Organize Your Comparison & Contrast Essay

A comparison and contrast essay focuses on how two items or texts are similar, different, or similar in some ways and different in others. You can compare and contrast any number of items including theories, events, books, or people.


Here are a few suggestions that will help you create a successful comparison and contrast essay: o Choose a topic that you can argue. Remember that you need to do more than just list how items are similar or different! o Discuss both items equally. o Remember to connect your ideas! One of the biggest problems that students run into with this type of essay is not actually comparing the two items – they end up simply summarizing information about each one. One way to connect your ideas is to use transitional words and phrases that emphasize how items are similar or dissimilar. o Use the conclusion to restate your thesis, to summarize your main points, and to tell your reader why your findings are significant. 


There are two ways to organize a comparison and contrast essay.

  • The first (and often the clearest) method is the Point-by-Point method.
  • The second method is called the Block method. Both methods are described on this handout.

Either one is acceptable – just make sure that you stick to whatever option you choose!