How to Write A Comparative Essay Compare: Showing the similarities and differences between two things. Contrast: Showing the differences between two things. What is a Comparative Essay? An essay that is both expository and persuasive. An essay that deals with two texts (Example: After the War and Speak or Romeo and Juliet and Forbidden City). A comparative essay deals with both similarities and differences within the two texts. The comparative essay is a piece of critical writing, which presents students with an opportunity to analyze and evaluate texts based on a given idea, prompt, or topic. Comparison Basketball Volleyball Players – 5 on floor Players – 6 on floor Court - larger Court - smaller Equipment - similar Equipment - similar Methods of Development There are 2 main methods of development: BLOCK METHOD Novel 1: Topics A, B, and C Novel 2: Topics A, B, and C Novel 1 & 2: Similarities and differences Sample Outline: How does a character change? BP1: After The War (RUTH) Character in beginning What causes the change? Character at the end BP2: Romeo and Juliet (JULIET) Character in beginning What causes the change? Character at the end BP3: Compare both characters Show the similarities and differences between Ruth and Juliet’s character change SIDE-BY-SIDE Novel 1&2: Topic A Novel 1&2: Topic B Novel 1&2: Topic C Sample Outline: Character Change BP1: Characters in beginning After The War (RUTH) and Romeo and Juliet (JULIET) Show the similarities and differences BP2: What causes the character to change? After The War (RUTH) and Romeo and Juliet (JULIET) Show the similarities and differences BP3: Characters at the end After The War (RUTH) and Romeo and Juliet (JULIET) Show the similarities and differences What Should I Include in My Comparative Essay? Begin with a strong introductory paragraph As part of your introduction, ensure you have a clear thesis statement After you state your thesis, preview the supporting points you will focus on (I.E. Conflict, Symbolism, and Character) Details/References/Explanations/ Use Quotes that Support your Ideas Transition Terms are very important Conclusion Planning your essay Making an Outline Outline: Sample Introduction Topic A – Conflict in After the War & Romeo and Juliet Topic B – Relationships in After the War & Romeo and Juliet Topic C – Setting in After the War & Romeo and Juliet Conclusion *5 Paragraphs *Maintain the order of the texts in the body paragraphs Introduction Begin with a strong lead, which ‘hooks’ the reader Provide necessary background info: Authors, Texts, Relevant History State Your Thesis Preview the supporting details for your thesis (Use Transition Words) End the intro with a transitioning sentence to the first topic Body Paragraphs Be Specific EXPLAIN, rather than RE-TELLING THE STORY Use Quotes that support what you are arguing Keep. It. Simple. = CLARITY Sample Character change in R&J Character change in ATW Juliet: obedient daughter Ruth: Depressed-dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust Falls in love and marries Romeo Rebels: refuses to marry Paris Journey to Palestine Transition sentence: In the end: has hope and is able to love Similarly, there is an important change of character in After the War Concluding sentence, transition to next paragraph. Conclusion Consider re-stating your thesis (perhaps not word for word) Summarize the essay – bring it all together Offer any parting reflections or a reflective question DON’T try to re explain anything!
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