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Where To Look For Compare And Contrast Essay Examples Available For Free


A compare and contrast essay is different than other kinds of academic papers such as research papers or analysis essays, in that they specifically seek to show how two subjects are similar and/or different. You may be assigned a compare & contrast paper in any different subject, including literature, history, philosophy, art history, or even economics.

When looking for an example of a compare & contrast essay, it will be helpful to either find one on a similar subject to yours, or to find one that structures its argument in a similar way. Organizing your thoughts, information, and argument can be one of the most difficult parts of this kind of paper. For example, you can either write about subject A completely then write about subject B, or in each paragraph you can explain how subject A and subject B are similar or different in a specific aspect. Using an example paper can help you decide which is the best format for your topic.

However, finding an essay to use as an example is not always easy. Start your search with these suggestions:

Academic Journals

If your school has access to online academic journal databases such as JSTOR or Academic Search Premier, they can be an excellent resource for finding example papers on a certain subject. As always, your success in navigating these databases will depend on the keywords you use to search. Try several different combinations of the subject you are looking for, as well as words such as ‘comparing’, ‘contrasting’, ‘similar’, and ‘different’. Even if you don’t have access to these online databases, which require a subscription, Google Scholar is free to use, and when available, will provide free PDFs to articles.

Writing Center Websites

Most universities have a writing center, and many of these centers have webpages that are full of resources, including samples of different kinds of papers. Check to see if your school has a writing center, and whether they have sample papers. Or a simple online search will uncover dozens of writing center websites that you can browse for sample papers, or in some cases, sample paper organization.

Online Forums

Another great resource for academic help, including sample compare & contrast essays, is online forums such as Reddit, which host pages for practically every subject you can think of. Through these forums you can post to ask if anyone has an example of a paper that they’d be willing to share.