Comparison and contrast

Comparison and contrast

  • Comparison: pointing out the similarities
  • Contrast: pointing out the differences

A model paragraph

     Are you aware of the striking similarities between two of the most popular U. S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy? A minor point is that the names Lincoln and Kennedy both have seven letters. Both men had their elections legally challenged. Lincoln and Kennedy are both remembered for their sense of humor, as well as for their interest in civil rights. Lincoln became president in 1860; Kennedy, in 1960. ‘Lincoln’s secretary was Mrs. Kennedy; Kennedy’s secretary was Mrs. Lincoln. ‘Neither man took the advice of his secretary not to make a public appearance on the day on which he was assassinated. Lincoln and Kennedy were both killed on a Friday in the presence of their wives. ‘Both assassins, John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald, have fifteen letters in their names, and both were murdered before they could be brought to trial. Just as Lincoln was succeeded by a Southern Democrat named Johnson, so was Kennedy. “Andrew Johnson (Lincoln’s successor) was born in 1808; Lyndon Johnson (Kennedy’s successor) was born in 1908. And finally, the same caisson carried the bodies of both men in their funeral processions.

Adjective/preposition

  • Kennedy was killed on (exactly, almost, practically) the same day as Lincoln. 
  • Kennedy’s death was (somewhat, rather, very, quite) similar to Lincoln’s in that they both died in office.
  • Kennedy’s death was(somewhat, rather, very much, exactly) like Lincoln’s in that they both died in office.
  • Like Lincoln, Kennedy refused to heed his secretaries warning.

Correlative conjunctions

  • Both Kennedy and Lincoln had their elections legally challenged. 
  • Kennedy and Lincoln both had their elections legally challenged.
  • Neither Kennedy’s wife nor his children were expecting anything unusual to happen that day.
  • Neither Kennedy’s children nor his wife was expecting anything unusual to happen that day. 
  • Just as Lincoln died in office, so Kennedy was still president when he was assassinated.

Attached statements

  • Kennedy was succeed by a Southern Democrat, and Lincoln was too/ and so was Lincoln.
  • Kennedy could arouse the sympathy of the public, and Lincoln could too/ and so could Lincoln.
  • Ms. Kennedy witnessed her husband’s assassination, and Ms. Lincoln did too/ and so did Ms. Lincoln.
  • Kennedy’s assassin was not brought to trial, and Lincoln’s wasn’t either/ and neither was Lincoln’s.
  • Kennedy’s secretary couldn’t prevent her president’s assassination, and Lincoln’s couldn’t either/ and neither could Lincoln’s. 
  • Kennedy didn’t finish his term of office, and Lincoln didn’t either/ and neither did Lincoln.

Predicate structures

  • Kennedy’s popularity (vaguely, closely, greatly, etc) resembled Lincoln’s.
  • Kennedy resembled Lincoln in that they were both popular presidents.
  • Kennedy and Lincoln have (Certain, many, several, two, etc) things/features/aspects/ characteristics/qualities/ attitudes in common.
  • There are (certain, several, many, three, etc) similarities between Kennedy and Lincoln.

Sentence connectors

  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; similarly, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 
  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; correspondingly, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 
  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; likewise, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 
  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; in the same way, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 
  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808; by the same token, Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 

Punctuation only

  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808 Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908. 
  • Andrew Johnson was born in 1808 Lyndon Johnson, in 1908. 

Contrast paragraph

A model paragraph

     According to the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, every person’s personality can be placed somewhere on a scale running from extreme extroversion (i.e., an outgoing personality) to extreme introversion (i.e., a withdrawn personality). The typical extrovert is particularly fond of people and people-oriented activities: he is sociable, likes parties, has many friends, needs to have people to talk to, and does not like reading or studying by himself. The typical introvert, on the other hand, is a quiet, retiring sort of person, introspective, fond of books rather than people. ·Unlike the extrovert, who craves excitement, takes chances, and is generally impulsive, the introvert shuns excitement, takes matters of everyday life with proper seriousness, and likes a well-ordered mode of life. Whereas the extrovert tends to be aggressive and loses his temper easily, the introvert tends to keep his feelings under close control, seldom behaves in an aggressive manner, and does not lose his temper easily. ‘The introvert is more reliable and less optimistic than the extrovert. The extrovert may often be subject to criminal or psychopathic behavior, in contrast to the introvert, who may exhibit neurotic tendencies. A further difference between the two involves the ability to remember: studies have tended to show that the extrovert learns faster than the introvert but, in the end, remembers less!

