Compare and Contrast Essay Examples and Samples

This type of essay can be really confusing, as balancing between comparing and contrasting can be rather difficult. Check out our compare and contrast essay samples to see how to write essays of this type on your own.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples and Samples

Comparing and contrasting may seem like the same action. But it’s not. That’s why writing a compare and contrast essay sample may be confusing. Once you get into the topic though, it won’t take much time until you have your paper completed. 

So, without further ado, let’s move on to helping you with your compare-and -essay writing!

What Is a Compare And Contrast Essay Examples

So what exactly is a compare and contrast essay? It’s an analytical or informative type of writing that digs into the differences as well as similarities of two subjects. In the end, it usually leads to a much larger insight into the two. The key trick here is to trace not-so-obvious connections between the subjects. That’s where this “great insight” will come from – from more nuanced and subtle similarities/differences. 

Note also that, if you look at an example of compare and contrast essay, you won’t see some sort of a definite argument or opinion statement. This type of paper is more about an objective analysis of two things. You won’t criticize them, but rather present the necessary details. And the final decision about what is better or worse is not yours to make but belongs to the readers.

Compare and Contrast Essay Example: Format & Structure

In terms of structure, your compare and contrast essay will mostly depend on your chosen subject, the word count you need to reach, and the time you have to complete it. It’s not always like your general five-paragraph paper.

However, basically, the structure goes as follows:

  1. An introduction – a paragraph that has a thesis statement (what and why you are comparing/contrasting) and gives the reader the background context.
  2. A 1st body paragraph – concentrated on discussing similarities
  3. A 2nd body paragraph – focused on discussing differences
  4. A conclusion – restates the thesis, poses further potential questions

With body paragraphs, you can also take on a different approach. For example, if you compare and contrast city and country life, you could choose to contrast and compare them within specific aspects. One body paragraph could be discussing both similarities and differences in terms of social dynamics and relationships in both areas, and the second could be dedicated to conveniences and amenities. This is a point-by-point method. 

You can also use a block method, where your first body paragraph is dedicated to fully examining one subject, and the second – the other. So here, you have more variations as to how you can build your paper. 

Writing Comparison and Contrast Essay Examples: Suitable Subjects

Now, after you learned the most important parts, we can move on to writing. Before you start, you need to pick a topic. Some subjects may be a bit more suitable to discuss in this type of essay. Here is a list of possible topics for your discussion:

  • Liberal Arts or the Sciences: Which Degree Program Offers More Job Prospects?
  • Compare and Contrast: Homeschooling vs. Traditional Schooling
  • Which is Better for a Child: Online Learning vs. Classroom Learning
  • Vintage Styles vs. Contemporary Styles – Forming Fashion Taste
  • Music and Poetry: Which Is More Personal?
  • What is Better for The Health: Yoga vs. Aerobic Exercises?

Of course, you should always consider what course you are writing for and your interests as well. If you are not intrigued by the chosen topic, most probably neither will your readers. Do some brainstorming on the topic, and you will most definitely find the right subject to examine!

When you have a topic in mind, you can follow the structure given above to help you keep your thoughts on track. Don’t forget to include a good hook in your introduction paragraph to make the readers interested in your subject. Don’t try to skip information just because you want to get done with your essay as well. The devil is in the details here. And give extra thought to your conclusion, as it may allow you to draw on other questions and make your essay matter. 

Free Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Starting writing by yourself can be stressful. It’s still something that you will have to do. However, we decided to give you a little extra help and collected a few compare and contrast paragraph examples so that you know what your writing should look like.

Topic: Books vs. Movies

  1. Introduction paragraph:

In storytelling, both books and movies have etched significant marks, captivating audiences with tales of adventure, romance, mystery, and more. But while both mediums aim to engage and entertain, they offer vastly different experiences to their audiences. This essay digs into the main differences and similarities between books and movies, focusing on the depth of exploration, the sensory experience, and the duration of the engagement.”

Thesis statement: “While books provide readers with an in-depth exploration of characters and settings, allowing for personal imagination, movies offer a visual and auditory sensory experience that condenses the narrative, catering to a more immediate form of consumption.

