Example Of Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

When hearing the words “Comparative Analysis,” students may feel uncomfortable. However, all it’s really asking you to do is compare and contrast two things, an action we perform every day! A good compare and contrast essay doesn’t only reveal/show how the subjects are similar or different (or even both!). It is needed to make a consequential argument about things that were compared and contrasted.


Table Of Contents


Things to Compare And Contrast

These are common compare and contrast essay topics.

  • 20th Century vs. 21st Century
  • Adolf Hitler vs. Joseph Stalin
  • Creationism vs. Science
  • High School vs. College
  • Apple vs. Microsoft
  • Female friend vs. Male Friend
  • Cats vs. Dogs

These are just some examples of good Compare And Contrast topics you might be asked to write about in your high school or college classrooms, but there are infinitely many others!

Scientific Compare & Contrast Topics

  • Grill vs. Microvawe
  • Math vs. Physics
  • Earthquake or Tsunami: what's worse?
  • Mars vs. Pluto
  • Albert Einstein vs. Nikola Tesla

Literature Compare & Contrast Topics

  • Comedy vs. Tragedy
  • Prose vs. Lyrics
  • Shakespeare vs. Hemingway
  • Modern Literature vs. Postmodern Literature
  • Lord Of The Rings vs. Harry Potter

Movie and Music Compare & Contrast Topics

  • Rock vs. Rap
  • Batman vs. Superman
  • Sherlock Holmes vs. Moriarty
  • Horror Movies vs. Comedy
  • Harry Potter vs. Draco Malfoy

Constructing an argument

Choose two things that can be compared and contrasted

The first thing you need to do to write an outstanding compare and contrast essay is to pick two topics, themes, ideas, etc. that are different enough to be compared. There are few things you should consider when choosing your subject.

  • You can pick fine topics that are in the same “category” but have differences that are notable. For example, between “Windows vs. MacOS” or “McDonald's vs. Subway.”
  • You can choose two subjects that might appear identical but are actually different. For example “fifty shades of gray book vs. film.”

Make sure that your topic can be discussed in a meaningful way

You can’t just write “So here is subject A and subject B: they differ”. Try to show them why it’s appropriate and engaging to put these two subjects together.

  • If you felt like you have learned something new after comparing and contrasting, then you have spent your time efficiently.

Brainstorm your topic

Spend some time brainstorming about how your chosen subjects, topics, themes, etc. are same and different. It will probably help you see which points are dominant ones you want to focus on.

  • It can be a valuable tool when brainstorming. In the middle area of the overlapping circles write similar things. In the outer edges of the circles, you write what is different.

  • Likewise, you can just write out a list of all qualities or characteristics of each subject. As soon as you’ve done that, that both subjects share. Major points of difference are also good to take into account.

Look at your main points

Choose a few points that seem to be especially important. Don’t try to provide your audience with a list of everything in which topics of consideration are similar and/or different in your essay.

  • For example, if you are comparing Apple vs. Microsoft, you might notice that they are the two most competitive companies in the field of computing software tools. They have different prices for their products, use different Operating Systems, and their product lines are different as well. These are points of contrast (ways they are different).

  • One of the similarities between these companies is based on their founders; they are both founded on the ideas of genius self-motivated businessmen. Co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates is a worldwide respected man for achieving his dream of putting computers on billions of desks, and also as a philanthropist. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, is also an insightful businessman and an open-minded genius Another sameness between the two is the production of media players, which are portable, and Smartphones. These are points of comparison (ways they are similar).

Build a thesis

Building a good thesis is crucially important. In compare and contrast essay it should always make an argument that explains why it’s necessary to put these two subjects face to face. You can use this as a base for your thesis:

  • Show readers why one subject is more engaging than the other.
  • Help readers make a meaningful comparison between two subjects
  • Show readers how two subjects are similar and different.

How to Systemize your Essay

There are several methods to organize your essay. Choose one that works best with your ideas.

