Comparison and Contrast Review Exercises

Comparison & Contrast

Review Exercises**

English Writing 3

Exercise #1

Read the following paragraph and 1) Decide in which pattern of comparison and contrast it is organized; 2) Complete the table.

With the exception of some apartments and very small liv ing quarters, most “Western homes” clearly distinguish between a living room, a dining room, and a bedroom. Each is characterized by its own furniture. In the traditional Japanese home, however, a single room can serve all three of these functions, and thus it is sometimes difficult to speak of the bedroom or the dining room, for it may depend more on the hour of the day than the areas themselves. One reason this is possible is that traditionally very little furniture is used in the home; there are no beds as such, for example, but instead futon (thick sleeping mats with a comforter-like top) are spread out when it is time to sleep, and folded up and put into special closets when not being used; cushions rather than chairs are used for sitting, and these, too, are easily moved or removed as required. Where Western homes may have several tables (a coffee table, a dining table, a study table) a single low table may serve several of these purposes and may also be put out of the way when it is time for the futon to be spread. The lightness and airiness, and the sense of space characteristic of Japanese aesthetics are thus expressed in the practical day-to-day living. Moreover, the doors which separate most rooms are also lightweight sliding doors which thus can be removed entirely when necessary, unlike the fixed, hinged Western doors, and therefore a room may be made to seem larger or smaller as needed by closing or removing these doors.

Comparison and Contrast Review Exercises

Exercise #2

Put the following words into the blanks, some can be used twice.

Again Difference Completely But While

Similar Consistency Although Identical

Among Japanese respondents, matters of interest and taste were the most fully discussed topics, followed by opinions about public issues, and attitudes toward work or studies. Financial matters, aspects of personality, and feelings about one’s body ranked lower. Males and females displayed __________ topical orientations, ________ females ranked work-related questions second while males ranked them third. But this __________ was slight and insignificant.

American respondents supplied a very similar, but not __________, pattern of response. Matters of taste and interest ___________ scored as the most appealing subjects, but attitudes toward work and studies scored second. Opinions on public issues ranked third, ___________ financial status, aspects of personality, and feelings about physical adequacy followed in that order. ___________, again, the ____________ in the relative ranking of attitudes toward work and opinions about public issues was small. And the degree of cultural ____________ was very striking. American males and females agreed ______________ in their topical preferences.

Exercise #3

Order the following sentences, and decide in which pattern of comparison and contrast the text is written:

___ 1) The important point is that the spatial and architectural needs of each are not the same at all.

___ 2) The English, on the other hand, lacking rooms of their own since childhood, never developed the practice of using space as a refuge from others.

___ 3) When the American wants to be alone he goes into a room and shuts the door – he depends on architectural features for screening.

___ 4) They have in effect internalized a set of barriers, which they erect and which others are supposed to recognize.

___ 5) There are some contrasting features of the American and British needs of private space that are

in conflict with each other.

___ 6) For an American to refuse to talk to someone else present in the same room, to give them the “silent treatment” is the ultimate form of rejection and a sure sign of great displeasure.

___ 7) Tension lasts until the two get to know each other.

___ 8) Therefore, the more the Englishman shuts himself off when he is with an American the more likely the American is to break into assure himself that all is OK.

Pattern of Comparison and Contrast: _______________________________________________

Exercise #4

The following bar chart represents the variations in annual vacation days in six countries. Write one paragraph to compare or contrast these vacations allowances using the information provided.

Comparison and Contrast Review Exercises

Your paragraph:

Exercise #5

Task One

The following paragraph is written in the subject-by subject pattern. Identify 1) the subjects under comparison or contrast; 2) the points covered under each subject and the details.

Task Two

Rewrite the paragraph using the point-by-point pattern paying special attention to the linking/transition words.

There are two kinds of homes in the United States; the authority-centered home and the social-centered home. In the authority-centered home, the authority may be the father or the mother. In this home there is often a clear distinction between family areas of the home and guest areas; typically there is a living-room where guests are received and entertained; and this room is ordinarily not used by family members. Ideally in this home the family dines together. Children are expected to be present for dinner, and it is at dinner that the children are socialized into the family and its values. In contrast to the authority-centered home, in the social-centered home the parents often act as assistants to their children’s social interests. There is a great informality about the home, so that there are no clearly marked divisions between the “family” and “company” areas. A guest is as likely to be invited to the kitchen as to the living room. In sharp contrast to the authority-centered home, the family is not likely to take meals together. The kitchen sometimes resembles a central information exchange, with messages substituting for conversation.

Comparison and Contrast Review Exercises

**Based on Successful Writing 2, Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2008.