How to write a comparative essay: what needs to be included
A comparative essay should focus on comparing two different objects, people, ideas, concepts, or places. To write a well-crafted comparative essay, the most important thing you can do is to stay organized and ensure it includes everything it should. Here’s how.
The introduction of your comparative essay should do several things. It should identify, of course, the two things you are comparing. They should each be described briefly and individually (without outright comparison) at this point. It should also give the reader a firm understanding of why the writer chose those things to compare. Is it because they’re obviously alike? Is it because they seem very different, but the author will reveal that they’re more similar than expected?
The body paragraphs of the comparative essay should each have their own main idea. The main idea for each body paragraph should be a way in which the two things being compared are alike. Begin the paragraph by briefly describing this main idea, and then concisely relate it to each of the things being compared. Continue by describing in depth how it applies to the first item of comparison, and then do the same for the second item of comparison. Finally, conclude the paragraph by summarizing the main idea and transitioning smoothly to the next paragraph. Depending on the length of the essay, there should be 3-5 body paragraphs. If the essay is intended to be longer than two or three pages, however, the main ideas may need to be divided into sections, each one having multiple paragraphs. If that is the case, simply lengthen the introduction of the main idea for the section into a paragraph, write a paragraph about one of the items of comparison, write another for the other item, and then a fourth paragraph to summarize and transition.
The conclusion of the essay should summarize each of the main ideas the writer explored in the body of the essay. Describe the two things being compared and relate the main ideas to both of them. It can be suitable at this point to mention how the things being compared differ a bit as well. Finally, spend the last sentence or two giving the reader a lasting impression of how these two things are comparable and finish the essay up in style.