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Compare and Contrast Text Structure: Reading Comprehension Review Practice Exercises

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Updated on Aug 24, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Compare and Contrast Text Structure: Reading Comprehension Review Study Guide

PRACTICE

For each sentence, identify whether something is being compared or contrasted.

  1. Reading is very much like watching a movie in the way that it can take you to a different place in your mind.
  2. Although they share a word in their name, snow-skiing and water-skiing are completely different sports.
  3. Laughter is medicine for the sad.
  4. Mints and chewing gum have a lot in common.
  5. Running and swimming each have a very different impact on a person's body.
  6. Dollar coins have yet to see mainstream use, because they are so similar to the other coins that are often cumbersome to carry around.
  7. Both bricks and stones can be used for construction in similar ways.
  8. A laptop computer has some advantages that a desktop model does not have.

Read the passage, and then answer the questions that follow.

In many ways, baking is similar to math. It's true! In math, you use formulas to solve problems, and in baking, you use formulas to create a cake. Both in math and in baking, the formulas involve numbers. In math, you make calculations to solve a problem, and in the same way for baking, the amount of an ingredient needs to be divided or multiplied to make a different size cake. Also, in math class you learn about various shapes and what it means to divide those shapes into halves and quarters as part of a larger understanding of how things fit into space. Baking also involves thinking about how shapes fit into space. Different types of baked goods require different sizes and shapes of pans and are meant to be served by cutting them into various segments of the whole, just like in math!
  1. What two subjects are being discussed in the passage?
  2. Are the subjects being compared or contrasted?
  3. What aspects of each subject are mentioned?
  4. Is the passage written in the point-by-point method or the block method?

ANSWERS

  1. compared
  2. This sentence states that reading is similar to watching a movie. You can tell things are being compared because of the clue word like.

  3. contrasted
  4. The word although is a clue that snow-skiing and water-skiing are being contrasted.

  5. compared
  6. The sentence has an implied like. Laughter is like medicine for the sad.

  7. compared
  8. The clue words in common signal a comparison.

  9. contrasted
  10. The word different is used to refer to running and swimming, which is a clue to the fact that the two are being contrasted.

  11. compared
  12. Dollar coins are being compared to all the other coins. Similar is the word that should have clued you in to the comparison.

  13. compared
  14. Similar is used in this question to refer to bricks and stones, so we know that they are being compared.

  15. contrasted
  16. Because the laptop has advantages that the desktop does not have, it is different. So, the two are being contrasted.

Here is the passage that is referred to in questions 9 through 12.

In many ways, baking is similar to math that you might learn in class. [While in math class you use formulas to solve problems, similarly, inbaking you use a formula to create a cake. Both in math and in baking, the formulas involve numbers.] [In math, calculations are needed to solve a problem, and in the same way for baking, the amount of an ingredient needs to be divided or multiplied in order to make a different size cake.] [Also, in math class you learn about various shapes and what it means to divide those shapes into halves and quarters, as part of a larger understanding of how things fit into space. Baking also involves thinking about how shapes fit into space. Different types of baked goods require different sizes and shapes of pans and are meant to be served by cutting them into various segments of the whole, just like in math!]
  1. The two subjects being discussed are math and baking.
  2. The two subjects are first mentioned in the topic sentence of the paragraph. They are underlined for you in the passage.

  3. The subjects are being compared.
  4. There are some clue words and phrases that should have tipped you off to the fact that math and baking were being compared, as opposed to being contrasted. The words are underlined in the passage and are listed here:

        similarly
        in the same way
        also
        like
  5. Here are the aspects mentioned: Both use formulas that involve numbers, calculations are needed for both, and both deal with spatial qualities and fractions of a whole.
  6. As you read the passage, you could've made a chart to help you sort out the different aspects that are being discussed. In the reprint of the passage, the discussion of each aspect has been set aside in brackets.

  7. The passage is written in the point-by-point method.
  8. The point-by-point method is when each aspect is discussed as it relates to both subjects. The other method, block method, discusses each subject fully and then moves on to the next.

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