Compare and Contrast Worksheets
Compare Summer Vacation Reports
Read two student reports on their summer vacation and see what sticks out.
Texas and Maine: Compare and Contrast States
One is up North and One is South, but what else?
School Lunch Comparisons
Three boys are eating lunch, but who is eating what?
Transportation Compare and Contrast Essay
We compare compare the various methods we have available to us.
Compare and Contrast Writing
Let's write about the differences.
Comparing Zoo Animals
This is a neat one that kids enjoy.
Comparing Zoos and Farms
Did you ever take a minute to think about those differences?
Comparing and Contrasting Lists
We give you two lists, what's the difference?
Contrast Elizabeth's Parents
What's the difference between Mom and Dad, besides the obvious.
Compare and Contrast Awards
Two awards are given out. What is similar and what is different?
What Do We Have In Common? Version 1
What do all three things have in common?<
What doesn't belong? Version 1
This is a fun one for teachers.
What Do We Have In Common? Version 2
More of a good thing.
What doesn't belong? Version 2
A great activity for the last 5 minutes of class.
What Do We Have In Common? Again Version 3
Now we are just spoiling you...
What doesn't belong? Version 3
A real treat for you.
How Do You Compare and Contrast Things?
Think about your two most-favorite cities in the world. What are the differences between the two? What are the similarities? You can surely come up with several similarities and differences. What if you're told to put your thoughts on a paper in an organized way? Which organization style would you go for? This issue often confuses people who want to write a full on piecey.
What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?
A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay in which you compare two subjects (places, people, cities, etc.) and point out their similarities and differences. Such essays are often a great tool to clarify the difference between a set of things that people often confuse with each other.
You write a compare and contrast essay in the way you'd write any other essay; it will have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, there are a few different ways to help you put together a compelling essay.
Things that are required to write an effective compare and contrast essay, there are two main elements you must ensure forehand:
Thesis is the statement on which your essay is based. There may be several points of confusion regarding the topic you've chosen. However, you need to pick only one point that you'll discuss through your writing. It would be your thesis statement.
Having a clear and concise thesis statement will help your audience understand the purpose of your writing from the beginning. For instance, if you're writing an essay on similes and metaphors, your thesis might be:
Similes and metaphors are both figurative language, but there are some differences that you should know about to use them correctly.
As discussed, your essay structure is similar to other essays. The difference is in the way you organize your ideas in the body paragraphs. Deciding which organization style to choose depends on your topic and your audience.
You can organize the body of these works in three distinct ways:
- Subject by subject
- Point by point
- Similarities and differences
Subject by Subject
When organizing your ideas subject by subject, discuss your subject in detail in several paragraphs. Once you're done elaborating on the first subject, discuss the second subject in the same detail. This way, your audience will get uninterrupted information regarding a single subject matter. However, the juxtaposition of the two subjects at hand will be somewhat missing. There's a high chance your audience might lose the connection between the two subjects.
Point by Point
When organizing your ideas point by point, you will cater to one category or aspect at a time. In a paragraph, you will discuss both the similarities and differences between your subjects but only in a particular category. For instance, when discussing similes and metaphors, you'd dedicate one paragraph solely to how the structure of similes and metaphors is similar and different. The juxtaposition in this form of structure is strong.
Similarities and Differences
When organizing your ideas in this way, you'd discuss only the similarities of the two subjects in the first few paragraphs and then the differences in the next few or vice versa. Instead of going back and forth in each aspect, you provide your audience with clarity. Such an approach is effective when you want your audience to reach a conclusion. You may come across many persuasive essays that follow this structure, which is a testament to this approach’s success.
Why Do We Need to Compare and Contrast?
You can find these types of pieces easy to use and produce due to their ubiquity. When you learn to compare and contrast, it makes your writing better and affects your cognition in many ways:
- Improves critical thinking: Comparing and contrasting two subject matters forces you to think critically about them. You look at both of your subject matters in detail from numerous perspectives allowing you to ask higher-order questions on the subject.
- Increases comprehension skills: Comparing and contrasting two subject matters in reading forces you to look for clues. These clues are to find more similarities and differences between the subjects, helping you categorize the details effectively.
- Encourages acquiring new knowledge: If you want to have a command of a particular subject, writing in this way is the most efficient way to do so. When you deep dive into how two things are similar or different, you encounter many details. These details give you more knowledge of your subject matter.
Here is a list of some topics to give you something to start your writing journey with.
- Differences between the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy
- Public schools vs. private schools
- Summer fashion vs. winter attire
- Bass guitar and electric guitar
- Motorcycles vs. dirt bikes
Writing these types of pieces will make you a better reader and an effective writer. Practice this skill to better equip yourself with content knowledge and ways to present that knowledge to your audience.
The three ways to organize your compare and contrast essay (subject by subject, point by point, and similarities and differences) will help you organize your knowledge of your subject efficiently. You can choose one of the three ways depending on your topic and audience.
So, why do we need to write or have a discussion in this form? We compare and contrast numerous things daily. However, being made to compare and contrast things in a more deliberate way to write an essay enhances the writer’s logical reasoning and comprehension skills. It causes them to exercise their cognitive abilities in a more focused way.
Compare and Contrast Related Teacher Resources
- Concept / Event Map
- Fact And Opinion Worksheets
- Graphic Organizer Maker
- Logic Puzzle Worksheets
- Making Predictions Worksheets
- Venn Diagram