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Comparative Essay Samples & Examples

Free sample college essays written in comparative style. These essay assignments are helpful for studying various report writing techniques and getting ideas for possible essay topics. Summaries of each essay are provided here, with word and page counts.

Science-Fiction Protagonists: Bradbury, Heinlein, Pratchett - Comparative Essay Example

This sample compare and contrast essay was written for a freshman college English class. This analysis of sci-fi protagonists from Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Terry Pratchett's Jingo, and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 explains why people tend to relate to "the common man." This example paper useso comparative analysis to explain how the authors use character description to make these different men sympathetic to the reader. It would be a useful reference for a student who wants to compare multiple, diverse characters across a single genre.
844 words 3 pages
 

Yevgeny Zamyatin's We and George Orwell's 1984 - Sample Comparative Essay

This example comparative essay looks at Yevgeny Zamyatin's We and George Orwell's 1984 to see how each dystopian society violates basic human rights. Written for a college Science fiction course, it suggests how one society actively oppresses all human activity, while the other subtly undermines freedom. This sample compare and contrast paper uses descriptive body paragraphs to succinctly prove its point.It would be a good reference for students who need a basic example of a comparative style essay.
923 words, 3 pages
 

The Importance of Hospitality in Greek Mythology - Sample Comparative Essay

This sample literary analysis essay of Greek mythology examines how the gods of Mt. Olympus favor hospitality above all else. Written for a college freshman course,a Greek thought seminar, it compares examples from Homer's Odyssey, and the stories of Aeschylus in order to persuade the reader that the gods have standards when dealing with humanity. This introductory college essay would be good for students who want a basic analysis of Greek Mythology in a comparative style.
1,050 words, 5 pages
 

Inner-thoughts tell a story: Comparing William Falkner's As I Lay Dying and Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire - Sample compare and contrast essay

How do you describe a character? This sample college compare and contrast essay looks at two different approaches: the first, employed by William Faulkner in As I Lay Dying utilizes a polyphonic style in which each character self narrates their portion of the novel. The second approach, employed by Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire, uses action and dialogue to reveal more about the characters. This example English literature comparative essay would be a good reference for a student who wants to compare a novel and play.
1,638 words / 6 pages
 

Sydney Carton, the Christ-Like Figure - Sample Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities essay

This example comparative essay reveals how Sydney Carton's actions in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities mirror those of Jesus in the New Testament. Written for a high school sophomore English class, this sample literary analysis paper notes the similarities between the Bible and Dickens' work and even includes relevant Gospel quotes to reinforce its findings. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to learn about comparing symbols between two works of literature.
698 words / 3 pages
 

Demons in short stories: Comparing The Monkey's Paw, Catbird's Seat, Masque of the Red Death - Sample Comparative Essay

Can death be conquered? Can fate be outmatched? This paper argues otherwise. This sample high school comparative essay examines the role of "demons" in three short stories: W.W. Jacob's The Monkey's Paw, James Thurber's Catbird's Seat and Edgar Allan Poe's Masque of the Red Death. It explains how the characters in these stories try to conquer fate or death and end up paying the ultimate price. This example literary analysis paper is able to maintain its interesting theme throughout the essay. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to compare and contrast short stories.
1,078 words / 4 pages
 

The beauty of Gothic cathedrals - Sample art comparative essay

The Gothic cathedrals of Chartres, Bourges, and Notre Dame represent various stages in the evolution of Gothic architecture. This example comparative essay looks at the exterior and interior features of each Cathedral and explains how these buildings are works of art themselves. In particular this example paper looks at the structural significance of flying buttresses and stained-glass windows among other topics. This sample art paper would be a good reference for a student who wants to discuss architecture in-depth.
2,418 words / 7 pages
 

Sci-Fi Movies vs. Science-Fiction Books - Sample Comparative Essay

This sample comparative essay, "The Reality of Science-Fiction", examines how science fiction movies depict aliens far differently than how they are described in sci-fi novels. Written for a college freshman English class, this science fiction assignment uses strong visual examples from multiple sources to persuade its audience.
895 words 4 pages
 

Defining great literature: The works of Thornton Wilder, Flannery O'Connor and Chaim Potok - Comparative Essay Sample

This sample comparative essay looks at Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find and Chaim Potok's The Chosen. Written for a religion and literature final, this example compare and contrast essay explains why these three works qualify as "great literature." While this essay lacks an introduction paragraph, it would be a good template for a student who needs to write a comparative essay with strict page requirements.
1,119 words, 3 pages
 

Brunelleschi and Ghiberti's competing visions on the Sacrifice of Isaac - Example art comparative essay

Two famed artists competed to design decorative panels depicting the biblical story of the Sacrifice of Isaac. This sample comparative art essay examines the technique of both artists and explains why their innovative approaches stunned the judges, who were unable to declare a winner. This example college art paper also explains how the respective artists used the techniques they developed during this contest to design even more spectacular works later in their careers. It would be a good reference for a student who wants to see how two masters examined the same subject.
563 words/2 pages
 

The trial of man and slave: Comparing Toni Morrison's Beloved and The Book of Genesis - Sample Comparative Analysis essay

This sample comparative essay was written for a high school AP English class. It compares Toni Morrison's Beloved to the Book of Genesis and suggests that the trials of Southern black slaves parallel the struggles of biblical man. This example high school literature essay uses plenty of examples to illustrate its point, and offers powerful commentary and a thought-provoking conclusion. It would be a good reference for any student who wants to write an organized, well-constructed essay.
1,278 words / 5 pages
 

Trapped by suffering: Comparing Herman Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven - Example comparative essay

This sample AP English essay examines two works of literature that at first glance could not be more different: Herman Melville's Moby Dick and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven. Yet the author of this sample comparative essay devises a clever thesis: the two works are related because they showcase what happens when a character is trapped by suffering. Well-written and insightful, this literary analysis example essay would be a good reference for a student who wants to compare novels and poetry.
1,039 words / 5 pages
 

Tradition vs. hope: Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, Issac Asimov's The Last Question - Example Comparative Essay

This example compare and contrast essay looks at Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, Thornton Wilder's The Skin of our Teeth and Issac Asimov's The Last Question. This short sample comparative essay examines how the themes of tradition and hope run through these works. While this essay does not have an introduction, it would be a useful reference for a student who wants to compare short stories or plays and is restricted by maximum page requirements.
1,132 words, 3 pages
 

 
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