03 15

Comparative analysis writing example

comparative analysis writing example

comparative analysis, writing, definition, meaning

Definition, Concept & Usage

In academics, is mandatory especially at higher education level. In comparative analysis technique, you are asked to compare and contrast two different theories, two school of thoughts, two scientific techniques or any two historical personalities.

With the help of a comparative analysis, you may find some amazing commonalities beside contrasts or differences. For example Barack Obama and John Mccain have serious differences as far as political views are concerned but they may have similarities in views to bring social reforms and for the betterment of common people.

Finding Basis for Comparison

Before going through in detail study of comparative analysis technique, here is an important thing to discuss. Let’s take an example. You are writing a comparative analysis on autocratic rule vs. democratic rule. The first thing you have to be clear about is the rationale behind this choice. Try to convince the readers that the choice you have made is meaningful and productive.

Guide Steps for Writing a Comparative Analysis Essay or Paper

Keeping in mind the above mentioned example, here is a brief guideline on how you can better develop a comparative analysis.

  1. First of all, the comparative analysis process is bit tricky that requires careful handling as you need to sort out the commonalities from the text. For example if you are talking about autocratic and democratic rule, as already mentioned, then you have a thorough study and absolute understanding about the two.
  2. Later on, with the help of your research you might be able to restructure the commonalities and then you will be able to write a comparative analysis.
  3. Your comparative analysis essay always starts with an . Your introduction sets up the foundation of those arguments that are considered common in both approaches.
  4. Always get a start with a general idea and then move towards more specific ideas.
  5. In the end, organize your paper in proper paragraphs. A good comparative analysis is always structured in proper paragraphs.

Sample Comparative Analysis

Here is a brief account on how you can write a sample comparative analysis.

Begin your comparative analysis with an opening paragraph having a comparison between the two situations. The best way is that you go with the description of the various points in separate paragraphs. Do not intermingle various aspects but try to describe each in a separate section. This will help you in paying equal attention to each and every argument present in the text.

For example you are writing an analysis about Autocratic VS democratic Rule. In the first paragraph you can compare definitions of the two approaches. In the second paragraph you can compare the structure of the two systems of rule. Later on, in next paragraphs you can discuss the functions of the two along with power distributions in each system. So, in this way you can easily structure the comparative analysis essay.

comparative analysis writing example

Analysis Market Realty Comparative Encore

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 find 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.


Part 1 Developing the Essay Content

  1. 1

    Analyze the question or essay prompt carefully.
Keep a list of these things by you as you work.[2]
  • 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.
  • 2

    Understand the type of comparison essay you are being asked to write. While some essays may be simple compare/contrast essays, others may ask you to begin with that framework and then develop an evaluation or argument based on your comparisons. For these essays, simply pointing out that things are similar or different will not be sufficient.
  • " This sentence asks you to compare two poets, but it also asks how the poets approach the point of comparison. 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.
  • 3

    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.
  • A basis for comparison may have to do with a theme, characteristics, or details about two different things.[7]
  • A basis for comparison may also be known as the “grounds” for comparison or a frame of reference.
  • 6

    Research your subjects of comparison. Although you want to have a thorough understanding of both things being compared, it’s important not to provide more details than the assignment can handle. Compare a few aspects of each topic instead of trying to cover both topics comprehensively.
    • Research may not be required or appropriate for your particular assignment.
  • Be sure to cite any research data properly according to the discipline in which you are writing (eg, MLA, APA, or Chicago format).
  • 7

    Develop a thesis statement. Every essay should be controlled by a clear, concise thesis statement. Even if your basis for comparison was assigned to you, you need to express in a single sentence why you are comparing the two items. The comparison should reveal something about the nature of the items or their relationship to each other, and your thesis statement should express that argument.[8]
  • Part 2 Organizing the Content

    1. 1

      Outline your comparison.
  • You can also write down your main points on sticky notes (or type them, print them, and then cut them out) so that you can arrange and rearrange them before deciding on a final order.
  • 2

