If you got an assignment to write a compare and contrast essay but have no idea what this type of academic essay is all about, let me try giving you a helping hand and offer you some simple tips on writing a successful essay. Actually, compare and contrast essays are considered among the easiest types of academic essays to work on. Generally speaking, all you need to do is choosing two concepts, phenomenon, ideas, theories, etc., and analyze the similarities and differences between them. Certainly, your analysis must be done in a logic and meaningful way, and the essay must be written according to the general academic writing standards, including the requirements to the writing and formatting styles.
The first thing you need to do is to choose two concepts to be compared and contrasted. Some of the students prefer choosing two quite close concepts or ideas to work with. For example, comparing and contrasting two cinema movies, two books, two styles, or the works of two artists. Or, if you want to choose two easier subjects for your compare and contrast essay, you can write about the differences and similarities of studying in private and public schools, or compare and contrast living in a big city and living in a small town. Finally, if you want to produce a very unique and interesting academic essay, you can try choosing two concepts or subjects which are not very much related to each other, like comparing Harry Potter to Huckleberry Finn, or comparing riding a roller coaster to having a good sleep, etc.
As soon as you’ve chosen a good topic for your essay, you should come to the second part of writing a comparison and contrast essay, namely doing your research and finding some interesting facts and arguments to add to your academic essay. You should understand, what your two subjects of analysis have in common, and what differences they have. It can be a good idea to write down a list of the most interesting factors which are the same and different about your two subjects, this way you will not forget anything, but also will be able to formulate a strategy for your presentation. For example, you can talk about the similarities first, and then proceed with talking about the differences. Or, you can name one similarity, and then name one related difference between the subjects.
During you research part you can start thinking about formulating a thesis statement for your work. When you’ve done with this, you can come to writing part. Start your compare and contrast essay with a small introduction which would contain your thesis statement and briefly introduce your readers with the subjects of your analysis. Then, write the body paragraphs of your essay to present the selected differences and similarities of the subjects. Conclusion is the last part of your essay which would have your thesis statement restated and all your most important ideas summarized briefly. If it is required, add a reference page to your essay. Finally, proofread and make sure that your compare and contrast essay before submitting it.