Comparison and contrast are ways of looking at things and thinking about how they are alike and different.
COMPARING When comparing, look for items that are similar-the things that make them the same CONTRASTING When contrasting, look for the items that make them different
1.To Explain-in order to help someone understand something better 2. To Evaluate-to give support for an opinion or help with making a decision
Your writing should be balanced! Make sure that you balance the information about the items you are comparing and contrasting Give equal time to each topic!
1. Whole to Whole 2. Similarities to Differences 3. Point by Point
In this strategy, you first say everything about one item and then even everything about the other Example: Give details about the plot, character, and setting in the book and then in another paragraph give details about plot, character, and setting about the movie
Introduction Item #1 Item #2 Conclusion Whole to Whole uses a separate section/paragraph for each item you are discussing Example: Section 1 includes everything about the book. Section 2 includes everything about the movie. In the second section you would point out the differences between the two. The points in each section would be the same and should be explained in the same order. For example, you might talk about characters, setting, and climax in each of the paragraphs.
In the book version of The Outsiders, the story is told by the narrator Ponyboy Curtis. The reader is able to understand Ponyboy’s thoughts and feelings as he struggles with life in his small town due to this point of view. The setting is the early 1960s in a small town in the southwest. The characters in the book are a group of teenagers who struggle with accepting each other due to social status. One group is a poor group of uneducated kids from the east side of town and the other group is the rich, privileged group from the west side of town. Ponyboy is a sensitive boy who wonders why people are so mean to each other. He is often unsure if he is really a greaser at all. Dally is a mean and cruel boy who is angry with the world. He lashes out at anyone who gets too close. In the book, the story’s plot kicks off with Ponyboy getting jumped by the Socs as he walks home from the movies. The action continues as a Soc is later killed by Johnny, one of Ponyboy’s greaser friends. The boys end up running away, but come back after they rescue several children in a church fire. The movie version of The Outsiders is also told by the narrator, Ponyboy. His perspective allows the viewer to get the feeling for life in the e1960s just as the book version. While the setting is basically the same in the movie, the different sides of town the kids come from is referred to north and south instead of east and west. Even though these names are different, the struggles the characters face are the same as the kids deal with the issues of social status and fitting in. The personalities of the characters are essentially the same, although the movie does a more thorough job of showing Two Bit as the jokster. In one scene he makes fun of the Socs mercilessly. Dally’s cruel and vicious personality also comes through more clearly in the movie. He is mean to little kids when they ask for money and he threatens the hospital staff with a gun at one point. The movie plot is almost identical to the novel with a few exceptions. In contrast to the book, the movie doesn’t start in the same manner as the book. It leaves out the initial jumping of Ponyboy by the Socs. In addition, the story doesn’t end with the either Ponyboy reading the yearbook or the court hearing. Whole to Whole
In this strategy you explain all the similarities about the items being compared in one section/paragraph and then you explain all the differences in another section/paragraph. The paragraphs do not have to address the same points
Introduction Similarities Differences Conclusion This method uses a separate section/paragraph for similarities and differences The body consists of two large paragraphs: one for similarities and one for differences Example: In the similarities section you could explain how characters, setting and theme were similar in both the movie and the book In the differences paragraph you could explain how the setting and resolution were different.
Similarities to Differences The book and movie version of The Outsiders have several similarities. One way they are similar is they both include the same characters and character traits. Ponyboy is sensitive and reflective narrator in both. He spends his time trying to figure out where he belong in his family and community. In both the book and movie Ponyboy comes to realize the value of being an individual. Another similar character is Dally Winston. He is cruel and angry in both versions. He spends his time pushing away anyone who gets close and lashes out at the world. He ends revealing his desperation when he purposely dies in the end. Another similarly between the movie and book is the conflict between the greasers and socs. All the teenagers struggle with accepting each other due to social status. One group is a poor group of uneducated kids from the east side of town and the other group is the rich, privileged group from the west side of town. In both, the battle is sparked by the accidental killing of one of the soc boys who was attempting to drown Ponyboy. The struggle is never resolved in either the movie nor the book. The book and movie version of The Outsiders have several differences. One way they differ is in some details related to setting. For instance, in the book, the town is split into the east and west side while in the movie the town is split into the north and south sides. Another difference is the addition of the raccoons and rabbits at the church. There is no mention of wildlife in the novel version. Another difference in setting is the addition of rain to the rumble scene in the movie. Finally, there are a few plot details that are different. While the book version includes a visit by Johnny’s mother at the hospital, the movie does not. There is also no court hearing at the conclusion of the movie as there was in the book.
