Writing an Outstanding Comparative Essays: A Comprehensive Guide

Comparative essays are the part of academic writing that helps us to compare two or more things. The nature of the subjects to be compared varies from task to task. Different tasks need a writer to compare different things. Some of them are:

  1. Sometimes we use the comparative essay to contrast different positions
  2. In social sciences, comparative essays help to compare different theories, models and concepts.
  3. Still, some comparative essays compare artistic creations.
  4. Further, other describes the reviews on the manuscript written by different authors
  5. Comparative essays are the best option to compare or contrast past or future events in chronological order.

No matter what type of study you want to conduct, whenever it includes comparison, the best possible option will be a comparative essay. Remember, when the tutor uses the term compare, you need to compare or contrast by highlighting the differences and similarities. No matter if you are hiring essay writing services or writing your essay yourself, if your tasks also include such comparison, then this step by step guide to writing a comparative essay will help you stand out.

A Step By Step Guide To Write A Comparative Essay

Know The Basics

Knowing the basics of the comparison must be the first step of every comparative essay. Without a basic understanding, you won’t write an outstanding comparative essay. In general, the writers choose to write a comparative essay in two scenarios. The first one is Choice-based, while the other one is on the tutor’s instructions. If you are writing a comparative essay on the tutor’s instructions, then the assignment brief will be your roadmap.

In this scenario, for basic understanding, you must read the assignment brief properly. After reading the assignment brief, make a task list. Moving forward after following the checklist will help you to know what to compare. But, in another scenario, when you are writing of your own will, personal skills and topic of interest will help to drive your basic understanding.

Pick Out The Similarities And Differences:

Once you get the reason for your comparative essay, the next step will be to locate the similarities between the things you need to compare. For this, the most important skill is critical thinking. The more critique nature you have, the more similarities you can pick between things. Are you done with all possible similarities? Move on to differences. Start reading or examining the text or image again. Finding differences between things need little more effort than finding the similarities. Though, it also depends on the things. If you are comparing two closely related things, then finding differences will be difficult. But, if you are comparing two entirely different things/ concepts, finding similarities will be a great challenge. In either case, making a list (differences/similarities) will suggest you a structure of the comparative essay. Let’s come to the structure of a comparative essay.

Structure Of A Comparative Essay

While structuring a comparative essay, different methods are useful. Let’s discuss a few of them in detail; you can opt for any of these to structure the comparative essay.

The Block Approach:

The comparative essay will be structured by block approach if it contains a critical reading of different paragraphs subjecting to different aspects. Suppose a writer is composing a comparative essay on two book reviews. Then, by block approach, he must devote one or two paragraphs to explaining the text in each. It must highlight the ways how two different books address the same topic. After that, the main body paragraphs will discuss the similarities/ dissimilarities between the two. Proceeding towards the conclusion will need the comparison to be concluded with some final thoughts. Though the block approach seems easy, it needs writers to remain in touch; otherwise, linking issues may arise. Further, to address linking issues, strong linking words/phrases are of prime importance.

The Woven Approach

Are you interested in a more sophisticated approach? Consider the woven approach; this is one of the most sophisticated approaches to structure a comparative essay. Here, within each paragraph, it draws evidence from both books. Topic sentence, instead of using facts or characters from the individual text, uses the general topic ideas. Hence, this method allows you to explore the content from each book in one paragraph side by side. This type of comparative essay seems difficult to draft at first. But, don’t worry, practice makes a man perfect.

The Alternative Method

This is a widely used method to structure a comparative essay. It is difficult to handle, so you need some tricks and little hard work to aim for excellence. The alternative method is the point-point comparison approach. Here, one paragraph focuses on the one contrast with one subject. While for others, we pick another trait characteristic and point. After discussing all points regarding one subject, we will move to another subject. The process continues until or unless each, and every point has been discussed.

Though these three approaches deal with the techniques to develop a comparative essay in-depth, all essays must contain only three headings.


An introduction is a part that sets the tone of your comparative essay. The best way to start an introduction is to use a rhetorical or bold statement/question. After that, introduce the subject or subjects you will examine in the essay. Before ending the introduction, don’t forget to place the thesis statement. After ensuring all these points, you can move to the body of the essay.


The body of a paragraph can be structured by using any of the above-mentioned methods. The number of paragraphs in the body still depends on the intellectual honesty and checklist (containing similarities and dissimilarities). But, another necessary thing in paragraph structuring details includes consistency. Make sure while drafting a comparative essay that you are using one and only one method of structuring. A comparative essay containing different paragraphs structured on different methods will lose its worth.


To produce a great comparative essay, you need to end it with an outstanding conclusion. Still, an outstanding conclusion must contain a few vital elements.

  1. All necessary traits are discussed in the body.
  2. What do you conclude after the comparison?
  3. End it one some strong final thoughts.

I hope you liked this article. For more, stay tuned.