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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. 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 basis for comparison will be the figure of the gentleman.
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: 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 Alternating method: For instance, a comparative essay on the French and Russian revolutions might examine how both revolutions either encouraged or thwarted innovation in terms of new technology, military strategy, and the administrative system. A new technology and the French Revolution B new technology and the Russian Revolution A military strategy and the French Revolution B military strategy and the Russian Revolution A administrative system and the French Revolution B Paragraph 6 in body administrative system and the Russian Revolution 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: When do I use the alternating method?
Professors often like the alternating system because it generally does a better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing your points about A and B.
It also tends to produce a more tightly integrated and analytical paper.
Consider the alternating method if you are able to identify clearly related points between A and B.Compare and Contrast essays are learning-process essays.
You learn about your subject as you gather and organize information. This type of essay takes a bit of organization, and it’s this organizational process, this gathering of . Some tips on writing a comparative essay, Dr Jennifer Minter (English Works Notes).
In a comparative essay, you will be assessed on your ability to compare and contrast shared themes in two texts. A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects. Langston Hughes: Comparison and Contrasting Essay. by Feross Aboukhadijeh. Langston Hughes was a central figure in the Harlem Renaissance, the flowering of African-American literature and artistic forms in Manhattan during the s.
Compare and Contrast Essay Samples This type of essay can be really confusing, as balancing between comparing and contrasting can be rather difficult. Check out our compare and contrast essay samples to see how to write essays . A comparison essay (or a Compare and Contrast essay) is a commonly used type of writing assignment in various classes of high school and college, from art to science.
In a comparison essay you should critically analyze any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or differences.