Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Exemplification—Using Examples to Support a General Statement

Uses of Exemplification:

Clarify a point
Add interest

Your purpose for Exemplification is to write a 300-word paragraph about a person and a characteristic of this person. You will provide several examples that illustrate this person exhibiting this characteristic.

You will choose from the characteristics on p. 185-186.

Once you choose a topic, you will do the prewriting activity brainstorming/listing to come up with as many examples as you can that show the person possesses the quality you have selected.
Once you have a good amount of examples, try to group the examples into categories that you can easily organize in your paragraph.

Example Prewriting

My boyfriend Tom is very irresponsible
Spends too much money when we are at the mall
Sometimes drinks and drives
Forgot his dentist appointment three times
Doesn’t pay his bills on time
Forgot he had a job interview
Doesn’t do his homework for his English 98 class
Missed a test for his math class

Now that there are several examples to work with, what categories can each of these be grouped into?

There are three categories: Tom is irresponsible in his finances, school and appointments.

Once you have three categories or more, arrange them in a scratch outline, preferably in order of increasing importance, or emphatic order.

Example scratch outline in emphatic order:

My boyfriend Tom is very irresponsible.
A. Spends too much money
B. Doesn’t pay bills on time.
II. School
A. Homework for English 98
B. Missed math test.
III. Appointments
A. Forgot dentist appt. 3 X
B. Forgot job interview

Tips for organizing in emphatic order:

l Choose which category shows this characteristic the best.
l Put that category last in outline.
l Of the remaining two or three categories, what percentage each show the characteristic?
l List them in lesser to greater order before the final category
l What order should examples for Tom go in?

Things to remember for Exemplification:

l Must choose representative examples—those that show this person truly possesses this quality and not chance or isolated occurrence.
l Choose a range of examples—from various time periods (if you have known this person for a long time) or from various aspects of this person’s life.
l Choose a sufficient number of examples—enough so that you can prove your point. One or two do not show the person to truly possess this characteristic.

l Exemplification is done well only if the examples you provide are clear and specific.
l Ask yourself: what daily things does this person do to exhibit this characteristic?
l What recent instance of this characteristic do you recall?
l Once you can think of examples, you then must clearly retell these specific examples.

l Once you have done an outline and are satisfied with it, you are ready to draft.
l To draft, simply follow the outline and be specific about the examples you provide.
l You are not simply creating a long list of examples but showing how these examples illustrate a certain characteristic.
l Remind your readers of your purpose through transitional phrases

l Transitions for Exemplification indicate that you are moving from one example to another and one category to another.
l Transitions also indicate what order you have organized your examples in
l For example, for instance, specifically, in fact, in addition, one example, another example, finally
l Also, you can be more specific with transitional words such as:
l In addition to Tom being irresponsible in school, he also cannot manage his money.
l Another instance that shows Tom’s lack of responsibility is…
l The clearest indication of Tom’s irresponsibility is his forgetfulness when it comes to appointments

Updated page numbers 11/1

Quiz on misplaced modifiers and capital letters
HW: Read Skills 514-530, complete activities 1-3
HW:Read Skills 531-539, complete actvities 1-4
HW: Draft Exemplification to workshop on 11/6

Updated page numbers 10/30

HW:Read Skills 184-190
HW:Read Skills 510-512, complete activities 1-2
HW: (already worked on in class) Choose topic for Exemplification (p. 185-186), and do listing prewriting activity
Be ready for quiz on 11/1

Monday, October 15, 2007

Comparison Contrast

Analyzing and Discussing the Similarities and Differences Between Two Things

You will discuss the similarities, differences or both of two people, places, things, or experiences

lBefore you can compare and contrast two things, you must establish that they have enough similarities to warrant a comparison.
lIf the two things have nothing in common, you would point out only differences, which are already obvious to your audience.
lIf the two things have very few differences and you focus on similarities, you would be stating the obvious.

Purpose: lPresent clear, accurate information about both subjects (the two things you are comparing), calling attention to features that are the same or similar and features that are different.
lTry to discuss both similarities and differences while emphasizing one or the other.