Signals

Er....than; less....than; more.....than; as....as

  • The introvert is quieter than the extrovert.
  • The introvert is more reliable than the extrovert.
  • The introvert is less optimistic than the extrovert.
  • The introvert learns more slowly than the extrovert.
  • The extrovert isn’t as quiet as the introvert.
  • The extrovert isn’t as reliable as the introvert.
  • The extrovert doesn’t learn as slowly as the introvert.
  • The introvert isn’t as optimistic as the extrovert.

Prepositions

  • Unlike the extrovert, who craves excitement, the introvert likes a well-ordered mode of life.
  • Contrary to the extrovert, who craves excitement, the introvert likes a well-ordered mode of life.
  • As opposed to the extrovert, who craves excitement, the introvert likes a well-ordered mode of life.

Adverbial clauses

  • Although the extrovert loses his temper quickly, The introvert seldom does.
  • Whereas the extrovert loses his temper quickly, The introvert seldom does.
  • While the extrovert loses his temper quickly, The introvert seldom does.

Verbal structures

  • The introvert contrasts with the extrovert in regard/respect to his ability to remember.
  • The introvert differs from the extrovert in regard/respect to his ability to remember.
  • The introvert is different from the extrovert in regard/respect to his ability to remember.

Sentence connectors

  • The extrovert loves crowds; however, the introvert is fond of solitude.
  • The extrovert loves crowds; on the other hand, the introvert is fond of solitude.
  • The extrovert loves crowds; in contrast, the introvert is fond of solitude.
  • The extrovert loves crowds; the introvert, however,  is fond of solitude.
  • The extrovert loves crowds; the introvert, on the other hand,  is fond of solitude.
  • The extrovert loves crowds; the introvert, in contrast,  is fond of solitude.

Punctuation only

  • The introvert likes books; the extrovert is fond of people.
  • The introvert likes books; the extrovert, people.
Methods of contrast

     There are two main ways in which to organize your material when you wish to develop a contrast paragraph.

  1. The first method has been used in the preceding model paragraph (the typical extrovert vs. the typical introvert). In this method, the contrasts are made one at a time, or point by point. Thus, the two personality types are first contrasted for sociability, then for risk taking, and so on. Note, in the preceding model paragraph, that the words extrovert and introvert are repeated each time a new area of contrast is brought up.
  2.      The writer could, of course, have completely described the extrovert, then, in the second part of the paragraph, have gone on to completely describe the introvert. This would have given a very different-looking, but equally acceptable paragraph.

A model paragraph for the second method

     In studying the phenomenon usually referred to as sleep, we are actually dealing with more than one phenomenon. In point of fact, we spend the night alternating between two different types of sleep, each with different brain mechanisms and different purposes. As a person falls asleep, his brain waves develop a slower and less regular pattern than in a waking state. This is called orthodox sleep. In this state the brain is apparently resting. Its blood supply is reduced, and its temperature falls slightly. Breathing and heart rate are regular. The muscles remain slightly tensed. After about an hour in this state, however, the brain waves begin to show a more active pattern again, even though the person is apparently asleep very deeply. This is called paradoxical sleep because it has much in common with being awake. Paradoxical (active) sleep is marked by irregular breathing and heart rate, increased blood supply to the brain, and increased brain temperature. Most of the muscles are relaxed. There are various jerky movements of the body and face, including short bursts of rapid eye movement (REM’s), which indicate that we are dreaming. Thus, we spend the night alternating between these two vital “restoration jobs”: working on the brain (paradoxical sleep) and working on the body. (orthodox sleep)

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