What is a Comparative Essay and How to Write it?

Home » What is a Comparative Essay and How to Write it?

Do you want to write a comparative essay? Don’t worry! Writing a comparative essay is one of the common assignments everyone, especially those from a scholastic background, should be aware of. In order to write a comparative essay, you should first have two topics with enough similarities and differences to conduct a comparison. After comparison, you should write a well-organized essay by listing out all the comparisons with supporting facts. Remember, your essay should be understandable to the readers, and hence you should structure it properly by using a standard format.

To help you in writing a comparative essay, here in this post, we have shared all the important details about a comparative essay and the ways to write it effectively.

What is a Comparative Essay?

Comparative Essay

A type of essay called a comparative essay compares and contrasts the characteristics of two distinct subjects. You are required to write paragraphs in this essay that explain how different or similar the two topics you have chosen to discuss are.

When you are given the task of comparing and contrasting two subjects, you will be required to describe both their similarities and differences. In this context, the terms “compare” and “contrast” refer to similarities and differences.

For instance, if you are given the task of writing a comparison essay between a laptop and a mobile phone, you must conduct research on both devices and write about the similarities and differences between them.

For comparative essay writing, the subjects you have selected for discussion can be different and need not have a close association.

Comparative Essay Writing Steps

Never start writing an essay without a proper plan. You can’t effectively write a compare and contrast essay with just a topic and the ideas relevant to it. So, when you start writing, be sure to follow the below-mentioned steps.

Study the essay topic

When you are given an essay topic or a question, first, study the essay prompt carefully and mark the keywords in it. Then, with the keywords, find out what answer should be written for that essay question. You can easily identify a comparative essay question with the keywords like “compare, contrast, differences, and similarities”.

The comparative essay question can be asked either in a general or specific way. If you are specifically asked to compare two subjects, then your focus should only be on those subjects. But if you are given a general question, you can pick any two subjects of your choice related to your essay topic and write a comparison.

Figure out the key points

After analyzing your essay topic, research and find the key points that need to be presented in your essay. Prepare hints of all the similarities and differences and then later develop them as an essay. While you take notes, give importance only to the points that boost your comparison. Never concentrate on the less significant points.

Prepare a Thesis Statement

After identifying the key points, write a thesis statement for your essay topic. To prepare a clear thesis statement, first, go through the key points that you have noted and check whether your essay question is more focused on dissimilarities or similarities. Remember, your thesis should be simple and relevant to your essay topic.

Build the content

With the key points you have noted, build the content for your comparative essay by adding paragraphs. The entire essay should be written in a simple and understandable manner.


simple guide on how to write a Comparative Essay

  • E-learning vs. Classroom Learning.
  • School vs. College
  • Students, Who Work Vs Unemployed Students: Who Takes the Best of This Life?
  • Research Paper and Essay: What Is More Responsible?
  • Comparing Life with Parents to Living on Campus.
  • Part-Time Jobs Vs Seasonal Jobs.

Standard Format and Structure of a Comparative Essay

Like every other essay, your comparative essay should also be structured properly to present valuable comparison points clearly to the readers. Generally, essays can be written in different structures and formats. But when writing a comparative essay, be sure to stick to any of the below-mentioned structures.

Alternating Method

As this approach covers only one aspect of comparison in a single paragraph, you will need to consider the first topic and provide a comprehensive explanation of one aspect of comparison that is related to it in the first paragraph. Then, in the following paragraph, you need to talk about the same comparison between the second topic and the first. In the third and fourth sections, you need to talk about one more thing of examination that is connected with the first and the second subject separately. You must follow this order all the way through your essay.

By explaining your items of comparison in depth using the alternating method, you can effectively concentrate on the two distinct subjects and present a well-analyzed paper. This technique functions admirably on the off chance that you have to structure a similar exposition on a subject that needs a nitty gritty examination or when the correlation points of both subjects are not related.

Mixed Paragraphs Method

In this method, you need to discuss the subject comparison with respect to one aspect in a single paragraph.

With the help of the mixed paragraph method, the readers can easily spot the comparison factor between the two subjects. Also, in terms of comparison, this method gives equal weight to the subjects.

For writing a long comparative essay, you can use the mixed-paragraph method. You can also use this method to effectively deal with complex subjects that need special attention.

Block Method

In this method, you need to split the essay into two parts and then, discuss the first subject in one part and the second subject in another part. But when you follow this structure, you need to explain all the items of comparison in relation to the first subject in a particular order and then, in the second paragraph, you need to present the comparison points in the same order as discussed in the first paragraph.

You can utilize this block method for writing a short essay, simple subjects, and multiple subjects. Also, it can be used when there is no particular relationship between the comparison items of both subjects.

Related post: Argumentative Essay Topics That You Must Consider

Comparative Essay Structure Example

Here is an example of how to write a compare-and-contrast essay using the standard comparative essay structure.

Essay Topic: Compare the smartphone Poco X3 Pro and OnePlus Nord

Alternating Method

1st Paragraph: Display Features of Poco X3 Pro

2nd Paragraph: Display Features of OnePlusNord

3rd Paragraph: Camera Quality of Poco X3 Pro

4th Paragraph: Camera Quality of OnePlus Nord

Mixed Paragraph Method

1st Paragraph: Display Features of Poco X3 Pro / Display Features of OnePlus Nord

2nd Paragraph: Camera Quality of Poco X3 Pro / Camera Quality of OnePlus Nord

Block Method

1st Paragraph: Display Features of Poco X3 Pro

2nd Paragraph: Camera Quality of Poco X3 Pro

3rd Paragraph: Display Features of OnePlus Nord

4th Paragraph: Camera Quality of OnePlus Nord

Essential Elements of a Comparative Essay

With comparative essay structures like alternating, mixed paragraphs, and blocks, you can present the entire essay content in an organized and understandable way. However, the structure alone will not be helpful in writing a comparative essay. In order to write a good comparative essay, you need to follow a Comparative Essay Format that includes the below-mentioned elements.


Begin your essay with an introduction paragraph. In this section, you need to inform your readers what your essay is all about. The introduction should be catchy, and simple and grab the attention of the readers till the end. In the last sentence of the introduction, make sure to include a thesis statement related to your essay topic.


This is the core part of your essay where you need to compare and contrast two subjects. For easy understanding, your comparisons about the subjects should be presented in any of the comparative essay structures such as alternating, mixed paragraphs, or blocks.


Complete the essay by summarizing what you have discussed in the body of the essay. Never share your personal note in the conclusion, just highlight the similarities and dissimilarities that you have identified in the essay topic or question.


Hopefully, by now, you will have gained a better understanding of how to write a comparative essay. In case, you still have difficulties with composing a comparative analysis essay or if you need help with comparative essay topic selection, contact us immediately.

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