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Word or idea Class Differentiation

autobiography written account of a person’s life

school institution for teaching and learning

The definition of each of these terms may well be expressed in a single sentence that most people would recognize as its basic meaning. For words that have many meanings a full paragraph or more may be required for adequate clarification. You should expand the basic meaning of the word or idea in terms of your own understanding of it. For example in defining the word biography, you may give its precise dictionary meaning – “the written account of a person’s life” – and then go on to tell what a biography attempts to do, cover the basic features of any good biography and so on.

Another paragraph of definition may treat its subject with less completeness and a lightness of touch. It may be sufficient that the author defines merely one aspect of his topic, expressing it in the form of illustration. To be sufficient the illustration should demonstrate the two basic requirements of definition: the subject placed in a class having common characteristics and then differentiated from other members of its class.

Read the following examples of definition.

E-Mail

E-mail is not something you can hold in your hand, send in the mail, and a stamp is not needed to send it. E-mail is simply mail put into digital form and sent to its recipient through the Internet. Because of the technological advances of society, mail has been turned into something computer made that can be sent any place, any time, as long as there is an Internet connection. For instance, a person does not have to wait until the post office is open to send an important letter or message, all they have to do is simply get on to the Internet and come up with a draft and hit the send button. Also the person looking to send the mail does not have to pay for the sometimes expensive postage price, but rather the monthly cost of Internet access. Because of the development of E-mail, people can send messages without hassle and in a timely fashion. E-mail also helps businesses communicate throughout their company simply with the push of a button. As time goes on, e-mail will advance while physical mailing will slowing be turned into something of the past.

 

Racist

A racist can be defined as a prejudiced person who discriminates because of another individuals outer appearance or race. Racism can all start as a child being raised with negative thoughts, or can be brought upon by personal reasons. For example, growing up in a racist family will give adolescent awful thoughts about a race without even experiencing how they really feel first hand. A different example of how one might unfortunately choose to be racist would be if a person visits a country, and a negative event took place; this person might become racist toward a group of people that lived there all because of one personal event that happened. This is not a type of person that treats people like how they want to treated, but it is a form of hatred toward a set of people. This kind of person might use mental abuse, or they can even get physically abusive toward the kind of race they are discriminate towards. They also can have a type of attitude that thinks that they are better than certain groups and cultures. Racism is a negative concept that put down people for no real reason. Racism is a form of ignorance and inequity and only one could wish for this discrimination to stop all together in order for everybody to get along.



 

Such definitions, as you can see, give more than the minimal dictionary meaning, more than the textbook definition. The writer clarifies the meaning by using the basic materials of paragraph development, especially reason and illustration. The purpose is to help the reader understand the word or idea more completely than would be possible from the dictionary meaning alone.

 

Comparison

Comparison shows the similarity between two or more people, objects, or ideas. The comparison can be expressed in a single sentence or expended into a paragraph. In a single sentence you may say

“Henry and George have similar characteristics.” or

“New York and San Francisco are flourishing ports.”

Each of these brief comparisons may be extended into a paragraph of comparison by the use of supporting details, reasons, and illustrations. You can include your own opinion or evaluation in these comparisons. The basis of comparison should be the same, otherwise the resulting comparison will be illogical and ineffective. The careful writer of a paragraph, not only starts with a basis of comparison between the similar things being discussed but also stresses throughout the comparison the specific dominant quality, point, or issue which is applicable to both and which is stated or implied in the controlling idea of the paragraph.

 

In the following paragraph the author draws a comparison between work and school. His primary purpose is to show that both things have similar features.

