Many students often struggle with being repetitive when they write a term paper or an essay in which they want to compare two periods/authors/novels/situations/… to one another. In order to avoid repetitiveness, it is reasonable to employ various different structures and expressions that show that two or more ideas/situations/points/… are similar. You can do so by using certain nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, or prepositions. Here are the most useful ones for academic writing.
Nouns: resemblance, similarity, parallel, analogy
- There is a strong resemblance between Democratic policies of the late 1800s and contemporary Republican paroles.
- The animated cartoon series from 1999 bears a striking resemblance to the 1965 non-animated first version.
- The high income inequality rate in the US bears a close resemblance to the income inequality rate of certain African countries.
- There is a remarkable similarity of both style and structure in the two poems by John Donne.
- The philosophy of Ulrich Horstmann shows certain similarities to Schopenhauer’s view of the world.
- Scholars have often drawn parallels between Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby and the author F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- There are close parallels in the recent development of Islamophobia with 19th-century anti-Semitism.
- A useful/simple analogy for understanding the paradox between temperature and color is that a blue flame is hotter than an orange flame.
Adjectives: similar, analogous, common, comparable, identical, same
- Fairly similar developments can be observed in other countries.
- A common understanding of the issue at hand must be achieved.
- The structure of this poem is identical to the one I examined beforehand.
- The procedures vary in detail but generally follow the same pattern. (The adjective „same“ is always preceded by a definite article and followed by a noun!)
- The unemployment rate of the United Kingdom is broadly comparable to the one of the United States.
- The law needs to be applied in an analogous manner in every case.
Verbs: resemble, correspond
- It is possible to say that Dan Brown and Steve Berry very much resemble one another in the way that they both combine historical speculation with elements of the genre of thriller.
- The views of the German liberal-conservative political party CSU/CDU on immigration greatly resemble those of the far-right party AfD.
- The political strength of these states directly corresponds to their economic strength.
- The estimates closely correspond to the available data.
Adverbs: similarly, likewise, in the same way
- In „To His Mistress Going to Bed“ by John Donne, a male speaker attempts to convince his object of desire to have sex with him. Similarly, the speaker of „To his coy Mistress“ by Andrew Marvell stresses the transience of beauty and desire and aims at persuading his respective object of desire to copulate with him.
- Over the last few years, the drinking water quality in some parts of China has worsened tremendously. Likewise, air pollution has increased in the same areas.
- In the same way as Napoleon wanted to control continental Europe as a whole, Samudragupta of the Gupta led a vigorous campaign to maintain authority over the entire Indian subcontinent.
Prepositions, conjunctions, and other expressions: like, as, as … as
- Like many other Puritan authors, Thomas Vincent focused on offering instructions from a Biblical point of view. (In academic writing, you do not use „like“ but „as“ or „in the same way“ to introduce a full clause: Like As he said, … / You get addicted to social media like in the same way as you get addicted to drugs.)
- Teachers, like most people, have internalized racist views.
- The dangerous situations men and women are confronted with vary, as do their perceptions of danger.
- In a relationship, communication is as important as affection.
In summary, we have seen that there are numerous different ways in which you can describe similarities and compare two or more things to one another so that you do not have to repeat yourself over and over again. Try to integrate the phrases above into your next essay or term paper!
Source: Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners (2007): “B. Comparing and Contrasting: Describing Similarities and Differences.” London: Macmillan, IW 5-7.