Close

09/04/2019

How do you structure a comparative essay?

QUESTION
How do you structure a comparative essay?
How do you structure a comparative essay?
Like a plan of something?
I’ve got to compare two characters in two different novels.
So how would you structure it?
Thanks.

ANSWER
A lot depends on the thesis statement.

If you can come up with a handy thesis statement, that may make organizing the essay easier.

For example, if you say
“A and B were alike in many ways. They both (whatever) and they both (whatever). Yet they differed as well in three principle ways. (<-- thesis statement). And it was these differences that ended up causing their ultimately different fates. (<-- early clue to conclusion) Then you start like this: One of the principle ways that A differed from B is that A did this and that while B did the opposite. On page 38 we read that A (whatever), whereas on p 76 we see B refusing to do it. Besides the (way the differed in the first paragraph), a second way that A differed from B is that A (whatever...) blah blah But the most crucial difference between A and B is that A did whatever but B did not. It is the way these character differences work themselves out against the stresses of the plot that decide the differences in the fates of A and B. A, who was (whatever), came to a bad end, while B, who was the opposite, went on to success and glory. --------------------------------------... Another way to structure this might be to say; There must be some similarity between any two phenomena or they cannot interact or engage at all. On the other hand, they must also be different or they will just be identities. A and B share two critical similarities, but they also exhibit two crucial differences. (<-- thesis statement) Then you write two paragraphs (one each for each similarity) and then two more (one each for each difference), with a conclusion stating why they made a difference.