See Strategies for Successful Writing, 5th ed., pp. 222-223, 271-272, 276-277.
In logic, it is reasoning in which the relations or resemblances are inferredfrom others that are known or observed.
Refers to things clearly unlike in kind, form, or appearance,and refers to similar properties, relations, behaviors, etc., in more than one aspect.
An EXTENDED METAPHOR may be seen as an extended comparison. Next
In its simplest form, an analogy may be stated as a ratio. In the example: "A puppy is to a dog as a kitten is to a cat," the youth of the canine is compared to the youth of the feline.
Exercise 1: Solving Analogy Problems
1. author : book :: composer : __________.a. mother b. grandparent c. typewriter d. symphony
2. hay : horse :: seed : ___________. a. parakeetb. plant c. flower d. cow
3. green : grass :: red : ___________.a. football b. strawberry c. book d. orange
4. train : rails :: automobile : _________.a. tires b. gasoline c. highway d. pistons
5. sap : tree :: blood : _________.a. automobile b. jungle c. turnip d. donkey
6. ink : pen :: lead : _____________.a. heavy b. pencil c. direct d. paper
7. power : dominance :: weakness : __________.a. poverty b. sickness c. submission d. leadership
8. king : subjects :: coach : ___________a. team b. football c. strategy d. first-class
9. germ : disease :: disease : ___________.a. health b. virus c. finger d. death
10. thunderstorm : weather :: station wagon : ___________.a. family b. automobile c. gas mileage d. ambition
Exercise 2: Develop an analogy between:
1. an election and a hockey game,
2. a baby and a pickle,
3. a car and a monster.
Exercise 3: Create an analogy between:
1. a textbook and _______________,
2. a bank and __________________,
3. a politician and _______________.
Why Use an Analogy - To clarify or to illustrate.
To put intangible things or unfamiliar things in tangible or familiar form
Ro explain or clarify difficult concepts
In the following example, the process of learning is compared with a symphony orchestra.
The words like or analogous to typically signal the start of an analogy.
After describing the first of the two topics in the comparison, the writer follows with an expression such as just so or similarly
and then continues with the second part of the comparison.
Exercise 4: Read and explain the following analogy.
Over-regulation benefits no one ... . Government cannot protect everybody from everything.
There will be no bears in the woods. It is wiser to accept that fact and proceed with appropriate
caution than to employ a scorched-earth regulatory policy which gets rid of the bears by getting
rid of the woods and leaving everybody with a serious erosion problem.
(Thinking Process, p. 99) For answer, click HERE.
Be careful to avoid misleading implications. Analogies may not be used for proving a point but for clarifying or illustrating one, because no new facts are presented in an analogy.
Use analogies to clarify a point, a process, an abstraction, NOT to prove a point. Because you are comparing unlike objects, analogies will invariably break down.
Non human primates, chimps and gorillas, care for young, clean and groom each other,
defend themselves, and sometimes form a group to attack. Why must the human primates
go so much further with Medicare, child care, welfare, Social Security, and the like, to protect
the weak? Indeed, why do we even speak to each other when gorillas do not?
Here we have an example of an analogy which has been taken to its extreme.
Exercise 5: Write an analogy in class.
Write a paragraph in which you continue the comparison suggested by one of the following topic sentences. Think clearly. Do not allow your imagination run wild. Hand your paragraph to a colleague for editing. Hand in the edited copy and include your editor's name as well as your own.
Click for student examples.
Assignment: Write an analogy for next class.
Write a one-paragraph analogy using one of the following topics.
You will be graded out of 10 according to your ability to sustain the comparison to include at least three similarities and to maintain the basic comparison (metaphor). Remember that you are talking about one thing as if it were another. Your analogy must be clear, unified, and well written grammatically.
If you are feeling particularly creative you may write two paragraphs, but length will not determine your mark. Humour in this assignment would be appreciated.
Answer to Exercise 3
Woods = Marketplace
Bears = Persons or products which threaten the bell-being of consumers.
Scorched earth = Government legislation which limits commercial activity.
Serious erosion problem = Destruction of opportunities.
Oops. Not really.
You should be getting these by now.
I think you're on to something.