This interactive guide provides an introduction to the basic characteristics and resources that are typically used when students compose comparison and contrast essays. The Comparison and Contrast Guide includes an overview, definitions and examples. The Organizing a Paper section includes details on whole-to-whole (block), point-by-point, and similarities-to-differences structures. In addition, the Guide explains how graphic organizers are used for comparison and contrast, provides tips for using transitions between ideas in comparison and contrast essays, and includes a checklist, which matches an accompanying rubric .
Include an introduction and a conclusion no matter which method you choose to structure the body of your essay. It is often helpful to write the introduction and conclusion after you have written the body of your paper. A good introduction will introduce your subject in a general fashion and then begin to narrow gradually, ending with your argument. Think of it as a map of the rest of your essay. The conclusion should return to the ideas with which you began your essay and restate your argument. It should leave your reader with a summary of your main points as well as your argument.