Comparison is an important part of critical thinking and forming in-depth analysis. Being able to synthesize information from diverse viewpoints will help your arguments and research become well-rounded and objective. Your task will be to choose an issue and practice one of the following comparison strategies. You will be required to use at least one source as evidence to support your claims with correct MLA style citations:
As the words suggest, you will be comparing two sides of an issue to identify similarities and differences. The key here is using these similarities and differences to identify prominent themes or make important analysis. Consider the following example:
Ex.- Having a two-party political system in the US, consisting of Republicans and Democrats, has often led to polarization in our society. These parties have significant similarities and differences in ideology such as
Comparing aspects of an issue using pros and cons is a way to develop an objective perspective in spite of our biases. By identifying both what is positive or negative about an issue, one can come to much more logical and fair conclusions. Consider the following example:
Ex.- One must do a cost/benefit analysis when deciding to go to college. A few of the pros and cons of going to college are
Believing and doubting is a comparison strategy developed by rhetorician Peter Elbow that allows the writer to consider views different than their own and anticipate responses to those views. If there are multiple ways of looking at an issue, a writer considers the possibilities and consequences of believing one side of an issue or doubting its proposal. Consider the following example:
Ex.- Those that believe in the projections of climate change think that the world has a massive ecological problem that could potentially harm mine and future generations ability to live in a safe and sustainable world. Therefore, immediate action is necessary from policy makers.
Those that doubt the projections think that many of the estimated consequences of climate change are based on hypothetical, exponential, and variable outcomes, and therefore do not seek to make changes through public policy.
Part of objective writing is borrowing the credibility and ideas of sources to support your claims. This essay will require at least one source with correct MLA style citations and a works cited page.
Each method of comparison is useful for demonstrating complex, objective thought and can be a useful strategy for doing analysis and creating arguments. The minimum word-count for this essay is 1500 words.
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