Posted by: minhanhtran80 | 2009/09/22

Writing Effective Comparison or Contrast Essays

A Comparison or Contrast essay is an essay in which you either compare something or contrast something. A comparison essay is an essay in which you emphasize the similarities, and a contrast essay is an essay in which you emphasize the differences. We use comparison and contrast thinking when deciding which university to attend, which car to buy, or whether to drive a car or take a bus or an airplane to a vacation site.
In this section, two classic organizational patterns of a comparison or contrast essay will be discussed. One is called block arrangement of ideas; the other is called point-by-point or alternating arrangement of ideas. Suppose you are interested in showing the differences between vacationing in the mountains and vacationing at the beach. You will then write a contrast composition. One way to arrange your material is to use the block arrangement which is to write about vacationing in the mountains in one paragraph and vacationing at the beach in the next. If you mention a particular point in the mountains paragraph, you must mention the same point in the beach paragraph, and in the same order. Study the following outline, which shows this kind of organization. The introductory paragraph is followed by the mountains paragraph, the beach paragraph, then the conclusion; the fully developed essay is just four paragraphs.
Block Arrangement (four paragraphs)
I. Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss the differences between vacationing in the mountains or at the beach
II. Mountain
A. Climate
B. Types of Activities
C. Location
III. Beach
A. Climate
B. Types of Activities
C. Location
IV. Conclusion
A second way to organize this material is to discuss a particular point about vacationing in the mountains and then immediately to discuss the same point about vacationing at the beach. This is called point-by-point or alternating arrangement. An outline of this organization follows.
Point-by-Point or Alternating Arrangement (five paragraphs)
I. Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss differences between vacationing in the mountains or at the beach
II. First difference between mountains and beaches is climate
A. Mountains
B. Beach
III. Second difference between mountains and beaches are types of activities
A. Mountains
B. Beach
IV. Third difference between mountains and beaches is the location
A. Mountains
B. Beach
V. Conclusion
Application: Block or Point-by-Point
Examine the comparison or contrast essays that follow, and decide whether the authors used block arrangement or point-by-point (or alternating) arrangement. Notice how other authors structure their essays. Five paragraphs or four? Block arrangement or point-by-point arrangement? Noticing these things will help you become a better, more conscious reader and writer.
Vacationing at the Beach or in the Mountains
People are always looking forward to their vacation period. There are many options where to choose. I think that the two most common places people choose for taking a vacation are the beaches and the mountains. Both places offer a variety of fun activities. The beach offers activities that the mountain cannot offer and vice versa. The mountain and the beach are totally different. The purpose of this essay is to contrast the climate, types of activities and locations of beaches and mountains.
I’m going to discuss mountains first. The three aspects I’m going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Climate is always important in order to enjoy vacations. If a person dislikes cold weather, he or she might have a hard time in the mountains. The cold climate in the mountains is the first barrier to enjoying them, but the climate and the temperature of these zones also determine the types of activities they offer. Snow boarding, mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing are some activities people can enjoy when going to the mountains. There are many regions that have mountains where people can go and have a great vacation. Canada is a country located in North America and contains many mountain vacation sites where people can go and have fun.
I’m going to discuss the beach second. The three aspects I’m going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Warm climate is one of the most important features that the beach has. Sun and fun are two words that describe the beach. The temperature in those places is always hot. The sea and the warm climate determine the activities that are available at the beach. People can swim, play volleyball, play soccer, and ride water bikes. In most coastal sites, there are discos and restaurants where people can dance or party throughout the night. Mexico offers many amazing coastal sites to visit. Acapulco and Cancun are two of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the word.
It doesn’t matter what place a person decides to choose. The fun is 100% guaranteed. People often choose one of these two options to spend their vacations. Depending on what the person likes is what he or she will choose. I like the beach better than the mountains, but sometimes it is better to take a risk and try a different place to enjoy. (399 words)

