How to Write a Comparative Essay. Everything You Need To Know: Structure, Writing Tips, Topics, Examples

How to Write a Comparative Essay. Everything You Need To Know: Structure, Writing Tips, Topics, Examples
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Comparative Essay. Everything You Need To Know: Structure, Writing Tips, Topics, Examples
  2. What Is a Comparative Essay
  3. Comparative Essay Outline
  4. Comparative Essay Structure
  5. Introduction
  6. Comparative Essay Thesis Statement
  7. Main Body
  8. Conclusion
  9. How to Write a Comparative Essay
  10. Great Comparative Essay Topics Ideas
  11. Compare and Contrast  Essay Example

In the past years, comparative essays have become a big element of the educational systems all around the world. They are already evolving into the new genres, yet keeping their main quality – comparison of multiple items. It is a historical fact due to which the comparative essays might be the oldest out there.

There are even some theories that most of the genres come from this one. It is clear, there are some people who still have no idea how to write a paper where you have to work on the differences in the list of things. However, they have a reason to state so – there is not enough information on how to write the comparing texts. Therefore, an essay is going to include some basics on the comparative essays, including the outline, structure, writing tips, topics, and examples.

What Is a Comparative Essay

Before you start writing a comparative essay, you should understand what a comparative essay is. The definition of a comparative essay, which is also referred to as compare and contrast essay, is simple. It is a type of academic writing in which you compare and contrast at least two things, notions, ideas, etc. After reading or writing the essay it might be easier to choose one of the compared items.To complete a good essay you will have to put in a lot of time. To make the assignment easier, check some basic information on the structure of such texts from our writing experts.

Comparative Essay Outline

Writing an outline for the comparative essay is the same process as for an other type of essay. The most common comparative essay outline looks like as follows:

  1. Introduction
  • Hook
  • Introduction of the topic and things to be compared
  • Thesis statement
  1. Main body paragraphs (each body paragraph has the same structure)
  • Aspect to be discussed
  • Peculiarities of the aspect in term of the first item
  • Peculiarities of the aspect in term of the second item
  1. Conclusion
  • Restate thesis statement
  • Summary of the main points
  • General conclusion

Comparative Essay Structure 

Next paragraph should be relatively easy to understand for those who have been writing any texts before. The structure is sometimes even more important than what you write. Therefore, give it some time to understand the material better than all of the others. Yet, it is not hard in your case. All you have to do is just identify where each section has to go.

The structure of a comparative essay consists of the following  elements:

  • Introduction with a strong thesis statement
  • The body of the essay:
  • Conclusion

Let’s discuss each part in detail.


Introduction of is the very first part of an essay the reader sees. Thus, it’s important to make it interesting and spark the reader’s interest. The comparative essay writing starts with a hook sentence, the purpose of which is to attract the reader's attention. It can be

  • A relevant quote
  • Provocative question
  • Statistics
  • Anecdote
  • An interesting fact

 There exist numerous other strategies to start an essay. Continue with introducing the topic and the items to be compared. And end an introduction with a strong sentence. Make sure it is clear, essay-specific, and debatable.

Comparative Essay Thesis Statement

Some people argue this is the most important part. A thesis statement is one or couple of sentences placed in the end of the introductory part that express the main idea of the essay. The way you write a thesis shows how well you understand the subject of your work. Therefore, take your time to write a good thesis statement.

Usually, a thesis statement is short. Thus, you have to be able to express the whole idea in one sentence. Also, make sure that it is clear and includes your point of view.

Main Body

The main body is the part where you will give the reader everything they need to know about the subjects of the paper. If you follow the bullet points listed below it will be extremely easy to write all of the body paragraphs. Of course, you will have to write more text than it is written there, but it should still be easy to do. Make sure to discuss the topics of the essay. 

  • Information on the first item
  • Information on the rest of the items
  • Showing the pros and cons of each of them
  • Showing the similarities and differences between the items

There are two strategies for writing the main body of the comparative essay. 

  • You may either list characteristics of the first item, list characteristics of the second item, and then summarize and analyze them in  a separate paragraph
  • You may list similarities of the items first, then differences, and them draw a conclusion
  • You may compare and contrast features of each item one by one.

Do not forget that in a compare and contrast essay you need to both compare, ie to discuss similarities, and contrast, ie discuss the differences.

In general, you need to do some analysis of every point you have and later try to find how it is better or worse than another item. Seems like a lot of work, but actually the only thing you have to avoid is the small amount of the raw information you have.

As Samuel Richardson once said, “All human excellence is but comparative. There may be persons who excel us, as much as we fancy, we excel the meanest”. Similar here, there cannot be a perfect item, but you will have to find one out of the ones you have in the paper. If you feel like you are still behind and cannot cope with the writing, make sure to visit some events online which help the young authors.


If you have been working hard enough on the body, and you have a point about how it works, it should be simple to do. To create a comprehensive conclusion, start with restating the thesis statements. Then, make sure to spend some time on the analysis and summarizing the main points discussed in paper. And conclude with a general summary of an essay. The only thing that might matter in this place is the number of small things that make it worse than the others. Generally, the conclusion should not take too much space, time and everything related to work. Yet, it needs to be on a high level as it is an important section of your essay, so keep your focus.

How to Write a Comparative Essay

Writing a comparative essay is easy. Just follow these simple steps

big plate with pasta and small plate with pasta

  1. Choose the topic
  2. Make a research on the chosen topic to make sure there is enough information for comparison
  3. Draft a thesis statement
  4. Create an outline
  5. Write introduction, main body, and conclusion
  6. Create a title for your essay
  7. Edit and proofread your paper

Great Comparative Essay Topics Ideas

If you need to write a comparative essay but cannot come up with the topic. Check this list, you will definitely find the topic you will want to write about

  1. iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11
  2. Trump vs Biden
  3. Cats vs dogs
  4. Travel by car vs travel by plane
  5. Greek vs Roman culture
  6. The best country for life
  7. Traditional vs online education
  8. Books vs films
  9. The most effective US president (compare and least two)
  10. College vs university
  11. Similarities and differences in Christianity and Islam
  12. Harvard vs Oxford
  13. Love and friendship
  14. Compare two favourite films or books
  15.  Coffee vs tea
  16. Cardi B vs Nicki Minaj
  17. Marvel vs DC
  18. Star Trek vs Star Wars
  19. Fast food vs homemade food
  20. Doing sports vs no sport

Compare and Contrast  Essay Example

Check this great example of a comparative essay as a sample for your essay.


After reading this article you should be ready to write your perfect comparative essay. We are sure you can easily do that. No time? Buy comparative paper online from the experts! There is no need to worry because you are one of them now too!