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How to Write an Introduction for a Compare and Contrast Essay?

Aug 28, 2020

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A comparison essay, or compare and contrast essays, is an essay writing genre that focuses on distinguishing between two items or ideas. It requires identifying the innate characteristics of both objects, developing the comparison criteria, and finding the differences and similarities. 

An introduction should focus on capturing the reader’s attention. If you come up with something boring, the reader will lose interest from the onset. 

When writing an introduction for a compare and contrast essay, you should aim at guiding the reader to understand that you will be comparing two things.

1.Establish the criteria

The introduction should focus on the particular characteristics you are comparing. For example, you can compare a polar bear and a grizzly based on their habitats and feeding patterns. These criteria will help narrow the scope of the paper to specifics.

2. Develop a compelling thesis statement

The thesis statement for a compare and contrast essay should contain the entire crux of the discussion. You can add a supplementary statement to drive your point home. Also, consider making changes to the initial statement after completing the essay.

3. Come up with an attention grabber.

Since a compare and contrast essay deals with facts, a statistical evidence hook will capture the reader’s attention. 

Example: “Grizzly bears are 12.34% more likely to survive in arid temperatures than polar bears.”

How can I arrange my essay?

When writing your compare and contrast essay, you must focus on organizing your point. Although there are no strict arrangement guidelines, it is advisable to maintain a coherent flow throughout the paper.

Here are two of the most effective ways to arrange your essay’s content:

  • Point-by-point method

You can compare different items based on similar criteria in one paragraph. Use linking words like ‘alternatively’ and ‘on the other hand’ to establish a contrast between the ideas. 

  • Block arrangement

You can arrange your points in separate paragraphs. Start with one item and list all the characteristics. Then, move to the next item and discuss it in detail in a separate section.

Choose any method that suits your style best and give your essay some coherence.

Ultimately, the introduction should contain background information on the subjects you are comparing. Arrange your essay depending on how you deem fit. Keep it concise and relevant to the essay topic.

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