Is the essay above organized using block or point-by-point arrangement of details? Note first the essay is four paragraphs, (1) an introduction, (2) a paragraph about vacationing in the mountains, (3) a paragraph about vacationing at the beach, and (4) a conclusion. This is the block arrangement, the first block containing information about mountains and the second block containing information about the beach.
The following essay contrasts eating fresh foods and canned foods. Is its organization block or point-by-point? How many paragraphs does it contain? How many “differences” between fresh foods and canned foods does the author discuss?
Consuming Fresh Foods Instead of Canned Foods
Eating is an activity that we as humans do at least two times a day. We live in a world where the variety of food is immense, and we are responsible for what we eat. We decide what we are about to eat and how it will affect our bodies. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the differences between eating fresh foods instead of canned foods. The three main differences are flavor, health benefits, and cost.
The most notable difference between these two kinds of foods is their flavor. Fresh foods have great flavor and taste because they keep all their natural conditions. Canned foods however, lack a lot of its flavor characteristics because there are some other chemical products added to the natural foods. It is logical that the fresh foods will have a greater taste and flavor when consumed just because of the time in which they have been prepared.
Comparing both types of foods we notice another difference. There is a health factor that affects both of them. Canned foods lose some of the original fresh food nutrients when stored, and also it has to be tinned with many conservatives and chemical factors that prolong the shelf life and apparent freshness of the food but could also become toxic if consumed too often.
Yet another difference between these two types of foods is the cost. Canned foods are much more expensive than fresh foods. Here the benefit of buying tinned foods is that they are easier to find, for example, in a supermarket instead of the market like the fresh foods, and they require less work to prepare than fresh foods, just open and serve.
Here are the main three differences between buying fresh foods and buying canned foods. As we can see it comes down to a personal choice, based on the time each person has, the money and the importance he/she gives to his/her nutrition and health. Therefore it is important that you consider your possibilities and choose the best type of foods for your convenience and lifestyle. (347 words)

The essay above is the “classic” five paragraph essay that all non-native speakers of English should learn to write. This essays also contains the “classic” point-by-point organization, each point stated and developed in a single paragraph. The essay contains five paragraphs that contrast three differences between fresh and canned foods. The essay includes (1) an introduction, (2) the development of the first difference (flavor), (3) the development of the second difference (health benefits), (4) the development of the third difference (cost), and (5) a conclusion. In the true classic tradition, the three main differences in this contrast essay—flavor, health benefits, and cost—are stated both in the introduction and the conclusion as well. My own observation is this: US kids are taught to organize and write five paragraph essays like this from early childhood, but they rarely attain the degree of perfection of the essay above.
This ends the first part of this page, the explanation of the differences between the classic organizational styles of comparison and contrast essays, (1) block and (2) point-by-point or alternating arrangement.
________________________________________

How to Support Your Point of View though Comparison and Contrast
It was stated in the first part of this paper that we use comparison or contrast in nearly everything we do. When deciding what to eat, for example, we often choose between fresh foods or canned foods, exactly as the writer above described. However, do you know the preference of the previous author? Did he state it directly? Why or why not? What other ways could this essay have ended?
An important point to remember when writing comparison or contrast essays is that many times writers use comparison or contrast to support a personal point of view. Whenever possible and appropriate, writers should support their own views. For example, the following paragraphs are from the book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig. Note that Persig’s description of the differences between riding in a car and riding a motorcycle is not neutral. Instead, Persig uses comparison and contrast to serve a persuasive aim: to show the reader why riding a motorcycle is more stimulating than driving a car (Persig, by Heffernan and Lincoln).
Which do You Prefer?
You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it, you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer, and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on. It’s right there, so blurred you can’t focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness.
Persig’s choice of travel is obvious. In a car, you are in a compartment seeing just more TV, a passing observer. On a motorcycle, however, you’re in contact with it all, the real thing, the whole thing, the whole experience, never removed from immediate consciousness. In writing a comparison or contrast essay, use contrast to show your own preference, to support your own point of view, to persuade the reader which option you prefer.
How to Write an Effective Comparison or Contrast Essay: Summary
1. Know what organizational style you are using. Whether you use the block arrangement or point-by-point arrangement, you should be able to identify it. Being able to identify your organization will not only help you in the organization of your own writing, but it will also help your reader follow the points you make.
2. State your organization. Remember the “straight line of development” that was discussed in the introduction requires that you “tell your audience what you are going to tell them; then tell them; then tell them what you told them.” An important objective in academic writing is clarity, and stating your organization always contributes to clarity. Err on the side of clarity!
3. Keep your audience in mind. Be sure your reader can relate to your topic. After you finish writing, read your essay from the perspective of your audience. How will they respond to your ideas? Will they understand what you have written? Will they agree with your main point? Will the support appear logical to them?
4. Say what you want to say. Write like Robert Persig did in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. In your essay, make your preference clear as Persig did when he contrasted the difference between vacationing by car or motorcycle.
Finally, to further clarify how it would be possible to say what you want to say in your writing, consider which of the following options would YOU prefer, and why? To support your point in each essay, what characteristics would you choose to contrast, and what support would you use? Can you think of any other topics that might be fun to contrast?
A. Vacationing in Paris or taking a three-week trip down the Amazon.
B. Growing up in a small town or growing up in a large city.
C. Working for large company or running your own business.
D. _______________________________________
E. _______________________________________
Model:
Cows and Whales

