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How to Write a Comparative Essay

What is a Comparative Essay – a short definition

❶Take a few minutes to map out your plan before starting to write.

Why Is It Essential To Have An Organized And Clear Outline For Your Compare And Contrast Essay?

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: A Point-By-Point Organization
How to start a good comparative essay – tips

This step involves identifying what will feature in your essay. It involves identifying the similarities and differences of the items in comparison. You need to develop a list of ways in which the subjects are the same and how they are different. This list will enable you to develop the initial plan of the essay.

The list should be thoroughly evaluated so that only the main points of comparison are considered for the essay. The focus should be mainly on the points that are related and those that are of less significance should be cancelled. For an essay to be developed there must be a clear thesis statement that guides the author. In order to come up with the thesis statement, you should first look at the list containing the various aspects of comparison then decide whether the subjects tend to be more similar or they are quite different.

Based on this judgment a simple comparative essay thesis statement should be developed. This thesis statement should be a reflection of how the subjects share similarities and how they are different.

In complex cases, the essay statement should highlight both the similarities of the subjects while not forgetting their differences. Essays have different structures. A comparative essay is therefore not an exception since it must be organized in such a way that the comparisons made in the essay can be easily followed by the reader.

In this method, the aspect of comparison if fully handled in one paragraph. What this means is that a full paragraph is used in explaining in detail one item of comparison in relation to the first subject.

This will then be followed by another paragraph that also explicitly explains the same aspect but now it deals with the second subject. This is to say that the first and second paragraph explains the same aspect of comparison but deals with the first and second subject respectively.

This therefore means the third and fourth paragraph will be dealing with another aspect but for the first and second subject respectively. This sequence goes on until the end of the essay. Here one paragraph is devoted to explaining the way the subjects compare based on one aspect. This means that you begin by handling the first subject then finish by tackling the second one. This is quite the easiest method though very dangerous.

The basic principle here is to divide the essay into two parts. The first part devoted to one subject and the second part devoted to the other subject. This means that subject one and all the items of comparison involved are explain in the first part then the second part handles only subject two. However, you should be keen to ensure that the order of the first part is strictly followed in the second part to allow for easy following and relation.

As mentioned earlier, this is a very dangerous method because one can view it as one sided and it also poses a challenge to reader in the process of relating the subjects. At this point, we have killed the elephant in the room, which is developing the content of our comparative essay and deciding the essay structure that we are going to use. We are now left with writing the essay.

The essay format of a comparative essay is just like that of any other essay, and it should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction paragraph is mainly about giving the reader a glimpse of the essay in terms of its content and the expectation of the reader.

It should therefore be simple and clear. It should also have a thesis statement that highlights the purpose of the essay and what is going to be discussed not forgetting a simple conclusion. At this stage, you are just transferring what you had while identifying the things about the subject you are going to compare and organizing them in the preferred structure. The conclusion is meant to give the reader an overview of the essay. This is made up of a review of what has been captured in the body paragraph followed by a conclusion about the two subjects.

The conclusion should be a product of the identified similarities and differences and NOT of personal preferences. There are always some small errors that you may not notice while writing your essay. Once you are done with everything, and you still have time left before submitting your work, make sure you go through it to remove some small errors that might cost you a good grade.

The list of topics that can fall under this docket is endless. However, there are some common topics such as:. It is always very important to go through a comparative essay sample.

This is because it helps in guiding you on the structure of the essay and therefore building your capacity to write a better one. Some political and economic ideologies have been adopted by different countries. Understand the type of essay.

A change-over-time essay asks you to analyze how over a specific time period, a culture or civilization has changed. Factors you could examine include: You might be able to focus on the areas in which you are strongest. You have forty minutes to complete this question on the AP exam. Take a few minutes to map out your plan before starting to write. When answering this question, be sure to follow directive words. If the prompt asks you to look at migration and environmental factors during colonialism, be sure to talk about both factors.

Make sure that you ground your essay in the historical context of the prompt. Show your mastery and understanding of the social or political climates during that time. How did environmental conditions shift, for example, during the Industrial Revolution?

