- Utility Menu
GA4 tracking code
- Questions about Expos?
- Writing Support for Instructors
How to Write a Comparative Analysis
Throughout your academic career, you'll be asked to write papers in which you compare and contrast two things: two texts, two theories, two historical figures, two scientific processes, and so on. "Classic" compare-and-contrast papers, in which you weight A and B equally, may be about two similar things that have crucial differences (two pesticides with different effects on the environment) or two similar things that have crucial differences, yet turn out to have surprising commonalities (two politicians with vastly different world views who voice unexpectedly similar perspectives on sexual harassment).
In the "lens" (or "keyhole") comparison, in which you weight A less heavily than B, you use A as a lens through which to view B. Just as looking through a pair of glasses changes the way you see an object, using A as a framework for understanding B changes the way you see B. Lens comparisons are useful for illuminating, critiquing, or challenging the stability of a thing that, before the analysis, seemed perfectly understood. Often, lens comparisons take time into account: earlier texts, events, or historical figures may illuminate later ones, and vice versa.
Faced with a daunting list of seemingly unrelated similarities and differences, you may feel confused about how to construct a paper that isn't just a mechanical exercise in which you first state all the features that A and B have in common, and then state all the ways in which A and B are different. Predictably, the thesis of such a paper is usually an assertion that A and B are very similar yet not so similar after all. To write a good compare-and-contrast paper, you must take your raw data—the similarities and differences you've observed—and make them cohere into a meaningful argument. Here are the five elements required.
Frame of Reference . This is the context within which you place the two things you plan to compare and contrast; it is the umbrella under which you have grouped them. The frame of reference may consist of an idea, theme, question, problem, or theory; a group of similar things from which you extract two for special attention; biographical or historical information. The best frames of reference are constructed from specific sources rather than your own thoughts or observations. Thus, in a paper comparing how two writers redefine social norms of masculinity, you would be better off quoting a sociologist on the topic of masculinity than spinning out potentially banal-sounding theories of your own. Most assignments tell you exactly what the frame of reference should be, and most courses supply sources for constructing it. If you encounter an assignment that fails to provide a frame of reference, you must come up with one on your own. A paper without such a context would have no angle on the material, no focus or frame for the writer to propose a meaningful argument.
Grounds for Comparison . Let's say you're writing a paper on global food distribution, and you've chosen to compare apples and oranges. Why these particular fruits? Why not pears and bananas? The rationale behind your choice, the grounds for comparison , lets your reader know why your choice is deliberate and meaningful, not random. For instance, in a paper asking how the "discourse of domesticity" has been used in the abortion debate, the grounds for comparison are obvious; the issue has two conflicting sides, pro-choice and pro-life. In a paper comparing the effects of acid rain on two forest sites, your choice of sites is less obvious. A paper focusing on similarly aged forest stands in Maine and the Catskills will be set up differently from one comparing a new forest stand in the White Mountains with an old forest in the same region. You need to indicate the reasoning behind your choice.
Thesis . The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference. But in a compare-and-contrast, the thesis depends on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to one another. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another? In the most common compare-and-contrast paper—one focusing on differences—you can indicate the precise relationship between A and B by using the word "whereas" in your thesis:
Whereas Camus perceives ideology as secondary to the need to address a specific historical moment of colonialism, Fanon perceives a revolutionary ideology as the impetus to reshape Algeria's history in a direction toward independence.
Whether your paper focuses primarily on difference or similarity, you need to make the relationship between A and B clear in your thesis. This relationship is at the heart of any compare-and-contrast paper.
Organizational Scheme . Your introduction will include your frame of reference, grounds for comparison, and thesis. There are two basic ways to organize the body of your paper.
- In text-by-text , you discuss all of A, then all of B.
- In point-by-point , you alternate points about A with comparable points about B.
If you think that B extends A, you'll probably use a text-by-text scheme; if you see A and B engaged in debate, a point-by-point scheme will draw attention to the conflict. Be aware, however, that the point-by- point scheme can come off as a ping-pong game. You can avoid this effect by grouping more than one point together, thereby cutting down on the number of times you alternate from A to B. But no matter which organizational scheme you choose, you need not give equal time to similarities and differences. 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. Without such links, your reader will be unable to see how new sections logically and systematically advance your argument. In a compare-and contrast, you also need to make links between A and B in the body of your essay if you want your paper to hold together. To make these links, use transitional expressions of comparison and contrast ( similarly, moreover, likewise, on the contrary, conversely, on the other hand ) and contrastive vocabulary (in the example below, Southerner/Northerner ).
As a girl raised in the faded glory of the Old South, amid mystical tales of magnolias and moonlight, the mother remains part of a dying generation. Surrounded by hard times, racial conflict, and limited opportunities, Julian, on the other hand , feels repelled by the provincial nature of home, and represents a new Southerner, one who sees his native land through a condescending Northerner's eyes.
Copyright 1998, Kerry Walk, for the Writing Center at Harvard University
- Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
- Asking Analytical Questions
- What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
- Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
- Tips for Organizing Your Essay
- Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
- Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines
- Schedule an Appointment
- English Grammar and Language Tutor
- Harvard Guide to Using Sources
- Departmental Writing Fellows
- Writing Advice: The Harvard Writing Tutor Blog
Have a language expert improve your writing
Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.
- Knowledge Base
- Comparing and contrasting in an essay | Tips & examples
Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples
Published on August 6, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing . It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them.
Table of contents
When should i compare and contrast, making effective comparisons, comparing and contrasting as a brainstorming tool, structuring your comparisons, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about comparing and contrasting.
Many assignments will invite you to make comparisons quite explicitly, as in these prompts.
- Compare the treatment of the theme of beauty in the poetry of William Wordsworth and John Keats.
- Compare and contrast in-class and distance learning. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach?
Some other prompts may not directly ask you to compare and contrast, but present you with a topic where comparing and contrasting could be a good approach.
One way to approach this essay might be to contrast the situation before the Great Depression with the situation during it, to highlight how large a difference it made.
Comparing and contrasting is also used in all kinds of academic contexts where it’s not explicitly prompted. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.
What can proofreading do for your paper?
Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.
See editing example
As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place.
For example, you might contrast French society before and after the French Revolution; you’d likely find many differences, but there would be a valid basis for comparison. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies.
This is why it’s important to clarify the point of your comparisons by writing a focused thesis statement . Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way. Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with any comparisons you make, and be sure to make this clear to the reader.
Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might use it to compare different theories and approaches you’ve encountered in your preliminary research, for example.
Let’s say your research involves the competing psychological approaches of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them.
Or say you’re writing about the major global conflicts of the twentieth century. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram.
These visualizations wouldn’t make it into your actual writing, so they don’t have to be very formal in terms of phrasing or presentation. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.
When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method.
The alternating method
In the alternating method, you structure your text according to what aspect you’re comparing. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:
Mouse over the example paragraph below to see how this approach works.
One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class. In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises. They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. Meanwhile, in a Zoom-based class, the lack of physical presence makes it more difficult to pay attention to individual students’ responses and notice frustrations, and there is less flexibility to speak with students privately to offer assistance. In this case, therefore, the traditional classroom environment holds the advantage, although it appears likely that aiding students in a virtual classroom environment will become easier as the technology, and teachers’ familiarity with it, improves.
The block method
In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you’re comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you’ve already said about the first. Your text is structured like this:
- Point of comparison A
- Point of comparison B
The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week (and to live near enough to feasibly do so), students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling. However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation. Furthermore, discomfort and distractions can hinder an individual student’s ability to engage with the class from home, creating divergent learning experiences for different students. Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.
Note that these two methods can be combined; these two example paragraphs could both be part of the same essay, but it’s wise to use an essay outline to plan out which approach you’re taking in each paragraph.
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
- Ad hominem fallacy
- Post hoc fallacy
- Appeal to authority fallacy
- False cause fallacy
- Sunk cost fallacy
- Choosing Essay Topic
- Write a College Essay
- Write a Diversity Essay
- College Essay Format & Structure
- Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay
- Grammar Checker
- Paraphrasing Tool
- Text Summarizer
- AI Detector
- Plagiarism Checker
- Citation Generator
Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.
Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .
Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.
You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.
Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:
- The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
- The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.
It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.
Caulfield, J. (2023, July 23). Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved August 28, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/compare-and-contrast/
Is this article helpful?
Other students also liked, how to write an expository essay, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples.
Jack Caulfield (Scribbr Team)
Thanks for reading! Hope you found this article helpful. If anything is still unclear, or if you didn’t find what you were looking for here, leave a comment and we’ll see if we can help.
Still have questions?
What is your plagiarism score.
- Utility Menu
GA4 Tracking Code
Gen ed writes, writing across the disciplines at harvard college.
- Comparative Analysis
What It Is and Why It's Useful
Comparative analysis asks writers to make an argument about the relationship between two or more texts. Beyond that, there's a lot of variation, but three overarching kinds of comparative analysis stand out:
- Coordinate (A ↔ B): In this kind of analysis, two (or more) texts are being read against each other in terms of a shared element, e.g., a memoir and a novel, both by Jesmyn Ward; two sets of data for the same experiment; a few op-ed responses to the same event; two YA books written in Chicago in the 2000s; a film adaption of a play; etc.
- Subordinate (A → B) or (B → A ): Using a theoretical text (as a "lens") to explain a case study or work of art (e.g., how Anthony Jack's The Privileged Poor can help explain divergent experiences among students at elite four-year private colleges who are coming from similar socio-economic backgrounds) or using a work of art or case study (i.e., as a "test" of) a theory's usefulness or limitations (e.g., using coverage of recent incidents of gun violence or legislation un the U.S. to confirm or question the currency of Carol Anderson's The Second ).
- Hybrid [A → (B ↔ C)] or [(B ↔ C) → A] , i.e., using coordinate and subordinate analysis together. For example, using Jack to compare or contrast the experiences of students at elite four-year institutions with students at state universities and/or community colleges; or looking at gun culture in other countries and/or other timeframes to contextualize or generalize Anderson's main points about the role of the Second Amendment in U.S. history.
"In the wild," these three kinds of comparative analysis represent increasingly complex—and scholarly—modes of comparison. Students can of course compare two poems in terms of imagery or two data sets in terms of methods, but in each case the analysis will eventually be richer if the students have had a chance to encounter other people's ideas about how imagery or methods work. At that point, we're getting into a hybrid kind of reading (or even into research essays), especially if we start introducing different approaches to imagery or methods that are themselves being compared along with a couple (or few) poems or data sets.
Why It's Useful
In the context of a particular course, each kind of comparative analysis has its place and can be a useful step up from single-source analysis. Intellectually, comparative analysis helps overcome the "n of 1" problem that can face single-source analysis. That is, a writer drawing broad conclusions about the influence of the Iranian New Wave based on one film is relying entirely—and almost certainly too much—on that film to support those findings. In the context of even just one more film, though, the analysis is suddenly more likely to arrive at one of the best features of any comparative approach: both films will be more richly experienced than they would have been in isolation, and the themes or questions in terms of which they're being explored (here the general question of the influence of the Iranian New Wave) will arrive at conclusions that are less at-risk of oversimplification.
For scholars working in comparative fields or through comparative approaches, these features of comparative analysis animate their work. To borrow from a stock example in Western epistemology, our concept of "green" isn't based on a single encounter with something we intuit or are told is "green." Not at all. Our concept of "green" is derived from a complex set of experiences of what others say is green or what's labeled green or what seems to be something that's neither blue nor yellow but kind of both, etc. Comparative analysis essays offer us the chance to engage with that process—even if only enough to help us see where a more in-depth exploration with a higher and/or more diverse "n" might lead—and in that sense, from the standpoint of the subject matter students are exploring through writing as well the complexity of the genre of writing they're using to explore it—comparative analysis forms a bridge of sorts between single-source analysis and research essays.
Typical learning objectives for single-sources essays: formulate analytical questions and an arguable thesis, establish stakes of an argument, summarize sources accurately, choose evidence effectively, analyze evidence effectively, define key terms, organize argument logically, acknowledge and respond to counterargument, cite sources properly, and present ideas in clear prose.
Common types of comparative analysis essays and related types: two works in the same genre, two works from the same period (but in different places or in different cultures), a work adapted into a different genre or medium, two theories treating the same topic; a theory and a case study or other object, etc.
How to Teach It: Framing + Practice
Framing multi-source writing assignments (comparative analysis, research essays, multi-modal projects) is likely to overlap a great deal with "Why It's Useful" (see above), because the range of reasons why we might use these kinds of writing in academic or non-academic settings is itself the reason why they so often appear later in courses. In many courses, they're the best vehicles for exploring the complex questions that arise once we've been introduced to the course's main themes, core content, leading protagonists, and central debates.
For comparative analysis in particular, it's helpful to frame assignment's process and how it will help students successfully navigate the challenges and pitfalls presented by the genre. Ideally, this will mean students have time to identify what each text seems to be doing, take note of apparent points of connection between different texts, and start to imagine how those points of connection (or the absence thereof)
- complicates or upends their own expectations or assumptions about the texts
- complicates or refutes the expectations or assumptions about the texts presented by a scholar
- confirms and/or nuances expectations and assumptions they themselves hold or scholars have presented
- presents entirely unforeseen ways of understanding the texts
—and all with implications for the texts themselves or for the axes along which the comparative analysis took place. If students know that this is where their ideas will be heading, they'll be ready to develop those ideas and engage with the challenges that comparative analysis presents in terms of structure (See "Tips" and "Common Pitfalls" below for more on these elements of framing).
Like single-source analyses, comparative essays have several moving parts, and giving students practice here means adapting the sample sequence laid out at the " Formative Writing Assignments " page. Three areas that have already been mentioned above are worth noting:
- Gathering evidence : Depending on what your assignment is asking students to compare (or in terms of what), students will benefit greatly from structured opportunities to create inventories or data sets of the motifs, examples, trajectories, etc., shared (or not shared) by the texts they'll be comparing. See the sample exercises below for a basic example of what this might look like.
- Why it Matters: Moving beyond "x is like y but also different" or even "x is more like y than we might think at first" is what moves an essay from being "compare/contrast" to being a comparative analysis . It's also a move that can be hard to make and that will often evolve over the course of an assignment. A great way to get feedback from students about where they're at on this front? Ask them to start considering early on why their argument "matters" to different kinds of imagined audiences (while they're just gathering evidence) and again as they develop their thesis and again as they're drafting their essays. ( Cover letters , for example, are a great place to ask writers to imagine how a reader might be affected by reading an their argument.)
- Structure: Having two texts on stage at the same time can suddenly feel a lot more complicated for any writer who's used to having just one at a time. Giving students a sense of what the most common patterns (AAA / BBB, ABABAB, etc.) are likely to be can help them imagine, even if provisionally, how their argument might unfold over a series of pages. See "Tips" and "Common Pitfalls" below for more information on this front.
Sample Exercises and Links to Other Resources
- Common Pitfalls
- Advice on Timing
- Try to keep students from thinking of a proposed thesis as a commitment. Instead, help them see it as more of a hypothesis that has emerged out of readings and discussion and analytical questions and that they'll now test through an experiment, namely, writing their essay. When students see writing as part of the process of inquiry—rather than just the result—and when that process is committed to acknowledging and adapting itself to evidence, it makes writing assignments more scientific, more ethical, and more authentic.
- Have students create an inventory of touch points between the two texts early in the process.
- Ask students to make the case—early on and at points throughout the process—for the significance of the claim they're making about the relationship between the texts they're comparing.
- For coordinate kinds of comparative analysis, a common pitfall is tied to thesis and evidence. Basically, it's a thesis that tells the reader that there are "similarities and differences" between two texts, without telling the reader why it matters that these two texts have or don't have these particular features in common. This kind of thesis is stuck at the level of description or positivism, and it's not uncommon when a writer is grappling with the complexity that can in fact accompany the "taking inventory" stage of comparative analysis. The solution is to make the "taking inventory" stage part of the process of the assignment. When this stage comes before students have formulated a thesis, that formulation is then able to emerge out of a comparative data set, rather than the data set emerging in terms of their thesis (which can lead to confirmation bias, or frequency illusion, or—just for the sake of streamlining the process of gathering evidence—cherry picking).
