• Utility Menu

University Logo

  • Questions about Expos?
  • Writing Support for Instructors
  • How to Write a Comparative Analysis

Throughout your academic career, you'll be asked to write papers in which you compare and contrast two things: two texts, two theories, two historical figures, two scientific processes, and so on. "Classic" compare-and-contrast papers, in which you weight A and B equally, may be about two similar things that have crucial differences (two pesticides with different effects on the environment) or two similar things that have crucial differences, yet turn out to have surprising commonalities (two politicians with vastly different world views who voice unexpectedly similar perspectives on sexual harassment).

In the "lens" (or "keyhole") comparison, in which you weight A less heavily than B, you use A as a lens through which to view B. Just as looking through a pair of glasses changes the way you see an object, using A as a framework for understanding B changes the way you see B. Lens comparisons are useful for illuminating, critiquing, or challenging the stability of a thing that, before the analysis, seemed perfectly understood. Often, lens comparisons take time into account: earlier texts, events, or historical figures may illuminate later ones, and vice versa.

Faced with a daunting list of seemingly unrelated similarities and differences, you may feel confused about how to construct a paper that isn't just a mechanical exercise in which you first state all the features that A and B have in common, and then state all the ways in which A and B are different. Predictably, the thesis of such a paper is usually an assertion that A and B are very similar yet not so similar after all. To write a good compare-and-contrast paper, you must take your raw data—the similarities and differences you've observed—and make them cohere into a meaningful argument. Here are the five elements required.

Frame of Reference .  This is the context within which you place the two things you plan to compare and contrast; it is the umbrella under which you have grouped them. The frame of reference may consist of an idea, theme, question, problem, or theory; a group of similar things from which you extract two for special attention; biographical or historical information. The best frames of reference are constructed from specific sources rather than your own thoughts or observations. Thus, in a paper comparing how two writers redefine social norms of masculinity, you would be better off quoting a sociologist on the topic of masculinity than spinning out potentially banal-sounding theories of your own. Most assignments tell you exactly what the frame of reference should be, and most courses supply sources for constructing it.  If you encounter an assignment that fails to provide a frame of reference, you must come up with one on your own.  A paper without such a context would have no angle on the material, no focus or frame for the writer to propose a meaningful argument.

Grounds for Comparison .  Let's say you're writing a paper on global food distribution, and you've chosen to compare apples and oranges. Why these particular fruits? Why not pears and bananas? The rationale behind your choice, the  grounds for comparison , lets your reader know why your choice is deliberate and meaningful, not random. For instance, in a paper asking how the "discourse of domesticity" has been used in the abortion debate, the grounds for comparison are obvious; the issue has two conflicting sides, pro-choice and pro-life. In a paper comparing the effects of acid rain on two forest sites, your choice of sites is less obvious. A paper focusing on similarly aged forest stands in Maine and the Catskills will be set up differently from one comparing a new forest stand in the White Mountains with an old forest in the same region. You need to indicate the reasoning behind your choice.

Thesis .  The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference. But in a compare-and-contrast, the thesis depends on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to one another. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another? In the most common compare-and-contrast paper—one focusing on differences—you can indicate the precise relationship between A and B by using the word "whereas" in your thesis:

Whereas  Camus perceives ideology as secondary to the need to address a specific historical moment of colonialism, Fanon perceives a revolutionary ideology as the impetus to reshape Algeria's history in a direction toward independence.

Whether your paper focuses primarily on difference or similarity, you need to make the relationship between A and B clear in your thesis. This relationship is at the heart of any compare-and-contrast paper.

Organizational Scheme .  Your introduction will include your frame of reference, grounds for comparison, and thesis. There are two basic ways to organize the body of your paper.

  • In  text-by-text , you discuss all of A, then all of B.
  • In  point-by-point , you alternate points about A with comparable points about B.

If you think that B extends A, you'll probably use a text-by-text scheme; if you see A and B engaged in debate, a point-by-point scheme will draw attention to the conflict. Be aware, however, that the point-by- point scheme can come off as a ping-pong game. You can avoid this effect by grouping more than one point together, thereby cutting down on the number of times you alternate from A to B. But no matter which organizational scheme you choose, you need not give equal time to similarities and differences. In fact, your paper will be more interesting if you get to the heart of your argument as quickly as possible. Thus, a paper on two evolutionary theorists' different interpretations of specific archaeological findings might have as few as two or three sentences in the introduction on similarities and at most a paragraph or two to set up the contrast between the theorists' positions. The rest of the paper, whether organized text- by-text or point-by-point, will treat the two theorists' differences.

