How to Write a Contrast & Comparsion Report

A comparison/contrast paper looks at similarities and differences.

Writing a contrast and comparison report requires critical thinking and attention to detail. It requires skills in effective reading, writing and developing a strong case for a reader. To compare means to point out what is similar. Contrasting, on the other hand, points out what is different. It is important to know the facts about your subjects and how each is similar and dissimilar.

Write down three things that are similar between the subjects in your report. For example, if your report is comparing and contrasting the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement, one similarity might be that people initially sparked both movements.

Write three factors that are different between the subjects in your report. Describe each detail in sentence form. Write clear and concise sentences to support your claim.

Write an outline for your report. A report typically includes four parts: the introduction, body, conclusion and reference page. Include a paragraph (consisting of five to eight sentences) in the introduction. Use this section to explain to the reader what you will discuss in the report.

Develop the body of your report and include the comparison and contrast sections. Use descriptive sentences in the body. An example might be: "Marketing is similar to advertising in that both disciplines use communication as a means to convince the public. However, in contrast to marketing, advertising is more intense and includes visual components like television and radio to release messages."

Review your report and make sure all references and resources you used are cited properly. This includes any books or handouts in addition to Internet references you used.

Conclude your report by writing five to six sentences on the subjects you covered. Discuss each detail in your conclusion. A concluding paragraph should read like a summary. For example, you may write: "In conclusion, marketing and advertising are similar and different in more ways than one."

  • Do not use personal opinion in comparison and contrasts reports. Stick to the facts.
  • Writing clear notes can save time with comparing and contrasting subjects.

Miko Holt has been writing since 1988, providing celebrity articles and content for "Crunk Magazine" and Killer Cotton Magazine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in literature and creative writing from Empire State College, a Master of Education in adult education and training from the University of Phoenix and is pursuing a Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix.