outline compare and essay

Compare and Contrast Essay: Full Writing Guide and 150+ Topics

outline compare and essay

Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences. For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc.

Good compare and contrast papers from college essay writer focus on a central point, explaining the importance and implications of this analysis. A compare and contrast essay thesis must make a meaningful comparison. Find the central theme of your essay and do some brainstorming for your thesis.

This type of essay is very common among college and university students. Professors challenge their students to use their analytical and comparative skills and pay close attention to the subjects of their comparisons. This type of essay exercises observance and analysis, helps to establish a frame of reference, and makes meaningful arguments about a subject. Let's get deeper on how to write a compare and contrast essay with our research writing services .

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences

Now that you know what is compare and contrast essay and are set with your topic, the first thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and make a list with two columns: similarities and differences. Jot down key things first, the most striking ones. Then try to look at the subjects from a different angle, incorporating your imagination.

If you are more of a visual learner, creating a Venn diagram might be a good idea. In order to create it, draw two circles that overlap. In the section where it overlaps, note similarities. Differences should be written in the part of the circle that does not overlap.

Let’s look at a simple example of compare and contrast essay. Let one of the subjects be oranges, and the other one be apples. Oranges have thick peel, originally from India, and are tropical fruit. These characteristics pertain only to oranges and should be in the part of the circle that does not overlap. For the same section on apples, we put thin peel, originated in Turkey or Kazakhstan, and moderate to subtropical. In the section that overlaps, let’s say that they are both fruit, can be juiced, and grow on trees. This simple, yet good example illustrates how the same concept can be applied to many other complicated topics with additional points of comparison and contrast.

Example of compare and contrast

This format of visual aid helps to organize similarities and differences and make them easier to perceive. Your diagram will give you a clear idea of the things you can write about.

Another good idea for brainstorming in preparation for your comparison contrast essay is to create a list with 2 columns, one for each subject, and compare the same characteristics for each of them simultaneously. This compare and contrast format will make writing your comparison contrast paper argument a breeze, as you will have your ideas ready and organized.

One mistake you should avoid is simply listing all of the differences or similarities for each subject. Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format.

Compare and Contrast Essay Structure and Outline

So, how do you structure this compare and contrast paper? Well, since compare and contrast essay examples rely heavily on factual analysis, there are two outline methods that can help you organize your facts. You can use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline.

While using the block structure of a compare and contrast essay, all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained. This concludes one block. The second block takes the same approach as the first for the second subject.

The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.

Both formats have their pros and cons. The block method is clearly easier for a compare and contrast essay writer, as you simply point out all of the information about the two subjects, and basically leave it to the reader to do the comparison. The point-by-point format requires you to analyze the points yourself while making similarities and differences more explicit to the reader for them to be easier to understand. Here is a detailed structure of each type presented below.

Point-by-Point Method

  • Introduce the topic;
  • Specify your theme;
  • Present your thesis - cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.
Example thesis: Cars and motorcycles make for excellent means of transportation, but a good choice depends on the person’s lifestyle, finances, and the city they live in.

Body Paragraph 1 - LIFESTYLE

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles impact the owner’s lifestyle less than cars.
  • Topic 1 - Motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are smaller and more comfortable to store.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles are easy to learn and use.
  • Topic 2 - Cars
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal - they are like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: It takes time to learn to become a good driver.

Body Paragraph 2 - FINANCES

  • Topic sentence: Cars are much more expensive than motorcycles
  • ~ Argument: You can buy a good motorcycle for under 300$.
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts that are more accessible to fix.
  • ~ Argument: Parts and service are expensive if something breaks.
  • ~ Argument: Cars need more gas than motorcycles.

Body Paragraph 3 - CITY

  • Topic sentence: Cars are a better option for bigger cities with wider roads.
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than with cars.
  • ~ Argument: Motorcycles work great in a city like Rome, where all the streets are narrow.
  • ~ Argument: Big cities are easier and more comfortable to navigate by car.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside of the city is much easier.
  • Sum up all you wrote in the article.

Block Method

  • Thesis — cover all areas of the essay in one sentence

Body Paragraph 1

  • Topic Sentence: Motorcycles are cheaper and easier to take care of than cars.
  • Aspect 1 - Lifestyle
  • Aspect 2 - Finances
  • ~ Argument: Fewer parts, easier to fix.
  • Aspect 3 - City
  • ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than cars.

Body Paragraph 2

  • Topic sentence: Cars are more expensive but more comfortable for a big city and for travelling.
  • ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal—like a second home.
  • ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside the city is much more comfortable.

Body Paragraph 3 ‍

Use the last paragraph to evaluate the comparisons and explain why they’re essential. Giving a lot of facts can be intense. To water it down, try to give the reader any real-life applications of these facts.

Depending on the structure selected, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. The typical comparison essay follows the format of having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion — though, if you need to focus on each subject in more detailed ways, feel free to include an extra paragraph to cover all of the most important points.

To make your compare and contrast essay flow better, we recommend using special transition words and phrases. They will add variety and improve your paper overall.

For the section where you compare two subjects, you can include any of the following words: similarly, likewise, also, both, just like, similar to, the same as, alike, or to compare to. When contrasting two subjects, use: in contrast, in comparison, by comparison, on the other hand, while, whereas, but, to differ from, dissimilar to, or unlike.

Show Your Evidence

Arguments for any essay, including compare and contrast essays, need to be supported by sufficient evidence. Make good use of your personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper articles, movies, or anything that will make your argument sound credible. For example, in your essay, if you were to compare attending college on campus vs. distance-based learning, you could include your personal experiences of being a student, and how often students show up to class on a daily basis. You could also talk about your experience taking online classes, which makes your argument about online classes credible as well.

Helpful Final Tips

The biggest tip dissertation writing services can give you is to have the right attitude when writing a compare contrast essay, and actively engage the reader in the discussion. If you find it interesting, so will your reader! Here are some more compare and contrast essay tips that will help you to polish yours up:

types of writing

  • Compare and contrast essays need powerful transitions. Try learning more about writing transition sentences using the words we provided for you in the 'Compare and Contrast Structure and Outline' section.
  • Always clarify the concepts you introduce in your essay. Always explain lesser known information—don’t assume the reader must already know it.
  • Do not forget to proofread. Small mistakes, but in high quantities, can result in a low grade. Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.
  • Have a friend or family member take a look at your essay; they may notice things you have missed.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Now that you know everything there is to know about compare and contrast essays, let’s take a look at some compare and contrast examples to get you started on your paper or get a hand from our essay helper .

Different countries across the world have diverse cultural practices, and this has an effect on work relationships and development. Geert Hofstede came up with a structured way of comparing cultural dimensions of different countries. The theory explains the impacts of a community’s culture on the values of the community members, and the way these values relate to their behaviors. He gives scores as a way to help distinguish people from different nations using the following dimensions: long-term orientation, individualism, power distance, indulgence, necessity avoidance, and masculinity. Let us examine comparisons between two countries: the United Kingdom and China — based on Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture.
Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers, spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and 2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution — compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).

Still feeling confused about the complexities of the compare and contrast essay? Feel free to contact our paper writing service to get a professional writing help.

Finding the Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For You

When choosing a topic for your comparison essay, remember that subjects cannot be drastically different, because there would be little to no points of comparison (similarities). The same goes for too many similarities, which will result in poor contrasts. For example, it is better to write about two composers, rather than a composer and a singer.

It is extremely important to choose a topic you are passionate about. You never want to come across something that seems dull and uninspiring for you. Here are some excellent ways to brainstorm for a topic from essay writer :

  • Find categories: Choose a type (like animals, films or economics), and compare subjects within that category – wild animals to farm animals, Star Wars to Star Trek, private companies to public companies, etc.
  • Random Surprising Fact: Dig for fun facts which could make great topics. Did you know that chickens can be traced back to dinosaurs?
  • Movie vs. Book: Most of the time, the book is better than the movie — unless it’s Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you’re a pop culture lover, compare movies vs. books, video games, comics, etc.

Use our rewrite essay service when you need help from professionals.

How to Choose a Great Compare and Contrast Topic

College students should consider providing themselves with a chance to use all topic examples. With enough revision, an advantage is gained. As it will be possible to compare arguments and contrast their aspects. Also, discuss numerous situations to get closer to the conclusion.

For example:

  • Choose a topic from the field of your interests. Otherwise you risk failing your paper.
  • It is a good idea to choose a topic based upon the class subject or specialist subject. (Unless the requirements say otherwise.)
  • Analyze each argument carefully. Include every detail for each opposing idea. Without doing so, you can definitely lower grades.
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes both arguments. It should allow readers to find the answer they’re looking for.
  • It is up to you to determine which arguments are right and wrong in the final conclusion.
  • Before approaching the final conclusion, it’s important to discuss each argument equally. It is a bad idea to be biased, as it can also lower grades.

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150 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Consider

Choosing a topic can be a challenging task, but there are plenty of options to consider. In the following sections, we have compiled a list of 150 compare and contrast essay topics to help you get started. These topics cover a wide range of subjects, from education and technology to history and politics. Whether you are a high school student or a college student, you are sure to find a topic that interests you. So, read on to discover some great compare and contrast essay ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For College Students

When attending a college, at any time your professor can assign you the task of writing this form of an essay. Consider these topics for college students from our team to get the grades you deserve.

  • Attending a College Course Vs. Distance-Based Learning.
  • Writing a Research Paper Vs. Writing a Creative Writing Paper. What are the differences and similarities?
  • The differences between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
  • The key aspects of the differences between the US and the UK education systems.
  • Completing assignments at a library compared with doing so at home. Which is the most efficient?
  • The similarities and differences in the behavior among married and unmarried couples.
  • The similarities and differences between the EU (European Union) and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations)?
  • The similarities and significant differences between American and Canadian English.
  • Writing an Internship Report Vs. Writing a Research Paper
  • The differences between US colleges and colleges in the EU?

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Some topics for the compare and contrast essay format can be boring. To keep up motivation, doing a research , have a look at these topics. Maybe they can serve you as research paper help .

  • Public Transport Vs. Driving A Car. Which is more efficient?
  • Mandarin Vs. Cantonese: What are the differences between these Chinese languages?
  • Sports Cars Vs. Luxurious Family Cars
  • Wireless Technology Vs. Wired Devices
  • Thai Food Vs. Filipino Cuisine
  • What is the difference and similarities between a register office marriage and a traditional marriage?
  • The 2000s Vs. The 2010s. What are the differences and what makes them similar?
  • Abu Dhabi Vs. Dubai. What are the main factors involved in the differences?
  • What are the differences between American and British culture?
  • What does the New York Metro do differently to the London Underground?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

When writing essays for high school, it is good to keep them informative. Have a look at these compare and contrast sample topics.

  • Highschool Life Vs. College Life
  • Paying College Fees Vs. Being Awarded a Scholarship
  • All Night Study Sessions Vs. Late Night Parties
  • Teenager Vs. Young Adult Relationships
  • Being in a Relationship Vs. Being Single
  • Male Vs. Female Behavior
  • The similarities and differences between a high school diploma and a college degree
  • The similarities and differences between Economics and Business Studies
  • The benefits of having a part-time job, instead of a freelance job, in college
  • High School Extra Curricular Activities Vs. Voluntarily Community Services

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Science

At some point, every science student will be assigned this type of essay. To keep things at flow, have a look at best compare and contrast essay example topics on science:

  • Undiscovered Species on Earth Vs. Potential Life on Mars: What will we discover in the future?
  • The benefits of Gasoline Powered Cars Vs. Electric Powered Cars
  • The differences of the Milky Way Vs. Centaurus (Galaxies).
  • Earthquakes Vs. Hurricanes: What should be prepared for the most?
  • The differences between our moon and Mars’ moons.
  • SpaceX Vs. NASA. What is done differently within these organizations?
  • The differences and similarities between Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox’s theories on the cosmos. Do they agree or correspond with each other?
  • Pregnancy Vs. Motherhood
  • Jupiter Vs. Saturn
  • Greenhouse Farming Vs. Polytunnel Farming

Sports & Leisure Topics

Studying Physical Education? Or a gym fanatic? Have a look at our compare and contrast essay topics for sports and leisure.

