Comparative Essay

COMPARATIVE ESSAYS:


Comparative essays typically follow 1 of 2 outline formats, either the subject by subject or point by point format.


Authors utilizing the subject by subject format will thoroughly discuss the details of one of the subjects they are comparing before moving on to a discussion of the second topic they are comparing. It would follow the format:

Subject 1:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3

Subject 2:

  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3


When an author uses the point by point format, they separate their comparison by subtopics. If you use this format, you will choose 3 aspects of 2 topics to compare and contrast. It would follow the format:

Point 1:

  • Subject 1
  • Subject 2

Point 2:

  • Subject 1
  • Subject 2

Point 3:

  • Subject 1
  • Subject 2


YOUR TASK:

You will be able to write your 2-3 page (12 CC) or 3-4 (12H) pages comparative essay on relatively whatever you choose (as long as it is school appropriate). You will be required to have at least 2 citations in your paper, but the requirements on these citations are dependent on your topic. Follow the guidelines below when utilizing outside information and selecting a topic:

  • Literary Comparison: If you choose to compare and contrast 2 books, 2 characters, short stories, or poems, etc. be sure to include examples from the text to support your analysis. Therefore, your citations should be of literary passages/texts.
  • Historical Comparison: If you are comparing 2 important historical figures, make sure you have evidence from credible sources to supply your information. Your citations should come from scholarly journals, databases, newspaper articles, or reliable web sources.
  • Cultural/Sociological Comparison: If you chose to compare and contrast 2 different aspects of society, pop culture, celebrities, important figures, etc., cite examples from a reliable source. Do not rely on sources that are not credible. Give examples to support your comparative analysis.
  • Item/Object Comparison: If you select to compare two different objects or items, for example Macs vs. Windows or iPhones vs. Androids, be sure to include data to support your analysis. Your citations should be coming from reliable web sources, and should not be based solely on personal opinion.
  • Film Comparison: Those comparing and contrasting movies, TV shows, etc. should be able to reference specific examples from topics they are comparing. Therefore, citations can come from quotes in the films, or quotes from sources analyzing the films.
  • Procedural Comparison: If you choose to compare and contrast the process of doing/completing 2 different procedures, be sure to cite examples referencing the specific procedures. For example, if you are comparing learning to ride a bike vs. learning to drive a car, citations should reference steps in completing those procedures.


Comparative Essay Rubric