- For subordinate kinds of comparative analysis , a common pitfall is tied to how much weight is given to each source. Having students apply a theory (in a "lens" essay) or weigh the pros and cons of a theory against case studies (in a "test a theory") essay can be a great way to help them explore the assumptions, implications, and real-world usefulness of theoretical approaches. The pitfall of these approaches is that they can quickly lead to the same biases we saw here above. Making sure that students know they should engage with counterevidence and counterargument, and that "lens" / "test a theory" approaches often balance each other out in any real-world application of theory is a good way to get out in front of this pitfall.
- For any kind of comparative analysis, a common pitfall is structure. Every comparative analysis asks writers to move back and forth between texts, and that can pose a number of challenges, including: what pattern the back and forth should follow and how to use transitions and other signposting to make sure readers can follow the overarching argument as the back and forth is taking place. Here's some advice from an experienced writing instructor to students about how to think about these considerations:
a quick note on STRUCTURE
Most of us have encountered the question of whether to adopt what we might term the “A→A→A→B→B→B” structure or the “A→B→A→B→A→B” structure. Do we make all of our points about text A before moving on to text B? Or do we go back and forth between A and B as the essay proceeds? As always, the answers to our questions about structure depend on our goals in the essay as a whole. In a “similarities in spite of differences” essay, for instance, readers will need to encounter the differences between A and B before we offer them the similarities (A d →B d →A s →B s ). If, rather than subordinating differences to similarities you are subordinating text A to text B (using A as a point of comparison that reveals B’s originality, say), you may be well served by the “A→A→A→B→B→B” structure.
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself how many “A→B” moves you have in you. Is each one identical? If so, you may wish to make the transition from A to B only once (“A→A→A→B→B→B”), because if each “A→B” move is identical, the “A→B→A→B→A→B” structure will appear to involve nothing more than directionless oscillation and repetition. If each is increasingly complex, however—if each AB pair yields a new and progressively more complex idea about your subject—you may be well served by the “A→B→A→B→A→B” structure, because in this case it will be visible to readers as a progressively developing argument.
As we discussed in "Advice on Timing" at the page on single-source analysis, that timeline itself roughly follows the "Sample Sequence of Formative Assignments for a 'Typical' Essay" outlined under " Formative Writing Assignments, " and it spans about 5–6 steps or 2–4 weeks.
Comparative analysis assignments have a lot of the same DNA as single-source essays, but they potentially bring more reading into play and ask students to engage in more complicated acts of analysis and synthesis during the drafting stages. With that in mind, closer to 4 weeks is probably a good baseline for many single-source analysis assignments. For sections that meet once per week, the timeline will either probably need to expand—ideally—a little past the 4-week side of things, or some of the steps will need to be combined or done asynchronously.
What It Can Build Up To
Comparative analyses can build up to other kinds of writing in a number of ways. For example:
- They can build toward other kinds of comparative analysis, e.g., student can be asked to choose an additional source to complicate their conclusions from a previous analysis, or they can be asked to revisit an analysis using a different axis of comparison, such as race instead of class. (These approaches are akin to moving from a coordinate or subordinate analysis to more of a hybrid approach.)
- They can scaffold up to research essays, which in many instances are an extension of a "hybrid comparative analysis."
- Like single-source analysis, in a course where students will take a "deep dive" into a source or topic for their capstone, they can allow students to "try on" a theoretical approach or genre or time period to see if it's indeed something they want to research more fully.
- Types of Assignments
- Unpacking the Elements of Writing Prompts
- Formative Writing Assignments
- Single-Source Analysis
- Research Essays
- Multi-Modal or Creative Projects
- Giving Feedback to Students
- Food & Beverages
- Marketing Examples
10+ Comparative Essay Samples
Comparative essay plan template.
- Google Docs
- Apple Pages
Compare and Contrast Sample Essay
Sample Comparative Essay Format
The Concept of Comparative Essays
- A comparative essay is an academic essay that requires students to create a comprehensive and precise comparative report about two things.
- A comparative essay is an organized written material that is meant to provide a comparison that should be easily understood by the target readers. It is set to impress people by providing them the information that they need to be aware of about two subjects and how they differ and/or compare with each other.
- A comparative essay can be written if you have two objects or subjects that can be compared in a level where their similarities and/or differences are relevant or meaningful for a specific purpose.
- A comparative essay can be used in formal writing assignments and it can also be the basis for various research assessments.
- A comparative essay is created through pertaining precise points of comparison. These points should be backed by actual researchers, factual information, and other reliable evidence.
Block Comparative Essay Example
Student Comparative Essay Sample
How to Develop the Content of Your Comparative Essay
- The first thing that you need to do is to be aware of the question that you need to answer. You need to be aware of the essay prompt so you can address the needs of your readers. It is essential for you to be fully knowledgeable of the essence of the question so you can interpret it accordingly. The content that you will write will only be effective if it is related to the question and if it matches the purpose on why the essay is necessary to be written.
- Know whether there are limits for your discussion . Always identify whether you need to know the similarities or the differences between your subjects. Also, you need to know whether the scope of your essay assignment requires you to do any of these or both.
- Select the ideas that you would like to compare. It is important for you to have an in-depth understanding of the kind of comparison that you will write. The framework of your essay should be based on an actual evaluation that can point out how you were able to perceive the similarities or differences of the subject.
- Assess whether you already have sufficient points for comparison. Your ability to present as many valid points as possible can make a lot of clarifications about the unanswered questions that you can enlighten your readers with.
- Once the points of your comparison are already specified, list down whether they are under the similarities or differences of the two subjects. This step can help you be organized throughout the writing process. With easy access to how subjects are compared, you can be guided on how to use them in your content development.
- Evaluate your list. Your list is only your initial view about the subjects being reviewed or assessed. Hence, further evaluation is necessary. Make sure that you will read through the entire list so you can rank them based on their impact and weight of thesis.
- Chronologically arrange your list based on your basis of comparison . Make sure that you will follow a metric when examining the items that you will place in your actual comparative essay.
- Know the approach that you will use when developing your essay content. Will you be theoretical? Will you focus on answering questions for comparison? It is essential for you to be aware of your basis so your approach can provide you with maximum benefits within the entirety of the content development process.
- Research further about your subjects so you can verify whether your claims and initial claims are correct. This can help you create more topics and gather more evidence that can support your comparison.
- Create a thesis statement where your discussion can set its foundation. This will enable you to start writing the comparative essay that you would like to achieve.
Comparative Contrast Essay Template
Printable Comparative Essay Sample
Steps in Organizing Your Comparative Essay Discussion
- Refer to the outline of your comparisons. This is where the items that we have discussed above can be helpful. If you are already guided by your comparisons, then you can easily rank their relevance to the essay that you will write. Referencing your comparisons can make it easier for you to have a thesis statement that you can further discuss.
- Organize your writing strategies. The strategies that you will incorporate into your discussion can make it easier for readers to relate to your point. You need to make sure that your strategies are aligned with your type of comparison and the subjects that you are comparing.
- Properly address your comparisons. For your comparative essay to be highly-usable, you need to make sure that you will implement simplicity within your discussion. Do not make it complicated. The content of your comparative essay should be as simple as possible so that it can be furthermore understood.
- Organize your paragraph structure. The way that you create your paragraph listing can be one of the factors that can either improve or destroy your comparative essay. You should create a draft that can specifically state the items that you will discuss per paragraph. Create statements that can address specific comparisons and divide them per paragraph. Each of your paragraphs should be talking about one subject so you can give focus per comparison aspect.
- Evaluate whether your writing guide is already organized enough. It is essential for you to not overlap subjects of discussion. When organizing your statements, make sure to cover one subject at a time. This will help you create a comparative essay that contains a list of carefully arranged and curated evidence which are further discussed and broken down into relevant specification pieces.
