How to Write a Comparative Essay

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how to write a comparative essay

Essays are a composition of a few paragraphs that have is written on a particular subject. However, there isn’t just one kind of essay. Instead, there are several kinds of essays used, each catering to a specific purpose. Argumentative, persuasive, narrative, descriptive, and comparative are, to name a few. The name of the essay defines its purpose.

And thus, a comparative essay is the type of essay in which we compare two subjects against one another. The writer discusses their similarities and differences in the content of the piece. The topics under discussion can be very similar or very different; it does not matter. The writer needs to compare the common aspects.

A comparative essay is a type of essay you will come across, at least once, in your college life. So, let’s dive in on how to write a comparative essay to make life easier for you!

Definition of a Comparative Essay:

A comparative essay asks the writer to compare two items based on a particular criterion. The similarities and differences of a subject need to be brought about to the audience in a systematic, organized manner in a comparative essay.

Comparative essays can have two different goals. The author can write it for the audience to pick a side between his two comparison subjects or bring out the critical thinking side of the reader.

Elements of a Comparative Essay:

When you look up ‘how to write a comparative essay?’, One of the top results would probably mention the parts of a comparative essay. Rightfully so, because without having these elements in your essay, you will not be successful in writing a good comparative essay. The elements are the introduction, comparison section, and conclusion.

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Comparative Essay Structure:

Following are comparative essay structure helps in the comprehension of the text. The target is to make your reader understand what you are trying to say. The organization and structure of an essay assists in doing so. There are two patterns commonly followed:

The first enlists the headings as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Similarities between the Subjects
  3. Differences between the Subjects
  4. Conclusion

The second pattern enlists the headings as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Parameter #1 of comparison
  3. Parameter #2 of comparison
  4. Conclusion

Introduction for a Comparative Essay:

Introduction to a piece of writing is critical as these introductory lines determine whether or not your reader will read onwards. Therefore, it needs to be engaging, exciting, and attention-grabbing enough to make the reader continue reading the entire work.

For an excellent introduction to comparative writing essay, you need to give a brief review of the subjects you are talking about to the reader. Then explain what aspect of the matter are you comparing and contrasting. You also need to write what is the purpose behind it. Lastly, you need a strong thesis statement to end the introduction portion of the essay. This statement needs to highlight the main similarities and differences in the subjects at hand.

Similarities between-subjects:

In the paragraph following the introduction, you point out the similarities between your subjects. You need to keep in mind your frame of reference and not deviated from it. It is a good practice to draw a Venn diagram for the purpose. You need to jot down all the aspects of your subject in the chart, and where the intersection occurs, you write the similarities. These are the traits shared by both your items. Then, you take one heading at a time and write about it. You give all the reasons you because of which you think they are present in both the subjects under scrutiny.

Differences between-subjects:

Now is the time for you to write down all the titles that weren’t present in the intersection of the Venn diagram. It is critical to have the differences in the Venn diagram in a symmetrical order. The reference point you are comparing, differing should be present on both sides. If you want to keep your essay unbiased, it is advisable to have an equal number of similarities and differences. But if you wish to impart your point of view to the readers, you need to make more arguments for the side you are taking.

Parameter Comparison:

When you are following this pattern, you do not separate the similarities and differences in paragraphs. You create sections based on different parameters. For example, your main topic is humans vs. monkeys. You point out their similarities and differences between the two species based on their biology in a paragraph. In the next, you talk about the behavioral similarities and differences between the two. No rule limits you to write a specific number of paragraphs for writing a comparative essay. You can write as many you think are necessary to convey your point to the readers accurately.

 Comparative Essay Conclusion:

The conclusion of the essay needs to wrap up the entire essay in a way that makes the reader content and satisfied. You need to review all the paragraphs of your paper before writing this. This paragraph needs to be the result of all the similarities and the differences you pointed out throughout the entire essay.

You again need to highlight the importance of comparing the two subjects in these last few lines of the essay. It is the time where you can inform the readers the side you choose and give your reason for it too. But it is not necessary to take a side; you can reinstate the key arguments from both the parties.

Best Practices For Writing A Comparative Essay:

Some practices have been used again and again by writers and proven to be successful. These include:

  1. Always brainstorm your ideas before you start writing. It is common to write points or make clouds of thoughts on a piece of paper.
  2. If you have been given free rein to choose a topic, make sure to select an idea that fits your essay format.
  3. Write at least two drafts before writing the final draft. It ensures minimal mistakes and maximum ideas.
  4. Conduct thorough research on the topic you are writing for best results!

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