In this strategy you explain one point of comparison before moving to the next point Example: Each paragraph explains one point of comparison/contrast before moving to the next point. For instance, you would write about the characters in the stories in one section, and then you would write about the setting in the stories in the next. Then you could write about the themes in the last body paragraph.
Introduction Point #1 Point #2 Conclusion This strategy uses a separate section/paragraph for each point. You may have more than 4 paragraphs! Example: Point #1 could include details about the characters in the stories. You would begin a new paragraph for Point #2 in which you might discuss the setting and so on. Begin by talking about the same story in each paragraph for consistency.
Point to Point The setting of the book is a small town in the southeast. The characters are from either the east or west side of town. The movie version differs in this detail only: characters are either from the north or south. In both versions, the kids enjoy the same activities typical of the earl 1960s. The characters in the book are described quite vividly by Ponyboy. Ponyboy Curtis describes himself as different fom his family and friends. He enjoys books, movies, and is a deep thinker. Dally is a tough greaser who is angry with the world. He lashes out at every opportunity. Finally Two Bit Mathews is a fun-loving jokster who has to constantly put his “two bits” in. Although the book uses words to describe these characters,, the movie more clearly illustrates these charcter’s personalities. Two-Bit’s foolish behavior is obvious in his antics around town. He enjoys teasing the Socs at one point while Pony speaks with rAndy. Dally’s true cruel and savage nature is shown in his treatment of some school children who ask for money. He further displays his anger when he threatens a hospital employee with his gun. In the book, the story’s plot kicks off with Ponyboy getting jumped by the Socs as he walks home from the movies. The action continues as a Soc is later killed by Johnny, one of Ponyboy’s greaser friends. The boys end up running away, but come back after they rescue several children in a church fire. IN contrast to the book, the movie does not begin with the exciting scene when Pony gets jumped. Instead he relives the emotional death of his parents. In addition, the movie version doesn’t include the scene in which Pony examines the yearbook and thinks about Bob or the court hearing near the conclusion.
Transitions tell a reader that the writer is changing from talking about one item to another. Transitional words or phrases help make the paper smooth and more coherent by showing connections between ideas that are being presented.
Also As As well as Both In the same manner In the same way Like Likewise Most important Same Similar Similarly The same as Too These transitions signal to readers that you are changing from one idea to the next and that two ideas are similar. Example: The characters in the movie were similar to the characters in the book. Both the characters in the movie and in the book were interested in detective work.
Although But Differ Even though However In contrast Instead Nevertheless On the contrary On the other hand Unlike While Yet These transitions signal the reader that two items your discussing are different Example: The setting in the book was summer while the setting in the movie was winter. The events in the book took place during several afternoons, but the events in the movie took place during the evening.
Essays comparing and contrasting ideas are evaluated for quality using the following criteria: Purpose and supporting details Organization and structure Transitions and coherence As always, watch for proper spelling, punctuation and grammar!!
Purpose and Supporting Details -compares and contrasts items clearly -points to specific examples to illustrate comparison -includes only information relevant to comparison Organization and Structure -uses one of 3 structures -follows consistent order when discussing comparisons -information is broken into appropriate paragraphs Transitions and Coherence -moves smoothly from one idea to next -uses transitions to show relationship between ideas -uses a variety of sentence structures and transitions