Simple Essay of Comparison Sample
Sample Comparative Essay in PDF
Writing Guide in Creating the Actual Comparative Essay
- Create an introduction to the topic. Your thesis statement should contain the subjects that you will talk about. You also need to create an initial discussion of what your readers can expect to the reader within the content of your comparative essay. A strong validation of your comparison can make your readers more interested to browse through the entire essay document.
- Develop your next paragraphs for discussion. As mentioned above, work per paragraph. Arrange your topics of discussion in a way that each paragraph can specifically state one comparison topic per time. You have to create an interesting discussion so you need to ensure that all your paragraphs are organized and well-written.
- Finalize your comparative essay with a conclusion. Your last paragraph should contain the information about your final thoughts with regards the comparison. How different or similar are the two subjects from one another? How sure are you that your basis is factual and relevant? Create a great impact by having a conclusion that can put together all your points of discussion.
Compare Contrast Essay Sample
Sample Comparative Essay Guide
Factors to Consider When Writing a Comparative Essay
- Your discussion’s organization. Within the entirety of the comparative essay creation, it is very evident that organization is key to success. As a writer, you need to ensure that you have a skeletal plan that can create your discussion more polished and coherent. The discussion of your organization can greatly affect the impression of your readers with regards your knowledge about your topic as well as your level of understanding with what you are talking about.
- Your thesis statement. When creating a comparative essay, you need to stick with an argument that can provide you the framework for the effective dissemination of information. Your thesis statement should be based on the results of your frame of references. You need to analyze your subjects properly so that you can create a stand on how you perceive them in levels of similarities and/or differences.
- Your claims or grounds for comparison. You should always be aware of your selection processes. At the end of the writing activity, you need to validate the importance of comparing two subjects. Always have your grounds of comparison ready so you can ensure your readers that you have followed a particular set of criteria that can enable the objectivity between the selection of two items for comparison. The rationale that you have behind your subject selection can make your comparative essay more appealing.
- Your reference frame. A comparative essay’s frame of reference deals with the way that the writer has created the groupings for the comparison. May it be talking about the similarities, differences, or both of these factors; a comparative essay should be able to have a reference that can identify how the characteristics of ideas, themes, theories or even problems are arranged.
27+ financial analyses examples, samples, 6+ critical analysis examples, samples, 35+ chart examples in word, 32+ examples of sales reports, 10+ process analysis examples, samples, 23+ speech examples in pdf, 8+ activity analysis examples, samples, 7+ diet chart examples, samples, 15 must-have social media marketing tools for 2017.
- id; ?>)" rel="noopener" role="button" tabindex aria-label="postclick">22+ Free Essay Examples
- id; ?>)" rel="noopener" role="button" tabindex aria-label="postclick">26+ Examples of Essay Outlines
How to Write a Comparative Essay – A Research Guide
Published on: Jan 28, 2020
Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022
On This Page On This Page
A comparative essay compares the two subjects and shows their similarities and differences. The subjects might have some close relation or may be very different.
This essay type is a common assignment for school and college students. Therefore, it is important to learn how to write properly. In this blog, you will get a complete writing guide for comparative essay writing.
What is a Comparative Essay?
A comparative essay is a type of essay in which an essay writer compares at least two or more items. The author compares two subjects with the same relation in terms of similarities and differences depending on the assignment.
The main purpose of the comparative essay is to:
- Highlight the similarities and differences in a systematic manner.
- Provide great clarity of the subject to the readers.
- Analyze two things and describe their advantages and drawbacks.
A comparative essay is also known as compare and contrast essay or a comparison essay. It analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. The Venn diagram is the best tool for writing a paper about the comparison between two subjects.
Moreover, a comparative analysis essay discusses the similarities and differences of ideas, items, events, views, places, concepts, etc. For example, you can compare two different novels (e.g., The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Red Badge of Courage).
However, a comparative essay is not limited to specific topics. It covers almost every topic or subject with some relation.
Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job
Comparative Essay Structure
A good comparative essay is also based on how well you structure your essay. It helps the reader to understand your essay better. Also, the structure is more important than what you write.
Therefore, it is necessary to organize your essay so that the reader can easily go through the comparisons made in an essay. The following are the two main methods in which you can organize your comparative essay.
1. Point-by-Point Method
The point-by-point or alternating method provides a detailed overview of the items that you are comparing. In this method, organize items in terms of similarities and differences.
This method makes the writing phase easy for the writer to handle two completely different essay subjects. It is highly recommended where some depth and detail are required.
Below given is the structure of the point-by-point method.
- Paragraph 1: Point 1 (Item A and B)
- Paragraph 2: Point 2 (Item A and B)
- Paragraph 3: Point 3 (Item A and B)
2. Block Method
The block method is the easiest as compared to the point-by-point method. In this method, you divide the information in terms of parameters. It means that the first paragraph compares the first subject and all their items, then the second one compares the second, and so on.
However, make sure that you write the subject in the same order. This method is best for lengthy essays and complicated subjects.
Here is the structure of the block method.
- Paragraph 1: Item A (Point 1, 2, and 3)
- Paragraph 2: Item B (Point 1, 2, and 3)
Therefore, keep these methods in mind and choose the one according to the chosen subject.
3. Mixed Paragraphs Method
In this method, one paragraph explains one aspect of the subject. As a writer, you will handle one point at a time and one by one. This method is quite beneficial as it allows you to give equal weightage to each subject and help the readers identify the point of comparison easily.
How to Start a Comparative Essay?
Here, we have gathered some steps that you should follow to start a well-written comparative essay.
1. Read the Instructions Carefully
Before starting, you have to analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. Sometimes, you have a great idea in your mind, but it does not match the prompt. Therefore, look over the prompt and create a list of the key phrases. Also, check whether any limits are placed on your topic.
2. Choose a Topic
The foremost step in writing a comparative essay is to choose a suitable topic. Choose a topic or theme that is interesting to write about and appeals to the reader. An interesting essay topic motivates the reader to know about the subject. Also, try to avoid complicated topics for your comparative essay.
3. Develop a List of Similarities and Differences
Create a list of similarities and differences between two subjects that you want to include in the essay. Moreover, this list helps you decide the basis of your comparison by constructing your initial plan. Evaluate the list and establish your argument and thesis statement.
4. Establish the Basis for Comparison
The basis for comparison is the ground for you to compare the subjects. In most cases, it is assigned to you, so check your assignment or prompt.
Furthermore, the main goal of the comparison essay is to inform the reader of something interesting. It means that your subject must be unique to make your argument interesting.
5. Do the Research
In this step, you have to gather information for your subject. If your comparative essay is about social issues, historical events, or science-related topics, you must do in-depth research.
However, make sure that you gather data from credible sources and cite them properly in the essay.
6. Create a Comparative Essay Thesis Statement
The thesis statement decides whether the similarities, on the whole, dominate the differences or vice versa. Your thesis statement will be clear and concise.
Therefore, develop the thesis statement that covers your entire essay. With the help of a thesis statement, you will easily stick to the essay’s main core.
How to Create a Comparative Essay Outline?
After writing the thesis statement, you will have to organize your content. The organization makes your essay structured and keeps you on the right path.
Here are some steps you do after creating the thesis statement. It will help you to organize and write a great comparative essay.
Write a proper comparative essay outline and include all the main information that you add to your essay. Here the structure of the outline is similar to the traditional essay outline. It consists of the following parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Comparative Essay Introduction
The introduction is the first part of an essay that the readers see. Therefore, you have to think about the hook statement. It is a statement that you include at the beginning of the introductory paragraph to grab the reader’s attention.
Then, you can move to the main goal of the essay. Provide some background information and conclude the introduction with a thesis statement.
Comparative Essay Body Paragraphs
The body of an essay will give the reader everything that they want to know about the subject. Write all the information clearly and concisely.
The following are the tips that you need to follow for writing essay body paragraphs.
- The topic sentence is placed at the start of the essay.
- Each point of comparison is discussed in a separate paragraph.
