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Compare and Contrast Essay


Definition A Comparison or Contrast essay is an essay in which you either compare something or contrast something. A comparison essay is an essay in which you emphasize the similarities, and a contrast essay is an essay in which you emphasize the differences. II. Organisation A comparison and contrast essay can be organised in two different ways: + By focusing on features of each subject in the corresponding order + By comparing and contrasting a number of issues point by point Pattern 1: Block Arrangement Para 1: INTRODUCTION - Presents the subject that is to be compared or contrasted - Ends with a thesis statement that focuses the comparison or contrast Para 2-3. BODY - There are two paragraphs, each with a clear topic sentence - One paragraph is devoted to features of subject A and the other body paragraph is devoted to corresponding features of subject B Para 4: CONCLUSION - Summarise the similarities and differences - State the writers feeling or prediction about the topic Pattern 2 : Point-by-point arrangement Para 1; INTRODUCTION - Presents the subject that is to be compared or contrasted - Ends with a thesis statement that focuses the comparison or contrast Para 2-3 (4). BODY - There are two or preferably three paragraphs in the body, each with a clear topic sentence - Each paragraph presents one main point to be compared or contrasted between the two subjects. - Within each body paragraph, the topic sentence states the point of comparison or contrast between the subjects. The supporting sentences provide explanation or examples. - It is necessary to use sequence transitions like first, second, furthermore, etc or connectors to connect the point-by-point analysis within each paragraph and to connect one paragraph to another. Para 4(5) CONCLUSION - Summarise the similarities and differences - State the writers feeling or prediction about the topic.

Compare and Contrast Essay

Suppose you are interested in showing the differences between vacationing in the mountains and vacationing at the beach. You will then write a contrast composition. One way to arrange your material is to use the block arrangement which is to write about vacationing in the mountains in one paragraph and vacationing at the beach in the next. If you mention a particular point in the mountains paragraph, you must mention the same point in the beach paragraph, and in the same order. Study the following outline, which shows this kind of organization. The introductory paragraph is followed by the mountains paragraph, the beach paragraph, then the conclusion; the fully developed essay is just four paragraphs.
Block Arrangement (four paragraphs) I. Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss the differences between vacationing in the mountains or at the beach II. Mountain A. Climate B. Types of Activities C. Location III. Beach A. Climate

C. IV.

Types of Activities Location Conclusion

A second way to organize this material is to discuss a particular point about vacationing in the mountains and then immediately to discuss the same point about vacationing at the beach. This is called point-by-point or alternating arrangement. An outline of this organization follows.
Point-by-Point or Alternating Arrangement (five paragraphs) I. Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss differences between vacationing in the mountains or at the beach II. First difference between mountains and beaches is climate A. Mountains B. Beach III. Second difference between mountains and beaches are types of activities A. Mountains B. Beach

Compare and Contrast Essay


Third difference between mountains and beaches is the location A. Mountains B. Beach



Examine the comparison or contrast essays that follow, and decide whether the authors used block arrangement or point-by-point (or alternating) arrangement. Notice how other authors structure their essays. Five paragraphs or four? Block arrangement or point-by-point arrangement? Noticing these things will help you become a better, more conscious reader and writer.
Vacationing at the Beach or in the Mountains People are always looking forward to their vacation period. There are many options where to choose. I think that the two most common places people choose for taking a vacation are the beaches and the mountains. Both places offer a variety of fun activities. The beach offers activities that the mountain cannot offer and vice versa. The mountain and the beach are totally different. The purpose of this essay is to contrast the climate, types of activities and locations of beaches and mountains. Im going to discuss mountains first. The three aspects Im going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Climate is always important in order to enjoy vacations. If a person dislikes cold weather, he or she might have a hard time in the mountains. The cold climate in the mountains is the first barrier to enjoying them, but the climate and the temperature of these zones also determine the types of activities they offer. Snow boarding, mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing are some activities people can enjoy when going to the mountains. There are many regions that have mountains where people can go and have a great vacation. Canada is a country located in North America and contains many mountain vacation sites where people can go and have fun. Im going to discuss the beach second. The three aspects Im going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Warm climate is one of the most important features that the beach has. Sun and fun are two words that describe the beach. The temperature in those places is always hot. The sea and the warm climate determine the activities that are available at the beach. People can swim, play volleyball, play soccer, and ride water bikes. In most coastal sites, there are discos and restaurants where people can dance or party throughout the night. Mexico offers many amazing coastal sites to visit. Acapulco and Cancun are two of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the word. It doesnt matter what place a person decides to choose. The fun is 100% guaranteed. People often choose one of these two options to spend their vacations. Depending on what the person likes is what he or she will choose. I like the beach better than the mountains, but sometimes it is better to take a risk and try a different place to enjoy. (399 words)

