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What are some good tips on writing a comparison essay?

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Quick Answer

Pre-writing work, such as brainstorming, composing a strong thesis statement and creating an organized outline, is an important element of writing a good comparison essay. A comparison essay discusses either the similarities or the similarities and differences between two items.

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Full Answer

Brainstorming is an important beginning step for writing a comparison essay. After establishing the two items to compare, find three meaningful aspects of comparison and brainstorm arguments for each. Using this information, the next step is to compose a strong thesis that states the two items being compared and their three main points of comparison; this statement goes in the introduction paragraph and serves as an organizational guide for the essay. The reader should be able to determine exactly what the essay is about from the thesis statement alone.

It is also beneficial to create an outline for the essay using a specific organizational method. The two most common methods of organization are block and point-by-point format. Block format is best for shorter assignments, as each body paragraph focuses on one item and addresses all three aspects of comparison. Conversely, each body paragraph in point-by-point format focuses on only one point of comparison and alternates between the items.

Students often find that comparison essays are one of the more challenging essays to write, so organization is crucial for success. Students should begin writing the essay only after completing the pre-writing work.

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