How to Write a Comparative Essay. Perhaps you have been assigned a comparative essay in class, or need to write a comprehensive comparative report for work. In order to write a stellar comparative essay, you have to start off by picking two subjects that have enough similarities and differences to be compared in a meaningful way, such as two sports teams or two systems of government. Once you have that, then you have to how to start off a comparison essay at least two or three points of comparison and use research, facts, and well-organized paragraphs to impress and captivate your readers.
Writing the comparative essay is an important skill that you will use many times throughout your scholastic career. Analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. You may have a great idea for a paper in your head, but if it doesn’t perfectly match the prompt, you may not create the product your instructor has asked for. Keep a list of these things by you as you work. Many comparative essay assignments will signal their purpose by using words such as “compare,” “contrast,” “similarities,” and “differences” in the language of the prompt.
Also see whether there are any limits placed on your topic. Understand the type of comparison essay you are being asked to write. For these essays, simply pointing out that things are similar or different will not be sufficient. The assignment will generally ask guiding questions if you are expected to incorporate comparison as part of a larger assignment. In other words, you will need to make an evaluative or analytical argument about those approaches. If you’re unclear on what the essay prompt is asking you to do, talk with your instructor.
It’s much better to clarify questions up front than discover you’ve written the entire essay incorrectly. List similarities and differences between the items you are comparing. Even though you are being asked to write a comparison essay, the inclusion of contrasting material is also implied. The best place to start is to write a list of things that the items you are comparing have in common as well as differences between them. It is likely that you will not be able to write about everything on your list. Read through the list and try to identify a theme or patterns among items that are listed. This can help you decide on the basis of your comparison.