*** Good Comparison/Contrast: Uses subjects that have enough in common to be compared and or contrasted

Compare and Contrast Essay

Serves a purpose-either to help readers make a decision or understand the subjects being compared and/or contrasted Presents several important, parallel points of comparison/contrast Arranges points in a logical organization III. Useful languages for Comparison and contrast essay

Showing similarity
Similarly, Likewise, ...the same... ...the same as... ...also... ..., too. Both Just as Just like .and. .alike .equal not only.but also... In the same way, X is similar to Y in that (they)... X and Y are similar in that (they)... Like X, Y [verb]... In like manner, One way in which X is similar to Y is (that)... Another way in which X is similar to Y is (that)... However,

Showing differences/contrast
In contrast, By contrast, ..., but ..., yet On the one hand,On the other hand, Although + S V Even though + S V While+ S V Whereas + S V unlike X, Y . Nevertheless/ Nonetheless, compared to, contrasted with, on the contrary, still, Conversely,

***Note: Review handouts of Week 4 (Language for comparison and contrast, comparative and superlative forms of Adj and Adv).

Task 1: Read the following tasks and answer the questions that follow:

Compare and Contrast Essay

It has been said, "Not everything that is learned is contained in books." Compare and contrast knowledge gained from experience with knowledge gained from books. In your opinion, which source is more important? Why? You should write at least 250 words. You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. You should give reasons for your answer using your own ideas and experience A. What do you have to compare and contrast in your essay? B. What is the purpose of comparing and contrasting them? C. What similarities and differences do you think there are? D. Which pattern do you think is easier for you to organise your essay? Task 2: Read the model essay and answer the questions:
"Experience is the best teacher" is an old clich, but I agree with it. We can learn a lot of important things from books, but the most important lessons in life come from our own experiences. Throughout the different stages of life, from primary school to university to adulthood, experience teaches us many skills we need for life. As children in primary school, we learn facts and information from books, but that is not all we learn in school. On the playground we learn how to make friends. In our class work, we learn how it feels to succeed and what we do when we fail. We start to learn about the things we like to do and the things we don't. We don't learn these things from books, but from our experiences with our friends and classmates. In our university classes, we learn a lot of information and skills we will need for our future careers, but we also learn a lot that is not in our textbooks. In our daily lives both in class and out of class, we learn to make decisions for ourselves. We learn to take on responsibilities. We learn to get along with our classmates, our roommates, and our workmates. Our successes and failures help us develop skills we will need in our adult lives. They are skills that no book can teach us.

Throughout our adulthood, experience remains a constant teacher. We may continue to read or take classes for professional development. However, our experiences at work, at home, and with our friends teach us more. The triumphs and disasters of our lives teach us how to improve our careers and also how to improve our relationships and how to be the person each one of us wants to be. Books teach us a lot, but there is a limit to what they teach. They can give us information or show us

Compare and Contrast Essay another person's experiences. These are valuable things, but the lessons we learn from our own experiences, from childhood through adulthood, are the most important ones we learn.

A. In which pattern is it organised? B. How are ideas organised in the body? Does the writer use any connectors to link one paragraph to another in the body? C. Draw out the outline of this essay. Task 3: Rewrite the following sentences to show similarity or contrast. Choose the correct connector in parentheses to add more coherence. 1. Lemons are yellow. Limes are green. ( unlike/ similarly) 2. Rome is a city rich in history. Athens is too. ( like/ in contrast) 3. A frog can live in water or on land. A fish cannot. ( like/ unlike) 4. A parrot can fly. An ostrich cannot. ( similarly/ in contrast) 5. Mozart composed his first opera at the age of 12. Mendelsohn composed his first masterpiece in his teens. ( in contrast/ similarly) .... Task 4: Complete the paragraph with the suitable word/ phrase below:
A. Like


on the one hand

on the other hand

in contrast

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and the Statue of Liberty in New York City may seem to be very different structures. However, they have many similarities. (1)-------------the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty was designed by a French architect. (2)----------------, the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower both represented great advancements in metalwork. The Eiffel Tower, however, is taller than the Statue of Liberty. The Eiffel Tower measures 986 feet. (3)----------------, the Statue of Liberty is only 305 feet from the water to the top of her torch. (4)----------you have the elegant black frame and sharp point of the Eiffel Tower, and (5)------------you have the long, flowing robes and lifelike torch of the Statue of Liberty. Both monuments are equally beautiful. B. however likewise another difference similarly whereas also while but on the other hand Even though Arizona and Rhode Island are both states of the U.S., they are different in many ways. For example, the physical size of each state is different. Arizona is large, having an area of 114,000 square miles,(1) Rhode Island is only about a tenth the size, having an area

