__Comparison = __when you draw parallels between one text and another.

  1. These might be similarities and they might be differences.
  2. It is up to you to determine which you are drawing.
  3. You must ensure that your comparisons are sound.
  4. There is no point in comparing items that have no parallels.


Comparing is bringing together similarities. Comparison is showing the differences.

Connectives are required for comparison and contrasting:

Comparing Connectives (similarities)Contrasting Connectives (differences)
Similar towhereas
As wellDifferent to
In the same wayOn the other hand
AlsoIn comparison,

These connectives must be used. You cannot use the word ‘but’ and ‘and’.


Look at the following texts:

Source A: __From The Explorer’s Daughter, Kari Herbert__

As a small child, Herbert lived, with her family, among the Inughuit people (sometimes called Inuits, or Eskimos) in the harsh environment of the Arctic. In 2002 she revisited the area, staying near Thule, a remote settlement in North Greenland. In this passage she writes about her experience of watching a hunt for the narwhal, a toothed whale, and what she thought and felt about it.

Two hours after the last of the hunters had returned and eaten, narwhal were spotted again, this time very close. Within an hour even those of us on shore could with the naked eye see the plumes of spray from the narwhal catching the light in a spectral play of colour. Two large pods of narwhal circled in the fjord, often looking as if they were going to merge, but always slowly, methodically passing each other by. Scrambling back up to the lookout I looked across the glittering kingdom in front of me and took a sharp intake of breath. The hunters were dotted all around the fjord.

The evening light was turning butter-gold, glinting off man and whale and catching the soft billows of smoke from a lone hunter’s pipe. From where we sat at the lookout it looked as though the hunters were close enough to touch the narwhal with their bare hands and yet they never moved. Distances are always deceptive in the Arctic, and I fell to wondering if the narwhal existed at all or were instead mischievous tricks of the shifting light.

Source B: From H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

_When Macdonald’s father died suddenly of a heart attack, Macdonald was devastated. An experienced falconer, she adopted a goshawk to distract her from her grief. In this extract Macdonald meets her hawk for the first time. _

The hawk’s wings, barred and beating, the sharp fingers of her dark-tipped primaries cutting the air, her feathers raised like the scattered quills of a fretful porpentine. Two enormous eyes. My heart jumps sideways. She is a conjuring trick. A reptile. A fallen angel. A griffon from the pages of an illuminated bestiary. Something bright and distant, like gold falling through water. A broken marionette of wings, legs and lightsplashed feathers. She is wearing jesses, and the man holds them. For one awful, long moment she is hanging head-downward, wings open, like a turkey in a butcher’s shop, only her head is turned right-way-up and she is seeing more than she has ever seen before in her whole short life. Her world was an aviary no larger than a living room.

Then it was a box. But now it is this; and she can see everything: the point-source glitter on the waves, a diving cormorant a hundred yards out; pigment flakes under wax on the lines of parked cars; far hills and the heather on them and miles and miles of sky where the sun spreads on dust and water and illegible things moving in it that are white scraps of gulls.

__Example essay question: __Compare and contrast the description of animals across the two passages.

Comparison, figure 1

Example paragraph:

Within Source B, the imagery of the ‘hawk’s wings, barred and beating’ creates an impression of a harsh image of the bird, as if it is fighting with both itself and the handler. It makes the reader feel as though it is a creature to be scared of. On the other hand, the creature in Source A appears graceful and elegant, as the narwhal seem natural in their setting:‘slowly, methodically passing each other by’, which directly contrasts to Herbert ‘scrambling’. The usage of several adverbs emphasise the gentle nature of the animals, which is unlike the vicious nature of the hawks.

What connectives are used to compare and contrast?
How do you write a successful comparison?