  • The English Premier League Compared With The Bundesliga
  • Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona
  • Football Vs. Basketball
  • Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner
  • Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team: Main Factors and Differences
  • Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing
  • Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.
  • Manning Team Vs. Brazil Team
  • Swimming Vs. Cycling

Topics About Culture

Culture can have several meanings. If you’re a Religious Studies or Culture student, take a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics about culture.

  • The fundamental similarities and differences between Pope Francis and Tawadros II of Alexandria
  • Canadian Vs. Australian Religion
  • The differences between Islamic and Christian Holidays
  • The cultural similarities and differences between the Native Aboriginals and Caucasian Australians
  • Native American Culture Vs. New England Culture
  • The cultural differences and similarities between Italians and Sicilians
  • In-depth: The origins of Buddhism and Hinduism
  • In-depth: The origins of Christianity and Islam
  • Greek Gods Vs. Hindu Gods
  • The Bible: Old Testament Vs. New Testament

Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

What about writing an essay which is out of the ordinary? Consider following these topics to write a compare and contrast essay on, that are unique.

  • The reasons why some wealthy people pay extortionate amounts of money for gold-plated cell phones, rather than buying the normal phone.
  • The differences between Lipton Tea and Ahmad Tea
  • American Football Vs. British Football: What are their differences?
  • The differences and similarities between France and Britain
  • Fanta Vs. 7Up
  • Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones
  • The differences and similarities between Boston Dynamics and the fictional equivalent Skynet (From Terminator Movies).
  • Socialism Vs. Capitalism: Which is better?
  • Curved Screen TVs’ Vs. Regular Flat Screen TVs’: Are they really worth big bucks?
  • Is it better to wear black or white at funerals?

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it may be a requirement to take it back a notch. Especially if you’re new to these style of writing. Consider having a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics that are pretty easy to start off.

  • Is it a good idea to work on weekdays or weekends?
  • Black of White Coffee
  • Becoming a teacher or a doctor? Which career choice has more of an impact on society?
  • Air Travel Vs. Sea Travel: Which is better?
  • Rail Travel Vs. Road Travel: Which is more convenient?
  • What makes Europe far greater than Africa? In terms of financial growth, regulations, public funds, policies etc…
  • Eating fruit for breakfast Vs. cereals
  • Staying Home to Read Vs. Traveling the World During Holidays. Which is more beneficial for personal growth?
  • Japanese Vs. Brazilian Cuisine
  • What makes ASEAN Nations more efficient than African Nations?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About TV Shows, Music and Movies

We all enjoy at least one of these things. If not, all of them. Why not have a go at writing a compare and contrast essay about what you have been recently watching or listening to?

  • Breaking Bad Vs. Better Call Saul: Which is more commonly binge watched?
  • The differences between Dance Music and Heavy Metal
  • James Bond Vs. Johnny English
  • Iron Man Vs. The Incredible Hulk: Who would win?
  • What is done differently in modern movies, compared to old black and white movies?
  • Dumber and Dumber 2 Vs. Ted: Which movie is funnier?
  • Are Horror movies or Action Movies best suited to you?
  • The differences and similarities between Mozart and Beethoven compositions.
  • Hip Hop Vs. Traditional Music
  • Classical Music Vs. Pop Music. Which genre helps people concentrate?

Topics About Art

Sometimes, art students are required to write this style of essay. Have a look at these compare and contrast essay topics about the arts of the centuries.

  • The fundamental differences and similarities between paintings and sculptures
  • The different styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Viewing Original Art Compared With Digital Copies. How are these experiences different?
  • 18th Century Paintings Vs. 21st Century Digitally Illustrated Images
  • German Art Vs. American Art
  • Modern Painting Vs. Modern Photography
  • How can we compare modern graphic designers to 18th-century painters?
  • Ancient Greek Art Vs. Ancient Egyptian Art
  • Ancient Japanese Art Vs. Ancient Persian Art
  • What 16th Century Painting Materials were used compared with the modern day?

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Almost every student at any stage of academics is assigned this style of writing. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider looking at some of the best compare and contrast essay topics to get you on track with your writing.

  • The United States and North Korea Governmental Conflict: What is the reason behind this phenomenon?
  • In the Early Hours, Drinking Water is far healthier than consuming soda.
  • The United States Vs. The People’s Republic of China: Which economy is the most efficient?
  • Studying in Foreign Countries Vs. Studying In Your Hometown: Which is more of an advantage?
  • Toast Vs. Cereal: Which is the most consumed in the morning?
  • Sleeping Vs. Daydreaming: Which is the most commonly prefered? And amongst who?
  • Learning French Vs. Chinese: Which is the most straightforward?
  • Android Phones Vs. iPhones
  • The Liberation of Slaves Vs. The Liberation of Women: Which is more remembered?
  • The differences between the US Dollar and British Pound. What are their advantages? And How do they correspond with each other?

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

In all types of academics, these essays occur. If you’re new to this style of writing, check our easy compare and contrast essay topics.

  • The Third Reich Vs. North Korea
  • Tea Vs. Coffee
  • iPhone Vs. Samsung
  • KFC Vs. Wendy’s
  • Laurel or Yanny?
  • Healthy Lifestyle Vs. Obese Lifestyle
  • Forkes Vs. Sporks
  • Rice Vs. Porridge
  • Roast Dinner Vs. Chicken & Mushroom Pie
  • What’s the difference between apples and oranges?

Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Deciding upon good compare and contrast essay topics for psychology assignments can be difficult. Consider referring to our list of 10 psychology compare and contrast essay topics to help get the deserved grades.

  • What is a more severe eating order? Bulimia or Anorexia
  • Modern Medicine Vs. Traditional Medicine for Treating Depression?
  • Soft Drugs Vs. Hard Drugs. Which is more dangerous for people’s psychological well-being?
  • How do the differences between Lust and Love have an effect on people’s mindsets?
  • Ego Vs. Superego
  • Parents Advice Vs. Peers Advice amongst children and teens.
  • Strict Parenting Vs. Relaxed Parenting
  • Mental Institutions Vs. Stress Clinics
  • Bipolar Disorder Vs. Epilepsy
  • How does child abuse affect victims in later life?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Sixth Graders

From time to time, your teacher will assign the task of writing a compare and contrast essay. It can be hard to choose a topic, especially for beginners. Check out our easy compare and contrast essay topics for sixth graders.

  • Exam Preparation Vs. Homework Assignments
  • Homeschooling Vs. Public Education
  • High School Vs. Elementary School
  • 5th Grade Vs. 6th Grade: What makes them different or the same?
  • Are Moms’ or Dads’ more strict among children?
  • Is it better to have strict parents or more open parents?
  • Sandy Beaches Vs. Pebble Beaches: Which beaches are more popular?
  • Is it a good idea to learn guitar or piano?
  • Is it better to eat vegetable salads or pieces of fruit for lunch?
  • 1st Grade Vs. 6th Grade

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes, it is good to have a laugh. As they always say : 'laughter is the best medicine'. Check out these funny compare and contrast essay topics for a little giggle when writing.

  • What is the best way to waste your time? Watching Funny Animal Videos or Mr. Bean Clips?
  • Are Pug Dogs or Maltese Dogs crazier?
  • Pot Noodles Vs. McDonalds Meals.
  • What is the difference between Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson?
  • Mrs. Doubtfire Vs. Mrs. Brown. How are they similar?
  • Which game is more addictive? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds?
  • Big Shaq Vs. PSY
  • Stewie Griffin Vs. Maggie Simpson
  • Quarter Pounders Vs. Big Macs
  • Mr. Bean Vs. Alan Harper

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Compare and contrast essays are a common academic assignment that requires you to analyze the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. 

However, you need a strong outline as your foundation to craft a successful and compelling essay. Outlining organizes your points logically and makes your writing more coherent. 

So how do you start with making a good outline?

This blog will walk you through the steps of creating an effective compare and contrast essay outline. You’ll also get some helpful practical tips and examples along the way. 

Let’s get into it!

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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?

An outline for a compare and contrast essay aims to organize all the information in a readable manner. It's a roadmap that lays out how you organize and present your ideas.

Here are the main goals of an outline:

  • Clarity and Organization: An outline helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in a clear and structured manner. It ensures that all the ideas are presented in a systematic way.
  • Efficiency: Creating an outline streamlines the writing process. It saves you time by providing a clear direction. It keeps the writer focused on developing the main argument and supporting evidence.
  • Prevention of Overlooking Key Points: With a well-constructed outline, you're less likely to overlook essential points. It serves as a checklist for your essay, ensuring that it is comprehensive and balanced.

Two Types of Compare & Contrast Essay Structure

Before we dive into the outlining steps, you should know about the two main organizing strategies for this type of essay:

  • Point-by-Point Structure (or organization by criteria)
  • Block Method (or organization by item)

Each approach offers unique advantages and is suited to different writing situations. Let's explore these two structures in detail.

Point-by-Point Structure

The point-by-point structure involves comparing and contrasting specific aspects of your chosen subjects.

For instance, when comparing two car models point-by-point, you can first compare and discuss their fuel efficiency, then interior space, and finally compare and contrast their tech features.

This way, you proceed by covering each aspect at a time. Here is what this structure looks like:

Block Method

The block method, also known as organization by item, offers a different approach to structuring your compare and contrast essay. 

In this structure, you present all the information about one subject before moving on to the other, and finally compare and evaluate the subjects in the last paragraph before the conclusion. 

This straightforward approach is particularly useful when your subjects have few similarities and differences. Here’s an example of a block method compare and contrast:

Now that you know about the two types of compare and contrast outlines, let’s move on to how to craft them.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Compare & Contrast Outline 

Creating a compare and contrast essay outline may seem like a complex task, but fear not! Following these simple steps below will make outlining easier and smoother.

Step 1: Choose Your Subjects & Gather Information

Step 2: identify key points of comparison, step 3: develop a thesis statement.

  • Step 4: Organize Your Outline 

Let’s get into each of these steps:

The first and most crucial step is to select the subjects or topics you'll be comparing and contrasting. Make sure that your subjects are related and offer meaningful comparisons. 

Determine the purpose of your essay. Are you aiming to persuade, inform, or simply analyze? Understanding your purpose will help you gather relevant information about your subjects and shape your thesis statement.

Looking for topic ideas? Find 100+ compare and contrast essay topics to write about.

Consider the aspects or criteria you'll use to compare and contrast your subjects. These will become the basis for your body paragraphs. Common approaches include similarities and differences in structure, content, historical context, or impact of your chosen subjects.

Your thesis statement is the heart of your essay. It should concisely state the main point or argument of your essay and provide a roadmap for what your readers can expect. Make sure it reflects the essence of your comparison.

Step 4: Organize Your Outline

Now, it's time to create the actual outline structure. There are three components of an essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • The main body

Start with the basic framework:

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

An essay introduction aims to present your compare and contrast subjects and provide some context.  

In the introduction part of your outline, you should add the following:

  • Hook Statement - A hook is the opening sentence of your essay that aims to catch the readers’ attention. Depending on the topic, choose a catchy statement for your introduction to make it interesting for the readers. 
  • Points about Significance/Context - To make your essay introduction strong and engaging, add the points about the context or significance of the topic to your outline.
  • Thesis Statement - A thesis statement is the writer’s main argument about the topic. 

Compare and Contrast Essay Body Paragraphs

Before outlining your body paragraphs, choose one of the two structures described above. That is, choose whether you want to write your essay in a point-by-point structure or by the block method.

Here’s what to add to your body paragraph outline if it follows a point by point organization:

If you’re using the block method, here’s what your body paragraph outline should include:

Conclusion 

In your outline for the conclusion, you should include the following components:

  • Restate the Thesis: Reiterate your thesis statement, emphasizing the main argument of your essay. This reinforces the central message you want your readers to take away.
  • Summarized Points: Summarize the points you made in the body paragraphs.
  • Final Insight or Observation: Add a final insight, observation, or thought to end the conclusion. This could be a reflection on the significance of your comparisons, a call to action, or a broader perspective on the topic.

