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Comparison and Contrast Freshman English A technique for exposition, for explaining Comparison To compare is to discuss similarities and differences between. people places objects events ideas Contrast To contrast is to show or discuss differences. Uses Good for a broad range of explanatory situations to clarify and/or explain: character design elements the nature of something Useful also to: Show superiority. Used to make a point Requirements Relationship between the two items must be logical self-evident balanced sustained. Bases for Comparison What elements of the two items are comparable? Have you clearly stated them in the introduction? Are they in the order in which they will be discussed? Have you defined necessary terms? Organization Subject to subject (item to item) Point to point (element to element) Draw a Chart Rock Classical Concert Concert Instruments Venue Audience Music Rules to Help Rule #1 Keep elements of the comparison logically related. Elements must be comparable - of the same logical class. Example e.g. Modern atomic theory provides for fewer types of atoms than Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher who conceived the idea of atoms. Modern atomic theory provides for fewer types of atoms than that of Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher who conceived the idea of atoms. Rule #2 Complete all elements of the comparison. The reader must know which elements in a sentence are being compared. Examples Democritus believed that there existed an infinite variety of atoms, each of which possessed unique characteristics, for instance that atoms of water were smoother. , than …. The ideas of Democritus were based more on speculation. ,while …. Rule #3 Make comparisons clear and unambiguous. Revise comparisons that invite alternate interpretations. Example Scientists today express more respect for Democritus than his contemporaries 1. Scientists today express more respect for Democritus than for his contemporaries. 1. Scientists today express more respect for Democritus than his contemporaries did.. Revise the following sentences. 1. Since ancient times, fire has been regarded more as a transforming element than sheer destructive power. 2. Medieval scientists believed in fire resided magical properties. 3. In legend, Prometheus’s gift of fire made humans better, and for this Prometheus was punished. 4. Humankind has used file for about 400,000 years, although it is not clear that all people have known how to make it.
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