Compare and Contrast Essay Tips for College Students

Upon many requests from students all over the world, we decided to pay attention to compare and contrast essay tips and provide valuable help to everyone who may be strutting with this type of writing.

While academic writing has never been an easy task to handle, some students may say that compare and contrast essay may be one of the most challenging thing to deal with. The reason may be hidden in confusion that occurs because of the nature of this essay:

  • if you are asked to compare things, you will need to pay attention to either affinity or similarities and differences, while
  • contrast means you have to specify vivid distinctions between two contrasted objects.

So if you have a compare and contrast essay to write, you have to cover both approaches and make sure they are relevant and balanced. It is extremely important to remember that such essay should serve one of the following purposes:

  1. Explain personal preferences in choosing one thing over another;
  2. Clarify the difference between two things;
  3. Bring the focus onto two seemingly similar concepts.

While the main function of this article is to provide you with some compare and contrast essay ideas, we would like to give some advice on writing this type of essays. So why is it so hard to write this essay to write and almost impossible to structure properly?

Writing an A-grade Compare and Contrast Essay

The topics of compare and contrast essays normally fall into four sections: people, events, places and abstract notions. While the structure of a compare and contrast essay is similar to other essay types, you have to remember that it depends on the approach you use and the topic you have to deal with.

Introduction. Begin with an intriguing hook sentence to catch attention and help the reader focus on what you are going to write about (continue reading to find out more about good ways to begin your compare and contrast essays). Outline the topic you will be covering and point at the specific argument you are going to focus on. This will be your thesis statement.

The number of your body paragraphs can vary depending on the things you have to compare and contrast, you will find yourself choosing from three basic structures of your essay, depending on the method.

Experts from use the following methods to create a good essay:

  • Point-by-point method. If you decide to follow this structure you will have to focus on specific aspects of two notions or objects, describing certain features;
  • Block method helps you describe things separately addressing same features or contrasting the difference;
  • Compare then contrast is the most common approach when you have to find similarities first, and then look for the difference of the things you describe.
  • This means you can have two body paragraphs for a block or compare than contrast methods, while point by point method requires 3 to 5 body paragraphs.

A conclusion will be focusing on the summary of main points, evaluation of the result and significance of the topic (optional). While preparing your paper, focus not only on the arguments you will use, but also on the evidence base.

Hook Sentence for a Compare and Contrast Essay

While many people think that using an anecdote or quote still works for this type of writing, we believe that an erratic fact, statistic or a tricky rhetorical question will do the job better. Did you know it may be better to write a hook sentence after you write your paper? This way it will match the content of an essay and address the facts you will use later. It may be a good idea to match your hook sentence to the purpose of your writing (see the list above). Consider your audience and the course you are taking, as some people may be more sensitive to shacking or provocative information.

What Sources Can You Use?

One of the problems with compare and contrast essay is the misunderstanding of the fact it has to rely on many facts, rather than emotional attachments. Like with many other types of essay, you will have some sort of evidence or proof, as well as credible sources of information. Depending on the topic you have chosen or been assigned with, you may need the following:

  • Official reports to address statistical data and use it to prove your point;
  • Scholar magazine and professional literature, in case you have to deal with specific concepts;
  • Academic journals to have relevant and up-to-date information;
  • Documentaries and books.

Make sure the information you use is not older than 5 years, otherwise you may be using outdated information. You may also want to check some compare and contrast essay samples to help you find the track and inspiration.

When you have finished your writing, make sure to check your grammar and spelling, paying attention to the general style of the paper. Is the structure clear and falls into the pattern? Do your body paragraphs support your thesis statements? Organize your references (if needed), create your title page and check formatting requirements. In case you need professional editing help, check out what has to offer.

15 Free Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

We all know how to use Google and look for something we need. There a lot of compare and contrast essay topics for college students on the Internet and a lot of websites providing such lists, however, they never tell you how to choose the best one among them and it most cases give you boring and silly topics, like comparing mango and papaya. This is not something that will help you ace your essay!

Before you read the list of topics, here is a little trick on how to choose the topics you will succeed in. First, look at the list and cross out anything you do not feel certain about. Choose the topic that will give you chance to argue, but will still have enough evidence to prove your point of view. And of course, look for something challenging to impress your professor. Here is our list of the best topics for students to use when working on their compare and contrast essay:

  1. Commuting by public transport vs living on campus
  2. Bullying in schools and Peer Pressure
  3. British and American English
  4. Gender-specified toys or gender-neutral playthings
  5. Choosing between the paper and e-ink, compare and contrast traditional books vs e-readers
  6. Artificial Intelligence vs Human Agility: who is going to win?
  7. Male vs Female birth control: which is less harmful?
  8. Obama’s health care program vs Trump’s approach
  9. Which mobile platform is better IOS or Android?
  10. Freelance jobs and traditional employment
  11. TOEFL vs SAT: which is better for English-as-a-second-language student;
  12. Notorious dictators of the XXI century: what Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong II have in common?
  13. Traditional dating vs Date apps: is the future of love doomed?
  14. Role model vs Personality coach, the burden of modern parenting
  15. Whose superhero squad is better Marvel or DC?

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