Most students get troubled composing this type of essays not because they do not know how to compare but because they have the information but do not know how to arrange and develop it into a great text. This article provides some good tips aimed at helping students improve their comparative essay writing skills.
Let’s Start with the Question “What Is Comparative Essay?”
A comparative essay is a piece of writing that requires you to compare and contrast at least two things that have some relation. Therefore, when asked to compare, you need to show the similarities and differences between the subjects depending on the assignment. Here are some things you might be asked to compare: events, texts, figures, theories, or even positions on a specific issue.
Awesome Pointers on How to Write a Good Comparative Essay
There has always been a difference between writing an essay and writing a good essay. Our experts have compiled a few effective guidelines that will take your comparative essay writing skills to the next level. Here are those useful tips:
Discover the Basis of Comparison
Some essays may contain clear instructions for your comparisons and others may be vague and require you to develop your own. For example, if doing a task, you have to compare Shakespeare’s Othello to Hamlet, you are supposed to limit your focus to the characters. However, if you are asked to compare the two plays without being provided with specific components to be compared, you will have to pick the aspects for analysis and comparison.
Prepare a List of Similarities and Differences
After you have established the basis of comparison, compile a list of all the similarities and differences between the subjects. This is to help you select the best and the most relevant points for your essay.
An important element to consider when writing this type of essay is information. You need to have a deep understanding of the subjects in question and enough information about them to pick out the most prominent similarities and differences. This is obtained by being thorough in your research and analysis. Critical analysis helps improve the quality of your comparisons and makes your essay more convincing.
Outline Your Essay
The outline should act as a skeleton of your essay. In the outline you are supposed to highlight all the main points in the manner they will appear in your essay. Creating an outline helps save you time when you start writing and also keeps you on track with how the ideas in your essay should flow.
Effective Guidelines on How to Start a Comparative Essay
So how do you start a comparative essay? The first sentence of your essay should try and capture the reader’s interest. You can start with a hook that will make the reader want to keep reading and figure out what the main idea of the text is. After that, introduce the subjects that are to be compared.
A Good Approach on How to Structure a Comparative Essay
When selecting a good comparative essay structure to use in your work, you need to consider the most basic factor of all, which is your ability to use it effectively. The majority of students have ended up scoring low marks due to poor structuring of their works. The thing is that a poorly structured paper is difficult to read. You should, therefore, familiarize yourself with the various structuring methods and select the most suitable one. The different structuring methods all adhere to the three parts of an essay – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Here are the different methods you can choose from:
- Alternate method
In this method, a paragraph provides detailed explanations on one aspect of the item of comparison and then it is followed by another paragraph also explaining the same aspect but on the second item of comparison.
- Mixed paragraph method
Here, one paragraph explains how both items are compared on the basis of one aspect. This means that you cover the explanations of the two subjects on a single basis of comparison in that same paragraph. You can start the paragraph by discussing one and then finish by discussing the other.
- Block method
In this method, you use a few paragraphs discussing one subject extensively and then the next few discussing the other subject. This method is known to be used when comparing more than two subjects.
How to Write a Captivating Comparative Essay Introduction
Here, you have to give the reader a preview of the content of the essay. Include a thesis statement that highlights what is going to be discussed. It also describes the purpose of the essay. The sentences should be simple and clear. As mentioned earlier, the introduction has to make the reader interested in the rest of the essay.
Writing a Good Comparative Essay Body
When it comes to the body and paragraphs, there are a few points worth noting. The paragraphs should begin with a statement that describes what they will handle, and then you can proceed with the discussion. Remember that each paragraph should discuss only one aspect. It is advisable to have an equal number of points from each subject so that one may not seem underresearched or slightly ignored. Be sure to refer to the outline when writing the body of the essay to save time and to avoid getting stuck.
End with a Fascinating Comparative Essay Conclusion
The conclusion should give a brief overview of your work. This includes a summary of the results of your comparison and a reminder of the thesis and the purpose of the essay. You can highlight what you have established from the results of the comparisons but avoid ambiguous statements that will weaken your arguments like ‘they are similar and yet different.’
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