Showing similarities and differences
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Showing Similarities and Differences. Comparison and Contrast.

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Comparison and Contrast

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Showing Similarities and Differences

Comparison and Contrast

These two photographs were taken at wedding ceremonies. Study the photographs and make two lists a list of the ways that the two wedding scenarios are similar and a list of the ways they are different. Include details about the people and the setting, such as clothing, facial expressions, and background details.

Write a paragraph about the photos that answers these questions: How Are these two wedding scenes the same, and how are they different


  • Comparison and Contrast involves looking at both similarities and differences.

    • In a government class, your instructor asks you to compare two different parties position on the economy.

    • For a local newspaper, you are asked to contrast two local politicians views on building a Tim Hortons at Balcoms Corners.

Point-By-Point Organization

  • Writer moves back and forth between the two subjects

  • Compares key points or characteristics

    • Military Involvement in the world

      • Democratic View

      • Republican View

    • Health Care

      • Democratic View

      • Republican View

Subject-By-Subject Organization

  • Author describes the key points or characteristics of one subject then moves on to the next subject

    • Democratic views

      • Military involvement in the world

      • Health Care

    • Republican Views

      • Military involvement in the world

      • Health Care

  • Just be careful to discuss the same ideas when using this organizational style


  • Has a Clear Purpose

    • Express ideas

      • Express ideas about unconventional weddings. How they are similar and different

    • Inform

      • Variations of wedding ceremonies

    • Persuade

      • One type of wedding is better than another

Basis of Comparison

  • A common characteristic on which to base the essay

    • Baseball vs. Football could be compared by the entertainment value

  • Determines the details that should be used

    • Number of viewers for the Superbowl vs. the World Series is relevant

    • Kinds of equipment used in each sport- irrelevant.

Fairly Examines Differences and Similarities

  • Consider your essays focus

  • Relevant information should not be left out just to make your point

  • Cover the same points completely of both sides

Make a Point

  • Be interesting

    • Use other modes to spark interest

      • Describe each side thoroughly

      • Illustrate important or confusing ideas

      • Define difficult terms etc.

      • Tell how something works

Thesis Statement

  • Has Three functions

    • Identifies the subjects being compared and contrasted

    • Suggests whether to focus on similarities, differences, or both

    • States the main point

  • Similar complaints from both parties reveal an underlying problem with the current healthcare system.

  • Although different in purpose, the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party both support radical change to the current governmental purpose and structure.

  • Democrats and Republicans demonstrate two different approaches to the economic crisis in our country.


  • Clear Introduction

  • Spark the readers interest

  • Presents your subject

  • States your thesis

  • Includes any needed background information


  • Always supports the thesis of the paper

    • Even if it is a cool fact, if it does not support the thesis leave it out

  • Characteristics should be significant

  • A minimum of 3-4 characteristics should be examined

  • Each characteristic should be fully described

  • Make it easy to understand for an intelligent audience


  • Offer final comment on your comparison/ contrast

  • Summarize the main points

  • Remind readers of your thesis

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