Tactics for How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay

Writing compare and contrast essays is about discussing the differences and similarities of two subjects. This academic task seems easy to students, but many of them find it tricky later. How to start a compare and contrast essay? First, you should get familiar with specific assignment prompts and requirements. There are many helpful hints that will take the workload involved. For example, if you have any writer’s block, create an outline to get rid of it and develop a great and structurally sound paper.

The Definition of Compare and Contrast Papers

What are compare and contrast papers are all about? If you use simple terms, this assignment takes 2 subjects, including events, objects, places, people, and others, which are vastly different or closely related, and focuses on their differences or similarities and their combination. However, writing this essay is not a simple comparison because there are certain purposes that it must serve:

  • Clearing up any possible misunderstanding;
  • Stating something unknown;
  • Leading to a new way of understanding, seeing, or doing something;
  • Showing readers that one thing is better than another;
  • Arguing a specific point of view with strong facts.

You can choose from different formats for drafting your compare and contract paper, but most students prefer its point-by-point organization.

Why Conduct Your Comparative Analysis

It’s impossible to write any compare and contract essay without doing this analysis. Use it to lay out your ideas about the chosen subject before sorting them into some well-organized and neat format. The good news is that this process is simple because you only need to write down the basic characteristics of subjects in question. Once you achieve the necessary results with brainstorming, sort out different characteristics for the most relevant ones to the opinion that you want to support in your essay.

Essay Writing Mistakes to Avoid

How to start a compare and contrast essay smoothly? This assignment can be both interesting and challenging to most students because it’s not simple to contrast different scientific issues, social phenomena, literature characters historical events, and so on. However, contrasting doesn’t mean only describing the chosen issues, and it’s the main difference between compare and contrast and informative papers. Many students make mistakes when completing this academic assignment.

  1. Describing two subjects that they want to contrast. For instance, when writing this essay about two fictional characters, it’s not enough only to describe their personal qualities because it will be a descriptive paper, but not a comparison. Their personalities must be contrasted to make relevant conclusions.
  2. Failing to do a deep analysis when comparing two issues in this assignment. It’s necessary to prove their differences or similarities and analyze each one. You need to make a comparison for specific purposes, so make valuable conclusions. Support this statement with strong facts from reliable sources and show your personal view.

Besides, there are some possible questions that must be answered in this essay, including:

  • What do you think about the chosen issues?
  • Do they sound appealing to you?
  • What are their differences?

Simple and Effective Steps to Make Great Comparisons

First, carefully consider the issues that you need to write about. It’s impossible to write a great compare and contrast paper without analyzing and researching your assignment prompts. To generate a perfect essay, read everything twice, make notes, and mark the most important things. This effective pre-writing strategy can provide you with a great start when creating the first essay draft.

A List of Basic Differences and Similarities

Once you become familiar with all assignment prompts, make a list of differences and similarities of given issues. This is when your notes will come in handy. Based on how organized your ideas are, jot down the main ones to get started successfully. Feel free to write down everything that comes to your mind because you will have time to narrow down all possible ideas for your compare and contrast essay.

Choose the Most Important Point as a Central Argument

Once you get a list of important similarities and differences, read it and find the point that sound the most crucial. How to start a compare and contrast essay this way? Search for something that will result in writing the most compelling paper. Choose central elements to the identity of both subjects and consider their main characteristics because all of these things offer a great basis for your assignment.

Create an Outline to Form Your Essay Skeleton

This outline should break down the flow of your academic paper and focus only on the main points that it will cover.

  • Ensure that it starts with an introductory paragraph that shares the main idea behind your central argument;
  • Go to the main body of your paper (normally, it contains 3-4 paragraphs) where you discuss similar and different aspects of the chosen issues;
  • Add a conclusion to summarize the main argument or restates it in a new way.

Adding More Textual Details

Once your essay outline is ready, everything becomes easier because all you need is supporting key points with enough evidence from credible sources. This is how you get the targeted audience to accept important arguments in your compare and contrast paper. Based on the depth of its central idea, think about adding some outside criticism to support all points.

Why Edit Compare and Contrast Essays

When everything is done, ensure that you check your paper for possible mistakes in its content, format, etc. Of course, teachers grade their students based on essay completeness, but they will definitely fail if there are many errors (even if they are minor). It’s advisable to get a second pair of eyes to improve the entire content, look at all arguments, and check the flow of your essay.

How to Organize the Best Essay Outline

If you stick to the point-by-point organization of your compare and contrast essay, focus on comparing and contrasting one detail about both issues at once. For most readers, this essay structure seems easier to follow because it offers a clear and logical structure. How to start a compare and contrast essay? First, ensure you’re your outline includes the following basic parts:

  • Its introductory paragraph;
  • Body paragraphs that state differences between given subjects;
  • The conclusion.

The Introduction of Compare and Contrast Essays

This is where students make their statements and introduce their topics in specific and broad terms. This section offers the main argument or central ideas within your assignment too. It must have the following elements:

  • Your introduction to the chosen topic, a hook sentence, and detailed specifics;
  • Particular issues to compare and contrast under the main theme or topic;
  • A thesis statement or your expression of specific aspects that you will compare and contrast to give readers a clearer idea of where the whole paper will go.

This section is important because it lays out the entire structure of your paper.

Writing Body Paragraphs

You need to write as many paragraphs as a number of aspects that you want to compare and contrast. Each of them must have a separate topic sentence focused on a particular aspect and details about each issue compared. Remember that a topic sentence is also the central idea of the whole paragraph.

The Role Played by the Essay Conclusion

When the above-mentioned steps are taken, you’re ready to wrap things up in your essay conclusion. Many students agree that it’s the easiest part of completing compare and contrast assignments because they already have the stage for it with a thesis statement and the main body. It’s simply a matter of putting everything together while concentrating on the following basic areas:

  1. A summary of all important points. Provide readers with something more than just a simple summary because you need to synthesize a thesis with the information include in body paragraphs.
  2. Your evaluation of everything discussed about possible further developments. Try to show a greater purpose or larger context of the chosen topic to explain to readers what it means. Your essay conclusion must bring things full circle to the introduction.
  3. Show the importance of the differences found in specific issues. If you get stuck, refer back to a thesis statement or an introductory paragraph of your compare and contrast essay.