Comparison: Shows the similarities between two or more subjects Contrast: Shows the differences between subjects
Explains the similarities and differences between subjects to make it more clear Evaluates the subjects in order to establish advantages and disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses Explanatory comparison does not take position on the relative qualities of the subject, where as the evaluation does
In putting together a comparison, a writer needs to select subjects from the same group Points of comparison: Breaks down subject so the writer can compare For example: the comparison of diets: points you may want to address would be forbidden foods, allowed foods, speed of weight loss, and nutritional quality This ensures direct comparison rather than just listing random characteristics
Subject-by-subject; points of comparison are grouped under each subject Point-by-point: subjects of comparison are grouped under each point
For centuries, flesh and blood Indians have been assigned the role of a popular-culture metaphor. Today, their evocation instantly connotes fuzzy images of Nature…War-bonned apparitions passed to football helmets or baseball caps… *subject-by-subject organization*
It was Mamis family who were really white. They were in terms of race, and white also in terms of class. From them came the fine features, the pale skin, and lank hair. *point-by-point comparison*
Subject-by-subject Harriss Diet speed of weight loss required self- discipline nutritional risk Marconis Diet speed of weight loss required self- discipline nutritional risk Point-by-point Speed of Weight loss Harriss diet Marconis diet Required Self-Discipline Harriss diet Marconis diet Nutritional Risk Harriss Diet Marconis Diet
Thesis: look over your points of comparison and decide whether they suggest an explanatory or evaluative approach Ask: Will you be emphasizing one subject more than the other or both equally? And will you emphasize differences, similarities, or both?
Organizing: Subject-by-subject: better for short essays comparing dominant impressions of the subject Point-by-point: better for longer essays that require emphasis on individual points If you are torn between the two, you may combine them
Are your subjects drawn from the same class? Subjects must have notable differences and similarities to make the comparison worth while Does your essay have a clear purpose and say something significant about the subject? The purpose should be evident or else the reader will be easily bored Be sure to apply all points of comparison to both subjects Clear organization is important, but variety in the writing is nice too
1. Comparison shows the similarities between two subjects while contrast shows differences 2. Used to explain the similarities and differences between subjects to make them clear and to evaluate the subjects to establish their advantages and disadvantages, strengths, and weaknesses 3. Make sure to apply all points of comparison to each subject 4. Parallelism in your essay: the use of similar grammatical structures for elements of similar importance 5. Organization is key
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