Writing a comparison essay esl

Therefore, a comparative essay is an essay that usually needs the author to compare two subjects that have some relation in terms of similarities and differences. The subjects might have some close relation or may be very different.

How to write a comparative essay

Before starting to write an essay, it is very important first to understand what it is about. First of all, you should know what does comparative mean. You might write an essay full of good ideas but fail to answer the question. It is therefore advisable to first study the prompt at length highlighting the key words to identify the exact need. Given the question, you have to develop the basis of comparison. Usually the question provides the basis of comparison but there are cases where the author needs to develop the same.

This step involves identifying what will feature in your essay. It involves identifying the similarities and differences of the items in comparison.


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  • Compare and Contrast Essays?

You need to develop a list of ways in which the subjects are the same and how they are different. This list will enable you to develop the initial plan of the essay. The list should be thoroughly evaluated so that only the main points of comparison are considered for the essay. The focus should be mainly on the points that are related and those that are of less significance should be canceled. For an essay to be developed there must be a clear thesis statement that guides the author. In order to come up with the thesis statement, you should first look at the list containing the various aspects of comparison then decide whether the subjects tend to be more similar or they are quite different.

Based on this judgment a simple comparative essay thesis statement should be developed. This thesis statement should be a reflection of how the subjects share similarities and how they are different. In complex cases, the essay statement should highlight both the similarities of the subjects while not forgetting their differences.

Compare the Pair: A Guide to Structuring a Reading and Comparing Essay | Lisa's Study Guides

Essays have different structures. A comparative essay is therefore not an exception since it must be organized in such a way that the comparisons made in the essay can be easily followed by the reader. In this method, the aspect of comparison if fully handled in one paragraph. What this means is that a full paragraph is used in explaining in detail one item of comparison in relation to the first subject. This will then be followed by another paragraph that also explicitly explains the same aspect but now it deals with the second subject. This is to say that the first and second paragraph explains the same aspect of comparison but deals with the first and second subject respectively.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

This therefore means the third and fourth paragraph will be dealing with another aspect but for the first and second subject respectively. This sequence goes on until the end of the essay. Here one paragraph is devoted to explaining the way the subjects compare based on one aspect. This means that you begin by handling the first subject then finish by tackling the second one. This is quite the easiest method though very dangerous. The basic principle here is to divide the essay into two parts.

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These Phrases Are Used to Clearly Express Likeness and Differences

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How to Write an A+ Comparison Essay on any Topic

Choose a dictionary. Compare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs which compare or contrast. There is also an example compare and contrast essay on the topic of communication technology, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area. To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ.

A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two characters in a novel, etc. Sometimes the whole essay will compare and contrast, though sometimes the comparison or contrast may be only part of the essay.

How to start a good comparative essay – tips

It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed. See the examples below. There are two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure. This type of structure is similar to the block structure used for cause and effect and problem-solution essays. For the point-by-point structure, each similarity or difference for one object is followed immediately by the similarity or difference for the other. Both types of structure have their merits. The two types of structure, block and point-by-point , are shown in the diagram below.

Compare and contrast structure words are transition signals which show the similarities or differences. Below are some common examples. When making comparisons or contrasts, it is important to be clear what criteria you are using. Study the following example, which contrasts two people.

Here the criteria are unclear. Although this sentence has a contrast transition , the criteria for contrasting are not the same. The criteria used for Aaron are height tall and strength strong. We would expect similar criteria to be used for Bruce maybe he is short and weak , but instead we have new criteria, namely appearance handsome and intelligence intelligent.


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  • Compare the Pair: A Guide to Structuring a Reading and Comparing Essay.

This is a common mistake for students when writing this type of paragraph or essay. Compare the following, which has much clearer criteria contrast structure words shown in bold. Below is a compare and contrast essay. This essay uses the point-by-point structure. Click on the different areas in the shaded boxes to the right to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.