Compare and Contrast Essay

Venn Diagram (click to enlarge). Grace Fleming

Before you begin to draft a compare and contrast essay, you should brainstorm by creating a Venn diagram or a chart to list pros and cons of each subject you are comparing to another.

The first paragraph of your compare and contrast essay (the introductory paragraph) should contain references to both sides of your comparison. This paragraph should end with a thesis sentence that sums up your overall purpose or results, like this:

"While city life brings many social opportunities, country life can provide the best of both worlds."

Comparison essays can be constructed in two ways. You can focus on one side of your comparison at a time, describing the pros and cons of one topic first and then moving on to the next topic, like the example here:

  • Cities have lots of great restaurants.
  • City life offers culturally diverse populations.
  • Cities contain theaters, sporting events, and other activities.
  • Country life brings fresh produce within easy reach.
  • Country life is quiet living with the opportunity to travel into cities for cultural exposure.
  • Entertainment opportunities exist in the country, as well.
  • Summary paragraph

 

You could instead alternate your focus, covering one after the other in a back-and-forth pattern.

  • Cities have lots of great restaurants.
  • On the other hand, country life brings fresh produce within easy reach.
  • Cities contain theaters, sporting events, and other activities.
  • But entertainment opportunities exist in the country, as well.
  • City life offers culturally diverse populations.
  • However, country life is quiet living with the opportunity to travel into cities for cultural exposure.

Make sure that each paragraph contains a smooth transition statement, and end your essay with a sound conclusion.

Country Life or City Life?

 CityCountry
Entertainmenttheaters, clubsfestivals, bonfires, etc.
Culturemuseumshistoric places
Foodrestaurantsproduce

 

Some ideas for your compare and contrast essay might make your work easier. Think about the following topics and see if one feels right for you.

  • middle school and high school experience
  • pizza and spaghetti
  • doing household chores or doing homework
  • private school and public school
  • attending big university and attending small college
  • comparing two games
  • comparing two types of phones
  • laptops to tablets
  • comparing two teaching styles
  • comparing English to Spanish
  • owning a dog and owning a cat
  • travel abroad and domestic travel
  • growing up rich and growing up poor
  • talking to dad and talking to mom
  • having a sister and having a brother

If the list above doesn't appeal to you, it may spark an original idea that fits your situation. This type of essay can be a lot of fun!

 

 

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Your Citation
Fleming, Grace. "Compare and Contrast Essay." ThoughtCo, Oct. 31, 2016, thoughtco.com/compare-and-contrast-essay-1856989. Fleming, Grace. (2016, October 31). Compare and Contrast Essay. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/compare-and-contrast-essay-1856989 Fleming, Grace. "Compare and Contrast Essay." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/compare-and-contrast-essay-1856989 (accessed May 25, 2018).