How to Write a Good Comparative Essay

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Publication Date:
Author: Alice Miley

Step 1: Develop the Topic of Your Paper

To cut a long story short, while writing your comparative essay, you should start with picking up two subjects which further will be compared in a meaningful way. Keep in mind that these two subjects should have enough things in common, as well as differences. When you are done with it, you should choose 2 or 3 points that will actually be compared and organize them in a good way to make your essay readable and interesting for readers. In fact, writing a comparative paper is an important skill all students should be familiar with during their studying.

So, step 1 is to develop the essay content:

  1. You should clarify and analyze the essay question. It goes without saying that your head may actually be full of many perfect ideas for the essay. However, if your thoughts don’t coincide with the essay prompt, your instructor will not find your essay written successfully. So, look over the prompt carefully and try to underline some main features and key tasks. You should also check whether there are some limits concerning your essay or not.
  2. Make yourself clear with the type of comparison essay you are asked to write. Of course, there can be tasks like simply comparing something. At the same time, you may get also an assignment which should begin with the framework and further developing evaluation or argument based on your comparisons. So, be very attentive while reading the task. If there are some things you don’t understand about your essay prompt, feel free to ask your teacher or instructor for help.
  3. Create a list of similarities and difference between those things you are going to compare in your essay. It will be a great start on the way of successful comparative essay completion. Of course, you will not be able to dwell on all similar and different things you have pointed our concerning your topic. At this point, you just have to evaluate the list by picking up the most important issues which will make the whole picture of your essay.
  4. Think about the basis of your comparison. This will help you to find out how you will examine two chosen subjects. Such basis can simply be some theoretical approaches, for example, feminism, colonialism etc. Your comparison should also have the thesis or specific idea for determining the reason of why you are comparing these or those things.
  5. Do some research. Certainly, you should write everything from yourself and your paper should be written from the scratch. However, to be well-familiar with the things you are working with, a great idea will be to do some research on a specific topic with those things you are going to compare. Try to find some reliable sources of information, make some notes and remarks.
  6. Develop your thesis statement. Thesis statement is an essential part of any essay. Each kind of academic assignments should be controlled with a clear and meaningful thesis statement. It means you should briefly explain why you are comparing these two things within 2 sentences. Keep in mind that your comparison should be about the nature of two objects and their relationships to each other. In this case, your thesis statement should provide with the essay argument.

Organizing the Essay

The way you organize and structure your essay is very important. Here you should follow some rules and they are as following:

  1. Outline your comparison. It is a good idea to put all things in order while writing. It means you should try your best to plan out the organization of your essay. One thing you should be aware while working on your comparative essay is that there are several different ways to organize your outline:
  • By using a traditional outline
  • By writing main points on some sticky notes and then rearranging them in the way you need
  1. It would be good for you to use mixed paragraphs method while writing. This method has many advantages. For example, it will help to keep the comparisons in the readers` minds and you as a writer will surely pay equal attention to every single side of your argument. This method seems to be a lucky break for those, whose essays are long or complicated. It will help readers and writers not to get lost.
  2. Make a new paragraph for each new subject. Your task is to devote each of your paragraphs to each subject. Make sure that everything goes in order. It is good to use this organizational system since it allows you to dwell on a particular point in details and you don’t have to discuss many issues at the same time. This method is suitable for the essays, where something should be discussed in depth.
  3. You should also pay great attention while covering a subject. You have to do it at a time and carefully. In other words, your task is all about devoting a first set of body paragraphs to discussing all aspects of the first subject, while the second set should be fully concentrated on addressing each aspect of the next subject.

Writing the Essay

  1. It may seem a little bit strange for you but still, it would be great to write your essay out of order. It means, it would be much easier for you to start writing with the Body paragraphs first, then conclusion, and introduction. Seems weird? Try it out!
  2. Writing the body paragraphs often requires some time and efforts. The first sentence of your body paragraphs should provide readers with the view what will be said next in the essay. This sentence is called the topic sentence. Then, the middle of your paragraph should present the information you have prepared, while the last sentence should give the readers somehow low-level conclusion which is surely based on the information presented before.
  3. The conclusion is the end part of the essay. So, when the essay is done, you should provide your readers with a brief summary of that issues you have covered in your essay. Then, you should also give a larger conclusion concerning two subjects which were compared. Take into account that your conclusion should be based on the data with no personal preferences included.
  4. Writing the introduction. You should start your essay with a general point which present the similarity between the chosen subjects. After that you have to move on to the specific focus of your paper. The end of your introduction should include the thesis statement which is aimed to announce which aspects are going to be discussed and compared.
  5. The last but not the least thing to do before handing the essay in is to look through it carefully and revise everything. Make sure you have done everything in a proper way. Check your teacher`s instructions and requirements, check grammar and spelling. Make yourself sure your essay is written and formatted well. If have some difficulties or need some help, ask your parents, teachers or fellow-students to read your comparative essay. Don’t hesitate, maybe they will help you to make the grade.

These were tips on how to write a comparative essay. Follow them and practice until you mastered. Then, you will surely succeed with your writing assignment.

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