How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Build the Framework

It is not always easy to perform the initial introduction part in the college writing tasks. To fulfill that, you need to have a complete understanding of what the main topic is about.  A compare and contrast essay needs to discuss in regards to the similarities and differences between the two subjects.

This type of essay is a frequent form of academic writing. It may be in the form of academic writing or as part of a broader writing task. When writing about the comparison, we need to examine how things are similar. In contrast part, we need to see how they differ. 

There are two main types of structure of the compare and contrast essays. In the case of block structure – the information about one of the objects being compared or contrasted is provided initially. It uses the cause and effect and problem-solution tasks. 

In this case, set up a particular idea or research – death, love, nature, country, population etc. Then, describe those ideas while contrasting at the same time. For example, the love affair in the era of Romans or the modern period. How to decipher the similarities and differences? Apply a Venn diagram. This chart may help to draw certain overlapping circles – while in the central diagram the common traits will be placed. For example, you may start your thesis with ‘’This paper will compare and contrast on two Roman emperors… ‘’

Certain words may aid to outline the most important subjects: like, similar to, also, in the same way, likewise, again, compared to, in contrast, in like manner, contrasted with, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even though, still, but conversely, at the same time, regardless, despite, while, on the one hand…on the other hand, etc.


For a start, if the essay consists of 500-600 words, plan the length of paragraphs and their number.  In the case of an essay of 5,000 words, the splitting is a bit more difficult.   Another important factor is the type of audience. Is the essay being prepared for the scientist, broader population, or for commercial purposes?

  • The Introduction

The initial introductory paragraph is of the utmost importance. It needs to be captive and to engage a reader into the rest of the essay.  The introduction is a general outline of the essay. It should describe what the compare and contrast essay is about. In case you analyze the similarities and differences among certain topics – for example living in a city or a town, it needs to be clear. 

  • The Body 

In this part, it is necessary to start with a detailed distinctive description of each topic. The most important sentences are to provide information about what is already known about the subject and what the research is really about.

  • The Conclusion

The conclusion summarizes the entire essay – it concludes the described research thesis. It needs to be written in a concise and detailed manner.