You can organize a classic compare-and-contrast paper either text-by-text or point-by-point. But in a "lens" comparison, in which you spend significantly less time on A (the lens) than on B (the focal text), you almost always organize text-by-text. That's because A and B are not strictly comparable: A is merely a tool for helping you discover whether or not B's nature is actually what expectations have led you to believe it is.

Linking of A and B . All argumentative papers require you to link each point in the argument back to the thesis. Without such links, your reader will be unable to see how new sections logically and systematically advance your argument. In a compare-and contrast, you also need to make links between A and B in the body of your essay if you want your paper to hold together. To make these links, use transitional expressions of comparison and contrast ( similarly, moreover, likewise, on the contrary, conversely, on the other hand ) and contrastive vocabulary (in the example below,  Southerner/Northerner ).

As a girl raised in the faded glory of the Old South, amid mystical tales of magnolias and moonlight, the mother remains part of a dying generation. Surrounded by hard times, racial conflict, and limited opportunities, Julian,  on the other hand , feels repelled by the provincial nature of home, and represents a new Southerner, one who sees his native land through a condescending Northerner's eyes.

Copyright 1998, Kerry Walk, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

  • How to Read an Assignment
  • How to Do a Close Reading
  • Developing A Thesis
  • Topic Sentences and Signposting
  • Transitioning: Beware of Velcro
  • Ending the Essay: Conclusions
  • Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

Quick Links

Follow @HCWritingCenter

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples

Published on August 6, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 11, 2022.

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing . It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them.

Table of contents

When should i compare and contrast, making effective comparisons, comparing and contrasting as a brainstorming tool, structuring your comparisons, frequently asked questions about comparing and contrasting.

Many assignments will invite you to make comparisons quite explicitly, as in these prompts.

Some other prompts may not directly ask you to compare and contrast, but present you with a topic where comparing and contrasting could be a good approach.

One way to approach this essay might be to contrast the situation before the Great Depression with the situation during it, to highlight how large a difference it made.

Comparing and contrasting is also used in all kinds of academic contexts where it’s not explicitly prompted. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.

As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place.

For example, you might contrast French society before and after the French Revolution; you’d likely find many differences, but there would be a valid basis for comparison. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies.

This is why it’s important to clarify the point of your comparisons by writing a focused thesis statement . Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way. Consider what you’re trying to accomplish with any comparisons you make, and be sure to make this clear to the reader.

Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services

Discover proofreading & editing

Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might use it to compare different theories and approaches you’ve encountered in your preliminary research, for example.

Let’s say your research involves the competing psychological approaches of behaviorism and cognitive psychology. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them.

Or say you’re writing about the major global conflicts of the twentieth century. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram.

A Venn diagram showing the similarities and differences between World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.

These visualizations wouldn’t make it into your actual writing, so they don’t have to be very formal in terms of phrasing or presentation. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.

When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method.

The alternating method

In the alternating method, you structure your text according to what aspect you’re comparing. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:

Mouse over the example paragraph below to see how this approach works.

One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class. In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises. They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. Meanwhile, in a Zoom-based class, the lack of physical presence makes it more difficult to pay attention to individual students’ responses and notice frustrations, and there is less flexibility to speak with students privately to offer assistance. In this case, therefore, the traditional classroom environment holds the advantage, although it appears likely that aiding students in a virtual classroom environment will become easier as the technology, and teachers’ familiarity with it, improves.

The block method

In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you’re comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you’ve already said about the first. Your text is structured like this:

The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week (and to live near enough to feasibly do so), students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling. However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation. Furthermore, discomfort and distractions can hinder an individual student’s ability to engage with the class from home, creating divergent learning experiences for different students. Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others.

Note that these two methods can be combined; these two example paragraphs could both be part of the same essay, but it’s wise to use an essay outline to plan out which approach you’re taking in each paragraph.

Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.

Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .

Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.

You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2022, November 11). Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/compare-and-contrast/

Is this article helpful?

