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How to write compare and contrast essays: debatable issues

A contrast essay is where you have to talk about two different issues and notice the differences between them. A compare essay focuses on the similarities between them. Without even noticing it, you use comparison and contrasting techniques to decide which college to apply to or which phone to buy. When you have to write about it, things go essentially the same way. You can try using some of these tips when you’re writing this essay about debatable issues. No matter what your topic is, you can look at both the differences and similarities. For this example, your topic will be the differences between a beach vacation and a mountain vacation. There are two ways you can do this topic.

Outlining a Contrast Essay

The first method involves putting each topic separately and talking about its points all at once. To do this, you’ll need this arrangement of paragraphs:

  • Introduction
  • Talking about the mountain vacation: weather, activities, cost
  • Talking about the beach vacation: weather, activities, cost
  • Conclusion

The second one is a little different where you analyze each point and contrast them in a new paragraph:

  • Introduction
  • Contrasting the weather of both topics
  • Contrasting the activities of both topics
  • Contrasting the cost of both topics
  • Conclusion

Which one you pick does partly depend on what your teacher wants. If he or she has put in the instructions to do one of these specifically, then make sure you follow it. If it doesn’t matter which one, then you can choose what makes the most sense to you when writing. You can even change your mind later on by simply reordering things.

Editing a Contrast or Compare Essay

After you’re done the outline and have written the essay, it’s time to edit. You should devote some time for this stage, because editing will really improve your work. Even if all you do is spellcheck and a quick proofread, it helps. In the ideal situation, you’ll want to give your essay to a friend for a second opinion. They can often spot things that you miss, and their perspective is usually very helpful in correcting confusing parts. See if you can trade favors with a classmate and read their essay for them. Writing a compare and contrast essay doesn’t have to be hard once you know the techniques.

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