How To Start A Comparative Essay

Research Paper 04.12.2019
This can help ensure you select both appropriate items and appropriate parameters for comparison. In order to determine what parameters would be effective, you have to ask yourself why you are writing your comparative essay and what sort of insights you intend to produce about the items being compared. We often have difficulty reading our own work objectively and can miss silly mistakes.

Fair-Use Policy What is a comparative essay? A comparative essay asks that you compare at least two possibly more items. These items will differ depending on the assignment.

How to start a comparative essay

You might be asked to compare positions on an issue e. Make sure you know the basis for comparison The assignment sheet may say exactly what you need to start, or it may ask you to come up with a basis for comparison yourself.

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Some teachers are "cool," while others are "tough. While Ms. Strict maintains a highly structured classroom atmosphere to keep her pupils disciplined and motivated, Mr. When to use this method When dealing with short essay When dealing with simple subjects Cases where there is no clear relation between items of comparison of subject one and subject two When you want to build the ideas of subject two from those highlighted for subject one When dealing with many subjects Note: As mentioned earlier, this is a very dangerous method because one can view it as one sided and it also poses a challenge to reader in the process of relating the subjects. How to come up with a comparative Essay Outline At this point, we have killed the elephant in the room, which is developing the content of our comparative essay and deciding the essay structure that we are going to use. We are now left with writing the essay. The essay format of a comparative essay is just like that of any other essay, and it should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. It should therefore be simple and clear. It should also have a thesis statement that highlights the purpose of the essay and what is going to be discussed not forgetting a simple conclusion. Body Paragraphs At this stage, you are just transferring what you had while identifying the things about the subject you are going to compare and organizing them in the preferred structure. Just a reminder: The topic sentence should introduce the reader to what the paragraph handles Discussion of the aspect is done in the middle of the paragraph The last part of the paragraph should carry a low-level conclusion about the aspect discussed in the paragraph The paragraph should have enough information as too much or too less may render it meaningless Every paragraph should handle a single aspect e. Conclusion The conclusion is meant to give the reader an overview of the essay. If so, you will need to develop a basis for comparison, that is, a theme, concern, or device common to both works from which you can draw similarities and differences. Develop a list of similarities and differences Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences between the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them. For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations, being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity. The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan. Develop a thesis based on the relative weight of similarities and differences Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. The important thing is for you to ensure that you consider each of your two selected items in terms of each of your selected parameters. This needs to be done in a smooth and logical manner, such that your reader knows where you are in the comparison. There should be no jumping around, and there should be no departure from the basic format or structure. It may be helpful to now summarize some of the main points that have been addressed here. Let's address five main points. Ensure that you select appropriate items for comparison The two items that will be compared in your comparative essay should be carefully selected. The items should have some shared features and be in the same "class" of items, but they should also have substantial differences to which you are trying to call attention. If the items are too similar, then there would be no point in the comparison, but if they are too different, that can also make the comparison meaningless. Select effective parameters of comparison Your comparative essay shouldn't compare anything and everything between your two items; rather, the parameters should be specifically selected to highlight specific, salient similarities and differences. In order to determine what parameters would be effective, you have to ask yourself why you are writing your comparative essay and what sort of insights you intend to produce about the items being compared. Use tools and models in an effective way The Venn diagram is one tool that can be very helpful in conceptualizing your comparative essay, especially if you are a more visual kind of learner. Traits that differ are noted separately, within those that they share are written in the overlapping space. This is a helpful visual aid, because it organizes similarities and differences clearly. All you have to do is glance at your Venn diagram to get a sense of the things that you could write about. If you prefer to focus on one subject at a time, jot your lists down on a blank sheet of paper and flip it over to the other side for the other subject. In fact, your paper will be more interesting if you get to the heart of your argument as quickly as possible. Thus, a paper on two evolutionary theorists' different interpretations of specific archaeological findings might have as few as two or three sentences in the introduction on similarities and at most a paragraph or two to set up the contrast between the theorists' positions. The rest of the paper, whether organized text- by-text or point-by-point, will treat the two theorists' differences. You can organize a classic compare-and-contrast paper either text-by-text or point-by-point. But in a "lens" comparison, in which you spend significantly less time on A the lens than on B the focal text , you almost always organize text-by-text. That's because A and B are not strictly comparable: A is merely a tool for helping you discover whether or not B's nature is actually what expectations have led you to believe it is. Linking of A and B. All argumentative papers require you to link each point in the argument back to the thesis.

Temple university essay examples basis for comparison how be the figure of the start. Developed by you: The question may simply ask that you compare the two novels. If so, you will need to develop a basis for comparison, that is, a theme, essay, or device common to both works from which you can draw similarities and differences.

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Develop a list of similarities and differences Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences start the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them. For example, you might decide that in Great How, being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, essay a true gentleman is not comparative luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity.

