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Writing Compare And Contrast Essay Outline: The Best Tips

Compare and contrast essay is a common assignment type students receive for numerous disciplines. The students need to investigate the two subjects and compare or contrast them. Students often get confused with this assignment, as it requires them to be creative and perform a thorough investigation on a certain topic. composing an outline is an essential process that simplifies essay writing and saves both the author’s time and energy. In this article, you can find help in writing an outline for such an essay type.

What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

Let’s have a closer look at the specifics of this piece. A comparison and contrast essay discusses two subjects and compares them with each other. The central elements of this paper are two matters linked in some way. The aim of such an essay is not to provide the obvious knowledge but to reveal the surprising similarities or dissimilarities. The author needs to draw connections between these two things. Before writing, you have to decide whether you compare or contrast the two things. Contrasting means revealing the subtle relations between the matters separate at first sight. Comparison is defining the similar and different features between the matters from the similar categories. Keep in mind that the more divergences the two matters have at first glance, the more exciting the investigation process and results will be.

First of all, while crafting an outline for a compare and contrast paper, the author has to pick a suitable strategy. The writers have two approaches: point-by-point and block patterns. The point-by-point principle forms the paper according to the criteria, and the block pattern forms the paper according to the subject. Pick the beneficial pattern according to the requirements of a certain piece. Here are the schemes for writing according to both patterns.

Point-by-Point Outline Pattern

This pattern is appropriate for analyzing subjects that share much. They are analyzed due to certain criteria, and the author gives one point dedicated to one criterion. Each point in the paper involves the criterion name (mentioned in the thesis statement), a paragraph including the information about one thing, and a section related to another one. As an illustration, you are analyzing computers of several brands due to numerous criteria such as cost, technical characteristics, etc.

The structure of your essay is going to look like this:

Opening (the certain topic, a thesis statement)

Point 1 (first criterion)

  • Computer 1 (details)
  • Computer 2 (details)

Point 2 (second criterion)

  • Computer 1 (details)
  • Computer 2 (details)

Point 3 (third criterion)

  • Computer 1 (details)
  • Computer 2 (details)

Summarizing (wrapping up all the paragraphs).

Block Outline Pattern

If the two subjects have more differences than similarities, the first scheme is not the most suitable pattern. In this case, go for a block pattern to get the most out of your essay structure. Every paragraph is dedicated to the specifics of one subject that makes the text more reader-friendly.

The structure according to this pattern looks as follows.

Intro (general topic information, thesis statement)

Part 1 (Details 1, 2, 3)

Part 2 (Details 1, 2, 3)

Conclusion (summing up all the paragraphs based on the given information)

A Closer Look at the Compare and Contrast Essay Structure

Now that you understand the two main organizational patterns let’s look more precisely at each structural element, the things it should include, and how to write it. Such essay format includes an intro, body sections, and a conclusion.

Getting Started with a Comparison Essay

An opening is probably the most powerful part of every paper. It should be informative, engaging, and concise at the same time, so the author needs to think about every word he wants to include in this paragraph. You need to involve general knowledge on the subject (but avoid obvious facts), include an interesting fact or statistics to attract the audience, and finish an opening with a thesis statement that represents the paper’s central purpose. Ensure this paragraph is brief and includes the only necessary information.

How to Structure the Essay Paragraphs?

Depending on a chosen model, your paragraphs will include different information, but they will always be about analyzing subjects and discovering connections and variations in them. A universal piece of advice is to ensure your text is coherent and utilize the transition words to connect different paragraphs and improve the readability of the text. The information should be clear and understandable.

Comparing Paragraphs

This essay part aims to find similarities between the two discussed subjects. Let’s continue comparing computers. Define such similar features as screen size, a number of hard drives, features, etc. Utilize the transition words to single out the compare and contrast parts.

Contrasting Paragraphs

This part presents the contrasts between the subjects. Let’s follow the same example. Computers may have different memory, OS, processors, etc. Highlight how the divergences affect the activity of users and why they are significant.

Finishing a Comparison and Contrast Essay

This part wraps up the whole paper and highlights the most significant points once more. The author needs to define the essential elements of body sections and present the crucial connections and variations between them. Keep in mind that you should restate your thesis statement and don’t include any new ideas in this paragraph.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, our article helped you create a great piece that will impress everyone and get a high grade. We collected all the most important tips to create a compare and contrast essay outline in this guide. However, if you need even more assistance on homework, place an order on our website, and our experienced writer will start tailoring your piece right away.

Answers to the popular questions

Here are the answers to the popular questions of our readers about this type.

1. What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?

Look at some outstanding topic ideas for your piece. They are just models, and you can change them as you want.

  • Traditional versus homeopathic medicine;
  • The pros and cons of using Artificial Intelligence;
  • Comparing the educational system in Canada and the US;
  • Impressionism and Expressionism;
  • The pros and cons of being a famous person;
  • Renting a flat versus buying your own home;
  • What is more important for losing weight: exercising or dieting?

2. How do you structure a compare and contrast essay?

The structure of this type is quite ordinary. It involves an intro, main sections, and summing-up. The opening paragraph involves a hook to attract the readers’ attention and the main thesis statement. The body paragraphs aim to provide evidence and facts that support the thesis statement. This essay doesn’t require only three body sections, and the author is free to add as many as necessary. Place the strongest paragraph first and ensure all the evidence backs up the thesis statement and leaves no space for the doubts of readers.

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