- The essay body usually consists of three paragraphs, but it depends on your chosen subject.
- Use different transition words within and between the paragraphs.
- Each paragraph contains enough and meaningful information.
- The last sentences of the paragraph include a low-level conclusion.
Comparative Essay Conclusion
In this section, you need to restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points. Also, remind the reader why it is important to compare these two particular subjects. However, try to avoid writing any additional information in the conclusion of the essay .
Below is the detailed comparative essay template format for you to understand better.
Format of Comparative Essay
Once you are done with creating the outline and writing your essay, proofread and revise it properly. It is an important step to produce a good piece of writing. Never skip this step before submitting or publishing your essay.
Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!
Comparative Essay Examples
Have a look at these comparative essay examples and get an idea of the perfect essay.
Comparative Essay on Summer and Winter - Example
Comparative Essay on Books vs. Movies - Example
Sample Comparative Essay
Thesis Example of Comparative Essay
Comparative Essay Topics
Comparative essay topics are not very difficult or complex. Check this list of essay topics and pick the one that you want to write about.
- How do education and employment compare?
- Living in a big city or staying in a village.
- The school principal or college dean.
- New Year vs. Christmas celebration.
- Dried Fruit vs. Fresh. Which is better?
- Similarities between philosophy and religion.
- British colonization and Spanish colonization.
- Nuclear power for peace or war?
- Bacteria or viruses.
- Fast food vs. homemade food.
Now, you get a complete writing guide for the comparative essay. However, if you need professional essay writing help, consult MyPerfectWords.com . Our legitimate essay writing service provides great services to students who face a difficulty writing a quality essay.
So, hire the best essay writer online and get the well-written essay on time without any mistakes.
Frequently Asked Question
How long is a comparative essay.
A comparative essay is 4-5 pages long, but it depends on your chosen idea and topic.
How do you end a comparative essay?
Here are some tips that will help you to end the comparative essay.
- Restate the thesis statement
- Wrap up the entire essay
- Highlight the main points
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
People also read
Get Better at Math: Solving Math Problems Quick and Easy
Learn How to Write an Editorial on Any Topic
How to Avoid Plagiarism - Steps to a Plagiarism Free Paper
How to Write a Movie Review - Guide & Examples
How to Write a Summary - Beginner’s Guide & Example
How to Write an Opinion Essay – A Beginner’s Guide
Evaluation Essay - Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips
How to Write a Thematic Statement - Tips & Examples
How to Write a Bio - Quick Tips, Structure & Examples
How to Write a Synopsis – A Simple Format & Guide
Visual Analysis Essay Writing Guide - Format & Samples
List of Common Social Issues Around the World
Character Analysis - Outline, Writing Steps, and Examples
What are the Different Types of Plagiarism - Examples
Article Review - A Complete Writing Guide With Examples
A Detailed Guide on How to Write a Poem Step by Step
A Complete Appendix Writing Guide for Beginners
Share this article
We value your privacy
Website Data Collection
Are you sure you want to cancel?
Your preferences have not been saved.
- Writing Home
- Writing Advice Home
The Comparative Essay
- Printable PDF Version
- 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. You might be asked to compare
- positions on an issue (e.g., responses to midwifery in Canada and the United States)
- theories (e.g., capitalism and communism)
- figures (e.g., GDP in the United States and Britain)
- texts (e.g., Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth )
- events (e.g., the Great Depression and the global financial crisis of 2008–9)
Although the assignment may say “compare,” the assumption is that you will consider both the similarities and differences; in other words, you will compare and contrast.
Make sure you know the basis for comparison
The assignment sheet may say exactly what you need to compare, or it may ask you to come up with a basis for comparison yourself.
- Provided by the essay question: The essay question may ask that you consider the figure of the gentleman in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations and Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall . The basis for comparison will be the figure of the gentleman.
- 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, 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. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights. A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Here are examples of the two main cases:
While Callaghan’s “All the Years of Her Life” and Mistry’s “Of White Hairs and Cricket” both follow the conventions of the coming-of-age narrative, Callaghan’s story adheres more closely to these conventions by allowing its central protagonist to mature. In Mistry’s story, by contrast, no real growth occurs.
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
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 body of your essay.
When do I use the block method? The block method is particularly useful in the following cases:
- You are unable to find points about A and B that are closely related to each other.
- Your ideas about B build upon or extend your ideas about A.
- You are comparing three or more subjects as opposed to the traditional two.
How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay
A compare-and-contrast essay is a style of essay that points out the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It’s ideal for showing what separates and unites related things or concepts, particularly if the subjects are often confused for each other or unjustly lumped together.
Compare-and-contrast essays have a lot in common with other essay types, but differ in many ways, too—and that’s the heart of comparing and contrasting! By seeing the differences and similarities, the reader better understands each of the subjects by using the other subject as a frame of reference.
Give your essays extra polish Grammarly helps you write with confidence Write with Grammarly
In this guide, we explain how to write a compare-and-contrast essay, including some advanced tips and examples. We discuss how to structure your essay and how to frame your thesis , but first, let’s take a broader look at why comparison essays are so useful.
Purpose of a compare-and-contrast essay
Let’s say you want to write an essay about how great renewable resources are, but you spend a lot of your time explaining how fossil fuels work. To truly understand why renewable resources are so amazing, your reader needs a little background on their alternative, fossil fuels—but the essay’s attention is divided so equally that it’s like there are two topics.
That’s when compare-and-contrast essays function at their best. If two topics relate to each other or define each other, you can better explain them both by showcasing their similarities and differences. That goes double for topics that are often conflated or confused for each other; it helps readers when someone points out exactly what’s the same about them and what’s different.
Unlike argumentative essays or persuasive essays , compare-and-contrast essays deal with multiple topics instead of focusing on one. The downside is that they don’t describe the individual subjects as much as single-topic essays. They’re also a common assignment for college essays since they show the instructor how well you grasp both subjects.
How to write a compare-and-contrast essay
When writing a compare-and-contrast essay, it helps to figure out two things: what your thesis is (the subject matter) and how you plan to structure it.
First things first: You need to choose which subjects you’re comparing. This isn’t always easy, especially if you have to pick the subjects on your own.
For inspiration, here are some compare-and-contrast essay example topics:
- fossil fuels and renewable resources
- Coca-Cola and Pepsi
- Mona Lisa and The Girl with a Pearl Earring
- ’80s punk rock music and ’90s grunge music
- Elon Musk and Thomas Edison
- London in the 1600s and London now
- the LGBTQIA+ community before and after Stonewall
- Roman Empire and Greek Empire
- loop quantum gravity and string theory
- evolution and creationism
- liberalism and conservatism
- fascism and despotism
Once you’ve settled on your subjects, you can begin generating ideas. It helps to first list all the similarities and differences between your subjects . When you see them all written down, you can start formulating connections and decide what structure to use for your compare-and-contrast essay.
If you’re stuck, try making a Venn diagram . This is a visual aid that helps you understand which characteristics your subjects share, and which ones are exclusive.
Looking at your lists, you can then decide on the thesis. To do so, ask yourself a few questions: What are you trying to show in your compare-and-contrast essay? What do you want your reader to take away? For example, do you want to emphasize that Elon Musk is a modern-day Thomas Edison, or that they are tey two very distinct individuals?
Compare-and-contrast essays follow our own recommended essay structure . While the linked guide goes into more detail, in a nutshell, your compare-and-contrast essay should follow a simple format of beginning, middle, and end:
- Introduction: where you explain your thesis or what your essay will discuss
- Body: where you actually list the similarities and differences of your subjects; the largest section
- Conclusion: where you wrap up and summarize your points
The introduction, usually one or two paragraphs, should include a thesis statement to show the reader what to expect for the rest of your essay. You can write your introduction following the same guidelines as other essay types, though be sure to mention all your subjects. Likewise, you can write an essay conclusion with the standard rules and best practices.
It’s the body where compare-and-contrast essays get tricky. Do you write about both subjects at the same time, or switch back and forth? Let’s talk deeper on this below.
