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英文論文片語中,比較和對比(Compare and Contrast)用法

作者: Steve Wallace


發布日期: 2014 / 6 / 6,

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英文論文片語中,比較和對比(Compare and Contrast)用法

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提問:

「我發現我在文章中進行比較時,常說到 on one hand、 on the other hand。在過度使用這樣片語的情狀下,我甚至會忘了先前提到的 hand 是什麼!是否有可替代的用字,讓我在寫研究文章時可以使用呢?」

—國立臺北大學管理學院博士生

回答:

 

比較和對比

 

比較(尋找相似處)和對比(尋找差異)同為分析的過程,能幫助您暸解事物更深的層面。

 

比較的目的通常是為了證明看似不同的事情,但其實是類似的,而對比則是為了找出看似相同的事物間所存在的差異。進行評估是第一階段,藉由比較 A 和 B 的特定面向,可以決定何者較有用或有價值。

 

請注意,comparison 一詞有時候會用來表達比較和對比的意思。

 

寫作時的比較 /對比結構部分

 

可供使用的基本結構有兩個。想像您正在寫的論文題目如下:

 

  • Compare and contrast the Higher Education systems in the U.S. and Taiwan.

 

在前言後,您可能選擇先撰寫美國的部分,逐項列出要討論的內容,接著再描述臺灣,並與先前描述美國時所列出的項目對應,最後在結論中將這些重點合併在一起。由於在長篇文章中,讀者很可能會忘記先前對另一項主題所做的描述,所以此結構會比較適合短篇論文。

 

第二種選擇是將各項目分開來進行比較,這通常是較佳的方法。

 

以上述題目為例,先規劃您想強調的要點(例如:資金、評估、入學程序等),並分章描述,在各章節中比較兩者(此例中為美國和臺灣)。

 

不論採取何種方法,您都必須清楚明白進行比較的目的為何。舉例來說,您是否嘗試說服讀者或解釋某事?接著,您必須針對即將進行比較/對比的兩物件,建立出一個比較的基礎。

 

比較和對比的用語

 

在以下的例子,您可以看到此寫作類型中常用的措詞。

 

介紹句:差異性

 

  • X is different from Y in a number of respects.
  • There are a number of important differences between X and Y.
  • X differs from Y in a number of important ways.
  • Smith (2003) found distinct differences between X and Y.
  • Women and men differ not only in physical attributes but also in the way in which they . . .

 

介紹句:相似性

 

  • The mode of processing used by the right brain is similar to that used by the left brain.
  • The mode of processing used by the right brain is comparable in complexity to that used by the left brain.
  • The effects of nitrous dioxide on human health are similar to those of ground level ozone.
  • Both X and Y generally take place in a “safe environment”.
  • There are a number of similarities between X and Y.
  • Numerous studies have compared the brain cells in man and animals and found that the cells are essentially identical.

 

在單句中進行比較

 

  • In contrast to oral communities, it is very difficult to get away from calendar time in literate societies.
  • Oral societies tend to be very much anchored in the present, whereas literate societies have a very definite awareness of the past.
  • Women’s brains process language simultaneously in the two sides of the brain, while men tend to process it in the left side only.

 

在單句中進行比較(比較級)

 

  • Women are faster/slower than men at certain precision manual tasks, such as placing pegs in holes on a board.
  • Women tend to perform better/worse than men on tests of perceptual speed.
  • Further, men are more/less accurate in tests of target-directed motor skills.
  • The corpus callosum, a part of the brain connecting the two hemispheres, may be more/less extensive in women.
  • Women are more/less likely than men to suffer aphasia when the front part of the brain is damaged.
  • Adolescents are less likely to be put to sleep by alcohol than adults.
  • Women tend to have greater/less verbal fluency than men.
  • Men learned the route in fewer trials and made fewer errors than did women.

 

在兩個句子間進行比較

 

  • It is very difficult to get away from calendar time in literate societies. By contrast/in contrast, many people in oral communities have little idea of the calendar year of their birth.
  • Tests show that women generally can recall lists of words or paragraphs of text better than men.
    On the other hand, men usually perform better on tests that require the ability to mentally rotate an image in order to solve a problem.
  • Young children learning their first language need simplified, comprehensible input. Similarly, low level adult L2 learners need graded input supplied in most cases by a teacher.
  • Speech functions are less likely to be affected in women because the critical area is less often affected. A similar pattern emerges in studies of the control of hand movements.

 

在進行比較和對比時,應該盡可能保持精確。「X is bigger than Y」並無法提供讀者足夠的資訊,您所用的比較詞語應該更明確,並確實點出 X 比 Y 大的程度有多少。

 

同樣地,「There are 20% more students in Higher Education in the UK than in Japan」只有在我們知道學生的確切數目時,才有實質意義。

 

注意以下片語( Swales & Feak , 1994 ):

 

  • Almost exactly twice as many boys . . .
  • A marginally smaller percentage of girls . . .
  • Slightly over twice as many boys . . .
  • Close to three times as many boys . . .
  • Boys exceeded girls . . . by a ratio of 2.5 to 1.

 

同時注意以下的單字和片語,這些字詞可以使比較更為精確(Jordan, 1999):

 

X is considerably
a great deal
(very) much
rather
somewhat
a little
slightly
scarcely
hardly
only just
smaller
bigger
cheaper
etc .
than . . .
X is exactly
precisely
just
virtually
practically
more or less
almost
nearly
approximately
about
the same as . . .
X is not exactly
entirely
quite
the same as . . .
X is totally
completely
entirely
quite
different from Y.
X is not quite so/as big
expensive
etc .
as . . .
X and Y are different
dissimilar
in every way/respect.
totally
completely
entirely
quite
different.

 

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