How do I compare and contrast two superheroes in an essay?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When writing a comparison and contrast essay, it is a good idea to begin by brainstorming.  You can draw a Venn diagram of the two superheroes to begin.  Look for things to describe each superhero, and then decide if that applies to the other one as well.  For example, if you were writing about Superman and Batman, you might put that they both wear costumes, but Superman is an alien.

In addition to physical traits, you should also consider personality.  Superman spent a lot of his time trying to blend in as Clark Kent.  He used his powers to help people who needed it but kept his real identity a secret.

Once you have brainstormed, you need a coherent thesis.  You can argue that one of the superheroes is better, that Batman is an antihero, or any other argument.  Then you will use your brainstorm to create an outline supporting the thesis.  Remember that the goal is to convince your reader of what you are trying to say.

My best advice is to choose characters you know well.  This way you will be passionate about the subject, and you will not need to do a lot of extra research that will get you confused.

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chrisyhsun's profile pic

chrisyhsun | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

I think a big part of a compare/contrast is the structure. For me, there is one basic types of structure that I use when I write these types of essays. Knowing what structure you will use for your essay also helps you determine what type of things to note in your research.

  • Intro Paragraph
  • Pick one aspect and discuss whether the two are the same/different
  • Pick one aspect and discuss whether the two are the same/different
  • Pick one aspect and discuss whether the two are the same/different
  • Conclusion

For this structure, it is important that you discuss at least one of each (same/difference). For example, if you were comparing Superman and the Hulk, you could say for your first paragraph that they are both strong (similar) and then say that they are different colors in your second paragraph (different) and then pick either another similarity or a difference for the last paragraph. Mostly likely, though, you should pick more substantial topics to talk about rather than just noting physical characteristics (my example was just a quick one). Perhaps you can discuss their motivations, their backgrounds, etc - something deeper about what's inside, not just outside.

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