Comparison Essay

A comparison essay is a special type of formal academic writing, which involves comparing and contrasting two objects. The basic idea of the given essay type is to use similarities and differences between two objects, ideas or phenomena to elaborate a certain idea or investigate a question.

Apart from a separate essay form, comparison and contrast writing is often used to describe, define or analyze, and thus, can be included in virtually any type of academic paper. So, the ability to write such an essay is a vitally important academic skill.

In order to write a comparison essay successfully, use the following action plan:

  • Choose two subjects or areas that have some basic differences and similarities.
  • Identify the key features and form the juxtapositions of differences and groups of similarities.
  • Choose one of three ways to organize your ideas:
    1. Discuss the point for one subject and then address the same point for the other subject.
    2. Go through all the important points for one subject and then represent all the important points for the other one.
    3. First discuss how the two subjects are similar and then in what way they differ from each other.

The main difficulty in writing this type of essay is preserving the clarity of logic and understanding. Therefore, the correct use of linking words is of utmost importance. So, in order to switch from one point of comparison to another, you can use the expressions like similarly, likewise, furthermore, besides; in order to show differences use in contrast, in comparison, on the one hand, although, whereas, etc.

A comparison essay is one of the most problematic types of writing due to the constant transitions and shifts of the focus. However, if the preparation stage is carried out in a responsible and correct way, the writing process itself presents a minor difficulty.

Example of comparison essay written in the proper manner can be found here.
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