What is a comparative analysis essay?
Before working on the writing task, you need to make sure that you know what exactly you should work on. So to help you we have decided to write this article about writing a comparative essay. Let’s answer the question: “What is a comparative essay?” This type of academic writing means the text that consists of several paragraphs that contain the comparison of two objects that are similar or different. The comparative essay body usually displays contrastive or common features of the target things. This is a great opportunity to display your creativity as there are no limits in choosing topics. Any subjects can be described in your analysis essay
structure as soon as they have something similar or opposite.
How to start writing the comparative essays of different types
The first thing to define before starting working on your comparative essay is the main idea. It should display a comparison of something. Even if you will write great thoughts you will fail with completing the task without comparing two subjects. Depending on the topic and the discipline you may have to compare or contrast something displaying its similarities or differences respectively.
Define what you will compare in your essay
Build up the basis for your comparing writing. In some cases, you may already have two objects, but in others, you may be assigned to find the objectives as well.
- For instance, you have two objectives like two countries and some aspect of their policies. So you do not have to reach for something beyond the given topic.
- But if you are asked to compare countries without mentioning what aspects you should focus on, you will have to think about it a bit more.
Pick the content for your comparative essay writing
Now think what your essay will be about in more details. Let’s say you have two objects, so you have to decide what similar or opposite features you will be described. Create a list of them in order to create a plan for your writing. Be considerable while creating this list as you should focus only on the most significant aspects. Decide which of them will help to disclose the topic in the best way and which ones can be excluded without any harm.
Define the main idea of the essay
Any essay should have a thesis or the main statement
that will display the idea and the content of your text. It does not matter what topic or direction you have in your task – a thesis is a must for you to develop. It can be defined before starting writing and you can generate it from your list of features and aspects you are about to be focused on. Think of what you will be described: similarities or differences and in what context. Ten define the main idea or the thesis of your essay. From this statement, you should clearly understand what direction you have chosen for your text and how to write a comparative essay. And if you are going to focus on both common and different features, you should describe it in your thesis as well.
Design the structure of your future essay
Like any other type of essay, a comparative essay can have various structures. The main rule is to write down thoughts in a way to keep the reader on the right track. You can apply one of the methods described below.
Types of comparative essays
Comparing the alternatives
Here you divide your written essay into paragraphs according to the subjects of comparison. This means that in one paragraph you describe in details the feature of the objective of the comparison. The advantage of this method is that it provides more information about the subjects and can deepen your research and analysis. So when you should focus on one particular aspect of comparison, choose this method, especially when those points are not related.
Essay with mixed paragraphs
Using this type you can compare two objectives in one paragraph starting with describing the particular feature of one and ending with describing the particular feature of another. In this way, you compare things equally and it is easier for the reader to track the process of comparison. If you have enough words limit and have to compare objectives from a few points of view, you can use this approach.
This approach is the simplest but often the most confusing one. Here you divide your comparative essay into parts each of which dedicated to the particular subject. Then you describe each objective in details pointing out a few features you compare. In the second paragraph, you do the same with the second objective. This method can be suitable for comparing simple things or when you have to deal with more than two objectives. Also, it is often used when the writer wants to point out one objective more. The pitfall of this method is that it can be challenging for a reader to connect the subject in the end.
Comparative essay body structure
As soon as you have defined the objectives, the main idea and the suitable structure for your essay, you can start writing. And on this stage, you will have no surprise or revelations as the comparative essay has pretty the same format as the majority of the academic writing tasks. It consists of intro, body paragraphs and ends with a conclusion.
Here you direct your reader on the right way and provide the idea of your essay. So your audience could know what to expect. Keep it paragraph understandable and simple. It should obligatory contain a thesis statement
and explanation of why you are writing this essay in the first place. Also, you can provide a teaser of what results you are expecting to receive in conclusion.
In this part of your essay, you simply start to compare your objectives according to your list of features, providing a more detailed explanation and showing the connection between thoughts. You can add as many paragraphs as you need for disclosing the topic. You may set a separate section for each feature of the things you compare or dedicate two sections to the objectives and describe each of them in the dedicated paragraph ending with a mini conclusion.
Provide an overview of comparative essay and point out the main ideas and finding you received in the body paragraphs. Your conclusion should be based on the described similarities and differences you have stated in your personal essay
. Also, do not neglect to revise your essay after writing in order to exclude mistakes and make sure that your text is coherent and you reached the purpose of your work.
Ideas for comparative essay topics
The selection of topics is endless and varies depending on numerous aspects. But here’s a list of ideas that might help you with defining the topic for your essay:
- Similarities and differences between the US and Australian GDP figures.
- Comparison of the events during WW I and WW II.
- Compare the main ideas of capitalism and communism.
- Describe differences of the healthcare systems in Canada and the USA.
- Compare two football teams.
- Various governmental systems and their common features.
- Influential people: what do they have in common?
- What are the differences between Christianity and Hinduism?
- Living in a big city vs living in the suburbs.
- Two car brands comparison considering their influence on the market in general.
We hope some of them will be useful for you in your searches for inspiration.