Sample Contrast Paragraph

Topic sentence
The hamburgers served at Five Guys in Alexandria, Louisiana, are better than the hamburgers served at Louisiana College café in Pineville, Louisiana.

Criteria
1. the quality of the meat
2. the taste
3. the price

Concluding sentence
Given the scope of the differences between the hamburgers at Five Guys and the Louisiana College cafe, it is clear that Five Guys’ hamburgers are not only a better value overall, they are a better quality product altogether.

Remember — the goal of this paragraph is to

  • state what you are contrasting (the topic sentence — should say what food, which locations, and that one is better than the other)
  • identify the criteria (the differences)
  • describe the criteria clearly and explain how each food item fulfills the criteria

(topic sentence) The hamburgers served at Five Guys in Alexandria, Louisiana, are better than the hamburgers served at Louisiana College café in Pineville, Louisiana. (first criterion) The quality of the meat used in Five Guys’ hamburgers is much better than that used in the café’s hamburgers. Although both use half a pound of meat, the meat used by Five Guys is juicier and leaner than the cafe’s meat, which is greasier and less flavorful. The patties are also very different in thickness, with the cafe’s being thinner and tasting as though they are overcooked somewhat. (second criterion) The taste of both products is also very dissimilar, and the cafe’s hamburger lacks the overall seasoning that the hamburgers at Five Guys have. Part of the problem is the cheese-to-meat ratio of the cafe’s hamburgers since they have more cheese proportionally than Five Guys’ hamburgers have, so one tastes more cheese and less meat at the cafe. The hamburgers at Five Guys do have a better combination of flavors because, while the cafe uses American cheese as well, they use under-ripe tomatoes and too much iceberg lettuce, while Five Guys uses Romaine lettuce and ripe tomatoes. (third criterion) The price of the hamburgers is also quite different when one considers the quality of the product based on the cost. While there is only a $.75 difference in price, with the cafe’s hamburgers costing less, the hamburgers at Five Guys provide a better product for the extra money, and the customer will not feel that she has wasted her money on a lesser product. (concluding sentence) Given the scope of the differences between the hamburgers at Five Guys and the Louisiana College cafe, it is clear that Five Guys’ hamburgers are not only a better value overall, they are a better quality product altogether.