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80 Intriguing Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

Android vs. iPhone? Capitalism vs. communism? Hot dog vs. taco?

First day of school vs. the last day of school.

In compare and contrast essays , writers show the similarities and differences between two things. They combine descriptive writing with analysis, making connections and showing dissimilarities. Remind students that in this type of writing, they’re not necessarily trying to sway the reader to one opinion or another—they’re just presenting and analyzing facts. These compare and contrast essay topics will give them plenty of practice.

  • School and Life Essay Topics
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  • Just for Fun Essay Topics

School and Life Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Public and private schools
  • Online school and in-person school
  • Any two schools or colleges
  • Going to college vs. starting work full-time

Going to college vs. starting work full-time

  • Working your way through college as you go or taking out student loans
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Elementary school and high school
  • Learning to read vs. learning to write
  • The importance of any two school subjects
  • Wearing glasses vs. having braces
  • You and your best friend
  • Friendship vs. romantic love

Friendship vs. romantic love

  • Group work and individual work
  • Only child vs. having siblings
  • Nature vs. nurture
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Old friends and new friends
  • Your teacher vs. your parent/guardian
  • Car ownership and public transportation

Car ownership and public transportation

  • Learning to ride a bike vs. learning to drive a car

Entertainment Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • iPhone vs. Android
  • Instagram vs. Twitter (or choose any other two social media platforms)
  • Xbox vs. PlayStation

Xbox vs. PlayStation

  • Any two sports, like American football vs. soccer
  • Cooking at home and dining out
  • A movie based on a book and the book it was based on
  • Reading and watching TV
  • Opera music and pop music (or any two music genres)
  • Vegetarian and vegan

Vegetarian and vegan

  • Giving and receiving gifts
  • Going to a play vs. going to a movie
  • Playing a video game and watching a movie
  • Horse racing vs. NASCAR
  • Laptop vs. tablet
  • Sprint vs. marathon
  • Poetry and rap music
  • Ping-Pong vs. tennis
  • DC vs. Marvel
  • Netflix and YouTube
  • Shopping online and shopping in person

Shopping online and shopping in person

History and Politics Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Capitalism vs. communism
  • Socialism vs. communism
  • Monarchy/dictatorship and democracy
  • Two political candidates in a current race

Two political candidates in a current race

  • Spanish flu pandemic vs. COVID-19 pandemic
  • World War I and World War II
  • American pioneers vs. first space explorers
  • Gen X vs. Gen Z
  • Abraham Lincoln vs. Barack Obama (or any other two presidents)
  • Any two U.S. states

Any two U.S. states

  • Any two historic eras
  • Queen Elizabeth I vs. Queen Elizabeth II
  • Republicans and Democrats
  • Hitler and Stalin
  • The first airplane flight vs. the first manned spaceflight
  • American president vs. U.K. prime minister

American president vs. U.K. prime minister

  • Fox News vs. CNN
  • Legislative branch and executive branch and/or judicial branch
  • Equality and equity
  • Elected politicians vs. lobbyists

Just for Fun Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Dogs vs. cats as pets

Dogs vs. cats as pets

  • Paper books or e-books
  • Hot dogs vs. tacos
  • Summer and winter
  • Fall and spring
  • Big Mac vs. Whopper
  • Coke vs. Pepsi
  • Chocolate shake vs. hot chocolate
  • Any two superheroes or villains
  • Mondays and Fridays
  • Mornings vs. evenings

Mornings vs. evenings

  • First day of school vs. last day of school
  • Christmas vs. birthdays
  • Hurricane vs. tornado
  • Birthday as a kid and birthday as an adult
  • Going barefoot vs. wearing shoes
  • Appetizers and desserts

Appetizers and desserts

  • Phone calls and texting
  • Pants vs. skirts
  • Electric cars vs. gas-powered cars

What are some of your favorite compare and contrast essay topics? Come share your prompts on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, check out the big list of essay topics for high school (100+ ideas).

80 Intriguing Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

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compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

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Writing a Compare-and-Contrast Essay (Gr. 3)

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Compare and contrast texts

Recognizing differences and similarities in a text.

Students are given a short text followed by questions asking them to identify details which the characters have in common and ways in which they are different. Comparing and contrasting things is fundamental to character and story development. Students may need assistance reading the texts.

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

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Glitter in Third

A Teaching Blog by Kelly Chapman

Compare & contrast activities for students

April 26, 2021 By Kelly Chapman

Compare and Contrast: Increasing Critical Thinking Skills in Young Readers

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

One of the best things you can do for your students when teaching your compare and contrast unit is to incorporate a wide variety of resources and activities !

Like many other teachers, one of my favorite ways to practice comparing and contrasting used to be by using graphic organizers , both digital and paper, but I also love helping teachers introduce new activities and teaching methods in their classrooms! 

The purpose behind learning how to compare and contrast is to increase critical thinking skills and create well-rounded readers who can organize their thoughts, look at different ideas and viewpoints in a multitude of ways , and become confident decision-makers.

I want to show you a few different ways you can teach comparing and contrasting not only using books and passages but with a variety of real-world applications, as well!

Compare & contrast activities for students

Compare and contrast for google classroom.

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

This digital resource is perfect for introducing compare and contrast in your classroom and addresses the Common Core standards within 2nd-4th grade!

The resource includes drag-and-drop activities that focus on keywords and understanding compare and contrast vocabulary , short answer questions that incorporate reading passages , as well as Venn diagrams and t-charts to be completed with various topics to compare and contrast.

The topics are super simple to help introduce the concept to your students – dog and cat, hot dog and donut, books, characters, and even the student and teacher!

I have also included a blank and editable diamond Venn diagram, t-chart, and circle Venn diagram for you to choose your own topics or stories you’d like your students to compare and contrast!

I always loved having multiple graphic organizers available in case I could decide on the go if I wanted my students to compare and contrast in small groups, with a partner, individually, or all 3!

Practice makes perfect – snag it here !

Compare and Contrast Interactive Notebook

compare contrast activities students

This interactive notebook is a combination of vocabulary sorting activities, given scenarios and objects to identify similarities and differences , as well as blank Venn diagrams to compare and contrast characters or events from your own text!

I definitely find kids’ critical thinking skills are broadened when they are expected to compare and contrast something from their own reading , which is why I love including blank venn diagrams in these resources!

One of my favorite activities in this notebook is the Key Word Sort Chart. It’s super important that your students know the keywords that signify comparison or contrast. It will help them immensely while they read! 

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

There are answer keys included, 3 levels of differentiation , and is also compatible with Easel , making it possible to be converted to an interactive online resource if you prefer digital! 🙂 

You can find it here !

Compare and Contrast Digital Mystery Pixel

compare contrast activities students

If you’ve never tried a digital mystery pixel before , you’ve GOT to get your hands on one !

In this resource, you’ll get 5 different compare and contrast digital mystery pixels containing 5 reading passages with 4 questions each . Every question that a student answers correctly displays a mystery picture to gradually appear!

The topics of these passages range anywhere from seasons and holidays to food and adventures ! 

Every pixel is self-grading and requires no prep on your part.

You can preview the resource on this page here !

Not sure if a digital mystery pixel is for you? Make sure to sign up below to get a FREE reading comprehension digital mystery pixel sent right to your inbox!

Book Reports

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

I honestly don’t necessarily love calling this activity a “book report.”

I think students hear that and they think they are totally old school.

But, little do they know that there are so many stories out there that provide amazing lessons, morals, and strong characters to resonate with. 

When you’re first beginning comparing and contrasting and looking for keywords , start with fairy tales or short stories that your students are super familiar with.

Then, gradually move to chapter books and texts that will create discussion within the class.

