General Rules on How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay

At first, it may seem that writing a compare-and-contrast essay is as easy as pie. You just need to take two objects and identify similar and different points between them. It is not complicated, isn’t it? However, everything is not exactly, as it seems. When producing such a paper, you need to explain why the defined similarities and differences mean a lot. If you fail to do it, there will not be a solid basis for creating your piece of writing. 

How to Prepare a Good Compare-and-contrast Essay

  1. Your paper should not only reveal common and different features of the analyzed things, but also show the connection between them that leads to a more meaningful issue.
  2. Produce a strong thesis statement. Strive to explain clearly, why it is worth comparing and contrasting the issue you are dealing with. For example, you need to find similar and different features between the characters of Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. You may compose the following thesis statement: “Though the compared heroines, Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet, seem to differ from each other, they have much in common, especially when it goes about defending women’s rights.” Now readers know what the purpose of your essay is.
  3. Choose a writing method. Your compare-and-contrast essay can be written by following either a “tandem” or “altering” model.



Upper social class

Miserable orphan





Opposes marriage

Opposes marriage

Socially improper

Socially clumsy

Breaks up with her man and feels great

Breaks up with her man and feels pathetic


Note that the points presented in your list will be the basis of your body. First, you should discuss the points describing one character and then those relating to another one.

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  1. Choosing the right pattern. There is no a strict rule for using one or another method of writing the paper. However, if your work is lengthy, it is better to choose the alternating pattern, as readers will find it difficult to mind all details of the provided description. If your essay is short, you should select the tandem mode.
  2. Present persuasive arguments. When writing your compare-and-contrast essay, do not forget to make reference to the original texts, i.e. Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. No matter the writing pattern you are using, supporting the imparted facts with powerful evidence taken from the mentioned novels is of cardinal importance. You may either give direct quotations or paraphrase the authors. When providing citations, make sure you follow the formatting rules of the reference style you are producing your paper in.
  3. Use the secondary sources, if needed. Keep in mind that your professor may ask you to refer not only to the original texts, but also to the secondary ones to back up the provided arguments. By referring to the secondary sources of information, you need to gather useful data that will help you prove your thesis statement and reason the chosen patter.
  4. Share your personal opinion. Very often, writers consider expressing their point of view about the analyzed subject the most complicated aspect of the writing process. It may seem that everything has already been said about the discussed topic. Nevertheless, you should not be dispirited. Your viewpoint matters a lot!
  5. Review your piece of writing. The last stage is making a complete revision of your essay. If you do not check your work thoroughly, it may contain some inconsistencies that can make your paper difficult to follow. That is why you need to review your paper after completing each of its sections. Thus, you will be sure that all paper points are discussed properly. If you see your essay contains useless data, remove it without hesitation.

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