What is a comparative essay? This type of an essay requires you to compare at least two items. For example, you may be asked to compare figures, texts, theories, events, positions on an issue. When you are given to write a comparative essay, you should consider similarities and differences of the contrasted items.
ABCs of Writing a Comparative Essay
The knowledge of the basis for comparison is the guarantee of successful comparative essay writing. The first thing you should do is to determine the basis for comparison. The next step is to create a list of the similarities and differences between the items. Think of what combines and differentiates two items – this will help you create an outline of an essay and the plan for your writing.
Once you draw similarities and differences, you should develop a thesis statement. The latter must reflect the relative weights of both similarities and differences.
Alternative and a back methods
The next step is making a structure of an essay. There are two types of the methods: an alternative method and a back method, or point-by-point method and subject-by-subject method. In the first method, related points common to the central subjects A and B are found as well as an alternate between A and B on the basis of these points (ABABAB …). In the second method, all of A and then all of B are discussed. It is preferable to use subject-by-subject method when more than two items are compared, when the ideas about B are based upon the ideas of A or when it is difficult to find similarities between A and B.