  • Subject by subject: Start with saying everything you have about the first subject your discussion, and as you have done this you can move on and make all the points you want to make about the second.
  • Point by point: In this method, you need to discuss how a certain point of comparison/contrast relates to all the items you are discussing. Then repeat it with another point.

Outline

Introduction. In a superior introduction you need to present all basic information about the subjects to be compared and contrasted. Moreover, you will talk about (i.e., what you are going to discuss and why your audience should care).

Body Paragraphs. In this section, provide the details and evidence that support your claims. Each different section or body paragraph should provide and analyze evidence.

Conclusion. Summarize all presented evidence. Restate the thesis, but keep one thing in your mind: your readers don’t need you just to rewrite or reword your original thesis. Take it to another level!

Outline your body paragraphs based on subject by subject comparison:

  • Introduction
  • introduction of general topic
  • specific topic
  • areas to be covered in this essay
  • Topic 1
  • Aspect 1
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Aspect 2
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Aspect 3
  • Detail
  • detail
  • Topic 2
  • Aspect 1
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Aspect 2
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Aspect3
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Conclusion
  • Summary of main points
  • Evaluation and/or possible future developments

Outline your body paragraphs based on point by point comparison:

  • Introduction
  • introduction of general topic
  • specific topic
    areas to be covered in this essay
  • Topic 1 - Aspect 1
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Topic 2 - Aspect 1
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Topic 1 - Aspect 2
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Topic 2 - Aspect 2
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Topic 1 - Aspect 3
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Topic 2 - Aspect 3
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • Conclusion
  • Summary of main points
  • Evaluation and/or possible future developments

The format of the comparison and contrast essay is actually unique in the fact that it doesn’t have a linear path. Most 5 paragraph essays have to be written in the 1-3-1 format which obviously includes the intro, 3 bodies and the conclusion. The cool thing about the comparison essay is that of the essay. In this case, you can choose between having 2 or 3 body paragraphs with the outlines looking accordingly:

2 Body Paragraph Style

  • Similarities vs. Differences
  • 1st body paragraph talks about the similarities between both subjects
  • 2nd body paragraph talks about the differences between both subjects
  • Point A > Point B
  • Body 1 picks Topic A then gives all information and analysis about A
  • Body 2 picks Topic B then gives all information and analysis about B

Generally, if you are interested in being very straightforward or just are purely trying to get the essay finished swiftly and efficiently, then this would be your go-to-method. However, if it’s not 3 am the night before the due date, read on to learn about a more creative and exciting format: the 3 body style!

3 Body Paragraph Style

The 3 body paragraph style is the subject to subject style. It gives the reader a specific subject in each paragraph and either offers a comparison or a contrast of the subject between topics A + B. The good outline would look something like this:

  • Subject 1: Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 1
  • Subject 2: Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 2
  • Subject 3: Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 3

Make sure your essay has some diversity; make sure to at least use 1 or 2 subjects for your contrast. It is a Compare AND Contrast essay after all.

Putting all pieces together

Come up with a title.

A good essay title should preview something about the paper’s content or theme you are going to discuss. Depending on your target audience, of your main point.

Take a break

Take a step back from your essay for a day or two. Then, come back to it with a fresh head. You’ll find it much easier to see gaps in your logic or organizational mistakes.

Review your essay

  • Make sure that ideas in your essay flow smoothly
  • Check out for any grammatical errors, repetitive ideas, unnecessary sentences, etc.

As soon as you have done all the preparations and checkings, you can start to write your masterpiece.

Connection words

Here we got some connectors to simplify your writing process

  • Connectors that show contrast (difference)

  • Connectors that show comparison (similarities)

Hey guys

Here we have some really good examples of a compare and contrast essay

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

If you’ve ever written an AP or an IB exam, you know that knowing the compare and contrast essay structure is critical. As the article mentions, a Venn Diagram is an excellent way to get a hang of this structure and use it in your writing. If you are comparing two pieces of literature, then the easiest way to do it is to first talk about one book or poem, then discuss its similarities with another piece, and then discuss the other novel. My advice for you is to draft an actual Venn diagram before writing your compare and contrast essays. After you do a Venn diagram, create an outline with the middle of your Venn diagram in the middle of your essay. As the article states, make sure to group each idea as a paragraph and isolate them. In an essay like this, it is easy to repeat yourself. You can prevent that by prewriting and making your comparison very apparent.

