Have any questions? Live chat

Writing Blog

How to Write a Comparative Essay

April 21, 2017| Category: Freelance Writing, Writing Tips

Whenever you are asked to compare and contrast two things, first and foremost, you need to do your research and learn in depth about the items you are comparing. The undeniable truth is that “writing comes more easily when you have something to say” (Karl Kraus). The best option would be to compile a list of all the similarities and differences you can think of. The deeper you dig into your topic, the more impressive and thought-provoking your comparison analysis will be. Once you have a thorough understanding of the two concepts and a sufficient bunch of ideas, you will feel like start writing your essay.


However, it is very unlikely you are one of those rare geniuses who can compose a good essay off the top of their head. Most people, even if they are experienced writers, find it easier to write an outline and give some thought to the structure before they immerse themselves in the very process of writing. Thus, a good idea would be to hold your horses, and decide what structure would be the most appropriate. There are several methods you can use while structuring a compare and contrast essay:

1. Mixed paragraphs method.

Address both concepts you are comparing in each paragraph. It means you will need to think of several aspects that can be applied to both items, and discuss each of them in every paragraph. For example, if your task is to compare two lifestyles – celebrities via ordinary people, your main body may look as follows:

Paragraph 1: Social activity of celebrities / Social activity of ordinary people

Paragraph 2:  Interests of celebrities / Interests of ordinary people

You can include as many aspects as you find appropriate and discuss each of them in each paragraph comparing two concepts. The advantage of such structure is that it continuously focuses the reader’s attention on the comparison. Furthermore, each argument is equally developed.

2. Alternate method.

Each paragraph can be devoted to one of the subjects:

Paragraph 1: Social activity of celebrities

Paragraph 2:  Social activity of ordinary people

Paragraph 3:  Interests of celebrities

Paragraph 4:  Interests of ordinary people

Such structure is recommended for complicated subjects as it will allow you to pay more attention to details and do more in-depth analysis.

3. Cover each side separately.

Devote the first part of your essay to one argument through as many paragraphs as you think would be necessary, and then cover another argument in the second part:

Paragraph 1: Social activity of celebrities

Paragraph 2: Interests of celebrities

Paragraph 3: Social activity of ordinary people

Paragraph 4: Interests of ordinary people

With this method, be careful not to make your essay one-sided. Also, it should be easy for the reader to follow. Thus, it is not recommended for complicated subjects, which require some depth and detail.

Apart from the structure, a strong thesis statement is vital for any essay, and a comparison analysis is not an exception. The comparative nature of your thesis statement will depend on how two subjects are related. In addition, it should express the nature of comparing items. The most common way of indicating the relationship between the two concepts is by using the word “whereas” in your thesis.  Furthermore, each point of your argument should be linked back to the thesis. This way a reader will be able to see how new sections logically advance your argument.

Now, when you are fully-armed with a list of ideas, an outline and a strong thesis statement for your essay, it’s time to start a battle with a blank sheet of paper! “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” (Ernest Hemingway)

