Achieve a Level Four Performance in an Oral Exam through the Formal Speech/the Oral Essay Part One
Write an Effective Oral Essay/Formal Speech on a Comparative-Study Topic
“The central idea, or thesis, is your essay’s life and spirit.”
Sheridan Baker, The Practical Stylist
Formal speeches are carefully scripted pieces of writing. A formal speech is essentially an oral essay. The conventions of the oral essay/the formal speech include the following:
To persuade, inspire, or motivate
Usually an audience of peers or like-minded individuals •
Ranges from serious to humorous
A strong sense of the collective identity of the speaker and the audience •
Appropriate for the occasion and the audience
Often straightforward direction
You may have heard the old Chinese proverb, “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” How much more we suddenly know about the shoes and the feet, thinking of them together. This is the power of comparison and contrast. In this comparative-analysis essay, you need to describe, explore, and explain how different events, characters, or ideas in two literary texts are connected or related. You need to draw them together to show how they are similar and/or different. While “comparing” is widely accepted as including both similarities and differences, “contrasting,” however, means concentrating only on differences. To write a good compare-and-contrast essay, you must take your raw data—the similarities and differences you have observed—and make them cohere into a meaningful argument. Here are the four techniques required to write an effective comparative-analysis essay.
Frame of Reference. This is the context within which you place the two things you plan to compare and contrast; it is the umbrella under which you have grouped them. The frame of reference may consist of an idea, theme, question,...
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