    Use a mixed paragraphs method. Address both halves of the comparison in each paragraph. This means that the first paragraph will compare the first aspect of each subject, the second will compare the second, and so on, making sure to always address the subjects in the same order.[9]
    • The advantages of this structure are that it continually keeps the comparison in the mind of the reader and forces you, the writer, to pay equal attention to each side of the argument.
  • Devote every other paragraph to one of the subjects. This means that the first paragraph will compare one aspect of a subject and the second, the same aspect of the other subject; the third paragraph will compare a second aspect of a subject and the fourth, the same aspect of the second subject – and so on, making sure to always address each subject in the same order.[10]
    • The advantages of this structure are that it allows you to discuss points in greater detail and makes it less jarring to tackle two topics that radically different.
    • This method is especially recommended for essays where some depth and detail are required.
    This means that the first set of body paragraphs is devoted to addressing every aspect of the first subject and the second set, to addressing every aspect of the second subject, making sure to address each aspect in the same order.[11]
    • This method is by far the most dangerous, as your comparison can become both one-sided and difficult for the reader to follow.
    • This method is only recommended for short essays with simplistic subjects that the reader can easily remember as (s)he goes along. For example:

      Paragraph 1: Engine power of vehicle X
      Paragraph 2: Stylishness of vehicle X
      Paragraph 3: Safety rating of vehicle X

      Paragraph 4: Engine power of vehicle Y
      Paragraph 5: Stylishness of vehicle Y
      Paragraph 6: Safety rating of vehicle Y

    Part 3 Writing the Essay

    1. 1

      Write your essay out of order.
    Only when you've worked with your data will you know what the larger point of the paper is.
  • Conclusion second. Now that you've done all the heavy lifting, the point of your essay should be fresh in your mind. Strike while the iron’s hot.[12]
  • Intro last. This is basically a reorganizing/rephrasing of your conclusion. Make sure you don’t reuse the exact same words/phrases.[13]
  • 2

    Write the body paragraphs. The first sentence of a body paragraph (often called the topic sentence) prepares the reader for what you’ll be covering in that paragraph, the middle of the paragraph presents the information you've gathered, and the last sentence draws a low-level conclusion based on that information.
  • Once you have defined your points of comparison, choose the structure for the body paragraphs (where your comparisons go) that makes the most sense for your data. To work out all the organizational kinks, it’s recommended that you write an outline as a placeholder.
  • Be very careful not to address different aspects of each subject. Comparing the color of one thing to the size of another does nothing to help the reader understand how they stack up.[14]
  • 3

    Write the conclusion. When the essay’s done, the reader should feel like (s)he learned something and know that the essay is done, not be looking around for missing pages.
  • ) The last sentence of the essay should leave the reader feeling that all the different threads of the essay have been drawn together in a cohesive way.
    • Be aware that your various comparisons won’t necessarily lend themselves to an obvious conclusion, especially because people value things differently. If necessary, make the parameters of your argument more specific. (Ex. “Though X is more stylish and powerful, Y’s top safety ratings make it a more appropriate family vehicle.”)
    • When you have two radically different topics, it sometimes helps to point out one similarity they have before concluding. (i.e. "Although X and Y don't seem to have anything in common, in actuality, they both .
  • 5

    Revise your writing. If time is not an issue, the best way to revise your work is to leave it for a day. Go out, have something to eat or drink, have fun - forget about the paragraph/essay until tomorrow. Once you settle down to revise, remember that the two most important things to do are to find problems and to fix them. These should be done separately (i.e., go through and find all the problems you can without correcting them, then tackle them during a second run-through). Although it is tempting to do them at the same time, it is smarter to do them one by one; this ensures you have checked everything and, ultimately, makes the job quicker and more efficient.
  • Community Q&A

    Add New Question
    • How do I start a comparative essay?

      wikiHow Contributor

      Begin with something that draws the reader in, and makes them want to read the paper. Then, introduce the topics you are comparing.

