How to Write a Great High School vs College Essay (+Free Sample)

If at any point in your academic career you will have to write a high school vs college essay, do not be fooled letting yourself think that this is an easy task. So before we discuss the peculiarities of the writing process and provide you with a sample, let's define a compare and contrast essay. Once you received the topic, you will have to understand that:

  • 'compare' refers to the search for the similarities between two notions, objects or phenomena, whereas
  • 'contrast' forces you to look for the differences between the above-mentioned things.

You can see that writing such paper involves preparation and analysis of the information you would like to include in the essay.

Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay for High School and College

The process of writing a compare and contrast essay consists of the following steps:

  1. Brainstorm ideas
  2. Consider main points
  3. Develop a thesis statement
  4. Decide on the structure
  5. Draft an outline
  6. Write the paper
  7. Edit and proofread
  8. Submit.

The first part of the writing process is brainstorming when you can write down everything that is somehow related to the topic. Write every single silly or crazy idea down (you can cross them out later), but make sure you cannot make them work first.

Once you have all the ideas written down, choose things you would like to focus on and throw out everything that does not fit. You will have to choose from 2 to 5 main points you will cover in your essay.

The next step is to write a thesis statement that will cover all the point you will discuss later or present the main idea (e.g. 'college fives a student more opportunities for personal growth').

While choosing the best structure for your essay you might need to consider what is best depending on the points you plan to cover. There are three basic ways to approach your essay:

  • Subject by subject. It means that you will have to discuss school (in as many paragraphs as needed), then describe college in the corresponding number of paragraphs.
  • Point by point. This organizational form allows you to discuss certain features or characteristic of two objects. For this type of essays, you can compare and contrast form of ownership, living costs, etc.
  • First compare, then contrast. In this structure, you will have to write down all the similarities first, and then move on to the differences.

If you are asked to prepare similarities between high school and college essay this means you have to compare and look for things in common. Whereas, contrast essay will require you to write differences between high school and college essay.

While writing your paper, make sure to pay attention to word count, as well as the overall tone of an essay. Once you have written your essay, make sure to take a break before editing and proofreading. You will have to check initial requirements and make sure your formatting is proper. Give yourself time to proofread your paper twice, before you submit it. Make sure to submit your paper at least half an hour prior to the deadline, so you have enough time in case of emergency.

High School vs College Essay: Compare and Contrast

One might it find it extremely difficult to adjust to college life right after high school graduation. College is a great period in student's life and whether you adjust easily or struggle throughout the journey. It is important for you to understand in what ways are high school and college are related, and in what ways are they distinctive. Both high school and college are educational establishments that are supposed to provide students with knowledge and skills they need. In most cases, both school and college are governmentally run and offer a degree once you graduate.

While high school students are aware that college life will be completely different from what you have experienced, rarely can they say what exactly makes college different. In high school, you continue your general course of education, studying physics, history, and math, whereas college offers you a more flexible schedule. In most states, high school is a mandatory step of your education, whereas you may not go to college or take a gap year if you feel you need one. In many cases, the rules and attendance policy is more strict is school comparing to the college. In terms of social experience, high school is more focused on interpersonal relationships, while college forces you to focus more on your academic life.

Most high schools are government funded, comparing to the college you have to pay for. It also means (that if you are smart enough), you will study harder, as these are your money paid for education (or your parents').

We cannot say that one institution is better than the other, as they both mark significant periods of someone's life. However, we do believe that college is more interesting as it offers you opportunities for self-development and chance to focus on your future career, rather than high school drama. Another difference between high school and college comes with the fact that college is your personal choice and you are responsible for your future and choices you make.

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