Comparing & Contrasting Paragraph

Purpose

For the practice assignment, students will use points-of-reference and transitional words to compare or contrast two used trucks. See the Comparing and Contrasting section under Developing Paragraphs/Strategies for Developing the Main Point in The Little Seagull Handbook.

Instructions

Consider the following scenario when comparing or contrasting the two used trucks:

Justin has accepted a new job as a master gardener with a landscape design and tree nursery business. The new position will require Justin to use his own vehicle to transport trees, shrubs, and flowers as well as large quantities of mulch, decorative stones, and gardening equipment. Justin currently owns a truck, but it is old and needs a new engine and transmission. So, Justin decides to buy a reliable used truck that is in good condition rather than repair the old truck. Justin has $2,000 in savings plus the trade-in value to use as the down payment to purchase a truck.

At a used car lot, Justin narrows the choices to two trucks. How should Justin make a decision between the trucks? What requirements or points-of-reference are most important? To complete the practice assignment, there are five points-of-reference as shown in Table 3. The sentences for this assignment are provided. The assignment is to reorder, rewrite, and combine the sentences using transitional words.

Directions:

  1. Create a points-of-reference chart to evaluate the options.
  2. Evaluate the two trucks using five criteria — amount of space, condition, features, price, and safety — as the points-of-reference.
  3. Write a compare or contrast paragraph using the sentences provided.
  4. Use transitional words and phrases accurately within the paragraph.
  5. Add other sentences as needed.

Use these sentences for the points-of-reference chart and paragraph:

  • Pickup Truck A’s price tag says $3,000.
  • Pickup Truck B’s price tag says $4,000.
  • Pickup Truck A’s odometer reads 100,000 miles.
  • Pickup Truck B’s odometer reads 80,000 miles.
  • Both trucks were manufactured in 1998.
  • Pickup Truck A has automatic locks and windows.
  • Pickup Truck B has a CD player and a great sound system.
  • Pickup Truck A is bright red and has a few dents on it.
  • The seats and carpet in Pickup Truck B are stained.
  • Both trucks have extended cabs.
  • Pickup Truck B is dark blue and has a silver stripe on the sides.
  • Pickup Truck A has a six cylinder engine.
  • Pickup Truck B has an eight cylinder engine.
  • Pickup Truck A’s interior is very clean, but the seats are worn.
  • Pickup Truck A has a bed-liner.
  • Pickup Truck B has tinted windows.
  • Pickup Truck B has an automatic transmission.
  • Pickup Truck A has a manual transmission.
  • Justin has $2,000 saved for the purchase.

Table 3

Points of Reference

Pickup Truck A Points of Reference Pickup Truck B
Amount of Space
Condition
Features
Price
Safety

 

The practice paragraph should demonstrate good structure through the use of a topic sentence, several coherent supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. Refer to Section W-4b, Developing Paragraphs, particularly the section on Using examples, in The Little Seagull Handbook.

Grading

Practice Assignments are worth 20 points each and do not have a rubric. A well-formed, compare or contrast paragraph that demonstrates impeccable use of grammar, spelling, and punctuation will earn maximum points.

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