Jack Caulfield

Jack Caulfield

Other students also liked, how to write an expository essay, how to write an argumentative essay | examples & tips, academic paragraph structure | step-by-step guide & examples, what is your plagiarism score.

The Comparative Essay

What is a comparative essay?

A comparative essay asks that you compare at least two (possibly more) items. These items will differ depending on the assignment. You might be asked to compare

Although the assignment may say “compare,” the assumption is that you will consider both the similarities and differences; in other words, you will compare and contrast.

Make sure you know the basis for comparison

The assignment sheet may say exactly what you need to compare, or it may ask you to come up with a basis for comparison yourself.

Develop a list of similarities and differences

Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences between the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them.

For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations , being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity.

The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan.

Develop a thesis based on the relative weight of similarities and differences

Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights. A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Here are examples of the two main cases:

While Callaghan’s “All the Years of Her Life” and Mistry’s “Of White Hairs and Cricket” both follow the conventions of the coming-of-age narrative, Callaghan’s story adheres more closely to these conventions by allowing its central protagonist to mature. In Mistry’s story, by contrast, no real growth occurs.
Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time.

Come up with a structure for your essay

Note that the French and Russian revolutions (A and B) may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration. To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area. Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the body of your essay.

When do I use the block method? The block method is particularly useful in the following cases:

Instructor Resources

Comparative essay.

Compare two or more literary works that we have studied in this class. Your comparative essay should not only compare but also contrast the literary texts, addressing the similarities and differences found within the texts.

Step 1: Identify the Basis for Comparison

Identify the basis of comparison. In other words, what aspect of the literature will you compare? (Theme, tone, point of view, setting, language, etc.)

Step 2: Create a List of Similarities and Differences

Carefully examine the literary texts for similarities and difference using the criteria you identified in step 1.

Step 3: Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the author’s educated opinion that can be defended. For a comparative essay, your thesis statement should assert why the similarities and differences between the literary works matter.

Step 4: Create a Structure

Before drafting, create an outline. Your introduction should draw the reader in and provide the thesis statement. The supporting paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence that supports your thesis statement; each topic sentence should then be supported with textual evidence. The conclusion should summarize the essay and prompt the reader to continue thinking about the topic.

Word Count: approximately 1500 words

Outside Sources needed: none (but use plenty of textual evidence)

How to Write a Comparative Essay

Last Updated: November 22, 2022 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 15 testimonials and 85% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,665,162 times.

Perhaps you have been assigned a comparative essay in class, or need to write a comprehensive comparative report for work. In order to write a stellar comparative essay, you have to start off by picking two subjects that have enough similarities and differences to be compared in a meaningful way, such as two sports teams or two systems of government. Once you have that, then you have to find at least two or three points of comparison and use research, facts, and well-organized paragraphs to impress and captivate your readers. Writing the comparative essay is an important skill that you will use many times throughout your scholastic career.

How to Develop the Essay Content

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 1

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 2

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 3

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 4

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 5

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 6

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 7

How to Organize the Content

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 8

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 9

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 10

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 11

How to Write the Essay

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 12

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 13

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 14

Image titled Write a Comparative Essay Step 15

Expert Q&A Did you know you can get expert answers for this article? Unlock expert answers by supporting wikiHow

Christopher Taylor, PhD

Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer.

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

how to write a comparative literature essay

You Might Also Like

Write an Essay

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a comparative essay, start by writing an introduction that introduces the 2 subjects you'll be comparing. You should also include your thesis statement in the introduction, which should state what you've concluded based on your comparisons. Next, write the body of your essay so that each paragraph focuses on one point of comparison between your subjects. Finally, write a conclusion that summarizes your main points and draws a larger conclusion about the two things you compared. To learn how to do research for your essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

Reader Success Stories

Val Parker

Nov 21, 2017

Did this article help you?

Val Parker

Lisa Taylor

Aug 19, 2017

Brayden Ryan

Brayden Ryan

Aug 10, 2016

Antwanette Nottage

Antwanette Nottage

Feb 5, 2019

Bernice Sangmortey

Bernice Sangmortey

Nov 5, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Play FIFA 23 Career Mode

Trending Articles

Talk to a Girl in a Group

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Soup

Don’t miss out! Sign up for

wikiHow’s newsletter

Comparative Essay

Barbara P

How to Write a Comparative Essay – A Research Guide

Published on: Jan 28, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 19, 2022

Comparative Essay

On This Page On This Page

A comparative essay compares the two subjects and shows their similarities and differences. The subjects might have some close relation or may be very different.