You can also do this with movies as well as authors !

As a class, read 2 books by the same author.

Compare and contrast the characters, plot, setting, etc.

I also loved doing this with a series. It’s super cool for students to see how a character evolves throughout a series , or even just from one story to another!

Here are few series your students may enjoy reading to compare and contrast the characters and events from book to book (Amazon Affiliate links below!)

  • Junie B. Jones
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Magic Treehouse
  • Captain Underpants
  • Geronimo Stilton
  • The Boxcar Children
  • A to Z Mysteries
  • The Babysitter’s Club
  • Amelia Bedelia

Expository and/or Persuasive Writing

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

I will always stand by my opinion in saying that better writers, make better readers!

Once your students have built a foundation of compare and contrast , you can build upon those skills by incorporating expository or persuasive writing.

You can always assign each student a topic, but I always believe if you’re looking for a students’ best work, let them choose their own!

They could choose to write about animals – comparing and contrasting different breeds but of the same animal or habitats of amphibians versus reptiles.

They could also write persuasively and compare and contrast owning a dog as a pet versus owning a cat.

Of course to make it a compare and contrast lesson, they must include similarities and differences , but it’s okay to have their opinion shine through. 🙂

Cross-Curricular Research

Comparing and contrasting is so easy to do with any subject area.

This can definitely tie into the writing activity , but consider incorporating different subjects for students to compare and contrast.

For example, maybe you have a student super interested in physical education.

Have them research running versus weight training. How do the exercises compare? How does it differ? And they can learn more about the benefits of each.

You could also incorporate geography.

Comparing and contrasting areas with mountain ranges versus beaches . Is the weather the same at all? What kinds of vegetation is there?

The whole idea behind comparing and contrasting is to take in as much information as possible .

The more we practice this with our students, the better critical thinkers and well-rounded individuals we will produce! 🙂

I encourage you to get creative with your compare and contrast unit!

Build a foundation with any or all of the resources I’ve provided you with here, and then you can start exploring with the literature, writing, and research activities! Enjoy!

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101 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

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Compare and contrast essays are taught in school for many reasons. For one thing, they are relatively easy to teach, understand, and format. Students can typically understand the structure with just a short amount of instruction. In addition, these essays allow students develop critical thinking skills to approach a variety of topics.

Brainstorming Tip

One fun way to get students started brainstorming their compare and contrast essays is to create a Venn diagram , where the overlapping sections of the circle contain similarities and the non-overlapping areas contain the differing traits.

Following is a list of 101 topics for compare and contrast essays that you are welcome to use in your classroom. As you look through the list you will see that some items are academic in nature while others are included for interest-building and fun writing activities.

  • Apple vs. Microsoft
  • Coke vs. Pepsi
  • Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art
  • Antebellum Era vs. Reconstruction Era in American History
  • Childhood vs. Adulthood
  • Star Wars vs. Star Trek
  • Biology vs. Chemistry
  • Astrology vs. Astronomy
  • American Government vs. British Government (or any world government)
  • Fruits vs. Vegetables
  • Dogs vs. Cats
  • Ego vs. Superego
  • Christianity vs. Judaism (or any world religion )
  • Republican vs. Democrat
  • Monarchy vs. Presidency
  • US President vs. UK Prime Minister
  • Jazz vs. Classical Music
  • Red vs. White (or any two colors)
  • Soccer vs. Football
  • North vs. South Before the Civil War
  • New England Colonies vs. Middle Colonies OR vs. Southern Colonies
  • Cash vs. Credit Cards
  • Sam vs. Frodo Baggins
  • Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
  • Fred vs. Shaggy
  • Rap vs. Pop
  • Articles of Confederation vs. U.S. Constitution
  • Henry VIII vs. King Louis XIV
  • Stocks vs. Bonds
  • Monopolies vs. Oligopolies
  • Communism vs. Capitalism
  • Socialism vs. Capitalism
  • Diesel vs. Petroleum
  • Nuclear Power vs. Solar Power
  • Saltwater Fish vs. Freshwater Fish
  • Squids vs. Octopus
  • Mammals vs. Reptiles
  • Baleen vs. Toothed Whales
  • Seals vs. Sea Lions
  • Crocodiles vs. Alligators
  • Bats vs. Birds
  • Oven vs. Microwave
  • Greek vs. Roman Mythology
  • Chinese vs. Japanese
  • Comedy vs. Drama
  • Renting vs. Owning
  • Mozart vs. Beethoven
  • Online vs. Traditional Education
  • North vs. South Pole
  • Watercolor vs. Oil
  • 1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451
  • Emily Dickinson vs. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • W.E.B. DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington
  • Strawberries vs. Apples
  • Airplanes vs. Helicopters
  • Hitler vs. Napoleon
  • Roman Empire vs. British Empire
  • Paper vs. Plastic
  • Italy vs. Spain
  • Baseball vs. Cricket
  • Jefferson vs. Adams
  • Thoroughbreds vs. Clydesdales
  • Spiders vs. Scorpions
  • Northern Hemisphere vs. Southern Hemisphere
  • Hobbes vs. Locke
  • Friends vs. Family
  • Dried Fruit vs. Fresh
  • Porcelain vs. Glass
  • Modern Dance vs. Ballroom Dancing
  • American Idol vs. The Voice
  • Reality TV vs. Sitcoms
  • Picard vs. Kirk
  • Books vs. Movies
  • Magazines vs. Comic Books
  • Antique vs. New
  • Public vs. Private Transportation
  • Email vs. Letters
  • Facebook vs. Twitter
  • Coffee vs. an Energy Drink
  • Toads vs. Frogs
  • Profit vs. Non-Profit
  • Boys vs. Girls
  • Birds vs. Dinosaurs
  • High School vs. College
  • Chamberlain vs. Churchill
  • Offense vs. Defense
  • Jordan vs. Bryant
  • Harry vs. Draco
  • Roses vs. Carnations
  • Poetry vs. Prose
  • Fiction vs. Nonfiction
  • Lions vs. Tigers
  • Vampires vs. Werewolves
  • Lollipops vs. popsicles
  • Summer vs. Winter
  • Recycling vs. Landfill
  • Motorcycle vs. Bicycle
  • Halogen vs. Incandescent
  • Newton vs. Einstein
  • . Go on vacation vs. Staycation
  • Rock vs. Scissors
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compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

9 Comparing and Contrasting Activity Ideas for the Upper Elementary Classroom

Different ways to compare and contrast in the 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade classroom

1. Have Students Write a Compare and Contrast Essay / Paragraph

An essay can be a daunting task at first, so start your students off small!  Have them start off by writing a sentence or a paragraph that compares and contrasts 2 things before doing a full blown essay.  Providing scaffolding for a compare and contrast essay helps your students be able to do this successfully.

Get tips and paragraphs frames to help students successful write a compare and contrast paragraph or essay here. 

2. Have a Snowball Fight - A Fun Compare and Contrast Activity

You might have seen snowball fights being used as a brain break or reward activity in your classroom, but they can also be used for learning!  This is fun way to engage your students during a comparing and contrasting lesson.

Download a free compare and contrast snowball fight activity here, or check out these tips for preparing and creating your own educational snowball fights.  

3. Use the Four Corners Strategy

If you are looking for a more controlled, less chaotic version of the snowball fight, then the Four Corners Game is what you want!  It's a fun activity that gets kids moving while comparing and contrasting.

Find instructions and an example of using the Four Corners strategy in your compare and contrast lessons here.  

4. Use A Scaffolded Venn Diagram

Venn Diagrams are our go to when comparing and contrasting, but sometimes the open ended-ness of blank Venn Diagrams limits higher level thinking.  Use scaffolded Venn Diagrams to teach 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students how to think more critically when filling out Venn Diagrams.

