COMPARISON & CONTRAST
Prepare your notes this way
Explanatory: makes subjects clear through
similarities and differences; does not take a position on the relative merit of the subjects.
Evaluative: establishes subjects’
advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses; takes a position on the subjects and usually concludes with a preference
or course of action.
*Comparison must treat two or more subjects in same general class or group.
Class likeness ensures that subjects
share enough features to make comparison worthwhile
EX: Points of comparison for diets may
be forbidden foods, allowed foods, speed of weight loss, nutritional quality.
Points of Comparison:
to identify the features shared by the subject (attributes of the class)
choice of class, points of comparison, specific similarities and differences while making the comparison worthwhile to the
rugby requires less strength and more stamina then American football, the two games are very much alike in
their strategies and rules.
diets result in similarly rapid weight lost,but Harris’ require much more self-discipline and is nutritionally
much riskier than Marcini’s.
*Generally, give subjects equal
emphasis when they are equally familiar or are being evaluated.
*Generally, stress similarities
and differences equally when all the point of comparison are equally familiar or important.
*Subject-by-subject: group the points
of comparison under each subject so that the subjects are covered one at a time-good for comparing impressions of subjects.
In a subject-by-subject arrangement,
if you devote two paragraphs to the first subject, do the same for the second subject.
Try to cover the points of comparison
in the same order and group the same ones in paragraphs.
Point-by-point: group subjects
under each point of comparison so that the points are covered one at a time- good for longer papers requiring precision.
Balance the paragraphs as you move back
and forth between subjects
If you treat several points of comparison
for the first subject in one paragraph, do the same for the second subject
If you apply a single point of comparison
to both subjects in one paragraph, do the same for the next point of comparison.
Are especially important with comparison/contrast
When shifting between subjects finding
When finding differences, use…
When you are moving on to a new point,
This way of drafting…
Helps you achieve balance in your comparison
Helps you see where you may need more
information to flesh out your subjects and your points.
The draft starts to sound too rigid,
You can loosen it up as you go.
Write down these questions about comparison/contrast
Are your subjects drawn from the same
Does your essay have a clear purpose
and say something significant about the subject?
Do you apply all points of comparison
to both subjects?
Does the pattern of comparison suit your
reader’s needs and the complexity of the material?