There are some things that happen to cows and whales. One of the things, both cows and whales are eaten by people in some countries as edible meat. Another thing, although they are living different places like ocean and land, they have their own lives.
It seems that cows and whales are in a same situation. But there are some differences that could be compared. First, many cows are slaughtered everyday. On the other hand, whales are protected by national law recently. Second, cows are important provisions for all over the world. However, whales are important edible animals only in a few countries. Finally, there is the biggest difference between cows and whales. It is that whales are free in the huge ocean until caught by people, and cows will be grown up in the field by the people to eat.
The first difference between cows and whales is that cows are the most popular edible meat all over the world. Therefore, many cows are butchered everyday. Of course, there are several reasons that people use cows to their provisions. Because cows are easy for farmers to breed, and they are not as clever as other animals. On the other hand, whales have been protected by a law. (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) Therefore, every whaler has been limited in number to catch the whales recently. The reason of this law is whales are not easy to breed as cows. And they are such a clever animals more than any other kind of animal.
The second difference is that cows are important provisions all over the world. Almost of all countries use beef as their main dish. Therefore, it is nothing wound and give any impression us to slaughter cows. But whales have been used as edible meat in a few countries like small islander countries. Therefore, for the people who are living in big countries, to slaughter the whales look like violence activity and wounded hunting.
The final difference is the biggest difference between cows and whales. Cows are raised by farmers in the fields that are surrounded by fences. They don’t have any future. And they have to wait their slaughter in the field. On the other hand, whales are free in a huge ocean. They can swim and travel wherever they want. Even though, they are caught by people, other whales have a future. They don’t need to wait their slaughter. They have their lives and freedom until caught by people.
In conclusion, there are something that happen to cows and whales. Both cows and whales are eaten by people as edible meat. Some people said that it is so poor for whale to be caught by whaler. But, how about cows? Sometimes cows and whales are both on the same situations. However, practically both cows and whales are completely opposite situations and different treatment.

Vacation at the Beach or in the Mountains

People are always looking forward to their vacation period. There are many options where to choose. I think that the two most common places people choose for taking a vacation are the beach and the mountain. Both places offer a variety of fun activities. The beach offers activities that the mountain cannot offer and vice versa. The mountain and the beach are totally different. The purpose of this essay is to contrast the climate, types of activities and locations of beaches and mountains.
I’m going to discuss mountains first. The three aspects I’m going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Climate is always important in order to enjoy vacations. If a person dislikes cold weather, he or she might have a hard time in the mountains. The cold climate in the mountains is the first barrier to enjoying them]. As I said before, many people don’t enjoy cold temperatures. The climate and the temperature of these zones are what determine the types of activities they offer. Snow boarding, mountain climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and skiing are some of the activities people can enjoy when going to the mountains. There are many regions that have mountains where people can go and have a great vacation. Canada is a country located in North America and full of mountain vacation sites. Inside Canada there are many interesting places where people can go and have fun.
I’m going to discuss the beach second. The three aspects I’m going to discuss are climate, types of activities and location. Warm climate is one of the most important features that the beach has. Sun and fun are two words that describe the beach. The temperature in those places is always hot. The sea and the warm climate determine the activities that are available at the beach. People can swim, play volleyball, play soccer, and ride waterbikes. In most of the coastal sites, there are discos and restaurants where people can dance or party throughout the night. Mexico offers many amazing coastal sites to visit. Acapulco and Cancun are two of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the word.
It doesn’t matter what place a person decides to choose. The fun is 100% guaranteed. People often choose one of these two options to spend their vacations. Depending on what the person likes is what he or she will choose. I like the beach better than the mountains, but sometimes it is better to take a risk and try different places to enjoy.