Find out more about how to use scaffolded Venn Diagrams in your upper elementary classroom, or download a free reading passage with a scaffolded Venn Diagram activity.  

Teaching main idea and details so 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students actually understand

Are your students still struggling with finding the main idea / central idea? This scaffolded resource is designed to help struggling students better understand this difficult skill. Students will learn:

  • that titles give clues about the main idea
  • that details should support the main idea
  • the difference between main idea and details
  • how to find the main idea in short and long text

Help your students be successful with main idea!

5. Use Tables or Charts to Compare and Contrast

We tend to lean on Venn Diagram graphic organizers when teaching comparing and contrasting, but students will encounter tables and charts much more often in the real world.

Teaching students how to create tables designed to compare and contrast requires high level thinking and will help them be able to read and interpret tables much more easily.

Check out these tips for using tables and charts in your compare and contrast unit here.  

6. Have Students Create and Justify Rankings

When we rank or put things in a specific order based on certain qualifications, we are really comparing and contrasting.  This type of ranking activity can be integrated into your classroom activities very easily with no prep.

For example, you can easily ask your students to write down the last 5 books you have read as a class in order from their favorite to their least favorite.  Then, have students explain their reasoning.  They will automatically be comparing and contrasting the books they have read in their head.

Check out these no prep ideas on how to use rankings in your reading, science, and social studies lessons here.  

7. Have Students Compare and Contrast Using Visual Online Tools

In our increasingly visual society, the ability to communicate information using visuals will become increasingly important.  Giving students opportunities now to experiment with this will benefit them in the long run.

Check out these 5 online tools students can use to create visuals that compare and contrast.  

8. Use "Would You Rather" Questions

"Would You Rather" questions force students to choose between 2 options -  and they automatically compare and contrast while thinking about their two choices. By creating thoughtful questions and asking students to defend their answers, your students will compare and contrast without even realizing it!

Find example "Would You Rather"  questions to help students compare and contrast fiction texts and nonfiction texts here. 

You might also like these higher order thinking questions for teaching different reading skills.  

9. Fill in Compare and Contrast Graphic Organizers

A ready to use compare and contrast freebie.

Free reading comprehension practice for third, fourth, and fifth graders - paired passages about Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin

Download these reading passages with a compare and contrast activity for free and use it to today!

The book/movie I like to compare in Science is The Lorax.

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Compare and Contrast

The ability to compare and contrast is critical for comprehending literary and informational texts—and for writing them. Learners practice this skill via compare and contrast worksheets, graphic organizers and Venn diagrams, paired texts, reading response sheets, close reading activities, and report writing. 

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Free Printable Comparing and Contrasting Worksheets for 3rd Grade

Comparing and Contrasting: Discover a collection of free printable Reading & Writing worksheets for Grade 3 students, designed by Quizizz to enhance learning and comprehension skills.

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Comparing and Contrasting - Printable Comparing-and-contrasting Worksheets Grade 3 - Quizizz

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Explore printable Comparing and Contrasting worksheets for 3rd Grade

Comparing and contrasting worksheets for Grade 3 are an essential tool for teachers looking to enhance their students' reading and writing skills. These worksheets provide a variety of engaging activities that help students develop a deeper understanding of the texts they read. By comparing and contrasting different elements within a text, students can improve their reading comprehension strategies and become more critical thinkers. Teachers can use these worksheets to create lesson plans that focus on specific reading skills, such as identifying main ideas, supporting details, and drawing conclusions. Additionally, these worksheets can be used as a formative assessment tool to monitor student progress and identify areas where additional instruction may be needed. Overall, comparing and contrasting worksheets for Grade 3 are an invaluable resource for teachers looking to improve their students' reading and writing abilities.

Quizizz offers a wide range of educational resources, including comparing and contrasting worksheets for Grade 3, to help teachers create engaging and interactive lessons. This platform allows teachers to access a variety of reading and writing materials, such as quizzes, games, and other activities that can be easily integrated into their lesson plans. By using Quizizz, teachers can also track their students' progress and identify areas where additional support may be needed. Furthermore, the platform offers resources that focus on reading comprehension strategies, ensuring that students develop the necessary skills to excel in their reading and writing tasks. With Quizizz, teachers can create a comprehensive and engaging learning experience for their Grade 3 students, helping them to achieve success in reading and writing.

Compare and Contrast Rubric

Compare and Contrast Rubric

About this printout

Students and teachers can use this rubric when doing writing that compares and contrasts two things, as well as when assessing the writing. 

Teaching with this printout

More ideas to try.

When assigning a compare and contrast writing assignment, students need to be aware of what makes an outstanding written work.  This rubric is a great tool to show students what is expected of them in a concrete way.  Additionally, this rubric will help teachers assess this student writing and inform further instruction.  This Comparison and Contrast Rubric is also a great way to introduce different rubrics that are used to assess student writing on many state tests.

  • Have students work with a partner or a group and grade each others' papers using the rubric (the entire group should grade the same paper at one time).  Students can then compare their scores with those of other students, as well as the author, to see how they are similar and different.  Feedback from group members will help students when editing their own papers and looking to see if they have included what is required of the assignment.
  • Before turning in the writing assignment, have students assess his/her own writing using the rubric.  After the teacher has assessed the assignment, the student and teacher could have a one-on-one conference to discuss how their assessed rubrics differ and what improvements could be made. 
  • Print this resource

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5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

A compare and contrast essay selects two or more items that are critically analyzed to demonstrate their differences and similarities. Here is a template for you that provides the general structure:

compare and contrast essay format

A range of example essays is presented below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

#1 jean piaget vs lev vygotsky essay.

1480 Words | 5 Pages | 10 References

(Level: University Undergraduate)

paget vs vygotsky essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay will critically examine and compare the developmental theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, focusing on their differing views on cognitive development in children and their influence on educational psychology, through an exploration of key concepts such as the role of culture and environment, scaffolding, equilibration, and their overall implications for educational practices..”

#2 Democracy vs Authoritarianism Essay

democracy vs authoritarianism essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this analysis is that, despite the efficiency and control offered by authoritarian regimes, democratic systems, with their emphasis on individual freedoms, participatory governance, and social welfare, present a more balanced and ethically sound approach to governance, better aligned with the ideals of a just and progressive society.”

#3 Apples vs Oranges Essay

1190 Words | 5 Pages | 0 References

(Level: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade)

apples vs oranges essay

Thesis Statement: “While apples and oranges are both popular and nutritious fruits, they differ significantly in their taste profiles, nutritional benefits, cultural symbolism, and culinary applications.”

#4 Nature vs Nurture Essay

1525 Words | 5 Pages | 11 References

(Level: High School and College)

nature vs nurture essay

Thesis Statement: “The purpose of this essay is to examine and elucidate the complex and interconnected roles of genetic inheritance (nature) and environmental influences (nurture) in shaping human development across various domains such as physical traits, personality, behavior, intelligence, and abilities.”

#5 Dogs vs Cats Essay

1095 Words | 5 Pages | 7 Bibliographic Sources

(Level: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade)

Thesis Statement: “This essay explores the distinctive characteristics, emotional connections, and lifestyle considerations associated with owning dogs and cats, aiming to illuminate the unique joys and benefits each pet brings to their human companions.”

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

I’ve recorded a full video for you on how to write a compare and contrast essay:

Get the Compare and Contrast Templates with AI Prompts Here

In the video, I outline the steps to writing your essay. Here they are explained below:

1. Essay Planning

First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you’re comparing.

