Compare & Contrast Thesis Statement Examples

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  • 0:04 Comparing vs. Contrasting
  • 0:40 Thesis Statement…
  • 2:42 Thesis Statement…
  • 5:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Derek Hughes
There are many different kinds of essays you will have to write as a student. One of these is a compare and contrast essay. This lesson will provide you with a brief description of this type of essay and several thesis statement examples.

Comparing vs. Contrasting

A compare and contrast essay is a type of writing in which you explain the similarities and differences between two things. These could be characters from books, events in history, foods, arguments, or many other topics. As with any essay type, it's important to begin your compare and contrast essay with a thesis statement, or a statement that clearly states the main idea of your writing and outlines your most salient points.

This lesson will provide several examples of thesis statements that might be used to start a compare and contrast essay. The examples will use a few different topics to help illustrate what kinds of things you might write a compare and contrast essay about.

Thesis Statement Examples Part 1

Let's take a closer look at some thesis statement examples and then provide a little commentary after each of them.

  • While some people prefer to keep cats as house pets, there's also a large group of people who prefer dogs. Many people believe that cats are a better pet because they clean themselves, do not need to be taken out for walks, and are generally calmer than dogs. However, dog lovers feel that dogs are more fun to play with, give love more easily, and are more loyal. They both make good pets, but for different reasons.

As you can see with this thesis statement, it provides multiple perspectives, contrasting dog owners and cat owners, but comparing them by showing the commonalities they share, particularly in their appeal as pets. The only thing different was the specific preference of cats or dogs.

  • While both the Civil War and the Revolutionary War were primarily fought to help a certain group of people win their freedom, the two wars differ in a variety of ways. Both wars were fought on American soil, both were fought to help liberate a group of people, and both wars had huge impacts on history. However, the wars differed in the tactics used by both sides, who was involved in the fighting, and what caused them. While these wars were fought in different times of American history, you will see how much they have in common.

In this thesis statement, the Civil and Revolutionary Wars in American history were compared and contrasted. As you can see, the comparisons are made to essentially explain why the two wars often get lumped together, but the contrasting points are made to explain what makes them significant conflicts on their own.

  • 'Paper or plastic' is a common question to hear when grocery shopping, and both types of bags have their benefits and drawbacks, but one is clearly more preferable. Paper is sturdier, can hold heavier and more objects, but is harder to carry. Plastic carries fewer items, is not as environmentally friendly, but is generally easier to carry and transport. By observing the differences between the two types of bags, you will be able to see that using paper is preferable to using plastic.

In this thesis statement, paper and plastic bags are compared. It clearly has a point of view which seems to be that paper has more benefits than plastic, but it does acknowledge the ease with which plastic bags are carried.

Thesis Statement Examples Part 2

While there are indeed some subjective points made in the previous examples, they were mostly rooted in comparing and contrasting specific facts. So here are some more thesis statement examples that we should look at that compare and contrast subjective viewpoints on things.

  • Whereas e-books provide a new kind of convenience for readers, many people still prefer to use traditional printed books. Some argue that paper books have a certain nostalgia that makes them more enjoyable to read, are easier to make notations in, and are an important part of culture. The e-book side argues that they are more convenient, easier to read in a variety of lighting, and cut down on the amount of stuff you have to carry when traveling. Both kinds of reading are ultimately enjoyable, though for different reasons.

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