Starting with gathering information and ending with a complete outline, these 4 easy steps will let you have a great start.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples

Here are some outline examples that will make it easy for you to understand the process described above. Check them out to see what your final outlines should look like.

5 Paragraph Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Example

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Middle School

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline 5th Grade

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline 6th Grade

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline High School

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Point By Point

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Block Method

Oedipus and Hamlet Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

Argumentative Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Want to read complete essays instead? Check out our blog on compare and contrast essay examples to read expertly written samples!

Tips for Making Better Compare and Contrast Outlines

Creating a compare and contrast essay outline is a crucial step in the essay-writing process. With the right tips, you can make your outlines more effective and efficient. 

Here are some valuable tips to help you craft better compare and contrast outlines:

  • Clarify Your Purpose: Before you start outlining, ensure you have a clear understanding of the purpose of your essay. Are you aiming to inform or analyze and evaluate? Your outline should align with your essay's objectives.
  • Choose the Right Structure: Select the structure (point-by-point or block method) that best suits your subjects and the nature of your comparison. Some topics may work better with one method over the other.
  • Be Consistent: Maintain consistency in your outline. Use the same format for each body paragraph, making it easier for you to stay organized and for your readers to follow your argument.
  • Prioritize Key Points: Not all comparisons and contrasts are of equal importance. Focus on the most significant aspects to avoid overwhelming your essay with minor details.
  • Balance Similarities and Differences: Ensure your outline includes a balanced mix of similarities and differences. This balance contributes to a well-rounded and persuasive essay.
  • Review and Revise: After creating your initial outline, take a step back and review it critically. Does it effectively convey your ideas? Are there any redundancies or gaps in your comparisons? Make revisions as needed.
  • Stay Focused: It's easy to get sidetracked when comparing and contrasting. Stick to your chosen criteria and avoid going off-topic in your outline.
  • Use Clear Language: Keep your outline concise and use clear, straightforward language. Avoid jargon or overly complex sentences that could confuse your readers.
  • Seek Feedback: If possible, share your outline with a peer or instructor for feedback. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improvement.

To Conclude,

Crafting a well-structured compare and contrast essay outline is a skill that can elevate your essays. We've explored the purpose, components, and step-by-step process for creating effective outlines. You’re now equipped to shape your ideas, organize your arguments, and guide your readers through compelling comparisons and contrasts. 

Remember, outlining isn't just a preliminary step; it's your blueprint for essay excellence. So utilize the steps and tips you learned above to craft excellent comparison essays!

Still, if you are looking for expert guidance and custom-written essays, MyPerfectWords.com is here for you. Just request us to “do my essay” and our professional writers will provide tailored essays within your deadline. 

So let our writing services ease your essay burden - Contact Now!

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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  • Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
  • How to Write an Essay Outline: Full Guide With Examples

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Compare and contrast essay outline toolkit.

  • How to write an outline for an Compare and contrast essay

Once you are done with these steps, this is what your structure will look like

Introduction.

  • Introduce the significance of ancient Greek and Roman architecture in shaping Western architectural traditions
  • Provide a brief overview of the key features of both architectural styles

While both ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles have made significant contributions to the field, they exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, purpose, and cultural influences.

Architectural Design and Characteristics

  • Discuss the architectural design principles of ancient Greek buildings, including columns, symmetry, and proportions.
  • Analyze the distinctive features of Roman architecture, such as the use of arches, domes, and concrete
  • Compare and contrast the design elements of Greek and Roman structures.

Architectural Purpose and Function

  • Explore the primary purposes of ancient Greek architecture, including temples, theaters, and public buildings
  • Examine the diverse functions of Roman architecture, encompassing aqueducts, arenas, and public baths.
  • Compare and contrast the intended functions and uses of Greek and Roman architectural achievements.

Cultural Influences and Symbolism

  • Investigate the cultural influences that shaped Greek architectural styles, including religion, philosophy, and mythology.
  • Analyze the cultural influences on Roman architecture, such as engineering prowess and imperialism.
  • Reiterate the thesis statement, emphasizing the distinct differences between ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles
  • Summarize the key points presented in the essay.

This is what your outline will look like

Firstly, the essay will discuss the architectural design and characteristics of both by analyzing the distinctive features and comparing and contrasting design elements of both structures. Secondly, the essay will shed light on the respective purposes and diverse functions of both architectures and compare and contrast them. Lastly, the essay will investigate the cultural influences and symbolism of each style, by stating its religion, philosophy, and mythology.

How to write an outline for an Compare and Contrast essay

1. identify the topic.

The first crucial step in crafting an effective outline for your compare and contrast essay is to clearly identify and define the topic you will be exploring. This initial stage is essential for providing your readers with a clear understanding of what to expect in your essay.

If you are writing an essay on historical architectural styles, your topic can be “A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Roman Architectural Styles”

2. Define the objective

Once you have your topic in mind, the next step is to define the objective of your essay. In a compare and contrast essay, the objective is to examine the nuanced differences or perhaps discover unexpected similarities between the two subjects of comparison.

If your objective is to provide a comparison of both architectural styles, you can state, “The aim of the essay is to examine the similarities and differences in Greek and Roman architectural styles.”

3. Craft the thesis

The thesis statement is the core element of your outline, serving as the central argument that will drive your essay. In a compare and contrast essay, the thesis statement introduces readers to the outcome of your comparison and the significance of the contrast.

Continuing the example, your thesis statement for the topic could be, “While both ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles have made significant contributions to the field, they exhibit distinct differences in terms of design, purpose, and cultural influences..""

4. Main points

Now, let's structure your outline by outlining the key components. A compare and contrast essay can follow either a block structure or a point-by-point structure, both of which have distinct advantages depending on your chosen topics.

The main points for your essay could be

5. Sub-points

After introducing the main points, the next step is to provide in-depth elaboration on each of these points, backed by relevant examples and evidence. In this section, you will explicitly outline the specific aspects you plan to discuss and specify the examples that will reinforce your arguments.

  • Examine the emotional appeals used in the speech to evoke empathy and solidarity among the audience
  • Reflect on how the rainforest's biodiversity impacted your perspective

All will be explained with examples and backed with statistical data.

6. Evidence and citations

In any academic essay, citing sources and providing proper attribution is essential. Make sure to clearly outline the sources from which you will be citing information, quotes, and data that support your arguments.

You can cite historical papers that define each style, also you can also mention research papers that define the characteristics of certain designs.

7. Introduction and hook

Your introduction is your chance to captivate the reader's attention and spark their interest in your essay. A well-crafted hook can be an unexpected fact, a dispelled misconception, or a surprising statistic that piques the reader's curiosity.

You can start the introduction with an unexpected fact to create a hook like “Did you know the Dome of Pantheon in Rome is still the world's largest unsupported concrete dome”. Then continue to introduce both architectural styles and provide an overview of their features.

8. Conclusion

After you have stated your key points, it's time to conclude your essay. You should conclude the compare and contrast essay with a paragraph stating the points discussed and also sharing your opinion so your readers can have something to think about after they finish reading.

In the conclusion, you will Reiterate the thesis statement, emphasizing the distinct differences between ancient Greek and Roman architectural styles, and then summarize key points you made in the essay.

9. Transitions

Transition words play a crucial role in ensuring the seamless flow of your writing, facilitating smooth transitions between sentences, paragraphs, and topics. Comparison and contrast transitions are generally used to show a similarity or difference in these types of essays.

In your compare and contrast essay, you can use words like “even so”, “conversely”, etc. to transition from one concept, idea, or sentence to another.

10. Refine and review

Finally, before you begin writing your essay, take a moment to revisit and review your outline. Ensure that it maintains logical coherence and comprehensiveness. Make any necessary revisions to ensure that each point flows logically, and all the required information is included while avoiding the addition of unnecessary points.

Finally, during the review, you will need to ensure that each point flows logically and you have included all the necessary information and didn’t add any extra points.

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Compare & Contrast Map

Compare & Contrast Map

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Related resources.

This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link in the introduction to the Comparison and Contrast Guide give students the chance to get definitions and look at examples before they begin working. The tool offers multiple ways to navigate information including a graphic on the right that allows students to move around the map without having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed.

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The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.

The Essay Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for an informational, definitional, or descriptive essay.

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.

Students explore picture books to identify the characteristics of four types of conflict. They then write about a conflict they have experienced and compare it to a conflict from literature.

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Feb 15, 2023

How to write a Compare and Contrast Essay | Outlines and Examples

Need help writing a compare and contrast essay check out these tips and examples to get you started.

A compare and contrast essay is a differentiation of two or more topics, explaining similarities and differences between them through an essay writing format. It is essential that each topic is clearly highlighted in order to be accurately compared.

This form of academic writing works best for essay topics that have similarities to be compared to each other. For example, you can compare and contrast two novels or authors, or two school subjects or cuisines. In order to write this type of essay well, it is important to conduct research and use reliable sources to ensure the accuracy of your work.

If you want to write high-quality compare-and-contrast essays, we recommend using Jenni.ai's Free Essay Writer for AI assistance. Get your essays done 10x faster with the help of artificial intelligence!

What is a compare and contrast essay?

A compare and contrast essay is a type of written work where the writer analyzes and compares two or more subjects to identify their similarities and differences (e.g., cats and dogs as pets). This essay is a useful tool for gaining a deeper understanding of the subjects being compared and for improving our knowledge of them.

In a compare and contrast essay, the first step is to identify the subjects that will be analyzed. This could also be two books, historical events, pieces of art, or any other subjects that can be compared. The writer must then gather information on each of the subjects in order to develop a strong thesis statement.

The body of the essay is where the writer compares and contrasts the subjects. This can be done in a point-by-point or block comparison format. The conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and restate the thesis statement in a new, more insightful way.

Types of Compare and Contrast Essays

A compare-and-contrast type of essay has two main approaches. There is the block method and the point-by-point style. Let's dive a little deeper into each one!

Block Method - The block method presents all arguments related to the initial statement in the essay and compares them directly to the opposing statement. The purpose is to provide an in-depth analysis of each point by presenting supporting evidence in the form of examples that focuses on one statement over the other.

Phrases such as "in relation to" or "in the same way" is best used in the block method as it helps establish the relationship between each argument. Keep in mind that in order for the points to be presented effectively, these quotes are presented in relation directly to the initial statement in order to analyze the relationship between the two subjects.

Point-by-point Method - The point-by-point method presents an argument for each point that is directly compared against the opposing statement. In this method, the writer focuses on one point or aspect at a time, describing both statements and how they are similar or different in a precise manner.

This method is used more in academic writing and essay writing because it is simpler and easier to use than the block method. However, writers are not discouraged from using either approach as long as they understand how to effectively use each of them.

Tips on how to create your Compare and Contrast Essay

Creating a compare and contrast essay is relatively simple once you understand the basic concepts behind it. Here are some helpful tips to get you started with creating a high-quality essay:

Create a general overview that defines each of the paragraphs and how they relate to each other. This is essential after doing research to give the readers a general idea of what the essay will be about.

Create a structure for your paper by creating a roadmap for each paragraph that clearly outlines how the information will be presented. This will help the writer structure their thoughts and ideas and make sure nothing is left out or forgotten about during the editing process.

Transitions are very useful in comparing and contrasting essays as they provide a clear connection between each point being discussed and how it relates to the other points.

Create symmetrical comparisons when presenting your ideas to the readers to ensure everything is explained properly. For example, if you are comparing and contrasting two literary works, it should be clear for the reader how the ideas presented in one work relate to the ideas presented in the other work.

After finishing your entire essay, make sure to proofread and edit accordingly to make sure that all the relevant talking points are panned out correctly throughout the whole essay structure. 

How to Outline Compare and Contrast Essays?

Now that we have talked about the basics of a compare and contrast essay, we will now talk about the process and steps for outlining to help you out accomplish your essay effectively.

Block Method Outline:

In a block format compare and contrast essay, the writer discusses all the similarities and differences between one subject before moving on to the next subject.

