Posted by: helpforyourenglish | March 10, 2011

Writing – compare and contrast

Sometimes at school, college or university, we are asked to compare and contrast. This means we should look for things that are the same and things that are different.

Compare – notice and comment on things that are the same (similarities)

Contrast – notice and comment on things that are different (differences)

When we know the similarities and differences, we can tell people about them or write about them. In a writing exam, we might be asked the same question in two ways:

(a) What are the similarities and differences between xxxxx and yyyyyy?

(b) Compare and contrast xxxxx and yyyyy.

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Compare and contrast – writing

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How should we organise our writing text? Here are two ways.

………

(1) Method one

Introduction

Paragraph about xxxx

Paragraph about yyyy

Conclusion

………

(2) Method 2

Introduction

Discuss similarities

Discuss difference 1

Discuss difference 2

Discuss difference 3

Conclusion

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Let’s look at a real example.

……….

(a) What are the similarities and differences between canoes and kayaks?

(b) Compare and contrast canoes and kayaks.

Method one

Canoes and Kayaks

Canoes and kayaks are both lightweight small boats. They are both very easy to steer in the water and both are able to move through water using paddles. However, there are differences in size and shape, differences in the paddles and differences in the methods of moving through the water.

The shape of the canoe is long and slim and pointed at both ends. A canoe is about 5 metres long and weighs about 25 kilograms. People who go out on the water use paddles to steer and move through the water. Only one paddle, or oar, is needed. The canoe paddle has a long handle with a wide, flat piece of wood only at one end. The person inside the canoe propels the canoe by putting his hands at one end of the paddle and then by placing the oar into the water on one side of the canoe. He paddles on one side of the canoe until he wants to change direction. Then he will pull the paddle out of the water and place it into the water on the other side of the canoe.

Kayaks are usually much smaller than canoes. The body of a kayak is narrower than a canoe and the top of it is covered to keep out water. Kayaks can roll over, turning completely upside down. If someone is inside a kayak when it turns upside down, he can use his paddle to make the kayak turn upright again. The kayak paddle has wide, flat pieces of wood at both ends.ย A person steering a kayak first places his hands in the middle of the paddle. He then dips one wide end of the paddle into the water on one side of the kayak, then dips the other wide end of the paddle into the water on the other side of the kayak.

Canoes and kayaks are both lightweight and require only one person to steer and move through water using a paddle. The size and shape of the boats and their paddles are different, and the ways to use the paddles are different.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Method two

Canoes and Kayaks

Canoes and kayaks are types of small boats. In many ways, canoes and kayaks are very similar: both are easy to handle in the water and both are able to move through water by the use of paddles. However, there are differences in size and shape, paddles and methods of moving through the water.

The size and shape of canoes and kayaks are different. A canoe is long and slim and pointed at both ends. The length of a canoe is about 5 metres, and it weighs about 25 kilograms. Canoes are lightweight and very easy to steer in the water.

Kayaks are usually much smaller than canoes. The body of a kayak is narrower than a canoe, and the top of it is covered to keep water out. Kayaks can roll over, turning completely upside down. If someone is inside a kayak when it turns upside down, he can use his paddle to make the kayak turn upright again.

People who go out on the water in canoes and kayaks use paddles to steer and propel through the water. Only one paddle, or oar, is needed, but the shapes of the paddles are different. The canoe paddle has a long handle with a wide, flat piece of wood only at one end whereas the kayak paddle has wide, flat pieces of wood at both ends.

The person inside the canoe moves the canoe by putting his hands at one end of the paddle and then by placing it into the water on one side of the canoe. He paddles on one side of the boat until he wants to change direction, then he pulls the paddle out of the water and place it into the water on the other side of the canoe. On the other hand, a person steering a kayak first places his hands in the middle of the paddle. He then dips one wide end of the paddle into the water on one side of the kayak, then dip the other end of the paddle into the water on the other side of the kayak.

Canoes and kayaks are both lightweight and require only one person to steer and move through water using a paddle. However, the size and shape of the boats and their paddles are different, and the ways to use the paddles are different.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Which method is best?

Which method do you prefer? They are both good methods.ย Which method you use is up to you. Sometimes one method might be better than the other method.

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Responses

  1. Both methods are excellent, and I do like the way you describe something. You must be a real writer! Thank you so much, and I’m looking forward to your next blog.

  2. Wow,How interesting it is!It is very kind of you to post this useful lesson for us.The more we learn,the smarter we will become.I do appreciate your help.Keep going^_^

  3. Thank you Bambang and Uyen for your comments. Your kind words inspire and encourage me to write more. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love your blog. Great thanks, keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Le Ha An Di. Thanks for dropping by and reading my blog. I’m glad you like it. You’ve got a nice blog, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like your “Happiness can earn money” blog entry. I feel happier now that I have read it and now that I know you found my blog useful. ๐Ÿ™‚


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