2. Body paragraph 1 – Depth of Exploration

The written format of books grants authors the luxury of delving deep into a character’s psyche, detailing their emotions, thoughts, and motivations with precision. Readers are privy to inner monologues, extensive backstories, and intricate world-building. This depth often provides a more comprehensive understanding of the narrative and its characters.

Due to time constraints, however, movies might skim over or even omit certain details present in the original book. While they can hint at a character’s feelings through acting, certain nuances might be lost. However, they excel in showing rather than telling, using visual cues and music to convey mood and emotion.

3. Body paragraph 2 – Sensory Experience

The beauty of reading lies in the power of personal imagination. Every reader visualizes characters and settings in a unique way, making each reading experience personal. The narrative pace is set by the reader, allowing them to linger on descriptive passages or moments of significance.

Movies, on the other hand, present a director’s vision, with characters and settings brought to life through actors, sets, cinematography, and soundtracks. The multi-sensory experience is standardized for all viewers, providing a shared version of the story, complemented by visual effects and music scores.

4. Conclusion

Books and movies, as mediums of storytelling, each have their unique strengths. While books invite readers into a world sculpted by words and fueled by personal imagination, movies offer a communal experience where tales are painted in frames and scenes. The preference for one over the other often hinges on an individual’s desire: to dive deep into a narrative with autonomy or to be swept away in a sensory-rich cinematic journey. Both, however, remain pillars of art and entertainment, testifying to humanity’s insatiable appetite for stories.


What is a good example of compare and contrast?

The compare and contrast essays are all about drawing distinctions between two elements. So a good example would go something like this:

“iOS appeals to those looking for a streamlined, uniform experience, while Android caters to those who value customization and a wider choice of devices.”

What are 10 examples of compare and contrast words?

If you can’t find the words to use in your essay, don’t worry. We collected the next 10 examples that could be used to compare and contrast:

  • Like, similar to/similarly, in like manner, likewise
  • On the contrary, on one hand/on the other
  • Compared to 
  • Contrasted with/ in contrast
  • Regardless/despite

How do you start a compare and contrast paper example?

The introduction part is important in any paper. Writing an introduction to compare and contrast essay should involve the reasoning for the comparison or contrast. For example, the reason can be to determine whether the two literary pieces have more differences or similarities. It should also clearly state the two subjects analysed in the writing and the criteria for the analysis. 

How do you start a compare and contrast introduction?

As was said, the introduction part gives the reader an understanding of the reason behind comparison and contrast. It should be captivating and clear. Below is an example of how such a paragraph may sound:

“In the literary canon, few novels have stood the test of time as resolutely as Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre”. Published during the 19th century, both novels offer insightful critiques of societal norms and expectations, especially concerning love, class, and the role of women. Yet, despite these thematic intersections, the authors’ approaches to storytelling and the worlds they construct are uniquely distinct. While Austen crafts a witty commentary on the mores of Regency England’s gentry, Brontë delves into a darker, Gothic world, intertwining romance with elements of suspense and mystery. This essay aims to illuminate the contrasts and similarities between these two seminal works, exploring how each narrative offers a distinct yet intertwined reflection on love, society, and individual agency.”

What are 5 examples of compare sentences?

If you yet struggle to picture what a comparative sentence may look and sound like, below are 5 examples of their structure:

  1. Red apples are sweeter than green ones.
  2. Wool is much warmer compared to linen.
  3. People have larger brains than animals.
  4. The climate in Canada is typically colder with long winters, compared to the climate in Brazil, which boasts tropical warmth year-round.
  5. Traditional classrooms emphasize face-to-face interaction and hands-on activities, while online learning environments offer flexibility and self-paced study.

What is a good compare and contrast paragraph?

A well-written compare and contrast paragraph will include the following three aspects: 

  • the topic sentence introducing two subjects and one the details about their qualities;
  • the body sentence, which will further examine how these qualities are similar or different
  • The ending sentence, that sums up what was said above and highlights how the two objects are the same or opposite. 

Don’t also forget to use transition words and phrases like “however,” “in contrast,” and “moreover” to help guide the reader through the comparison.