Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Steps & Examples

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

If you've been assigned a compare and contrast essay, don’t fret!

This type of assignment requires you to not only define two subjects in detail but also show how they're different from each other.

Writing a compare and contrast essay outline is the first step to writing your paper. The second step is actually comparing and contrasting, but you can't do that until you have an outline of how you want to do it.

Are you wondering how to write a compare and contrast essay outline? If so, then this blog is for you. Read further to know the steps to write a compare and contrast essay outline. Also, take help from the below-given samples to draft an excellent outline for your own papers.

Purpose of Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

If you are writing an essay, there are some things you need to do. You need to make it readable for people. You need to organize all the information in a way that is good for your readers. If you don't have a structure, then all of the data will not make sense and no one will read your essay.

Below are some reasons why you should make an outline for your compare and contrast essay:

  • An essay outline is an important part of writing. It shows that you know what you want to say.
  • The ideas are presented in a way that follows an order and hierarchy.
  • If you are writing an essay, a plan can help you get a better grade. Plan what to write before you start writing.
  • Planning the essay will save you time because it organizes your thoughts.
  • An essay outline helps you write all the required information in the essay. It is a list of what to include in your essay.
  • It helps the writer to focus on the main point rather than becoming vague.

So, in your compare and contrast paper, you need to have an outline. That way it will be more effective.

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Steps to Create a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

“How to write a compare and contrast essay outline?”

A compare and contrast essay is when you are comparing two things. You should write out what you are saying in an outline.

A compare and contrast essay uses the traditional essay outline. There are three parts to an outline. These parts and the tips to write each one excellently are further described below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

In a compare and contrast essay, the first section is the introductory paragraph. It says what you will write about later. Or, it basically defines the subjects being compared and contrasted.

This section must include the following information:

  • Hook Sentence: A hook statement is the first sentence or opening paragraph of an introduction. You need something catchy to make it interesting for the readers.
  • Writing Purpose: Every writing has a purpose. It is important to tell readers why you chose this topic. The goal of the essay might be anything from just talking about differences to analyzing the similarities and differences between things.
  • Significance of the Topic: To make the introduction of your essay strong and engaging, state what makes the topic important.
  • Thesis Statement:A thesis statement is a writer's main argument. It comes at the end of the introduction section. A thesis statement should be an arguable claim that vividly presents the writer's point.

Compare and Contrast Body Paragraphs

The body of an essay is where you should put all the details about it. All the paragraphs in this section try to prove something that was said at the start or highlighted in the thesis statement.

In the body section, there are different ways to write paragraphs.

For example, if you have two events and two aspects for each event, then you will need to have four paragraphs. If you have three events with three aspects for each event then you will need six paragraphs.

You might get this number from your professor, or if not it will be in the process of your research.

When you start to learn about the topic, you will find many differences and similarities. You can't put everything in your essay because then it will be too long. You can finalize your findings by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is the relevance of this data with my course?
  • Does the information add to my argument?
  • Is the information interesting for the reader?
  • Is the information coherent with the rest of the information in the essay?

Every paragraph in this essay should start with a sentence that is about what you are going to compare and contrast. Then, you need to provide the details from the research you did. The research must be supported by statistics and evidence.

Connectors are very important. They help you show the differences and emphasize the overall effect. Some such transition words are:

  • At the same time, as well as
  • Both
  • Compared to
  • Correspondingly
  • In addition
  • In the same way
  • Just as
  • Likewise
  • Same as
  • Similarly
  • Conversely
  • Even though, although
  • However
  • In contrast
  • Meanwhile
  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Unlike

It is best if you write your essays so that they are unbiased. For example, don't say that chocolate is good and vanilla ice cream is bad. Say what the flavors taste like, not which one you like better.

