Language in Diversity

COMPARATIVE WRITING

A.     Definition of Comparative Writing

Comparative writing is a text which examines two or more things or people and says how they are similar. Comparative writing can be also called as comparison paragraph. Then, in many sources explain that comparative writing can’t be separated with contrast writing. If we examine the differences between two or more things, it’s called contrast writing. While, comparative writing is a comparison between to or more things which is similar. As in How do I write a comparison/essay Journal “Comparisons are discussions in which a student finds similarities between two or more ideas or things; contrasts, on the other hand (a popular but overused transition between concepts) are discussions in which a student indicates differences between two or more ideas or things.”[1] Although the assignment may say “compare,” the assumption is that you will consider both the similarities and differences; in other words, you will compare and contrast.

Next, in comparative writing, we may compare:

§   Positions on an issue (e.g., responses to midwifery in Canada and the United States)

§   Theories (e.g., capitalism and communism)

§   Figures (e.g., GDP in the United States and Britain)

§   Texts (e.g., Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth)

§   Events (e.g., the Great Depression and the global financial crisis of 2008–9)[2]

Based on Billie and Gardner in Aspect of Composition book, there are three types in present the comparative writing. Like: comparison in kind, comparison in degree, and comparison of relationship : analogy[3].

a.       Comparison in kind is the figurative comparison; examines two things which have an essential characteristic or the same level of generalization whether the similarities or differences[4].

For example: “the comparison between quill and ballpoint”

b.      Comparison in degree is a type of comparison which suits an author’s purpose to concentrate on the similarity, or to concentrate on the degree of difference.  This type use comparative degree in comparing the two objects[5].

For example :

Village

City

Lower citizen

More crowded

c.       Comparison of relationship: analogy

This type use an analogy to explain the working of subject by comparing them to the working of a more familiar or a more graphic subject[6].

 

B.     Generic Structure of Comparative Writing

Generic structures of Comparative writing are:

1.      Introductory Paragraph

It will include a plan of development (introduction of topics that will be discussed)[7]. Besides, there are also general statement and thesis statement. General statement is explanations about the topic that will be explain in general, thesis statement is a part in comparative writing which mention both texts and propose an argument that compare and contrast elements of each text.

2.      Body Paragraph

Body Paragraph includes a feeling about differences or similarities, differences and similarities between two or more things based on the writer’s idea. Before writing a body paragraph, the writers should determine which method that they will use in organizing their writing, whether block arrangement or point by point arrangement. Then, there is a topic sentence in every first line of the paragraph. Topic sentence is a topic in a short explanation about the two things that the writer compared.

3.      Concluding Paragraph

Concluding Paragraph is restatement or summary of body paragraph and a final thought or the result of body paragraph.

Here the example of comparative writing organized:

Compare American Fast Food and Turkish Fast Food

 

In recent years more and more people are eating more of their food outside of the home. Due to changing work and social lifestyles, many people spend a lot more time in restaurants and cafes. There are many choices of food to eat, but in this country two of the most common are American fast food and Turkish fast food ( General Statement ). American and Turkish fast foods are similar to each other in two main ways, they are both unhealthy and they are both convenient (Thesis Statement).

Firstly, both American and Turkish fast food can be harmful to our health (Topic Sentence). Both are high in fat, in sugar and in calorie content. Because of this, they can be addictive, often leading to an increase in body weight and in some cases obesity. Moreover, both American and Turkish fast foods are created in factories and are made to have a long shelf life. They both contain many preservatives and chemical additives which have unforeseen effects on bodily health.

Secondly, American and Turkish fast foods are both similar in that they are convenient (Topic Sentence). To begin with, both are inexpensive. These foods, which will easily fill your stomach, can be bought for the same price as a bowl of soup. In addition, as indicated in the name, both are very ‘fast’. With busy work and social schedules, many people need to eat quickly and often whilst walking, using public transport or driving. Therefore, not only American but also Turkish fast foods are conveniently quick and easy to eat.

In summary, American and Turkish fast food are alike in that they are both damaging to health and that they are both convenient (Concluding Sentence). In the 21st century fast food is very common and very popular; we must consider the negative impact of these foods on our future as individuals and as a society (Final Thought).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C.      Method of Writing a Comparative Writing

In generic structure of comparative writing is explained that the structures consist of the introduction, body paragraph and conclusion of the paragraph which are honestly the same structure of writing an essay. The differences are just in the content of the written text itself focusing in comparing or contrasting.

In part of body paragraph, of course it will explain the content of the comparison or contrasting which is systematically arranged by some methods. In explaining the body paragraph whether it is explaining the similarities, differences, or both the similarities and differences; there are two ways to arrange or compiled it as a good content of comparative writing. Those methods called as Blocking Arrangement and Point-to-point Arrangement.

Blocking Arrangement is a body paragraph which is organized based on the object while the point-to-point arrangement is organized based on the ideas. According to the sources got from www.writing.itu.edu.tr about comparative writing the block arrangement discusses one of the objects in the first body paragraph and other object in second. All the ideas provided in the first paragraph are also provided in the second paragraph ‘in the same order’. Then Point-to-point arrangement discusses a particular point about the first object and then immediately discusses the same point about the second object.[8]

            These two methods can be used in some various conditions depend on the writer would like to emphasize on. The writer can use the Block Arrangement method in case of:

a)You are unable to find point text A and B that are closely related to each other.

b)Your ideas about B build upon or extend your ideas about A.

Then the Point-to-point arrangement:

a)It generally does a better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing points about A and B

b)It also tends to produce a more tightly integrated and analytical paper.

c)It is able to identify clearly related points between A and B. [9]

Ø  Example a generic structure of Block arrangement and point by point arrangement

·         Block Arrangement                            

Thesis statement: there are two main differences/similarities between PC and a Mac in terms of software and ease of use.

1st Body: PC

                            1. Software

                            2. Ease of use

2nd Body: Mac

                            1. Software

                            2. Ease of use

Note    : Example (Enclosed)

 

·         Point by Point Arrangement

     Thesis statement: there are two main differences/similarities between PC and a Mac in terms of software and ease of use.

1st Body: Software

                        1. PC

                        2. MAC

2nd Body: Ease of Use

                        1. PC

                        2. MAC

These are the sample of using blocking or point-to-point arrangement to create the content or explain the comparison in comparative writing.

D.     Examples of Comparative Writing

Ø  Point by Point Arrangement

Compare American Fast Food and Turkish Fast Food 

In recent years more and more people are eating more of their food outside of the home. Due to changing work and social lifestyles, many people spend a lot more time in restaurants and cafes. There are many choices of food to eat, but in this country two of the most common are American fast food and Turkish fast food. American and Turkish fast foods are similar to each other in two main ways, they are both unhealthy and they are both convenient.

Firstly, both American and Turkish fast food can be harmful to our health. Both are high in fat, in sugar and in calorie content. Because of this, they can be addictive, often leading to an increase in body weight and in some cases obesity. Moreover, both American and Turkish fast foods are created in factories and are made to have a long shelf life. They both contain many preservatives and chemical additives which have unforeseen effects on bodily health.

Secondly, American and Turkish fast foods are both similar in that they are convenient. To begin with, both are inexpensive. These foods, which will easily fill your stomach, can be bought for the same price as a bowl of soup. In addition, as indicated in the name, both are very ‘fast’. With busy work and social schedules, many people need to eat quickly and often whilst walking, using public transport or driving. Therefore, not only American but also Turkish fast foods are conveniently quick and easy to eat.

In summary, American and Turkish fast food are alike in that they are both damaging to health and that they are both convenient. In the 21st century fast food is very common and very popular; we must consider the negative impact of these foods on our future as individuals and as a society.

Ø  Block Arrangement

Contrast between Backpacking or Staying in Hotels

Traveling is a hobby which many people now enjoy. It is a hobby which is becoming more and more popular as opportunities for travel become greater. These days there are several ways to travel around the world; two of the most common are backpacking and staying in hotels. There are two main differences between backpacking and staying in hotels; cost and safety.

First, backpacking is quite different from staying in hotels regarding costs and safety. To begin with, backpacking has been popular for many years with young people who do not have a lot of money to spend on traveling. By backpacking people can save a lot of money and see many more places than if they spent the same money staying in a hotel. Furthermore, as backpackers will need to sleep in a hostel or outside in a tent while backpacking, there will always be an issue of safety and security because backpackers sleep in the same area as other people, many of whom they do not know.

Second, staying in hotels, on the other hand, differs from backpacking in terms of cost and safety. Unlike backpacking, staying in hotels requires a lot more money. Hotels are one of the most comfortable ways of traveling, but only if you have enough money. By staying at a hotel people will spend much more money than they would spend in a hostel. In addition, a hotel provides a higher level of security to the traveler. Hotels require specific security details such as flight, credit cards or passport numbers to ensure the correct identification of their customers.

In brief, there are differences in cost and safety between backpacking and staying in hotels. The world is a much smaller place than it used to be, many people have the opportunity to travel and they have many ways in which to travel. People should consider their budget and take responsibility for their own safety and go out and see the world.

(Adapted from: http://www.eslbee.com/compcont.htm)

E.      Easy Steps in Creating a Comparative Writing

Comparative writing calls for a comparison between two things or more.You may be asked to ‘discuss’, by putting the case for and against something, or you may beasked to ‘compare’ different views, events, people or things. As with other paragraphs(essays) you need you to be extremely clear about the purpose of the piece.Although there are guidelines for constructing certain paragraph and essay types, there are noset formulas. Here are some steps pre-writing, ongoing process and post-writing of comparative paragraph, essay, or writing.[10]

Steps

1. Analyze the question carefully.

Do your research and make sure you have a complete understanding of both things being compared. You      will benefit from the research when you come to write your essay and can easily compare similar aspects.

2. Write the introduction

                        Start with a general point which establishes the similarity between the two subjects then move to the            specific (exact) focus of the essay. The reader must understand which points you will be examining and which points you will not be examining within the comparison. At the end of the introduction, declare your preference or describe the significance of the two subjects.           

                   3. Organize the sequence of paragraphs in the main body of your essay.

Once you have defined the comparison and the basis of the argument you must determine the structure of your essay. It can be any of the following, but not a combination.[11]

4. Write a conclusion

And the last thing which is significantly important is creating an outline in order to framing and border the topic not to be out of context.

 

REFERENCE

Andrew Inman, Billie; Gardner, Ruth. 2nd edition, Aspect of Composition. United States of America: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1979.

http://www.wju.edu/arc/.

http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/comparative-essay.

http://www.comparativeandcontrast1.pdf.

www.uc.utoronto.ca/writing. published by: Vikki Visvis and Jerry Plotnick, University College Writing Center.

http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specific-types-of-writing/comparative-essay

 

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