Comparison Essay

The focus of a comparison paper is to compare things that are alike or different in nature.  This type of essay is sometimes referred to as a compare contrast essay  or a contrast and comparison essay.  Finding a topic for a comparison essay is relatively easy since comparison essays can compare things, facts, events, and people. To write a quality comparison essay, it is important to keep a few basic points in mind.  These are outlined below:

Comparison Essay Structure

There are two common comparison essay structures:

  • The block format - In the block format, after the introduction, the writer will write a paragraph that describes the first object of comparison and then follow with the next paragraph that describes the second object of comparison.  This is also where you point out the differences and similarities between the two objects.
  • The point-by-point format - After the introduction, the writer uses a separate paragraph to discuss each similarity or difference between the two items being compared.
  • Introduction - for both structures, the introduction should explain what is being compared, summarize briefly the similarities and differences, and present a strong, well-worded thesis statement.
  • Citation style - common citation styles used for writing comparison essays are MLA, APA, and Chicago style, but any citation style will do.  Whichever style you use, make sure that you are consistent in following the rules.  Several online guides for writing different citation styles are available that can help you make sure you properly cite your paper.

General Tips for Writing a Comparison Essay

  • Thoroughly research your topic and make sure you have a clear understanding of both things you are trying to compare as well as what exactly you are comparing.  Do not try to draw a comparison or contrast two items without the facts to back up the comparison.
  • Make it very clear to your readers what you are comparing and continue to draw the comparison throughout your paper.
  • Be sure to proofread your paper. When you proofread, pay attention to whether you successfully supported the comparison with ample facts and whether you were subjective in your analysis.  Also, make sure you do not repeat your comparisons.
  • Locate sample comparison papers that you can look at for essay topic ideas.  Once you have a topic, make sure that you maintain a strong focus on the topic throughout your essay.
  • Consider the option to buy a comparison essay to use as resource material, as a comparison essay example, and as a potential source for further reading suggestions.

Writing a comparison essay requires an in-depth understanding of both items being compared.  It's also important to be clear about the comparison you want to draw.  Good organization of your comparison essay and clarity in your writing are, therefore, the key to a quality comparison essay.

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