Here is an example of how the block format in a compare and contrast essay might be structured:

I. Introduction Paragraph

A. Background information on the subjects being compared and contrasted

B. Thesis statement outlining the purpose of the essay

II. Block format of Subject 1

A. Detailed description of Subject 1

B. Analysis of the similarities and differences between Subject 1 and Subject 2

III. Block format of Subject 2

A. Detailed description of Subject 2

B. Analysis of the similarities and differences between Subject 2 and Subject 1

IV. Conclusion

A. Summary of the main points of the essay

B. Restatement of the thesis statement in a new, more insightful way

In this format, the writer first provides a detailed description of one subject and then analyzes its similarities and differences with the other subject. This is repeated for the second subject, ensuring that all similarities and differences are thoroughly discussed. This format allows the writer to provide a comprehensive analysis of each subject before moving on to the next, making it a useful format for writing a detailed and thorough compare-and-contrast essay.

Point by point Method:

A point-by-point compare and contrast essay is a type of essay where the writer compares and contrasts two or more subjects by discussing a specific aspect or point of each subject in relation to the other.

Here is an example of how a point-by-point compare and contrast essay might be structured:

I. Introductory Paragraph

II. Point 1: Comparison of aspect 1 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 1 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 1 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 1 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

III. Point 2: Comparison of aspect 2 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 2 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 2 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 2 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

IV. Point 3: Comparison of aspect 3 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

A. Analysis of aspect 3 of Subject 1

B. Analysis of aspect 3 of Subject 2

C. Comparison and contrast of aspect 3 of Subject 1 and Subject 2

V. Conclusion

In this format, the writer focuses on one aspect or point at a time, comparing and contrasting it between the two subjects. This allows the writer to provide a detailed and thorough analysis of each aspect, making it a useful format for writing a highly specific and focused compare-and-contrast essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Now that we have talked about all the essential things needed to create a compare and contrast essay, let's move on to some examples that will inspire you to create your very own essay! 

Example #1: iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?

"The iPhone vs. Android comparison is a never-ending debate on which one is best. It will likely never have a real winner, but we're going to try and help you to find your personal pick all the same.

The latest version of both operating systems — iOS 16 and Android 13 — are both excellent, but in slightly different ways. Many of their features overlap, but design-wise they look quite different, aside from the basic touchscreen-focused layout. Whichever of the best phones available today you buy, they'll be running one of these two OSes.

Pitting iPhone vs. Android, we take a look at the respective strengths of each mobile platform, so you can pick the right one for you the next time you buy a smartphone. If you want to see the current flagships for Android and iOS, be sure to check out our Pixel 7 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 vs. iPhone 14 face-offs. And if you're convinced to want to leave your iPhone, read more about Google's new Switch To Android app that will help you move over.

Why iPhone is better

You're invested in Apple's ecosystem. This might seem like a shallow reason, but Apple obviously makes a wide breadth of tech products, and if you already own a Mac, iPad or Apple Watch, getting an iPhone makes a lot of sense.

Apple has designed a multitude of continuity features that allow you to carry over work and data from one of its devices to another, and these features can certainly save you time. Take Handoff, for example, where calls on your iPhone and web pages in Safari can move seamlessly between iOS and macOS. Universal Clipboard makes text copied on one platform usable on the other. Another one of our favourites is Continuity Camera, which allows you to take pictures and scan documents using your iPhone's camera, and then view and edit them on your Mac. You can even complete purchases on your Mac by using biometric authentication features on your iPhone via Apple Pay.

Only a handful of Android phone makers have hardware ecosystems that approach Apple's, and even for some that come close, like Samsung, you won't get the depth of integration possible between the iPhone and other Apple-built devices. Microsoft is helping Google close the gap somewhat with its new Your Phone app for Windows, which allows Android users to respond to texts and notifications on their PCs, though the experience is a little clunky and there is still work to be done."  

Example #2: MOBILE HOME VS TINY HOUSE | SIMILARITIES, DIFFERENCES, PROS & CONS  

"A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT

Interestingly, the modern tiny house movement sprouted in the 1980s, increasing in popularity these last three decades. Thanks to blogging, books, and magazine spotlights, the tiny house bug has spread and grown significantly.

While the real estate crisis has had an impact on the tiny house movement’s popularity, that’s not all that makes it appealing.

People love the tiny house options for practical, ethical, and emotional reasons.

PRACTICAL REASONS

Additionally, choosing a smaller home can save you lots of money. You’ll spend less on utilities. Maintenance will cost you less as there is not so much house to maintain and remodel. They are more economical than a stick-built home, and your property taxes are something to brag about.

Another practical point is minimalism in your belongings. In a tiny home, you will have no choice but to whittle down your belongings to what you will actually use. There is freedom in this.

ETHICAL REASONS

From an ethical standpoint, tiny house proponents are environmentally friendly. They use less CO2 than the average home. Due to the smaller space, energy spent on heating and cooling is greatly reduced. Oftentimes these tiny homes are made out of recycled materials. They are usually self-sufficient, making use of renewable energies such as rainwater. Thus they provide homeowners with everything they need.

Homeowners like to choose the way of the tiny home in an effort to help the environment.

There you have it. A brief scoop on the mobile home vs tiny house movement. We hope you found this article interesting and helpful."

Creating compare-and-contrast essays is quite fun to write especially if you have familiarized yourself with the topics at hand. Just make sure to keep our tips in mind to create high-quality essays.

If you want your compare-and-contrast essays done 10x faster, we recommend using Jenni.ai along with the tips and guidelines we provided you in this post. Jenni.ai is a fantastic AI software that aids your essay writing process so that you could produce your writing needs faster and better than ever!

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Compare And Contrast Essay

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Step by Step Guide

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Published on: Mar 1, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

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Have you ever been assigned a compare and contrast essay and found yourself staring at a blank page, unsure of where to start?

It can be overwhelming to tackle this type of essay without a clear plan in place. With so many possible points of comparison and contrast, it's easy to get lost in a sea of ideas.

But fear not! 

With a solid outline, you can organize your thoughts and arguments, and create a well-structured essay that effectively compares and contrasts two or more subjects.

In this post, we'll guide you through the process of creating a compare-and-contrast essay outline, providing you with tips and examples along the way. 

Let's dive in!

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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?

This type of essay simply asks you to compare and contrast two things that belong to the same category. 

Think of it as comparing two apples or two oranges, not cats and dogs - we're talking about similarities and differences within a specific group.

When we say " compare ," we mean finding the similarities between the two subjects. And when we say " contrast ," we're looking at the differences. 

To successfully compare and contrast, the subjects must be in the same category. 

Choosing A Subject For Your Compare And Contrast Essay 

When it comes to choosing a subject for your compare and contrast essay, remember to keep these key factors in mind:

  • State, discuss, and elaborate on something that is not widely known.
  • Clarify any common misunderstandings about the subject.
  • Focus on a central point and analyze it thoroughly.
  • Make a meaningful comparison between the two subjects.
  • Back up your claims with solid facts and evidence from reliable sources.

To ensure that you cover all of these points in your essay, it's a smart idea to create an outline before you start writing.

There are two different structures you can use for a compare-and-contrast essay: the point-by-point method and the block method. 

You'll need to decide which method to use based on your specific topic and the points you want to make. With a well-planned outline, you'll be able to organize your thoughts and write a clear, effective essay that makes a compelling argument.

Point-by-Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A point-by-point compare and contrast essay outline follows a specific structure to help you organize your thoughts and make clear, concise arguments.

Here's an example of what a point-by-point compare and contrast-essay outline might look like:

In a point-by-point compare and contrast essay outline, you'll examine each point of comparison or contrast between the two subjects. 

For each point, you'll discuss the similarities and differences between the two subjects, alternating between the two as you go. 

This format allows for a clear and logical progression of ideas and makes it easy for readers to follow your argument.

Here is a block diagram to help you understand the format more clearly.

Check out this video to learn more! 

Compare and Contrast Essay Block Method Outline

A compare-and-contrast essay using the block method outline is another way to organize your thoughts when writing this type of essay. Here's an example of what a block method outline might look like

In a block method outline, you'll discuss all the similarities and differences of one subject before moving on to the next. 

This format allows you to delve more deeply into each subject and make clear, comprehensive arguments about the similarities and differences. 

Make sure to connect your points back to the thesis statement, and use transitions to smoothly move from one point to the next.

Here is a block diagram to help you understand more!

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?  

To write a good compare and contrast essay , make sure that you have explored the similarities and differences in an orderly manner. You might use a Venn diagram or simple lists to do that.  

Once you have collected the raw data, the next step is to arrange it in the form of an essay. For this purpose, you need an outline. By creating an outline, you will ensure that you do not miss out on any important point. 

A compare and contrast essay outline has the following elements. 

1. Introduction 2. Body paragraphs 3. Conclusion 

These are the elements that are present in the outline for nearly all types of essays. The method of writing an introductory part of an essay is the same for all essay types. 

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

The introduction of a compare and contrast essay must be written to let the reader know about the overall theme of the essay. 

To convey all this information, the writer needs to write the introduction properly. A strong and appropriate introduction of a compare and contrast essay has the following parts:

1. A Hook Statement

It is a statement with which we start our compare and contrast essay. We can use a famous quotation, an interesting fact, or a question as a hook for our essay. 

A hook statement helps to seek the reader’s attention and convince the reader to read the complete essay.  

2. Background Information

Providing background information for a compare and contrast essay topic leaves a good impression on the reader. In the background information, you must mention the purpose of why you have chosen this particular topic for the essay.  

In the background information, also let your readers know what scope do you expect from this essay. 

3. Thesis Statement 

A thesis statement is the essence of an entire essay. It is a sentence or two that explains the whole theme and topic of your essay. 

The thesis statement is stated at the end of the introduction before the body paragraphs start. Ensure that the thesis statement you write is arguable, meaningful, and strong enough to support your essay. 

Make sure that you end the introduction with good transition words. It helps to show a logical connection with the rest of the essay’s body.

Compare And Contrast Essay Body 

Writing any type of essay is the same, but not for a compare and contrast essay. To write the body of a compare and contrast essay, there are two standard methods. 

It might use a 5 paragraph essay format, but the content in the body paragraphs is different. Though, the body paragraph, in any case, starts with a topic sentence. 

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, and the second item in the right corner. Make a Venn diagram and start analyzing.

ven diagram - compare and contrast essay outline - CollegeEssay.org

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion 

Once you are done writing the introduction and body paragraphs in the outline, it's time to draw a conclusion. 

A good conclusion is neither too long nor too short. Usually, the conclusion comprises six sentences at maximum. In these sentences, you are supposed to provide a summary of all the main points of comparison you have discussed in your essay.

The conclusion includes a reiteration of the thesis statement in a more effective way. Make sure that the content you add in conclusion is directly referring to the rest of the essay. 

Add a small sentient to evaluate the significant points and give a good concluding statement at the end.

Here is a template for you to follow!

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples  

Examples can help you understand the concept of the essay outline in a better way. Here are some well-written examples and compare and contrast essay outline sample for your help. Use them as a guide to create a good outline.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template Middle School

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - College

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - High School

MLA Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Ap World History Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Oedipus And Hamlet Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

So there you have it!

Creating an outline provides a blueprint for your essay and helps you organize your thoughts effectively. 

In this blog, we not only taught you how to create an outline for your compare and contrast essay, but we also provided you with examples and topics to help you get started. 

However, if you need help with your compare-and-contrast essay, do not panic anymore! 

Our compare and contrast essay writing service is here to your rescue! We have a team of dedicated and skilled essay writers who will make sure to deliver top-quality and original essays. 

At our essay writing website , we focus on providing you with the best essays at the most reasonable prices. 

But, if you are on a tight deadline, you can try our essay writer AI to generate an essay in less than a minute. 

Get in touch with our customer support team and let us take away all your stress. 

Place your order now and see the results for yourself. 

How do you structure a compare and contrast essay?

Here are two ways that will help you to structure a compare and contrast essay. 

  • Point-by-point pattern 
  • Block pattern 

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For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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Compare And Contrast Essay Guide

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

Last updated on: May 26, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Template & Examples

By: Barbara P.

Reviewed By: Rylee W.

Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay

Are you struggling with writing a compare-and-contrast essay? 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 to help you craft an outline for your essay.