This essay type is a common assignment for school and college students. Therefore, it is important to learn how to write properly. In this blog, you will get a complete writing guide for comparative essay writing.

What is a Comparative Essay?

A comparative essay is a type of essay in which an essay writer compares at least two or more items. The author compares two subjects with the same relation in terms of similarities and differences depending on the assignment.

The main purpose of the comparative essay is to:

A comparative essay is also known as  compare and contrast essay  or a comparison essay. It analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. The Venn diagram is the best tool for writing a paper about the comparison between two subjects.

Moreover, a comparative analysis essay discusses the similarities and differences of ideas, items, events, views, places, concepts, etc. For example, you can compare two different novels (e.g., The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Red Badge of Courage).

However, a comparative essay is not limited to specific topics. It covers almost every topic or subject with some relation.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job

Comparative Essay Structure

A good comparative essay is also based on how well you structure your essay. It helps the reader to understand your essay better. Also, the structure is more important than what you write.

Therefore, it is necessary to organize your essay so that the reader can easily go through the comparisons made in an essay. The following are the two main methods in which you can organize your comparative essay.

1. Point-by-Point Method

The point-by-point or alternating method provides a detailed overview of the items that you are comparing. In this method, organize items in terms of similarities and differences.

This method makes the writing phase easy for the writer to handle two completely different essay subjects. It is highly recommended where some depth and detail are required.

Below given is the structure of the point-by-point method.


Body Paragraphs

2. Block Method

The block method is the easiest as compared to the point-by-point method. In this method, you divide the information in terms of parameters. It means that the first paragraph compares the first subject and all their items, then the second one compares the second, and so on.

However, make sure that you write the subject in the same order. This method is best for lengthy essays and complicated subjects.

Here is the structure of the block method.

Therefore, keep these methods in mind and choose the one according to the chosen subject.

3. Mixed Paragraphs Method

In this method, one paragraph explains one aspect of the subject. As a writer, you will handle one point at a time and one by one. This method is quite beneficial as it allows you to give equal weightage to each subject and help the readers identify the point of comparison easily.

How to Start a Comparative Essay?

Here, we have gathered some steps that you should follow to start a well-written comparative essay.

1. Read the Instructions Carefully

Before starting, you have to analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. Sometimes, you have a great idea in your mind, but it does not match the prompt. Therefore, look over the prompt and create a list of the key phrases. Also, check whether any limits are placed on your topic.

2. Choose a Topic

The foremost step in writing a comparative essay is to choose a suitable topic. Choose a topic or theme that is interesting to write about and appeals to the reader. An interesting essay topic motivates the reader to know about the subject. Also, try to avoid complicated topics for your comparative essay.

3. Develop a List of Similarities and Differences

Create a list of similarities and differences between two subjects that you want to include in the essay. Moreover, this list helps you decide the basis of your comparison by constructing your initial plan. Evaluate the list and establish your argument and thesis statement.

4. Establish the Basis for Comparison

The basis for comparison is the ground for you to compare the subjects. In most cases, it is assigned to you, so check your assignment or prompt.

Furthermore, the main goal of the comparison essay is to inform the reader of something interesting. It means that your subject must be unique to make your argument interesting.

5. Do the Research

In this step, you have to gather information for your subject. If your comparative essay is about social issues, historical events, or science-related topics, you must do in-depth research.

However, make sure that you gather data from credible sources and cite them properly in the essay.

6. Create a Comparative Essay Thesis Statement

The thesis statement decides whether the similarities, on the whole, dominate the differences or vice versa. Your thesis statement will be clear and concise.

Therefore, develop the  thesis statement  that covers your entire essay. With the help of a thesis statement, you will easily stick to the essay’s main core.

How to Create a Comparative Essay Outline?

After writing the thesis statement, you will have to organize your content. The organization makes your essay structured and keeps you on the right path.

Here are some steps you do after creating the thesis statement. It will help you to organize and write a great comparative essay.

Write a proper comparative essay outline and include all the main information that you add to your essay. Here the structure of the outline is similar to the traditional essay outline. It consists of the following parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Comparative Essay Introduction

The introduction is the first part of an essay that the readers see. Therefore, you have to think about the hook statement. It is a statement that you include at the beginning of the introductory paragraph to grab the reader’s attention.

