic. Some subjects may be a bit more suitable to discuss in this type of essay. Here is a list of possible topics for your discussion:
- Liberal Arts or the Sciences: Which Degree Program Offers More Job Prospects?
- Compare and Contrast: Homeschooling vs. Traditional Schooling
- Which is Better for a Child: Online Learning vs. Classroom Learning
- Vintage Styles vs. Contemporary Styles – Forming Fashion Taste
- Music and Poetry: Which Is More Personal?
- What is Better for The Health: Yoga vs. Aerobic Exercises?
Of course, you should always consider what course you are writing for and your interests as well. If you are not intrigued by the chosen topic, most probably neither will your readers. Do some brainstorming on the topic, and you will most definitely find the right subject to examine!
When you have a topic in mind, you can follow the structure given above to help you keep your thoughts on track. Don’t forget to include a good hook in your introduction paragraph to make the readers interested in your subject. Don’t try to skip information just because you want to get done with your essay as well. The devil is in the details here. And give extra thought to your conclusion, as it may allow you to draw on other questions and make your essay matter.
Free Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Starting writing by yourself can be stressful. It’s still something that you will have to do. However, we decided to give you a little extra help and collected a few compare and contrast paragraph examples so that you know what your writing should look like.
Topic: Books vs. Movies
- Introduction paragraph:
In storytelling, both books and movies have etched significant marks, captivating audiences with tales of adventure, romance, mystery, and more. But while both mediums aim to engage and entertain, they offer vastly different experiences to their audiences. This essay digs into the main differences and similarities between books and movies, focusing on the depth of exploration, the sensory experience, and the duration of the engagement.”
Thesis statement: “ While books provide readers with an in-depth exploration of characters and settings, allowing for personal imagination, movies offer a visual and auditory sensory experience that condenses the narrative, catering to a more immediate form of consumption .
2. Body paragraph 1 – Depth of Exploration
The written format of books grants authors the luxury of delving deep into a character’s psyche, detailing their emotions, thoughts, and motivations with precision. Readers are privy to inner monologues, extensive backstories, and intricate world-building. This depth often provides a more comprehensive understanding of the narrative and its characters.
Due to time constraints, however, movies might skim over or even omit certain details present in the original book. While they can hint at a character’s feelings through acting, certain nuances might be lost. However, they excel in showing rather than telling, using visual cues and music to convey mood and emotion.
3. Body paragraph 2 – Sensory Experience
The beauty of reading lies in the power of personal imagination. Every reader visualizes characters and settings in a unique way, making each reading experience personal. The narrative pace is set by the reader, allowing them to linger on descriptive passages or moments of significance.
Movies, on the other hand, present a director’s vision, with characters and settings brought to life through actors, sets, cinematography, and soundtracks. The multi-sensory experience is standardized for all viewers, providing a shared version of the story, complemented by visual effects and music scores .
Books and movies, as mediums of storytelling, each have their unique strengths. While books invite readers into a world sculpted by words and fueled by personal imagination, movies offer a communal experience where tales are painted in frames and scenes. The preference for one over the other often hinges on an individual’s desire: to dive deep into a narrative with autonomy or to be swept away in a sensory-rich cinematic journey. Both, however, remain pillars of art and entertainment, testifying to humanity’s insatiable appetite for stories .
What is a good example of compare and contrast?
The compare and contrast essays are all about drawing distinctions between two elements. So a good example would go something like this:
“iOS appeals to those looking for a streamlined, uniform experience, while Android caters to those who value customization and a wider choice of devices.”
What are 10 examples of compare and contrast words?
If you can’t find the words to use in your essay, don’t worry. We collected the next 10 examples that could be used to compare and contrast:
- Like, similar to/similarly, in like manner, likewise
- On the contrary, on one hand/on the other
- Compared to
- Contrasted with/ in contrast
How do you start a compare and contrast paper example?
The introduction part is important in any paper. Writing an introduction to compare and contrast essay should involve the reasoning for the comparison or contrast. For example, the reason can be to determine whether the two literary pieces have more differences or similarities. It should also clearly state the two subjects analysed in the writing and the criteria for the analysis.
How do you start a compare and contrast introduction?