What were the connections to technological development? Look for changes over time and things that remained the same or were continuous. Include dates when relevant. For example, "Although Christianity spread through colonialism, its impact in China was relatively small in comparison to other countries e.

In China, Buddhism remained as a mainstay because of missionaries' inability to connect with the local people in location M, N, etc. Use examples you have learned from class and your studies to support your point. Choose stories that demonstrate change and continuity and the forces driving those processes. Aim to be relevant. For example, if you are writing about the Crusades, drawing parallels to the Mongols and spirituality's influence on their wars is an interesting side-point.

Unless you were asked to compare the role of religion in war, however, the point is probably not necessary to mention! Keep grading factors in mind.

Graders will look at the strength of your thesis and that you discuss appropriate global issues. You also must answer every part of the question. Use relevant evidence that you have learned in class or studying to back up your claims. Make sure to convey the continuity or change elements of this essay. While your last essay comparative focuses heavily on making comparisons, you should seek to have a linear argument for the continuity and change essay. Good essays tie change and continuity together.

For example, an important agricultural change could lead to a technological innovation that becomes a continuity. Students demonstrate via comparative essays that they can look at two civilizations or regions and recognize how they are similar or different. You should examine why there are similarities or differences. What are the reasons behind them? You have forty minutes to write this essay. Spend the first five minutes outlining your argument. Students must show that they can follow the prompt.

Be sure to understand the meaning of these words. Before you start writing your essay, jot down an outline with your key points. Decide what will go into each paragraph. By having a map of your plan, you will be able to write more efficiently and quickly. When making your thesis statement, key in mind the directive words. If the prompt says you must compare, then make sure you offer a comparison in your thesis statement.

When drawing comparisons, think about two topics you know a lot about. Of course, some prompts will lead you to analyze specific groups but if you are allowed to choose your examples, lean on your strengths. For example, if the prompt asks you to compare the role of religion in war between two societies, you could pick the Ancient Hebrews and early Muslims. If, however, you know more about the Christian Crusaders and the spiritualist Mongols, go for that comparison.

As long as you can support your points with thorough examples and your examples answer the question at hand, use what you know best. Like with the change-over-time essay, graders will look to see that you can argue well, explain the reason for changes, and synthesize your arguments. Because comparison is the focus of this essay, particular attention will be given to how you compare and contrast the regions.

What details do you provide? How do you explain the different historical, social, or contexts that result in differences? Particularly you must show that you: Can develop a solid thesis Answer every part of the question Provide evidence to back up your thesis Make minimally one preferably more direct comparisons between regions or societies Examine one reason for the difference between regions.


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period of time; and the comparative essay asks you to compare and contrast two episodes, cultures, religions, or other historical phenomenon from a given period. Writing a thesis for an AP World History essay is a little different from other.

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COMPARE AND CONTRAST AP ESSAY Remember: l. Introduction should be no longer than sentences. 2. Thesis must be clear, analytical (i.e.,complex - arguable, tenable and comprehensive (i.e., thesis must incorporate all parts of the prompt question) A good thesis "lights the way" and provides a travel direction for the rest of the essay. 3.

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AP World History How do I write a Comparative Essay for AP World History? Example: "Compare and contrast methods of political control of the Han dynasty and the Roman Empire." 1st Paragraph Show you understand the prompt. Answer the prompt briefly with a thesis statement. Example: "Both the Han dynasty and the Roman Empire were bureaucratic. Writing an AP essay for world history can be an intimidating task for many students simply because of all of the factual information that is involved and much it is presented without much discussion concerning the context of the events.

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First of all, you should know what does comparative mean. You might write an essay full of good ideas but fail to answer the question. It is therefore advisable to first study the prompt at length highlighting the key words to identify the exact need. A comparative essay on the events of World War I and World War II; Comparison between. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: A Point-By-Point Organization. By point-by-point, we merely mean a comparison that concentrates on comparing and contrasting one factor in both subjects, and all at the same time! As a reader, you’ll quickly follow its simple structure. Even the simplest compare and contrast essays.