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Comparison and Contrast of Nonfiction

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Comparison and Contrast of Nonfiction Introduction A Writer s Checklist Choosing your nonfiction texts Gathering your information Determining your relevant features – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Comparison and Contrast of Nonfiction


1
Comparison and Contrast of Nonfiction
Introduction A Writers Checklist Choosing your
nonfiction texts Gathering your
information Determining your relevant
features Composing your thesis statement Arranging
your supporting details A Writers Model Your
Turn Write a comparison-contrast essay
2
Introduction
How would you compare . . .
  • a magazine article about travel in New Zealand
    with the journal of a traveler to that country?
  • a Web page about global climate change and an
    article on that topic from a scientific journal?

3
Introduction
When you analyze the similarities and differences
between two or more things, you are comparing and
contrasting them.
Comparing and contrasting two texts that deal
with the same topic in different ways can lead to
interesting discoveries.
4
A Writers Checklist
When you write an essay comparing and contrasting
texts, you should
  • Choose two texts about which to write.
  • Gather information by reading and analyzing the
    two texts.
  • Determine the relevant features of the two texts
    you have chosen.
  • Compose a thesis statement to clearly state what
    you are comparing and contrasting.
  • Arrange the supporting details and determine the
    structure of your essay.

5
Choosing your nonfiction texts
To begin, choose two texts about which to write.
First, select a topic. Brainstorm factual
subjects that interest you and will interest your
audience. Newspapers, news and science magazines,
informational Web pages, and nonfiction books are
good places to find topics.
6
Choosing your nonfiction texts
Examine your list of possible topics, then choose
one
  • that represents a clearly-defined theme or a
    single, concrete event
  • for which you can find two reliable written
    sources, with information similar enough to
    compare, but different enough to contrast

7
Choosing your texts
Steven is interested in how the media present
current events. A congressional debate on free
trade had recently been in the news, so he
decided to compare media representations of that
event.
I wonder how different media sources talk about
the free-trade debate?
8
Gathering your information
Steven found two accounts of the debate, one from
a national newsmagazine and one from his local
newspaper. Each contained good information on his
topic.
He noted his choices in his writing notebook.
Both Week In America and The Springville Tribune
covered the free trade debate. Each text had a
different tone. One was definitely more pro-free
trade and the other more against it.
9
Gathering your information
Evaluate your sources to make sure that the texts
youve chosen are of good quality. A good
nonfiction source
  • utilizes a formal tone as well as an interesting
    and appealing voice
  • speaks to a particular audience
  • includes accurate, well-organized content

10
Determining your relevant features
Stevens next step was to determine the relevant
features of his two items.
Relevant features are specific points addressed
by both texts. They are the details which you
will compare and contrast.
Steven analyzed his texts and identified two
areas in which the articles could be compared and
contrasted
  • Relevant features
  • articles references to free-trade agreements
  • articles use of direct quotations

11
Writing Tip Determining relevant features
Determining relevant features involves grasping
the similarities and differences between your two
texts. One way to determine and sort theses is to
create a Venn diagram.
Differences
Similarities
Text One
Text Two
Differences
12
Composing your thesis statement
Use your relevant features to compose a thesis
statement. This statement will
  • identify the topic on which you are writing.
  • alert your audience to the focus of your essay.
    Will you be focusing on the similarities between
    your two texts, the differences, or both?

13
Composing your thesis statement
Steven considered three different thesis
statements, each with a different focus.
The first was a focus on differences
The Week In America coverage of the congressional
debate on trade agreements was more pro-free
trade than the coverage in The Springville
Tribune.
Next, he composed a thesis statement to focus on
similarities
Both Week In America and The Springville Tribune
showed bias in their coverage of the
congressional debate on trade agreements.
14
Composing your thesis statement
Here is the thesis statement in which Steven
stated a focus on similarities and differences
Both Week In America and The Springville Tribune
showed bias in their coverage of the recent
congressional debate on trade agreements.
However, the bias of each was on opposite sides
of the issue.
Steven chose this focus for his essay.
15
Arranging your supporting details
The manner in which you arrange the supporting
details for your main idea will determine how
readable your essay is.
The two basic methods of organizing a
comparison-contrast essay are the block method
and the point-by-point method.
16
Test Tip Comparing and contrasting nonfiction
If you are asked to compare and contrast two
nonfiction items on a standardized test
  • Determine how much time you have to complete the
    exercise.
  • Skim your items quickly and determine the
    relevant features.
  • Decide as early as possible your focus and how
    you will arrange your supporting details. Leave
    at least 80 of your time for your actual
    writing. Remember that you can always change your
    essays structure as you proceed.

