Apples And Oranges Comparison Essay Structure

Presentation on theme: "apples oranges Prompt: Analyze the similarities and differences between apples & oranges."— Presentation transcript:

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2 apples oranges Prompt: Analyze the similarities and differences between apples & oranges.

3 Prompt: Analyze the similarities and differences between apples & oranges. STEPS to writing a Comparative Essay 1.Brainstorming (Venn Diagram) 2.Plan your body paragraphs (Pre- write) 3.Write your thesis! 4.Write a complete draft of your essay.

4 Topic: Name _______________________ Period ________________ Thesis Statement: _________________________ _______________________________________ _ Points of Comparison: I. II. III. Apples Oranges Bananas

5 Apples BOTH Oranges Compare & Contrast

6 Pre-writing/Organization What will be the topics of your body paragraphs?What will be the topics of your body paragraphs? What “direct comparisons” will you make?What “direct comparisons” will you make? What specific evidence do you have to support your comparisons?What specific evidence do you have to support your comparisons?

7 Direct Comparisons You are required to make “direct comparisons” throughout the body paragraphsYou are required to make “direct comparisons” throughout the body paragraphs A “D.C.” compares (or contrasts) both topics/ regions side-by-side.A “D.C.” compares (or contrasts) both topics/ regions side-by-side. Use comparing words, like: “BOTH”, “SIMILARLY”Use comparing words, like: “BOTH”, “SIMILARLY” Use contrasting words, like: “ALTHOUGH”, “BUT”Use contrasting words, like: “ALTHOUGH”, “BUT” Examples:Examples: –“Both apples and oranges can be used to produce juice that offers important vitamins.” (D.C.- similarity) –“While apples have a thin, edible skin, oranges are protected by a thick, rough skin that is more bitter to the taste.” (D.C.-difference)

8 Analysis of Reasons (for Sim./Diff. in Direct Comparisons) For each “direct comparison”, you should also analyze the reasons for the similarity or difference statedFor each “direct comparison”, you should also analyze the reasons for the similarity or difference stated Analysis = HOW? Or, WHY?Analysis = HOW? Or, WHY? Use analysis words/phrases, like: “BECAUSE”, “DUE TO”, “AS A RESULT OF”, etc.Use analysis words/phrases, like: “BECAUSE”, “DUE TO”, “AS A RESULT OF”, etc.

9 Analysis of Reasons (for Sim./Diff. in Direct Comparisons) Examples:Examples: –“While apples have a thin, edible skin, oranges are protected by a thick, rough skin that is more bitter to the taste. The differences in the peels of the two fruits could be a result of the different environments they are grown in (with apples being grown cooler climates and oranges being cultivated in warm, subtropical climates).” (D.C.- difference w/ analysis)

10 Pre-writing/Organization (w/ Direct Comparisons) Para. #1: Appearance & Physical Attributes Para. #2: Chemical Composition & Taste Para. #3: Uses of D.C. #1: Both are round D.C. #2: Apples have a thin, smooth skin, while oranges have a textured peel REASON: diff. climates ETC.

11 Writing a Thesis The “thesis statement” is the major claim/argument you are making (i.e.-your focus)The “thesis statement” is the major claim/argument you are making (i.e.-your focus) Write it AFTER planning your body paragraphsWrite it AFTER planning your body paragraphs The thesis must be supported with the evidence you haveThe thesis must be supported with the evidence you have Answer the question/prompt!!!Answer the question/prompt!!! Limit to 1-2 sentences (like “Tweet”?)Limit to 1-2 sentences (like “Tweet”?)

12 apples oranges Prompt: Analyze the similarities and differences between apples & oranges.

13 Thesis Statement- NO! There were many similarities and many differences between apples and oranges.

14 Thesis Statement- Almost... “Although apples and oranges look and taste different, they are actually more similar than they are different.”

15 Thesis Statement- GOOD! “While their outward appearance, texture, and flavors are different, apples and oranges both offer nutrients that help to supplement a healthy diet.”

16 1.Introduction Paragraph 2.Main paragraph #1 3.Main paragraph #2 4.Main paragraph #3 5.Conclusion paragraph Outline Your Comparative Essay

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18 Composing the Essay Introduction Paragraph – Identify what is happening in this essay, naming the literature compared and authors or directors. – THESIS STATEMENT incuding a preview of your main points “Road Map” – If not done in the thesis statement, preview the main points in a follow-up sentence (preview of body para.) Body Paragraphs (2-4 total) – State your Direct Comparison /Topic Sentence – Supply examples, illustrations, evidence, and/or quotes from the text. – Analysis of REASONS for similarities or differences Conclusion Paragraph – Re-state THESIS – Summarize major evidence that proves thesis

19 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 18 How to write an introductory paragraph “One today is worth two tomorrows.” Ben Franklin“One today is worth two tomorrows.” Ben Franklin

20 When you write an introductory paragraph, keep in mind that... Writing an introductory paragraph is like greeting someone. The paragraph should be short and to the point like saying, “Hello!”Writing an introductory paragraph is like greeting someone. The paragraph should be short and to the point like saying, “Hello!” Also, you don’t want to get into the meat of the essay. Simply give the audience a concise idea of your essay’s purpose.Also, you don’t want to get into the meat of the essay. Simply give the audience a concise idea of your essay’s purpose. Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 19

21 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 20 Remember that the introductory paragraph... Is the most important paragraph of the essay Is the most important paragraph of the essay Must be at least 50 words long or three sentences minimumMust be at least 50 words long or three sentences minimum Needs to do three thingsNeeds to do three things – Briefly introduce the topic – Cleary state your position – Provide three reasons

22 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 21 Even though there are several ways to begin an essay, I recommended that you choose one particular method and perfect it. Why?Even though there are several ways to begin an essay, I recommended that you choose one particular method and perfect it. Why?

