Compare and Contrast Essay – Basic Structure and General Standards

Writing compare contrast essay No doubt, it’s human nature to express attitude, to compare and contrast. We use this type of thinking when choosing between two or more options, discussing their differences and similarities. In academic writing it is expressed in the form of a compare and contrast essay.

Generally, this essay type is characterized by points of comparison and analogies and usually arranged in the emphatic way. It is a great method to help a person progress in his critical thinking, as well as his writing skills. Basically, the structure of compare and contrast essay includes three components: the introduction, body and conclusion.

  1. Introduction. Here the author states what he’s comparing. This part may include the main differences and similarities, advantages and disadvantages, or an explanation of the two opposing sides.
  2. Body. The body paragraphs can be arranged in several ways. For example, one paragraph may discuss similarities and another differences, or the paragraphs may express different positions on an issue. The more complex structure is when there are passages about each aspect of the elements that are being compared.
  3. Conclusion. The conclusion is a generalization of the thesis stated in the introduction. It gives a brief summary of the most important similarities and differences, often putting the comparison and contrast into a larger context with a personal statement and/or some kind of prediction.

The simplest format for the compare and contrast passage devotes one body paragraph or section to each element. Two is the most popular (and natural) number, but the author may compare and contrast any number of elements. The essay may also divide according to qualities of the latter. Another possible structure devotes one body paragraph to differences and one to similarities discussed objects.

These are the general standards to succeed in writing a compare and contrast essay:

  • Your essay must be arranged in a logical way with an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion;
  • The essay must deal with each of the two or several selections;
  • It must relate one selection to the other, comparing and contrasting them in a consistent way;
  • The author must support his assertions with solid evidence (figures, quotations, references, etc.);
  • The essay must have good grammar and spelling and mature writing style.

Additionally, the author should always keeps his audience in mind and be sure the readers can relate to his reasoning. Therefore, when you are through with writing, it’s always useful to read your paper once again from the perspective of the audience.


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