How to Make a Compare-Contrast Essay Outline?

A compare-contrast essay outline is a good tool that helps compare two things and matters. You may find it difficult only at first glance. In fact, this process is very simple if organized well. We have prepared for you many useful info and tips. So, let’s start with the basic overview.

Shortly about Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

This assignment’s main idea is to compare two or more similar or different items and explore their common and variable sides. It is focused on contrasting such items. The assignment is very good for boosting analytical skills and helps to illustrate the principal sides of the analyzed items. Yes, apart from analytical work, this essay will also teach you to distinct very important points from less important ones. So, this assignment nearly always serves greater purposes:

    • reveal any discrepancies and misunderstandings;
    • show certain things that are superior toward another;
    • develop a new way of understanding certain things or points;
    • elaborate and indicate something unfamiliar;
    • support certain facts or claims by using reliable and accurate information.

Compare and contrast essay outline format always depends on the requirements of your assignment. But, one thing will remain unchanged in most cases. We speak about point-by-point pattern organization. This will enable us to provide any comparison effectively. Only develop and list criteria for comparison and range, according to their relevance. When you have criteria for comparison, take a separate paper, and address each of them to both compared subjects. The point-by-point essay outline is the most effective type we advise you to follow.

For rare cases, this point-by-point pattern may not work. This may be in cases when two compared items are totally different, or there are multiple criteria. Another approach to use is an organization by block pattern. In this case, certain criteria may be applied to one thing and may not be applied to another. You should get blocks of information in the outcome. To make this approach even more convenient, you may create a diagram. 

Devote each paragraph to one criterion or pattern you take as a basis for comparison. Your paragraph should be clearly distinguished from each other logically and by their content.

In the outcome of this analytical work, you should have an explicit picture of how do these two matters appear, what similarities and differences they have. When all aspects are covered, we suggest you start to elaborate on the structure of your outline.

Such analytical work can appear difficult in some cases. You may focus on finding good samples of outlines that will make it easier to develop a structure for your paper. But, we surely recommend you proceed with this in the last turn because some samples may distract you. Another good alternative, in this case, is looking for professional writers. They can help you with elaborating on a good structure for your assignment based on this classical sample or any other – depending on your case. 

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: The Example of a Structure

When you have all the relevant info to include in your essay, you should structure it also. Yes, having good content is never enough. It should also be presented logically. The structure we suggest is classical at some point. But, we will also guide you about content that should appear in your essay. Here are parts we suggest you emphasize in your essay:

  • Introduction

In the introduction of your outline, state the main topic you are going to speak about in your essay. Briefly describe those specific items you are going to compare. In this part, your main task is to form a background for further analytical work. Also, indicate here the main thesis statement for your outline. For instance, it may indicate that items have more similarities than differences. The main statement is always determined by your topic, purpose of writing, and the comparison’s actual results.

For your intro, we have certain pieces of advice:

    • To present your topic effectively, include some hooks. This may be statistical data, info about the history of events and situations, etc. This hook should be placed right at the beginning of your outline. Keep it always brief and sharp. Make contrast here for a better effect.
    • Make a short comparison right after the beginning of your intro. You should make your readers interested. Provide a summary of your analysis. 
    • Place your thesis statement closer to the end of your intro. Keep this statement brief and concise. It should reflect the main point of your writing.
    • Don’t forget about the smooth transition to the main body of your outline. One short sentence will be enough.
  • Main body

The actual number of paragraphs depends on the number of criteria you apply for comparison. Make sure you don’t mismatch certain aspects and distinct all parts of your text logically. As a rule, the number of paragraphs is 3-5. But, everything depends here on your topic, of course. If you don’t have any given criteria from your professor, you need to brainstorm and select such.

    • If you have doubts about including some criteria, you may always address certain questions:
    • Is this aspect relevant to the analyzed item?
    • What exactly matters to the arguments I am going to indicate?
    • Is the matter I am going to indicate is interesting or not? 
    • Is an aspect relevant to my task or not?

For your main body, we also have certain writing tips:

Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and criterion for comparison. Your reviewers should grasp the essence of your paragraph from the first lines. Then, include extra details to expand the main purpose of your paragraph.

    • You should indicate similarities and differences and include brief arguments on why you consider them such. 
    • You may also include pieces of evidence where this is relevant to support your opinion. When you do this, keep in mind that your info should be credible and verified.
    • Paragraphs should be interrelated and coherent. Your reviewers should see the line of developing your outline.
  • Conclusion

This part is easy to write when you have already developed all other parts of your outline. The conclusion serves as a summary of all previous content. Try to condense and restate the meaning of all previous important points in your essay. You also need to provide here a brief evaluation of the discussed topic, depending on the nature of its subject. Also, emphasize the importance of your comparison. What valuable info have you got after it? What conclusions have you formed in the outcome? When you draft the conclusion for your outline, you may assess whether you have achieved the purpose of your writing. If you see that you have not yet, we suggest returning to your drafting and polishing an outline.

Tips on How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

You may have various aspects and items to cover. But, there are pieces of advice that will work for all cases. Our experience shows that such will work well:

    • Form a clear goal of your writing. You need to elaborate a clear view of the outcome to reach it. Write it down for your convenience. You may always refer to this purpose to check whether it is reflected in your draft.
    • Use various tools for arranging ideas. You may take a separate piece of paper or use various online tools. Here you are free to choose what suits you best.
    • Try to write like for people who are not entirely aware of the subject. This way, you can explain in easy words all matters, especially complex.
    • Organize your considerations logically. This means you should arrange such from more to less important. This order will help you to present all ideas more effectively.
    • Focus on your target audience. Pick the exact style to correspond with the request of your readers.
    • Check the grammar and spelling of your text. Prefer using specific checkers for this purpose.
    • Ensure your text is readable enough. Specialized online readability checkers will help you with that also. They will indicate weak places in your text and long sentences. If you don’t involve a professional editor, we suggest you use these tools. You may split long sentences easily and substitute wordy phrases. But, if you see that it is better to remain a certain word or phrase, surely do this. 
    • Read your outline aloud. This strategy usually helps to notice certain drawbacks and gaps in your analysis. When you do this, you can fix all errors and see places you need to improve. Also, you may notice spots where you should include extra pieces of evidence or supporting information.

Extra Words to Help You

If you need to compare various things, you should also connect smoothly. To make this, we suggest using these helpful words:

For showing a comparison:

    • Both of such;
    • In the same manner;
    • Just as;
    • As well as;
    • Similar to;
    • Correspondingly;
    • Compared to;
    • At the same time;
    • Same as;
    • Additionally.

For emphasizing the contrast:

    • Nevertheless;
    • Although;
    • On the other side;
    • Even though;
    • Conversely;
    • On the contrary;
    • Meanwhile;
    • However;
    • Unlike;
    • In contrast.

Last Words about a Comparative Essay Outline

Any comparative essay outline will help you in creating a comprehensive overview of any specific points or matters. By using this outline, you may easily reveal common and different things between the two subjects.

This assignment requires developing criteria for comparison. These should be the most important features for both items. To make your comparative outline comprehensive, list such criteria on a separate paper to check whether all important points are covered.

For this outline, you may apply two approaches. The first and the most common is the point-by-point pattern, where you apply criteria common for both items. Still, if such items vary too much, an organization by block pattern may appear to be more effective.

Devote each paragraph to one matter only and range, such according to their relevance. You should always place such logically and ensure they are connected gently.

Develop it not only for drafting essays but also for other matters. Those tips we have shared will make that easier. But, we are always ready to help you in case of any difficulties. So, reach us shortly.

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