Then, you can move to the main goal of the essay. Provide some background information and conclude the introduction with a thesis statement.

Comparative Essay Body Paragraphs

The body of an essay will give the reader everything that they want to know about the subject. Write all the information clearly and concisely.

The following are the tips that you need to follow for writing essay body paragraphs.

Comparative Essay Conclusion

In this section, you need to restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points. Also, remind the reader why it is important to compare these two particular subjects. However, try to avoid writing any additional information in the  conclusion of the essay .

Below is the detailed comparative essay template format for you to understand better.

Format of Comparative Essay

Once you are done with creating the outline and writing your essay, proofread and revise it properly. It is an important step to produce a good piece of writing. Never skip this step before submitting or publishing your essay.

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Comparative Essay Examples

Have a look at these comparative essay examples and get an idea of the perfect essay.

Comparative Essay on Summer and Winter - Example

Comparative Essay on Books vs. Movies - Example

Sample Comparative Essay

Thesis Example of Comparative Essay

Comparative Essay Topics

Comparative essay topics are not very difficult or complex. Check this list of essay topics and pick the one that you want to write about.

Now, you get a complete writing guide for the comparative essay. However, if you need professional essay writing help, consult  MyPerfectWords.com . Our  legitimate essay writing service  provides great services to students who face a difficulty writing a quality essay.

So, hire the best  essay writer online  and get the well-written essay on time without any mistakes.

Frequently Asked Question

How long is a comparative essay.

A comparative essay is 4-5 pages long, but it depends on your chosen idea and topic.

How do you end a comparative essay?

Here are some tips that will help you to end the comparative essay.

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

People also read

Get Better at Math: Solving Math Problems Quick and Easy

Learn How to Write an Editorial on Any Topic

How to Avoid Plagiarism - Steps to a Plagiarism Free Paper

How to Write a Movie Review - Guide & Examples

How to Write a Summary - Beginner’s Guide & Example

How to Write an Opinion Essay – A Beginner’s Guide

Evaluation Essay - Definition, Examples, and Writing Tips

How to Write a Thematic Statement - Tips & Examples

How to Write a Bio - Quick Tips, Structure & Examples

How to Write a Synopsis – A Simple Format & Guide

Visual Analysis Essay Writing Guide - Format & Samples

List of Common Social Issues Around the World

Character Analysis - Outline, Writing Steps, and Examples

What are the Different Types of Plagiarism - Examples

Article Review - A Complete Writing Guide With Examples

A Detailed Guide on How to Write a Poem Step by Step

A Complete Appendix Writing Guide for Beginners

Share this article

Keep reading

Comparative Essay

We value your privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience and give you personalized content. Do you agree to our cookie policy?

Website Data Collection

We use data collected by cookies and JavaScript libraries.

Are you sure you want to cancel?

Your preferences have not been saved.

3+ Comparative Literature Essay Examples [ Journal, Jobs, Studies ]

Comparative literature essay, 3+ comparative literature essay examples, 1. comparative literature essay template, 2. sample comparative literature essay, 3. comparative literature essay example, 4. printable comparative literature essay, the definition for comparative, the description for comparative literature, use of comparative literature, tips to write a good comparative literature essay, how many topics do i need to compare, how many paragraphs do i need to write this type of essay, should i cite some of the research that i did on my essay, how many words does this essay take.

comparative literature essay template

More Design

6+ analytical essay examples, 5+ memoir essay examples, how to write a persuasive essay with examples, essay: purposes, types and examples examples, examples of writing a dbq essay, personal narrative essay examples, examples on writing an analytical essay (pdf) examples, examples of writing a satire essay examples, 23+ free essay examples, 10+ analogy examples examples, 9+ critical essay examples, examples of writing a narrative summary examples, related articles.

Free Comparative Literature Essay Examples & Topics

Comparative literature explores the relationship between works of fiction of different cultures and times. Its purpose is to establish the connection between specific genres, styles, and literary devices and the historical period. At the same time, it provides an insight into the meaning hidden between the lines of a given text.

What is a literary comparison essay? It is an academic paper that requires specific methodology but follows the typical rules. A student is expected to perform comparative textual analysis of a short story, novel, or any other piece of narrative writing. However, it is vital to remember that only the pieces that have something in common are comparable.