Compare and Contrast Conclusion Paragraph

Now, when you are done writing the essay and have successfully compared and contrasted your given subjects, you need to sum up your argument and the essay. For this, you should include the following information in the conclusion paragraph:

  • Summary of the Key Highlights: Rewrite the key highlights or the main points given in your essay. Ideally, you should be picking one point from one body paragraph each.
  • Analysis: Give the analysis of the similarities and differences discussed in the essay, But make sure to keep it unbiased. Do not form your analysis based on your personal preferences.
  • Significance: Tell the importance of the topic, and show how it is different or similar to something else. How do you show that? You answer the question "What was my goal in showing similarities/differences between these items?" And your answer tells the reader why your essay is significant.

These steps and tips will help you successfully draft an impressive compare and contrast essay outline. However, the organization of the body paragraphs in the outline can be done in two ways.

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Methods to Organize Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay body section can be drafted in two ways. It is totally up to the writer which way they choose to organize their body paragraphs.

Point-by-Point Method

A point-by-point method is when you analyze part of something. You can also do it with two or more things at the same time. It is also called the chain method, where you discuss similar subjects simultaneously.

This is when you are comparing things that are not very different. You might want to compare when one thing has a few characteristics, but not many.

Point-by-Point Compare and Contrast Outline

Introduction

  • Introducing the main point
  • Thesis statement

Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence
  • Subject 1: Detail 1, Detail 2……
  • Subject 2: Detail 1, Detail 2……

Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence
  • Subject 1: Detail 1, Detail 2……
  • Subject 2: Detail 1, Detail 2……

Paragraph 3

  • Topic sentence
  • Subject 1: Detail 1, Detail 2……
  • Subject 2: Detail 1, Detail 2……

Conclusion

  • Summarizing the essay
  • State the significance
  • Share the future developments

Block Method

According to a block or subject by subject method, a writer discusses one object and then the other. A block method provides all the points and ideas about an object and then all the points of the second object, giving an essay a list-like structure.

When you need to compare items, situations, or topics that are different and when there are more than one criteria to consider, the point-by-point pattern does not work well. That is why you should use a block pattern or organization by item.

The reason is simple. The same criteria do not apply to different topics, people, objects, events, and so on. When the essay needs many approaches to explore it's important to learn how to organize your paper in order for it to be easy to read.

A compare and contrast outline format according to the block method is given below.

Block Method Compare and Contrast Outline

Introduction

  • Describe the topic
  • Thesis Statement

Paragraph 1

  • Item A
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3….

Paragraph 2

  • Item B
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3….

Paragraph 2

  • Item C
  • Point 1
  • Point 2
  • Point 3….

Conclusion

  • Summarizing the essay
  • Significance of the topic
  • Propose future interventions

You can make block patterns in different ways. You can compare, or you could compare first and then say the differences.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples

Here are some compare and contrast essay examples that you can take help from to write an outstanding outline for your own essay.

Compare and contrast essay outline template

Compare and contrast essay outline example

Compare and contrast essay outline college

Compare and contrast essay outline template middle school

Compare and contrast essay outline block method

Compare and contrast essay outline point by point method

MLA Compare and contrast essay outline

Essay writing can be a difficult task, especially when you are assigned a comparison essay or a similar kind of essay. A simple comparison could become devastatingly difficult if you do not know how to progress in your essay.

This is where an outline providing you with a proper essay structure comes into play!

Any type of essay can not be done without a proper outline. So, whether you are writing a research paper, term paper, scholarship essay, compare and contrast essay, or any other kind of academic paper, make sure to outline it first.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you structure a compare and contrast essay?

You should structure a compare and contrast essay with the help of a proper outline. There are two methods to structure your compare and contrast essay:

  • Point by point method
  • Block method

How do you write a 5 paragraph compare and contrast essay?

A 5 paragraph compare and contrast essay can be written in the following structure:

  • Introduction
  • Similarities
  • Differences
  • Synthesis
  • Conclusion

What are the three basic components of a compare and contrast essay?

The three basic components of a compare and contrast essay are:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
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