Exercises from pp. 157 & 159 of Strategies for Successful Writing
Submit by email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (unless you have made other arrangements.)
Grammar Girl Click the link, then click Play to listen to “How to Use Italics.” http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ Is this building italicized? http://www.freefoto.com/preview/14-19-53?ffid=14-19-53
According to APA . . . Referring to one of GG’s “consult your style guide” suggestions: Use italics when using a word linguistically, which means when you are talking about the word itself. For example: Avoid using the second person you in formal academic papers, such as the comparison and contrast essay.
The Next Big Thing The Comparison and Contrast Essay
Comparison vs. Contrast Comparison = pointing out similarities Contrast = pointing out differences Sometimes, compare is used to mean both. If you encounter this on an assignment or test, it’s a good idea to ask for clarification. Watch this video about how to write a thesis statement for and how to organize a comparison and contrast essay. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rNg17UhGr0
The Thesis Statement Should name the two things to be compared and/or contrasted. Should indicate the purpose – to compare and/or contrast those two things. Should give a idea of relationship so the comparison/contrast makes sense to the audience. Should give a roadmap of the characteristics to be compared/contrasted by listing them.
Examples While both make excellent pets, dogs and cats usually require differences in human interaction, exercise and training. Although Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adds the undead to Austen’s classic romance, author Seth Grahame-Smith retains most of the original novel’s plot, characters and dialogue. Water is water, but swimming in an ocean and taking dip in a lake differ in the effects of the water on skin and clothing, in potential hazards to swimmers and in the level of swimming expertise required.
Block Organization Body Paragraph 1 or Section 1 Dogs as Pets Body Paragraph 2 or Section 2 Cats as Pets Demand human interaction. Need regular outdoor exercise. Can be obedience trained. Often act as if they do not need humans. Do not need to go outside for exercise. Train their owners.
Point by Point Organization Body Paragraph 1 or Section 1 – Human interaction needs of dogs and of cats. Body Paragraph 2 or Section 2 – Exercise needs of dogs and of cats. Body Paragraph 3 or Section 3 – Training potential of dogs and of cats.
Always discuss the two things in the same order in the thesis statement and in the body of the essay.
If dogs come first in your thesis statement, discuss dogs first in the body of the essay whether you are using point by point or block organization.
Organizing a Paragraph Follow the instructions on the Comparison and Contrast Paragraph handout. This is one paragraph out of a student essay that is organized point by point. Other points include exercise and spending money. You may work in pairs. Then discuss your arrangement with the class Can the class as a whole agree on a logical arrangement? Spend about 30 minutes total on this exercise.
Idea Generation Freewrite on each of the two things without trying to organize as you go. Write what comes to mind about each for 10 minutes. Brainstorm a two lists of characteristics – one for each thing. Draw a Venn diagram (on the next slide).
Venn Diagram: Dogs & Cats BOTH Dogs only Cats only Few breeds need a groomer Some require expensive grooming Must have Daily care Cost $ to care for Can be left alone for longer periods of time Require annual Vet care Need to go outside several times a day Use a litter box Need regular brushing/combing Need to be around people Usually resist obedience training “Hands-on” pet Can be trained to obey commands Like people on the cat’s terms Brainstorm ideas & place them in the diagram.
Select Focus & Main Points Few breeds need a groomer Some require expensive grooming Must have Daily care Cost $ to care for Can be left alone for longer periods of time Require annual Vet care Need to go outside several times a day Use a litter box – get exercise with toys Need regular feeding & grooming Need to be around people Usually resist obedience training “Hands-on” pet Can be trained to obey commands Like people on the cat’s terms Yellow = Focus on Contrasts Red= Focus on Similarities
Sometimes, unexpected pairings work because they create an analogy Analogy: resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike. (Merriam-Webster Online, 2009)
An Example of An Analogy Click here to see a clip from an episode of BBC’s Top Gear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVf_e6p7Nxg You will have to write a response.
Respond in Writing Why does this comparison/contrast work? How does the satirical tone help? Would it have worked if the piece had been serious? Write for 10-15 minutes.
Have you taken a break yet? Now is a good time.
Does your writing flow? Transitions make smooth sailing for your audience. Use them between paragraphs and between sentences. Next are some that often help when comparing and contrasting.
Cue Words Help signal your intentions in the thesis statement and in topic sentences. Keep your readers on track. Provide logical links within and between paragraphs. Help with coherence or “flow.”
Examples of Cue Words Like Similar to Also Unlike Similarly In the same way Likewise Again Compared to In contrast At the same time Regardless Despite In like manner Contrasted with On the contrary However Although Yet Even though Still But Nevertheless Conversely While On the one hand On the other hand
Your Comparison/Contrast Essay Compare and contrast two things that are equal on some level. Length: 2-3 pages, typed, double-spaced in 12 point Arial or Times New Roman and in APA format. No outside sources. Choose a topic you know well. Use 3rd person. Use formal, academic diction (level of language).
Which Pairs Are Comparable? Photography & painting Playing football & writing an essay Playing Monopoly & investing in the stock market Your best friend & Jake Gyllenhall Superman & Wolverine Raising cows & rearing children Knitting & cleaning the garage Reading for pleasure & reading for class Your mother and her sister Survivor & Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? Auto repair & CPR Shopping in stores & shopping online
Idea Generation 007 Style Preparation Form groups of 3-4 people you don’t usually work with. (Everyone must stand up and move!) Appoint 2 scribes to alternate writing down ideas on separate papers so the group can capture ideas faster. Appoint someone else to be “007.” The class should choose a clock watcher, if needed. www.noaanews.noaa.gov/.../tornado112907.jpg
Brainstorming& Spying List as many pairs of things that could be compared and contrasted as you can think of in 10 minutes. Do not discuss any of the ideas until 10 minutes are up. Just get them on paper. After 5 minutes, your 007 should get up and move around for 2 minutes to “spy” on other groups and gather intelligence (ideas). After 2 minutes, your 007 must return to report the ideas obtained on the mission. That leaves your group 3 minutes to bounce new ideas off of the intelligence your spy has gathered.
Debriefing After 10 minutes, appoint someone to write ideas on the board Each group should appoint a reporter who will share its ideas. Each group should share one pairing of ideas without repeating any that have been mentioned before until all ideas are listed on the board. Add new ideas as they occur.
Peer Review Next Week Bring 2 Paper Copies to Class
RevisedComparison and Contrast Essay Due in 2 Weeks
Now it’s time to get started! Use your time well.