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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Modes of Organization
Compare and Contrast Mode

Compare and Contrast Mode of Organization

Writers use the compare-contrast mode of organization when it makes sense highlight the similarities and differences between people, objects, ideas, or concepts.


Topics or ideas that call for the comparison and contrast mode of organization include anything that can be compared or contrasted to something else such as “renting vs. owning a house,” “classroom-based vs. online classes,” “cats vs. dogs,” or “eating out vs. home cooking.”

Types of Text Using the Compare-Contrast Mode

The compare-contrast mode is frequently used in a variety of texts, including academic writing, persuasive essays, analytical reports, or any context in which it is important to show similarities and differences between people, objects, ideas, or concepts.

Transition Words Used in the Compare-Contrast Mode

Transitions commonly used in the compare-contrast mode include:

  • Similarly, likewise, equally, in the same way, as… as: These expressions signal similarities between two or more people, things, ideas, or concepts.
  • On the other hand, in contrast, in turn, however, although, despite, whereas, more… than, less… than, not as… as: These words and expressions signal differences between two or more people, things, ideas, or concepts.

Example compare-contrast mode of organization

The following paragraph is written using the compare-contrast mode of organization. It focuses on four main differences between dogs and cats: independence, sociability, trainability, and usefulness as service animals.

Although both cats and dogs make excellent pets, there are several key differences between them. Cats are generally more independent and self-sufficient than dogs, and they require less attention and care. On the other hand, dogs are highly social animals and require a great deal of attention and interaction. Moreover, dogs are more trainable than cats; they can be taught a wider range of behaviors compared to cats. Finally, dogs are often used as service animals and can be trained to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities. Although cats can be used as comfort animals, they are typically not used as service animals with as many functions as dogs are.

Note. The above paragraph is used for instructional purposes only. Search the topic for accurate information on it.

Note for Readers

When you read, it is important to identify the mode of organization as compare-contrast because it focuses your reading and improves comprehension.

You should pay attention to the similarities and differences between the topics or concepts the writer is discussing. If you are taking notes, for example, your notes can have a list of similarities and a list of differences.

Up Next: Process Analysis (Steps in a Process) Mode

Continue the lesson to learn about the process analysis mode of organization.