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How to Compose a Strong Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

How to Compose a Strong Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When it comes to writing a compare and contrast essay, you might be wondering where to begin. Composing a properly formatted and well-structured outline is a great starting point. Your ability to create a perfect compare and contrast paper depends on making a perfect outline. It allows you to organize the data and information into a standard structure.

Middle school and high school students have to write compare and contrast essays. It teaches students the analytical writing process that prepares them for more advanced types of academic writing. Writing a compare and contrast essay is relatively easy if you follow the proper procedure.

Throughout this article, we will show you how to compose an outline for a compare and contrast essay. You’ll also get compare and contrast essay outline templates that will help you craft an outline for your essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Many students find it scary and stressful to write a good compare and contrast essay. This essay asks to compare and contrast two things that belong to the same category. For example, compare and contrast two apples or two oranges. But, you cannot compare or contrast cats with dogs because they belong to different groups.

To compare means finding the similarities, and contrasting means to look at the differences between the two subjects. To find the similarities and differences, the subjects must belong to the same category. Always bear that in mind while choosing the subject and incorporate the following things in your essay:

  • State, discuss, and elaborate on something unknown.
  • Clarify common misunderstanding
  • Focus on a central point and make an analysis
  • Make a meaningful comparison.
  • Support your claim with facts and evidence collected from reliable sources

To ensure everything will be added to the essay, a smart trick is to create an outline before writing an essay. Compare and contrast essay follows two different structures; the point-by-point method and the block method. When you start writing your essay, it is important to decide which method you need to follow.

  1. 1. Point by Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

    Point by point pattern (organization by criteria) compares and contrasts the subjects that are more similar in nature. It presents the similarities and differences one by one making notes of both subjects. Each point is evaluated against particular criteria, followed by another point evaluated against other criteria. Here is a structure of compare and contrast point by point outline:

    Introduction Paragraph

    • Introduction to the topic
    • Specify the theme
    • State the main thesis statement

    First Body Paragraph

    • First topic sentence
    • The first argument about the first subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The first argument about the second subject, followed by evaluation criteria.

    Second Body Paragraph

    • Second topic sentence
    • The Second argument about the first subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Second argument about the second subject, followed by evaluation criteria.

    Third Body paragraph

    • Third topic sentence
    • The Third argument about the first subject followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Third argument about the second subject followed by evaluation criteria.

    Conclusion

    • Summary of the points discussed.
    • Significance of the subjects

    Here is a block diagram of point-by-point structure to help you get a clear idea of this format.

    point-by-point compare and contrast essay format
  2. 2. Compare and Contrast Essay Block Method Outline

    The block pattern (organization by item) compares and contrasts subjects that are extremely different from each other. It discusses one subject and its evaluation criteria, facts, any evidence at one time in one paragraph. The next paragraph discusses the second subject and its relevant facts. Here is a structure of compare and contrast essay block outline:

    Introduction Paragraph

    • Introduction to the topic
    • Specify the theme
    • State the main thesis statement

    First Body Paragraph

    • First topic sentence
    • The first argument about the first subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Second argument about the first subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Third argument about the first subject followed by evaluation criteria.

    Second Body Paragraph

    • Second topic sentence
    • The first argument about the second subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Second argument about the second subject followed by evaluation criteria.
    • The Third argument about the second subject followed by evaluation criteria.

    Third Body paragraph

    • Evaluate the comparison done in the first and second body paragraphs.
    • Clarify any confusion or ambiguity
    • Given a real-life application of facts and evidence discussed above

    Conclusion

    • Summary of the points discussed.
    • Significance of the subjects
    • Propose a suitable solution (if applicable)

    Check out the block diagram given below. It will help you understand the block structure in a better way.

    block method compare and contrast essay format

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How to Write a 5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay?

Now that you have two organizational structures and patterns, what should be stated in each part of the essay? Depending on the structure selected, you can begin developing the outline for your essay.

A typical 5-paragraph compare and contrast essay outline comprises of the following components.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

When you begin writing an essay, the first thing you need is an interesting and eye-catching essay topic. As discussed above, compare and contrast essay topics should belong to the same category having some similarities and differences simultaneously. Also, choose interesting and unique subjects that are relatively new for the readers. After selecting the topic, you are ready to move on to the essay writing process.

A compare and contrast essay is strictly based on facts and evidence. So you need to make sure to provide sufficient information. According to a typical format, an essay has an introduction, three body, and one conclusion paragraph. Though, if you need to share more details, feel free to add more body paragraphs to cover all essential points.

Let’s see the breakdown of each paragraph.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction Paragraph

The introduction is the most important part of the whole essay, so it should be well-structured and properly formatted. It should be able to grab the reader’s attention and makes him read the complete essay.

Before you start writing the essay, thoroughly research your topic to collect facts and evidence from credible sources. The research will not just give you an insight into the topic but also help you support your argument. You need to clarify both concepts in the introduction paragraph to make the reader understand both subjects.

The introduction is the lead in part of the essay. So, you should give a glimpse of what you are going to evaluate. Catch the reader’s attention and mark the tone of the essay with a strong thesis statement.

Compare and Contrast Essay Body Paragraphs

The body section is used to discuss the similarities and differences in details with facts and evidence. Typically, there are three body paragraphs, and each one discusses only one criterion or aspect of the subject. However, you can use as many paragraphs as the number of criteria or aspects you have to discuss.

Explore one aspect or criteria in one paragraph and the next aspect or criteria in the next paragraph. For example, if you have to compare two aspects, you’ll need two paragraphs. Three paragraphs will cover three criteria and so on. To make the comparison easier, draw a Venn diagram which will ease the whole comparison process.

Here is an example of a Venn diagram for your help.

Compare and Contrast Essay Venn Diagram

Once you list down all the similarities and differences in the Venn diagram, you can easily analyze them in the essay. Moreover, learn special transitional words and phrases to make powerful transitions throughout the essay. For comparison, you can use words like: both, also, similarly, likewise, or alike. While contrasting, you can use words like whereas, while, in comparison, in contrast, or on the other hand.

For the successful completion of the essay, the body section should be analyzed from the reader’s perspective. Ideally, the reader and your paper both should not be biased.

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion Paragraphs

Generally, the conclusion section is relatively simpler than the body and the introduction section. However, it holds the same significance as the introduction paragraph, so make sure it is structured properly.

In the conclusion paragraph, summarize all the main points and analyze what you have discussed in the essay. Synthesize the thesis statement with the information presented in the body section. State the significance of comparison and contrast to clarify the importance of the main topic.

Here is a compare and contrast essay outline worksheet that you can use to organize your essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Worksheet

Once you are done with the writing, spend some time proofreading your essay and pay attention to grammar and punctuation. Do not forget to proofread as a minor mistake can ruin the essence of all points of comparison and contrast. Ask your friend, parents, or any family member to proofread your essay. There is a high chance that they notice the mistakes that you have missed.

Check out the following document to get a better understanding of writing one.

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5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples

Now that you know everything about compare and contrast essay outline and structure let’s look at some examples. The compare and contrast essay examples will help you get started with your paper.

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MLA Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline College
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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline High School
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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Middle School
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AP World History Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Hopefully, the guidelines and examples given above will help you craft an impressive compare and contrast essay outline. However, if you are still not sure, you can get help from a professional essay writer. They will help you compose an outline according to the guidelines and also write a complete essay.

5StarEssays.com is a reliable ‘ write my essay’ service that you can trust with your academic essay writings. We are available round the clock so feel free to contact us anytime to place your order. Our writers can write all types of essays and papers, including a research paper, thesis, or dissertation.

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