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How to Succeed with your Compare/Contrast Essay

In order to write a successful compare and contrast essay, there are a few guidelines that you should be aware of before you begin. If you have a clear idea of what to expect before writing your essay, you will be able to write within some guidelines, which will ultimately help your essay in the end. The idea is to strongly state your argument for the similar or differing qualities of any two subjects.


Constructing a good compare and contrast essay starts with the topic. The topic of the essay is a key step in writing your essay, and this is especially true for the compare and contrast format. If you are comparing and contrasting, it is necessary to choose a topic with similarities and differences relevant to one another. There should be material to write about on both sides- you want a similarity that will be apparent to the reader, and you ideally want to write with a certain ease of exploring the differences of the topic. Make sure that the topics are in the same realm of interest- it is not appropriate in many comparing and contrasting essays ton choose two topics that do not seem relevant to compare and contrast. When you are positive that you have chosen two topics that are easily compared and contrasted in a clear a d direct way, you may be able to start the planning and the writing process.

Helpful Hints

When writing a strong compare and contrast essay, you should avoid some key writing habits that may be prevalent in your essay. If you find vague wording, omit the material. You want to avoid words such as “things” “stuff” or “almost”. With stronger language, the more convincing the comparing and contrasting. In addition, do not end the conclusion that the two subjects are “similar, yet different”. This is a common phrase in compare and contrast essays that are not effective at all. Stick to strong language, and your objective will be more clear. Lastly, in your conclusion, avoid restating what you wrote about in the main body of the essay. That is a cop-out for a good conclusion. While it is recommended to restate your purpose and objective in the conclusion, it also should be able to explore the objective’s purpose of comparing and contrasting in a succinct way that allows the reader to reflect on the topic as a whole in a new and complete thought.