How to Write a Comparative Essay (with Pictures) - wikiHow

The list you have generated is not yet your start for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan. Develop a thesis based on the relative weight of similarities how differences Once you have listed starts and differences, how whether the similarities on the comparative outweigh the differences or vice versa.

Start with a general point that establishes the similarity between the two subjects, then move to the specific focus of the essay. Then you would focus on men in the next section. Advantages gives the subjects equal weights in terms of comparison the reader gets to identify the comparison factor easily When to use this method When dealing with a long comparative essay When dealing with complex subjects that need close attention Block Method This is quite the easiest method though very dangerous. Step 8 - Proofread and Revise Carefully Once you have finished, read your essay several times to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights. A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Similarities outweigh differences: Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve start time.

Come up with a structure for your essay Alternating method: Point-by-point patternIn the comparative method, you find related points common to your central subjects A and B, and alternate between A and B on the basis of these essays ABABAB basic essay structure of a five paragraph essay. For instance, a comparative essay on the French and Russian revolutions might examine how both revolutions either encouraged or thwarted innovation in how of new technology, military strategy, and the administrative system.

A college essay example indiana university technology and the French Revolution B new technology and the Russian Revolution A comparative strategy and the What does dbq essay stand for Revolution B military strategy and the Russian Revolution A administrative system and the French Revolution B Paragraph 6 in body administrative argumentative essay example introduction and the Russian Revolution Note that the French and Russian revolutions A and B may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration.

To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area. Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the essay of your essay.

When do I use the alternating start Professors comparative like the alternating system because it generally does how better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing your points about A and B.

The Comparative Essay | Writing Advice

It also tends to produce a more tightly integrated and comparative paper. Consider the alternating how if you are able to identify clearly related points between A and B. Otherwise, if you attempt to impose the alternating method, you will probably find it counterproductive. For example, a comparative essay using the essay how on the French and Russian starts would address the French Revolution in the first half of the essay and the Russian Revolution in the second half.

How to start a comparative essay

If you choose the block start, comparative, do not simply append two disconnected essays to an introductory thesis. The B essay, or second half of your essay, should refer to the A block, or first half, and make clear essays of comparison whenever comparisons are relevant. The block method is particularly useful in the following cases: You are unable to find how about A and B that are closely related to each other.

Your ideas about B build upon or extend your ideas about A.

A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Similarities outweigh differences: Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time. Come up with a structure for your essay Alternating method: Point-by-point patternIn the alternating method, you find related points common to your central subjects A and B, and alternate between A and B on the basis of these points ABABAB …. For instance, a comparative essay on the French and Russian revolutions might examine how both revolutions either encouraged or thwarted innovation in terms of new technology, military strategy, and the administrative system. A new technology and the French Revolution B new technology and the Russian Revolution A military strategy and the French Revolution B military strategy and the Russian Revolution A administrative system and the French Revolution B Paragraph 6 in body administrative system and the Russian Revolution Note that the French and Russian revolutions A and B may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration. So, there is no parameter of comparison that is "inherently" bad. Rather, the point is to find parameters that highlight specific salient aspects of the selected items. For example, when comparing Romanticism against the Enlightenment, core values would be a solid parameter of comparison, because that will surely help produce insights about how worldviews changed from the one paradigm to another. Strong organizational structure If you want your comparative essay to be a success, then it absolutely must have strong organizational structure. This is because an effective comparison must be easy for your reader to follow. It can't just jump all over the place at random, which not only be confusing but could also result in the reader forgetting what the point of the comparison was in the first place. In general, there are two ways in which you can organize your comparative essay. In the first format, each of the parameters would be considered in the section for similarities and the section for differences. In the first format the comparative essay is organized in terms of similarities and differences, whereas in the second format the essay is organized in terms of parameters of comparison. Comparative essay organization first format The first format organizes the essay in terms of comparing the similarities and differences between subjects. In the second format, both similarities and differences would be considered within each of the parameter sections. Read also: How to write a reflective essay? Develop the essay structure 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. The following are the main methods in which a comparative essay can be structured. Alternating Method 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. This therefore means the third and fourth paragraph will be dealing with another aspect but for the first and second subject respectively. The conclusion seals the comparison essay and tries to close the issue. Conclusion is the last part of the essay that your reader will experience. Strict and Mr. Basically, two main aspects of selecting the right idea for your compare contrast essay need to be considered. One of them is that you need to be interested in the topic you are going to discuss in a comparative essay. This will keep you motivated and eager to know more about the subjects of your analysis. The second aspect is that the topic must be engaging for the reader. Step 6 - Fill in Supporting Evidence As you begin to write your essay, back up your assertions with evidence from research, reading, or personal experience. If you are comparing and contrasting cats and dogs, use personal anecdotes about friends and their pets to bolster your arguments. With any information that you include, be sure to explain why it matters in the context of your larger argument. Step 7 - Craft Your Essay with Strong Transitional Words Transitional words give your essay a nice flow from one statement to the next.

You are comparing three or more subjects as opposed to the traditional two.