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Comparison and Contrast

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1 Comparison and Contrast
Expository writing Comparison and Contrast A common assignment in all disciplines is to compare and contrast two or more things to discover how they are alike and/or how they are different. In U.S. History students might be asked to compare Jackson and Jefferson, in science students might compare and contrast the results of two similar labs, in music students might compare different pieces of music and their interpretation, in FTA students might compare elementary students to high school students etc. Besides its value in organizing an essay, comparison/contrast is also useful as a technique to structure a paragraph, to define a complex idea, to think about one thing in terms of another (vertebrates vs. invertebrates, World War I vs. World War II, etc., and to make an evaluation. Only similar items can be compared and/or contrasted. The comparison/contrast must be supported by examples. This Power Point will focus on two organizational patterns for this type of writing assignment, but as with all assignments, you should follow the directions as outlined by your instructor.

2 What is the Purpose? Compare - To show the similarities between at least two things and/or Contrast - To show the difference between two things To inform To explain To analyze To evaluate You must have a purpose for writing the essay—why are you writing the essay? What is your point? When you are getting ready to buy a car you might have specific criteria to compare and contrast. (Teachers-Ask students to generate a list of things they might look for when buying a car.) The purpose of the comparison/contrast might be to get the best value for your dollar, to meet the needs of your budget, to plan for your future etc. As you plan for which college you may want to attend, you’ll compare and contrast specific criteria to make an informed decision. Writing a solid essay takes planning. Remember the Rhetorical Square. If you don’t have a clear idea of why you are comparing or contrasting two things, then you will have difficulty writing a focused paper.

3 Chalkboard Splash Write down the three different types of Expository Writings. Compare and Contrast the writing. Post your answer on the chalkboard. Discuss the answers provided.

4 Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F150
Compare and Contrast Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F150 Share with your shoulder partner what you know about the two different types of trucks.

5 Research Your Topic While conducting research on your topic make sure that you find both similarities and differences between the two different topics. If there are not at least three major similarities and differences you may want to rethink your comparison.

6 Writing a Thesis Statement
Review your data Decide to what extent you will stress the similarities between your subjects and to what extent you will stress their differences 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.

7 Weak Thesis Statements
They are both trucks are somewhat alike and somewhat different. I can see some similarities and some differences between the two trucks. Both of trucks cost about the same (only a single similarity, no differences).

8 Sample Thesis Statement for Chevy vs. Ford Comparison/Contrast
In order to make a decision between the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F150, the following criteria was used: price of the vehicle, average mileage, and price of insurance. This statement lets the reader know the specific points of comparison/contrast and how the information will be used.

9 Paragraph Organization--Point by Point
2nd Paragraph 3rd Paragraph 4th Paragraph Price Mileage Insurance Chevy Ford 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.

10 Outline - Point by Point
I. Introduction a) Attention Getter or Hook b) Background Information c) Thesis II. Price a) Chevy b) Ford III. Mileage IV. Insurance a) Chevy b) Ford IV. Conclusion a) Restate the Thesis b) Emphasize Major Ties c) Final Statement – which one would you buy? 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.

11 Transitions To Contrast To Compare -although also as -but -even though
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.

12 Review Make sure you understand the purpose of the assignment.
Choose a topic that will interest you and your audience. Complete pre-writing activity Gather evidence Create a thesis statement Write an outline Write a rough draft Revise Edit Publish Ask questions if you do not understand an assignment. Complete some type of pre-writing BEFORE you begin your first draft. If the strategies reviewed on the Power Point do not work for you, choose some other method that does. Gather enough supporting evidence to support your topic sentences. That evidence may be in the form of facts, statistics, examples, observations, quotations from literature etc.. Write a thesis statement and keep it in front of you on a big sheet of paper as you write. This strategy will help you to avoid including unnecessary detail or bird walking. Write an outline. This does not have to be as formal as the samples given, but some sort of planning will help you to stay focused. As with all writing, you should continue to work through the writing process to prepare an essay for teacher evaluation. If you are not peer editing in class, ask another student or a parent to review the directions for the assignment and evaluate your draft.

13 Your Turn! Brainstorm a list of possible comparisons.
Narrow your list down to your best comparison. Research both topics. Complete a graphic organizer to determine the similarities and differences. Create an outline. Write a thesis statement. Draft your essay. Revise/Edit/Publish

14 What do we get rid of. Rid of. Rid of
What do we get rid of? Rid of? Rid of? What do we get rid of when we summarize? Stuff that’s not important, important, important. Stuff that’s not important for you to understand. Take out words that repeat, repeat, repeat, take out words that repeat and replace things in lists. Find a topic sentence, sentence, sentence. Find a topic sentence or make one up yourself.

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