How to write a compare and contrast essay effectively helps students develop and enhance skills like organized, logical argument, and accurate critical thinking. The best written essays of this kind lay the foundation for future work – either in school or beyond. As college students move from one academic challenge to another, it is important to refresh and restate one’s strengths and weaknesses so that they can be used to better achieve academic goals. The key is knowing how to properly communicate these to the reader.

A typical “how to write a compare and contrast essay,” starts with a thesis statement. This statement generally begins with the name of the author and ends with the name of the topic – in this case, the “compare and contrast” concept. After developing a strong introduction to the topic, the next step involves supporting evidence. Supporting evidence usually comes in the form of personal anecdotes, a thorough review of primary and secondary sources, specific research statements, and even graphs and illustrations. A student should not hesitate to use all of these tools at least some throughout his or her essay.

Once the essay writer has developed a strong thesis statement and examined available evidence, the next step in how to write a compare and contrast essay is to develop an outline. The outline should provide a clear picture of the entire essay, as well as key points of focus for each part of the argument. By laying out each section of the essay and including a conclusion, the writer can better organize the essay and make sense of the information presented.

One of the most important steps in how to write a compare and contrast essay is developing a proper introduction to the thesis statement. In the introductory paragraph, the author must provide a clear and definitive statement of the thesis. If the author is strongly arguing one side of the debate, he or she may wish to include a more detailed analysis of the opposing arguments within the body of the essay, but in the interest of concreteness, it is usually best to stick to one side of the thesis to begin.

The next step in how to write a compare and contrast essay is to develop a detailed summary of the main ideas and arguments. The summary should carefully lay out the range of topics covered within the essay. It should also contain a concise explanation of each of the major sections within the body of the essay. The summary should not be limited to the bare bones of the essay, as some students have a tendency to do. Rather, the summary should serve as a general guide to the main idea and concept of the essay.

Writing a compare and contrast essay typically involves the author stating his or her main idea, working through the supporting facts, and then expounding upon the main idea and supporting details with further research and examples from other essays. The key to writing a compelling compare and contrast essay is to start with a strong and focused argument, develop a clear outline of the main idea and concept, and then set forth a reasonable and thorough examination of all the opposing arguments. Any conclusion is only as strong as the evidence and arguments used to support it. The writer must take care to proofread and edit for errors.