 

Work and school are very much alike in at least five ways. First, both require an early start. Going to work requires getting up early to avoid the traffic rush, and going to school requires getting up early to be assured of a parking space. Second, promptness is important in both places. Being at work on time pleases the employer;being in class on time pleases the instructor. Third, both involve quotas. A job imposes various quotas on a worker to ensure maximum production--for example, a certain amount of boxes must be filled on an assembly line, or a designated number of calls must be made by a telephone solicitor. Likewise, school imposes quotas on a student to ensure maximum effort--for instance, a certain number of essays must be written in an English composition class or a specific number of books must be read in an American Novel course. Fourth, both work and school deadlines must be met. On the job, the boxes would have to be filled and the telephone calls made by a certain time; in a class, the essays would have to be submitted and the books read by a certain date. Finally, both work and school benefit. Workers produce useful and entertaining items for people to use, such as refrigerators and televisions. Similarly, students prepare themselves to enter fields like medicine and law, fields which serve society. It is not surprising that work and school share these five similarities, since one of the purposes of school is to prepare a student for the job of his choice.

 

With a proper basis of comparison and a controlling idea that establishes the specific quality, point or issue to be applied to the subjects being compared, you may draw for supporting statements on detail, reasons, or illustrations, singly or in combination. When you come to this point in your composition, you are also concerned with expressing your basic materials in the form of major and minor supports. Each major support should be relevant to both objects of the comparison and to the controlling idea as well. Each minor support should be clearly related to its major statement and the controlling idea as well. The paragraph about work and school can be used as an example.

 

Topic sentence: Work and school are very much alike in at least five ways.

Major support: First, both require an early start.

Minor support: Going to work requires getting up early to avoid the traffic rush, and going to school requires getting up early to be assured of a parking space.

Major support: Second, promptness is important in both places.

Minor support: Being at work on time pleases the employer;being in class on time pleases the instructor.

Major support: Third, both involve quotas.

Minor support: A job imposes various quotas on a worker to ensure maximum production--for example, a certain amount of boxes must be filled on an assembly line, or a designated number of calls must be made by a telephone solicitor.

Minor support: Likewise, school imposes quotas on a student to ensure maximum effort--for instance, a certain number of essays must be written in an English composition class or a specific number of books must be read in an American Novel course.

Major support: Fourth, both work and school deadlines must be met.

Minor support: On the job, the boxes would have to be filled and the telephone calls made by a certain time; in a class, the essays would have to be submitted and the books read by a certain date.

Major support: Finally, both work and school benefit.

Minor support: Workers produce useful and entertaining items for people to use, such as refrigerators and televisions.

Minor support: Similarly, students prepare themselves to enter fields like medicine and law, fields which serve society.

The concluding sentence: It is not surprising that work and school share these five similarities, since one of the purposes of school is to prepare a student for the job of his choice.

 

This paragraph is both unified and coherent. It is unified because all the sentence-ideas develop the similarity between work and school in terms of the controlling idea. The major statements support the controlling idea directly; the minor statements support the major statements and the controlling idea as well. All the sentences are written with careful attention to proper co-ordination and subordination of ideas.

The paragraph is coherent because it fallows a predetermined general-to specific order of materials, and because the writer uses within the sentences such transitional units as both, and, likewise, similarly.

In paragraphs of comparison you must show only those matters that are similar. You must have a basis of comparison and a specific quality, point or issue toward which to work and control what you say and how you say it. You must also keep in mind that your basic materials (detail, reason and illustration) should be arranged in an appropriate order (time order, general-to-specific, climactic or other) so that the coherence of the paragraph will be maintained as effectively as possible. You must remember that comparison has to do only with similarities of the things being compared and that the whole paragraph should be composed from that point of view.

Contrast

The purpose of contrast is to show the difference between two people, places, things or ideas. Two brothers may resemble each other in various ways, but they may also be very unlike in appearance or personality. One may be tall, the other short; one may be generous, the other selfish. In a paragraph of contrast only those materials that show the differences, the dissimilarities, should be included.

The paragraph of contrast needs a basis of contrast and a specific dominant quality, point, or issue, probably the controlling idea, to give the necessary unity. In each case the two things being contrasted should belong to the same class and be capable of being contrasted. Until some central focus is provided that will give a unifying purpose to the details, reasons, or illustrations chosen as basic material, the paragraph as an artistic piece of composition cannot succeed.

 

Examples of paragraphs of contrast.

 


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 254


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