Compare and contrast essays have several styles to choose from. Two of the most commonly used styles are known as Block style and Point by Point style. These essays are generally used to persuade some one to choose one view over another. Although both styles may express their ideas well, point by point is easier for the reader to comprehend.

The opening paragraph in point by point style is in essence, identical to that of block style. Both styles contain the essays contain the essay topic and the thesis stated clearly in the introductory paragraph. Here, in the body paragraphs, is where the styles differ. In block style, the writer lays out all the information of one topic in paragraph one using several facts about this subject, and why these facts are significant to the essay. In paragraph two of block style, you present all information of topic two in the same order. The problem with block style is that the reader must remember the whole of paragraph A to compare the information to paragraph B.

In point by point style, however, the writer discusses the two subjects, as the title suggests, point by point. In paragraph A you discuss point one for both subject I and II. In paragraph B you discuss point two for both subject I and II. The writer continues this until he runs out of points. This style puts all information right under the reader's nose, so he may see the differences one by one and neither have to compare them in his mind nor have to reread the body paragraphs in order to do so. The closing paragraph, like the opening paragraph, does not change from style to style.

Both in point by point and in block style, the writer must clearly restate his thesis. Also in the final paragraph, the writer must leave a lasting impression on the reader, reinforcing whatever point he wishes to make. Block style causes the reader trouble, in having to remember points from one paragraph while reading another, and sometimes even causing the reader to reread. The last thing I want to do is read an essay more than once just to understand why the writer has made his decision.

Point by point presents information in a time saving manner, on point after another. When using point by point style, next to no thinking is required by the reader because all information is stated plainly and clearly.