Compare/Contrast ECR—How to Organize Your Essay


Essay Writing Practice / Saturday, February 17th, 2018

Writing a compare/contrast essay (ECR) is similar to writing a compare/contrast SCR. The main difference is that it’s longer, and therefore more in-depth. This essentially means that you need to come up with more support for your reasoning. An ECR should be at least five paragraphs, and each paragraph should have at least four sentences. This is a good guide for organizing your compare/contrast essay.

Paragraph 1

Hook – Get the reader’s attention!

Focus statement – Tie in the topic.

What does your hook have to do with your essay? (2 sentences)

Topic/Thesis Statement – Your topic (i.e. “The two poems ________ and _____________ are similar in that they both ___________, but different because they ______________________”).

Paragraph 2
State comparison OR contrast #1 (i.e. “Both the poems discussed in class share a similar theme.”)
(Transition)

Details! Tell how the similarity or difference appears in each reading!
1. What does it look like in the first reading?

2. How do you know?

3. What does it look like in the second reading? (Compare/Contrast Transition)

4. How do you know?

Paragraph 3
State comparison OR contrast #2 (i.e. “The use of symbolism was different between the two poems.”)
(Transition)

Details! Tell how the similarity or difference appears in each reading!
1. What does it look like in the first reading?

2. How do you know?

3. What does it look like in the second reading? (Compare/Contrast Transition)

4. How do you know?

Paragraph 4
State comparison OR contrast #3 (i.e. “Both the poems discussed in class share a similar theme.”)
(Transition)

Details! Tell how the similarity or difference appears in each reading!
1. What does it look like in the first reading?

2. How do you know?

3. What does it look like in the second reading? (Compare/Contrast Transition)

4. How do you know?

Paragraph 5

Conclusion!
Restate the titles and the things that make them similar and different in new wording! (3-4 sentences) Why is it important/relevant? How might the authors/writers view each others’ work?
(Transition)

Compare/Contrast Transition Words
In case you’re stuck on transitions, this list of compare and contrast essays should help you!

To Compare:

similar to                                at the same rate

similarly                                 as

like, alike                               just as

likewise                                  in a like manner

correspondingly                   in the same way

resemble                                in resemblance to

to have….in common            by the same token

To Contrast:

differ from                             however

nevertheless                           even so

dissimilarily                           different from

less than                                 more than

unlike                                      in contrast (to)

in opposition (to)                  on the contrary

on the other hand                at a different rate

although                                  while

still                                         yet

otherwise                               by contrast