17
Arranging your supporting details
With the block method, you discuss all the
relevant features of each text separately. This
method is often used to compare texts in a
general way.
Here are Stevens points arranged using this
method
Text 1 Week In America Referenced recent
free-trade agreements and selected quotations
that emphasized their benefits for Americans.
(cheaper goods, more availability of goods,
higher corporate profits, job preservation. Text
2 The Springville Tribune Referenced free-trade
agreements and presented quotations that
emphasized their costs to Americans (job loss,
economic problems for middle-class individuals
and families)
18
Arranging your supporting details
The point-by-point method discusses one relevant
feature at a time first for one text, then the
other. Use this method for more specific
comparisons. Here are Stevens points arranged
using this method
Week In America (Point 1) Free-trade provides
Americans with a larger quantity of cheaper
goods. The Springville Tribune (Point 1) Without
jobs, people cant buy goods. Week In America
(Point 2) Higher corporate profits are good for
the economy. The Springville Tribune (Point 2)
These profits dont benefit most people.
19
Arranging your supporting details
You may also use a hybrid, or combination, of the
two methods. For instance, you might open your
essay with a block method overview, then follow
with specific point-by-point comparisons. It
might look like this
Introduction (block method) Week In America
magazine has a very different perspective on free
trade than does The Springville Tribune. Week in
America (Point 1) Free trade provides a larger
quantity of cheaper goods. The Springville
Tribune (Point 1) Without jobs, people cant
purchase goods at any price.
20
A Writers Checklist
Use the checklist as you look at the following
Writers Model and as you evaluate and revise
your own essay comparing and contrasting
nonfiction texts.
  • Choose two selections from Unit 1 about which to
    write.
  • Gather information by reading and analyzing the
    two texts.
  • Determine the relevant features of the two texts
    you have chosen.
  • Compose a thesis statement to clearly state what
    you are comparing and contrasting.
  • Arrange the supporting details and determine the
    structure of your essay.

21
Is Free Trade Free or Not? The issue of
free trade, while dull to some, touches the lives
of every single man, woman, and child in the
United States. The reason is simple everybody
buys things. Free Trade agreements make
prices for many of our goods lower, since these
goods can be produced more cheaply overseas.
However, many object to free trade, arguing that
products remain affordable at the cost of
American jobs.
attention-grabbing opening
background
22
Others assert the opposite. They respond
that if American companies are not allowed to
maximize their profits, they will stop producing,
and there will be no goodsor jobsfor anyone.
Coverage of a recent congressional debate on
free trade illustrates the intricacy of the
issue. Both Week In America magazine and The
Springville Tribune showed bias in their coverage
of the debate on trade agreements. However, the
bias of each was on opposite sides of the issue.
background
thesis statement
23
Week In America magazine slanted its lengthy
article in favor of free trade. Nearly every
Congress member quoted describes it in glowing
terms. The statement by Sentator John Polk that
Theres no doubt that free trade results in
cheaper goods for the American consumer is
typical, as is his claim that, Cheap goods are
more available now than at any time in history.
Opinions expressed in this article failed to
identify the possible outcomes for American
workers (as opposed to consumers).
relevant features of article
quotations
block method first text
24
The Tribune, on the other hand, quoted only
part of Polks statement, but printed in full a
rebuttal by Senator Elizabeth Lopez. Layoffs?
What do you think we have now? Thousands of
Americans have given up even looking for jobs.
The congresswoman went on to reference the
staggering trade deficit, or shortage, as
regards United States goods exported worldwide.
The opinions expressed in The Tribunes article
were also presented with a one-sided focus,
failing to recognize the impact of high
manufacturing prices on Americans.
relevant features of article
quotation
block method second text
clarification of term
25
summary of support for thesis
The opposing, yet equally accurate, coverage
in Week In America and The Springville Tribune
underscores the complexity of the free-trade
issue. It can be fairly said that this is a
controversy that is far from being resolved.
final impression
26
Your Turn Write a Comparison-Contrast essay
Write a comparison-contrast essay in response to
one of the prompts below. Then, use the Writers
Checklist as a guide to writing, evaluating, and
revising your work.
  • Choose two selections from Collection 1, 2, or 3
    of Unit 1. Compare and contrast relevant features
    of the selections.
  • Relevant features could include but are not
    limited to
  • -literary features (archetype, theme, setting,
    metaphors, etc.)
  • - content
  • -authors style
  • -relevance (to time period, or people at the
    time, or today!)
  • See Documented Essay- Compare Contrast
    Guidelines (purple) handout for requirements

27
The End
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