If you’ve ever written an AP or an IB exam, you know that knowing the compare and contrast essay structure is critical. As the article mentions, a Venn Diagram is an excellent way to get a hang of this structure and use it in your writing. If you are comparing two pieces of literature, then the easiest way to do it is to first talk about one book or poem, then discuss its similarities with another piece, and then discuss the other novel. My advice for you is to draft an actual Venn diagram before writing your compare and contrast essays. After you do a Venn diagram, create an outline with the middle of your Venn diagram in the middle of your essay. As the article states, make sure to group each idea as a paragraph and isolate them. In an essay like this, it is easy to repeat yourself. You can prevent that by prewriting and making your comparison very apparent.
There are no hard and fast rules about organizing a comparison/contrast paper, of course. Just be sure that your reader can easily tell what’s going on! Be aware, too, of the placement of your different points. If you are writing a comparison/contrast in service of an argument, keep in mind that the last point you make is the one you are leaving your reader with. For example, if I am trying to argue that Amante is better than Pepper’s, I should end with a contrast that leaves Amante sounding good, rather than with a point of comparison that I have to admit makes Pepper’s look better. If you’ve decided that the differences between the items you’re comparing/contrasting are most important, you’ll want to end with the differences—and vice versa, if the similarities seem most important to you.