The Comparison Essay: College Essay Examples

This comparison essay concerns two distinct perspectives on the relationship between the economy and the employment of the generation between age 18-35. The first, “Can Gen Xers be Trained”, by Shari Caudron examines training practices related to the individuals involved. In the second article, “The Sweet Bird of Youth is Showing Signs of Age,” author Andrew Beyek discusses systemic issues related to the employment of this generation within Canada. Both articles concern matters of import and provide information that readers might value, yet the article by Beyek fails to achieve the impact of Caudron’s piece, despite subject-matter with more expansive impact. This essay writer compares the Beyek and Caudron’s work to demonstrate that the stylistic choices made by each author resulted in the relative impact their work elicits within the reader. The comparison will first elaborate on the arguments contained within each article to establish the level of importance attached to each topic. The subsequent analysis will then concern the enhancing or detracting choices made by the authors concerning writing style to obtain a greater understanding of the best method to write for a general audience.

            The article written by author Shari Caudron discusses the methodology utilized by companies to effectively train the generation so often labeled “generation x.” Within the first section, the Caudron establishes a generational difference in learning which necessitated the adaptation of training methodologies by companies in order to be effective with the generation in question. The changes isolated as the most effective were also found to be beneficial with the training of all employees. The author closes with the four primary recommendations for enhanced training, beginning with a focus on the outcomes of the information being taught. Next, the author suggests flexible schedules to allow for the diverse demands upon todays workforce. Third, present trainees with engaging visuals and the last point indicated that providing continuing education would be beneficial to both the company and the trainee.

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            The article written by Beyek tackled an issue of concern for many within the Canadian population by addressing the matter of so-called youth unemployment. The author’s point concerns the markedly inappropriate application of the word youth to a group of people between the ages of 18-35. According to Beyek, the older generation in corporate, governmental, and media roles were deflecting attention from the policy decisions which had removed the job prospects for a population of people that are more educated, and thus more qualified, than previous generations. Through this effort, the cultural norms for achieving the major milestones of life were shifting to a later life model, all because of the word choice employed by the individuals leading the national discourse.

            When analyzing the stylistic decisions in each piece in relation to their impact on overall message, the reader could be struck by the irony available within Beyek’s offering. His writing discusses the impact of word choice on the power of the message spread by politicians, corporate representatives, and media personalities. Meanwhile one of the failing his writing falls victims to also concerns word choice, only in his case it is of an ineffective nature. There is more than one word involved in this error, although “youth” is usually the culprit when employed by the author. The reason for the negative impact of this and other words when employed in this instance results from the impression the reader obtains of sarcasm. In this context, the sarcasm loses any humor the author may have intended to convey, instead coming across as a malcontent. This causes the reader to dismiss the conclusions he reaches, assuming they are biased toward negativity. Alternately, Caudron maintains a professional tone, with her few forays into humor kept playful rather than sarcastic. In this way, she retains the ability to influence the reader’s opinion by appearing unbiased.

            Another stylistic difference between the two pieces concerns their length and organization. The work by Caudron involves more than two pages of content over what Beyek provides and was organized into several distinct sections marked with their own headings. Through this inclusion of far more information, the appearance to a reader suggests more time spent on the research supporting the author’s point, while the organization suggests Caudron cared enough to dedicate the additional time, indicating superior passion for the subject matter involved. In comparison, the work by Beyek appears almost like an afterthought, or even a rough draft.

            The final stylistic nail in the coffin of Beyek’s article in comparison with Caudron’s involves the manner in which each author elects to close their piece. Beyek last sentence clearly intends to be impactful with its severity and brevity, but actually seems unfinished and, again, like part of a rough draft. On the other end of the spectrum, Caudron offers the reader actionable information that provides value to her audience. Clearly, the intended audience consisted of business owners and those involved in training, and the closing provided made the article she provided valuable from beginning to end.

            In the pursuit of conveying the content desired within a written work, a peril exists concerning the issue of style. The drive to make certain the argument has been made, the points all supported, it can be easy to disregard matters of style. As this comparison demonstrates, such disregard can be fatal to the very message one attempt to convey. For this reason, writers must consider both to reach an audience.

