How to Write a Comparative Essay
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Looking at Both Sides of a Topic with a Comparative Essay
Critically thinking about materials from a specific class is one of the approaches that professors will take. To do this effectively, many will assign a comparative essay. This will require you to compare information between two sources, time periods, events or other concepts from the class. As you do this, you will be able to create a different understanding of the materials in the class while showing two specific perspectives of the material.
The first concept to keep in mind when you begin to write your comparative essay is to make sure you have a clear focus and understanding of your topic. The thesis that you create should let your professor know what you are comparing and how it is relevant to the materials presented from class. Pointing out the main differences of the materials or showing the similarities between specific ideals will help you to show a specific perspective when comparing your essay. You want to make sure that the ideas you are comparing are focused and relevant to the information from your class.
After you state your thesis, you will want to build an organizational structure for your essay. Whether you are writing a short essay or a longer piece of material, you want to make sure that each comparison is relevant to the thesis you have provided. You can use formulas while you are looking at this, especially if you are focused on a historical event, time frame or current event. For example, one formula that many professors use will compare social, political, religious, intellectual, technological and economic situations. You can also add in cultural events to demographics, dependent on your thesis and class topic. If the focus is on literature, then you can also add in the point of view and literary techniques used in more than one book.
The organization that you have for your essay will then need to be followed with specific research that is relevant to the class. When you compare one aspect of knowledge, you will want to have a reference or piece of material that shows the legitimacy of this information. Using sources from both angles of your comparison and making sure that you include legitimate research will show the relevancy of your thesis. If you are not sure how to organize and add in this information, then looking at essay examples can help you to find the best options.
If you are taking a class that requires you to look at both sides of information, then understanding how to write a comparative essay can help. This provides you with relevant ideas on both sides of an argument while helping you to critically think about the knowledge you have been given. Understanding the formulas and possible options for these essays can help you to get the best opportunities for writing and gaining the knowledge for a high standard paper. As you write your thesis and comparison, you will be able to see the application of information for your class and the ideas presented by your professor.