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Writing the Comparison and Contrast Essay

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Presentation on theme: "Writing the Comparison and Contrast Essay"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing the Comparison and Contrast Essay

2 What is the purpose of comparison and contrast?
Contrasts draw out differences between two subjects. Comparisons outline both similarities and differences between two subjects. Demonstrates how one subject is superior in some way to the other. Demonstrates how two subjects, which appear dissimilar, are actually similar. Instead of judgmental, may be informational.

3 How do I prepare to write a comparison and contrast essay?
Brainstorm everything about two subjects. Identify points that are relevant to both subjects. Establish a dominant idea after examining points of similarity and difference. This is the basis of the comparison/contrast. Select those traits to focus upon based upon the dominant idea. Be sure these traits are subject to the purpose —desired accomplishment.

4 Writing the Thesis Statement

5 How do I write a thesis statement for a comparison and contrast essay?
Decide to what extent the similarities between subjects will be stressed, and to what extent their differences will be stressed. Create a thesis statement that reflects that decision. Some teachers may ask for a specific thesis pattern and others may allow you to have some freedom in developing your thesis. Also, your ideas may not be completely balanced between comparison and contrast; you may have more similarities than differences or vice versa.

6 Examples: Weak Thesis Statements
They are both somewhat alike and somewhat different. I can see some similarities and some differences too. Both of them involve (only a single similarity, no differences).

7 Examples: Better Thesis Statements
Ralph and Jack have very different leadership styles and motivations which leads to the eventual chaos and anarchy on the island. In order to make a decision between the Honda Civic and the BMW, consider the following criteria: price of the vehicle, average mileage, and price of insurance. This pattern is more concise and directs the reader to the major similarity and the major difference. Your thesis does not need to be a list of the similarities and/or differences, but it should provide a point of departure for the reader.

8 Organizing a Comparison and Contrast Essay

9 Should I use block or alternating arrangement?
Block: Treats all of the elements for each subject separately. Alternating: Treats each element with respect to each subject sequentially. If the comparison is short (a paragraph or two), then the block method is fine. Alternating is usually preferable for longer comparisons; there is a risk that a block essay will sound like two separate essays weakly connected with a transitional paragraph or sentence.

10 Paragraph Organization --Block--
Price Mileage Insurance BMW →→ Honda Civic 2nd Paragraph For the Block Method, your second paragraph would include all of the details from the top of the chart for the BMW, following by all of the details from the bottom of the chart for the Honda. Your conclusion would provide some type of final analysis or evaluation based on the evidence presented in the body paragraphs. 3rd Paragraph

11 Outline -- Block Method
I. Introduction a) Hook b) Background Information c) Thesis II. BMW a) Price b) Mileage c) Insurance III. Honda Civic a) Price b) Mileage c) Insurance IV. Conclusion a) Emphasize Major Ties b) So What? Evaluate c) Clincher This method is also referred to as Subject by Subject or Whole to Whole. With this pattern (AB,AAA,BBB,AB A = Person or Place, Thing, Idea #1 and B = Person or Place, Thing, Idea # 2 ) you first discuss all of the details for one subject, in this case the BMW, and then all of the details for the second subject, the Honda Civic. The conclusion will reach some sort of final evaluation about the items you have chosen for your paper. If you were writing about cars, you might conclude your paper by making a selection based on the criteria. For example: Based on the excellent mileage, the low cost of insurance, and the price of the vehicle, the Honda Civic will definitely be my choice when I buy a new car.

12 Paragraph Organization --Alternating--
2nd Paragraph 3rd Paragraph 4th Paragraph Price Mileage Insurance BMW Honda Civic For the Point by Point Method, your second paragraph will include all of the details about the price of the car for both the BMW and the Honda Civic, your third paragraph will include the all the details about the mileage for both the BMW and the Honda Civic, the 4th paragraph will include the details about the insurance for both the BMW and the Honda Civic, and your conclusion will make some final analysis or evaluation about the cars based on the evidence provided in the body paragraphs.

13 Outline -- Alternating
I. Introduction a) Hook b) Background Information c) Thesis II. Price a) BMW b) Honda III. Mileage IV. Insurance a) BMW b) Honda IV. Conclusion a) Emphasize Major Ties b) So What? Evaluate c) Clincher In this pattern AB, AB, AB, AB you provide details about both your subjects in each paragraph. You should follow the same order in each paragraph as well. For example if you begin by discussing the BMW each subsequent paragraph should begin with the details for the BMW. Another pattern, also known as Modified Block (AB, SSS, DDD, AB) introduces the two persons or things in the first paragraph, then focuses on their similarities in the second paragraph, then focus on their differences in the third paragraph, and finally returns to summarize the comparison and contrast. Choose a pattern that fits your topic and the length of the paper and stick with it.

14 What are the rules of thumb with comparison and contrast essays?
Be sure to discuss both subjects equally in terms of coverage. Be sure to discuss the same elements for each subject; do not discuss one element for one subject and not do so for the other! Decide either upon block or alternating arrangement; do not mix. Have a clear purpose to achieve in the comparison/contrast.

15 Using Indicators

16 Why do I need to use indicators?
Good comparison or contrast essays feature the use of indicator words to convey to the reader at any given moment whether a comparison or contrast is being made and the nature of it.

17 Example Indicators To Contrast To Compare -although also as -but
in the same way like likewise similarly comparable equally in addition To Contrast -although -but -even though -however -on the other hand -otherwise -yet -still -conversely -as opposed to -different from -whereas These transitions words will help to guide your reader through your comparisons and contrasts.

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