Two Great Mexican Cities

Becoming a foreign student has given me the opportunity of living in two cities at the same time: Queretaro and San Miguel. Living in each city regularly has let me see many differences between the both, but there are three main contrasts between them, which are the size of the cities, the life rhythm of each city, and the activities you can do in each city.
Usually the first difference that all people see is the size of the cities. Queretaro has grown into a great urban mass filled with industries, buildings, roads, and lots of people. The time it takes you to get from one place to another shows us how big it has become. San Miguel still maintains the essence of a colonial town in which most of its townsfolk know each other although the city has grown a lot in the last years.
Another great difference is the rhythm of life in each city. Queretaro has become a city in which its people are usually in a hurry and have a lot of things to do throughout the day. This can be seen by the amount of traffic in the city. On the other hand, San Miguel still remains quite a calm city where most people walk and take their time.
Maybe the most important difference between the cities are the activities you can do. In Queretaro you can find all sorts of things to do like shopping in plazas, going to the discos or bars at nights, going to the movies, etc. In San Miguel, there are places to drink a coffee and chat, theaters and art galleries to visit, and many places with beautiful architecture and decoration you can admire.
As you can see, there is a great difference between these two cities, and it is best to be in each city according to what you want to do. If you like to be active during the day, survive traffic and stress, and go shopping and have fun at clubs or bars, Queretaro is the place to be. But if you want to have a calm day, hang out with friends to catch up on things, or use your time in cultural activities like painting or music, San Miguel is a great option.

Stick Shift or Automatic?

Why are stick shift cars so popular anyway? They are more difficult to drive, and you must be skilled to drive them. Why not choose an automatic easy ride, which can turn your driving in to comfort, especially while driving in heavy traffic? If this is what you think, you must read this essay before you make up your mind. The purpose of this essay is to contrast stick shift transmission cars with automatic transmission cars. People who drive stick shift cars know the difference and the advantages of having total control of your car engine; people who drive cars with automatic transmissions do not.
Cars with automatic transmissions are a great way to drive around because they do not require much driving skill. People who don’t like to drive usually will choose an automatic transmission which is one of the main problems. People who drive cars with automatic transmissions often do not pay as much attention as they should. Cars with automatic transmissions have improved through modern chips that have developed better shifting and response with the driver just pressing on the gas. However, they are not as much fun because they are not as challenging. Race cars, for example, do not use automatic transmissions.
Stick shift cars need skilled driving which has advantages. Cars with Stick shifts are very fuel efficient. Cars with a stick shift will respond better to the driver which makes them safer. People who are used to shifting gears will focus more on their driving making it more efficient and safe. When a driver shifts a gear down to reduce their speed, they are actually saving on brake repairs. Cars with stick shifts have more power, and tend to respond better when you accelerate. Another reason for driving stick shifts is that it is just more fun! Stick shifts will make your driving more interesting. Race drivers use the stick shift to take driving to a higher level for maximum performance.
Your personality will make you decide which is better. Cars are made for driving, and driving must be fun. While driving a car with an automatic transmission will be easier and comfortable, driving a car with a stick shift will make you a better driver with a better performance. Driving an automatic is just a part of driving that corresponds to leading the car. However, driving a stick shift will make the driver control the machine. Always remember to drive safely and buckle up!