23 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 22 Because if you keep using the same method, you will... Become an expert in this particular method.Become an expert in this particular method. Moreover, if you already know how you will begin your essay, you will be more prepared, relaxed, and confident.Moreover, if you already know how you will begin your essay, you will be more prepared, relaxed, and confident.

24 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 23 Let us consider different types of introductory paragraphs... General statement introductionGeneral statement introduction Question introductionQuestion introduction Quotation introductionQuotation introduction

25 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 24 Examples of general statement introduction Almost every time that you turn on the television you will find a number of shows which are extremely violent.Almost every time that you turn on the television you will find a number of shows which are extremely violent. Many public schools have decided that their students should use uniforms.Many public schools have decided that their students should use uniforms. In the United States of America the public burning of our flag has become a common sight.In the United States of America the public burning of our flag has become a common sight. (These are three different example of how you can begin your paragraph. If you will notice in the first sentence you simply introduce the topic. You do not state your position yet.) (These are three different example of how you can begin your paragraph. If you will notice in the first sentence you simply introduce the topic. You do not state your position yet.)

26 Created by José J. González, Jr. Spring 2002 25 Examples of question introduction Are you ever bothered by the excessive violence on prime time television?Are you ever bothered by the excessive violence on prime time television? Do you think that to improve our public school education the students should be required to wear uniforms?Do you think that to improve our public school education the students should be required to wear uniforms? Should we allow citizens to burn the United States flag in public?Should we allow citizens to burn the United States flag in public? (You can also begin your essay by asking a question. A question usually takes you to the heart of the problem quickly.) (You can also begin your essay by asking a question. A question usually takes you to the heart of the problem quickly.)

27 26 Quotation Introduction Quotation Introduction A recent article in Time magazine states, “that the viewing of extremely violent television shows is the number one cause of violence in our inner cities.”A recent article in Time magazine states, “that the viewing of extremely violent television shows is the number one cause of violence in our inner cities.” The Monitor recently conducted a study and concluded that “students in public schools where uniforms are mandatory have less problems and perform better academically.”The Monitor recently conducted a study and concluded that “students in public schools where uniforms are mandatory have less problems and perform better academically.” A recent article in The Austin Statesman states that “most Americans are very much against flag burning in public and are in favor of passing a law banning this activity.”A recent article in The Austin Statesman states that “most Americans are very much against flag burning in public and are in favor of passing a law banning this activity.”

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Learning Objectives

  1. Determine the purpose and structure of comparison and contrast in writing.
  2. Explain organizational methods used when comparing and contrasting.
  3. Understand how to write a compare-and-contrast essay.

The Purpose of Comparison and Contrast in Writing

Comparison in writing discusses elements that are similar, while contrast in writing discusses elements that are different. A compare-and-contrast essay, then, analyzes two subjects by comparing them, contrasting them, or both.

The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audience’s understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the compare-and-contrast essay.

Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already. Rather, you might try to compare how apples and oranges are quite similar. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be.

Writing at Work

Comparing and contrasting is also an evaluative tool. In order to make accurate evaluations about a given topic, you must first know the critical points of similarity and difference. Comparing and contrasting is a primary tool for many workplace assessments. You have likely compared and contrasted yourself to other colleagues. Employee advancements, pay raises, hiring, and firing are typically conducted using comparison and contrast. Comparison and contrast could be used to evaluate companies, departments, or individuals.

Exercise 1

Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Choose one of the following three categories. Pick two examples from each. Then come up with one similarity and three differences between the examples.

  1. Romantic comedies
  2. Internet search engines
  3. Cell phones

Exercise 2

Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Choose one of the following three items. Then come up with one difference and three similarities.

  1. Department stores and discount retail stores
  2. Fast food chains and fine dining restaurants
  3. Dogs and cats

The Structure of a Comparison and Contrast Essay

The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward comparing, contrasting, or both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader. Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting.

Thesis statement: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny.

Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted (organic versus conventional vegetables), and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader.

You may organize compare-and-contrast essays in one of the following two ways:

  1. According to the subjects themselves, discussing one then the other
  2. According to individual points, discussing each subject in relation to each point

See Figure 10.1 “Comparison and Contrast Diagram”, which diagrams the ways to organize our organic versus conventional vegetables thesis.

Figure 10.1 Comparison and Contrast Diagram

The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience.

Given that compare-and-contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis. See Table 10.3 “Phrases of Comparison and Contrast” for examples.

Table 10.3 Phrases of Comparison and Contrast

ComparisonContrast
one similarityone difference
another similarityanother difference
bothconversely
likein contrast
likewiseunlike
similarlywhile
in a similar fashionwhereas

Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay

First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so.

The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points. The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects.

After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample compare-and-contrast essay.

Writing at Work

Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategies—by subject or individual points—could also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague have to present something at work.

Exercise 4

Choose one of the outlines you created in Note 10.75 “Exercise 3”, and write a full compare-and-contrast essay. Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, well-defined and detailed paragraphs, and a fitting conclusion that ties everything together.

Key Takeaways

  • A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
  • The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
  • The thesis should clearly state the subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both, and it should state what is to be learned from doing so.
  • There are two main organizing strategies for compare-and-contrast essays.

    1. Organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other.
    2. Organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point.
  • Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed.

This is a derivative of Writing for Success by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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