If you are assigned to write a comparative essay, you cannot present a regular essay following the normal structure. In your comparative essay, you will have to analyze two subjects critically indicating the similarities or dissimilarities between the two. In this blog, it will be discussed how an impressive comparative essay can be developed. Although writing it may seem daunting in the beginning, with a little practice, anyone can have a grasp of it.
The characteristic of a good comparative essay is that it uses the different or similar points between two matters to create a valid argument about those subjects.
What are the possible types of matters that you will be asked to compare between?
In this type of essay, you have to compare between
- Different positions and arguments on an issue
- Literature works
What you have to compare will be given in your essay prompt. And instructors expect to see both the similarities and dissimilarities.
How do you start?
You have to go through the prompt carefully to understand all the requirements. Often it is not clearly stated in the instruction that particularly a comparative essay needs to be constructed. You have to understand that from the use of words in the questions.
Look out for words like: “compare”, “differences”, “similarities” etc.
After that, you have to select two subjects that are quite different from one another. These topics can either be provided with the question, or you have to come up with one on your own.
For this, you can take different approaches:
- You can choose two matters that are completely different from each other but are surprisingly similar in some way.
- You can select subjects that fall under the same group but differ in some important ways.
- You can also go for two matters that seem alike but are not and rather different.
You need to understand on what basis you are going to compare the two subjects. It can be either
- Given by the instructor in the essay prompt– where you will be told on what basis you will have to compare the given matters.
- Constructed by you- where you might be provided with the two matters to be compared. You have to decide on which foundation, you will compare them.
How to proceed?
- Listing the similarities and dissimilarities- After collecting enough information on the given subjects, you must make a list of the common and different things between the topics. For this, you have to brainstorm to figure out the key similarities and dissimilarities.
- Constructing a thesis- A clear and brief thesis statement must present in every type of essay. This thesis must be developed on the basis of the similarities and dissimilarities found in topics. The thesis can either be one where the weight of the differences is more than the similarities or one where similarities are bigger than the differences.
- Structuring the essay- There are two patterns or methods of writing a comparative essay.
- Alternating- Here a point by point arrangement is used. Following this pattern, the essay will have total five paragraphs which are: Introduction, the first point of comparison, the second point of comparison, the third point of comparison, and the conclusion. Here, you will discuss the common points between the two in an alternating pattern.
- Block- The other name of this method is ‘subject by subject pattern’. Here, all the points of the first subject will be discussed, and then all the points related to the second subject will be discussed. This method is helpful in case you cannot discover points that are closely related to both the subjects or there are more than two matters that need to be compared.
- Writing the essay- After the structure or outline has been set, textual details need to be filled up in order to compose the essay. You have to provide evidence to support each point you make in the essay. This will give the readers the proper reason for accepting the argument you are making. It would be a good idea to include an example of each point made in the essay to support them.
- Proofreading and editing- Finally, you have to check your essay thoroughly and multiple times to detect any error. It must be completely free of any sort of flaws. You should also see that only relevant and meaningful information has been used in the essay.
So, this is how you can construct an excellent comparative essay that can impress even your biggest critics. Following these steps will also make the process more interesting for you.
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