This is where all the challenges start. Without an in-depth literature review, it is not always clear which works can and should be compared. Which aspects should be considered, and which could be left out? The structure of a comparative essay is another stumbling rock.

For this reason, our team has prepared a brief guide. Here, you will learn how to write a successful comparative literature essay, and more importantly, what to write in it. And that’s not all! Underneath the article, we have prepared some comparative literary analysis essay examples written by students like you.

How to Write a Comparative Essay

Comparative literary analysis requires you to know how to correlate two different things in general. So let us start from the basics. This section explains how to write a comparative paper.

A good comparison essay structure relies on two techniques:

Using this technique, you dedicate two paragraphs for each new comparison aspect, one for each subject. It is the best way to establish similar and different features in two novels. Such comparative analysis works best for research, providing a detailed and well-structured text.

1st Body Paragraph: Social problems in Steinback’s works.

2nd Body Paragraph: Social problems in Hemingway’s works.

3rd Body Paragraph: Psychological problems in Steinback’s works.

4th Body Paragraph: Psychological problems in Hemingway’s works.

5th Body Paragraph: Interpersonal problems in Steinback’s works.

This approach means that you divide your essay in two. The first part discusses one text or author, and the second part analyzes the other. The challenge here is to avoid writing two disconnected papers under one title.

For this purpose, constantly refer the second part to the first one to show the differences and similarities. You should use the technique if you have more than two comparison subjects (add another paragraph for each next one). It also works well when there is little in common between the subjects.

1-3 Body Paragraphs: Description of rural labor in Steinback’s works.

4-6 Body Paragraphs: Description of rural labor in Hemingway’s works.

Depending on the chosen structure, you will formulate a thesis, distribute the arguments and supporting evidence. You can consult the possible options in our comparative literature essay examples.

How to Conduct Literary Comparison: Essay Tips

Let us move to the main point of this article: the comparison of literature. In this section, we will discuss how to write an ideal essay in this format.

We suggest you stick to the following action plan:

That’s it! Thank you for reading this article. For more examples of comparative literature essays, check the links below.

695 Best Essay Examples on Comparative Literature

Marquez’s and byatt’s short stories comparison, “the story of an hour” by chopin vs. “volar” by cofer.

Abuse of Power in “Iliad” and “Metamorphoses”

Kincaid’s “the girl” vs. chopin’s “the story of an hour”, vice in leguin’s, poe’s, and ruflo’s short stories, coping with changes in shakespeare’s “hamlet” and o’connor’s “a good man…”, “the raven” by poe and “the man in the black suit” by stephen king.

Chekhov’s “The Lady With the Little Dog” and Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Hemingway’, hughes’, and jimenez’ stories comparison, miller’s the death of a salesman vs. wilson’s fences, change in the concept of the warrior in literature: anglo-saxon and middle english period, ‘the minister’s black veil’ and ‘the scarlet letter’ by hawthrone, deceiving appearances in “hamlet” and “the lion king”, affection in “the handsomest drowned man in the world” by marquez and “the swimmer” by cheever, comparison between “a clean, well-lighted place” and “barn burning”, portrayal of illness by norma dunning vs. audre lorde.

Oedipus: Three-Way Compare and Contrast

The theme of “cosmic images: the pilgrim in paradise” as portrayed by suger and dante, hawthorne’s “rappacini’s daughter” and “the birthmark”: comparison, “the raven” and “the road not taken” by poe and frost, wilbur’s “the writer” and updike’s “a&p”: comparison, williams’ “the use of force” and polti’s “36 dramatic situations”, “mending wall” by robert frost and “the lottery” by shirley jackson, “night” by elie wiesel and the book of job comparison, oedipus and hamlet characters’ contrast and comparison.

Theme of Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” and Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado”

Relationship Between Parents and Children

The books “exit west” by hamid, “the garden party” by mansfield and “pygmalion” by shaw.

“Mr. China: A Memoir” and “The Question of Hu” — a Joint Review

Jonathan Spence’s “The Question of Hu” vs. Tim Clissold’s “Mr. China: A Memoir”

Ancient Egyptian and Greece Literature

Rilke’s “the panther” and ezra pound’s “in a station of the metro”: comparison and contrast.

