How to Write a Comparative Essay

A comparison between two things is what is going on in a Comparative Essays. It could be to ‘compare’ different people,  views, events or things or simply to discuss by expressing your opinion for and against something.  One needs to be extremely clear about the purpose of the piece. The most important element is to provide an answer to a specific question. The answer has to be rational, local and it has to make sense to the reader. These are no formulas how to write comparative essays, however, there are guidelines on how to construct certain paragraph and what type of words to use

Begin With: Analyze – Write – Organize

The question has to be analyzed carefully. Research on the topic and make sure you understand the two things you compare. The similar aspects can be compared, this is, to begin with. Take notes and if you are not sure what something means, check for it, you will find the answer.

Start writing the general points like the similarities between the two subjects and the specify the focus or the topic of the essay. Clearly write which points you will be examining and which not.  Finish the introduction paragraph by stating your preferences and describing the significance of this comparison.

Organizing the paragraphs is the main thing you need to pay attention when writing a comparison essay. The structure of your essay is crucial. Please check the two methods below. Kindly note that the essay can be either the first, the second or third method not a combination of them.

1st Method
In every paragraph, each half that you compare can be discussed. Begin with a paragraph comparing the two situations, things or people.  Each paragraph should compare a single aspect of both comparisons. If you have 5 aspects to compare, you will need t write 5 paragraphs in the body for this. The advantage of this method is to closely examine each side of the argument.  An example of this can be an essay for Carrots and Cucumbers.
First Paragraph: Price of Carrots/Price of Cucumbers
Second Paragraph:  Vitamins found in Carrots/Vitamins found in Cucumbers
Third Paragraph: Benefits of Carrots/Benefits of Applies

2nd Method
The two subjects can take turns in each paragraph. In other words, the first paragraph begins with one position of the argument and the next paragraph deals with the other.  The process keeps repeating until the conclusion is reached. This method the points of each argument are discussed in detail. Note to discuss only similar aspects of each argument. An example of this method could be the same essay mentioned in the 1st method, but note the structure differs greatly.
First Paragraph: Price of Carrots
Second Paragraph: Price of Cucumbers
Third Paragraph: Vitamins found in Carrots
Fourth Paragraph: Vitamins found in Cucumbers
Then continue with the rest of the points of your argument following this structure.

3rd Method
This method is the most complex one and you can provide details for one side of the comparison in as many paragraphs as you think you need. Once you finish with that side of the argument continue discussing the other side of the argument. There is the tendency that the essay might end up as one-sided without giving the equal amount of attention to both sides. Using this method might lead to failure, several points to be discussed in the first part of the body of the essay and then the same point to be missing for the other side of the argument in the second part of the body of the essay. The same topic for Carrots and Cucumbers will be used, but the structure is different, shown below.
First Paragraph: Price of Carrots
Second Paragraph: Vitamins found in Carrots
Third Paragraph: Benefits of Carrots
Fourth Paragraph: Price of Cucumbers
Fifth Paragraph: Vitamins found in Cucumbers
Sixt Paragraph: Benefits of Cucumbers

The last thing to add to you essay is to provide a rational conclusion. General summary of the most important differences and similarities is the most appropriate way to end the comparative essay. You should make a personal statement drawing together all the different threads of the essay in a new and convincing way. The conclusion should not be common.

Last but not less important is to revise the essay. Good idea is to have someone to read it and look over it. The most important thing is to answer the question you have stated. Throughout the essay keep comparing and clarify what are you comparing. Do not repeat the same things and make sure all points are discussed. All the points are important and the essay has to focus on all the issues.

You may also like...