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Compare/Contrast Essays. Norm Johnson Spring 2009. Purpose. Compare: showing the similarities Contrast: showing the differences Note: In common conversation, “compare” is sometimes used to also talk about the differences between two things. Practice Comparing & Contrasting.

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Compare/Contrast Essays

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compare contrast essays

Compare/Contrast Essays

Norm Johnson

Spring 2009

  • Compare: showing the similarities
  • Contrast: showing the differences

Note: In common conversation, “compare” is sometimes used to also talk about the differences between two things.

practice comparing contrasting
Practice Comparing & Contrasting
  • Compare: Chinese & Mexican Food
    • Chinese food and Mexican food are similar in one important way, they both use rice as an ingredient.
  • Contrast: Soccer & Basketball
    • While soccer requires players to be skillful at controlling the ball with their feet, in basketball players must not kick the ball at all.
transition expressions
Transition Expressions
  • Showing similarities:
    • (Something) is as(adjective) as(something). (one sentence)
    • Sentence A. Similarly, Sentence B.
  • Showing differences:
    • Direct Contrast (while, whereas, however, but)
    • Unexpected Result (although, though, nevertheless)
    • Concession (nevertheless, despite, in spite of,although, though and even though)
    • * Look at the examples on the handout.
topic sentence patterns
Topic Sentence Patterns
  • There are several differences/similarities between _A_ and _B_.
    • There are several differences between high school and college.
  • _A_ and _B_ are different/similar in many ways.
    • American homes and Japanese homes are different in several ways.
  • A comparison between _A_ and _B_ reveals some surprising similarities/differences.
practice writing a paragraph
Practice: Writing a Paragraph
  • We read about how nutrition information is communicated in several different countries.
  • Write a paragraph describing how two countries communication strategies are similar or different.
two methods of organizing
Two Methods of Organizing
  • Block Method
  • Point by Point Method
the block method
The Block Method
  • Describe the similarities in one paragraph.
  • Describe the differences in a different paragraph.
example of the block method
Example of the Block Method

Japanese homes and American homes are similar in the following ways. Each typically has a kitchen, dining area, living room and bedrooms. Many electronic gadgets such as computers, TVs and stereos can be found in both.

example 2 of the block method
Example 2 of the Block Method

They also differ in important ways. Japanese homes have a special entryway designed for taking off your shoes before entering the house. The type of flooring and methods of heating rooms also generally are different. Finally, the bathrooms are quite different between American and Japanese homes.

the point by point method
The Point by Point Method
  • Identify several key points or dimensions about which to consider the two subjects.
  • Describe the similarities and differences about each point together in separate paragraphs.
example the point by point method
Example: The Point by Point Method

Japanese homes and American homes both typically have an entryway, but in Japanese homes the entryway is more prominent. It is usually the same level as outside the front door, and then you step up into the house after you have taken off your shoes.

Both Japanese and American homes have a bathroom. They both usually have bath tubs. But the shape and function of the bath tub in Japan is different from America. …

writing a compare contrast essay
Writing a Compare/Contrast Essay
  • Topic: Compare/Contrast the similarities and differences in eating “here and there”.
  • Make a list of 5 similarities and 5 differences.
  • Compare your list with others from your culture (if possible).
  • Will you use the Block or Point by Point method? Choose one or the other.
essay basics review
Essay Basics Review
  • An essay should have 3 parts:
    • Introduction, Body & Conclusion
  • The introduction should include 3 things:
    • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
    • Background information
    • Thesis Statement
  • The body should do what?
    • Support the thesis with facts, examples & reasons
  • What are some techniques to use in the conclusion?
    • Restate the thesis, Ask a Question, Make a Prediction…