Week 2: Writing Compare/Contrast Essays

Remember that the only way to get better is to practice it.

Compare/Contrast Essays

Learning Objectives

  • identify transitions that show compare or contrast
  • identify effective thesis statement for compare/contrast essays
  • explain several characteristics of compare/contrast essays

What is Compare/Contrast?

  • Compare means to look at what is similar between two things.
  • Contrast means to look at what is different between two things.
  • Sometimes a compare/contrast essay is just called comparison.

Before You Write

  • Think about your topic
  • Make a plan
  • Use Venn diagram or T chart for preparing

Thesis Statement

  • Mention the two things you are comparing or contrasting in your thesis statement.
  • Indicate whether you will compare or contrast.

Method of Organization

Block method

  • Intro
  • A \
  • A  |- Body paragraph 1
  • A /
  • B \
  • B  |- Body paragraph 2
  • B /
  • Conclusion

Point-by-Point method

  • Intro
  • A \
  • B /- Body Paragraph 1
  • A \
  • B /- Body Paragraph 2
  • A \
  • B /- Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion

Shows similarity and/or difference side by side.

Planning Your Essay

  • You will use point-by-point method
  • Make a Ven Diagram or T chart
  • Plan on similarity or difference for each body paragraph

Teacher Discusses a Compare/Contrast Essay

  • Thesis need to be specific
  • One major difference between ...
  • On the other hand, ...
  • Another difference between ...
  • Body paragraph needs conclusion or transtion words.
  • Using keyword as a transtion
  • To sum up, ...
  • Conclusion should be short as well. (It was 3 sentences in example essay)


  1. Do some prewriting activities to help your brainstorm.
  2. Write your first draft. Don't worry too much about making it good yet.
  3. Revise your essay to make sure you use the tools for good writing that you've learned.
  • thesis statement with topic and controlling idea
  • unity in paragraphs -- all ideas related to topic sentence
  • use good sentence variety
  • topic sentnces starting each body paragraph
  • coherence -- use transitions and keywords
  • use parallel structure
  • use correct verb tenses
  • use commas correctly
  1. Rewrite your essay to make it your best writing.


  • Contrast people of your age with those of your parents' generation. Think about beliefs, values, goals, traditions, language, etc.
  • It has been said "Not everything is contained in books." Contrast the knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. Be sure to support your answer.
  • Contrast the way you behave and talk with your parents to the way you are with your friends. Be specific.