How To Write A Good Conclusion For Your Compare And Contrast Essay

Introduction: The Comparison / Contrast Essay—It’s Not Both—its Either

The comparison and contrast is not, contrast essay is not, contrary to many students’ assumptions, an essay which both compares and contrasts two things within one essay. You choose, rather, to point out the differences (contrasts) or similarities between two things. For instance, one might point out the similarities or differences between two political parties. One could point out the similarities between two fashion movements—say grunge fro the 90s and the hippies of the 60s. One could compare two artists’ paintings and the differences in their styles—you can get as inventive as you please.

The Structure of the Comparison / Contrast Essay

The comparison / contrast essay moves along the following lines of structure:

  1. I. An introduction that discusses, perhaps similarities and contrasts in general – leading to a thesis statement about your specific two things/ideas/persons/beliefs.
  2. II. Your thesis statement—For a short, four to five page essay, you might want to use an “I” thesis statement, which notes that you are going to focus on the three (or four) major similarities / differences between your subjects. This narrows your focus and keeps your essay from going off track.
  3. III. Body paragraphs that detail the similarities or differences one at a time.
  4. IV. Then, move to a conclusion, the art of which I’m moving to now.

The Art of Conclusion in Essays

In any conclusion to any paper, you want to move the essay out to say something, ultimately about both what you have discovered and your writer has discovered about comparing and contrasting things. Perhaps it has deepened your understanding of both ideas/things, movements or persons. Perhaps although you set out to discuss differences between things, by surprise, you ultimately discovered how alike these two things really are.

The best way I can demonstrate is to show you what I would do after say, contrasting the differences between owning a dog and cat. I would have pointed out that dogs are needier, cats are independent, and that most cats are pristine and neat while dogs slobber everywhere and might even chew up all your shoes, but I may move to some sentences in my closing like this:

Sample Conclusion

Ultimately, though, if you own a pet, be it a cat, a dog, or even a bird, what matters is that all share one similarity, not difference, in common. All of them begin to feel like friends and companions, all of them fulfill a need in your life, their antics will bring you smiles and laughter, and you will come to love your pet like crazy—as they will you! With pets, no matter what animal or species, is that they will bring you years of happiness and they will come to depend upon you as much as you do them.