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How to Write a Comparative Essay

Make sure you know the basis for comparison

❶Be specific and narrow your topic to something like desert shrubs found in arid areas of North America and Australia. It's good for this claim to be a bit controversial or up for interpretation, as this allows you to build a good argument.

How to start a good comparative essay – tips

What is a comparative essay?
What is a Comparative Essay – a short definition

Open your introduction with a "hook" to grab the reader's attention. Since you've already written your essay, choose a hook that reflects what you will talk about, whether it's a quote, statistic, factoid, rhetorical question, or anecdote. Then, write sentences about your topic, narrowing down to your thesis statement, which completes your introduction. Write the body paragraphs. Organize your paragraphs using one of the approaches listed in the "Organizing the Content" part below.

Once you have defined your points of comparison, choose the structure for the body paragraphs where your comparisons go that makes the most sense for your data.

Be very careful not to address different aspects of each subject. Comparing the color of one thing to the size of another does nothing to help the reader understand how they stack up. The conclusion should open by giving a brief, general summary of the points you covered in the body paragraphs, then draw a larger conclusion about your two subjects. The last sentence of the essay should leave the reader feeling that all the different threads of the essay have been drawn together in a cohesive way.

If necessary, make the parameters of your argument more specific. Start with a general point that establishes the similarity between the two subjects, then move to the specific focus of the essay. At the end of the introduction, write a thesis statement that first announces which aspects of each subject you plan to compare and then states what conclusion you've drawn from them.

If time is not an issue, the best way to revise your work is to leave it for a day. Once you settle down to revise, remember that the two most important things to do are to find problems and to fix them.

These should be done separately i. Although it is tempting to do them at the same time, it is smarter to do them one by one; this ensures you have checked everything and, ultimately, makes the job quicker and more efficient.

Even the best writers know editing is important to produce a good piece. Your essay will not be your best effort unless you revise it. If possible, find a friend to look over the essay, as he or she may find problems that you missed. It sometimes helps to increase or decrease the font size while editing to change the visual layout of the paper.

Looking at the same thing for too long makes your brain fill in what it expects instead of what it sees, leaving you more likely to overlook errors. Are you comparing their uses, their properties or something else? Imagine living in a world without water? Now one without oil Which one is worse? Water and oil are both non-renewable resources that our planet is quickly running out of.

Saving water, however, should be prioritized as water is the basis for most life on earth. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Make lists of the subjects' similarities and differences. Discuss them in your essay. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 7. You could start by defining the terms and talk about how the two different types function in society. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 6. In general but depending on the length and topic of the essay , there should be points of comparison.

Whenever a point is made about one topic it should be compared with a directly linked point from the other topic. How do I write an introductory paragraph comparing three different texts? It's always a good idea to start with an outline. An introduction simply tells the reader what the paper is going to be about. What point are you trying to make? Not Helpful 1 Helpful 6. That's exactly what you should do! When you start your intro with an attention-grabbing sentence, you're keeping your reader's attention.

Not Helpful 3 Helpful 9. Add some background information about the topic, and how what you are comparing are similar, such as characteristics or behaviors. Not Helpful 11 Helpful Begin with something that draws the reader in, and makes them want to read the paper. Then, introduce the topics you are comparing. Not Helpful 24 Helpful Answer this question Flag as Learning to play a sport or learning to play a musical instrument.

Which one is more difficult? Should I write the differences in one paragraph when writing a comparative essay? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.

By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Quick Summary To write a comparative essay, start by writing an introduction that introduces the 2 subjects you'll be comparing. Did this summary help you? These grounds for comparison should answer the questions: How am I comparing my items? On what basis am I comparing them? Short essays will only require a few comparison items. Use a minimum of three items as a good rule of thumb. Compose your comparative essay thesis on the word processing program on your computer.

In order to propose a strong thesis, you must make an argument. You should take a stand and include what things you are comparing, why you are comparing them and how you are comparing them. As you spell out the relationship of the items you are comparing, your thesis will be complete when you include your conclusion. Jessica Morelock began her professional writing career in , after a three-year stint as a producer and co-host on Sirius Satellite Radio.

She has also worked for the airline industry and as a travel agent. She completed a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. These essays are mainly about comparing and contrasting various aspects of the subjects in question. In this context, to compare is to identify the similarities between the subjects while to contrast is to describe their differences.

They are not limited to specific topics; they can cover almost every topic on earth as long as the subjects have some relation. Comparative means the one aimed to measure or judge subjects based on their similarities and differences to each other. Therefore, a comparative essay is an essay that usually needs the author to compare two subjects that have some relation in terms of similarities and differences.

The subjects might have some close relation or may be very different. Before starting to write an essay, it is very important first to understand what it is about. First of all, you should know what does comparative mean. You might write an essay full of good ideas but fail to answer the question. It is therefore advisable to first study the prompt at length highlighting the key words to identify the exact need. Given the question, you have to develop the basis of comparison.

Usually the question provides the basis of comparison but there are cases where the author needs to develop the same. This step involves identifying what will feature in your essay. It involves identifying the similarities and differences of the items in comparison. You need to develop a list of ways in which the subjects are the same and how they are different. This list will enable you to develop the initial plan of the essay. The list should be thoroughly evaluated so that only the main points of comparison are considered for the essay.

The focus should be mainly on the points that are related and those that are of less significance should be cancelled. For an essay to be developed there must be a clear thesis statement that guides the author. In order to come up with the thesis statement, you should first look at the list containing the various aspects of comparison then decide whether the subjects tend to be more similar or they are quite different.

Based on this judgment a simple comparative essay thesis statement should be developed. This thesis statement should be a reflection of how the subjects share similarities and how they are different. In complex cases, the essay statement should highlight both the similarities of the subjects while not forgetting their differences. Essays have different structures. A comparative essay is therefore not an exception since it must be organized in such a way that the comparisons made in the essay can be easily followed by the reader.

In this method, the aspect of comparison if fully handled in one paragraph. What this means is that a full paragraph is used in explaining in detail one item of comparison in relation to the first subject. This will then be followed by another paragraph that also explicitly explains the same aspect but now it deals with the second subject. This is to say that the first and second paragraph explains the same aspect of comparison but deals with the first and second subject respectively.


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A comparative essay requires you to compare and contrast two or more things. As in all types of essays, your comparative essay thesis offers your audience a road map to your argument. Developing a strong thesis statement often takes time, but it will help you to write a well-organized, cogent and succinct essay.

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Thesis. The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference.

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For example, a comparative essay using the block method on the French and Russian revolutions would address the French Revolution in the first half of the essay and the Russian Revolution in the second half. If you choose the block method, however, do not simply append two disconnected essays to an introductory thesis. Any compare and contrast essay compares two things, ideas, or people for the purpose of arriving at a conclusion. The thesis statement for this type of essay is the sentence in the introduction that relays to readers the results of the comparison and what to expect from the essay that follows.

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In this post, I’ll walk you through the finer points of how to write a compare and contrast thesis statement and offer some pro tips and resources for tackling that essay like a boss. Everything’s an Argument. Every time you sit down to write an essay, try to think of it like an argument. Yes. An argument. Always. Comparative Essay Example (clarified) It is always very important to go through a comparative essay sample. This is because it helps in guiding you on the structure of the essay and therefore building your capacity to write a better one. Here is a simple sample of a comparative essay.