As was said, the introduction part gives the reader an understanding of the reason behind comparison and contrast. It should be captivating and clear. Below is an example of how such a paragraph may sound:
“In the literary canon, few novels have stood the test of time as resolutely as Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre”. Published during the 19th century, both novels offer insightful critiques of societal norms and expectations, especially concerning love, class, and the role of women. Yet, despite these thematic intersections, the authors’ approaches to storytelling and the worlds they construct are uniquely distinct. While Austen crafts a witty commentary on the mores of Regency England’s gentry, Brontë delves into a darker, Gothic world, intertwining romance with elements of suspense and mystery. This essay aims to illuminate the contrasts and similarities between these two seminal works, exploring how each narrative offers a distinct yet intertwined reflection on love, society, and individual agency.”
What are 5 examples of compare sentences?
If you yet struggle to picture what a comparative sentence may look and sound like, below are 5 examples of their structure:
- Red apples are sweeter than green ones.
- Wool is much warmer compared to linen.
- People have larger brains than animals.
- The climate in Canada is typically colder with long winters, compared to the climate in Brazil, which boasts tropical warmth year-round.
- Traditional classrooms emphasize face-to-face interaction and hands-on activities, while online learning environments offer flexibility and self-paced study.
What is a good compare and contrast paragraph?
A well-written compare and contrast paragraph will include the following three aspects:
- the topic sentence introducing two subjects and one the details about their qualities;
- the body sentence, which will further examine how these qualities are similar or different
- The ending sentence, that sums up what was said above and highlights how the two objects are the same or opposite.
Don’t also forget to use transition words and phrases like “however,” “in contrast,” and “moreover” to help guide the reader through the comparison.
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10.7 Comparison and Contrast
- Determine the purpose and structure of comparison and contrast in writing.
- Explain organizational methods used when comparing and contrasting.
- Understand how to write a compare-and-contrast essay.
The Purpose of Comparison and Contrast in Writing
Comparison in writing discusses elements that are similar, while contrast in writing discusses elements that are different. A compare-and-contrast essay , then, analyzes two subjects by comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audience’s understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the compare-and-contrast essay.
Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already. Rather, you might try to compare how apples and oranges are quite similar. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be.
Writing at Work
Comparing and contrasting is also an evaluative tool. In order to make accurate evaluations about a given topic, you must first know the critical points of similarity and difference. Comparing and contrasting is a primary tool for many workplace assessments. You have likely compared and contrasted yourself to other colleagues. Employee advancements, pay raises, hiring, and firing are typically conducted using comparison and contrast. Comparison and contrast could be used to evaluate companies, departments, or individuals.
Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Choose one of the following three categories. Pick two examples from each. Then come up with one similarity and three differences between the examples.
- Romantic comedies
- Internet search engines
- Cell phones
Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Choose one of the following three items. Then come up with one difference and three similarities.
- Department stores and discount retail stores
- Fast food chains and fine dining restaurants
- Dogs and cats
The Structure of a Comparison and Contrast Essay
The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward comparing, contrasting, or both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader. Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting.
Thesis statement: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny.
Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted (organic versus conventional vegetables), and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader.
You may organize compare-and-contrast essays in one of the following two ways:
- According to the subjects themselves, discussing one then the other
- According to individual points, discussing each subject in relation to each point
See Figure 10.1 “Comparison and Contrast Diagram” , which diagrams the ways to organize our organic versus conventional vegetables thesis.
Figure 10.1 Comparison and Contrast Diagram
The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience.
Given that compare-and-contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis. See Table 10.3 “Phrases of Comparison and Contrast” for examples.
Table 10.3 Phrases of Comparison and Contrast
Create an outline for each of the items you chose in Note 10.72 “Exercise 1” and Note 10.73 “Exercise 2” . Use the point-by-point organizing strategy for one of them, and use the subject organizing strategy for the other.
Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay
First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so.
The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points. The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects.
After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample compare-and-contrast essay.
Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategies—by subject or individual points—could also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague have to present something at work.
Choose one of the outlines you created in Note 10.75 “Exercise 3” , and write a full compare-and-contrast essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, well-defined and detailed paragraphs, and a fitting conclusion that ties everything together.
- A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
- The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
- The thesis should clearly state the subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both, and it should state what is to be learned from doing so.
There are two main organizing strategies for compare-and-contrast essays.
- Organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other.
- Organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point.
- Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed.
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