Aerobic Training vs. Anaerobic Training

In order for a high performance track athlete to reach a level needed to compete, he/she needs to have a focused training, training with an objective. Not all training is the same; there are different kinds of training to achieve different results. In this essay I will discuss the differences between an aerobic and an anaerobic training.
First of all, both kinds of training are done to achieve different goals. If what you want is to develop force, you must do an anaerobic training. Anaerobic training increases your force and muscular mass; therefore, your velocity increases because you are now stronger. But if it is more stamina what you want, you’ll have to do an aerobic training. Aerobic training builds up your lung capacity, and your heart is forced to pump more blood to your body, resulting in heart strength.
In aerobic training the warm-up is short and with a low intensity. The anaerobic training warm-up is longer because muscles receive a much more aggressive treat treatment than in an aerobic training. Sprints (50-200m) are part of an anaerobic training, while longer runs (300-500m) with a more comfortable rhythm belong to an aerobic training. In anaerobic training there is a gap between runs, to recover, and then to run the next repetition just as fast. On the other hand, aerobic training has very short recovery times between repetitions, and very often the recovery must be done jogging. That is not recovery at all! But that is the way it’s done. Working out in a gymnasium is a useful anaerobic training too.
Finally, I perform both types of training several times a week; consequently, I can describe what my body feels like after each training session. When I finish an anaerobic training, I feel my legs heavy and numb after all the effort done. My body aches as a result of the lactic acid produced by my muscles, but I can breathe perfectly well after 5 minutes. After an aerobic training, I feel my muscles loose and weak. My lungs feel stretched and my recovery can last all day long.
A sprinter has to carry out more anaerobic training sessions than a distance runner, but they both do aerobic and anaerobic training. We can’t choose only one because they are equally important to grow as a competitive athlete.

Industrial Engineer or Administrator?

One of the most important decisions of your life is choosing a career. When you have two main options to study you can compare them in order to see the advantages and disadvantages. The purpose of this essay is to examine the differences between being an Industrial Engineer and being an Administrator. These are two similar careers, but each of them offers you different opportunities as a student and as a professional. Three main aspects comparing these two careers are the job opportunities, the specific skills you acquire and the work areas.
One of the main aspects you should consider in selecting a career is the job opportunities. As an Industrial Engineer you have a very wide open field. You can work in many different areas. Industrial Engineers can work as administrators, manufacturers, and in departments such as human resources. As an Administrator you are more specialized, and the work field is more reduced. You can only work in departments such as human resources and economics but not in manufacturing or productivity departments.
Another very important differences the knowledge you acquire. As an Industrial Engineer you will obtain more objective and specialized reasoning abilities. You will have to study subjects such as Physics and Mathematics and other kinds of subjects such as Human Resources and Administration. As an Engineer you will obtain both a social and a mathematical perspective. As an Administrator you have subjects such as Finance and Private Rights. You will obtain a better social perspective, but not a very critical or specialized mathematical reasoning.
A third aspect to consider is what would you like to do after graduating. Both careers are good to be an entrepreneur. Engineers are able to work in the manufacturing process in order to offer good quality. Administrators are able to work checking the economic and material resources in order to produce. An Administrator is specialized in the financial aspects, and the Engineer is specialized in the productivity. It depends which area you like the most. Click here to understand more about Industrial Engineering and Managing.
Definitely, both careers are great options. Both are needed in industry and business. It is very important to analyze if you are more into business or if you are more into manufacturing. Engineers use a very high level of critical thinking and analysis talking about productivity. Administrators use a very specialized reasoning talking about economics and resources. Both are similar, but they focus on different aspects within the enterprise. It is a matter of knowing yourself and finding out what kind of student and professional you want to be.

