Compare Contrast Essay Introduction

The introduction to your compare & contrast essay will be a summarized teaser of what you will be discussing going forward. There are some key points to mention herein which will give your compare contrast essay introduction the angle it needs to fit properly into this type of essay.

Another aspect to your essay’s opening is to reveal what direction you are taking the reader into. There are various factors that should be included in this type of essay too, so let us look at some of them. Once you understand these principles, you will be better at forming the introduction paragraph properly.

Compare, contrast or both?

First of all, the writer of these essays must realize that there is a huge difference between comparing things and contrasting them. Comparing refers to features that your subjects have in common (like two fast food places), and the contrasting refers to their differences (one sells hamburgers while the other sells fried chicken).

The subject you choose in your essay must be something that is similar in type, but different in characteristics. Make mention of this in your compare contrast essay introduction. Highlight what factors are different and also which general category your subjects belong to.

Discuss the similarities

Include a brief discussion about the category your two subjects are in. If it is regarding two fast food places, then give some background information pertinent to the fast food industry. When doing this, make sure you keep the discussion relevant to the features you intend on contrasting later. There is no point in mentioning something unrelated in your introduction, only to take the reader elsewhere when he or she comes to your main body.

Name the differences

Once you have given the reader some background information on the similarities, move on to list some of the main factors you will be contrasting in the main content. Since your introduction should only be between 100 and 200 words, keep this as general as possible and do not mention any irrelevant information.

Contrasting opinions

Somewhere in your essay you should take the approach of showing two contrasting views regarding your subject. If you are arguing that the fried chicken joint is better than the hamburger place, include a different side to that opinion by furnishing the reader with information from another source. You can allude to this in your introduction. Feel free to state your own opinion, and then mention that some do differ with it.

Reveal your sources

Your introduction can also include a brief outline of the sources you will use in the main content. Just a brief allusion will suffice in this regard. Consider mentioning the qualifications of the references, their standpoints, and some short descriptions of what they offer the area of study you are writing about.

Show your enrichment

It is always a good strategy to write in such a way that shows what you have learnt. Your professor will relish the fact that you took the time to understand what was being taught by the assignment. Do not be afraid to mention the parts of an essay you learnt the most from and how you have applied it in your studies. Your introduction can contain words like ‘similarities’ and ‘differences’ in strategic ways to display your understanding of the assignment.


The introduction is packed full of information in a very small space. This means that you should try and fit as much of the above factors in as you can, without going over your word count. If you stick to the basic guidelines stated here, you will render a very interesting compare & contrast essay.

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