This page updated:  11/23/2020

Compare & Contrast

Welcome!  Compare & Contrast


The Goal:  


We are going to turn our attention to a new writing format, and practice the format within a simplified essay structure.


Compare & Contrast writing allows you to see a relationship between two or more things.  There are two ways to write a compare & contrast paragraph, and in this lesson, we will learn the easiest of the two.  It's called the "All-at-Once" method.  In the video, Shaun calls this method the "Block Method."  Once you have learned about this method, you will be using it to construct a new writing piece.

As Shaun mentions in the video below, the compare/contrast essay is a format you will be asked to use often.  Watch the video before you go on.

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Block Method vs. All-at-Once

Shaun briefly discusses two types of "All-at-Once" or block method.  They are called

  • Similarities & Differences:  This type assumes you will have at least 2 paragraphs.  In the first paragraph, you detail the similarities between A & B, using examples and details to highlight each item's uniqueness.  Then, in the second paragraph, you will use examples to highlight the differences between A & B.  Transition words will help the reader see relationships.

  • Subject-by-Subject:  This version uses a summarizing technique.  Simply, the writer explains everything about A in the first paragraph.  Then, in paragraph two, they explain everything about B.   At the same time, the writer will compare and contrast B to A using transition words to show relationship.


Compare & Contrast - A Mini Essay

Shaun also referred to essay format in the video above.  He does a great job of easing us into this format.  Watch this video next.  We will structure the Prewriting stages:  specifically, the writing scaffold you use will match Shaun's introduction to the "mini essay" so be sure to know the basic terms used in this video.  They are in the printables, so you may wish to print them off before watching.



1.  Print out the printables and review them if you haven't already.  BE SURE you understand what each term in red means.

2.  When you have an understanding of the two versions of the All-at-Once method for Compare & Contrast, and you understand the basic structure of a mini essay, go on to the next lesson.​  You will be asked to make choices about your writing as you begin the Prewriting stage.