ENG 3U: Writing a Comparative Essay

We will dedicate this week to writing comparative essays.

Understanding the Comparative Essay

  • You should already have a copy of the  comparative essay infographic Still, I have attached one just in case.
  •   Carefully review this media comparative essay rubric; note that the entire Application section deals with sourcing and MLA. I will ask you to apply this rubric to an essay that I will provide today.

How to Write a Comparative Essay

The three videos below will walk you through the process of writing a comparative essay. Note that they feature the same approach used in the infographic.

Sources for Your Essay

The sources you need depend on your focus. Please note that it will be difficult to find sources that analyse the texts you have chosen in the context of your topic. This, my students, is entirely the point. You need to analyse your chosen texts using the sources you find.

Here are some sources that are readily available to you:

  • The Encyclopedia of Media and Communication can be found in my classroom. Being an encyclopedia, it provides a great deal of information about relevant topics such as sitcoms, reality television, and horror.
  • The SAGE Handbook of Media Studies will be in our library for a few days before it is shipped out. However, it does contain some excellent analysis of fans, feminist theory, media bias, and media technology. I also have printouts of some useful pages.
  • Using Google Books will allow you to find numerous titles that are related to your subject. This link is to the search results for media studies; however, you can also search for topics like media sitcoms or media reality TV. Remember to check the table of contents of the books to find relevant articles/chapters.
  • You can also use Google Books to find texts related to the depiction of women in sport.
  • We will also look at the databases available via our school website. One GALE database, entitled Communications and Mass Media Collection, returned over 500 hits for academic journals referring to reality TV. Not bad, huh?
  • you can also try searching for (your topic) analysis; still, you need to ensure that the sources you choose are sufficiently analytical.



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