Now Lets Put it to the Test!

Let us compare and contrast buying an essay to working on it yourself. They both leave you with a completed piece of writing. However, EssayPro's top-tier writers might just be able to outperform your work :) If we are going to contrast them, doing it yourself leaves you exhausted with no time to pursue other passions. Or, you can get essay writing help from EssayPro.com for a super low price and do with your time as you see fit. Seems to me like there is not much to compare.

Top writer at your service

Throughout the course of your education and career (if you choose to become a writer), you’ll have the opportunity to work on different writing assignments and, of course, essays are inevitable. The essay is a piece of writing that methodically analyzes and evaluates a topic or issue. That’s why there are different types of essays, used to discuss, analyze, evaluate, or compare different situations or subjects e.g. argumentative essay, cause and effect essay, and compare and contrast essay. Your ability to create an excellent paper depends on structuring a perfect outline. Throughout this post, I’m going to show you how to compose an outline for compare and contrast essay to get good grades (or positive feedback from the client) every time.

Compare and contrast essay outline

The easiest definition of compare and contrast essay that explore both the similarities and differences between two subjects by comparing or contrasting them. It’s very easy to mistake this style of essay writing for a simple comparison between some topics or subjects, but that’s not entirely correct. Always bear in mind that your essay has to serve a larger purpose and include the following:

  • Demonstrate that one thing is superior to another
  • Identify and clarify common misunderstandings
  • Provide a new way of doing or understanding something
  • State, elaborate, discuss something unknown
  • Support every claim with facts and accurate, reliable sources

When it comes to structuring the outline for this kind of essay, there are different methods you can follow depending on the organization.

Point-by-point pattern (organization by criteria)

This outline is primarily used to compare items or subjects that are almost similar or when you plan (or have to) evaluate only a few characteristics or criteria when comparing them. Use the diagram below to create the outline for the point-by-point pattern.

Block pattern (organization by item)

In instances when you have to compare items, situations, or topics that are entirely different or when there are multiple criteria to involve, the point-by-point pattern doesn’t function quite well. That’s why you should opt for block pattern or organization by item.

Why? The reason is simple; the same criteria don’t apply to different topics, people, objects, events, and so on. When the essay requires a multitude of approaches to explore, it’s important to learn how to organize it properly in a bid to ensure easy reading. Create the outline based on the diagram below.

Block pattern can be structured in a different manner as well. Instead of the separate paragraph for each point, you compare, you can set out one section to name their similarities and a second paragraph to analyze dissimilarities point by point.

Now that you know how to create a functional outline, you’re ready to move on to the essay writing process.

Introduction

The intro for this kind of essay doesn’t differ much from other types. It’s the part where you introduce the overall subject of the piece and specific items, situations, or events you have to compare and/or contrast. As seen in diagrams, the introduction should feature:

  • The mentioning of the main topic – begin with a hook sentence and detail specific to the topic itself. Your hook can be a quote, question, anecdote, anything you see fit for the particular subject you have to write about
  • Specific subjects to compare and contrast – of course, you can’t start writing about similarities and differences between two items out of the blue. That’s why you should set out a sentence or two to mention specific topics you’ll compare under the central theme
  • Thesis statement – it marks the tone of the essay and catches reader’s attention. Last sentence (or two) of your paper should account for a specific and concise thesis. There’s no need for wordiness in this part because thesis, as the entire introduction, shouldn’t be too long.

Once you’re done with the intro, you’re ready to move on to the body paragraphs.

Body paragraphs

A total number of paragraphs in the body section depends on a number of aspects or criteria you have to discuss. For example, if you have to make a comparison between two different events through two aspects, you’ll need two paragraphs. Three criteria require three paragraphs, and so on. Sometimes, you’ll get the amount of aspects to use for comparison/contrast from your professor or a client, while in other instances, you’ll just have to determine the number yourself during the research process.

