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Practical Guidelines On Creating An English Comparative Essay

Comparative essays are often assigned to analyze certain works of English literature. Students are not always enthusiastic about these types of academic writing. The problem is that the comparison should be based on two literary works: novels, poems, or stories, and it may be rather difficult to decide what to compare (especially if you haven’t received a detailed prompt) and how to organize your ideas in a proper way. The following guidelines will help you create a strong English comparative essay on any topic.

  • Carefully read the texts that you should write about.
  • It is impossible to write a good comparative paper if you haven’t read the needed literary works. Moreover, it is desirable that you reread the texts carefully before you settle down to writing. Note down all relevant ideas in the process of reading. Of course, you won’t have to reread two novels for the sake of writing your English essay. Just look them through to refresh the plot.

  • Decide on the basis for your comparison.
  • Read the essay prompt. Your teacher must have told you already what aspects should be considered in the first place. If you are just asked to compare two texts, it is necessary to define the limits of your comparison. Namely, you may analyze the use of language in two poems about love, or write about how two writers perceive childhood in their short stories or describe wars in their novels.

  • Make a list of similarities and differences.
  • Write down all ideas about common and different points of English texts that come to your head. At this stage, the notes that you have taken before may come in handy.

  • Create an outline.
  • Decide how you will represent your ideas. As a rule, comparative essays consist of six paragraphs: an introduction, four body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The most difficult part is to decide how you will arrange the body of your work. You can devote two paragraphs to each text (one for similarities and one for differences), or analyze similarities in the first two paragraphs and write about differences in the remaining ones.

  • Write your comparative essay.
  • Follow your outline. Remember to prove your ideas with the apt examples from the texts. You may also be asked to support your points by citing literary critics in the field.

  • Edit.
  • Check if your arguments are relevant and if your English essay is consistent. Ask someone else to read and assess your work. Correct the mistakes. You did a good job, and your paper is likely to receive a high mark.