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Comparison and Contrast: Finding Similarities and Differences.

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Presentation on theme: "Comparison and Contrast: Finding Similarities and Differences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Comparison and Contrast: Finding Similarities and Differences

2 Steps for Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay 1. Determine your purpose and rationale. 2. Choose two things to compare/contrast. These are your subjects. They should have something in common. 3. Brainstorm the points that you are going to compare/contrast between the subjects. 4. Find evidence for each point and analyze it. 5. Determine your claims about each point of comparison. 6. Weight the evidence. From here, develop a thesis. 7. Determine your organizational patterns.

3 Determining your purpose In general, we compare and contrast to help us make a decision by analyzing the pros and cons, benefits and costs, and/or qualities and drawbacks of one subject versus another

4 Determining your purpose For this next assignment your purpose will be to make a comparative analysis of two points of view relevant to your research question to help you to better understand your topic and form your thesis for the big paper. Your rationale for choosing the two sources will depend on your research objectives.

5 Choosing Your Subjects These two points of view can come from experts cited in books, newspapers, magazines, trade or scholarly journals, authors of scholarly articles, and/or organizations or groups that have a stake in the issue you are researching.

6 Choosing Your Subjects Avoid “comparing apples to oranges.” For example, you would have a hard time comparing the points of view from an academic researcher with a blog by an anonymous person.

7 Determining your Rationale State what these two subjects have in common, what is different about them, and what you aim to learn about your topic by comparing/contrasting the two.

8 Brainstorming Points for Comparison Purpose: To better understand the controversy surrounding copyright laws and electronic file sharing. Subjects: The RIAA (Recording Industry of America) and the EFF (The Electronic Frontier Foundation) Rationale: To compare and contrast how each group fights different sides of the same battle surrounding copyrights and technology.

9 Finding your Points for Comparison To determine these you will first need to do some additional reading. Look for common themes and issues between each subject. Take notes and analyze them. Then select overlapping themes and issues that have some depth. Points of Comparison: 1. Organizational “Mission Statements” 2. Positions on File Sharing 3. Activities

10 Points of Comparison Mission Statements Positions on file sharing Activities Subject #1: R.I.A.A. Trade group that represents the U.S. Recording Industry. Works to “protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. “ Seeks to uphold the law protecting copyrights to the full extent. Views “pirating” as a term not strong enough to convey the damage done by music theft. Uses a “multi- faceted approach” to combat music theft: Provides education about the law; provides legal downloading models; deploys investigators nationwide; pursues legal action. Subject #2: E.F.F. Non-profit public interest group founded in Works to defend “free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights” as they pertain to digital media. Seeks to uphold “fair use.” Views common investigative tactics against file sharing as an invasion of privacy and a breach of civil liberties. Raises awareness on rights in cyberspace and defends individuals who have created or used technological innovations.

11 Point #1: Mission StatementsPoint #1: Mission Statements Subject #1:Subject #1:R.I.A.A. Support: The RIAA is a trade group that represents the U.S. Recording Industry. Works to “protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. “ It appears that most of the RIAA’s board members are executives of recording companies and its clients are also often those same private companies. Analysis: Therefore, it appears that the RIAA is designed to serve private interests. Subject #2:Subject #2:E.F.F. Support: The EFF is a non-profit public interest group founded in It works to defend “free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights” as they pertain to digital media. Analysis: The EFF does not exist for profit, and most of its clients are common citizens, artists, or organizations that have been accused of violating free speech or copyright law. Claim #1: The RIAA is designed to serve private interests while the EFF defends the rights of artists and common citizens.

12 From the results of the T-Chart you can determine your claims: Claim #1: The RIAA is designed to serve private interests while the EFF defends the rights of artists and common citizens. Claim #2: The RIAA and the EFF have very different views on file sharing. Claim #3: While the RIAA investigates illegal downloading and the EFF defends those accused, both organizations are involved in educating the public and defending innovators.

13 Creating a Thesis Statement for your Compare/Contrast Paper From your rationale and your claims and determine your thesis: In comparing how the RIAA and EFF fight different sides of the same battle surrounding copyrights and technology, it becomes clear that they actually share some common goals.

14 Weighting your Claims However, you may determine that one point of comparison is more important than another. In these cases you will need to weight your claims.

15 Revised Thesis In comparing how the RIAA and EFF fight different sides of the same battle surrounding copyrights and technology, it becomes clear that even though they they disagree on the dangers of illegal file sharing, they actually share some common goals.

16 Comparison/Contrast Organizational Patterns Point by point structure: switch between each subject to discuss each sub- point Point by point structure: switch between each subject to discuss each sub- point Block structure: discuss all of the sub- points of each subject before switching to the next subject Block structure: discuss all of the sub- points of each subject before switching to the next subject

17 Points of Comparison Mission Statements Positions on file sharing Activities Subject #1: R.I.A.A. Trade group that represents the U.S. Recording Industry. Works to “protect intellectual property rights worldwide and the First Amendment rights of artists; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. “ Seeks to uphold the law protecting copyrights to the full extent. Views “pirating” as a term not strong enough to convey the damage done by music theft. Uses a “multi- faceted approach” to combat music theft: Provides education about the law; provides legal downloading models; deploys investigators nationwide; pursues legal action. Subject #2: E.F.F. Non-profit public interest group founded in Works to defend “free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights” as they pertain to digital media. Seeks to uphold “fair use.” Views common investigative tactics against file sharing as an invasion of privacy and a breach of civil liberties. Raises awareness on rights in cyberspace and defends individuals who have created or used technological innovations.

18 Unity, Coherence, and Development Unity: each support and analysis fits the claim; the claims support the thesis Unity: each support and analysis fits the claim; the claims support the thesis Coherence: one idea leads logically to the next; different subjects and points of comparison are clearly distinct by use of consistent terms and transitional words and phrases. Coherence: one idea leads logically to the next; different subjects and points of comparison are clearly distinct by use of consistent terms and transitional words and phrases. Development: there is enough evidence and analysis to convince readers that the claim is true; conclusion sentences define any assumptions (premises) or implications of the paragraph Development: there is enough evidence and analysis to convince readers that the claim is true; conclusion sentences define any assumptions (premises) or implications of the paragraph

19 Transition Words Comparison additionally in addition additionally in addition againalong the same lines againalong the same lines as well asboth as well asboth furthermorein the same way furthermorein the same way just as…solike, or likewise just as…solike, or likewise similarly similarly

20 More Transition Words Contrast althoughbut althoughbut by contrastconversely by contrastconversely despite the fact even though despite the fact even though howeverin contrast howeverin contrast neverthelessnonetheless neverthelessnonetheless on the contraryon the other hand on the contraryon the other hand regardlesswhereas regardlesswhereas whileyet whileyet

21 In-Class Activity Choose one of the following pair of subjects and develop your own points of comparison, claims, and thesis on the small T-Chart: Compare/Contrast a book you have read with a movie-version of that book that you have seen Compare/Contrast a book you have read with a movie-version of that book that you have seen Compare/Contrast a friend from college with a friend from high school Compare/Contrast a friend from college with a friend from high school Compare/Contrast the pros/cons of living on- campus with pros/cons of living off-campus Compare/Contrast the pros/cons of living on- campus with pros/cons of living off-campus


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