I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

compare and contrast worksheet

Grab the Worksheet as Part of the Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Pack

2. Writing the Essay

Once you’ve completed the worksheet, you’re ready to start writing. Go systematically through each feature you are comparing and discuss the similarities and differences, then make an evaluative statement after showing your depth of knowledge:

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement

Compare and contrast thesis statements can either:

  • Remain neutral in an expository tone.
  • Prosecute an argument about which of the items you’re comparing is overall best.

To write an argumentative thesis statement for a compare and contrast essay, try this AI Prompts:

💡 AI Prompt to Generate Ideas I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that pass a reasonable judgement.

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Compare and Contrast Essay: Full Writing Guide and 150+ Topics

compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences. For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc.

Good compare and contrast papers from college essay writer focus on a central point, explaining the importance and implications of this analysis. A compare and contrast essay thesis must make a meaningful comparison. Find the central theme of your essay and do some brainstorming for your thesis.

This type of essay is very common among college and university students. Professors challenge their students to use their analytical and comparative skills and pay close attention to the subjects of their comparisons. This type of essay exercises observance and analysis, helps to establish a frame of reference, and makes meaningful arguments about a subject. Let's get deeper on how to write a compare and contrast essay with our research writing services .

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences

Now that you know what is compare and contrast essay and are set with your topic, the first thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and make a list with two columns: similarities and differences. Jot down key things first, the most striking ones. Then try to look at the subjects from a different angle, incorporating your imagination.

If you are more of a visual learner, creating a Venn diagram might be a good idea. In order to create it, draw two circles that overlap. In the section where it overlaps, note similarities. Differences should be written in the part of the circle that does not overlap.

Let’s look at a simple example of compare and contrast essay. Let one of the subjects be oranges, and the other one be apples. Oranges have thick peel, originally from India, and are tropical fruit. These characteristics pertain only to oranges and should be in the part of the circle that does not overlap. For the same section on apples, we put thin peel, originated in Turkey or Kazakhstan, and moderate to subtropical. In the section that overlaps, let’s say that they are both fruit, can be juiced, and grow on trees. This simple, yet good example illustrates how the same concept can be applied to many other complicated topics with additional points of comparison and contrast.

Example of compare and contrast

This format of visual aid helps to organize similarities and differences and make them easier to perceive. Your diagram will give you a clear idea of the things you can write about.

Another good idea for brainstorming in preparation for your comparison contrast essay is to create a list with 2 columns, one for each subject, and compare the same characteristics for each of them simultaneously. This compare and contrast format will make writing your comparison contrast paper argument a breeze, as you will have your ideas ready and organized.

One mistake you should avoid is simply listing all of the differences or similarities for each subject. Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format.

Compare and Contrast Essay Structure and Outline

So, how do you structure this compare and contrast paper? Well, since compare and contrast essay examples rely heavily on factual analysis, there are two outline methods that can help you organize your facts. You can use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline.

While using the block structure of a compare and contrast essay, all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained. This concludes one block. The second block takes the same approach as the first for the second subject.

The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.

Both formats have their pros and cons. The block method is clearly easier for a compare and contrast essay writer, as you simply point out all of the information about the two subjects, and basically leave it to the reader to do the comparison. The point-by-point format requires you to analyze the points yourself while making similarities and differences more explicit to the reader for them to be easier to understand. Here is a detailed structure of each type presented below.

Point-by-Point Method

  • Introduce the topic;
  • Specify your theme;
  • Present your thesis - cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.
Example thesis: Cars and motorcycles make for excellent means of transportation, but a good choice depends on the person’s lifestyle, finances, and the city they live in.

Body Paragraph 1 - LIFESTYLE

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles impact the owner’s lifestyle less than cars.
  • Topic 1 - Motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are smaller and more comfortable to store.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are easy to learn and use.
  • Topic 2 - Cars
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal - they are like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: It takes time to learn to become a good driver.

Body Paragraph 2 - FINANCES

  • Topic sentence: Cars are much more expensive than motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: You can buy a good motorcycle for under 300$.
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts that are more accessible to fix.
  • ~ Argument: Parts and service are expensive if something breaks.
  • ~ Argument: Cars need more gas than motorcycles.

Body Paragraph 3 - CITY

  • Topic sentence: Cars are a better option for bigger cities with wider roads.
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than with cars.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles work great in a city like Rome, where all the streets are narrow.
  • ~ Argument: Big cities are easier and more comfortable to navigate by car.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside of the city is much easier.
  • Sum up all you wrote in the article.

Block Method

  • Thesis — cover all areas of the essay in one sentence

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles are cheaper and easier to take care of than cars.
  • Aspect 1 - Lifestyle
  • Aspect 2 - Finances
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts, easier to fix.
  • Aspect 3 - City
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than cars.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence: Cars are more expensive but more comfortable for a big city and for travelling.
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal—like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside the city is much more comfortable.

Body Paragraph 3 ‍

Use the last paragraph to evaluate the comparisons and explain why they’re essential. Giving a lot of facts can be intense. To water it down, try to give the reader any real-life applications of these facts.

Depending on the structure selected, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. The typical comparison essay follows the format of having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion — though, if you need to focus on each subject in more detailed ways, feel free to include an extra paragraph to cover all of the most important points.

To make your compare and contrast essay flow better, we recommend using special transition words and phrases. They will add variety and improve your paper overall.

For the section where you compare two subjects, you can include any of the following words: similarly, likewise, also, both, just like, similar to, the same as, alike, or to compare to. When contrasting two subjects, use: in contrast, in comparison, by comparison, on the other hand, while, whereas, but, to differ from, dissimilar to, or unlike.

Show Your Evidence

Arguments for any essay, including compare and contrast essays, need to be supported by sufficient evidence. Make good use of your personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper articles, movies, or anything that will make your argument sound credible. For example, in your essay, if you were to compare attending college on campus vs. distance-based learning, you could include your personal experiences of being a student, and how often students show up to class on a daily basis. You could also talk about your experience taking online classes, which makes your argument about online classes credible as well.

Helpful Final Tips

The biggest tip dissertation writing services can give you is to have the right attitude when writing a compare contrast essay, and actively engage the reader in the discussion. If you find it interesting, so will your reader! Here are some more compare and contrast essay tips that will help you to polish yours up:

types of writing

  • Compare and contrast essays need powerful transitions. Try learning more about writing transition sentences using the words we provided for you in the 'Compare and Contrast Structure and Outline' section.
  • Always clarify the concepts you introduce in your essay. Always explain lesser known information—don’t assume the reader must already know it.
  • Do not forget to proofread. Small mistakes, but in high quantities, can result in a low grade. Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.
  • Have a friend or family member take a look at your essay; they may notice things you have missed.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Now that you know everything there is to know about compare and contrast essays, let’s take a look at some compare and contrast examples to get you started on your paper or get a hand from our essay helper .

Different countries across the world have diverse cultural practices, and this has an effect on work relationships and development. Geert Hofstede came up with a structured way of comparing cultural dimensions of different countries. The theory explains the impacts of a community’s culture on the values of the community members, and the way these values relate to their behaviors. He gives scores as a way to help distinguish people from different nations using the following dimensions: long-term orientation, individualism, power distance, indulgence, necessity avoidance, and masculinity. Let us examine comparisons between two countries: the United Kingdom and China — based on Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture.
Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers, spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and 2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution — compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).

Still feeling confused about the complexities of the compare and contrast essay? Feel free to contact our paper writing service to get a professional writing help.

Finding the Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For You

When choosing a topic for your comparison essay, remember that subjects cannot be drastically different, because there would be little to no points of comparison (similarities). The same goes for too many similarities, which will result in poor contrasts. For example, it is better to write about two composers, rather than a composer and a singer.

