14 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)

Style: MLA


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Introduction to Literature Copyright © by William Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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