So keep reading to know how to write a compare and contrast essay outline like a pro!

Compare and Contrast Essay

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What is a 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.

Check out this video on an in-depth view on writing compare and contrast essay:

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. Point by Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Point by point pattern (organization by criteria) compares and contrasts the more similar subjects 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:

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

point-by-point compare and contrast essay format

Check this sample for your help.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE POINT BY POINT

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The block pattern (organization by item) compares and contrasts extremely different subjects from each other. It discusses one subject and its evaluation criteria, facts, and 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:

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

Here is a sample for your ease.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE BLOCK METHOD

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?

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

A typical compare and contrast essay outline comprises the following components.

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3

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 to 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 paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. However, if you need to share more details, feel free to add more body paragraphs to cover all essential points.

Essay Outliner

Outline Your Way to Writing Excellence!

Let’s see the breakdown of each paragraph.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

The introduction is the most important part of the whole essay, so it should be well-structured and properly formatted. Furthermore, it should grab the reader’s attention and make 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 give you insight into the topic and 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.Then, catch the reader’s attention and mark the essay’s 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 detail 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, add 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.

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

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

In the conclusion paragraph, summarize all the main points and analyze what you have discussed in the essay. Then, 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.

Proofreading

Once you are done with the writing, spend some time proofreading your essay and pay attention to grammar and punctuation. 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.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE SAMPLE

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 for more help. The compare and contrast essay examples will help you get started with your paper.

MLA COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE COLLEGE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE HIGH SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE MIDDLE SCHOOL

AP WORLD HISTORY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE TEMPLATE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE WORKSHEET

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE 5TH GRADE

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 essay writing 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a compare and contrast essay.

Here are some steps that you should follow and start writing the essay.

  • Choose a good essay topic.
  • Do the research and gather meaningful information.
  • Write a good thesis statement.
  • Create the essay outline.
  • Write a compelling introduction.
  • After an introduction, write the main body paragraphs.
  • Conclude the essay with a strong conclusion.

What is a compare and contrast sentence?

A compare and contrast sentence analyzes or examines two or more things that share a common trait while contrasting seeks out the differences between them

How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?

A great way to start an introduction is, to begin with, a hook. A hook sentence or a hook statement is a starting sentence of an essay. For an interesting and powerful start, it could be a bold statement, a rhetorical question, or something that grabs the audience’s attention instantly.

Barbara P.

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Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Template and Example

High school and college students often face challenges when crafting a compare-and-contrast essay. A well-written paper of this kind needs to be structured appropriately to earn you good grades. Knowing how to organize your ideas allows you to present your ideas in a coherent and logical manner

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The picture explains what a compare-and-contrast essay is and how it can be structured.

This article by our custom-writing team delves into all the fine details of structuring your compare-and-contrast paper. It also provides practical examples of the two main outlining methods you may use. Keep reading to up your writing game!

  • 👀 Comparison Essay Outline Types
  • 🔍 Before You Start
  • ✍️ How to Write an Outline
  • ✅ Outline Template
  • 📑 Outline Examples

🔗 References

👀 compare and contrast essay outline types.

A compare and contrast paper studies similarities and differences between two or more subjects. But how do you present the points of comparison? Well, in this kind of essay, there are two methods of structuring the text: point-by-point and block .

Before composing your essay, it’s crucial to choose the approach that suits your assignment best. Your choice will depend on how you want to approach and present your ideas.

Let’s examine these two methods in more detail.

Point-by-Point Comparison Essay

The point-by-point method implies discussing one point of comparison at a time. For example, if you’re comparing two cities, you may dedicate separate paragraphs to their size, population, and architecture.

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The point-by-point arrangement has advantages and disadvantages. Keep them in mind before deciding whether to use it or not.

The picture describes the features of point-by-point and block comparison essay outline methods.

Block Method Compare and Contrast Essay

The block method, also known as subject-by-subject comparison, is a way of outlining your assignment that involves discussing each subject separately. For example, in an essay about different types of fruit, you will discuss the features of one fruit at a time.

This approach has shortcomings and strengths that may affect how you want to handle your essay.

🔍 Comparative Essay Outline: Before You Start

After you’ve chosen a topic (you’re welcome to consult our list of compare-and contrast essay topics for inspiration,) you enter the pre-writing stage. It involves brainstorming, researching, and determining which points are the most important. Here’s how to do it:

  • Brainstorming and in-depth research are vital when working on a compare-and-contrast essay. It helps you figure out the direction your paper will take and provides you with source materials. At this initial stage, your main goal is to identify various similarities and differences between the things you want to write about.
  • After determining the similarities and differences between your subjects of choice, decide which points are the most significant . They will assist you in developing your essay’s thesis statement and paragraphs.

It’s important to remember that you can leave some things out of your assignment. There may be so much material to cover that you will never finish the paper in the first place!

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So, how do you determine what’s worth including in your paper? Consider the following factors:

Useful Tip:

You can draw a Venn diagram and list the similarities and differences to make your comparison easier. Simply draw large intersecting circles and name each one to reflect the traits or subjects you are comparing. Write all the similarities inside the circles’ intersections and differences in the remaining space of each one.

Here’s an example of a Venn diagram comparing the US and Canada with crosses and checkmarks representing what’s different and similar between them, respectively:

The picture shows a Venn diagram comparing the US and Canada.

✍️ How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Do you need some more guidance in outlining your paper? Well, look no further! Here is a comprehensive coverage of how to write a perfect outline for your compare-and-contrast essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

Your essay’s introduction is arguably its most important section. It gives readers a solid summary of your paper’s contents and helps them understand what to expect as your comparison essay progresses.

Here’s what a good introduction is made of:

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  • Background information about your topic that the readers need to know before proceeding.
  • A catchy hook that captures and retains your audience’s attention up to the end.
  • A thesis statement that provides a direction and ties up your whole assignment. All your arguments will focus on defending this statement.

Hook for Compare and Contrast Essay + Example

Ways of creating a hook can differ based on your essay’s purpose and overall tone:

Here is a hook example to inspire you. It uses statistics in the form of a question:

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Need more ideas on how to start your essay? Check out our article on hooks in writing !

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis

Formulating your paper’s thesis statement is critical to drafting the outline. In most cases, its purpose is to clarify what features make the subjects of comparison different or similar.

Note that your essay’s thesis may vary depending on its function. For instance, it might serve an informational or judgmental purpose:

  • If your thesis is informative , you only need to enumerate differences and similarities between your subjects of comparison.
  • But if your thesis is judgmental , you should state which similarities or differences are the most significant.

Check out these examples to understand the difference better:

Comparison Essay Outline: Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs in a contrast essay support your thesis about the subjects you are comparing.

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that states the passage’s main idea. The rest depends on the type of outline you’re using: you either discuss the features of one subject of comparison or focus on one criterion and describe it in relation to each topic.

Let’s see it in more detail. Say, we’re comparing subjects A and B according to their features 1, 2, and 3:

📌 Point-by-Point Body Paragraphs Arrangement

📌 Block Method Body Paragraphs Arrangement

Compare and Contrast Essay Transition Words

A compare and contrast essay features a set of similar and distinct items. To make the comparison easier to understand, you can use words that create a smooth transition between your ideas and thoughts.

Transition words serve 4 essential purposes in a compare and contrast assignment:

  • They make transitioning and linking between thoughts easier.
  • They make your writing more dynamic.
  • They improve readability in your paper.
  • They set the stage for ideas that will be introduced next.

Here are transition words you can use to show similarities in your comparison essay:

Similarly, too, just as, also, both, comparatively, same as, like, in the same way.

For contrasting, use appropriate transition words to give your paper a more logical, coherent flow. These include:

However, in contrast to, conversely, while, more than/less than, rather than, unlike, although, compared with.

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

Finally, it’s time to wrap up your comparison essay. Your conclusion should contain 2 core elements:

  • Summarized key points. Sum up the main arguments you’ve presented throughout your essay. Make sure to refrain from introducing any new ideas at this point!
  • A restated thesis. Your essay’s conclusion should also restate your thesis and prove that you’ve effectively defended it in the body paragraphs.
  • A final thought. A good conclusion leaves the reader with something to think about. In a compare-and-contrast essay, it can be a statement that connects it to the broader context or underlines the topic’s significance.

✅ Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

Now, let’s sum up everything you’ve learned about different ways to outline your compare-and-contrast essay using the block or point-by-point approaches. Here are the templates you can use for structuring your paper:

📌 Point-by-Point Method Outline Template

📌 Block Method Outline Template

📑 Compare and Contrast Outline Examples

Are you stuck with your paper and need an outline example to inspire you? You’ll find it below!

Here are 2 outline samples done using point-by-point and block methods.

📌 Point by Point Outline Example: Differences between Fresh and Canned Foods

📌 Block Method Outline Example: Differences between Backpacking and Staying in Hotels

We hope these insights and template examples will inspire you to master the structure of the compare-and-contrast essays. Use these ideas to excel in your studies and do your homework quickly!

Further reading:

  • Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips and Examples
  • Literature Review Outline: Examples, Approaches, & Templates
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Examples & Strategies
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples

❓ Compare and Contrast Essay Outline FAQs

You can use different approaches to hook your readers from the get-go. Start your paper using an anecdote, a relevant question, or an exciting fact about the subjects you compare. You may also use a related quote from a famous person.

The body paragraphs in a comparative essay provide a detailed and systematic analysis of the similarities and differences between the two or more. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific point of comparison and provide evidence to support the argument.

Subject-by-subject comparison is a method of organizing and presenting a comparison essay in which you first discuss all aspects of one subject, followed by a discussion of all aspects of the next subject. This approach is also sometimes called a point-by-point comparison.

A point-by-point comparison is a method of organizing a compare-and-contrast essay in which you discuss specific points of comparison between the subjects. You select the criteria and discuss each one in a separate paragraph or section.

To end a compare and contrast essay, restate the thesis statement, summarize the main points, and provide a final thought. This creates a clear and concise summary of the essay’s argument and proves its significance to the reader.

  • Comparison and Contrast: University of Minnesota  
  • Comparing and Contrasting: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill  
  • How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay: Grammarly  
  • Writing for Success: Compare/Contrast: Kellogg Community College  
  • Compare & Contrast Essay: Excelsior University Site  
  • Comparison and Contrast Essays: Saint Mary’s University  
  • Compare & Contrast Assignments: The University of Arizona Global Campus  
  • Organizational Patterns for the Comparison/Contrast Essay: San José State University  
  • Compare/Contrast Papers: University of Washington  
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  • How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples

How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples

Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

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Table of contents

Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.

At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic  and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.

Creating categories

Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.

Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.

Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.

As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.

Order of information

When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.

Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.

Consider these questions to order your material:

  • Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
  • Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
  • Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?

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outline compare and essay

Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.

In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.

The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.

  • Thesis statement
  • First piece of evidence
  • Second piece of evidence
  • Summary/synthesis
  • Importance of topic
  • Strong closing statement

You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.

Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.

Argumentative essay outline

This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.

Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.

  • Importance of the internet
  • Concerns about internet use
  • Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
  • Data exploring this effect
  • Analysis indicating it is overstated
  • Students’ reading levels over time
  • Why this data is questionable
  • Video media
  • Interactive media
  • Speed and simplicity of online research
  • Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
  • Evidence indicating its ubiquity
  • Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
  • Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
  • Argument that it introduces students to citation
  • Summary of key points
  • Value of digital education for students
  • Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet

Expository essay outline

This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.

The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.

  • Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
  • Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
  • Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
  • Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
  • Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
  • Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
  • Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
  • Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
  • Link to the Reformation.
  • Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
  • Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
  • Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
  • Summarize the history described.
  • Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.

Literary analysis essay outline

The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .

The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.

  • Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
  • Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
  • Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
  • Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
  • Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
  • Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
  • Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
  • Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
  • Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
  • Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
  • Answer the research question
  • Indicate areas for further study

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

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Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay: Methods and Examples

outline compare and essay

Quick Navigation

  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Compare-and-Contrast Essay – An Overview
  • 3. Importance of Creating an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay
  • 4.1 Block Method
  • 4.2 Point-by-Point Method
  • 5. Steps to Develop an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay
  • 6. How to Compose an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay
  • 7.1 Block Method Example
  • 7.2 Point-by-Point Structure Example
  • 8. Final Tips on Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

Introduction

Compare and contrast essays are an excellent way to develop critical thinking skills and improve one’s ability to analyze information. These types of essays allow writers to explore the similarities and differences between two or more subjects, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. However, writing a compare-and-contrast essay can be challenging without a well-organized outline. In this article, the experts from our ‘ write my paper ‘ service will guide you on how to create an outline for compare-and-contrast essays and provide examples for better comprehension.

Compare-and-Contrast Essay – An Overview

A compare-and-contrast essay is creative and analytical writing that requires you to study and compare two or more subjects, ideas, or concepts. Comparing two subjects explore similarities between them, whereas contrasting figures out the differences. The objective of this essay is to identify the similarities and differences between the subjects and to present a clear understanding of their unique characteristics.

A compare-and-contrast essay helps to establish a context for the subject matter and enables one to make significant arguments through observation and analytical skills. One important aspect of this type of essay is choosing the right subjects. The subjects should be related in some way, but also have significant differences that allow for a meaningful comparison. For example, you could compare and contrast two different cultures, two different cities, or two different movies.

When writing a compare and contrast essay , it’s important to have a clear thesis statement that outlines the main points of comparison. The body paragraphs should provide specific examples and evidence to support your argument. Additionally, you should use transitional words and phrases to help the reader follow your line of thought.

Importance of Creating an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

Creating an outline is an essential part of the writing process for any type of essay. It helps writers organize their thoughts and ideas, ensuring that their writing is coherent, logical, and flows smoothly. When it comes to a compare and contrast essay, an outline is even more critical as it helps writers identify the similarities and differences between the subjects they are analyzing, which can sometimes be complex and nuanced.

An outline provides a structure for your essay, making it easier to write a clear and concise essay that effectively compares and contrasts the two subjects. It allows you to plan the essay, ensuring that you have covered all the important points you want to discuss, and helps to prevent you from wandering off-topic.

To structure a compare and contrast essay, two outline methods can be utilized to organize the factual analysis. These are the block method and the point-by-point method.

  • Block Structure: The block method entails presenting all the information about the first subject, including its characteristics and specific details, and then doing the same for the second subject.
  • Point-by-point Structure: This method involves listing similarities and differences simultaneously for both subjects, by analyzing each point and making them more explicit for the reader to understand.

Each format has its advantages and disadvantages, with the block method being simpler for the writer, while the point-by-point method requires deeper analysis to make the similarities and differences more comprehensible to the reader. Let us look at each method closely to understand how to create an outline for compare and contrast effectively.

Outline for Compare-and-Contrast Essay – The Methods

There are two main methods for creating a compare-and-contrast essay outline: the block method and the point-by-point method. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on your preferences and the requirements of your assignment.

Block Method

The block method is also known as the subject-by-subject or the whole-to-whole method. In this structure, you first discuss all the aspects of one subject or object, then move on to the other subject or object and discuss all its aspects. The block method is useful when the subjects being compared are complex and have many similarities and differences.

Outline Template:

I. Introduction

A. General statement about the subjects being compared

B. Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraph 1: Subject A

A. Aspect 1

B. Aspect 2

C. Aspect 3

III. Body Paragraph 2: Subject B

IV. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis statement

B. Summarize the main points

C. Final thoughts or recommendations

Point-by-Point Structure

The point-by-point structure is also known as the alternating or back-and-forth method. In this structure, you compare and contrast each aspect of both subjects or objects in each paragraph. The point-by-point structure is useful when the subjects being compared have a lot of similarities and differences.

A. General statement about the subjects being compared; specify your theme

II. Body Paragraph 1: Aspect 1

A. Subject A

B. Subject B

III. Body Paragraph 2: Aspect 2

IV. Body Paragraph 3: Aspect 3

V. Conclusion

Creating a well-structured outline for a compare and contrast essay can be achieved by using either of the two patterns described. If you encounter any challenges in following the pattern or you don’t know how to conclude an essay , you can seek guidance from the experienced professionals at PenMyPaper. Their expertise in writing various types of essays on diverse topics can prove invaluable in your essay-writing endeavors.

Steps to Develop an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

Follow the steps below to create an outline for compare and contrast essay smoothly.

Step 1: Choose Your Subjects

Before starting the outline, you need to choose the subjects that you will be comparing and contrasting. Check out some topics for compare and contrast essay and a few examples to develop a better understanding of how it is written. Once you have decided on a broad topic, for example, topics related to science, history, social media, etc., it is important to select subjects that have significant differences and similarities. Based on the topic, choose two subjects and ensure that they share some common features or are related. For example, you might compare and contrast two different types of music or two different sports teams.

Step 2: Gather Information

Once you have chosen your subjects, you need to gather information about them by researching extensively. It is important to have a good understanding of each subject before you start the outline. You can use resources such as books, articles, or online resources from credible and reliable sources to gather information. Make sure to take notes on the significant similarities and differences between the two subjects. This will help you to organize your thoughts and make sure that you are addressing all of the important points in your essay.

Step 3: Write Your Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should clearly state the purpose of your essay and what you will be comparing and contrasting. It should be a single sentence that presents your argument and provides a direction for your paper. Make sure your thesis statement is concise and accurately reflects the main points of your essay.

Step 4: Create an Outline Structure

The outline structure should be clear and easy to follow. You can choose a particular method to outline your essay. The point-by-point method may be more effective when the subjects being compared have many similarities and differences that can be addressed on a point-by-point basis. This method may also be more useful when the writer wants to emphasize the direct comparison between the two subjects.

The block method, on the other hand, may be more appropriate when the writer wants to emphasize the differences between the two subjects, and when the subjects being compared have few similarities. It may also be more straightforward for the reader to follow when the writer has a lot of information to present.

Ultimately, both methods can be effective if used appropriately, and the choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the assignment and the writer’s goals for the essay.

Step 5: Fill in the Details

Once you have the outline structure, fill in the details for each point. Make sure to use specific examples and evidence to support your points. Be sure to organize your information clearly and concisely.

How to Compose an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

To write an outline for a compare and contrast essay, it’s crucial to follow the essay format. The entire paper should be organized effectively and adhere to respective guidelines, regardless of whether you are writing in MLA format or Harvard style. The following is a comprehensive writing pattern for a compare and contrast essay:

The introduction is the first part of the essay, and it’s important to grab the reader’s attention and give them an idea of what the essay will cover. A hook sentence is a great way to do this. This could be an anecdote, quote, question, or anything else that will pique the reader’s interest. After the hook, the introduction should introduce the two topics or subjects. These topics should be related to a central theme, and it’s important to make this connection clear to the reader. Thereafter, provide some background information on the topic which could be a brief history of the subject or a summary of the main points you’ll be discussing. Finally, the introduction should end with a specific thesis statement that will guide the essay and give it focus.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of a compare and contrast essay should present the similarities and differences between the two subjects or topics. Depending on the number of criteria or aspects you need to discuss, you can have several body paragraphs. You can brainstorm and analyze different comparing and contrasting elements, using a Venn diagram or list. Each paragraph should present one aspect of the comparison, and it’s important to be clear and concise. You should state your opinions about each similarity and difference and support them with evidence, statistics, or official data. It’s also important to use transition words or phrases to make the essay flow smoothly from one paragraph to the next.

The conclusion is the final part of the essay and should summarize the main ideas discussed in the paper. This should include a restatement of the thesis, as well as a summary of the main points covered in the body paragraphs. In addition, the conclusion should evaluate the points being discussed in the paper and analyze possible solutions. Finally, the conclusion should clarify the significance of the main topic and show the objective behind showing the differences or similarities between them. This can be a powerful way to leave a lasting impression on the readers.

Examples of Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

Here are some examples of compare-and-contrast essay outline using both the block method and the point-by-point structure:

Block Method Example

Topic: Staycation vs Vacation

A. General introduction to the topic

B. Brief explanation of the two types of vacations: staycations and vacations

C. Thesis statement

A. Staycations

1. Definition

2. Advantages

a. Cost-effective

b. Less time for traveling

c. Opportunity to explore local attractions

3. Disadvantages

a. Limited options for entertainment

b. Limited opportunities to disconnect from work and responsibilities

c. Lack of change in scenery

B. Vacations

a. Opportunity to explore new places and cultures

b. Chance to disconnect from work and responsibilities

c. Change in scenery

a. More expensive

b. Requires more planning and travel time

c. Unfamiliar surroundings may be stressful or overwhelming

III. Conclusion

B. Summarize key points of comparison and contrast

C. Offer personal perspective or recommendation

Point-by-Point Structure Example

Topic: Comparing and contrasting two different types of cars

A. Brief description of the two types of cars

II. Body Paragraph 1: Price

1. Price range

2. Features included

III. Body Paragraph 2: Performance

1. Acceleration

2. Fuel efficiency

IV. Body Paragraph 3: Safety

1. Safety features

2. Crash test ratings

Final Tips on Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay

  • Use transitional phrases

Transitional phrases are important in a compare and contrast essay because they help the reader to understand how the two subjects are related. Some examples of transitional phrases include “similarly,” “in contrast,” and “on the other hand.”

  • Focus on the most important points

When creating your outline, make sure to focus on the most important points. You don’t need to cover every single similarity and difference between the two subjects. Instead, focus on the ones that are most relevant to your thesis statement.

  • Use specific examples

To make your essay more engaging, use specific examples to illustrate your points. This will help the reader to understand your argument and make your essay more memorable.

  • Revise and edit your outline

Once you have created your outline, take some time to revise and edit it. Make sure that each point is relevant to your thesis statement and that the overall organization makes sense.

To wrap up, a compare-and-contrast essay is a valuable academic exercise that requires a clear understanding of the subjects being compared and contrasted. The point-by-point and block methods are both effective in organizing the essay, but the choice between them depends on the specific requirements of the assignment and the goals of the writer. To create a successful compare and contrast essay, it is essential to have a well-structured outline, a clear thesis statement, and supporting evidence.

In case you have further doubts or need more assistance, seeking guidance from professionals can help ensure a well-written and impactful essay. Just say ‘write my paper for me’ and the expert writers at PenMyPaper will provide help with any type of assignment. Check out our knowledge base to find a plethora of useful articles that include expository essay examples , narrative essay topics, explanation essays, and much more.

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How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

Lindsay Kramer

An essay outline is essentially an essay’s skeleton. It’s a text representation of an essay’s thesis and key supporting points. 

An essay outline serves multiple purposes, including helping its writer organize their thoughts before they start writing, giving readers a quick synopsis of the essay, and acting as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they work through their supporting paragraphs. Writing an essay outline is a fairly straightforward process, and in this blog post, we’ll walk you through it. 

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What is an essay outline?

An essay outline is an informal document that lists and orders the parts of an essay so the writer can stay on track and make sure they don’t miss anything. Because it’s informal, an outline is usually written in incomplete sentences, similar to notes. This can make it easier for you to determine the most effective way to transition between paragraphs and the ideal order in which to present your supporting paragraphs. 

Outlining is an important early stage in the writing process . It’s where you organize all the thoughts and insights you brainstormed into a neat roadmap to follow as you write. If you get stuck as you’re writing your essay, your outline is there to help you get back on track. 

It’s not uncommon for professors to require their students to submit essay outlines before getting started on their essays. Usually, this is so the professor can make sure each student is on the right track in terms of choosing an essay topic that has a sufficient amount of sources to reference, that it fits the parameters of the assignment, and that the student understands the assignment. 

Basic parts of an essay

Although every essay is unique, they all adhere to the same basic essay structure . Every essay starts with an introduction section, follows it with at least one body paragraph that supports the points made in the introduction, then wraps up with a conclusion section that reiterates the author’s thesis and summarizes the body paragraphs. 

Introduction

The first section of your essay is called the introduction. As this name implies, this is where you introduce the topics you’ll be covering in your essay. It’s also where you state your thesis , the definitive sentence where you make your argument clear. 

Body sections

Your essay might only need two supporting paragraphs, or it could need four or five (or more). Unless your professor assigned a specific number of body paragraphs for your essay, how many of these you write is your call. 

