The point of a comparison or contrast essay to evaluate the similarities or differences of two things.
The most difficult part of a compare/contrast essay is its organization.
NOTE: The advice offered here covers the bare minimums in an attempt to help those who are running short on time or unsure of how to get started.
Wherever information here conflicts with information provided by your instructor, follow what your instructor says.
The thesis statement for this format must also include the two topics that will be compared and contrasted.
In the point by point format, the students can compare and/or contrast the subjects using the same characteristics within each body paragraph.
Compare and contrast is high on Bloom's Taxonomy of critical reasoning and is associated with a complexity level where students break down ideas into simpler parts in order to see how the parts relate.
For example, in order to break down ideas for comparison or to contrast in an essay, students may need to categorize, classify, dissect, differentiate, distinguish, list, and simplify.
Just as in the block paragraph essay format, students should begin the point by point format by catching the reader's interest.
This might be a reason people find the topic interesting or important, or it might be a statement about something the two subjects have in common.