It is extremely important to choose a topic you are passionate about. You never want to come across something that seems dull and uninspiring for you. Here are some excellent ways to brainstorm for a topic from essay writer :

  • Find categories: Choose a type (like animals, films or economics), and compare subjects within that category – wild animals to farm animals, Star Wars to Star Trek, private companies to public companies, etc.
  • Random Surprising Fact: Dig for fun facts which could make great topics. Did you know that chickens can be traced back to dinosaurs?
  • Movie vs. Book: Most of the time, the book is better than the movie — unless it’s Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you’re a pop culture lover, compare movies vs. books, video games, comics, etc.

Use our rewrite essay service when you need help from professionals.

How to Choose a Great Compare and Contrast Topic

College students should consider providing themselves with a chance to use all topic examples. With enough revision, an advantage is gained. As it will be possible to compare arguments and contrast their aspects. Also, discuss numerous situations to get closer to the conclusion.

For example:

  • Choose a topic from the field of your interests. Otherwise you risk failing your paper.
  • It is a good idea to choose a topic based upon the class subject or specialist subject. (Unless the requirements say otherwise.)
  • Analyze each argument carefully. Include every detail for each opposing idea. Without doing so, you can definitely lower grades.
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes both arguments. It should allow readers to find the answer they’re looking for.
  • It is up to you to determine which arguments are right and wrong in the final conclusion.
  • Before approaching the final conclusion, it’s important to discuss each argument equally. It is a bad idea to be biased, as it can also lower grades.

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150 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Consider

Choosing a topic can be a challenging task, but there are plenty of options to consider. In the following sections, we have compiled a list of 150 compare and contrast essay topics to help you get started. These topics cover a wide range of subjects, from education and technology to history and politics. Whether you are a high school student or a college student, you are sure to find a topic that interests you. So, read on to discover some great compare and contrast essay ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For College Students

When attending a college, at any time your professor can assign you the task of writing this form of an essay. Consider these topics for college students from our team to get the grades you deserve.

  • Attending a College Course Vs. Distance-Based Learning.
  • Writing a Research Paper Vs. Writing a Creative Writing Paper. What are the differences and similarities?
  • The differences between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
  • The key aspects of the differences between the US and the UK education systems.
  • Completing assignments at a library compared with doing so at home. Which is the most efficient?
  • The similarities and differences in the behavior among married and unmarried couples.
  • The similarities and differences between the EU (European Union) and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations)?
  • The similarities and significant differences between American and Canadian English.
  • Writing an Internship Report Vs. Writing a Research Paper
  • The differences between US colleges and colleges in the EU?

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Some topics for the compare and contrast essay format can be boring. To keep up motivation, doing a research , have a look at these topics. Maybe they can serve you as research paper help .

  • Public Transport Vs. Driving A Car. Which is more efficient?
  • Mandarin Vs. Cantonese: What are the differences between these Chinese languages?
  • Sports Cars Vs. Luxurious Family Cars
  • Wireless Technology Vs. Wired Devices
  • Thai Food Vs. Filipino Cuisine
  • What is the difference and similarities between a register office marriage and a traditional marriage?
  • The 2000s Vs. The 2010s. What are the differences and what makes them similar?
  • Abu Dhabi Vs. Dubai. What are the main factors involved in the differences?
  • What are the differences between American and British culture?
  • What does the New York Metro do differently to the London Underground?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

When writing essays for high school, it is good to keep them informative. Have a look at these compare and contrast sample topics.

  • Highschool Life Vs. College Life
  • Paying College Fees Vs. Being Awarded a Scholarship
  • All Night Study Sessions Vs. Late Night Parties
  • Teenager Vs. Young Adult Relationships
  • Being in a Relationship Vs. Being Single
  • Male Vs. Female Behavior
  • The similarities and differences between a high school diploma and a college degree
  • The similarities and differences between Economics and Business Studies
  • The benefits of having a part-time job, instead of a freelance job, in college
  • High School Extra Curricular Activities Vs. Voluntarily Community Services

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Science

At some point, every science student will be assigned this type of essay. To keep things at flow, have a look at best compare and contrast essay example topics on science:

  • Undiscovered Species on Earth Vs. Potential Life on Mars: What will we discover in the future?
  • The benefits of Gasoline Powered Cars Vs. Electric Powered Cars
  • The differences of the Milky Way Vs. Centaurus (Galaxies).
  • Earthquakes Vs. Hurricanes: What should be prepared for the most?
  • The differences between our moon and Mars’ moons.
  • SpaceX Vs. NASA. What is done differently within these organizations?
  • The differences and similarities between Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox’s theories on the cosmos. Do they agree or correspond with each other?
  • Pregnancy Vs. Motherhood
  • Jupiter Vs. Saturn
  • Greenhouse Farming Vs. Polytunnel Farming

Sports & Leisure Topics

Studying Physical Education? Or a gym fanatic? Have a look at our compare and contrast essay topics for sports and leisure.

  • The English Premier League Compared With The Bundesliga
  • Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona
  • Football Vs. Basketball
  • Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner
  • Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team: Main Factors and Differences
  • Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing
  • Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.
  • Manning Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Swimming Vs. Cycling

Topics About Culture

Culture can have several meanings. If you’re a Religious Studies or Culture student, take a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics about culture.

  • The fundamental similarities and differences between Pope Francis and Tawadros II of Alexandria
  • Canadian Vs. Australian Religion
  • The differences between Islamic and Christian Holidays
  • The cultural similarities and differences between the Native Aboriginals and Caucasian Australians
  • Native American Culture Vs. New England Culture
  • The cultural differences and similarities between Italians and Sicilians
  • In-depth: The origins of Buddhism and Hinduism
  • In-depth: The origins of Christianity and Islam
  • Greek Gods Vs. Hindu Gods
  • The Bible: Old Testament Vs. New Testament

Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

What about writing an essay which is out of the ordinary? Consider following these topics to write a compare and contrast essay on, that are unique.

  • The reasons why some wealthy people pay extortionate amounts of money for gold-plated cell phones, rather than buying the normal phone.
  • The differences between Lipton Tea and Ahmad Tea
  • American Football Vs. British Football: What are their differences?
  • The differences and similarities between France and Britain
  • Fanta Vs. 7Up
  • Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones
  • The differences and similarities between Boston Dynamics and the fictional equivalent Skynet (From Terminator Movies).
  • Socialism Vs. Capitalism: Which is better?
  • Curved Screen TVs’ Vs. Regular Flat Screen TVs’: Are they really worth big bucks?
  • Is it better to wear black or white at funerals?

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it may be a requirement to take it back a notch. Especially if you’re new to these style of writing. Consider having a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics that are pretty easy to start off.

  • Is it a good idea to work on weekdays or weekends?
  • Black of White Coffee
  • Becoming a teacher or a doctor? Which career choice has more of an impact on society?
  • Air Travel Vs. Sea Travel: Which is better?
  • Rail Travel Vs. Road Travel: Which is more convenient?
  • What makes Europe far greater than Africa? In terms of financial growth, regulations, public funds, policies etc…
  • Eating fruit for breakfast Vs. cereals
  • Staying Home to Read Vs. Traveling the World During Holidays. Which is more beneficial for personal growth?
  • Japanese Vs. Brazilian Cuisine
  • What makes ASEAN Nations more efficient than African Nations?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About TV Shows, Music and Movies

We all enjoy at least one of these things. If not, all of them. Why not have a go at writing a compare and contrast essay about what you have been recently watching or listening to?