How to structure a compare-and-contrast essay
The hardest part of structuring a compare-and-contrast essay is knowing when to talk about which subject. Essentially, you have three options:
- block method (subject by subject): You discuss one subject in full and then move on to the next subject.
- alternating method (point by point): You discuss one subject’s take on a certain aspect and then another subject’s take immediately afterward, followed by a new aspect.
- similarities and differences: You discuss all the similarities between your subjects and then all the differences, or vice versa (differences first and then similarities).
No matter which option you choose, you have to pay particular attention to topic sentences . Paragraphs in compare-and-contrast essays can get complicated, so it’s crucial to have a good topic or introduction sentence for each paragraph to make the flow of ideas clear.
Block method (subject by subject)
The block method is usually divided into paragraphs: a paragraph about one subject and then a new paragraph about another subject. Take the compare-and-contrast essay example When Nothing Lies Beyond the Mask: Comparing Moby Dick and The Raven . In the first paragraph after the introduction, the author talks only about Ahab from Moby Dick , but in the next paragraph talks only about the narrator from The Raven . Each subject gets its own paragraph.
Using the block method, you can go back and forth like this for pages, covering as many topics as you need. This approach is best for giving each subject its own attention but tends to slightly weaken the connection between the two.
Alternating method (point by point)
As another option, you can break paragraphs up by a specific topic and issue, and in each paragraph discuss both or all subjects. Let’s look at another compare-and-contrast essay example, The Reality of Science Fiction: Comparing Clarke to Cruise . Here, both subjects are discussed in the same paragraph, one right after another.
This approach works best when you want to emphasize the connection between your subjects, or lack thereof. In our example above, the author wishes to highlight just how different the aliens of Arthur Clarke are from those of other authors, particularly H. G. Wells. To emphasize this, the essay author juxtaposes the two points right next to each other in the same paragraph.
Similarities and differences
The third option is quite similar to the alternating approach, with each subject being discussed side by side in the same paragraph. However, the paragraphs aren’t divided by different topics, but instead by what the subjects have in common and what they don’t.
Take a look at the compare-and-contrast essay example Government by the People, for the People has Perished from the Earth , which compares the dystopias of George Orwell’s 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We . The first paragraph after the introduction discusses what the governments in the two books have in common, but the next paragraph explains how they differ.
This method works best if you want to focus on a particular similarity or difference between your subjects, or if you want to build up to a powerful conclusion or reveal at the end.
The writing process for compare-and-contrast essays
Want to know how to write a compare-and-contrast essay step by step? The writing process is the same as all essay writing, although adapted specifically for drawing comparisons:
1 Brainstorming — As mentioned above, brainstorming should involve listing all the similarities and difficulties; creating a Venn diagram is a useful method.
2 Preparation — Looking at your brainstorming lists, decide which structuring method would best get your point across: block, alternating, or similarities/differences.
3 Drafting — Here you write your rough draft ; this is the longest and toughest phase.
4 Revising — Does the structure you’ve chosen work? With the first draft finished, you can more easily identify any areas that need to be fixed, revised, or rewritten from scratch.
5 Proofreading — Finally, you want to make sure you corrected all the spelling and grammatical mistakes in your draft. With a writing assistant like Grammarly, this phase is a breeze.
If you want to learn more about this process, read our comprehensive guide on essay writing , which better explains the details.
Tips for writing compare-and-contrast essays
Beyond knowing the full process for crafting a compare-and-contrast essay, it helps to learn a few tips to ensure it shines.
Choose topics that are related
In other words, choose topics that have plenty in common, otherwise, your essay will be all contrasting and no comparing. Typically, subjects in compare-and-contrast essays share a strong connection, such as two people in the same profession or two products in the same category.
Without this unifying thread, the reader is left wondering, “What’s the point of comparing these two things?” Not only will it confound your audience, but you’ll also struggle more to come up with points when writing. Solve these problems before they start by smartly choosing your subjects at the beginning.
Write for clarity
Essays with only one subject can be confusing enough—imagine how complicated it gets with two or more subjects. One of the biggest obstacles with compare-and-contrast essays is communicating clearly so your reader knows which points relate to which subject, and what conclusion the entire essay is building toward.
But when you’re in the heat of a writing session, it can be difficult—and distracting—to stop and evaluate your work for clarity. Luckily, Grammarly offers suggestions to rewrite entire sentences in order to improve the clarity of your writing.
If the writing in your compare-and-contrast essay starts getting messy, Grammarly’s writing suggestions recommend alternative phrasings to clear things up. Just one click and your writing gets the professional editor treatment. Try Grammarly now and see how your writing improves.
Flipped learning module.
Each Flipped Learning Module (FLM) is a set of short videos and online activities that can be used (in whole or in part) to free up class time from content delivery for greater student interaction. At the end of the module, students are asked to fill out a brief survey, in which we adopt the minute paper strategy . In this approach, students are asked to submit their response to two brief questions regarding their knowledge of the module.
In this FLM, students are asked to complete a fill-in-the-blank outline which accompanies all three videos, covering the topics of comparative analysis, grounds for comparison, and the structure of comparative analysis. The completed outline will enhance the students’ note-taking skills and will serve as a summary of the FLM that they may refer to in the future.
comparative analysis goals, analytical discussion, interpretation, evaluation, grounds for comparison, organization, point-by-point & block-by-block structure
Module Overview Introduction to Comparative Analysis What is comparative analysis? Reading for and entering the conversation The goal of comparative analysis Grounds for Comparison The 5 grounds for comparison Identifying the significance Organization Point-by-point Block-by-block Download Video Transcripts
Worksheet: Comparative Analysis Outline
- Comparative analysis is different than a traditional compare/contrast essay in the following way: __________________________________________________________________________
- The goal of comparative analysis is to: __________________________________________________________________________
- When you put two articles in conversation with one another in order to shed light on a topic, continue a discussion, or potentially resolve a problem, you are: __________________________________________________________________________
- (Question 1):__________________________________________________
- (Question 2):__________________________________________________
- (Question 3):__________________________________________________
- (Question 4):__________________________________________________
- Once you have identified the conversation your authors are participating in, the next step is to: __________________________________________________________________________
- (Method 1):__________________________________________________
- (Method 2):__________________________________________________
- (Method 3):__________________________________________________
- (Method 4):__________________________________________________
- (Method 5):__________________________________________________
- Establishing the grounds for comparison is so important because: __________________________________________________________________________
Video 1: Introduction to Comparative Analysis
Comparative analysis online activity 1.
- What is each author’s claim?
- What claims are these authors responding to?
- What larger conversation are these authors participating in?
- How might you enter that conversation?
Video 2: Grounds for Comparison
Comparative analysis online activity 2.
- Describe the relationship between the two texts (the grounds for comparison).
- What aspects of this relationship could you analyze?
- What new ideas could your analysis present by exploring the relationship you identified within the context of the conversation you are entering?
- Why do you think it is important to engage in this conversation? Who needs to understand this issue? Why does it matter?
Video 3: Organization
Comparative analysis online activity 3.
- What are the main points you want to make?
- Looking at your main claims, can you more easily divide them into different ideas (point-by-point) or into different voices (block-by-block)?
- Write out a topic sentence for each of your main points following the method of organization you chose.
Comparative Analysis Survey
- What was the one most important thing you learned from this module?
- Do you have any unanswered questions for me?
Comparative Relationships Between Texts Chart
Comparative Analysis In-Class Activity
Goal: To practice writing and evaluating comparative analysis claims.
Materials: One laptop per group; your notes/annotations on reading material; Google doc link sent by your instructor.
Download Digital Implementation of the Activity
Graff, Gerald, and Cathy Birkenstein. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing . 3rd ed., W.W. Norton & Co., 2014.
Tompkins, Case. “ Writing in Literature: Writing the Prompt Paper .” The Purdue OWL , Purdue U Writing Lab, 06 December 2013.
Walk, Kerry. “ How to Write a Comparative Analysis .” Harvard College Writing Center , 1998.