Comparison Of A Theme in “A&P” And “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”

Gilgamesh, Iliad and Aeneid: On the Similarities in the Works

Of Mice and Men’ and ‘Death of a Salesman’ Compared

“The Lesson” by T.C.Bambara and “Death of a Salesman” by A.Miller: Separation From Reality

Poetry Analysis of Hayden’s “Frederic Douglass” and Harper’s “An Appeal to My Country Women”

O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

Characters in Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Greene’s “our man in havana” and “the great gatsby” by fitzgerald.

Women in Relationships: Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour” & Hemingway’s “Hills Like White Elephants”

“young goodman brown” and “the alchemist”: comparison.

Thematic Comparisons in the “Memoirs Wild” and “Ninety Days”

Renaissance Period Authors and Literature

Friel’s Play “Dancing at Lughnasa” and Joyce’s Story “Eveline”

The Representation of Treasured Objects in Comparative Literature

Comparison of “I Used to Live Here Once” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay”

Foster’s “Alpha Male” and Foley’s “Glengarry Glen Ross”

De Troyers, Euripides and Xenophon: Contrasting the Conclusions

John berger’s and walker percy’s philosophy and semiotics work, kafka and west: writers of loneliness.

Comparing and Contrasting Gregor Samsa and Homer Simpson

Rabia of Basra’s and Hadewijch of Brabant’s Poetry

“a rose for emily” by faulkner and “those who walk away from omelas” by le guin.

Hercules by Seneca and Euripides: Comparison

Wiesel’s night and solzhenitsyn’s a day in the life of ivan denisovich: concentration camps comparison.

“On the Golden Porch” and “Angela’s Ashes”: The Lives of a Minority

Chicano Literature on the Basis of Works of Anaya and Salinas

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Gilman and “My Last Duchess” by Browning

War Justification in The Iliad and The Bhagavad-Gita

Genre comparison among grade levels.

“The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Conan Doyle, and “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling

“Defoe’s “”Robinson Crusoe”” and Swift’s “”Gulliver”” Comparative Analysis”

Setting in steinbeck’s “the chrysanthemums” and updike’s “a&p”, death symbolism in “the naked city” film and “manhattan transfer” novel, new world: whitman’s “leaves of grass” and hemingway’s “in our time”, characters of homer’s iliad and virgil’s aeneid: a model of leadership anthemed in the literature of the ancient world, depiction of heroism in “beowulf”, “sir gawain and the green knight” and “le morte d’arthur”, gain and loss in the “birds of paradise lost”, “pivotal” narrative in “the tale of the bamboo cutter”, courage in frame’s the bath vs. hawthorne’s the hollow of the three hills, bravery in frame’s the bath vs. hawthorne’s the hollow of the three hills, storytelling: little red riding hood vs. house of the witch.

Movies and Books. Blogs as a New Kind of Literature

Stern’s “morning news” and shuster’s “eclipsed”: comparison.

“””Dumpster Diving”” and “”The Glass Castle””: A Brief Comparison”

Childhood comparison in andersen stories, commercial and literary fiction analysis, poe’s “the fall of the house of usher” and “the black cat”, review of literary analysis, comparison of shakespeare’s and donne’s works.

Imagery and Theme in William Blake’s Poems

Zora hurston and anna lisa raya on issues with races, “an occurrence at owl creek bridge” and “a good man is hard to find” comparison, jay gatsby, jean valjean and henry fleming: the compare and contrast analyses of the characters, study of ‘the inward morning’ and ‘narrow road’.

Monsters, Reflection of Creators: Frankenstein and Mr. Hyde

Chopin’s “the story of an hour”, gilman’s “the yellow wallpaper”, and walker’s “everyday use”.

“The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”, “The Russia House” and “The Little Drummer Girl” by Le Carre

Fuller’s “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” and “Purple Hibiscus” by Adichie

Can the real love ever be a fallacy.

“Sagittarius” by Hrbek and “My Goat Ate Its Own Legs” by Alex Burrett

Wordsworth’s “lines written a few miles above tintern abbey”, blake’s “the lamb” and “the tyger”, “analyzing the adaptation of the shakespeare’s “”macbeth”””, gaines’ “a lesson before dying” and plato’s “allegory of the cave”.

