Good Ways To Start A Compare And Contrast Essay: Tips From An Expert

With a compare and contrast essay, the student is supposed to look at the similarities and differences between two topics. Although the premise of this type of writing seems simple, it is actually supposed to help students become better at analytical reasoning and critical thinking. To get an A+ on their assignment, students need to make sure that they start and end their writing with flair.

Hook the Reader

Like any writing style, the introduction should hook the reader. Within the first few sentences of the document, the reader expects to be enthralled and amazed. If they become bored in the first paragraph, the reader will not want to continue. It is up to the writer to figure out a good hook that draws the reader in. Often, students use a question, an amusing story or an interesting fact to get the reader intrigued. A little humor or a quirky writing style can also capture the reader's interest.

Be Descriptive

By the end of the first paragraph, the reader should be know exactly what the essay will be about. The student should paint a picture with words about the ideas, people, events and subject that they will be contrasting within their paper. Descriptive adjectives, imagery and an intriguing writing style can catch and keep the reader's attention.

Give Some Background Information

There are many subjects that are not common knowledge. Due to this, most writers will include some background information that brings their readers up to speed. If the student is writing about President Truman and President Monroe, they need to tell the reader why these presidents were important and how they made a mark on history. Although some people are familiar with this information, the writer should not count on everyone knowing the background details.

Create a Thesis

With the compare and contrast paper, the student still needs to create a good thesis statement. This statement normally consists of one or two sentences. In these sentences, the writer must detail their personal stance on the topic. Once this is done, it is up to the writer to support their thesis in the remainder of the essay.

Before turning the document in, students should always reread the prompt that their teacher handed out. They should make sure that the finished paper has the correct word count or page count. In addition, the student should make sure that they used the correct writing style, font and formatting.


“   Every writer, no matter how good he is with his first attempt should proofread his paper.  ”

–  Donna Brians


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