The Purpose of Comparison and Contrast in Writing. 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 comparison and contrast essay is often assigned to students who are asked to compare two different literary texts, or compare how an idea is presented in two different texts. For example, a student may be asked to think about how the idea of love is presented in two different poems or two different stories. The structure of the comparison and contrast essay is similar no matter the topic.