  • Breaking Bad Vs. Better Call Saul: Which is more commonly binge watched?
  • The differences between Dance Music and Heavy Metal
  • James Bond Vs. Johnny English
  • Iron Man Vs. The Incredible Hulk: Who would win?
  • What is done differently in modern movies, compared to old black and white movies?
  • Dumber and Dumber 2 Vs. Ted: Which movie is funnier?
  • Are Horror movies or Action Movies best suited to you?
  • The differences and similarities between Mozart and Beethoven compositions.
  • Hip Hop Vs. Traditional Music
  • Classical Music Vs. Pop Music. Which genre helps people concentrate?

Topics About Art

Sometimes, art students are required to write this style of essay. Have a look at these compare and contrast essay topics about the arts of the centuries.

  • The fundamental differences and similarities between paintings and sculptures
  • The different styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Viewing Original Art Compared With Digital Copies. How are these experiences different?
  • 18th Century Paintings Vs. 21st Century Digitally Illustrated Images
  • German Art Vs. American Art
  • Modern Painting Vs. Modern Photography
  • How can we compare modern graphic designers to 18th-century painters?
  • Ancient Greek Art Vs. Ancient Egyptian Art
  • Ancient Japanese Art Vs. Ancient Persian Art
  • What 16th Century Painting Materials were used compared with the modern day?

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Almost every student at any stage of academics is assigned this style of writing. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider looking at some of the best compare and contrast essay topics to get you on track with your writing.

  • The United States and North Korea Governmental Conflict: What is the reason behind this phenomenon?
  • In the Early Hours, Drinking Water is far healthier than consuming soda.
  • The United States Vs. The People’s Republic of China: Which economy is the most efficient?
  • Studying in Foreign Countries Vs. Studying In Your Hometown: Which is more of an advantage?
  • Toast Vs. Cereal: Which is the most consumed in the morning?
  • Sleeping Vs. Daydreaming: Which is the most commonly prefered? And amongst who?
  • Learning French Vs. Chinese: Which is the most straightforward?
  • Android Phones Vs. iPhones
  • The Liberation of Slaves Vs. The Liberation of Women: Which is more remembered?
  • The differences between the US Dollar and British Pound. What are their advantages? And How do they correspond with each other?

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

In all types of academics, these essays occur. If you’re new to this style of writing, check our easy compare and contrast essay topics.

  • The Third Reich Vs. North Korea
  • Tea Vs. Coffee
  • iPhone Vs. Samsung
  • KFC Vs. Wendy’s
  • Laurel or Yanny?
  • Healthy Lifestyle Vs. Obese Lifestyle
  • Forkes Vs. Sporks
  • Rice Vs. Porridge
  • Roast Dinner Vs. Chicken & Mushroom Pie
  • What’s the difference between apples and oranges?

Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Deciding upon good compare and contrast essay topics for psychology assignments can be difficult. Consider referring to our list of 10 psychology compare and contrast essay topics to help get the deserved grades.

  • What is a more severe eating order? Bulimia or Anorexia
  • Modern Medicine Vs. Traditional Medicine for Treating Depression?
  • Soft Drugs Vs. Hard Drugs. Which is more dangerous for people’s psychological well-being?
  • How do the differences between Lust and Love have an effect on people’s mindsets?
  • Ego Vs. Superego
  • Parents Advice Vs. Peers Advice amongst children and teens.
  • Strict Parenting Vs. Relaxed Parenting
  • Mental Institutions Vs. Stress Clinics
  • Bipolar Disorder Vs. Epilepsy
  • How does child abuse affect victims in later life?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Sixth Graders

From time to time, your teacher will assign the task of writing a compare and contrast essay. It can be hard to choose a topic, especially for beginners. Check out our easy compare and contrast essay topics for sixth graders.

  • Exam Preparation Vs. Homework Assignments
  • Homeschooling Vs. Public Education
  • High School Vs. Elementary School
  • 5th Grade Vs. 6th Grade: What makes them different or the same?
  • Are Moms’ or Dads’ more strict among children?
  • Is it better to have strict parents or more open parents?
  • Sandy Beaches Vs. Pebble Beaches: Which beaches are more popular?
  • Is it a good idea to learn guitar or piano?
  • Is it better to eat vegetable salads or pieces of fruit for lunch?
  • 1st Grade Vs. 6th Grade

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it is good to have a laugh. As they always say : 'laughter is the best medicine'. Check out these funny compare and contrast essay topics for a little giggle when writing.

  • What is the best way to waste your time? Watching Funny Animal Videos or Mr. Bean Clips?
  • Are Pug Dogs or Maltese Dogs crazier?
  • Pot Noodles Vs. McDonalds Meals.
  • What is the difference between Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson?
  • Mrs. Doubtfire Vs. Mrs. Brown. How are they similar?
  • Which game is more addictive? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds?
  • Big Shaq Vs. PSY
  • Stewie Griffin Vs. Maggie Simpson
  • Quarter Pounders Vs. Big Macs
  • Mr. Bean Vs. Alan Harper

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  • Comparing and contrasting in an essay | Tips & examples

Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples

Published on August 6, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing . It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them.

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Table of contents

When should i compare and contrast, making effective comparisons, comparing and contrasting as a brainstorming tool, structuring your comparisons, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about comparing and contrasting.

Many assignments will invite you to make comparisons quite explicitly, as in these prompts.

  • Compare the treatment of the theme of beauty in the poetry of William Wordsworth and John Keats.
  • Compare and contrast in-class and distance learning. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?

Some other prompts may not directly ask you to compare and contrast, but present you with a topic where comparing and contrasting could be a good approach.

One way to approach this essay might be to contrast the situation before the Great Depression with the situation during it, to highlight how large a difference it made.

Comparing and contrasting is also used in all kinds of academic contexts where it’s not explicitly prompted. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.

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As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place.

For example, you might contrast French society before and after the French Revolution; you’d likely find many differences, but there would be a valid basis for comparison. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies.

This is why it’s important to clarify the point of your comparisons by writing a focused thesis statement . Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way. Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with any comparisons you make, and be sure to make this clear to the reader.

Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might use it to compare different theories and approaches you’ve encountered in your preliminary research, for example.

Let’s say your research involves the competing psychological approaches of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them.

Or say you’re writing about the major global conflicts of the twentieth century. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram.

A Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.

These visualizations wouldn’t make it into your actual writing, so they don’t have to be very formal in terms of phrasing or presentation. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.

When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method.

The alternating method

In the alternating method, you structure your text according to what aspect you’re comparing. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:

Mouse over the example paragraph below to see how this approach works.

One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class. In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises. They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. Meanwhile, in a Zoom-based class, the lack of physical presence makes it more difficult to pay attention to individual students’ responses and notice frustrations, and there is less flexibility to speak with students privately to offer assistance. In this case, therefore, the traditional classroom environment holds the advantage, although it appears likely that aiding students in a virtual classroom environment will become easier as the technology, and teachers’ familiarity with it, improves.

The block method

In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you’re comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you’ve already said about the first. Your text is structured like this:

  • Point of comparison A
  • Point of comparison B

The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week (and to live near enough to feasibly do so), students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling. However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation. Furthermore, discomfort and distractions can hinder an individual student’s ability to engage with the class from home, creating divergent learning experiences for different students. Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

Note that these two methods can be combined; these two example paragraphs could both be part of the same essay, but it’s wise to use an essay outline to plan out which approach you’re taking in each paragraph.

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Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.

Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .

Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.

You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

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Compare And Contrast Essay Guide

Compare And Contrast Essay Examples

Last updated on: Nov 20, 2023

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples For Your Help

By: Barbara P.

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Are you ready to challenge your critical thinking skills and take your writing to the next level? Look no further than the exciting world of compare and contrast essays! 