Choosing Your Emphasis

lDifferences may be more significant than the similarities such as when you are comparing a CD player to an MP3 player—the differences may help you decide which to buy.
lSimilarities may be just as important as differences, like if you are transferring to a different college, it would be important to find one that has similar requirements to the one you are attending
lYou may emphasize similarities, differences, or both.

lYou may write one paragraph, but essentially you are covering two topics, so you will probably end up writing two or three paragraphs.

Prewriting for Comparison/Contrast

lDividing and Listing works well:
1.Divide piece of paper in half lengthwise.
2.Write one subject on one side of paper
3.Write other subject on other side of paper.
4.Brainstorm with everything you can think of about one subject and write in list form under subject.
5.Try to find matching points for second subject
6.Once you have a page of listing, come up with three areas that you will discuss for both subjects.
7.Those three points of discussion will then be referred to as your points.

Topic Sentences for Comparison Contrast

Once you have divided and listed and come up with three points and decided on emphasis, you are ready to create a topic sentence
lMust include:
lTwo subjects (what you are comparing and contrasting)
lThree points (areas you are discussing)
lEmphasis (whether subjects are overall similar, different, or equal.
Evaluating Topic Sentences

1.Although Norma and Irma are twins, they’re not alike.
2.Although Norma and Irma are twins, their personalities and interests are very different.
3.Although the clarinet and saxophone are similar woodwind instruments, their different shapes and sizes create different sounds.
4.St. Bernards are a much larger breed of dogs than poodles.
5.Cordless phones are more convenient than regular phones, but they generally cost more and often have poorer quality sound.
6. Women’s fashions of the 1990’s have brought back several styles from the 1960’s

7.My two favorite restaurants are Angelo’s and Mr. J’s
8.Buy your child a hamster because hamsters are much more interesting than other pets.
9.Although IBM computers are popular for business use, they Macintosh is easier and more fun for home users to learn.
10.Type A personalities are generally aggressive and forceful, whereas Type B personalities are calmer and more relaxed.
11.Many Japanese customs and American customs are different.
12.The American bald eagle can be compared with many other endangered species whose environment is threatened.

Create your Own Topic Sentence

lUsing your dividing and listing activity as a guide, choose three areas that you will discuss for both of your subjects.
lDecide whether you want to emphasize differences, similarities, or both.
lPut all together in a creative topic sentence.
lRemember: you must have two subjects, three points, and emphasis

Organization for Comparison Contrast

lTwo ways to organize comparison/contrast.
lOne is block or subject-by-subject format—Langan refers to this method as One Side at a Time
In block format, you organize your paragraph according to the two subject.
1. Discuss one subject and all areas of discussion.
2. Write transitional sentence summing up one subject and preparing readers to read about second subject.
3. Discuss second subject and areas of discussion.

Outline Using Block Format
I.Topic Sentence: Dogs and cats differ in the areas of personality, maintenance, and size.
A. Personality—
B. Maintenance—
C. Size
A. Personality
B. Maintenance.
C. Size
IV. Conclusion-sum up main points, and write concluding thought.

Important to Remember for Block

lDiscuss SAME points for both subjects.
lDo not mention second subject in first part of paragraph.
lMention first subject when discussing second subject only in the form of transitional phrases.
lDo not introduce new information about first subject when discussing second subject
lMay include both similarities and differences, but you must be clear what you are discussing through transitional phrases

Transitional Words

lTo show difference: Unlike, whereas, dissimilar to, in contrast, different from, on the other hand (only if you use “on the one hand” first), although, even though, one difference, another difference, instead
lTo show similarity: similar to, similarly, likewise, like, both, the same as, also.

Point by Point Organization
Organize paragraph according to points of discussion.
lDiscuss one point and how it applies to both subjects.
lDiscuss second point and subjects.
lDiscuss third point and subjects.

Outline Using Point-by-Point Organization

I.Topic Sentence—Dogs and Cats Differ in the areas of personality, maintenance, and size.
A. Dogs.
B. Cats
A. Dogs.
B. Cats.
A. Dogs
B. Cats
V. Conclusion

Things to Remember Using Point-by-Point

lNot only will you use transitional words when moving from point to point, but also when moving from one subject to another while discussing that point.
lIn paragraph, discuss subjects and points in the same order that they appear in topic sentence