Starting A Comparative Essay: Simple Writing Instructions For Students

What exactly is a comparative essay? If you’ve been set this paper, you will most certainly need to know the answer to that question! You’ll also need to know how to go about writing one. Well, luckily for you, I have here some simple steps to guide you on your way.

  • A comparative essay, as you may expect, compares (usually) two subjects. This means that you need to identify their similarities. It’s worth highlighting their differences (contrasts) as well, but remember it’s their similarities that are the focus of the paper.
  • Firstly, you’ll need to pick a topic. You should select a broad subject of interest and then narrow it down more and more until you find two examples to compare. Let’s say you’ve chosen internet businesses as your main subject. You could narrow this down to online dating companies and arrive at two which you will explore their business methods and models.
  • When selecting a topic, you should make sure that there are plenty of resources for you to study and use for citations. It’s also best to choose something you have an interest in, as being passionate about a subject always comes across in one’s writing; which will help to engage the reader more.
  • Once you’ve done all your research and made plenty of notes, it’s time to create an overview for your essay. Work out what information you are going to place where and decide on how many chapters you need and what their headings and content will be. Also roughly work out how long each segment needs to be. The more you plan things, the easier it will be to accomplish your assignment smoothly.
  • Now you need to write a first draft. A comparative essay’s structure consists of the introduction, the text body (chapters) and the conclusion. You can leave writing the introduction until last- that way you’ll already know what points to succinctly include, as you will have already written your paper.
  • In the introduction, you should state the broad subject and then narrow it down to the specific topic. You should concisely introduce your two case studies and state your aims and objectives and what conclusions may be arrived at. In the body, you will present your findings and make your arguments. In the conclusion, you should restate your intentions and summarize your findings.
  • Once you’ve written your first draft, it’s time to re-read and re-edit. You should go through your work again and again, changing anything you need to along the way, until it’s as highly polished as possible.

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