As a college student, you'll have the unique opportunity to delve into the details and differences of a variety of subjects. But don't let the pressure of writing the perfect compare-and-contrast essay weigh you down. 

To help guide you on this journey, we've got some great compare-and-contrast essay examples. It will make the writing process not only manageable but also enjoyable. So grab a pen and paper, and let's get started on this exciting adventure!

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

On this Page

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

A compare and contrast essay is all about comparing two subjects. Writing essays is not always easy, but it can be made easier with help from the examples before you write your own first. The examples will give you an idea of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay. 

We have compiled a selection of free compare-and-contrast essay examples that can help you structure this type of essay. 

SAMPLE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY INTRODUCTION EXAMPLE

BOOK COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CITY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CATS & DOGS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

SCIENCE & ART COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

E-BOOKS & HARDBACK BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

HOMESCHOOLING BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

PARENTING STYLES COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

Don't know how to map out your compare and contrast essay? Visit this link to learn how to perfectly outline your essay!

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples University

Compare and contrast paper is a common assignments for university students. This type of essay tells the reader how two subjects are the same or different from each other. Also, show the points of comparison between the two subjects.

Look at the example that is mentioned below and create a well-written essay.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE UNIVERSITY

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples College

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE COLLEGE

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples High School

Compare and contrast essays are often assigned to high school students to help them improve their analytical skills .

In addition, some teachers assign this type of essay because it is a great way for students to improve their analytical and writing skills.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE HIGH SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE 9TH GRADE

Check out the video below to gain a quick and visual comprehension of what a compare and contrast essay entails.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Middle school

In middle school, students have the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay. It does not require an expert level of skills, but it is still a way to improve writing skills.

Middle school students can easily write a compare-and-contrast essay with a little help from examples. We have gathered excellent examples of this essay that you can use to get started.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLES 5TH GRADE

Literary Analysis Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

The perfect way to inform readers about the pros and cons of two subjects is with a comparison and contrast essay.

It starts by stating the thesis statement, and then you explain why these two subjects are being compared in this essay.

The following is an example that you can use for your help.

LITERARY ANALYSIS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE

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Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion Example

The conclusion of an essay is the last part, in which you wrap up everything. It should not include a story but rather summarize the whole document so readers have something meaningful they can take away from it.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY CONCLUSION EXAMPLE

Struggling to think of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay topic ? Visit this link for a multitude of inspiring ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips

A compare and contrast essay presents the facts point by point, and mostly, the argumentative essay uses this compared-contrasted technique for its subjects.

If you are looking for some easy and simple tips to craft a perfectly researched and structured compare and contrast essay, we will not disappoint you.

Following are some quick tips that you can keep in mind while writing your essay:

  • Choose the essay topic carefully.
  • Research and brainstorm the points that make them similar and different.
  • Create and add your main statement and claim.
  • Create a Venn diagram and show the similarities and differences.
  • Choose the design through which you will present your arguments and claims.
  • Create compare and contrast essay outline. Use either the block method or the point-by-point structure.
  • Research and add credible supporting evidence.
  • Transitioning is also important. Use transitional words and phrases to engage your readers.
  • Edit, proofread, and revise the essay before submission.

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In conclusion, writing a compare and contrast essay can be an effective way to explore the similarities and differences between two topics. By using examples, it is possible to see the different approaches that can be taken when writing this type of essay. 

Whether you are a student or a professional writer, these examples can provide valuable insight to enhance your writing skills. You can also use our AI-powered essay typer to generate sample essays for your specific topic and subject.

However, if you don’t feel confident in your writing skills, you can always hire our professional essay writer.

5StarEssays.com offer comprehensive essay writing service for students across the globe. Our experts are highly trained and qualified, making sure all of your essays will meet academic requirements while receiving top grades. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do i write a compare and contrast essay.

Here are some steps that you should follow and write a great essay.

  • Begin by brainstorming with a Venn diagram.
  • Create a thesis statement.
  • Develop an outline.
  • Write the introduction.
  • Write the body paragraphs.
  • Write the conclusion.
  • Proofreading.

How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?

When writing a compare and contrast essay, it is important to have an engaging introduction that will grab the reader's attention. A good way to do this would be by starting with a question or fact related to the topic to catch their interest.

What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?

Here are some good topics for compare and contrast essay:

  • E-books or textbooks.
  • Anxiety vs. Depression.
  • Vegetables and fruits.
  • Cinnamon vs. sugar.
  • Similarities between cultural and traditional fashion trends.

How long is a compare and contrast essay?

Usually, a compare and contrast essay would consist of five paragraphs but there are no hard and fast rules regarding it. Some essays could be longer than five paragraphs, based on the scope of the topic of the essay.

What are the two methods for arranging a comparison and contrast essay?

The two ways to organize and arrange your compare and contrast essay. The first one is the Point-by-Point method and the second one is the Block method.

Barbara P.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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EL Education Curriculum

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  • ELA 2019 G8:M1:U3:L12
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

In this Lesson

Daily learning targets, ongoing assessment.

  • Technology and Multimedia

Supporting English Language Learners

Materials from previous lessons, new materials, closing & assessments, you are here:.

  • ELA 2019 Grade 8
  • ELA 2019 G8:M1
  • ELA 2019 G8:M1:U3

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Focus Standards:  These are the standards the instruction addresses.

  • RL.8.1, RL.8.9, RI.8.1, W.8.2, W.8.4, W.8.9a

Supporting Standards:  These are the standards that are incidental—no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.

  • I can write an essay that compares and contrasts the depiction of a monster in folklore from Latin America and in my modernized narrative. (RL.8.9, W.8.2)
  • Opening A: Entrance Ticket
  • Work Time A: End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (RL.8.1, RL.8.9, RI.8.1, W.8.2, W.8.4, W.8.9a, W.8.10)
  • Prepare the following:
  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 12  
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessments with feedback
  • Track Progress folders
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment (see Assessment download on this page)
  • Ensure there is a copy of Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 12 at each student's workspace.
  • Post the learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: Students complete assessments online—on a Google Form, for example.

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 8.I.B.6, 8.I.B.7, 8.I.B.8, 8.I.C.10, 8.I.C.11, 8.I.C.12, 8.II.A.1, 8.II.A.2, and 8.II.C.6.

Important Points in the Lesson Itself

  • To support ELLs, this lesson supports ELLs with an assessment that targets compare and contrast writing, a skill that students have been diligently preparing for throughout the unit. Students will write a compare and contrast essay comparing depictions of a monster in traditional Latin American folklore with their own modernization of the monster in a Unit 2 narrative writing task, based on the planning they carried out in Lesson 11.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to transfer the planning they did in Lesson 11 to one, cohesive piece of writing. Encourage them to think chunk by chunk, and to apply what they have conceptualized to the assessment task. Remind them of the extensive preparation they have done to build confidence going into the task.
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Determine a Central Idea (returned with feedback; from Unit 3, Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Compare and Contrast Painted Essay® anchor chart (for teacher reference; ) (from Unit 3, Lesson 6, Work Time B)
  • Compare and Contrast Painted Essay® anchor chart (one for display; completed in Unit 3, Lesson 10, Opening A)
  • Work to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (one for display; from Unit 2, Lessons 4–5, Work Time D)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment: Write a Narrative (returned with feedback; from Unit 3 Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Summer of the Mariposas (text; from Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time C)
  • Model Essay: “Peuchen” (from Unit 3, Lesson 6, Work Time A)
  • Transition Words handout (from Unit 2, Lesson 10, Work Time D)
  • Painted Essay® template (from Unit 3, Lesson 6, Work Time B)
  • Compare and Contrast Informative Writing Plan graphic organizer (from Unit 3, Lesson 11, Work Time A)
  • Track Progress folders (from Unit 2, Lessons 4–5, Closing and Assessment A)
  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 12 (answers for teacher reference)
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (answers for teacher reference; see Assessment download)
  • Entrance Ticket: Unit 3, Lesson 12 (one per student)
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (one per student; see Assessment download)
  • Track Progress: Informative Writing (one per student)
  • Sticky notes (three per student)
  • Paper or notebooks

