Comparison Essay: Sample, Ideas, and Structure

The main purpose of a comparison essay is to describe and analyze similarities and differences between two different subjects. A good comparison essay example does not just make a list of characteristics. These characteristics are used to make an argument about both subjects. It may seem a little bit time-consuming and challenging, but with practice and our advice, you will be able to create an awesome comparison essay.

Think about your comparison essay structure

There are two ways of structuring a compare/contrast essay: alternating method and block method. The first one is structured as a point-by-point pattern. In it, you have to find similar points related to your central subjects (let’s call them A and B) and alternate between subjects on the basis of points. For example, if you are writing a comparative essay about Star Wars and Star Trek, you may examine how both of them are similar and different in terms of genres, media types, and debated episodes or scenes.

  • A: Body Paragraph #1: genre peculiarities of Star Trek
  • B: Body Paragraph #2: genre peculiarities of Star Wars
  • A: Body Paragraph #3: media types of Star Trek
  • B: Body Paragraph #4: media types of Star Wars
  • A: Body Paragraph #5: debated episodes of Star Trek
  • B: Body Paragraph #6: debated episodes of Star Wars

Note that your comparison subjects may be rather different than similar. Using this method, you have to include something interesting and worthy to say on every point. You are free to include more than three pairs of characteristics: there are broader subjects, and you may need more points to describe in your essay.

The second way is a block method. In this method you should discuss everything you can say about A and then everything about B. For example, in the essay about Star Trek and Star Wars you address the Star Trek in the first block and Star Wars in the second one. If you choose block method, you should avoid composing a disconnected text. In the second block of your essay, make references to the first block and make clear comparison points where relevant (“Like A, B…” or “Unlike A, B…). This will help you to create a coherent and critical text.

  • A: 2-4 paragraphs of the body section talk about Star Trek
  • B: 4-7 paragraphs of the body section talk about Star Wars and critically connect information from both sections

How to write a Romeo and Juliet comparison essay

If you have been assigned to write a comparison essay on Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet and the other similar text or movie, follow these steps:

  • Step #1
    Create an outline and list the key things to compare. Use direct quotes that show main differences and similarities of the plot lines, characters, and historical background.
  • Step #2
    Select the core idea or question that will be used to contextualize a comparison. Consider if there are some inspiring questions you can use to frame your paper.
  • Step #3
    Clearly describe the relationships between the texts and explain why they matter. This will be your main thesis.
  • Step #4
    Use one of the methods described above to create a coherent comparison.
  • Step #5
    Write your comparison using an outline. Include linking words like “contrary to”, “similarly”, “in contrast” or “like to create connections between both parts of the text. Don’t forget about quotes and references to support your arguments.
  • Step #6
    Write a conclusion using 1-2 paragraphs. Explain the whole context of your essay and make it compelling to let your reader think.