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?How to write down a Comparative Analysis Throughout your academic career, you'll be asked to put in writing papers in which you compare and contrast two things: two texts, two theories, two historical figures, two scientific processes, and so on. "Classic" compare-and-contrast papers, in which you weight A and B equally, may be about two similar things that have crucial differences (two pesticides with different effects within the environment) or two similar things that have crucial differences, yet turn out to have surprising commonalities (two politicians with vastly different world views who voice unexpectedly similar perspectives on sexual harassment). Within the "lens" (or "keyhole") comparison, in which you weight A less heavily than B, you utilize a as a lens through which to see B. Just as hunting through a pair of glasses changes the way you see an object, utilising A as a framework for understanding B changes the way you see B. Lens comparisons are useful for illuminating, critiquing, or challenging the stability of the thing that, before the analysis, seemed perfectly understood. Often, lens comparisons take time into account: earlier texts, events, or historical figures may illuminate later ones, and vice versa. Faced that has a daunting list of seemingly unrelated similarities and differences, you may truly feel confused about how to construct a paper that isn't just a mechanical exercise in which you initial state all the elements that A and B have in usual, and then state all the ways in which A and B are different. Predictably, the thesis of these types of a paper is usually an assertion that A and B are very similar yet not so similar after all. To jot down a incredibly good compare-and-contrast paper, you must take your raw data-the similarities and differences you've observed-and make them cohere into a meaningful argument. Right here are the 5 aspects required. Frame of Reference . This is the context in which you position the two things you plan to compare and contrast; it is the umbrella below which you have grouped them. The frame of reference may consist of an idea, theme, question, problem, or theory; a group of similar things from which you extract two for special attention; biographical or historical data. The most suitable frames of reference are constructed from distinct resources rather than your private thoughts or observations. Thus, inside of a paper comparing how two writers redefine social norms of masculinity, you would be superior off quoting a sociologist around the topic of masculinity than spinning out potentially banal-sounding theories of your very own. Most assignments tell you exactly what the frame of reference should be, and most courses supply resources for constructing it. For those who encounter an assignment that fails to give a frame of reference, you must come up with 1 on your possess. A paper without these types of a context would have no angle around the material, no focus or frame with the writer to propose a meaningful argument. Grounds for Comparison . Let's say you're creating a paper on intercontinental food distribution, and you've chosen to compare apples and oranges. Why these particular fruits? Why not pears and bananas? The rationale behind your choice, the grounds for comparison . allows your reader know why your choice is deliberate and meaningful, not random. For instance, inside of a paper asking how the "discourse of domesticity" may be put to use from the abortion discussion, the grounds for comparison are obvious; the issue has two conflicting sides, pro-choice and pro-life. Inside a paper comparing the effects of acid rain on two forest sites, your choice of sites is less obvious. A paper focusing on similarly aged forest stands in Maine and also Catskills will be create differently from just one comparing a new forest stand with the White Mountains using an old forest during the same region. You may need to indicate the reasoning behind your choice. Thesis. The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference. But inside of a compare-and-contrast, the thesis is dependent on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to a person another. Do they prolong, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or discussion just one another? While in the most standard compare-and-contrast paper-one focusing on differences-you can indicate the precise relationship relating to A and B by implementing the word "whereas" within your thesis: Whereas Camus perceives ideology as secondary to the really want to address a targeted historical moment of colonialism, Fanon perceives a revolutionary ideology given that the impetus to reshape Algeria's history inside of a direction toward independence. Whether your paper focuses primarily on difference or similarity, you may need to make the relationship somewhere between A and B clear within your thesis. This relationship is within the heart of any compare-and-contrast paper. Organizational Scheme. Your introduction will include your frame of reference, grounds for comparison, and thesis. There are two fundamental ways to organize the body of your paper. In text-by-text . you discuss all of the, then all of B. In point-by-point . you alternate points about A with comparable points about B. Those that think that B extends A, you'll probably make use of a text-by-text scheme; any time you see A and B engaged in discussion, a point-by-point scheme will draw attention to the conflict. Be aware, however, that the point-by- point scheme can come off as a ping-pong game. You can easily avoid this effect by grouping much more than a particular point together, thereby cutting down relating to the quantity of times you alternate from the to B. But no matter which organizational scheme you choose, you may need not give equal time to similarities and differences. In fact, your paper will be much more interesting in the event you get to the heart of your argument as very fast as practical. Thus, a paper on two evolutionary theorists' different interpretations of specified archaeological findings can have as handful of as two or three sentences within the introduction on similarities and at most a paragraph or two to put together the contrast relating to the theorists' positions. The rest with the paper, whether organized text- by-text or point-by-point, will treat the two theorists' differences. You'll organize a classic compare-and-contrast paper either text-by-text or point-by-point. But within a "lens" comparison, in which you spend significantly less time with a (the lens) than on B (the focal textual content), you almost always organize text-by-text. That's on the grounds that A and B are not strictly comparable: A is merely a instrument for helping you discover whether or not B's nature is actually what expectations have led you to definitely believe it is. Linking of the and B . All argumentative papers require you to definitely link each and every point from the argument back again to the thesis. Without these links, your reader will be unable to see how new sections logically and systematically advance your argument. In a very compare-and contrast, you also will want to make links involving A and B while in the body of your essay if you decide to want your paper to hold together. To make these links, use transitional expressions of comparison and contrast ( similarly, moreover, likewise, to the contrary, conversely, to the other hand ) and contrastive vocabulary (inside of the example below, Southerner/Northerner ). As a girl raised inside the faded glory from the Old South, amid mystical tales of magnolias and moonlight, the mother remains part of the dying technology. Surrounded by hard times, racial conflict, and restricted opportunities, Julian, for the other hand . feels repelled by the provincial nature of home, and represents a new Southerner, just one who sees his indigenous land through a condescending Northerner's eyes. Copyright 1998, Kerry Walk, with the Producing Center at Harvard University