Contrast Between Backpacking or Staying in Hotels

Traveling is one of the favorite hobbies almost all people have. There are several ways for traveling around the world, and they all include some good things and some bad things. Backpacking and staying in hotels are two of the most common ways of traveling, that’s why they are used by most people. The major differences that could be discussed between these two ways of traveling are the costs, the safety of the staying, and the availability of plans.
Backpacking has been used by teenagers for a long time, and it has become really famous among young people who don’t have a lot of money for traveling. By backpacking people could save a lot of money and travel with less money than what they would need for paying a hotel. As the travelers will need to sleep in a hostel, there will always be the issue of insecurity, as any kind of people could enter and sleep in a hostel. Hostels are not always available as there are a lot of people who use them, so change of plans will always be a possibility in this way of traveling. People who rely on backpacking for their trips should always have a backup plan.
Hotels are one of the most comfortable ways of traveling, but only if you have enough money. This way of traveling is mostly used by families and people who are wealthy enough to pay for good hotels. By staying at a hotel people will spend more money than they would spend in a hostel; of course a hotel will provide a high level of security to the traveler. To stay at most hotels, you need reservations, and once you have them you can rely on a place to sleep every night. In this way of traveling no backup plan is needed.

The two possibilities discussed above are really good; everything depends on the economic possibilities of every person. Personally I recommend staying at hotels even if they do not have an excellent quality because the services you get in exchange for your money could be the difference between having a good trip or a perfect mess.

Consuming Fresh Foods Instead of Canned Foods

Eating is an activity that we as humans do at least two times a day. We live in a world where the variety of food is immense, and we are responsible for what we eat. We decide what we are about to eat and how it will affect our bodies. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the differences between eating fresh foods instead of canned foods. The three main differences are flavor, health benefits, and cost.
The most notable difference between these two kinds of foods is their flavor. Fresh foods have great flavor and taste because they keep all their natural conditions. Canned foods however, lack a lot of its flavor characteristics because there are some other chemical products added to the natural foods. It is logical that the fresh foods will have a greater taste and flavor when consumed just because of the time in which they have been prepared.
Comparing both types of foods we notice another difference. There is a health factor that affects both of them. Canned foods lose some of the original fresh food nutrients when stored, and also it has to be tinned with many conservatives and chemical factors that prolong the shelf life and apparent freshness of the food but could also become toxic if consumed too often.
Yet another difference between these two types of foods is the cost. Canned foods are much more expensive than fresh foods. Here the benefit of buying tinned foods is that they are easier to find, for example, in a supermarket instead of the market like the fresh foods, and they require less work to prepare than fresh foods, just open and serve.
Here are the main three differences between buying fresh foods and buying canned foods. As we can see it comes down to a personal choice, based on the time each person has, the money and the importance he/she gives to his/her nutrition and health. Therefore it is important that you consider your possibilities and choose the best type of foods for your convenience and lifestyle.

Where to Go on Vacation: The Beach or the City

It is a fact that not all the people have the opportunity to go on vacation. The ones who have the facilities like to go out of town once in a while in order to leave their worries behind. When we go on vacation, we have to decide the best place to go according to what we have in mind. The purpose of this essay is to contrast the differences between vacation at a beach or in a city. We will look at the kinds of activities, the clothing required and the pace of life available while vacationing on the beach or in the city.
The first major difference between vacationing on the beach or in a city is the kind of activities you are able to do. On the beach, for example, you can go sailing, fishing, surfing, skiing, or take advantage of the sun and lie in the sand to get tan, or even in some cases feed sharks and swim with dolphins. On the other hand, in a city you can visit different sites such as museums, theaters, important buildings, downtown, among other things. This means that you have many places to know and you will need much more time and organization in a city than on the beach.
Another difference between vacationing on the beach or in a city is the clothing and equipment you need to take with you. If you decide to go to the beach, you will have to take mainly a bathing suit, shorts, short-sleeve shirts, sandals, sunglasses, goggles, and sun block. Considering that you are going to the city where you will have to walk a lot, you will need comfortable and casual clothing such as jeans and tennis shoes. You will also have to take fancy clothes in case you want to go, for example, to watch a play or to a concert.
The final difference between vacationing on the beach or in a city is the pace of life. If you want a relaxing plan, your option will be the beach. When you are on the beach you just let things happen while in the city you will have to schedule all your activities in order to have time to visit the different sites you want to.
In conclusion, here you have these differences to consider when deciding where to go on vacation. Although both places are interesting and exciting, it all depends on what you are looking for. Keep in mind that wherever you decide to go you will enjoy it.

