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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps

Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.

Step 2: Research Your Topic

Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.

Step 3: Formulate Your Argument

Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.

Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement

Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.

Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement

The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.

Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


how to do a compare and contrast thesis statement

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Types of Thesis Statements

Persuasive thesis statement.

A persuasive thesis statement is used when you are asked to create an essay that takes a position on a debatable subject. Your thesis must be about something that people would likely have differing opinions on and the body of your paper provides information intended to help persuade the reader regarding your position.

Example: School Uniforms are beneficial to students because differences in income are less visible, morning routines are easier, and school spirit is promoted.

Research Thesis Statement

Research papers begin with a question and you will be expected to gather information and evidence from appropriate, valid sources to inform your final thesis statement. In this case, your thesis statement answers your research question and is formed as a result of the research you have completed. As part of this type of paper, you are often expected to define your topic and evaluate some aspect of the topic. Your sources will need to be included in your paper to support your thesis.

Example: While some studies have found that freedom of choice allows students to express individuality, schools that have a school uniform policy report less incidents of theft of personal belongings and less incidents of violent behavior indicating that school uniforms may reduce bullying incidents.

Compare and Contrast

A compare and contrast essay is intended to present the similarities or differences between two people or ideas or things, etc. This type of thesis statement introduces the reader to the result of the comparison and the significance of the contrast.

Example: Although many public and private schools are  comparable in that safety of students is a high priority and anti-bullying programs are on the rise, they differ in that private schools typically have a uniform policy, and there are more reported incidents of bullying in public schools.

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How to Write a Thesis for Compare and Contrast Essay

by Lindsay Brown | Jan 3, 2023 | Business Development , Career

A comparative essay should fully examine each subject and honestly identify its strengths and weaknesses. The success of a comparative essay depends on the correct formulation of the thesis statement. To create a truly impressive essay, a strong thesis statement must capture the reader’s attention. In addition, the thesis statement guides the path in which your work moves. If you are presented with problems forming a relevant thesis statement for a comparative essay, this article will provide useful information to help you deal with it.

What is a compare and contrast essay?

A compare and contrast essay takes two opposing concepts. It examines them from all angles, with the author having to pick up on subtle differences or conversely unexpected similarities between the subjects rather than obvious things. What role does the thesis play in all this?

The thesis is a summary of your subsequent arguments. It also introduces your readers to the argument and lets them know what to expect next. Formulating a thesis statement will make creating your compare-and-contrast essay structure and outline easier. Putting together the main idea of your paper in one or two sentences can be tricky; nevertheless, with its help, you can gradually reveal your thoughts and develop new arguments.

Before you begin constructing your thesis statement, you need to determine your goal and what you will be comparing. It would help if you also determined which of the two ways you will write a compare and contrast essay.

Explanatory essay

An expository essay examines two subjects without bias. This type is the most common among college academic assignments because the writer’s opinions are not considered in this type of essay. Students who constantly struggle with a large amount of homework can turn to an essay service . These services will relieve your clogged schedule.

Evaluation Essay

In the graded essay, however, as it is not hard to guess, the author has to express their opinion. This is where the author “picks a side” and then gives preference to it throughout the essay, backing it up with arguments. Regardless of your paper type, the list of topics for comparative essays is very extensive. Your main task is to talk about it extensively and logically.

How to write a good compare and contrast essay

If you want to improve your compare-and-contrast essay writing skills, the following tips will help you.

  • Create a flowchart to help you visualize your essay writing route
  • Choose a more specific topic so that your attention is not spread out over many additional factors: for example, you are comparing what is better for mobile games, a tablet, or a phone
  • Use special words of comparison and contrast, such as “although,” “on the one hand…but on the other hand,” etc.
  • The thesis statement should be at the end of your introduction so it’s easier for readers to identify it
  • Carefully consider your writing style and tone of voice-use, the most appropriate language in your topic, jargon and relevant terms, etc.

It is also very important to think carefully about the arguments you will counter. Use them only for their substance. Visit essay writer service to complete your essay on the highest level.

Thesis statement formula for compare and contrast essay

To make it easier to navigate exactly how a compare and contrast essay thesis works, we’ve highlighted a formula below that will help you work better.

Let’s say we’re comparing topics like X and Y. They have A and B in common (you can highlight more similarities, but two is the minimum). Then you give your argument, after which you say that topic X wins because there are reasons C and D. Again, you can find more reasons if you can.

So, the main thing to remember when formulating a thesis statement is that first, we highlight the topics, then what they have in common, and then you say that one of the topics is better for so-and-so reasons. You actively develop these arguments in the main text and address both subjects comprehensively. Most importantly, honestly acknowledge the advantages and disadvantages of comparing both subjects.

This guide will help you form the thesis statement for your compare-and-contrast essay. Use this information to improve your writing and your writing skills.

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Crafting a Strong Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement: A Step-by-Step Guide Crafting a Strong Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement: A Step-by-Step Guide

Definition of a thesis statement and explanation of compare and contrast essays, step 1: choose two subjects to compare and contrast, step 2: brainstorm and identify the main points of comparison and contrast, step 3: determine the purpose and focus of the essay, step 4: create a rough draft of the thesis statement, step 5: revise and refine the thesis statement to ensure clarity and effectiveness, to refine the thesis statement, consider the following questions:, final tips for crafting a strong compare and contrast thesis statement.

how to do a compare and contrast thesis statement

Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

Eng 101 oer: comparison.

