In your career as a student you will no doubt encounter with a task of writing a contrast essay, as they are quite common. As you can guess from its title, a contrast essay is all about contrasting.
Still, it is not that simple to write this type of essay as it may seem from the beginning. Usually, you can guess from the title of the essay that you are dealing with a contrast or comparative essay. For example, you may have to examine two different books from one and the same author, compare countries’ GDP’s, analyze different economic, social trends and behavior, etc. As you can see, no matter whether you are studying literature, economic or social studies, sooner or later you will have to write a contrast or comparative essay. However, although a lot of universities and colleges acknowledge the contrast essay and the comparative one as one and the same thing, you should be careful when writing one because sometimes you will be asked to only contrast two different things or compare them and sometimes you may be asked to do both.
The question here is how to write a contrast essay? There are of course some useful tips when writing a contrast essay. As any type of essay, the contrast or comparative one consists of introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.
Introduction of a contrast essay
As you have probably heard before, in the introduction part you need to state your thesis, which should be strong and clear. In case of the contrast or comparative essay you should state clearly the topics you are going to contrast or compare, or both. It is also good to provide some basic information on the topic which is going to be contrasted or compared. In your introduction it will be very useful to add a thesis argument and at least three points of contrast or comparison. You will elaborate them further in the body of the essay. Let’s say that you have to write an essay on the subject which country is better for vacation: Spain or Italy. How can you decide which one is the best option and what exactly will be your thesis? Since both countries have their advantages and are wonderful places for visit, you can state in your thesis that it is the time of the year that is the most important when making a decision. You elaborate furthermore with at least three points of contrast; for example, if you are traveling during summer the best option would be Spain because of its wonderful beaches while in Rome (the capital of Italy) this time of the period is very hot and not suitable for sightseeing. The next point can be whether you research for local festivals and other cultural events in the different time periods of the year, and the third one can be the financial side of your possible future trip. And here you have the contrast or comparative essay introduction stating your thesis and points of contrast and comparison in a clear and simple way.
It is not easy to find the thesis and points of comparison on your own so you will have to research well in order for your essay to sound valid and trustworthy. Also, do not be afraid to change your mind if, while researching which place is best to visit, it turns out that it is not the one you initially planned; then just simply write the essay from your new point of view. As long as the paper is researched well and sounds reasonable, logical and impartial you will have an excellent contrast essay.
Body of a contrast essay
We move on with the body of the contrast essay. As mentioned above, we elaborate furthermore what we have stated in the beginning or introduction of our essay. There is one specific detail when it comes to writing the body of the contrast essay; you can choose whether to write two body paragraphs only or using the so called whole-to-whole comparison or contrast (one of the paragraphs is all about comparison and the other one is all about contrast), or you can use a different paragraph for each point you have stated in the introduction. Very often this will be provided in the instructions. Also. you can add one paragraph with competitive arguments. If you decide to do that, however, you have to be extremely careful because all the counterarguments have to be flawed. It will be very useful if you make a structure on your body paragraph prior to writing it. The most common organization structures consist of the so-called block method or subject-by-subject comparison followed by contrast and point-by-point. Use transitional words and phrases such as similar, on the other hand, compared to, just as, unlike, on the contrary, in contrast, etc. depending if you are looking for comparison or contrast.
Conclusion of a contrast essay
The last part of the contrast essay is the conclusion. The main purpose of the conclusion is to restate your thesis and summarize the presented points of comparison or contrast. It has to be strong with clear sentences and message. Always proofread your essay.