Comparative Analysis Essay Guide for Students: Tips, Topics, Outline

Writing a comparative analysis essay can be quite a challenge for some students. On the surface, it is an ordinary academic assignment which takes only a few hours of your time. However, if you dig deeper into it, you’ll see that the comparative analysis essay requires you to have excellent writing skills and perfect knowledge of the subject area. Can you boast of having excellent writing skills which can help you create a top-quality essay? Do you have any free time to do this task? If you can’t figure out how to tackle that complicated challenge, the only solution for you is to check out this guide which will help you understand how to create a top-quality essay.

What is a Comparative Analysis: Covering the Basics

Your academic career is full of challenges, and one of them involves doing a comparative analysis. Before we start analyzing the basic tips, it is necessary to come up with the comparative analysis definition. The primary goal of this task is to compare and contrast two things: two studies, two films, two theories, two books, etc. Simply put, you need to weigh them up and find their differences.

Before you start doing this task, you need to know the basis for comparison. In some instances, the basis is provided by the essay question. For instance, you need to compare the female characters in Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.”

Sometimes, you need to establish a basis for comparison yourself. For instance, if you wish to compare two movies, you should first decide what aspects you are going to compare and only then start writing your essay.

Some students believe that this task is too much for them, but it is not exactly so. If you handle the “how to write a comparative analysis essay” problem correctly, you won’t face any difficulties. Take a look at our guide, and you’ll understand what tips you should follow.

How to Do Comparative Analysis: Useful Recommendations

Your primary goal is to establish a basis for comparison. As soon as you pick it, it will be much easier for you to organize your work. The next step is to create a list of all items you are going to compare and contrast. This list will serve as a basis for creating the outline.

Your primary goal now is to develop a strong thesis statement which will reflect the main topic of your essay. When reading it, your audience should immediately understand what topic you are going to cover and what items you are going to compare and contrast. Keep in mind that your thesis statement is a short presentation of your essay. Therefore, it should be short and yet catchy and informative. Two or three sentences are enough to represent the general goal of your essay.

Comparative Analysis Essay Structure

Coming up with a catchy topic, expressing your personal opinion and having excellent writing skills is not enough. Your essay should be structured appropriately, and if it isn’t, your final grade will be decreased. There are two methods you can use for structuring your essay:

  • Point-by-Point. If you use this method, you need to establish what your subjects have in common and compare them by basing your arguments on these similarities. Professors often ask students to use this method because it helps the latter create a more powerful and informative essay.
  • Subject-by-Subject. Those who use this method should discuss the subjects sequentially, i.e., one by one. You should choose this method if you can’t find any similarities between the subjects or when you wish to compare more than three subjects.

Keep in mind that your essay should have a strong introductory section and compelling conclusion, which shouldn’t be more than 200 words. The main goal of the introduction is to grab the reader’s attention and introduce your topic to the audience, whereas your concluding section should wrap up your essay.

If you’ve never dealt with this academic assignment before, you may not know that you can only start covering the topic after composing the outline. Let’s take a look at the below example of the comparative analysis essay outline that we’ve created using the subject-by-subject method:

Topic “Comparison of Living Standards in African and European Countries

  1. Introduction containing the thesis statement. You need to draw the reader’s attention to this topic using either some shocking statistical data or a thought-provoking question.
  2. Body paragraphs (1-3). What are the living standards (an average monthly income, medical expense insurance, social payments, etc.) in European countries? Cover the topic in 3 paragraphs.
  3. Body paragraphs (4-6). What are the living standards in African countries?
  4. Conclusion. You can provide the readers with valuable pieces of advice showing how to enhance the living standards of the African population.

Comparative Analysis Essay Topics Variety

Please, find below a list of topics which can inspire you to create a top-notch essay:

  1. What are the key differences between American and British English?
  2. Compare student life before and after graduation.
  3. What do you think about distance learning? Compare it to traditional education.
  4. Poverty vs. rich life.
  5. Compare American and Japanese cuisine.

The topic can be absolutely different, but you should follow one simple rule: establish a basis for comparison, and you’ll easily tackle this challenge!