How to Write a Comparison/Contrast Essay

Comparison and contrast essay is one of the most common assignments in American high schools and universities. In this students have to compare two (in some essays several) things, problems, events or ideas and evaluate their resemblances and differences. This advances and develops your critical thinking as well as your argumentation and understanding of importance of the events and things that you compare.

 of How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay was reviewed by  on June 15, 2015.

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic compare and contrast essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our to link theory with practice.


Steps in writing a compare and contrast essay

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This is the second step in writing the compare and contrast essay. The two main ideas, themes, characters, symbols, objects, etc., should be clearly picked in this step. For example, in the above topic the characteristics and functionality of the two operating systems or the two smartphones should be clearly noted and documented at this stage. For example, the difference in screen resolution, screen size, usability, touch functions, etc., should be clearly researched and documented so that it could be presented in the next stage.


How to Write a Comparative Essay? 9 steps

The above steps are proven and established ways of writing a compare and contrast essay. This method will help you write a comparative essay on any given topic or research question from any discipline or subject like Arts, Sciences, Religion, History, Geography, etc. In the beginning you might find it difficult to start out a compare and contrast essay writing but if the above steps are followed, you will find writing a compare and contrast essay as an intellectually simulating and rewarding activity.

Good Ways to Start a Comparison and Contrast Essay

Be sure to use the appropriate terminology and skills from the course readings and specific to the discipline of art history. For example, in introductory art history courses, students are required in their exam essays typically to compare and contrast different works demonstrating not only their learned skills of formal visual analysis, but also their ability to place works and monuments in a historical context. This means comparing works not only in terms of the differences in their formal elements, but also in terms of the socio-political, theological, regional or cultural reasons behind those differences.

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Once you have enough contrasting sources, you should start writing the essay. In the beginning part, you should make a general introduction to the topic or research question so that it forms a good introduction for the whole essay. Then you should write something separately on the two main objects, characters, symbols, themes, etc., on which the topic concerns. After that the essay should start comparing and contrasting the different characters, objects, symbols, themes in an orderly fashion. For example, in the example mentioned above, you may write something about the Samsung smartphone in one paragraph and then something contrasting the Nokia smartphone in the next paragraph. By writing successive paragraphs on several distinguishing features of the two phones, you will be able to accomplish the goal of writing a compare and contrast essay. A paragraph containing the conclusion, analysis or recommendation can be a good way to end the essay.

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Here’s an example of a compare-and-contrast essay > using two works from the Renaissance and Neoclassicism eras: Michelangelo’s David and Antonio Canova’s Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss. Notice that these two pieces were chosen because they both are considered by scholars to be representative of their time periods and that both of the artists used unconventional ideas in their depiction of the current political and social conditions of the day. It’s important that you choose two pieces that allow you to make appropriate comparisons relating to the concepts you are learning in your art history class. This is an important first step as you prepare to write an effective essay that covers multiple main issues covered in class.