When you get the title and aspects to compare but without a certain number of criteria to cover similarities and differences, you have to brainstorm. Take a blank piece of paper and write the first item in the left corner, the second item in the right corner. Make a Venn diagram and start analyzing.

REMEMBER: Typically, you don’t need more than three aspects to cover, unless otherwise noted.

When you start brainstorming and researching the topic, the chances are high you’ll find a wide array of differences and similarities. However, your essay has to be well-crafted, and you can’t include absolutely everything you find (that way you’d write forever). To determine what to compare or differentiate answer these questions:

  • Is this relevant for my course?
  • What matters to the argument I’m going to take (or I’m given)?
  • What’s informative and interesting?
  • What’s relevant to my assignment?

Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence (point 1, criterion 1/item A, B) focused on the aspect you’re about to compare/contrast. Then, you proceed with details you find when conducting research. Remember, just like in other types of essays, thorough research is highly relevant here, too.

It’s not just about mentioning differences and similarities one by one and stating your opinion or argument about them. Every detail you find should be supported by substantial evidence, statistics, studies, official data, and so on.

To show comparisons and emphasize the overall effect, don’t forget to use some connectors such as:

  • At the same time, as well as
  • Both
  • Compared to
  • Correspondingly
  • In addition
  • In the same way
  • Just as
  • Likewise
  • Same as
  • Similarly

Of course, you can include connectors to express or heighten the contrasting effect. For example:

  • Conversely
  • Even though, although
  • However
  • In contrast
  • Meanwhile
  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Unlike

For the best possible result and successful completion of the essay, the body paragraphs should be analyzed from the perspective of an independent analytic. Ideally, your paper shouldn’t be biased. You don’t want the reader of your paper to assume what item you prefer or despise automatically.

Conclusion

At this point, you have the introduction and body paragraphs, which indicates you’re ready to conclude the essay. Generally, this is the easiest part, but you should ensure it’s properly structured as well. Here’s what your conclusion should contain:

  • Summary of main points – at the very beginning of this part, you should summarize the main points you’ve made throughout the essay. It’s important to synthesize your thesis with info in body paragraphs
  • Evaluation – provide a short analysis of what you discussed in the paper or mention possible solutions. The approach depends on the nature of your subject
  • Significance – not only do you have to clarify the importance of the main topic, but also mention the significance of comparisons or contrasts. How to do this? It’s not that difficult; answer the What was my goal in showing similarities/differences between these items? Your response indicates their significance.

Post-writing stage

You finished writing the paper, but your work isn’t over just yet. Before sending or submitting the essay, it’s necessary to proofread and edit the paper to eliminate all mistakes and unwanted parts.

Proofreading isn’t only necessary for correcting typos or grammar, these seemingly unimportant errors that “everyone makes” break the reader from the flow of the paper and undermine its power of persuasion. When you finish the essay, read your work from top to bottom without doing anything. You’ll probably spot some mistakes, but don’t rush correcting them immediately. Then, start reading again and correct typos, grammar errors, and sentence constructions. Don’t resist the urge to rewrite some sentences for better effect.

Nowadays, in the era of technology, you might feel tempted to download software (or find grammar/spelling checker online) and let it do the work for you. First of all, they aren’t always correct, and secondly, your critical thinking skills will improve only when you do it yourself. The software can be used as additional essay help. Another useful idea is to ask a family member or a friend to read the essay and see if they can spot some mistakes.

You’re almost ready to submit your essay, check whether you included references (if not, do so) and you’re done.

Bottom line

Compare, and contrast essay is concerned with evaluating differences and similarities between given items or topics. It’s not just a mere comparison; the essay requires thorough evaluation and analysis supported by reliable data. This post explained how to create the outline properly, and all you have to do is to write according to the structure provided. Remember, once you create the structure and choose the adequate pattern (point-by-point or block), you just have to fill in the missing detail with results of your search.

One thought on “Example Of Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *