Comparing and contrasting is an important skill. It helps you focus on specific details, such as characters or plot that form the underpinnings of a story. This not only helps with reading comprehension, but is an essential skill in writing reports in middle school, high school and college.
A Venn diagram can be a helpful tool to compare two or more people, places, or things. For example, if you were asked to compare an apple and an orange, you could start by writing down all the characteristics of each and then asking yourself how they are the same and how they are different. Similarities would be captured where the circles overlap while differences would be noted outside of this area.
You may be saying, “This example is too easy! I have to compare and contrast the flood in Genesis in the Bible to the events in the ancient book Gilgamesh.” I whole-heartedly agree this is much, much more complicated, but the process is the same. In this case, you may want to use two sheets of lined paper. Draw a line down the center of each sheet and on one page. On one side write “Genesis” and on the other side write “Gilgamesh.” Next, write down how they are the same and how they are different.
If you need to write an essay making this or another comparison, be sure to use appropriate transition words:
As opposed to
As well as
In the same way
On the contrary
On the other hand
Whether you need to compare apples to oranges or Genesis to Gilgamesh, try these suggestions to experience success!
(c) 2009- 2012, Monte W. Davenport, Ph.D.