Site MapHelpFeedbackWriting Activity 5 - Paragraph - Compare and Contrast
Writing Activity 5 - Paragraph - Compare and Contrast
(See related pages)


Compare and contrast by constructing a three-point interpretative paragraph, approximately 80 to 100 words in length. Use academic language, avoiding the use of the first or second person, slang, or other informal terms.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is because a picture, photograph, or graphic image can convey both information and feeling seemingly at a glance. Yet, to truly understand the message the artist wishes to convey, it is necessary to scrutinize the image in more depth. Even images of similar themes may represent very different moods, and may be thought provoking through their curious juxtaposition.

Study the two images of dancers, below:


The first photograph is from the Atlantic Ballet [Possibly Anya Nesvitaylo, ]

The second image is an award winner in the 2005 Eastern Canadian News Photographers Association Competition.

Both pictures show dancers, so they can be compared. Yet, they portray very different scenes and evoke entirely different feelings, and therefore can be contrasted. Together they suggest a statement regarding the role of dance, as a formal art or as an informal burst of expression. Find a point of reference by considering these questions about the images:

  • How else could you compare and contrast this picture pairing?
  • Are they entirely distinct images, or can they be related to each other?
  • Do they share any ideas or feelings?
  • What are the stories behind these pictures?
  • What feelings do they evoke? How do they do so?
  • What is visually striking about them?

Try to inform by describing the effects of these photographs, and also persuade by speculating upon the stories or circumstances to which they refer.

Discover a common topic upon which to base your paragraph and state that as your topic sentence. Support your topic with three reasons - or subtopics - stating whether each is a point of comparison or of contrast. As you discuss each of these reasons, provide ample details, explanations, and specific examples to support your topic, using the visual clues, your understanding of human nature, and your own imagination. Be careful that you do not just describe the images, but that you also link your descriptions to your point of interpretation. Conclude your paragraph with a statement that refers back to the unifying theme, yet leaves a lasting impression upon your audience.

Business Communication NOWOnline Learning Center

Home > Writing Skills > Writing Activities > Writing Activity 5