Analyzing and Comparing two texts

Last week we dealt with Integration of two texts.

This time we will work on Analyzing and Comparing two texts.

How can we do that?

We need to find what  the texts have in common.

What is the common denominator?

    and then,

In what way do the texts differ? 

Let's start with the first text.

Text No.1*

The beginning of a new year is an excellent opportunity for self-improvement. It's the right time to reflect upon all those things in our life and personality that need changing. It's the right time to make resolutions.

The problem is that it is hard to stick to those resolutions. It takes courage to change and self-discipline to follow through. That is why most resolutions fail in spite of our good intentions. What we probably need is a new approach.

We have to plan our resolutions very carefully. The goals should be realistic. We should not plan dramatic changes. We had better focus on a clear, reasonable, specific target. Our resolutions should include not only what we want to change but the "why" and the "how" as well.

It might help to write down the resolutions and leave little reminders within sight. For example, if you have decided to go on a diet, place a scale next to the refrigerator and a photograph of a fashion model on your mirror. The main thing is not to give up. Remember: Every day is the beginning of a new year.


Read the text carefully.

State which of the following statements is TRUE or FALSE.

  • Putting the photograph of a model on the refrigerator might be a good idea.
  • Most resolutions succeed because of our good intentions.
  • The scale should be placed next to the mirror.
  • It is easy to stick to new resolutions.
  • Little reminders may help us stick to our resolutions.
  • The reasons for our wish to change are also important.
  • New year is the right time for resolutions.
  • The most important thing is not to give up.

Correct the FALSE sentences and rearrange them in chronological order according to the passage.

Give a suitable title to the text.

Can you sum up the text in three sentences?

Suggestions for Class Discussion:

  • Would you like to change your life-style (studies, sports, hobbies, social activities, etc.)? Why? What is your objective?
  • Do you foresee important changes in your personal life (your school / your country) next year? Explain!

Text No.2*

Astrology is an old art. It started about 5000 years ago with the Babylonians. They used to chart the movement of the stars. In those days, horoscopes were prepared only for the kings and they were used to predict high affairs of the state.

Today, horoscopes are very popular. Millions of people passionately believe in astrology. Many experts make a living out of this so-called profession and newspapers often print the weekly horoscope for the twelve zodiac signs. Some people find it silly and even absurd. Others think horoscopes are amusing and sometimes interesting. Some of them may not take a single step without consulting the stars.

People are attracted to astrology because they would like to see into the future. It might be very helpful to know things in advance. Even those who say they don't believe in it usually know their zodiac sign. When the predictions are favorable, most of us tend to adopt them, but when they are unpleasant, we tend to shrug them off as pure nonsense.


Read the text carefully and suggest a suitable title.

Find the main idea of every paragraph.

Look at the last sentence. Do you agree? Explain.

Sum up the text.

What new information have you found in Text No.2?

What do the two texts have in common?

In what way do they differ?

Can you identify with one of the texts? Explain.

Homework Assignments

Write 2 – 3 paragraphs about one of the following subjects:

  • What do you think about horoscopes? Do you believe in horoscopes / fortune tellers? Justify your answer.
  • Can you imagine what your life will look like in the future – ten years from now? Describe it.
  • Can you imagine what your school / your country will look like 30 years from now? Describe it.


And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.

*- For more exercises on this text, please see The Lively World of English – Book 1 – p 150 – 153 and p 169 – 172.

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