Endnote : This module follows the philosophy of the Writing Program and refers to the work of Kevin Barents, Holly Schaff, and Lesley Yoder for specific guidelines, categories, and best practices.
Home — Essay Samples — Business — Management — Comparative Analysis
Essays on Comparative Analysis
Shakespeare’s king lear and shirwadkar natsamrat: a comparative study.
Rated by a GradeFixer's writer
Comparative Analysis of The Writings of Jonathan Edwards and Thomas Paine
Made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.
Each essay is customized to cater to your unique preferences
Comparative Analysis of The Two Types of Lifestyles: Hunting and Gathering Vs. Settlements and Agriculture
Comparing and contrasting analysis of the maximalist and minimalist democracy, analysis of "it’s me" by huma bhabha and "dancing figure" in terms of portraying the human figure, comparative analysis in art: pablo picasso and henry moore, let us write you an essay from scratch.
- 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
- Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
A Compare and Contrast of Roman and Greek Culture
Comparative analysis of the works of charlie chaplin and buster keaton, comparative analysis of csr programs of mcdonald's and nando, comparative analysis of "ain’t i woman" by isabella baumfree and "lynching and the excuse for it" by ida b. wells-barnett, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.
Expert-written essays crafted with your exact needs in mind
Analysis of Connections Between The "Growing Up with Poverty and Violence: a North Lawndale Teen’s Story" by Daleen Glanten and "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley
Othello and o the movie: a comparative analysis of two works, jd sports and itunes comparative analysis, comparative analysis of the disengagement theory and activity theory in terms of its relation to the caregiver, comparative analysis between online preloved clothes and ukay-ukay selling: basis for marketing strategy, comparative analysis of streetcorner man and the handsomest drowned man in the world, comparative analysis of the original and the adaptation versions of king kong, cat on a hot tin roof: film vs play comparison, porter's 5-forces analysis of honda, toyota and nissan, social policy problems and income inequality, analysis of the features of two contrasting businesses: marks and spencer and nspcc, overview of digital marketing in comparison to the traditional one, bhagavad-gita and dante’s inferno: a religious comparative, static and dynamic analysis, comparison or rome and persia, india & brics: comparative analysis, the analogies between john green's books, comparative analysis: merger surge in 1960s to 1980s, life issues raised in turgenev's novels, the rickshaw boy by lao she: comparative analysis of the love of interest of huns and fuzzy.
Comparative analysis is the process of comparing items to one another and distinguishing their similarities and differences.
Get Your Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!
Top 10 Similar Topics
- Time Management
- Madam Cj Walker
- John D. Rockefeller
We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
- Instructions Followed To The Letter
- Deadlines Met At Every Stage
- Unique And Plagiarism Free
ORDER YOUR PAPER
15% off today
from a verified trusted writer
Comparative Analysis Essay Writing Guide
This kind of academic assignment is quite widespread in colleges or universities. It aims to show students how to review different types of materials, divide them into separate parts, and analyze each element in turn. Every comparative analysis essay requires in-depth research on the subject, the author's ability for critical thinking, and support for the position indicated in the material analyzed. Preparing the academic paperwork, you should make it fascinating and intelligent for your readers. Any comparative analysis paper may be a complicated task, but if you follow all the steps mentioned in our guidelines, the writing process will become much easier!
What Is a Comparative Analysis Paper?
In order to know what you can expect from the task, fully understanding the comparative analysis concept is vital. A comparative analysis is one of the most popular types of assignments that are often given in colleges or universities. In such paperwork for college or university, you should compare and oppose two different things. Those can be two texts, historical figures, scientific processes, theories, etc. These papers are very popular as college assignments because they are pretty universal: no matter what subject you study or what field you are working in - there are always things that can be compared. A "classic" version of a comparative analysis essay is when you select two similar things with a few critical differences. Or, it can be vice versa: two entirely different things have some similarities which may not even be noticed. Comparative analysis essays help students gain useful expertise, develop analytical thinking, improve their writing skills, the ability to highlight essential information, and, in the end, compare things and support your opinion with relevant facts and actual examples.
Every student should have some skills to write a quality comparative analysis paper. It's challenging and requires a lot of additional elaboration of the materials, but the result you get in the end is worth it. With the help of the comparative analysis approach, you can see how different some similar things might be and vice versa. It takes much time and a lot of effort to prepare an excellent academic assignment, but following the guide below will assist you in achieving the best results!
How To Do a Comparative Analysis
As we mentioned earlier, the comparative analysis paper is a bit tricky when discussing its primary concept. If you have to convince your audience, you should find real similarities and differences based on a specific comparison type. Here comes the challenge - you should analyze both principles you compare. In order to highlight those main commonalities and differences, your task is to learn the subject. Therefore, our advice for everyone who faces creating a comparative analysis paper is to study, explore and read a lot. The best thing is to expand the expertise in the chosen topic. It will serve you to prepare the assignment without any difficulties because everything you need to do after the analysis follows the basic structure guideline and sums up everything you've found on your topic. Those who do everything haphazardly, without any preparation whatsoever, might face problems during the actual writing. Let's take a closer look at some structural aspects of such essays.
The Structure Outlines
Apart from general standard parts like an introduction, primary part, results, discussion and conclusions, which you should include in your paperwork, some other structural characteristics are specific for a comparative analysis assignment.
You can choose among the two ways to build the textual structure:
- Point-by-point method. Choosing this type, you need to compare two subjects (let's name them A and B) using the ABABAB structure. Thus, after selecting the criteria for comparing these two concepts, you first discuss this criterion regarding subject A and then use the same approach for subject B. For example, if comparing the World War I and World War II, the essay's body structure might look like this:
- A Paragraph 1 - military strategies used in World War I
- B Paragraph 2 - military strategies used in World War II
- A Paragraph 3 - weapons and new technologies in World War I
- B Paragraph 4 - weapons and new technologies in World War II
- A Paragraph 5 - scale and duration of World War I
- B Paragraph 6 - scale and duration of World War II
- Block method: Subject-by-subject pattern. Here, you should discuss all aspects of subject A and then move to subject B. This method has the following structure of the body part:
- A Paragraphs 1-3 - The discussion of particular aspects of World War I
- B Paragraphs 4-6 - Discussing the same categories but reviewing the World War II events
In addition to those methods, we recommend building a comparative analysis assignment outline as we did with the essay's body. Outlining the whole paperwork will assist you in organizing your views and opinions and planning out the paper's structure beforehand. Write down all paragraph headings, the key questions you have decided to review and provide all necessary details you want to mention in the academic task.
Good Examples for Comparative Analysis Paper Topics
Everything begins with a subject, so it's one of the most critical aspects of a comparative analysis assignment. Do not be hasty when considering different topics and choose the best one that will be fascinating for your audience. Let's look at some examples:
- Fascism and Nazism: Different or the Same?
- World War I and World War II: The Difference in Events
- Coffee and Tea: The Effects of Both
- Working in the Office or Being a Freelancer?
- Education or Professional Career: What Is Easier and What Is More Difficult?
- Online Dating vs. Real-Life Relations
- Anorexia Nervosa and Obesity: What Is More Dangerous?
- Life and Death: Philosophical Views
Choose a good topic, follow the guideline and try to enjoy the writing process as much as you wish! Great results won't keep you waiting if you like what you're doing. We hope that our guidelines will come in handy to build top-notch paper!
If you think that the mission of comparative analysis assignment is close to impossible, you can always entrust this task to our professionals and get some rest!
Our TOP writers
Master's in Project Management, PMP, Six Sigma
18291 written pages
1990 a+ papers
My Master’s degree and comprehensive writing experience allow me to complete any order fast and hit the nail on the head every time.
MBA, PMP, ITIL
16427 written pages
1869 a+ papers
I am experienced writer with an MBA, PMP, ITIL, that consistently delivers unique, quality papers. I take pride in my experience and quickness.
MS in Human Resource Management
7005 written pages
788 a+ papers
I hold a MS degree in Human Resource and my goal is to help students with flawless, unique papers, delivered on time.
