Guide for Students. How to Write a Great Comparative Essay

How to compose a convincing comparative essay

Whatever type of an essay you need to write, careful planning and thorough research are required for the successful work. In the case of a comparative essay, it does not appear to be among the easiest types of writing. If you want to craft a great compare/contrast essay, it is important to correctly choose two objects, which have enough differences and similarities.

While writing a comparative essay, you practice your research and analytical skills, which you will definitely use throughout your academic career and even in everyday life.

Defining the essay content

1. Analyze the subject thoroughly. No matter what great ideas you might have in your head when you quickly look through the topic of discussion, make sure that you truly understand what your instructor asked you to write about.

2. Make a list of differences and similarities between the two studied subjects. The comparative essay is all about exploring the contrast between items, which might seem to be related or similar.

3. Study your list and figure out what the argument is. Usually, the comparison has to be based on a specific thesis or an idea, which demonstrates why you compare those two items. Often, the basis for such an essay might be found in the title of the task that was given to you. If the topic is unclear, discuss it with your tutor to solve the issue before you get into writing.

4. Do the research. It is very likely that you have a basic knowledge of the characteristics of both things that are meant to be compared. Your essay will definitely benefit from digging deeper and getting more information about the subjects so make sure that you study features of both items comprehensively.

5. Formulate a thesis statement. Whatever type of an essay you write, a clear and defined formulation of the statement must be developed before you start composing your paper. In order to build a good argument, try to make your theses sentence slightly controversial.   

Writing process

1. Create an outline. Like any other essay, it needs to be structured and organized. Planning out beforehand will help you stay on track and follow the main idea. You can adjust and edit whatever you don’t like after you finish the writing process but the outline will help you follow the defined direction.

2. Decide which part you will write first. Many students choose a traditional approach and start writing with the introduction, continue developing the arguments in the main paragraphs and finish an essay with the conclusion. However, it might also be useful to start with writing the body paragraphs, and only after that, work on an introduction and a conclusion.

3. Mix paragraphs. For a comparative essay, mixing paragraphs is considered to be an effective method for supporting the thesis statement. This means that in each paragraph of your essay you compare one particular feature of each of the discussed subjects.

Proofread your essay

1. Put away your piece of writing. If the deadline allows, get back to your essay after some time and have a fresh look at what you have written. Evaluate whether you managed to get your point across and consider if something needs to be adjusted.

2. Revise and edit your writing thoroughly. Don’t skip this stage because it may result in getting unsatisfactory grades. Make sure that you check your text for spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax errors. No matter how well-thought your essay is, if it is full of mistakes, your work might not be accepted.

3. Ask for feedback. If you have a trusted person, either a fellow student or a mentor, ask for honest feedback on whether you managed to convey the message in your essay effectively enough.

Writing a comparative essay is both a challenging and interesting task, which requires a lot of time for research and writing. We hope that our simple guidelines will help you write a great paper and you will enjoy the process of writing it.