From The Bends to Hail to the Thief by Roberto Sanchez

Nowadays, it is almost impossible to define a music style because of the numerous combinations of others that combine to form new ones. I think this is what happens to Radiohead, who is considered by the critics as one of the best bands in the world of modern music. They have released several studio albums, singles, and live recordings. In this essay I am going to compare and contrast “The Bends (1995)” and “Hail to the Thief (2003)” in regard to the instruments used, the accomplishments with each album, and the lyrics’ content.
“The Bends” was Radiohead’s second studio album. The instruments used in it are electric and acoustic guitars, electric bass, drums, and vocals. You could say that the traditional rock instruments were used as opposed to the newer resources available today. In their sixth studio album “Hail to the Thief,” besides the instruments used in “The Bends,” they used some other sources, such as electronic devices and new sounds programmed in computers.
The accomplishments they succeeded with these two albums are different. In their beginnings, if someone had the idea that they were a one hit wonder band, with “The Bends” this idea was quickly dismissed. Furthermore, the recording of this album was full of expectations that were successfully completed. For example, their recording company was expecting a way too better album than the first one (“Pablo Honey”). While they were in tour with “The Bends,” they were the ideal opening band. What they got from their last album was their consolidation as an important band and a turn of 360º in their music. If the past studio album (“Amnesiac”) was very good, with “Hail to the Thief” they excelled, and the sound they have now is not that experimental but more mature.
In “Hail to the Thief,” the lyrics express a feeling of nonconformity and repulsion towards George Bush, global violence, wars, and terrorism. In their second album they express the problems of human existence, emotions, and contradictions. It is concerned more in the interior of the self rather than the world in which we live.
Radiohead is a clear example of the maturity a band can reach through the years. There is an enormous difference between the sound of their second album compared to their sixth album in many aspects, including the lyrics’ content. They have achieved different goals with each of them, and now they belong to the icons of modern music.

Compare and Contrast

When your teacher asks you to write a ‘Compare and Contrast’ paper, what exactly do they mean? Well, when we learn about new things, our brain wants ever so badly to compare these new things to something that we already know about.. (What do they have in common?) Our brain also wants to know….How are they different (contrast)? The first step in a Compare and Contrast paper is a Venn Diagram. Let’s Compare and Contrast soccer and basketball.

First ask yourself, “What do they have in common?”
This part goes in the middle of the Venn Diagram:

• Both played with balls
• Both games played using timed ‘quarters’.
• Both played on a rectangular field, with the object of the game being to penetrate the opponents territory and “scoring”.
• Both are popular spectactor sports

Now, for the “contrast” part. Put soccer on one side of the diagram, and basketball on the other. Each game’s unique characteristics will appear under their title, and the facts listed will directly be contrasted against the other. Ask your self now, “How are they different from each other?”

Soccer Basketball
played with feet played with hands
ball kicked into net ball is thrown into a net
a goalie defends the net a guard defends the net
“dribbling” means kicking “dribbling” means bouncing

Once we are done with our Venn Diagram, we can start writing our paper. A Compare and Contrast paper should have
• a lead paragraph that lets our reader know what they will be learning about
• at least one paragraph that focuses on the similarities
• at least one paragraph that focuses on the diferences
• and a paragraph that sums up the paper and what we have learned.

Keep in mind, the reader does not want to just see a list of similarities and differences. BORING! don’t just write,”In soccer, the ball is kicked into the goal for a point. In basketball, the ball in thrown into the net for a point.” Try showingthe reader, instead:
“Dribbling the ball on the gym floor, the basketball player weaves in and out through the opposition, his final destination, a 10 foot high net, clearly in his sights. The soccer player, however, dribbles the ball with his feet, kicking his way down the grassy field, finally ‘shooting’ the ball with all of his might, past the goalie, and into the rectangular net at the end of the field.”

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