Steps to writing a comparison essay

This will help you choose two items where setting up a dialectical contrast between them will produce actual insight, and it will also help you to choose the proper parameters by which to compare those items. For example, suppose that you are running a business, and there are two expansion options open in front of you. It would be logical for you to compare and contrast these options, since this will help ensure that you are making your decision with as much knowledge and insight as possible. Likewise, one parameter that you are sure to consider is: which option will make your business the most money?

If you pick parameters that are meaningless, then you will obtain no real insight that can help you make the important decision. Once you have identified both the two items of comparison and the axes along which they will be compared, you can proceed to analyze the items by applying the axes in the form of a table or rubric.

This is what has been done, for example, in the tables that have been developed above in this article. In the left-most column, list the parameters you have selected in order to compare your items. Then, in the top-most row, list the items. Then go ahead and list the relevant details for each parameter for each of the two items. This will produce a table where you can see how each item measures up against the other for each parameter. The important thing is to be systematic when you are making your comparison: it should not seem random or arbitrary.

A strong comparative essay has well-chosen items for comparison, with the comparison producing actual insights of value through the juxtaposition of the two items. If the items appear to be chosen for no apparent reason, or if the comparison does not in fact produce insight, then the comparative essay would be quite weak or at any rate pointless.


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The comparative essay is not meant to make an argument in favor of one thing or another, but it is meant to produce knowledge and insight about the two things under comparison. In order to compare and contrast items in an effective way, the two items must be different enough from each other, but they should also not be so different that it just feels absurd to even compare them at all. A good comparative essay not only includes well-selected items of comparison, it also includes well-selected parameters of comparison.

Between any two selected items, you could theoretically make an endless number of comparisons. But a good comparative essay identifies parameters of comparative in terms of salience , or the reasons why anyone would be interested in the comparison in the first place. This can be difficult, because in principle, any comparison could be interesting, depending on the audience of the comparative essay and the intended purpose of the essay. For example, one could use the parameter of zodiac sign to compare Romantic artists against Enlightenment artists.

This could be very interesting to people who are very serious about the zodiac, but it would probably seem ridiculous to just about everyone else. But if you were writing for an audience of zodiac fanatics, then this comparison could actually be a success. 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.

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.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Guide | tuzysreisimill.ml

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. In the second format, both similarities and differences would be considered within each of the parameter sections. Both these are formats are good, and a strong comparative essay could be built around either one. There are steps you can follow in order to ensure that your comparative essay has all the elements that will be required in order to make it great.

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If you have selected two items for your comparative essay, then you should start by asking yourself why you selected those two items. What is it about the two items that made you think it would be a good idea to compare them? Or if you were assigned the two items, then why do you think those items were selected by your professor? The point here is that the items selected for a comparative essay are non-random. They are selected because that specific comparison should be able to yield interesting insights unlike research papers.

How to write a comparative essay

For example, if you are writing a comparative essay on the dogs vs. Or are you perhaps writing it in order to inform potential pet owners who are debating whether they want a dog or a cat? The purpose of your essay will determine what parameters you will select in order to compare your two items. This means that you should have an intended audience in mind, and you should also have specific questions you would like to know more about. In short, in order to develop effective parameters for your comparative essay, you have to ask yourself why you are writing it and who would be interested in the insights produced by the essay.

This can help ensure you select both appropriate items and appropriate parameters for comparison.

uninacri.tk It is very important that you do not just jump into your comparative essay and start writing it without a plan. That is a recipe for disaster, and the comparisons will almost certainly turn out random and confusing. Rather, you should begin with a solid outline. For example, here is how an outline could look for a comparative essay on Romanticism vs.

In this sample outline, the format that is used dedicates a paragraph to each of three parameters of comparison, and both similarities and differences are addressed for each of those parameters. This is the kind of logical flow that you will need to have in order for your comparative essay to turn out great.


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  6. A comparative essay is not a place to get too creative with your writing, whether in terms of organization or in terms of style. Rather, you should focus on simply carrying out your comparison, point-by-point and in a way that is easy for your reader to follow. This can get a little tedious, so if that is a problem for you, then you should make sure that you set aside enough time to work on your comparative essay little by little. For example, if your essay has three parameters, then you could write a section on the first parameter today, the second parameter tomorrow, and the third parameter the next day.

    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.

    Steps In Writing A Compare And Contrast Essay

    We have now arrived at the end of this guide, and you should have a much better idea of what makes a comparative essay successful and how you can go about writing one. It may be helpful to now summarize some of the main points that have been addressed here.

    Compare and contrast essay structure

    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. 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. 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.

    Tables, rubrics, and outlines will also work to help ensure that you are developing a strong backbone of logic and systematic reasoning for your comparative essay. These and other tools may even help you reconsider your initial choices of items and parameters, if you realize that significant insights are not being produced. There are two main ways in which to structure an effective comparative essay, which have been described above. You can dedicate one section to similarities and one section to differences; or, you can dedicate a section to each of the parameters of comparison.

    This second option is usually more effective, especially if you are new to comparative essays. But either way, it is crucial that you stick to your chosen format and do not jump around and confuse the reader. If you are still uncertain about how to write a successful comparative essay, then Ultius is here to help.

    Our writer help section has many tools like this one available on various types of essays; we have a huge writer help section that contains all sorts of information on pretty much any writing-related questions you may have; and we also have elite professional writers who can produce a sample comparative essay for you on any subject of your choosing. We are here for you, and if you have any further questions about how to write a comparative essay, then you should feel free to reach out.

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    Comparison Essay Structure

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