One of the most commonly used essay types is a comparative essay. Along with other essay types such as descriptive essays, analytical or critical essays, comparative essays are a staple of any University curriculum. That’s why every student should know the basics of writing a comparative essay.
It is not difficult to guess that comparative essays involve compare and contrast activities. Students are often asked to compare literary works like two short stories with the same or similar idea. They are also asked to compare theories, models, strategies, styles and many more as their academic tasks. In the real life people employ comparative analysis far more often than they may imagine.
Actually comparison is the great strategy to know better any object of reality. During the compare and contrast process one cognizes deeply every aspect of the objects under investigation to find out what is in common for them and what makes them different.
Comparison always involves finding similarities and differences of the contrasting objects. One has to dismantle the object into separate parts, make a contrasting analysis and mantle these parts back to see an overall picture clearly. For example, you have to compare two stories by different authors starting from theme, characters up to the choice of descriptive elements. First, you are to look what is common between the characters of two stories, how the main idea is conveyed in both of them, etc. Then you are to explore the differences and combine all elements to produce a certain conclusion. You should also mind that issues under comparison should belong to the same category. So, you cannot compare the theme with one of the characters.
It is better to understand the mission of a comparative essay by means of an example. Let’s take William Faulkner’s “Barn Burning” and the film “Big Lebowski.” What is common for these stories? Both are symbolic. Both carry out symbolic meaning through the depiction of a rug. They both feature a rug as an embodiment of some wider concept – wealth and superiority. In both cases the rug is identified with the owner. Both authors show that damaging the possession of a person can inflict humiliation to the owner. To compare these two stories a student needs to see the rug in the context of both stories and define its symbolic meaning. For this he/she has to be familiar with both stories and know different individual aspects of two pieces.
Comparison is both an easy and difficult task as one needs to do an in-depth analysis to identify individual aspects of two objects and unite them as possessing something in common or something different. On the other hand, everyone has basic skills of doing comparisons, as it is often used in real life. That’s why everyone can easily acquire basic skills of comparative writing.
However, sometimes it is difficult to make comparison due to unfamiliarity or complexity of the topic under research. There’s nothing exceptionable if you look for qualified assistance in writing a comparative essay at PhDify.com. Professional writers who are a dab hand at writing all kinds of essays are always ready to help you in this challenging task.
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