Has this ever happened to you? Professor: Where is your thesis statement? If so, don’t worry. You’re not the first person to struggle with writing a thesis statement, and you won’t be the last. This part of essay writing has vexed many college students, but luckily, I’m here to show you the ropes. Almost every college essay you write will require a thesis in one form or another. A compare and contrast essay is no exception. In this post, I’ll walk you through the finer points of how to write a compare and contrast thesis statement and offer some pro tips and resources for tackling that essay like a boss. Every time you sit down to write an essay, try to think of it like an argument. Yes. An argument. Always. This is important because your thesis is the main argument—the main point—you’re trying to make in your essay. It’s a claim you make about your topic.
Then you spend the rest of the essay backing up that claim with examples, reasoning, and sometimes professional sources that reinforce this claim. A compare and contrast essay doesn’t always require you to cite sources, though. So let’s just focus on what you can do to write a great thesis and, thus, a great essay. …you would probably wonder why the heck the person just did that. Similarly, your professor wants to see how well you can identify the relationship between two things. If you write a strong thesis, then you’ll show your professor that your compare and contrast essay has a purpose. If you’re going to write a strong thesis, you’ll want to make sure you know your approach before going in. Here are some pro tips to help you get started. Pick topics that interest you. It’s way easier to write about something you like or care about. Need some help with picking a topic? Check out this list of compare and contrast essay topics.
“(Topic 1) and (Topic 2) have a lot in common. Then pretend someone just replied with, “So what? Repeat this exercise as you write the essay. It will help you reinforce your thesis and make sure that the point you’re making is meaningful. Every time you start a new paragraph and write a topic sentence that reinforces your thesis, pretend that you’re being asked “so what? ” again. Work on answering that question as you continue writing the paragraph. Though eccentric, both Gandalf and Dumbledore resemble kind-hearted grandfatherly figures when they first appear in the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series, respectively. Both characters are powerful wizards capable of terrible destruction, but showing them as kind old men humanizes and establishes them as protagonists that the reader can root for rather than fear. Writing like this makes your essay more meaningful. Keep asking and answering “so what? ” and you’ll write a strong essay that keeps reinforcing the thesis. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” thesis that works for any essay. Just like you wouldn’t use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, you’re not going to use an argumentative essay thesis for your compare and contrast essay.
If you’re going to write a solid compare and contrast thesis statement, then you’ll need to make sure you understand the anatomy of this essay. Let’s break down the compare and contrast format, bit by bit, and see how the thesis applies to each part. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to settle on your topics before moving forward. It’ll help you visualize how the following can be applied specifically to your topics. There are a few common approaches you could take when writing a compare and contrast essay. Comparing/contrasting two things in the same category that are different somehow. Your favorite coffee shop vs. Comparing/contrasting two things that seem very different but actually have a lot in common. Comparing/contrasting two things that appear the same but are actually very different. Tim Burton’s Batman vs. Your thesis will be different depending on which approach you use. While bats and bears appear to have little in common at first glance, they are remarkably similar.