How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay in Nutrition

Writing guide
Posted on April 23, 2020

You are assigned to write a compare and contrast essay in nutrition and are looking for advice on how to get started? Compare and contrast essays are common assignments in different college subjects but many students find them a little intimidating. It’s not easy to analyze two complex things or ideas to find similarities and differences between them and make a strong coherent argument that proves your point of view.

In this guide, we discuss all important aspects of writing a compare and contrast essay in nutrition. You’ll find simple instructions on how to choose a good topic, plan and structure your essay, write an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Besides, we’ll give you some effective editing and proofreading tips and provide you with a list of interesting compare and contrast essay topics. If you have problems with writing other types of academic essays, check out other useful articles where you’ll find full guides to all writing assignments out there.

What Is Compare and Contrast Essay in Nutrition?

Before we start discussing the specific steps of the writing process, let’s make it clear what type of academic writing a compare and contrast essay is. A compare and contrast essay in nutrition focuses on how two or more things or ideas are similar and different. You may compare and contrast two similar things that have crucial differences or compare things that appear to be the same but actually have a lot of differences. Your goal is to examine and discuss similarities and differences of two subjects in order to show your readers their relationships. That’s why you should subjects that belong to the same or similar category and have meaningful connections. You also need to establish a basis of comparison.

You can focus your essay only on a comparison, only on contrasting or do both. There are two types of structure that you can use to organize your ideas in a compare and contrast essay in nutrition: the block structure and the point-by-point structure.

  • When you use the block structure, you need to discuss each subject in a separate paragraph one after another.
  • When you use the point-by-point structure, you need to focus each paragraph on a specific point and discuss each subject in relation to each point.

Both methods have their own advantages. The block method is easier for the writer while the point-by-point method is easier for the readers to follow because the differences and similarities are more explicit. You should choose the organization method, taking into account the purpose of your compare and contrast essay, the nature of your topic, and your audience. You can also combine both methods in your essay.

Compare and contrast essay in nutrition is argumentative writing so you need to link each point of your argument to your thesis statement. But in addition to that, you also need to make links between different subjects that you discuss in your essay. That’s why you should use transitional words and phrases of comparison and contrast, for example: on the other hand, on the contrary, conversely, also, alike, likewise, moreover, similarly, however, also, while, instead, as well as, unlike, just as, besides, in the same way, compared to, despite, regardless, still, even though, contrasted with. Transition words and phrases will help you emphasize how your items are similar or different.

Choose an Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topic

If you were not assigned a topic for your essay, you need to choose it yourself. The best approach is to write about something you are interested in but you should make sure that the chosen topic is relevant to the content of the course you are taking. Remember: you should choose a topic that you can argue about and pick two subjects that can be compared and contrasted in a meaningful way. Pick subjects in the same category that differ enough to be compared. For example, if you decide to write about diets, you may compare and contrast two different types of diets like vegan and vegetarian and discuss which them is better for our health.

To help you choose a good topic, we’ve created a short list of impressive compare and contrast essay topics in nutrition. You may review them for inspiration when brainstorming ideas for your research or use any of them for writing your own essay.

  • What Is the Difference between Dieting and Healthy Eating?
  • What Is the Difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances?
  • Vegan Diet vs. Eating Meet: Which Is Healthier?
  • Differences in Nutritional Requirements for Men and Women;
  • Intermittent Fasting vs. Anorexia;
  • Balanced Diet vs. Poor Nutrition;
  • Compare Nutritional Requirements of Infants and Teenagers;
  • Compare Proteins from Animal and Plant Sources;
  • Complex Carbohydrates vs. Simple Carbohydrates;
  • Monounsaturated Fats vs. Polyunsaturated Fats;
  • Saturated Fats vs. Unsaturated Fats;
  • Compare Different Sugar Substitutes;
  • Vegan Diet vs. Plant-Based Diet;
  • Overnutrition vs. Undernutrition;
  • Which Is Healthier: Red Meat or White Meat?

Organize Your Ideas and Make an Outline

Brainstorm the qualities of each subject and think how your subjects are similar and different. You can use such brainstorming techniques as freewriting, listing, mind-mapping or creating a Venn diagram to organize your ideas. Create a list of similarities and difference and select the key points that you’ll use as topics for your body paragraphs. Do additional research to find more information about the points of comparison and contrast. As you read your sources, make notes of the ideas that you can include as direct quotes or paraphrase. Find appropriate evidence for supporting your key points.