Compare and Contrast Essay

of only 1,214 square miles. (2)__________ is in the size of the population of each state. Arizona has about four million people living in it, (3)___________ Rhode Island has less than one million. The two states also differ in the kinds of natural environments that each has. For example, Arizona is a very dry state, consisting of large desert areas that do not receive much rainfall every year. (4)_________ Rhode Island is located in a temperate zone and receives an average of 44 inches of rain per year. In addition, (5)__________ Arizona is a landlocked state and thus has no seashore, Rhode Island lies on the Atlantic Ocean and does have a significant coastline. C. in the same way likewise another similarity similarly whereas too while both however Even though we come from different cultures, my wife and I are alike in several ways. For one thing, we are (1) ______________thirty-two years old. In fact, our birthdays are in the same month, hers on July 10 and mine on July 20. (2)________ is that we both grew up in large cities. Helene was born and raised in Paris and I come from Yokohama. Third, our hobbies are alike (3)________. My wife devotes a lot of her free time to playing jazz piano. (4)_________, I like to spend time after work strumming my guitar. A more important similarity concerns our values. For example, Helene has strong opinions about educating our children and raising them to know right from wrong. I feel (5)________. Our children should receive a good education and also have strong moral training.
D. Are quite different





1. ..Japanese businesspeople usually have some command of English, it is often tenuous at best, especially in conversation. 2. ..Japanese, Americans naturally prefer to do business in their native language. 3. ..American and Japanese businesspeople tend to have little experience in dealing with people from other countries. 4. American and Japanese communication patterns . The American style is direct, and values discussion. The Japanese style is more vague and emphasizes on nonverbal cues and subtle nuances 5. Americans consider charisma and motivational ability crucial. Japanese often feel that American style strong leadership is insensitive and dictatorial.

E. The World Bank and the IMF were (1).. established in 1944 at a conference of world leaders in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The aim of the two "Bretton Woods institutions" as they are sometimes called, was to place the international economy on a sound footing after World War II. The work of the Bank and the Fund are complementary (2).. their individual

Compare and Contrast Essay

roles are quite (3) . The World Bank is a lending institution whose aim is to help integrate countries into the wider world economy and promote long term economic growth that reduces poverty in developing countries. The IMF acts as a monitor of the world's currencies by helping to maintain an orderly system of payments between all countries, and lends money to members who face serious balance of payments deficits. (4) ttttttttttthe World Bank makes loans for both policy reforms and projects, the International Monetary Fund concerns itself with policies (5) .It provides loans to member countries that have a short term problem meeting their foreign payments requirements and seeks to obtain full convertibility among the currencies of its members under the system of flexible exchange rates in force since 1973. F. Both similarly in the same way These towns are similar in A second way in which these two towns are similar


My hometown and my college town have several things in common. First, (1) . are small rural communities. For example, my hometown, Gridlock, has a population of only about 10,000 people. (2)., my college town, Subnormal, consists of about 11,000 local residents. This population swells to 15,000 people when the college students are attending classes. (3). is that they are both located in rural areas. Gridlock is surrounded by many acres of farmland which is devoted mainly to growing corn and soybeans. (4), Subnormal lies in the center of farmland which is used to raise hogs and cattle. Thirdly, (5) . they contain college campuses. Gridlock, for example, is home to Neutron College, which is famous for its Agricultural Economics program as well as for its annual CornWatching Festival. (6) , the town of Subnormal boasts the beautiful campus of Quark College, which is well known for its Agricultural Engineering department and also for its yearly Hog-Calling Contest.

Compare and Contrast Essay

HOME ASSIGNMENT You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic: Recent research has shown that media like the Internet and TV have a greater influence over peoples lives than politicians. Which do you consider to be the greater influence? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experience. Write at least 250 words.