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Comparison Essay - It Does Not Matter if it is Black or White

The comparison essay is all about comparing things in order to find the most significant or important differences or similarities – usually it focuses on similarities (as opposed to the contrast essay which usually focuses on differences.) So, who is better, Michael Jackson or Justin Beiber? (Hey, don’t worry, we fell on the floor laughing at that one too…) On second thought, maybe we should just stick to colors in this guide. Usually the comparison essay is structured to start with the least significant similarities and work its way towards revealing the most significant ones. All the similarities that you point out will need to be backed up by proof. As for format or structure, there are two main options for a comparison essay.

You Can Go One of Two Ways

The two traditional structures of comparison essay are often referred to as ‘block' and 'point-by-point’ where block uses the blocked arrangement of data and point-by-point uses the alternating arrangement of data.

The ‘block’ structure is best used when there are only small similarities between the items (like gray and slate colors.)

  • The Introduction would not state the thesis.
  • The first item, gray, would be described.
  • The second item, slate, would then be described and also compared to the first.
  • The conclusion would sum it all up and that is where the thesis would be inserted.
  • The total number of paragraphs for this essay structure is four.

The second comparison essay structure is the point-by-point approach and is best used when there are large similarities between the items (like black versus white.)

  • The introduction again leaves out the thesis.
  • The first body paragraph would describe your first similarity (or point) between the two things.
  • The second body paragraph details the second similarity between the two things.
  • The third body paragraph sets out the third similarity between the two things.
  • The conclusion wraps things up and clearly states the thesis of the comparison essay.
  • This leaves you with five paragraphs.

Comparison essay writing may seem complicated, but once you get organized it will flow. So get set up, put some (good) music on and settle in to a thoughtful list of similarities around your chosen subject matter. Relax into it and remember it doesn’t matter if it’s black or white…

Interesting Comparison Essay Topics

  • Gulf fauna before and after the recent Oil Spill.
  • House loans before and after the 2008 world financial crisis.
  • Compare going back to school to starting a new job.
  • Twitter vs. Facebook.
  • Miami Heat and LA Lakers.
  • Gun control laws nowadays and 5 years ago.
  • Educational systems of the United States and United Kingdom.
  • Developing and developed countries.
  • Public and private schools.
  • Political systems of the United States and China.
  • IPad and IPhone.
  • Your friend's and yours attitudes towards same-sex marriages.
  • Political and religious conflicts.
  • Coral reefs nowadays and 10 years ago.
  • Country and pop music.
  • Two latest James Bond movies.
  • True Blood and Vampire Diaries.
  • Twilight: the book and the movie.
  • How have your attitudes towards your family changed over the years?
  • How different are the nations worldwide?

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