Each unit in the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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IMAGES

  1. Compare Contrast Worksheet 3rd Grade

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

  2. compare and contrast stories 3rd grade

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

  3. Magnificent Compare And Contrast Essay Examples ~ Thatsnotus

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

  4. How to write a compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

  5. How to write compare and contrast essay grade 3

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

  6. How to write a Compare and Contrast Essay?

    compare and contrast essay 3rd grade

VIDEO

  1. Compare and Contrast Essay

  2. Compare/Contrast Essay: Conclusion Paragraph

  3. Reading and Notes: Sources and Compare and Contrast Essay

  4. Discussion: Compare and Contrast Essay Prewriting

  5. Compare & Contrast Text Structure Essay Prep

  6. Compare and Contrast Essay in Urdu/ Hindi

COMMENTS

  1. Scaffolding a Compare and Contrast Essay With Frames and Templates

    It is a lot easier to practice comparing and contrasting with things that take less time - like by using a Venn Diagram. However, teaching 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to compare and contrast topics within their writing is an important skill. Scaffolding student writing through sentence or paragraph frames and essay templates can minimize ...

  2. Browse Printable 3rd Grade Comparing and Contrasting in Fiction

    Novel Study: The One and Only Ivan: Discussion Guide #1. Worksheet. Compare and Contrast Fictional Stories: First Day at the New School. Worksheet. A Tale of Two Texts. Worksheet. Compare Similar Stories. Worksheet. Comparing Settings from Two Fiction Texts.

  3. 34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    A good compare and contrast essay example, like the ones here, explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. Topics cover education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more. ... All Grades K-5 All Grades 6-12 PreK 6th Grade Kindergarten 7th Grade 1st Grade 8th Grade 2nd Grade 9th Grade 3rd Grade 10th Grade ...

  4. 80 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Kids and Teens

    Learning to read vs. learning to write. The importance of any two school subjects. Wearing glasses vs. having braces. You and your best friend. Friendship vs. romantic love. Group work and individual work. Only child vs. having siblings. Nature vs. nurture. Anxiety and depression.

  5. Comparison and Contrast Guide

    The Comparison and Contrast Guide includes an overview, definitions and examples. The Organizing a Paper section includes details on whole-to-whole (block), point-by-point, and similarities-to-differences structures. In addition, the Guide explains how graphic organizers are used for comparison and contrast, provides tips for using transitions ...

  6. Writing a Compare-and-Contrast Essay Printable (3rd Grade)

    Students are introduced to comparing and contrasting through this writing process teaching model. It includes a sample compare-and-contrast chart, a blank compare-and-contrast chart, and four stages of revision to a sample compare-and-contrast essay. Authored by: Scott Foresman, an imprint of Pearson. Grade: 3. Subjects: Writing Research Papers.

  7. Compare and Contrast Texts

    Students are given a short text followed by questions asking them to identify details which the characters have in common and ways in which they are different. Comparing and contrasting things is fundamental to character and story development. Students may need assistance reading the texts. Worksheet #1 Worksheet #2. Worksheet #3 Worksheet #4.

  8. Compare and Contrast Activities, Tips, Ideas, and More for 3rd, 4th

    Comparing and contrasting is an important skill for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students. It requires higher level thinking. Below you will find a huge variety of activities to help you practice this skill with your students in a new and more rigorous way, including: how to scaffold a compare and contrast essay

  9. Teaching the Compare and Contrast Essay through Modeling

    Use the Comparison and Contrast Guide to review information from the first class session as needed.; You can decide or allow the class to help you decide two things to compare and contrast for the class essay. Use the "Graphic Organizer" tab on the Comparison and Contrast Guide to introduce the Venn Diagram. Alternately, you can use the Compare and Contrast Chart Graphic Organizer if you prefer.

  10. Compare & contrast activities for students

    This digital resource is perfect for introducing compare and contrast in your classroom and addresses the Common Core standards within 2nd-4th grade!. The resource includes drag-and-drop activities that focus on keywords and understanding compare and contrast vocabulary, short answer questions that incorporate reading passages, as well as Venn diagrams and t-charts to be completed with various ...

  11. 101 Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas for Students

    Recycling vs. Landfill. Motorcycle vs. Bicycle. Halogen vs. Incandescent. Newton vs. Einstein. Go on vacation vs. Staycation. Rock vs. Scissors. Cite this Article. These compare and contrast essay topics provide teachers and students with great and fun ideas for home and class work.

  12. 9 Comparing and Contrasting Ideas for the Classroom

    Check out these 9 activity ideas for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms. Move over, Venn Diagrams! Here are 9 new ways to help your upper elementary students compare and contrast - and have fun doing it! ... Providing scaffolding for a compare and contrast essay helps your students be able to do this successfully.

  13. Compare and Contrast

    The ability to compare and contrast is critical for comprehending literary and informational texts—and for writing them. Learners practice this skill via compare and contrast worksheets, graphic organizers and Venn diagrams, paired texts, reading response sheets, close reading activities, and report writing. < ALL CATEGORIES. FILTERS.

  14. Compare and Contrast Essays: The Ultimate Guide

    Matt Ellis. Updated on June 2, 2022 Students. A compare-and-contrast essay is a style of essay that points out the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It's ideal for showing what separates and unites related things or concepts, particularly if the subjects are often confused for each other or unjustly lumped together.

  15. Free Printable Comparing and Contrasting Worksheets for 3rd Grade

    Explore printable Comparing and Contrasting worksheets for 3rd Grade. Comparing and contrasting worksheets for Grade 3 are an essential tool for teachers looking to enhance their students' reading and writing skills. These worksheets provide a variety of engaging activities that help students develop a deeper understanding of the texts they read.

  16. Compare and Contrast Rubric

    Teaching with this printout. When assigning a compare and contrast writing assignment, students need to be aware of what makes an outstanding written work. This rubric is a great tool to show students what is expected of them in a concrete way. Additionally, this rubric will help teachers assess this student writing and inform further instruction.

  17. Compare and Contrast

    Compare and Contrast is an instructional video that highlights comparing and contrasting as a comprehension skill in daily life and when reading. The video d...

  18. 5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

    Here they are explained below: 1. Essay Planning. First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you're comparing. I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

  19. Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences.

  20. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    Compare and contrast essays examine topics from multiple viewpoints. This kind of essay, often assigned in middle school and high school, teaches students about the analytical writing process and prepares them for more advanced forms of academic writing. Compare and contrast essays are relatively easy to write if you follow a simple step-by-step approach.

  21. Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

    In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you're comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you've already said about the first. Your text is structured like this: Subject 1. Point of comparison A.

  22. 15+ Outstanding Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Middle school. In middle school, students have the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay. It does not require an expert level of skills, but it is still a way to improve writing skills. Middle school students can easily write a compare-and-contrast essay with a little help from examples.

  23. End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    A. End of Unit 3 Assessment: Write a Compare and Contrast Essay - W.8.2 (30 minutes) Review appropriate learning target relevant to the work to be completed in this section of the lesson: "I can write an essay that compares and contrasts the depiction of a monster in folklore from Latin America and in my modernized narrative."