"sandwich" approach A+ essay abstract abstract writing academic paper academic paper outline academic papers academic paper writing academic requirements academic sources academic writer academic writing academic writing issues academic writing rules academic writing tips active and passive voice in research writing active voice additive transitions adversative transitions a good book report a good summary AI-generated content AI-generated writing AI detection software tools AI detectors Alternative hypothesis an introduction to academic writing annotated bibliography annotation APA style appeals to trust and connection argument argument analysis argument analysis assignment argument analysis essay argumentative essay argumentative writing argument paragraph arguments article articles a thesis statement become a better writer become a writing guru bias bias-free language bias-free writing blogs Bloom’s Taxonomy body paragraph body sentences boost academic vocabulary brainstorming business capitalization capitalization rule capitalize capstone paper capstone project career career in writing causal transitions challenges a new freelance writer may face with characteristics of academic writing chronological order citation cite the source clarity in writing clients closing sentences coherent academic writing college essays college writing common mistakes communication in writing comparative essay compare and contrast paragraph complex assignment Complex hypothesis concept map concluding paragraph concluding sentence conclusion conclusion in academic writing conclusion in an essay conclusion writing conduct a search content content writing coordination counterargument Covid-19 creating concluding sentences creating PowerPoint presentations credible resources credible sources customer feedback decode instructions decoding professors’ instructions definition of proofreading descriptive headings descriptive paragraph diagrams difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography division double quotation marks edit your writing effective conclusion effective headings effective paragraph elements of academic language elements of paper writing emotional appeals Empirical hypothesis essay's conclusion essay mistakes essay paragraph essay pitfalls essays essay structure essays writing essays writing tips essays writitng tips essay writing ethos explain complex concepts expository essay features of academic writing figure figures and tables first-person pronouns flow of ideas free freelance freelance jobs freelancer freelance writer freelance writers freelance writing freelance writing business Google in academic writing graphs handling difficult tasks headings heuristics high-quality papers higher-level headings high grades high school-level composition high school assignments how reading helps you become a better writer how to avoid plagiarism how to write how to write a good film review how to write capstone paper how to write phd hypothesis hypothesis writing important improve writing skills in-text citations incorporation of visuals intellectual property interpret instructions intransitive verb introduction introduction paragraph introductory paragraph italics italics for titles job journal judgmental language language and style literature review Logical hypothesis logos lower-level headings main point of the paragraph make the article engaging meeting deadlines meeting the requirements meet the deadlines methodology methodology chapter methodology section MLA style narrative paragraph non-descriptive heading note taking Null hypothesis objective tone objective writing objectivity online online writers opening paragraph opinion essay order of importance outline outline writing paper outline papers parallelism paraphrase paraphrasing passive voice past simple pathos peer response peer review personal pronouns personal response personal response essay personal response paper persuasion persuasive essay persuasive writing PhD research proposal plagiarism plan for writing planning popular and scholarly sources popular sources positive feedback PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint Presentation tips PPT PPTs presenting data in figures and tables present perfect present simple primary research problems writers face procrastination profession professional freelance writer pronouns proofreading tips qualitative methods quality quantitative methods quotation marks quotation marks for titles quote quoting racist and sexist biases in AI papers reduce word count redundancy redundant reliable sources repetition repetitive sentences repetitive writing reputable sources research research paper research paper in college research paper in high school research paper writing revising an essay rhetoric rhetorical devices rules of academic writing satisfy your customers scholarly archives scholarly materials scholarly sources second-person pronouns secondary research sentence structure sequential transitions Simple hypothesis simplifying complex assignments single quotation marks skills sources spatial order specificity spell checker spelling spelling error spelling rules start writing statistical data in academic papers Statistical hypothesis statistics statistics in academic writing stop procrastinating stress and creativity strong topic sentences structure of an expository essay subheadings subordination success successful academic writing successful papers successful paraphrasing suitable concluding sentences summary summary writing supporting evidence synthesis paper synthesize information synthesize sources table tables tables/graphs/charts task list as a guide techniques for writing summaries techniques to explain a difficult subject tenses in academic writing text structure the contents of the paper the main intention of the assignment thesis statement the structure of body paragraphs thinking levels third-person pronouns time management tips on revising an essay tips to writing a PhD research proposal tips to writing a social science paper token sentences topic of the paragraph topic sentence transitional words transitions transition terms transitive and intransitive verbs transitive verb types of academic texts typical writing problems unique idea use Google for research utilizing AI tools in academic papers vocabulary vocabulary building well-structured essay what writers can learn from reading novels word choice word count work wrap sentences write a conclusion writer writer job write unique texts writing writing a book report writing a film review writing a good PhD research proposal writing an A+ film review writing an essay writing an outline writing a paragraph writing as profession writing a statement writing a summary writing burnout writing clear writing errors writing essays writing fast writing hacks writing job writing mistakes writing mood writing papers writing pitfalls writing process writing skills writing style writing tips written communication skills