Writing A Winning Descriptive Comparative Essay: A Step-By-Step Guide

What is it?

This kind of paper is asking you to compare (usually) two subjects. This means you need to look at their similarities. As well as that, the writing must be descriptive- so you’re being asked to give vivid sensory descriptions of your chosen subjects as well.


First, you need a topic! You should pick something that you’re interested in, as this will not only speed up the research, it will also (more importantly) give your writing passion- which will create a better written paper and make it more engaging for your reader.

You should then refine your subject matter into the two areas to be compared, and make a list of all their similarities, as you research them. Make sure the two are suitable and that there are plenty of sources to use.

What to include.

The paper itself should be divided into: the introduction, the chapters (the text body) and the conclusion. You can leave writing your introduction until last- that way, you’ll already have written your content and know what points to succinctly bring up. Your introduction will include a brief overview of the topic, state your aims and objectives, what sources and methods have been used and what summations may be made. The chapters will present the information and the conclusion will recap and state the conclusions you’ve come to.


Don’t underestimate the importance of the descriptive nature of this project. The more colourful adjectives you can use and the more you can make the reader feel they are in the world you’re describing, the more you’ll be on to a winner. It’s worth studying some creative writing ideas if you really want to hone your skills.

The order.

Now you know what’s needed for this assignment, here’s how you should go about things:

  1. Make a timetable that suits you and stick to it! Organization is the key to success!
  2. Research your topic, make notes and collate material.
  3. Write an outline for your paper and work out what to include, where to place it and how many (rough) words should be spent on each section.
  4. Write a first draft of the text body (chapters) and conclusion.
  5. Re-read and re-edit. The more attention to detail you have and the more you scrutinize every part, the more superior your paper will be.
  6. Write the introduction.
  7. Re-read and re-edit everything again! Yes, really! Polish it until it’s just right.

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