Comparison and contrast essay is an object analysis method that compares a new state of an object with an old state or compares the state of one object to another with which the comparison may be appropriate. Comparative essay is one of the main methods used in scientific research. Practically always the formulation or refinement of concepts is carried out by means of the comparative analysis. If you don’t know how to write a comparison and contrast essay, these tips will help you.
Comparative essay is one of the most common in different sciences. In many spheres of human activity, there arises the need for an optimal choice. This takes into account all the characteristics of the studied objects, as well as their comparison by the necessary criteria.
Comparison as a Method of Cognition
Comparison is one of the main methods of cognition of the surrounding reality. The basis of this method is quite simple: the definition and comparison of individual phenomena of social, economic, political or other nature with the aim of discovering distinctive similarities and differences.
On the basis of comparison, a conclusion is made of a justified or supposed character about the homogeneity of phenomena, the similarity of their content, the general orientation, etc. This allows one to use data about one object while studying the other. If some discrepancies were found in the course of the research, it allows one to point out the peculiarity, specificity, and uniqueness of one phenomenon or object in relation to another.
Concept and Categories of Comparative Essay
The method of comparative analysis originates from such a general scientific method as analogy. However, unlike the latter, the comparison anticipates the use of elements of other methods, including analysis, methods of thinking, modeling, synthesis, induction, deduction, etc. The main purpose of the comparison is to obtain new facts not only from different properties of compared objects or phenomena, but also analysis of their various interrelations. Based on this, it is possible to make a general trend of their subsequent functioning and development.
The methods of the comparative approach lead to the fact that already established views on certain phenomena and facts can be reconsidered. When comparing, features that are specific to a particular object or phenomenon may also be discovered, but previously unknown to researchers. Thus, the comparison promotes a deeper study and cognition of objects and phenomena, as well as the search for their distinctive features and differences at different levels of research.
Mechanism of How to Write a Comparison and Contrast Essay
The comparative method of research has its own mechanism, which includes the following components:
- General scientific methods. This includes: analogy, induction and deduction, analysis and synthesis, etc.
- Logical apparatus. An extensive category system that is used in operations for comparison and analysis. Each object or phenomenon has its own system of categories.
Special attention also deserves such a variation of the method of comparison, as segmentation. Its essence is the fact that information about the object or phenomenon is divided into separate parts – segments, which are subsequently subjected to research. In this case, the comparison can be carried out according to different criteria, in particular, the historically-comparative method is often used, where the object is examined not only in comparison with other objects, but also in comparison with itself at different time stages.
Segmentation, as one of the methods of comparative analysis, involves studying not only the characteristics of individual elements of a particular object or phenomenon, but also the nature and trend of its functioning and development within the whole.
Stages of Composing Comparative Essay and Forecasting
A comparative method for assessing objects and phenomena foresees the implementation of the study at several levels:
- Collection and processing of all information received. In this case, all data must be objective, accurate, and provable.
- Systematization of information. All data should be divided into different categories and give the collected material a structural appearance.
- Interpretation of received data. Based on the analysis and comparison of information, specific conclusions are drawn.
With the correct implementation of these stages, the researcher can formulate the justification of the forecast. The simplest way to predict is to directly compare information about an object or phenomenon at different levels, for example, in different regions, countries, etc. The second way of forecasting foresees the putting forward of specific hypotheses backed by real facts.
Rules for How to Write a Comparison and Contrast Essay
The comparative method of research will be effective only if all the rules for its implementation are met:
- Making comparisons at different levels using analogy, system-historical analysis, and logic.
- Choosing the right objects for the comparison process.
- Specific goal setting.
- The method of comparative analysis should be carried out using specific criteria.
- A clear definition of the characteristics of the objects and phenomena to be compared.
- Processing of comparison results and analysis of the possibility of their application in practice.
All the data obtained during the research should be clear, unambiguous, and provable.
Types of Comparative Studies
The comparative method has its own typology. In science, the following types of research are distinguished:
- According to the size of research: macro- and micro-equivalence.
- According to their purposes, there is practical (or functional) and theoretical (or scientific) research.
- According to the level, the research can be inter-system, intra-system, intra-national, historical, intersectoral, etc.
In addition, synchronous and asynchronous comparison is also distinguished. In the first case, we are talking about parallel and simultaneous comparison, and in the second case, the comparative method can be applied to objects that are in different time intervals.
Pros and Cons of the Comparative Method
A comparative approach has a number of pros and cons that the researcher must consider in their work. As for the positive aspects, they are the following:
- The method allows you to reflect the actual situation with respect to the object or phenomenon being examined.
- All data are statistically justified.
- In the process of research, it is possible to correct the compared phenomena or objects.
- If there is a lot of information, the method is very simple to implement and gives reliable results.
The method has its drawbacks that include:
- At the time of interpretation of the research results, the data may become outdated.
- The accuracy of the data obtained depends on the stability of the object under study.
- For reliable and accurate data, a large amount of information is needed.
The ratio of positive and negative aspects of the method determines the effectiveness of its application in each specific case.
Examples of Using the Method of Comparative Analysis
The features of the comparison method allow using it in various fields, such as:
- Biology and anatomy
- Linguistics, in particular comparative linguistics
- Literary studies and mythology
- Comparative political science
- Economic sciences
- Sociological sciences
- Religious studies
- Philosophy, etc.
The comparative method has a number of features that make it possible to use it effectively in a wide variety of sciences. The method has its own classification, typology, as well as rules and features of the study at different stages. The choice of this method is determined by the availability of the required amount of information and the selection of optimal criteria.
Ways of How to Write a Comparison and Contrast Essay
At the moment, there are many ways of conducting a comparative analysis. Here are some of them.
- Context. It is necessary to find the context, the main idea, around which the subsequent work will be carried out. Simply put, the context can be a certain problem, a theory, the main idea that relates to the main object of research. realized.
- Real foundations for comparison. During the research, it is necessary to justify the reason according to which comparisons of two similar objects will be carried out.
- Arguments. You are engaged in comparative analysis, and therefore you need to be guided by the facts, with an objective comparison of the two objects.