Essay Writing

How To Write A Comparative Essay

For every professor that asks “write me a comparative essay,” there are at least ten students Googling “how to write a comparative essay”. Usually, that means you are given two theories, two scientific methods, two processes, two products, two texts, and so on, that you need to compare. However, the comparison doesn’t necessarily mean is between two things that sit on the opposite side of the specter. But it can also be between two similar things that have plenty in common and only a few differences.

Basis For Comparison

Sometimes you will be presented what exactly to compare, while in some cases you will need to find the basis for comparison on your own.

For example, you are given two novels to compare. If the basis for comparison is not given, you will need to develop one on your own. You do that by searching for a common ground between the two of them. The definition for a basis for comparison is something from which you can draw both differences and similarities.

Make A List Of All Similarities And Differences

After you are done with figuring out the basis for comparison, you can move to the differences and similarities of the things you are comparing. To that end, you need to compile a list of them.

Develop a Thesis

After you compile your list with similarities and differences, you need to put your focus on what your main thesis will be. You need to weigh in whether the differences outweigh the similarities, or it is the other way around. The thesis needs to be a reflection of their relative weighs. If you are more experienced in the matter than you can create one that includes both the differences and the similarities.

Structure Your Essay

Alternating Method

The alternating method is based on the alternating comparison between the two subjects. Let’s say there are there is a subject named A and another named B. The point by point pattern is ABABAB…. For example, let’s say point A is about the American revolution and point B is about the French revolution. The alternating method works like this:

Paragraph A: military strategy in the American Revolution
Paragraph B: military strategy in the French Revolution
Paragraph A: Financial implications in the American Revolution
Paragraph B: Financial implications in the French Revolution
Paragraph A: Espionage apparatus in the American Revolution
Paragraph B: Espionage apparatus in the French Revolution

This method is preferred when you have some noteworthy to reveal A and B in the separate areas.

Block Method

Also known the subject by subject method is nothing like the alternating. Instead, you start with the A and stay with it until you are done with it. Next, you go to point B to the very end. For instance:

A: Paragraphs 1 to 3 – War machines in the American Revolution
B: Paragraphs 4 to 6 – War machines in the Russian Revolution

The block method is preferred when you compare more than two subjects, or when B extends the ideas that you introduced in A.

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