The definition and content of compare and contrast essay

When one makes a comparison essay he tries to find out equal characteristics of two or more objects. In the case of contrast essay, one tries to put the objects against each other describe them and find opposite points in similar characteristics. Professors in educational establishments of liberal arts usually use this type of essays to test your historical, philosophical or literary knowledge. For example, they can give a task on comparing certain judgements, opinions, heroes of a book and other. Although compare and contrast essay is a popular type of writing in universities, sometimes tutors choose to give only half of this exercise. In the following examples, you can see such tasks:

  • Explain the similarities between the formation of the ancient Chinese Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
  • Compare and contrast ideas of rocket science of Korolev and Tsiolkovskiy.
  • Examine how the political structure of Nigeria and Ghana differ.

Construction of C&C essay

The structure of a compare and contrast essay may be of two types. The first type implies that you will represent every sign of equality or inequality between objects immediately. This kind of structure gives you a chance to write a good-quality essay because it will be easier for a reader to follow your point and to see the similarities or differences more distinctly. This construction is called «point-by-point». The second type of C&C essay construction is called «block» and its idea is to give as much information on one object as possible and then to give comparison information in the next block. This type doesn’t allow us to make our opinion accurate and obvious for a reader, because he will be obliged to remember everything you just mentioned in the last paragraph, but to write an essay by this pattern is much easier.

C&C substructure words

To help you to link your chain of reasoning there are some overall collocations which are in bold in sentences written down below.


  • Not only Steve Jobs but also Bill Gates made his way through a lot of negative circumstances.
  • Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are very diligent and smart people who always achieve their goals.
  • Just like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs started his own business empire with a tiny humble team and without any external help.
  • Steve Jobs’ company, Apple was a pioneer in personal computers engineering. Likewise/analogously Bill Gates’s Microsoft made a huge leap forward in this field.


  • Although Steve Jobs and Bill Gates run the same-oriented companies but their convictions on how the company should be operated differ greatly.
  • In comparison to Bill Gates’ opened-architecture personal computers, Steve Jobs’ Macintosh was a bit more enclosed device.
  • While Bill Gates chose to focus on developing home PC only and simplifying its usage, Steve Jobs’ idea was to bring his device in every household issue and to make a universal appliance industry.

Common mistake

One of the most frequent mistakes made by young authors is carelessness in choosing a comparing measure or contraposing characteristics. This statement is easier to understand after studying the example below.

  • Mike is active and cheerful. In contrast, Nicolas is strong and decisive.

As you have probably guessed, the characteristics, which the author put, in contrast, are dissimilar and have a different semantic load. If author mentions that Mike is active (description of his social life) and cheerful (description of personality), then we would expect the same characteristics to be put in comparison (for example Nicolas is unfriendly and gloomy). What we get is two different features described instead: strength (physical characteristic) and decisiveness (personality feature too, but is not opposed to anything).

In conclusion, remember that if circumstances make you give up writing an essay on your own, you can always request online assistance in essay writer services. There you can order any type of essay work and get it done in the time you require.