An effective comparison enables you to highlight key concepts, key ideas, similarities and differences which improve the analytical focus of your discussion.
Use comparative sentences effectively. A long and complex sentence (with multiple clauses) is not grammatically incorrect; however, your comparison may be less effective and less analytical in focus.
Tease our viewpoints and then the argument focus/purpose: If Dr Johnson criticises Leunig’s tendency to scapegoat mothers, Ms Smith focuses on “precious mummies” who she contends neglect children because of their obsessive digital distractions. As a result, Dr Johnson directs sympathy towards struggling mothers; antithetically (contrastingly, conversely), Ms Smith channels sympathy towards the “forlorn” child.
Comparisons: writing about similarities
- Using adverbial phrases and clauses is a convenient way to weave comparative comments throughout your paragraphs. For example: Adverbs and adverbials: Likewise; similarly; comparably; analogously: Correspondingly, Ms Jan Tanmount sanctions the use of taser guns because it could protect a person from death;
- The editor’s views are comparable to Mr Tan’s; both support a sugar tax because of its benefit to the general health of the community.
- Like the previous author, Mr Santon also recommends the use of police body cameras.
- Adverbial clauses: If Mr Tan opposes the scheme, the editor also has reservations.
- Echoing Mr Trent’s critical stance, Ms Morgan also rejects the proposal to build a wind turbine in the middle of the desert;
- The editor shares Ms Su’s support for greater government controls and contends that an e-child Commissioner will provide digital protections.
Comparisons: writing about differences
- Adverbs and adverbials (viewpoints): by way of contrast; contrarily; on the contrary; conversely; contrastingly; correspondingly; comparably; antithetically; contrariwise; inversely; reversely
- By way of contrast, Ms Spank believes that low-fat products are just as lethal as “low tar cigarettes.
- Contrastingly, Jan cannot, like Mr Adams, condone the suffering of animals, and campaigns for a stop to all animal testing.
Adverbial clauses (viewpoints)
- While Ms Scott rejects the mobile phone ban in schools, Ms Humphry believes, on the contrary, that it would be a practical first step to ease anti-social behaviour.
- If the editor focuses our attention on the problems of discipline, Mr Smith contends that the threat of the strap would be a preferable solution.
Writing about contrasts
Be systematic and unpack the concepts.
If Ms Smith prevails upon mothers to engage in personal ways with children, Dr Johnson, conversely, cautions the public to be wary of tantrum-throwing children. For example, Ms Smith provides a depiction of “forlorn” and forgotten children which elicits sympathy for the child. Contrastingly, Dr Johnson focuses on a more disturbing description of “over-indulgent children” which directs sympathy towards the overlooked mother and her stress levels.
OR Both authors use relatable family-oriented examples, but to make a different point. For example, Ms Smith’s parental examples draw attention to the obsessive digital behaviour that leads to neglect. Contrastingly, Dr Johnson condones these distractions on the basis of a mother’s stress levels.
Warm up exercises: (juxtaposes; antithesis; analogous (use adjectives to gain depth), p. 12)
- Dr Carren juxtaposes the poisonous effects of “low fat “ lollies with that the “low tar cigarette”.
- Dr Carren suggests that “low fat lollies” are analogous to “low tar cigarettes”.
- Ms Spacer juxtaposes the year 10’s committed attitude to the NAPLAN test with the year 9’s nonchalant mindset.
- The author suggests that the “jobs ready certificate” is antithetical to a system that protects the mental health needs of students.
- The author suggests that the Minister’s irrational attitude is analogous to a card-reader’s.
- The image of the boisterous children in the background is analogous to John’s description of the unruly children in the restaurant.
- The author praises New Zealand’s waste disposal services, which she contends are the antithesis of Australia’s inefficient and haphazard methods.
More examples: The language of comparison
Using a verb
- Mr Fink compares the different attitudes to the renewable energy target.
- Tobias Wolff juxtaposes Dwight’s revengeful attitude towards the beaver with his desire to humiliate Toby. (to juxtapose: to put side by side; to place close together)
- Sally Morgan draws a correlation between Winnie the Pooh’s love of adventure and magic and her own. (a correlation: mutual relations of two or more things; parts etc.)
- Mr Bell equates the pigs’ lust for power with that of a dictator’s.
(to equate: to state the equality of; or between; to regard, treat or represent as equivalent)
- Shakespeare constructs parallel feuding figures — Tybalt (a Capulet) and Mercutio (a Montague) — to show their like-minded capacity for disruption.
Using a noun (nominals)
- Dickens’ juxtaposition of the angelic image of children with their ragged reality reveals the effects of poverty.
- Ms Spank’s analogy between a low-sugar roll-up and a low tar cigarette draws attention to the harmful nature of “low fat” sugary products. (analogy: agreement; similarity (to, with, between); process of reasoning from parallel cases; a partial similarity in particular circumstances in which a comparison may be based)
- By way of analogy, Mr Phan highlights the similarities between physical and mental well-being.
- Through the juxtaposition of Old Major’s idealism and Napoleon’s depravity, Orwell highlights the need for vigilance.
Using an adjective
- Sally Morgan suggests that Winnie the Pooh’s “obsession with honey” is analogous to her love of drawing. (suggestive of; similar to; comparable to; reminiscent of )
- These comparative examples show the need for positive distractions and productive pursuits.
- Conversely, Ms Spank suggests that the low-sugar roll-up is just as harmful as the “low tar” cigarette. (comparably; correspondingly; by way of contrast; on the contrary; contrastingly).
- By comparing the different attitudes of Boxer and Snowball towards revolutionary change, Orwell demonstrates the problematic role of violence.
- Orwell distinguishes/ differentiates between Boxer’s fear of violence and Snowball’s indifference.
- Najaf depicts Gorg Ali’s desire to hold “things together” as the antithesis of the warrior’s tendency to “wrench things apart”. (antithesis: the exact opposite; contrast or opposition; the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas so as to produce an effect of balance.)
- Najaf uses antithetical clauses to differentiate between Gorg Ali’s desire for peace and the warrior’s tendency to fight.
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