What Is a Comparative Analysis Essay?

A comparative analysis essay is an object analysis method that compares a new state of an object with a previous state of the object, or the state of one object to another with which the comparison may be relevant. Comparative analysis is one of the fundamental methods used in scientific research in many areas. Practically always the formulation or refinement of concepts is carried out by means of the comparative analysis.

To prepare an outstanding essay, identify two things that have enough common features and differences that are amenable to a meaningful comparison. For example, you can compare two football teams or two historical epochs. Find at least two or three points you can apply to compare them, using research, facts, and well-organized paragraphs that will help impress and captivate your readers. Writing a comparative essay is a useful skill that might be advantageous in further educational career.

Preparing the Contents of the Paper

Make the analysis of the question carefully. You might have good opinions for writing but if it they don’t match the stated topic, your grade won’t be high. Review leading questions (or a headline if there is one) and underline key phrases. Keep this list in front of you throughout the whole paper.

  • What exactly does your teacher want to see in your work? Read the task and look for words like “compare,” “similarities,” “differences,” and so on.
  • What limitations are there in the topic?

Define what kind of comparative essay you want to compose. Sometimes you simply can compare one thing with the other, but other times you need to compose a certain evaluation model, according to the criteria and within the framework of which you will need to evaluate and compare.

  • Most likely, in the assignment, there will be questions that you will need to answer in a composition of one type or another. For example: “Choose an idea or topic, like love, beauty, time, or death and compare how Renaissance writers approached it.” So, you’ll have to bring into comparison the two writers and how they approached the chosen topic. Accordingly, you need to compose in an analytical manner.
  • If you don’t understand your task, check with the teacher. It is better to ask a couple of questions than to prepare a completely wrong work.

Create a list of different and similar things to contrast the object. It is best to start work on writing with the preparation of a list of differences and similarities of the object or person you are going to talk about.

Evaluate your list. It is possible you have not indicated everything. Carefully read the list again and try to see in its paragraphs a topic or even some kind of templates. This will assist you to indicate the basis for your comparative analysis essay.

  • Develop some kind of color system of separation for common and different things.
  • For example, when comparing two novels, you can identify similar characters with pink, similar settings with green, and similar themes or messages with blue, and so on.

Set a foundation for the comparison. This way you’ll set the context of the comparison: how are you going to compare two objects? Moreover, the foundation can be a theory (multiculturalism or feminism), an issue or a question, to which a composition should find an answer, as well as a historic theme (emancipation or colonialism). The contrast should have a particular idea or thesis that defines “why” you chose to contrast these two things with each other.

  • The basis of the comparison can be identified in the task.
  • The basis of the comparison can be referred to the theme, characters, or some specific moments of the compared things.
  • The foundation of the comparison can be called differently, so do not get confused if your teacher calls it differently.

Study the things you’re contrasting. Even though it might be inviting to inquire the details of these items, it is significant to offer no more data than the task requires. Compare a few facets in each of the topics instead of covering both topics completely.

  • A full-scale study can be superfluous, and if there is nothing like this in the task, don’t complicate your life.
  • In comparative compositions on historical, scientific, or acute-social topics, the study may well come in handy. However, in the composition where two works of literature are compared, it is not needed.
  • If you quote, then quote in the format that the teacher requires.

Compose a thesis. A coherent and clear thesis is a must in any paper. There should be one sentence with the thesis. The contrast should emphasize something that explains the similarity or difference of the items, and you must reflect this “something” in the thesis.

Structuring the Contents of the Paper

Prepare a draft. Define how you’re going to structure the content. Comparative analysis essay in this sense is unique because it can be structured in many different ways that include:

  • A standard way, the easiest method (list of items).
  • Main points can be written on stickers or cards. Later, they can be arranged randomly, until you finally decide on the final order of the text.

Split the parts of the comparison by paragraphs. The first paragraph will contrast things based on one aspect, the second one will contrast them based on the other, etc. It is crucial to note that items are compared in the same order.

  • The plus of this organization is that throughout the whole paper, the readers’ attention is attracted to the contrast, and also makes you, the author, pay equal attention to each side of the argument.
  • This method is especially recommended when writing long essays on complex subjects where both the author and the reader can easily get confused.

Every second paragraph should be devoted to one of the objects. The first paragraph discloses one facet of the subject, and the second one discloses the same facet of another object. In the third paragraph, the second facet of the first object will be described, and in the fourth the same facet of the second item will be described.

  • The plus of this organization is that it allows you to talk about different facets of objects in detail.
  • This method is recommended in the event when it is necessary to compose a deeper essay with more details.

Describe right away all the things that have something to do with one subject. The first half of the main part will be talking about the first item, and the second half will fully disclose the details of the topic of the second thing.

  • This is the most dangerous method, since the comparison can turn out to be one-sided and it will be difficult for the reader to follow your thoughts.
  • This method is recommended for short essays on simple topics, the course of thought of which readers can easily follow.

Working on the Composition

Don’t follow the order when composing. Instead, follow these steps:

  • The main text. Examine all the information you have about the objects and find out what story it tells you. Only when you process your data, you will find out which item of your work will be the most voluminous.
  • The summary. Once you have dealt with the most complex task, the main position of your paper is clear to you.
  • The entry. In general, this is reorganization/rephrasing of your summary. Be careful not to use the same words and phrases.

Arrange the main part’s paragraphs. The first sentence should get the readers ready for what they are going to read about in the paragraph. The middle part of discloses the details you have gathered, and the last part makes a small summary according to the data presented. Be attentive and do not break the boundaries of paragraphs.

Write the summary. When the work is ready, the reader should get the impression that they have learned something new, and also they must feel that the work is completed. The summary should cover the short and the most significant data you applied in the paper and then make a thorough conclusion about the two things you’ve been contrasting.

Move to an introduction. Start with general points that indicate the similarities of the object under discussion and proceed to a more detailed discussion of the paper. In the end of the comparative analysis essay, write a key sentence that in the beginning indicates the aspects of each subject that you plan to compare, and then state the conclusion to which you are leading.

Check the Work

It is best to leave the essay for a day. When you start checking, remember that the two most important things are to find inconsistencies and fix them. Do this in two steps. During the first reading, identify the shortcomings of your work and correct it during the second reading. It is tempting to remake everything at once but it is more reasonable to do it one at a time. This will help make sure that you have checked everything.