Comparative essay, VCE EAL, VCE English

Comparative essay structures: block or integrated?

If I had a penny every time students asked me which structure is better…

When structuring a comparative essay, there are 2 main kinds of structures available to our teens: a Block approach or an Integrated approach.

Block approach

Each text will have a whole paragraph dedicated to it, while a third paragraph explores both texts together.

Usually it looks like:
Body paragraph 1: Text A
Body paragraph 2: Text B
Body paragraph 3: Text A + B

Integrated approach

Each paragraph explores both texts together.

Usually it looks like:
Body paragraph 1: Text A + B
Body paragraph 2: Text A + B
Body paragraph 3: Text A + B

Which is better?

Our general advice regarding which structure to use is that it depends on the arguments the student is making!

If the student is exploring a lot of differences, we recommend using a block approach as it will give the student time and space to properly explore what is different in each text.

If the student is exploring a lot of similarities, an integrated approach will be more helpful in structuring those ideas.

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