Good Ways to Start a Comparison and Contrast Essay

Medical professionals help patients compare and contrast treatment options.

Finding the best way to write a compare and contrast essay is an important skill not only when writing academically. Many people find themselves having to create similar documents in the workplace. For example, companies must aid customers in comparing and contrasting products. Medical professionals must also advise patients about the pros and cons of various treatments or medications. Being able to write a solid compare and contrast essay introduction helps authors in the academic and non-academic fields better convey information.

1 Compare and Contrast Topic Choices

The first step in writing a comparison and contrast essay is choosing a topic that fits with the essay format and is relevant to your assignment. For example, comparing and contrasting complex, related (but not too similar) issues provides the most interesting essays. Good comparative essay example topic choices might include: a movie and the novel it’s based on, genres of music or film, characters in a book or movie or a comparison of political parties.

2 Prewriting Compare and Contrast Paper

After making your topic selection, ask yourself how the two things, concepts or people you’re comparing are similar and different. You can evaluate them to see which is superior, but you don’t have to focus on ranking them. Instead, you may want to ask what qualities each of them has separately and then see which qualities they have in common and which are different. While you don’t have to write down these issues to consider them, jotting down some notes may help you keep these ideas in mind.

3 Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Before actually writing the essay, you need to construct a corresponding compare and contrast essay outline. There are a couple of common ways to do this. Prewriting is a great way to figure out the best way to lay out your ideas and to organize your thoughts into a logical essay pattern. If the standard outline format doesn't work for you, a chart is another option. Take a piece of paper and create three equal columns. In the first column, make a list of what is unique about your first topic. Continue that process with the second topic idea. In the third column, make a list of what the two comparative essay example topics have in common.

In a standard compare and contrast essay outline, the body of the essay could look like this.

A. How Z is different from Y 1. Subtopic 2. Next Subtopic

B. How Y is different from Z 1. Subtopic 2. Next Subtopic

C. How Z and Y are similar 1. Subtopic 2. Next Subtopic

4 Thesis

Once you have chosen your essay topics, constructing an effective thesis statement is the next step in the process of the best way to write a compare and contrast essay. Ideally, the thesis is a concise overview of your essay. This sentence should include the topic and briefly mention the main points of the similarities and differences you’ll focus on in the paper. .

Jade Lynch-Greenberg is a writer, blogging enthusiast and educator. She teaches multi-modal writing in the university setting and has written for the web since 2002, and created comics since 2006. She write scripts, articles, scholarly documents and technical explanations, and holds a Master of Arts in English from Purdue University.