A compare and contrast essay examines the similarities and/or differences between two things. In this essay type, the writer highlights common features and/or differences between two subjects. There are two ways to organize this essay:

Block arrangement

In this arrangement, the writer focuses on one thing in each paragraph and discusses the features related to that. For example, if the essay is about the similarities and differences between summer and winter, the writer explores summer in the first paragraph, and winter in the second paragraph.

Point-by-point arrangement

In this arrangement, the writer focuses on one point in each paragraph and discusses the similarities and differences between two items. For example, if the essay is about the similarities and differences between summer and winter, the writer explores temperature and clothing in the first paragraph, outdoor activities in the second paragraph, and people’s moods in the third paragraph.

In any type of academic writing, always remember to:

Use clear and straightforward language: Aim for clarity in your writing to ensure that your ideas are easily understood.

Vary sentence structure: Experiment with different sentence structures to make your writing more engaging.

Check grammar and vocabulary: Pay attention to grammar, word choice, and vocabulary to enhance the overall quality of your essay.

SAMPLE 1 (Block arrangement)

Topic: Summer vs. winter

Winter and summer are two different seasons that create various experiences and changes in life. Some people yearn for the cozy atmosphere in a cold and snowy winter; however, for some, it is the warmth and sunshine in summer that makes life bearable. Although these seasons have many differences, they also share some similarities.

In winter, when the weather turns cold, the number of rainy days increases and people know that snow is also around the corner. It is time for warm garments like coats and woolen hats to stay cozy. Days are shorter, and nights are longer. There is more time to spend at home, and catch up on reading books or watching movies. It is time for indoor activities, such as enjoying hot beverages with family and friends, and playing board games. Flowers and trees are almost asleep, with shades of yellow and gray all around.

In contrast, summer is warm and sunny. People wear light and breathable clothes like shorts and t-shirts to keep cool. Days are longer, inviting outdoor activities and adventures. This season is associated with the beach, swimming, and outdoor sports. It is time for friendly gatherings in parks, with limitless conversations and fun activities. When you have the time and the resources, it is a lively season to be enjoyed. Nature comes alive with all its vibrant colors. Flowers bloom, and the world turns green for a while.

All in all, despite their differences, both winter and summer have their unique charm. Whether it's the thrill of outdoor sports in winter or the joy of a warm and sunny beach day, one can find the beauty in each season if they are open to exploring the pleasures they bring.

SAMPLE 2 (Point-by-point arrangement)

Are you a summer or a winter person? These two groups of people have a hard time understanding each other because winter and summer are two distinct seasons that create contrasting experiences. There are many differences, yet also a few similarities between these two seasons in terms of temperature and clothing, outdoor activities, and people’s moods.

Temperature and clothing are two important differences between these seasons. During winter, when it is cold and crisp outside, many people feel the pressing need to wrap cozy garments around themselves like coats, scarves, and even put on gloves to stay comfortable and warm. It snows in colder areas, covering the ground with a soft layer of white, and calling for snow boots. Summer, however, is conversely warm and sunny. It is usually hot, and people wear light and breathable clothes. Shorts, t-shirts, and dresses are many people’s favorites. The sun shines brightly, and warms everything around us including our bodies. Most people wear sandals and espadrilles.

When it comes to outdoor activities, both seasons offer rich alternatives. Winter outdoor activities are usually snow-related fun, like building snowmen or having snowball fights. If you are into more professional outdoor activities, there are winter sports, such as skiing or ice skating. Summer is a also an advantageous season for outdoor adventures. Many people go to the beach for swimming. It is the season for picnics and games in the park. Water sports, such as surfing or kayaking are some other options to keep in mind. The days are longer, which means more time for outdoor play for everyone.

Mood is a crucial distinction between summer and winter. Some winter people are after the cozy and calm atmosphere created with the help of blankets, coffee, books, and candles. It is time to withdraw into ourselves and the comfort of our homes. With colder temperatures and rain, people tend to spend more time indoors, catching up on books and movies. Summer, on the other hand, is the time for daylight and energy. It is the warmth of the season that invites everyone outside to engage in activities with crowds, be it your family or your friends. Evenings are long, filled with friendly gatherings and plenty of social interactions, which will lighten the moods.

In conclusion, while winter and summer are distinct in nature, both seasons contribute to our mood and create rich life experiences. Winter stands for introspection, while summer radiates warmth and energy, and encourages us to go out. Whether you are a winter or a summer person, there is a way to love each for their unique charm. After all, they are the cycles of life that we need to go through.


Topic: traditional classroom learning vs. online learning

Points: in-person (face-to-face) interaction, hands-on activities, flexibility in schedule, access to a variety of resources, assessment methods