Notes

Sweet birth of Youth

  • 1st Paragraph defines youth according to dictionary definition
  • Definition of youth by corporate, politicians and members of media
    • Not employed
    • Idle
  • Youth = unemployed or underemployed adults
  • Method of evading responsibility by corporate America and the government
    • Actions and inactions
  • Government:
    • Retitled “unemployment” as “youth unemployment” and called it new
    • Government programs for “youths” are available until age 35
  • Par. 5 concerns the question of the voting majority in relation to the Youth Town Hall Program during the election.
    • If they are still youths, why are they voting?
    • If they are not yet adults, what meaning is there to the age of majority?
  • Pleasure by supposed “youths” at being labeled as such (not wanting to get old etc) makes them complicit in the abuse of the word
  • It is a method of infantilizing a population of highly educated adults and deflecting attention from policies which keep the “youths” unemployed despite their qualifications
  • The practice is changing the social norms involved, causing milestones to be sought and achieved later in life than was previously desired

Can Gen Xers Be Trained

  • Use of video game lingo to reach generation x employees
  • Requiring companies rethink methodology
  • Updates proving beneficial to the training of employees of every generation
  • Research shows generational learning differences are present
  • Factors which lead to differences:
    • Technologically literate
    • Taught to expect instant gratification
    • Distrust institutions
  • Implication of the difference concerns a need to understand the why’s involved with the information provided
    • Change the process not the objectives
    • Olive garden employees: no longer trained by memorization but through the understanding of the goal for knowing it
  • Motivation for learning new skills

Summaries

The Sweet Bird of Youth

            The author’s position holds that the widespread use of the word ‘youth’ in reference to a group for which it is demonstrably inappropriate serves a strategic purpose. This purpose concerns the fact that the group discussed, those from 18-35, generally occurs simultaneously with a discussion of issues of unemployment. The author argues that this actually represent a widespread deflection from policy decisions which have created the circumstance currently found where well-educated people are incapable of achieving gainful employment.

Can Gen Xers Be Trained

            The author explains the difference in learning styles demonstrated by individuals aged 18-35 and how these have caused industry to adjust training methods to effectively teach new employees. The new training programs produced four general recommendations for training that benefit all employees, not this generation alone. 1) Focus on outcomes. 2) Provide flexible training schedules. 3) Emphasize engaging visual aids. 4) Offer continuous education to employees.

Draft

  1. Introduction
    1. First article: Can Gen Xers Be Trained by Shari Caudron
    1. Second article: The Sweet Bird of Youth if Showing Signs of Age by Andrew Beyek
    1. Thesis. This essay compares the Beyek and Caudron’s work to demonstrate that the stylistic choices made by each author resulted in the relative impact their work elicits within the reader.
  2. Body Par. 1
    1. The article written by author Shari Caudron discusses the methodology utilized by companies to effectively train the generation so often labeled “generation x.”
    1. . The author closes with the four primary recommendations for enhanced training, beginning with a focus on the outcomes of the information being taught. Next, the author suggests flexible schedules to allow for the diverse demands upon todays workforce. Third, present trainees with engaging visuals and the last point indicated that providing continuing education would be beneficial to both the company and the trainee.
  3. Body Par. 2
    1. The article written by Beyek tackled an issue of concern for many within the Canadian population by addressing the matter of so-called youth unemployment.
  4. Par. 3
    1. Word choice
    1. Beyek’s words give an impression of sarcasm that is off-putting to the reader.
    1. Caudron wins through professionalism
  5. Par. 4
    1. Length: more time by Caudron in research
    1. Organization: Caudron demonstrates more passion for her subject matter by taking the time to organize it carefully.
  6. Par. 5
    1. Actionable closing
    1. Information the reader can use provides the advantage to Caudron
    1. Beyek just sounds like he is complaining.
  7. Conclusion
    1. Restate major points and why it matters.
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