One of the most beneficial features of essay writing is training specific skills and operations. For instance, a compare and contrast essay is one of the best critical thinking and analytical exercise.

The essence of this paper is analysis. You have to analyze two objects, define their similar and different features, and make a valuable conclusion of that information. It is not the job to state the obvious; neither is it a comparing or contrasting operation. The goal is to take a step further and derive useful information from the understanding which similar or distinguishing features two objects possess. You conclude why it is important, and share the knowledge with the audience.

This essay’s nature often makes it sophisticated for students to cope with the task. That’s why Custom Made Essay offers you this compare and contrast admission essay writing template as a collection of recommendations. While passing the steps described in this template, you can reach the goals easily. 

The compare and contrast structure: mandatory elements 

Any essay follows the mandatory structure, and the “compare and contrast structure” is not an exclusion. It will also include the three crucial parts:

  1. The Introduction will present the theme, its importance, and the thesis statement.
  2. The Main Body will present your analysis, findings, and arguments, the entire essay story on the topic.
  3. The Conclusion will be the summary of your ideas bringing the piece of valuable knowledge to your audience.

As you see, the general structure is similar to all other essays you made in school and college. The main specificity relates to the exposition of information in the Main Body part. Still, we need to clarify specific preliminary points before we explore this specificity.  

Similar to all other essays, you have to start with research. In the case of the compare and contrast type, you need to choose two objects for comparison. This choice is essential – it should present your originality and ability to analyze and find unexpected but valid parallels. Thus, consider the following:

  • objects of the same kind, but with significant differences. E.g., home-made cakes vs. cakes bought in a bakery;
  • different objects with some critical and valid similarities. E.g., cats and turtles that both are pets;
  • objects of the same background but having different forms. E.g., books vs. movies based on those books. 

Many guidelines on how to write a comparison and contrast essay recommend using charts and diagrams. If it is the case for your essay writing, analyze your objects: 

  • explore each item thoroughly and identify other qualities belonging to them;
  • detect other similar qualities and those distinguishing your objects. 

There is a famous Venn diagram – a combination of two overlapping circles. Each circle stands for a definite object and contains its qualities. The fragment where these circles coincide has the qualities similar in both items. The rest of the area covers features unique for each object. 

Filling the Venn diagram is a good exercise. You can use it if it is convenient for you, or your tutor requires making this diagram. It gives you the required information: you know which details match both objects and which ones differ.

Then, sort similar and different features and choose several qualities to use in your custom essay writing. Then you can focus on them appropriately. Note that it is not worth spending time on apparent issues.

That was quite a long introduction to the main question – making a compare contrast essay template. Still, it was necessary to get the background. Let us now examine the specific features of the compare and contrast essay Main Body.  

Specific Features of the Comparing and Contrasting Essay Format

The Main Body suggests two ways of the information exposition: object-based and feature-based.

  1. The Object-based approach means that you present the information about the similarities and differences for one object, and then do it for the next one. With the standard “three-paragraphs” Body structure, it means that you dedicate one section to one object, and the next section describes and compares the second object with it. This way, your audience gets the full information about each item and contrasts them as two “wholes.”
  2. The Feature-based approach means that you dedicate the particular segments of the Body to separate features. For each element, you provide the information on how it works for each object. If you use this method, the comparison applies to particles of the whole. You deal with both items simultaneously.

The approach depends on your preferences and task requirements. Also, it determines the template for compare and contrast essay. Such a template or a manual is very helpful in work. 

The Object-based template would look as follows: 

  1. The Introduction. 
  2. The Body:
    1. Section 1 describes the first object: 
      1. Feature 1;
      2. Feature 2;
      3. Feature 3. 
    2. Transition sentences to proceed to section 2. 
    3. Section 2 describes the second object:
      1. Feature 1;
      2. Feature 2;
      3. Feature 3.
  3. The Conclusion. 

The Feature-based template would look as follows: 

  1. The Introduction. 
  2. The Body:
    1. Section 1 is about Feature 1:
      1. How feature 1 works for object 1;
      2. How feature 1 works for object 2.
    2. Section 2 is about Feature 2:
      1. How feature 2 works for object 1;
      2. How feature 2 works for object 2. 
    3. Section 3 is about Feature 3:
      1. How feature 3 works for object 1;
      2. How feature 3 works for object 2. 
  3. The Conclusion. 

Next, to determine the comparing and contrasting college essay format regarding the structure, you need to elaborate on some other aspects. 

What to Pay Attention While Polishing the Compare Contrast Essay Structure

As we’ve already clarified the general compare contrast essay structure’s specific features, let’s dig deeper and consider what we should present in the mandatory parts.

The Introduction paragraph is the opening of the essay. In this part, you explain what your essay is about and motivate your audience to follow you. The following components are necessary:

  • the hook is a brief, engaging piece of information related to your theme. Its role is to grasp the audience and set the right tone in the beginning;
  • the information about the objects in comparison that your audience needs to follow your ideas;
  • the thesis statement that is the central claim you prove in the Body.

The Main Body is the section where you prove your thesis statement by evidence and logical reasoning. 

  • the order of elements should match the approach you chose, the object-based, or the feature-based method;
  • every section must start with a topic sentence that introduces the main idea of this fragment. In the rest of the unit, you explore that idea, provide additional details, and refer to the evidence;
  • there must be a mini-conclusion in each section that sums up the information provided in it. 

The Conclusion is the bottom line of the compare contrast essay. It defines it directly what useful you derived from comparison and contrast. Your findings must lead to some original and helpful piece of new knowledge. 

  • provide your short opinion about your findings’ value;
  • restate the thesis and show again that it’s correct, right. 

This way, you make sure to build an exciting essay. 

How to Format a Compare and Contrast Essay: Formatting Requirements

Formatting is a necessary stage of work. As you remember, all academic research papers demand formatting their layouts, references, and bibliography section. The goal is to make every piece look neat and match academic standards.

If you ask how to format a compare and contrast essay, the first thing is to check the task requirements. They should include information about the demanded format. If not – consult your tutor and make sure to know about the style you need to apply. As a rule, schools of all levels use APA and MLA formats.

The compare and contrast essay format demands are similar regarding the text layout in both APA and MLA. The text must be in Times New Roman font, and the size must be 12 pt, double-spaced lines, and all margins of one inch. 

The in-text citation formatting will differ slightly in APA or MLA

APA in-text citations: 

  • direct – the author’s last name, the year of publication, and the page number, divided by commas, and in parenthesis: e.g., (Ashe, 1985, p.56);
  • paraphrased reference – same, but without the page number: e.g., (Ashe, 1985).

MLA in-text citations: 

  • direct – the author’s last name and the page number, separated by a comma, in parenthesis: e.g., (Barber, 48);
  • paraphrased reference – the author’s name must be present in the sentence, and the page number is in parenthesis: e.g., Barber mentions that… (35)

As you see, working with a practical template of the compare and contrast essay makes the job faster and easier. It helps organize the materials, develop the proper structure of all components, and make the paper strong and polished. Still, if the job is not feasible for you now, or you just want to make sure to submit the most impressive essay – refer to our writing professionals. We’ll be glad to assist you with any custom essay writing tasks for your demand.

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