Shakur’s “Assata: An Autobiography” and Cooper’s “A Voice From the South”

“The Autobiography of a Tibetan Monk” by Gyatso and “Holy Cow” by MacDonald

“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Oates and “The Kite Runner” by Hosseini

Comparison of M.E. Lucas and M. Ramphele Stories

Comparative View: Role of Mothers in Women’s Writings

Three Short Stories Comparison

“The Medea of Euripides” and “Layla & Majnun” Review

Two Articles on Digital Technologies

Literature as an agent of change and progress, ‘what’s your name girl’ and ‘me talk pretty one day’: comparison and contrast.

“The Everlasting Regret” and “The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree”

Comic Books and Picture Books

Carver’s “The Cathedral” & Barthelme’s “The Balloon”

Chekhov’s vs. Oats’ “The Lady with the Pet Dog”

Bradbury’s the veldt & gilman’s the yellow wallpaper.

Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own vs. Wallace’s A Simple Poem for Virginia Woolf

Alfred Hitchcock and Edgar Allan Poe: Synthesized Approach

Separation in Two Stories from “Interpreter Of Maladies” by Jhumpa

We came in many ships but we now ride in the same boat, “a rose for emily” and “paul’s case”: discontent with life, twain’s “the adventure of huckleberry finn” and plato’s “the allegory of the cave”.

“Antony and Cleopatra” and “Coriolanus” by Shakespeare

Beckett’s “Molloy” and “The Dead” by Joyce

Art and the Politics of Censorship in Literature

How Do Literature and Culture Influence Each Other?


  1. 9+ Comparative Essay Samples

    how to write a comparative literature essay

  2. Example Comparative Essay

    how to write a comparative literature essay

  3. Example Of Critique A Review Paper : Sample Nursing Research Critique Paper Page 1 Line 17qq Com

    how to write a comparative literature essay

  4. 012 Essay Example English Literature Structure How To Write Literary Analysis Outline For

    how to write a comparative literature essay

  5. Top Comparative Analysis Thesis Statement Examples Most Popular

    how to write a comparative literature essay

  6. 20+ Thesis Statement Examples For A Compare And Contrast Essay PNG

    how to write a comparative literature essay


  1. Comparative Literature and Translation

  2. Linda Gregerson: "Why I Write Poems"


  4. Comparative Literature as a Research Method

  5. Introduction to Literary Essay

  6. Comparative Essay Writing 3


  1. How to Write a Comparative Analysis - Harvard University

    How to Write a Comparative Analysis. In text-by-text, you discuss all of A, then all of B. In point-by-point, you alternate points about A with comparable points about B.

  2. Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples - Scribbr

    When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method. The alternating method In the alternating method, you structure your text according to what aspect you’re comparing. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison.

  3. The Comparative Essay | Writing Advice - University of Toronto

    Develop a thesis based on the relative weight of similarities and differences Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights.

  4. Comparative Essay | Introduction to Literature

    Compare two or more literary works that we have studied in this class. Your comparative essay should not only compare but also contrast the literary texts, addressing the similarities and differences found within the texts. Step 1: Identify the Basis for Comparison. Identify the basis of comparison.

  5. How to Write a Comparative Essay (with Pictures) - wikiHow

    How to Develop the Essay Content 1. Analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. You may have a great idea for a paper in your head, but if it doesn't... 2. Understand the type of comparison essay you are being asked to write. While some essays may be simple... 3. List similarities and ...

  6. Comparative Essay – Structure, Topics, & Examples

    How to Start a Comparative Essay? 1. Read the Instructions Carefully. Before starting, you have to analyze the question or essay prompt carefully. 2. Choose a Topic. The foremost step in writing a comparative essay is to choose a suitable topic. Choose a topic or... 3. Develop a List of Similarities ...

  7. Comparative Literature Essay - 3+ Examples, Format, Pdf ...

    Tips to Write a Good Comparative Literature Essay Choose two topics: As this is to compare two or more literary pieces, choose the topic. Also choose two different people... Do Research: Continuing from the first tip, do your research on each of the writer’s point of view. What do they think... ...

  8. Free Comparative Literature Essay Examples & Topic Ideas ...

    What is a literary comparison essay? It is an academic paper that requires specific methodology but follows the typical rules. A student is expected to perform comparative textual analysis of a short story, novel, or any other piece of narrative writing.