What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay which is used to explore both the similarities and the differences between two subjects by comparing and contrasting them against each other. A compare and contrast essay outline consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.


Compare and Contrast Essay Rubric

An essay rubric is useful for the teacher and the student. The teacher can use it to judge the quality of the essay while a student can use it to know what is expected in the essay.

Traits 4 3 2 1
Organisation The introduction has a thesis statement that contains all the points presented in the body. The paragraphs are well written with attention grabbing topic sentences and excellent transitions that ensure seamless reading. The body’s structure is excellently presented. The conclusion contains an articulate closing argument. The essay’s introduction has a good thesis statement that includes most of the points listed in the article. Body paragraphs are well written with good transitions that align sentence structure and solid topic sentences. The structure used is easily defined. The introduction contains a lacklustre thesis statement. The conclusion is present with a substantial closing argument. Paragraphs have topic sentences, but the sentence structure does not ensure smooth reading with little to no transitions. The body is mostly written using one structure. The introduction is unclear and ineffective. The conclusion or introduction is absent. Paragraphs do not have topic sentences nor any sentence structure. No clear structure used with point by point mixed with whole to whole.
Thesis The thesis statement is very conclusive with a lot of information presented. The writer’s opinion is eloquently presented and could not be any clearer. There is a detailed thesis statement with a lot of background information. The opinion of the writer is clear and understandable. Includes a vague thesis statement. Minimal information is presented, and there is some reference to the points to be submitted. There is no information presented in the thesis. The thesis statement is non-existent. The writer’s opinion cannot be understood.
Reasons and support The points to support comparisons and contrasts are definitive with clear and relevant and specific examples presented. The illustrations used to support the points are generic. The provided points, however, are clear and reasonable. The points are compared and contrasted well enough. Examples are irrelevant and supporting information insubstantial. The points only either contrast or compare but not both. Examples are not there, and neither is supporting information to reinforce the points presented.
Attention to audience The reader is given priority by the writer. Points are well supported to give the audience as much clarity as possible. The author anticipates their expectations perfectly with vivid work to meet them. The writer has a clear understanding of what the audience expect to gain from reading his essay. The presentation and support of his or her points, however, do not comprehensively deal with the argument. The writer has a vague understanding of what readers expect from him or her. The points and their supporting information do help clarify the argument to some extent. The author of the essay pays no mind to the readers with comparison and contrasts not clear or helpful at all to the audience.
Word choice The writer uses appropriate vocabulary which shows a thorough understanding of the argument. The transitions smoothly move the reader from point to point clearly defining contrasts and comparisons. The author’s word choice is creative and understands the subject fairly well. Transitions are well used but lack variety which makes the essay monotonous. The word choice is not very wide. They are appropriate but do not stand out. Some transitions are ill-applied making the relationship between points unclear. The writer has a very limited vocabulary. Transitions are unclear or may not be there at all. There exists no relationship between points in the essay’s body.
Delivery Delivery is excellent with the writer using eloquent language which engages and hooks the reader to the essay from start to finish. The author’s language is fluent and despite some mishaps still manages to keep the audience interested and the points clear. Delivery is below par with room for improvement. The audience cannot continuously follow the argument. The speech makes the readers have a difficult time remaining engaged with the subject. Delivery is poor with a lot of breakages in speech. The reader can barely comprehend the subject let alone follow the argument.
Grammar mechanics and spelling The author has no grammatical shortfalls whatsoever. The essay is extremely well written with immaculate spelling therein. The one or two errors in grammar do not disrupt the audience’s reading of the essay. The errors are very advanced, and the majority of readers would miss them. The writer has three or four errors in grammar and spelling, but the essay is still quite understandable and has flowing speech. The author has many grammatical and spelling errors that disrupt the reader’s attention. More than four errors in an essay make it poor.

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