comparison signal

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A comparison signal, also known as a compare with signal, is a signal used in legal writing that encourages the reader to compare at least two cited sources. Comparing the sources should either support or illuminate the author's preceding statements. 

This signal gets used as follows:  Compare [source 1] with [source 2].

  • Or, with more sources on each side of the comparison:  Compare [source 1] and [source 2] with [source 3] and [source 4].

For an example, see the potential brief or decision statement below: 

By comparing the two sources, the reader will come to the intended conclusion that separate circuits disagreed over the issue of retroactively applying the decision of Crawford. 

[Last updated in July of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]