RN, MSN, PCN, PHN
22851 written pages
3657 a+ papers
As Registered Nurse (RN, PCN), I can quickly deal with any medical paper. My expertise and writing skills are perfect for this job.
3272 written pages
361 a+ papers
I have MPA, MHA degrees but, most importantly, experience and skills to provide unique, well-written papers on time.
DNP, BA, APN, PMHNP-BC
3351 written pages
422 a+ papers
I can write about multiple areas and countless topics, as I have a DNP and BA degrees. High-quality writing is my second name.
PhD in American History
2909 written pages
452 a+ papers
A PhD in American history comes handy. Unique papers, any topics, swift delivery — helping with academic writing is my passion.
MA, PsyD, LMFT
5023 written pages
478 a+ papers
Incredibly fast PsyD writer. Efficient paper writing for college. Hundreds of different tasks finished. Satisfaction guaranteed.
MEd, NCC, LPC, LMFT
2415 written pages
532 a+ papers
Top-ranked writer with tons of experience. Ready to take on any task, and make it unique, as well as objectively good. Always ready!
MSW, LICSWA, DSW-C
1528 written pages
291 a+ papers
Experienced Social Work expert focused on good writing, total uniqueness, and customer satisfaction. My goal — to help YOU.
- Stats & Feedback
Have your tasks done by our professionals to get the best possible results.
NO Billing information is kept with us. You pay through secure and verified payment systems.
All papers we provide are of the highest quality with a well-researched material, proper format and citation style.
Our 24/7 Support team is available to assist you at any time. You also can communicate with your writer during the whole process.
You are the single owner of the completed order. We DO NOT resell any papers written by our expert
All orders are done from scratch following your instructions. Also, papers are reviewed for plagiarism and grammar mistakes.
You can check the quality of our work by looking at various paper examples in the Samples section on our website.
I missed the deadline because I was a little greedy, got my thesis at $5 per page. My curator said “it looks like a bog roll”. I was upset till my classmate recommended this company after he'd got an ‘A’. I ordered my thesis paper here and got a ‘B’ just because of the deadline I missed.
It's not my first rodeo, so I knew I'd receive a good essay, but you managed to exceed my expectations! The paper was delivered on time, everything was cool, thanks a lot!
- High School $11.23 page 14 days
- College $12.64 page 14 days
- Undergraduate $13.2 page 14 days
- Graduate $14.08 page 14 days
- PhD $14.59 page 14 days
Free samples of our work
There are different types of essays: narrative, persuasive, compare\contrast, definition and many many others. They are written using a required citation style, where the most common are APA and MLA. We want to share some of the essays samples written on various topics using different citation styles.
- Essay Writing
- Term Paper Writing
- Research Paper Writing
- Coursework Writing
- Case Study Writing
- Article Writing
- Article Critique
- Annotated Bibliography Writing
- Research Proposal
- Thesis Proposal
- Dissertation Writing
- Admission / Application Essay
- Editing and Proofreading
- Multiple Choice Questions
- Group Project
- Lab Report Help
- Statistics Project Help
- Math Problems Help
- Buy Term Paper
- Term Paper Help
- Case Study Help
- Complete Coursework for Me
- Dissertation Editing Services
- Marketing Paper
- Bestcustomwriting.com Coupons
- Edit My Paper
- Hire Essay Writers
- Buy College Essay
- Custom Essay Writing
- Culture Essay
- Argumentative Essay
- Citation Styles
- Cause and Effect Essay
- 5 Paragraph Essay
- Paper Writing Service
- Help Me Write An Essay
- Write My Paper
- Research Paper Help
- Term Papers for Sale
- Write My Research Paper
- Homework Help
- College Papers For Sale
- Write My Thesis
- Coursework Assistance
- Custom Term Paper Writing
- Buy An Article Critique
- College Essay Help
- Paper Writers Online
- Write My Lab Report
- Mathematics Paper
- Write My Essay
- Do My Homework
- Buy a PowerPoint Presentation
- Buy a Thesis Paper
- Buy an Essay
- Comparison Essay
- Buy Discussion Post
- Buy Assignment
- Deductive Essay
- Exploratory Essay
- Literature Essay
- Narrative Essay
- Opinion Essay
- Take My Online Class
- Reflective Essay
- Response Essay
- Custom Papers
- Dissertation Help
- Buy Research Paper
- Criminal Law And Justice Essay
- Political Science Essay
- Pay for Papers
- College Paper Help
- How to Write a College Essay
- High School Writing
- Personal Statement Help
- Book Report
- Report Writing
- Cheap Coursework Help
- Literary Research Paper
- Essay Assistance
- Academic Writing Services
- Coursework Help
- Thesis Papers for Sale
- Coursework Writing Service UK
Use your opportunity to get a discount!
To get your special discount, write your email below
Best papers and best prices !
Want to get quality paper done on time cheaper?
Home / Essay Samples / Business / Management / Comparative Analysis
Comparative Analysis Essay Examples
Comparative analysis of adidas and new balance.
Imagine turning on the television to see two rivals play against each other on the pitch. Liverpool faces off against Manchester United in a premier league game to determine their spots on the table. Liverpool in their red, New Balance, home kit, while Manchester are...
Comparison of Cushioning Technology of Adidas and Nike
Nowadays sneakers have become basic essential items for everyone. Good footwears with effective cushioning can be a big help throughout the day. As demands for the perfect cushioned sneakers grew exponentially, many companies have begun to invent the best possible cushioning technology. Nowadays many limited...
Comparative Analysis of Two Neighborhoods in San Francisco: Nob Hill and the Financial District
San Francisco is a historic city that seems to be stuck in time between the past and the present. Out of the many historic districts in San Francisco, I chose to explore Nob Hill and the Financial District. Instead of choosing the familiar downtown areas...
An Overview of Competitive Strategies and Theories
So, what does it mean to be competitive and what is strategy? Well, the Oxford Dictionary says “Competitive: used to describe a situation in which people or organizations compete against each other” (Oxford Dictionary, n. d. ) and “Strategy: a plan that is intended to...
Competitive Advantage and Its Role in Firm Performance
Concept of Competitive Advantage According to Roy and Singh (2015) competitive advantage is an advantage a company has over its competition that creates differentiation (Ferrer-Lorenzo, Abella-Garcés & Maza-Rubio, 2017). Kiveu (2017) Explained that competitiveness is a critical factor for a firm’s survival, growth and success....
Cultural Diversity and Competitive Advantage
For the assignment, I read a report titled ‘Managing Cultural Differences in International Business: Indian & Italian Multicultural Encounters’. Two takeaways from this article, to illustrate how competitive edge has been generated by leveraging cultural diversity, were:(i) For a company boasting global clientele, cultural diversity...
Understanding Trade Union Responses to Migration in a Comparative Context
Comparative industrial relations has evolved more rigorously in the past two decades or so, allowing us to properly comprehend different systems and approaches. It has also allowed us to understand how employment relations and institutions vary across contexts. The notion that concepts such as flexibility,...
Southwest Airline's Competitive Advantage
Southwest Airline’s business model is comprised of their goal to maintain pristine customer service through their competitive advantages. Their efficient airline operations stem from customer satisfaction, motivated employees, low-cost production, and logistic solutions that maintain success within the airline industry. Southwest will only benefit from...
Management of Hrm Systems for Competitive Advantage
Human capital is one of the most significant assets of an organisation that assists the same in the achievement of organisational goals (Hooi, 2019). The primary intention of this study is to identify the various issues faced by the organisation and thus determine how an...
Generic Strategies as Competitive Advantage of Cooperatives
Cooperatives around the world have been uplifting lives, promoting social cohesion, raising productivity, reducing inequalities, and advancing economic growth and economic development in many different ways (Terroza, 2016). It plays an important role in promoting and fostering economic growth and social development at the community...
Trying to find an excellent essay sample but no results?
Don’t waste your time and get a professional writer to help!
You may also like
- Accounting Essays
- Total Quality Management Essays
- Pepsi Essays
- Enron Essays
- Uber Essays
- Walmart Essays
- Automation Essays
- Iphone Essays
- Teamwork Essays
- Nestle Essays