How to Write a Comparative Literature Essay

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HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY ON COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

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When identifying how to write a comparative literature essay the student compares two pieces of literature based on a central idea. These essays compare the similarities or dissimilarities of the literature based on their writing style, frame of reference, historical background and the trends that were shaping the society at that time. Two texts are selected and studied by the student extensively. Things to look for in the initial reading include the underlying theme or mood, the tone and characters, the development of the story and premise and the effect the story has on the person reading the text.

When learning how to write an essay on comparative literature, an essential component is based on a student identifying the common thread and focus point from which to begin his comparative assignment. This focus is the thesis statement and therefore must be chosen with care. In these particular papers, a weak thesis statement may lead to rejection of the paper entirely. If you are really struggling, consider taking a look at our essay writing service to give you a guideline on how to structure your own essay. 

The student can benefit when learning how to write a comparative literature essay by creating notes about different aspects of the texts and writing them under separate headings. These notes can later on help in the formation of the draft of the final essay. Each element of one text can then be compared with the other’s to reach points of similarity or confrontation. By creating a side by side comparison, the student is able to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the contexts of the novel or story and not just differences in the names of the characters.

These comparisons must be based on a very strong foundation. Why are the two texts selected in the first place? If these have been assigned by an instructor it is simply a matter of assignment. But in most cases when trying to write the comparative essay the students have to select readings themselves. Therefore the student must clearly discuss and highlight the reasons why he selected two texts and not the rest. Here the reasons of simply liking the text better or having the books easily available are not good research methods. Therefore, the student must invest considerable time in learning how to write a comparative literature essay and deciding the literatures he plans to follow, the rationale behind selection of the texts, what are his preliminary assumptions about the two texts and finally what does he aim to understand after analysing the two texts.

It is therefore easily seen that comparative literature is essentially a research based project with its own thesis statement, objectives and rationale and comparisons followed by results and inferences. The names may differ but they follow the similar pattern of a classical research paper. Therefore, when learning how to write a comparative literature essay, on must consider that the introductory part will highlight the names of the two texts when they were written and by whom, what were the circumstances and inspirations that led to author writing them, and what are the premises of both stories.

This is followed by the rationale of why these two particular texts were chosen by the student, what is his personal affiliation, and what are the key analytical points that drove him to pick those two particular texts over others. The rationale will highlight important societal or ethical trends, deviation from norms or evolution of new philosophies or thought processes that led to the creation of that particular literary piece.

After the rationale, the comparison begins. When the student is learning how to write a comparative literature essay, the student will actively compare and quote the texts to bring vivid reading experience to the reader about the two texts and how they blend or separate from each other. It can display strong clashes of civilizations or intense mixing of new societies through opening of new frontiers. The student uses multiple references from the texts and then compares them with other similar works other than the two to create a wholesome picture. This allows for better comparison.

This organisation of structure can be carried out through one of the two methods, the block or the alternating methods. The block or the summary method allows the writer to write about one particular text first and create a small summary of the entire text and the inferences drawn from it. This is followed by the same writing for the second text and then finally both are compared. This theme is applied for all papers in writing comparative literatures.

The alternating method looks into these comparisons one by one as mentioned above. This allows for a very comprehensive analysis; however, for an individual who has not read the texts, comparisons may not help in creating a full picture of the texts and therefore, the comparisons would not deliver the desired impact.

When learning how to write a comparative literature paper, the comparisons should made, which are then followed by the final stage of culmination of the analysis into one concise paragraph. The discussion funnels this information down to a manageable point, so that the conclusion and inferences section provides a very short statement providing the exact comparison and results obtained from the research. The discussion not only discusses the characters of the novel or literature but also those of the author. Author’s own personal lives are a very strong indicator of their inspirations and their experiences are somewhat reflected in their writings. Therefore, understanding the author can sometimes create insights on the manner of composition, method of writing, moods and temperament of the texts.

All this information is very hard to compile in a finalised form due to the extensiveness of the task at the end of the comparative literature. However, a concise resolution of the matter is important which answers the thesis statement. This is the main aspect of the paper that displays the calibre of the student and the depth of understanding he or she has developed from the exercise.

By creating a strong comparison, the student can then propose future research directions in the same study or similar areas. Writing and learning how to write a comparative literature paper on the smaller level can then be pushed for a thesis level as well, depending on the degree level. Take a look at our dissertation writing service for more information on dissertations. The thesis answers should lead to a definitive conclusion but also create a sense of further inquiry or curiosity to explore the area further either within itself or in comparison to another genre. This is the most important conclusion of the paper, and the reviewing committee will try to understand how a student has been able to comprehend and analyse the study with positive future directions.

In conclusion, when learning to write a paper on comparative literature a proper framework of research methodology should be developed for writing. A comparative literature essay provides a strong analytical display and thought process as well as room for further research in the same topic.

Make sure that you give your essay a thorough proofread before submitting it, as many students lose marks for silly mistakes. Ask a friend to read over your paper or for a more professional service, consider our proofreading, critiquing and editing service. 

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