How to Write Comparison Essay

How to Write a Comparison Essay

As a student, you are likely to be confronted by comparison essay writing as you pursue your academics in various subjects. You would wish to write the best essay that will give you a grade you deserve. Comparison essay writing may be a bit tricky but here is all you need to crush through.

What is a Comparison Essay?

A comparison essay is a type of essay writing in which two subjects are compared and contrasted pointing out the similarities and differences that exist between them. It may only discuss similarities or the differences or both. When asked to write a comparison essay, one should use the differences or similarities between the subjects to create meaningful arguments that convey a clear cut between the two subjects.

Caucasian teenager studying in classroom

Comparison Essay Outline

The key to writing a first class essay is choosing the right comparison essay structure. The right format will guide you through writing an excellent essay that can draw the reader’s attention. It will keep you on track so that you can stick to the essential steps of a custom comparison essay.

There are two common patterns for writing a comparison essay; alternating (point-by-point) and block (subject –by-subject).

Alternating Outline

  • Introduction
  • Comparison/contrasting point one
  • Comparison point two
  • Comparison point three
  • Comparison point four
  • Conclusion

In alternating format, the author introduces the subjects he or she is going to compare/contrast. In the body section, a similarity or difference for each subject is discussed for every point.

Block outline

  • Introduction
  • Subject one (comparison point, one, two and three)
  • Subject two (comparison point one, two and three)
  • Conclusion

In block format, the introduction presents the thesis of the essay. In the body section, the first part will discuss the first subject highlighting its distinctive features. The second part will discuss the features of the second subject in a manner that the reader can point out the distinctive features presented.

Introduction Section

Like in any other form of an essay, comparison essay should start with an introductory part. This is a very important part of the essay as it will either attract the reader or give him or her desire to continue reading the essay. Simply aim at grabbing the reader’s attention.

What should I write in the introductory part? This is a critical question that you should ask yourself before embarking on a comparison essay. Here are the answers to your question. First, begin with a brief historical background of the two subjects you are comparing or contrasting. This is your chance to let the reader know what you are going to discuss so that he or she can have an idea of what to expect. For example, if you intend to compare traditional and modern education systems, begin by defining the two in terms of the period each existed. Another most important comparison essay format item in this section is the thesis of your essay. This is a statement you put forward for which you intend to prove or disapprove in your essay. It comes towards the end of the introductory part. In most cases, it is the last sentence of the introduction.

The Main Body

Begin by stating the point out of which you will compare or contrast the two subjects. This sentence should be followed by a couple of supporting statements backed by evidence and examples where necessary. Give out distinctive facts about the subject. If you are using the alternating outline, you will state the point after that provide distinctive features of the first subject after which you link to the second subject using appropriate transitions such as while, similarly, likewise, nevertheless, despite, yet among others. For example, in the traditional form of education system, there were no classrooms unlike in the modern system where there are decent classrooms with learning materials. Add some details you have gathered from your research on the topic to validate the statement. If you were comparing the two systems, you would say both systems aimed at equipping the learners with knowledge.


This is another important section in the comparison essay writing. Here you highlight the main points in the essay. Give a summary of the distinctive features or the similarities of the two subjects being compared or contrasted. Evaluate whatever you have talked about by trying to think about possible future developments in the subjects as well as comparison essay topics. Give a verdict on the thesis of your paper. Tell the reader why your topic is worth discussing to avoid questions such as “the subjects are dissimilar, so what?” ensure to include a statement that justifies the importance of the similarities or differences between the two subjects you have discussed.

 Compare and contrast essay topics

  • Here is a list of some interesting essay topics you may be asked to write about;
  • Fashion in the 19th century and the 21st century
  • Watching movies versus reading novels
  • Biking versus hiking
  • Hot weather versus cold weather
  • Making the best of leisure time watching movies versus playing with friends
  • Full-time versus part-time employment
  • Comparing and contrasting traditional and modern education system
  • Comparison of public transport versus private transport
  • A male friend and a female friend
  • A good boss and a bad boss

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