How to Write a Comparative Essay

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					                                                                                         Mrs. Cordeiro - 1 -
                             How to Write a Comparative Essay
Step 1: Brainstorm
    Major themes and issues
    Important conflicts
    Essential elements of plot
    The effects of the plot on the meaning of the story
    Parallel plots or concepts in the texts
    Elements that are very different from each other, but still comparable

  Text A:________________________________               Text B:__________________________________




Step 2: Compare/ Contrast
    Look at all of the elements of the “stuff” you have written down and group them into two categories:
       similar or different.
    You may think of some more things at this point. Feel free to write them down as well
    Try to write down as many ideas as you possibly can
    Ignore the box to the left for now, which is labeled “Idea #”

Idea              Similar (Comparable)                  Idea              Different (Contrasting)
  #                                                       #
                Text A               Text B                             Text A              Text B
       Ex//                                                    In Cinderella, she has   In Snow White, she
       In Cinderella, she        In Snow White, she            a Fairy-Godmother        has a group of elves
       becomes the victim of     becomes the victim            who is her aid, and       who take her in to
       an evil stepmother who of an evil witch                 guide who grants         protect her and let
       aims to hurt her          witch who is jealous          her wishes               her stay with them
       emotionally because       of her beauty
       she is more beautiful than her daughters.
                                                                                 Mrs. Cordeiro - 2 -
                Text A               Text B                             Text A    Text B




                Text A               Text B                             Text A     Text B




                Text A               Text B                             Text A     Text B




                Text A               Text B                             Text A     Text B




                Text A               Text B                             Text A     Text B




Step 3: Grouping
    Go back to the chart you just created and look at all of your ideas.
                                                                                        Mrs. Cordeiro - 3 -
       Use numbers to group them into similar ideas. What makes them similar? Give the grouping a one or
        two word name. We will call these arguments to avoid confusion.

       Argument 1                Argument 2                  Argument 3                  Argument 4




       If you end up having more than three groups, try to eliminate one by either manipulating your idea, or
        dropping one. Consider if there are two that are overlapping.
       Go back and change your number in the chart if you have to in order to account for your three groups

Step 4: Big Idea
    What do your three groups have in common?
    Brainstorm some ideas to come up with the Big Connecting Idea. The result will be your essay
       topic.
    If you find yourself having trouble. Try looking back at your original brainstorm chart about your two
       texts. How does this relate to what you have written down now?




                My Final Main Topic Is: ________________________________
Step 5: Determining Your Stance
    What is your position on your topic?
    How does your topic relate to the meaning of your book? How do you feel about the meaning of your
       book?
    What is the result of the book? What happens at the end of both texts? How does this relate to your
       topic?
    How do you feel about your topic in general?
    Keep asking yourself the “So What” question, until you can’t answer it any more. That usually leads
       you to your position on your topic.

My Position on my Topic Is: __________________________________________________
                                                                                         Mrs. Cordeiro - 4 -
Step 6: Creating Argument Outlines
    Use the organizer below to outline your ideas for your paragraphs. Use Steps 2 and 3 for this chart.
    Leave “Proof” empty for now.
Arguments                         Point                                 Proof
                                  1)                                    1)
Group 1:

Topic/ Argument Sentence:

                                    2)                                   2)




                                    3)                                   3)




                                    1)                                   1)
Group 2:

Topic/ Argument Sentence:

                                    2)                                   2)




                                    3)                                   3)




                                    1)                                   1)
Group 3:

Topic/ Argument Sentence:

                                    2)                                   2)




                                    3)                                   3)
                                                                                          Mrs. Cordeiro - 5 -
Step 7: Format
    There are essentially three ways you can write a Comparative Essay.
    “Arguments” refer to your argument groupings from Step 3.
    “Points” refer to your ideas from your compare contrast chart from Step 2.
    You can either choose to write your essay in three bulk paragraphs or six smaller paragraphs. See
       chart below to help you.
         Method One                         Method Two                           Method Three

Argument 1:      Paragraph 1      Argument 1:       Paragraph 1          Argument 1:      Paragraph 1
Point 1 Text A   Paragraph 1      Point 1 Text A    Paragraph 1          Point 1 Text A   Paragraph 1
Point 1 Text B   Paragraph 1      Point 2 Text A    Paragraph 1          Point 2 Text A   Paragraph 1
Point 2 Text A   Paragraph 1      Point 3 Text A    Paragraph 1          Point 3 Text A   Paragraph 1
Point 2 Text B   Paragraph 1      Point 1 Text B    Paragraph 2
Point 3 Text A   Paragraph 1      Point 2 Text B    Paragraph 2          Argument 2:      Paragraph 2
Point 3 Text B   Paragraph 1      Point 3 Text B    Paragraph 2          Point 1 Text A   Paragraph 2
                                                                         Point 2 Text A   Paragraph 2
Argument 2: Paragraph 2           Argument 2:       Paragraph 3          Point 3 Text A   Paragraph 2
Point 1 Text A Paragraph 2        Point 1 Text A    Paragraph 3
Point 1 Text B Paragraph 2        Point 2 Text A    Paragraph 3          Argument 3:       Paragraph 3
Point 2 Text A Paragraph 2        Point 3 Text A    Paragraph 3          Point 1 Text A    Paragraph 3
Point 2 Text B Paragraph 2        Point 1 Text B    Paragraph 4          Point 2 Text A    Paragraph 3
Point 3 Text A Paragraph 2        Point 2 Text B    Paragraph 4          Point 3 Text A    Paragraph 3
Point 3 Text B Paragraph 2        Point 3 Text B    Paragraph 4
                                                                         Argument 1:        Paragraph 4
Argument 3: Paragraph 3           Argument 3:       Paragraph 5          Point 1 Text B     Paragraph 4
Point 1 Text A Paragraph 3        Point 1 Text A    Paragraph 5          Point 2 Text B     Paragraph 4
Point 1 Text B Paragraph 3        Point 2 Text A    Paragraph 5          Point 3 Text B     Paragraph 4
Point 2 Text A Paragraph 3        Point 3 Text A    Paragraph 5
Point 2 Text B Paragraph 3        Point 1 Text B    Paragraph 6          Argument 2:        Paragraph 5
Point 3 Text A Paragraph 3        Point 2 Text B    Paragraph 6          Point 1 Text B     Paragraph 5
Point 3 Text B Paragraph 3        Point 3 Text B    Paragraph 6          Point 2 Text B     Paragraph 5
                                                                         Point 3 Text B     Paragraph 5

                                                                         Argument 3:        Paragraph 6
                                                                         Point 1 Text B     Paragraph 6
                                                                         Point 2 Text B     Paragraph 6
                                                                         Point 3 Text B     Paragraph 6

                        I Am Going to Use Method # _______________
Step 8: Proof
    Go back to Step 6 and identify a proof for each point from both texts. Write the page number that
       you found it on and indicate the appropriate text. You may want to do a larger version of your quotes
       on a separate sheet of paper.

Step 9: Outline
    Make an essay outline for you to use for your final draft based on the method that you chose. Do this
       on a sheet of paper or using a graphic organizer of your choice.
    Ensure you have a strong thesis and good topic sentences. Use the Intro Organizer on the next page.
                                                                                  Mrs. Cordeiro - 6 -
Introduction Organizer:

Paragraph 1:

Hook:




Background Info:













Topic:

Stance:

Link:

Arg 1:

Arg 2:

Arg 3:

                          Final Thesis:




                                                                      ___________

                          Step 10: Write!
                          Go ahead and write your essay. Don’t forget about the stages of writing,
                          and ensure that you leave time for thorough editing!

				
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