When you have gathered enough material, you should create a strong thesis statement that will express the main idea of your essay. It will help you make a focused argument. Try to make your thesis statement as detailed and specific as possible. For example, if you decide to compare and contrast vegetarian diet and eating meat, you can develop your thesis in this way:

‘Vegetarian diets are characterized by lower intake of saturated fats and higher intake of vegetable, fruit, wholegrain, and fiber compared to meat diets and can improve long-term health.’

After creating your thesis, you need to decide which method of organizing your body paragraphs you’ll use – the block structure, the point-by-point structure or both and create an outline that will serve as a skeleton for your essay. Keep in mind that your compare and contrast essay in nutrition should consist of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Actually, you should use the basic essay structure common for many types of academic papers.

Write an Engaging Introductory Paragraph

Introduction is a very important section of your essay where you have a great chance to grab your readers’ attention. You have to convince them that your compare and contrast essay in nutrition is worth their precious time and that reading it, they will learn something new and useful for them. Here are some tips on how to write an engaging introduction.

  • Use ‘general to specific’ structure. Start broad but make sure you include only relevant information.
  • Start your essay with a hook (a surprising fact, provocative question, statistics, quote) to catch your audience’s attention.
  • Provide background information on your topic but make sure your information is relevant to your argument and clearly focused. You should be concise but you may include short definitions of the key terms.
  • Develop a strong thesis statement that summarizes your overall argument and sets the limit of your essay.
  • Briefly outline the key ideas and give a short explanation to your thesis. Try to avoid common clichés as you are writing.

Write the Main Body

The body is the biggest part of any academic essay where you actually make an argument and explain, prove or support your claim. Each body paragraph should focus on a single main point, be coherent, and relevant.

  • Start all body paragraphs with a topic sentence that introduces the controlling idea and identifies the focus of each paragraph. It also helps to make smooth transitions between body paragraphs. If you introduce contrasting information, you can use words and phrases that highlight differences, for example, instead, on the other hand, however, in contrast.
  • Include 2-3 sentences that explain what your topic sentence means.
  • Support your controlling idea with relevant evidence and examples. You can do it with research data, facts, figures, statistics, quotes and paraphrases. If you use quotes from primary sources, it’s important to properly cite them to avoid plagiarism.
  • Explain what your evidence means and how it helps to support the main point of your paragraph. Interpret your evidence and tell your readers why it is important.
  • Finish your paragraph with a concluding sentence which explains how the paragraph contributes to your overall argument and includes a transition to the next paragraph.

Create a Powerful Conclusion

A conclusion should provide a thoughtful end of your compare and contrast essay in nutrition and not just summarize what you have already said. But you should never include any new points or evidence here. Besides, it would be a mistake to focus your conclusion on minor issues presented in your essay. And you should avoid using such phrases like to sum it up, in summary, in conclusion.
Here is what you should do to make a strong conclusion.

  • You should try to wrap everything up by showing connections between your paper’s main points, show the significance of your argument or analysis, and tell your audience about broader implications.
  • It’s crucial not just summarize your main points but synthesize them show why they are important for your argument.
  • A good idea is to set your discussion into a larger context.
  • You can also include your personal opinion on the topic and tell about the limitations of your work.

Revise and Edit Your Compare and Contrast Essay in Nutrition

When you finish your first draft, you should revise it and rewrite several times to make it better. You can edit your compare and contrast essay in nutrition on several levels and improve the content and overall structure of your essay, logic and organization within your paragraphs, word choice, style, and in-text citations. At this stage, you are likely to make significant changes in the content and wording of your essay. You should look for issues in the sentence structure and fix fragment and run-on sentences.

The last step is proofreading that typically involves fixing minor grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and inconsistencies without making big changes in the content and sentence structure. You can use the following effective proofreading strategies. You may experiment with all of them to find those that work for you.

  • Read your essay aloud and look for one error or issue at a time. You should read slowly and read every word.
  • Print your essay out and review it line by line to catch mistakes that you might have previously missed.
  • Read backwards paragraph by paragraph or sentence after sentence. It’s a great way to catch spelling errors or typos.
  • Get feedback from other people. You may ask your friends or members of your family to read your essay and comment on it.

We’ve explained how to write a compare and contrast essay in nutrition in several easy steps. As you see, the success of you essay depends on your ability to provide a strong argument. Besides, you need to support your ideas with convincing evidence. This process may be time-consuming so it’s important to start working on your essay as early as possible to ensure you that you’ll have enough time for doing a thorough research, outlining, creating a rough draft, editing, and proofreading and will be able to meet the deadline. Writing papers may seem daunting but you’ll be more productive if your break down the process into basic parts. If you follow our simple instructions and practice a lot, you can successfully cope with this challenging assignment and create a great essay that will make a powerful impression on your readers.

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