A Quick Guide To Writing A Comparative Literary Essay
In a comparative essay you are meant to compare two different items. You need to analyze them in detail, and to emphasize what they have in common and what is different about them. In theory, it sounds easy and if you pay attention you can finish your composition in only a few hours. Before you start, you have to review the requirements of your professor very carefully; you would not want to get a bad grade only because you did not follow his instructions. If you don’t know from where to start and how to write it, follow this short guide:
- Choose a suitable topic. This, of course, only if your professor did not assign you a specific topic. You have to find two elements that have something in common or belong to the same category. For example, you can choose two political systems, two teaching methods or two books. You can not compare a book and a car. Also, make sure that your classmates will be interested in the subject.
- Create an outline. This will serve as a structure for your essay and you will be sure that you will not forget any important points. Of course, since the composition is not very long you will create only a few chapters. Make sure that you use a relevant title for each chapter; this will be very important for your professor.
- Start writing. You can either write one similarity and one difference, or you can divide your text in two parts and take care of each category. Either way, you need to be careful to details and to pay attention to every small idea. It can turn into a vital similarity and if you do not emphasize it in your text, it will look like you did not try hard enough.
- Use references when needed. If you discuss about two books and you want to emphasize a similarity, you can use helpful expressions such as “These books are similar because the author said...” and you introduce the quote. This will show that you really analyzed every idea, and that you did not randomly search for similarities or differences. If you can’t find a clear argument for your idea, you can build it on your own opinion. However, try to do avoid doing this too often; your professor cares about facts, not opinions.