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How to Write ‘Compare and Contrast’ Type of Essay in IELTS Writing Task 2?

How to Write ‘Compare and Contrast’ Type of Essay in IELTS Writing Task 2?

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In ‘compare and contrast’ type of essay, IELTS examiners want you to discuss the points of comparing and contrasting the two things i.e. similarities and differences between the two. Therefore, it is important that you find out relevant points of similarities and differences of the two mentioned things after reading the question for IELTS Writing .
Let’s look at an example:

Some people want to live in a house while others prefer living in an apartment.

Does living in a house bring more advantages than living in an apartment?

With this type of essay for  IELTS Writing , you have two points to be discussed as follows:

  • Benefits of living in a house/apartment
  • Issues of living in an house/apartment

You must discuss both of them by giving reasons and support them with examples. And at the end, mention which of the two is better and why.
If you do not discuss any of the above two points in the essay, you will lose marks.

So, in this type of essay, you must explain both the points.

How to structure IELTS Writing asnwer?


The essay can be structured mainly in 4 paragraphs as follows:

Paragraph 1: Introduction

Paragraph 2: Benefits of living in a house/apartment

Paragraph 3: Issues of living in a house/apartment

Paragraph 4: Conclusion


Further structuring of the paragraphs can be done as follows:


a. Paragraph 1- Introduction

Sentence 1- Paraphrase the Question

Sentence 2-Outline the sentence

b. Paragraph 2- Body Paragraph 1 (Apartment)

Sentence 1- State the benefit

Sentence 2- Explain how it brings this benefit

Sentence 4- Write an example

c. Paragraph 3 – Body Paragraph 2 (House)

Sentence 1- State the issue

Sentence 2-Explain how it leads to this issue

Sentence 3- Write an example

d. Paragraph 4- Conclusion

Sentence 1- Summary of the main point to conclude which is better and why
Four paragraphs are sufficient to explain your point of view. You may use any other structure you are comfortable with but this structure is approved by the IELTS examiners to help the students write in an effective and cohesive manner.


Useful vocabulary for Comparison points

  • likewise
  • similarly
  • also
  • to be the same as
  • both… and…
  • neither… nor…
  • not only… but also…
  • to be alike
  • just like (+ noun)
  • to be similar (to)
  • similar to (+ noun)
  • to compare (to/with)


Useful vocabulary for Contrasting points

  • in contrast
  • by comparison
  • in comparison
  • on the other hand
  • whereas
  • while
  • however
  • but
  • to differ from
  • to be dissimilar to
  • to be different (from)
  • to be unlike



You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Some people want to live in a house while others prefer living in an apartment.

Does living in a house bring more advantages than living in an apartment?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer:

There are many people who believe that living in a house is the best. However, some people disagree with this opinion and instead prefer to live in an apartment. This essay makes comparison of the two and chooses the most preferred option.

To begin with, living in a flat definitely brings several advantages to a resident. One of the most important reasons behind this is the huge convenience it offers. An apartment is a part of large building giving a feel of living in a small societal association which takes responsibility of any fix or repair or maintenance required.  For example, if one needs to repair the roof, the maintenance charges are borne by the landlord. Moreover, various facilities as well as amenities are available nearby including shopping mall, tuition centre, medical store, bus station and so on.

On the other hand, living in an owned house does not offer the facilities that one can avail while living in an apartment. One reason for this is that it is quite lonely to stay in a house which occupies a large land area bringing boredom and snatching the joy of living with so many people around. For example, it would be such a dull experience of sitting alone in the garden with no one around to share life experiences. In addition to this, maintenance and cleanliness of the house are borne by the owner and thus it is costly to live in a house.

Conclusively, living in an apartment is comparatively better than staying lonely in a house. Though a house provides a large spacious area to move around but living in an apartment enhances more social interaction and adds more excitement to life.

(283 words)




Write an essay with minimum 250 words. Use the above mentioned vocabulary.
1. Some people think that learning online is more efficient. However, according to some other people, studying from books is still the preferred method. Which is the better method of learning out of the two?

2. Distance education is gaining popularity day by day and more students are enrolling through distance mode than full-time course in colleges. Make comparison of distance education and full-time course to find which is better and why.

3. A growing number of people own personal vehicle as they find it a convenient mode of transport in comparison to public transport. Compare the public and private mode of transportation and state which is better out of the two.



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