If you’re supporting your thesis with multiple sources, a general rule to follow is one body paragraph per source cited. However, the type of essay you’re writing might require you to deviate from this. For example, in a compare-and-contrast essay, you’ll write one section (at least one paragraph long) for each comparison and contrast you make. In an analytical essay, you’ll write one body section for each point you make to support your thesis. 

Once you reach your conclusion , you’re almost there! This is the part of your essay where you wrap it up and summarize the points you made in your body paragraphs. If you have any final thoughts or perspectives you want to impress on your reader before they finish reading your essay, this is where you make them. 

4 steps for writing an essay outline

So you’re sitting at your desk, ready to write your outline. Great!

…how do you get started?

Just follow these four steps to craft an outline that makes the rest of the writing process simple. 

1 Determine your objective

Think about your thesis statement. You might not have the exact wording at this point, but you should have a general idea of the point you’ll make and defend in your essay. Having a clear objective enables you to work through your brainstorming notes and craft an outline that hits all the necessary points you need to support that objective. 

2 Filter out the fluff

When you brainstormed, you explored every possible avenue to go down in your writing and every potential piece of information to include. 

Now it’s time to go through your brainstorming notes and pick out the points that will most effectively achieve your goal for your essay. For each piece of information you jotted down, ask yourself “how does this prove my point?” If you can answer that question with a clear, thoughtful response, add it to your list of points to make in your essay. 

3 Identify the points you’ll make in each paragraph

Using the list of points you wrote down, identify the key arguments you’ll make in your essay. These will be your body sections. For example, in an argumentative essay about why your campus needs to install more water fountains, you might make points like: 

  • Providing water fountains helps students save money
  • Fountains reduce plastic waste
  • Readily available water can cut down heat exhaustion incidents

Jot down the facts, anecdotes, and statistics that support each of these arguments. For example, you might cite the number of disposable water bottles recovered from campus grounds last year in your section on how water fountains reduce plastic waste. These supporting points are part of your essay outline. 

4 Write your outline using a standard template

With your key topics and supporting points clearly defined, it’s time to actually write your outline. Using a template for the type of essay you’re writing (more on that in the next section), format your key points into a clear, organized frame that you’ll flesh out with content when you write your first draft. 

Essay outline examples

Although every outline follows the same general structure, there are a few key differences to keep in mind when you’re outlining different kinds of essays. Take a look at how these example outlines for various essay types are similar as well as where they differ: 

Argumentative essays

Here is an example outline argumentative essay :

Title: Italian Ice is a Superior Dessert to Ice Cream

  • Introduce the differences between Italian ice and ice cream, touch on how popular each is.
  • Thesis: Italian ice is a healthier, more refreshing, more environmentally friendly dessert than ice cream. 
  • Cite the average amount of calories in a serving of Italian ice vs. ice cream
  • Cite how Italian ice thus fits more easily into most consumers’ daily caloric allotment
  • Discuss the benefits of consuming vegan vs. animal-sourced products
  • Discuss how Italian ice is vegan, making it accessible to both vegans and non-vegans and a healthier, more environmentally conscious choice for all
  • Because of the lack of dairy, Italian ice is a more refreshing treat than ice cream on a hot day
  • Discuss anecdotes about dairy making consumers feel hotter and not refreshed
  • Reiterate why Italian ice is a better dessert than ice cream and summarize supporting points.

Admissions essays

Take a look at this admissions essay outline: 

Title: Arigato, Sato Sensei

  • My Japanese teacher was the most influential teacher I had in high school because she taught me more than just a language—she taught me how language shapes perspective. 
  • Thesis: Choosing to study Japanese in high school changed my perspective on myself, my community, and my role in society 
  • Discuss how I struggled in Japanese class and wanted to give up
  • State how Sato Sensei encouraged me to keep trying instead of changing to another language
  • Learning Japanese was more than memorizing vocabulary and copying hiragana and katakana; it’s understanding Japanese cultural perspectives and concepts versus Western ones
  • How Japanese language skills enabled me to succeed during my summer abroad
  • How I understood cultural nuances through my understanding of the language
  • With the perspective I developed as an American student who studied Japanese, I’m well-equipped to succeed as an international business major. 

Persuasive essays

Here’s an example of a persuasive essay outline: 

Title: We Need More Security Cameras in the Student Parking Deck

  • Vehicle break-ins are far too common on campus
  • Thesis: The current level of parking deck security is insufficient
  • State car break-in statistics and any related stats, like the average cost of repairs to broken-into vehicles and value of goods stolen
  • Discuss the intangible value of increased security with quotes and anecdotes
  • Cite statistics on how other campuses reduced break-ins by installing more security cameras
  • State the actual cost of installing sufficient security
  • Summarize the points made and emphasize how community safety should be a top priority for campus administration. Then, reiterate how more security cameras in the parking deck would improve safety. 

Personal essays

Here is an outline example for a personal essay :

Title: The Two Best Birthdays of my Life

  • Introducing your feelings about birthdays and how you like to celebrate yours
  • Thesis: The two best birthdays of my life were my 17th and 22nd
  • I got my driver’s license and drove to my first concert with my best friends
  • I still have the ticket stub and wristband from that night
  • At first, I thought everybody had forgotten my birthday. I was devastated
  • Then, my siblings surprised me by traveling six hours to pick me up and take me to the art exhibit I’d been wanting to see
  • My 17th and 22nd birthdays were particularly meaningful because of the points cited above. 
  • Perhaps finish with a parting thought on looking forward to more great birthday celebrations

 Outlining is just one step to great writing

Once you’re finished writing your outline, follow the rest of the writing process steps to complete your essay. 

When it’s time to edit your work, Grammarly can help you polish your draft into a perfectly publishable piece of writing. Grammarly catches spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and gives you feedback on all the tones present in your writing to help you make any necessary adjustments to strike a clear, consistent tone that accurately communicates exactly what you need to say. 

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Types of Outlines and Samples

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Alphanumeric Outlines

This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:

  • Roman Numerals
  • Capitalized Letters
  • Arabic Numerals
  • Lowercase Letters

If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.

What is the assignment?

Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.

What is the purpose of this essay?

To explain the process for applying to college

Who is the intended audience for this essay?

High school students intending to apply to college and their parents

What is the essay's thesis statement?

When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.

Full Sentence Outlines

The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

Decimal Outlines

The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Types & Examples

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Creating a winning essay from scratch is a real challenge. But starting with a good outline helps a lot. In this article we will show you how to write a compare and contrast essay outline. Having a structured plan ensures that you build your arguments in an easy-to-follow manner. For that reason, this article is jam-packed with detailed writing tips followed by outline templates. Besides, you will find some examples you are sure to like. So let’s dive deep into the details!

What Is Compare and Contrast Essay Outline and Why Is It Important?

A compare and contrast outline is a scheme of your future paper on the basis of which you can contrast two or more objects. It’s a visual structure of your piece showing a clear plan for your work.  Outlines  are used to show connections between critical ideas within your text. Writing a compare and contrast essay outline helps you in a number of ways:  

  • Organizing your ideas
  • Shaping the pattern of descriptions
  • Listing all similarities & differences between objects
  • Review your paper’s structure
  • Correcting all mistakes at the early stage.

You can choose between two main types of compare and contrast essay outlines:

  • Point-by-point method
  • Block pattern.

Each of these methods depends on the way you want to arrange facts about 2 or more items. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. We will describe them down below so you can choose the most suitable method.

Compare and Contrast Essay: Point-By-Point Outline

Compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline is used to analyse one aspect of 2 items within one paragraph. You can choose any similar or different characteristic. Then, you will explore each object in terms of this aspect. A point-by-point method is very helpful if you have multiple items for comparison. Let’s see how its structure should look:  

  • Engaging hook
  • List of items to compare
  • Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics of comparison
  • Brief Summary

This structure helps to provide an organized review of the objects or situation you compare against the whole list of criteria you have selected. You can create as many paragraphs as you need to cover your topic in detail. The point-by-point method may be quite hard at first, but once you master it, you will be able to create an explicit overview of any objects. We recommend using a good compare and contrast essay example .

Compare and Contrast Essay: Block Method Outline

A compare and contrast essay block method outline typically involves comparison of multiple items which are quite different from each other. Each item is described within its own block, where you put it against all criteria you have selected for analysis. This is how it should look like:

  • Captivating hook
  • List of items for comparison
  • Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics for contrast
  • Aspect 3, etc
  • Brief summary

The block method is way easier than the point-by-point one. So if you are a beginner or want to keep things simple, use this method without hesitation.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should set a proper organization of your ideas in this plan from the start. First, choose one of the best compare and contrast essay topics and introduce it. Then, you list the items or subjects you compare against each other. After that, provide your thesis statement with criteria for comparison. Finally, you will write one sentence per each paragraph, showing what is similar and what is different between the items. Let’s look at each section more in detail.  

Introduction for Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Let us start with the compare and contrast essay introduction. Outline should be short so better give only 1 sentence per each element. Here are the key components your essay introduction should contain:  

  • Main topic of your essay Start with an interesting hook.
  • Items you will compare This could be people, animals, concepts, academic areas , drinks – whatever you chose to write about.
  • Thesis statement with the list of aspects Size, color, usability, negative consequences of usage or consumption, etc – depending on the context.

Make sure your thesis statement is clear. For better results, feel free to use  Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement Generator .  

Body Paragraphs in Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When it comes to body paragraph, outline for compare and contrast essay should follow an appropriate pattern – block or point-to-point one. It depends on the number of selected items as well as aspects they will be compared by. If you analyze 2 items using 3 criteria, your block pattern outline will have two body paragraphs. At the same time, a point-to-point pattern may have 3 body paragraphs. This happens because you can choose 3 characteristics for comparison. It would be useful to conduct a preliminary research before writing the outline. This way, you will understand which pattern is better to use.  

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline – Conclusion

Last but not the least – an effective compare and contrast essay conclusion. It should briefly summarize the key ideas of your work. This boils down to:

  • Restatement of your thesis presented in introduction.
  • Key findings discovered during the comparison.
  • Significance of your comparison.

Each part of the conclusion in your plan should be one sentence long. Remember to keep your outline brief as it will make it easier to review before writing an entire text.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

We have prepared a simple compare and contrast essay outline template for your reference. Feel free to use the template by StudyCrumb to make your own outline on the topic you have selected.

  • Main topic mentioning the items for comparison
  • Thesis statement with the list of characteristics
  • Compare the items by the first criterion
  • Or put the first item against all criteria
  • Compare the items by the second criterion
  • Or put the second item against all criteria, etc
  • Re-evaluating your thesis
  • Summarizing comparison results

You can also find more templates for inspiration below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Point-By-Point Outline Template

Here is another compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline template for your in more detail.

  • Main topic: comparison of Item A & Item B
  • Thesis statement: find out the relation between A and B using criteria
  • Inspect A using criterion 1
  • Examine B using criterion 1
  • Inspect A using criterion 2
  • Examine B using criterion 2
  • Inspect A using criterion 3
  • Examine B using criterion 3
  • Highlight the relation between A & B
  • Summarize the comparison results
  • Elaborate on the significance of findings.

Keep in mind that your own outline could differ a lot since you might have much more criteria to analyze your selected items.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template for Block Pattern

Here is another template: compare and contrast essay block method outline. Check it out and proceed with writing on your specific topic.

  • Main topic: presenting the contrast between Item A & Item B
  • Thesis statement: list criteria 1, 2 and 3 for analysis of A & B
  • A's criterion 1
  • A's criterion 2
  • A's criterion 3
  • B's criterion 1
  • B's criterion 2
  • B's criterion 3
  • Highlight the contrast between A & B
  • Summarize your findings
  • Explain the importance of your analysis.

Remember that your outline doesn’t need to be perfect. Just make it informative. This way, it will turn out very helpful for you.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Example

Are you looking for some helpful compare and contrast essay outline examples? We’ve got some for you to analyze. Take it and use it to make your own essay.