    • How do I start my introduction?

      wikiHow Contributor

      Add some background information about the topic, and how what you are comparing are similar, such as characteristics or behaviors.

    Ask a Question

    If this question (or a similar one) is answered twice in this section, please click here to let us know.

    Make sure you know how to write a catchy essay title.
  • The key principle to remember in a comparative paragraph or essay is that you must clarify precisely what you are comparing and keep that comparison alive throughout the essay.
  • Warnings

    • Avoid, at all costs, the conclusion that the two subjects are "similar, yet different." This commonly found conclusion weakens any comparative essay, because it essentially says nothing about the comparison. Most things are "similar, yet different" in some way.
    • Beware of the "Frying Pan Conclusion" in which you simply recount everything that was said in the main body of the essay.
  • Avoid vague language such as "people," "stuff," "things," etc.
  • Some believe that an "unbalanced" comparison - that is, when the essay focuses predominantly on one of the two issues, and gives less importance to the other - is weaker, and that writers should strive for 50/50 treatment of the texts or issues being examined. Others, however, value emphasis in the essay that reflects the particular demands of the essay's purpose or thesis. One text may simply provide context, or historical/artistic/political reference for the main text, and therefore need not occupy half of the essay's discussion or analysis. A "weak" essay in this context would strive to treat unequal texts equally, rather than strive to appropriately apportion space to the relevant text.
  • " This academic standby requires you to compare two things--whether you're analyzing two different governmental policies or two different Shakespearean sonnets. The key to writing a successful comparative analysis is to establish a good thesis and organizational scheme before you start writing. Read on to learn more.

    Step 1

    Start with a frame of reference--a basis for comparison. Sometimes the assignment provides this to you by asking you specifically to compare the use of propaganda in two different governments--rather than just to compare two governments--or the way a novelist uses physical descriptions to characterize two of her protagonists, rather than just to compare these characters. If your professor doesn't provide a specific means of comparison, you'll need to come up with this on your own.

    Step 2

    Make a list of the similarities and differences between the two things you're comparing. As you do this, remember that your goal from this exercise will be to craft a thesis--an argument about how the two things are similar and/or different.

    Another good way to come up with a strong thesis is to discuss your topic with another classmate and bounce ideas off of him.

    Step 4

    Outline the rest of your paper using one of the following two effective ways to organize a comparative analysis. One is to write several paragraphs about the first subject, and then a few paragraphs on the second subject you're comparing the first one to, noting similarities and differences. The second is to write a paragraph about the first subject, then a paragraph about the second--noting how the second differs or is similar to the first one. You repeat this process of alternating from one subject to the other until you have touched on all of the similarities and differences that you wish to compare and contrast.

    Step 5

    Write a conclusion that goes over the gist of what you discussed in the previous paragraphs and reinforces your thesis.

    Step 6

    Carefully proofread before you submit your work.

    She wants you to write the paper in APA format. APA is an acronym for American Psychological Association. The APA’s format is popular in education, social sciences and behavioral sciences. This article will help you format a comparative analysis paper.

    The first step in your thesis is to conduct research in books, articles, and scholarly journals. . Make notes of important concepts found in the book or article. Paraphrase the notes on note cards or on a separate sheet of paper.

    thesis paper, begin writing for your rough draft. The paper you should use for your rough draft is 8.5” by 11” with 1” margins on all sides. The paper needs to be double spaced. Type in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier (serif typeface). Figure labels are typed in 12-point Arial, Helvetica, or any sans serif typeface.

    Number each page, beginning with the title page. Figures and artwork are not numbered. Page numbers need to be located in the upper right corner of the thesis. The title’s first words should be in the right corner of every page, except for pages with figures and artwork.

    Your comparative analysis’s title should be short, and not more than ten to twelve words. Center the title on the top of the page and put the title in sentence case. On the new line, center your first name, middle initial, and last name. If you have a suffix in your name (like Jr. or III), put a space between the last name and the suffix. The name of your college or university should be listed on a new line. List the city or state, if the place where you conducted research is not at a college or a university.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>