  • Reading to Write
  • Why We Write
  • Rhetorical Context
  • Brainstorming
  • Proofreading & Editing
  • Paragraph Development
  • Thesis Statements
  • Introductions
  • Conclusions

Transitions & Phrases

  • Peer Reviews
  • Exemplification
  • Classification
  • Cause/Effect
  • Grammar Resources

Learning Objectives

  • Determine the purpose and structure of comparison and contrast in writing.
  • Explain organizational methods used when comparing and contrasting.
  • Understand how to write a compare-and-contrast essay.

The Purpose of Comparing & Contrasting

Comparison  in writing discusses elements that are similar, while  contrast  in writing discusses elements that are different. A  compare-and-contrast essay , then, analyzes two subjects by comparing them, contrasting them, or both.

The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audience’s understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the compare-and-contrast essay.

Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already. Rather, you might try to compare how apples and oranges are quite similar. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be.

The Structure of a Comparison/Contrast Essay

The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward comparing, contrasting, or both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader. Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting.

Thesis statement:  Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny.

Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted (organic versus conventional vegetables), and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader.

You may organize compare-and-contrast essays in one of the following two ways:

  • According to the subjects themselves, discussing one then the other
  • According to individual points, discussing each subject in relation to each point

See  Figure 10.1 “Comparison and Contrast Diagram” , which diagrams the ways to organize our organic versus conventional vegetables thesis.

Figure 10.1  Comparison and Contrast Diagram

The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience.

Writing a Comparison/Contrast Essay

First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so.

The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points. The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects.

After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis.

Comparison/Contrast Essays

Ellen Laird compares and contrasts traditional and distance education in  I’m Your Teacher, Not Your Internet-Service Provider :

  • http://eec.edc.org/cwis_docs/NEWS_ARTICLES_JOURNALS/Laird_Ellen.pdf
  • http://celt.cui.edu/celt/webct_for_instructors/Laird_Article.htm
  • http://depedia.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=I%27m_your_teacher%2C_not_your_Internet-Service_Provider

Deborah Tannen compares and contrasts conversation styles in  Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other?

  • http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/tannend/sexlies.htm

Alex Wright examines communication patterns, old and new, in  Friending, Ancient or Otherwise :

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/weekinreview/02wright.html

Student Sample Essay

Comparing and Contrasting London and Washington, DC

Both Washington, DC, and London are capital cities of English-speaking countries, and yet they offer vastly different experiences to their residents and visitors. Comparing and contrasting the two cities based on their history, their culture, and their residents show how different and similar the two are.

Both cities are rich in world and national history, though they developed on very different time lines. London, for example, has a history that dates back over two thousand years. It was part of the Roman Empire and known by the similar name, Londinium. It was not only one of the northernmost points of the Roman Empire but also the epicenter of the British Empire where it held significant global influence from the early sixteenth century on through the early twentieth century. Washington, DC, on the other hand, has only formally existed since the late eighteenth century. Though Native Americans inhabited the land several thousand years earlier, and settlers inhabited the land as early as the sixteenth century, the city did not become the capital of the United States until the 1790s. From that point onward to today, however, Washington, DC, has increasingly maintained significant global influence. Even though both cities have different histories, they have both held, and continue to hold, significant social influence in the economic and cultural global spheres.

Both Washington, DC, and London offer a wide array of museums that harbor many of the world’s most prized treasures. While Washington, DC, has the National Gallery of Art and several other Smithsonian galleries, London’s art scene and galleries have a definite edge in this category. From the Tate Modern to the British National Gallery, London’s art ranks among the world’s best. This difference and advantage has much to do with London and Britain’s historical depth compared to that of the United States. London has a much richer past than Washington, DC, and consequently has a lot more material to pull from when arranging its collections. Both cities have thriving theater districts, but again, London wins this comparison, too, both in quantity and quality of theater choices. With regard to other cultural places like restaurants, pubs, and bars, both cities are very comparable. Both have a wide selection of expensive, elegant restaurants as well as a similar amount of global and national chains. While London may be better known for its pubs and taste in beer, DC offers a different bar-going experience. With clubs and pubs that tend to stay open later than their British counterparts, the DC night life tend to be less reserved overall.

Both cities also share and differ in cultural diversity and cost of living. Both cities share a very expensive cost of living—both in terms of housing and shopping. A downtown one-bedroom apartment in DC can easily cost $1,800 per month, and a similar “flat” in London may double that amount. These high costs create socioeconomic disparity among the residents. Although both cities’ residents are predominantly wealthy, both have a significantly large population of poor and homeless. Perhaps the most significant difference between the resident demographics is the racial makeup. Washington, DC, is a “minority majority” city, which means the majority of its citizens are races other than white. In 2009, according to the US Census, 55 percent of DC residents were classified as “Black or African American” and 35 percent of its residents were classified as “white.” London, by contrast, has very few minorities—in 2006, 70 percent of its population was “white,” while only 10 percent was “black.” The racial demographic differences between the cities is drastic.

Even though Washington, DC, and London are major capital cities of English-speaking countries in the Western world, they have many differences along with their similarities. They have vastly different histories, art cultures, and racial demographics, but they remain similar in their cost of living and socioeconomic disparity.

how to do a compare and contrast thesis statement

Key Takeaways

  • A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
  • The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
  • The thesis should clearly state the subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both, and it should state what is to be learned from doing so.
  • Organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other.
  • Organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point.
  • Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed.

This is a derivative of  WRITING FOR SUCCESS  by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License .

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  • Last Updated: Sep 7, 2023 10:19 AM
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