Example of Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Have you found some new ideas of what to write about? Good luck to you and thanks for visiting this page.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Final Thoughts

We have explored a compare and contrast essay outline in detail. Now it’s time to use all rules covered in this blog post to create your own plan. Use our templates to organize your thoughts when comparing items to each other. Make sure to review your plan before writing a full version of your essay. Remember that compare and contrast essay is a typical assignment that can influence your final results.

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Feel free to get in touch with our custom academic writing service at any time. Our academic experts will be happy to write a tailored paper from scratch or add professional touches to your draft.  

FAQ About Compare and Contrast Essay Outlines

1. how do you write a college compare and contrast essay outline.

A typical college compare and contrast essay outline presents 1 specific subject in each paragraph. It either offers a comparison or contrast of some items. The goal of a college essay is to demonstrate how well you can describe similarities and differences between your different items. Still, you should keep your essay structure plain. Do not make any overcomplicated statements.

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

A 5-paragraph compare and contrast essay outline is a simple type of work. It consists of an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a brief conclusion. Here is how you write your plan:

  • Pick your topic carefully.
  • Organize your ideas.
  • Develop your thesis statement.
  • Decide on the structuring method.
  • Assign key characteristics to each item.
  • Write, proofread & edit.

3. What is a compare and contrast essay outline with transition words?

While writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should use transition words to provide a smooth flow. It must look logical: each transition between sentences and paragraphs should be meaningful. The following transition words are expected to be used in your outline:

  • In the same way
  • In like manner
  • By the same token
  • On the contrary etc.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

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How to use Copilot Pro to write, edit, and analyze your Word documents

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Microsoft's Copilot Pro AI offers a few benefits for $20 per month. But the most helpful one is the AI-powered integration with the different Microsoft 365 apps. For those of you who use Microsoft Word, for instance, Copilot Pro can help you write and revise your text, provide summaries of your documents, and answer questions about any document.

First, you'll need a subscription to either Microsoft 365 Personal or Family . Priced at $70 per year, the Personal edition is geared for one individual signed into as many as five devices. At $100 per year, the Family edition is aimed at up to six people on as many as five devices. The core apps in the suite include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

Also: Microsoft Copilot vs. Copilot Pro: Is the subscription fee worth it?

Second, you'll need the subscription to Copilot Pro if you don't already have one. To sign up, head to the Copilot Pro website . Click the Get Copilot Pro button. Confirm the subscription and the payment. The next time you use Copilot on the website, in Windows, or with the mobile apps, the Pro version will be in effect.

How to use Copilot Pro in Word

1. open word.

Launch Microsoft Word and open a blank document. Let's say you need help writing a particular type of document and want Copilot to create a draft. 

Also: Microsoft Copilot Pro vs. OpenAI's ChatGPT Plus: Which is worth your $20 a month?

A small "Draft with Copilot" window appears on the screen. If you don't see it, click the tiny "Draft with Copilot icon in the left margin."

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2. Submit your request

At the text field in the window, type a description of the text you need and click the "Generate" button.

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Submit your request.

3. Review the response and your options

Copilot generates and displays its response. After reading the response, you're presented with a few different options.

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Review the response and your options.

4. Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft

If you like the draft, click "Keep it." The draft is then inserted into your document where you can work with it. If you don't like the draft, click the "Regenerate" button, and a new draft is created. 

Also: What is Copilot (formerly Bing Chat)? Here's everything you need to know

If you'd prefer to throw out the entire draft and start from scratch, click the trash can icon.

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Keep, regenerate, or remove the draft.

5. Alter the draft

Alternatively, you can try to modify the draft by typing a specific request in the text field, such as "Make it more formal," "Make it shorter," or "Make it more casual."

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Alter the draft.

6. Review the different versions

If you opt to regenerate the draft, you can switch between the different versions by clicking the left or right arrow next to the number. You can then choose to keep the draft you prefer.

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7. Revise existing text

Copilot will also help you fine-tune existing text. Select the text you want to revise. Click the Copilot icon in the left margin and select "Rewrite with Copilot."

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Revise existing text.

8. Review the different versions

Copilot creates a few different versions of the text. Click the arrow keys to view each version.

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Review the different versions.

9. Replace or Insert

If you find one you like, click "Replace" to replace the text you selected. 

Also: ChatGPT vs. Microsoft Copilot vs. Gemini: Which is the best AI chatbot?

Click "Insert below" to insert the new draft below the existing words so you can compare the two.

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Replace or Insert.

10. Adjust the tone

Click "Regenerate" to ask Copilot to try again. Click the "Adjust Tone" button and select a different tone to generate another draft.

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Adjust the tone.

11. Turn text into a table

Sometimes you have text that would look and work better as a table. Copilot can help. Select the text you wish to turn into a table. Click the Copilot icon and select "Visualize as a Table."

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Turn text into a table.

12. Respond to the table

In response, click "Keep it" to retain the table. Click "Regenerate" to try again. Click the trash can icon to delete it. Otherwise, type a request in the text field, such as "remove the second row" or "make the last column wider."

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Respond to the table.

13. Summarize a document

Copilot Pro can provide a summary of a document with its key points. To try this, open the document you want to summarize and then click the Copilot icon on the Ribbon. 

Also: The best AI chatbots

The right sidebar displays several prompts you can use to start your question. Click the one for "Summarize this doc."

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Summarize a document.

14. Review the summary

View the generated summary in the sidebar. If you like it as is, click the "Copy" button to copy the summary and paste it elsewhere.

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Review the summary.

15. Revise the summary

Otherwise, choose one of the suggested questions or ask your own question to revise the summary. For example, you could tell Copilot to make the summary longer, shorter, more formal, or less formal. 

Also: The best AI image generators

You could also ask it to expand on one of the points in the summary or provide more details on a certain point. A specific response is then generated based on your request.

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Revise the summary.

16. Ask questions about a document

Next, you can ask specific questions about any of the content in a document. Again, click the Copilot icon to display the sidebar. In the prompt area, type and submit your question. Copilot displays the response in the sidebar. You can then ask follow-up questions as needed.

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Ask questions about a document.

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IMAGES

  1. Essay Outline Template

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  2. Compare And Contrast Essay Outline Mla

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  3. 016 Compare Contrast Essay Outline For Slide Entire Visualize Bleemoo

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  4. 😱 Compare and contrast essay outline template. Compare And Contrast

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  5. How to Write an Essay Outline [21 Examples

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  6. How to Write an Essay Outline: Complete Guide and Samples

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VIDEO

  1. Writing an essay on the internet

  2. Compare and Contrast Essay Outline and Revision

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  4. 17- Compare and Contrast Essay nasıl yazılır? / How to write a Compare or Contrast Essay/ Türkçe

  5. How to Write Outline For English Essay

  6. Outline speech essay

COMMENTS

  1. PDF Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template

    Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template Introduction Introduction to the broad topic Specific topic Thesis statement Body Paragraphs Body paragraph #1—First aspect that's similar or different Subject #1 Detail #1 Detail #2 Subject #2 Detail #1 Detail #2 Body paragraph #2—Second aspect that's similar or different Subject #1 Detail #1 Detail #2

  2. Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences.

  3. Crafting Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: An Easy Guide

    An outline for a compare and contrast essay aims to organize all the information in a readable manner. It's a roadmap that lays out how you organize and present your ideas. Here are the main goals of an outline: Clarity and Organization: An outline helps you organize your thoughts and ideas in a clear and structured manner.

  4. Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

    Knowledge Base Essay Comparing and contrasting in an essay | Tips & examples Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay | Tips & Examples Published on August 6, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023. Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing.

  5. Compare and Contrast Essays: The Ultimate Guide

    A compare-and-contrast essay is a style of essay that points out the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. It's ideal for showing what separates and unites related things or concepts, particularly if the subjects are often confused for each other or unjustly lumped together.

  6. Compare & Contrast Essay

    A compare and contrast essay outline should contain introduction, body, and concluding paragraphs. The exact outline depends on the method of organization that is used. The point-by-point...

  7. Tricks for Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

    For instance, comparison essay outline demands you to provide an explanation of similarities. We suggest you use this template for a five-paragraph comparison essay: "A and B may be different in some aspect, but they both have common feature 1, 2, 3. ...

  8. How to write an outline for a compare and contrast essay

    The first crucial step in crafting an effective outline for your compare and contrast essay is to clearly identify and define the topic you will be exploring.

  9. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    1. Begin by Brainstorming With a Venn Diagram. The best compare and contrast essays demonstrate a high level of analysis. This means you will need to brainstorm before you begin writing. A Venn diagram is a great visual tool for brainstorming compare and contrast essay topics.

  10. Compare & Contrast Map

    The Essay Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to organize and outline their ideas for an informational, definitional, or descriptive essay. The Comparison and Contrast Guide outlines the characteristics of the genre and provides direct instruction on the methods of organizing, gathering ideas, and writing comparison ...

  11. A Compare and Contrast Essay Outline to Beat Writer's Block

    In the simplest terms, a compare and contrast essay takes two subjects (i.e., objects, events, people, or places)—closely related or vastly different—and focuses on what about them is the same or what's different or focuses on a combination of similarities and differences. It's not, however, just a simple comparison - that'd be too easy, right?

  12. How to write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    A compare and contrast essay is a differentiation of two or more topics, explaining similarities and differences between them through an essay writing format. It is essential that each topic is clearly highlighted in order to be accurately compared.

  13. PDF COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE

    COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE I. Introduction Hook: __________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________ Introduce the subjects being compared or contrasted: ____________________________________

  14. Learn How to Create a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

    What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline? This type of essay simply asks you to compare and contrast two things that belong to the same category. Think of it as comparing two apples or two oranges, not cats and dogs - we're talking about similarities and differences within a specific group.

  15. Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Like a Pro

    By: Barbara P. 9 min read Reviewed By: Rylee W. Published on: Mar 22, 2023 Are you struggling with writing a compare-and-contrast essay? 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.

  16. Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Template and Example

    7 min Updated: December 12th, 2023 Print Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Template and Example (4 votes) High school and college students often face challenges when crafting a compare-and-contrast essay. A well-written paper of this kind needs to be structured appropriately to earn you good grades.

  17. Compare and Contrast Essay: Definition, Outline and Useful Examples

    Let's now take a look at some examples of compare and contrast essay topics you might consider using. Picasso and Da Vinci. Beethoven and Bach. Meat eaters and vegans. Introvert and extrovert. Gen Y and gen Z. Christians and Catholics. Horror movies and thriller movies. The Bible and The Qu'ran.

  18. How to Write an Essay Outline

    An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph, giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.

  19. Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay: Methods and Examples

    How to Compose an Outline for Compare and Contrast Essay. To write an outline for a compare and contrast essay, it's crucial to follow the essay format. The entire paper should be organized effectively and adhere to respective guidelines, regardless of whether you are writing in MLA format or Harvard style. The following is a comprehensive ...

  20. Compare and Contrast Essay

    A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay in which the similarities and differences between two or more corresponding subjects are highlighted and analyzed. The main goal of this essay is to come up with an original argument based on the breakdown of two or more topics. 1. Comparing two subjects that can be better analyzed as a pair.

  21. How to Write an Essay Outline in 4 Steps

    An essay outline serves multiple purposes, including helping its writer organize their thoughts before they start writing, giving readers a quick synopsis of the essay, and acting as a roadmap for the writer to follow as they work through their supporting paragraphs.

  22. Types of Outlines

    The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline. Decimal Outlines

  23. Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Writing Tips & Templates

    When writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should set a proper organization of your ideas in this plan from the start. First, choose one of the best compare and contrast essay topics and introduce it. Then, you list the items or subjects you compare against each other. After that, provide your thesis statement with criteria for ...

  24. How to use Copilot Pro to write, edit, and analyze your Word ...

    First, you'll need a subscription to either Microsoft 365 Personal or Family.Priced at $70 per year, the Personal edition is geared for one individual signed into as many as five devices.

  25. Essay Writing Service Reviews: Top 10 Best Paper Writing Outlets : r

    📝 Quick essay generator 🤖AI chat & grammar checker 💼 Connected workspace Humata.ai. For those stuck reading through essay samples and still not having the slightest idea of how to write an essay, Humata.ai should be your go-to AI assistant. Just upload your doc (up to 20 pages) and let the AI work its magic.