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Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

Compare And Contrast Essay Outline

A compare and contrast essay is an essay whereby a writer is required to discuss the similarities and differences of two or more things, ideas, concepts, items or places.

When writing a compare and contrast essay, you first need to find a basis of comparison to ensure that the two things have enough in common and then identify their differences.

In a compare and contrast essay you should do the following:

  • Identify and explain three or more key points that two or more subjects have in common.
  • Show the similarities and differences between these points.
  • Develop a thesis, indicating your position regarding the two subjects. The thesis may indicate that one subject is stronger than the other and that both subjects have strengths or that both subjects possess noteworthy flaws.

You can organize your compare and contrast essay in two ways. These are:

FORMAT 1: Block Approach

This pattern is most effective when used on short essays, such as in-class essays. The body of such an essay is organized by discussing one subject, point by point, in complete detail before moving on to the next subject. You should select points by which both subjects can be examined.

The number of points discussed in the essay will determine the number of body paragraphs.

  • Introduction- Introduce the two or more subjects that you are comparing and give a thesis statement.
  • First body paragraph - Discuss the first point of the first subject.
  • Second body paragraph - Discuss the second point of the first subject.
  • Discuss the third point of the first subject.
  • Fourth body paragraph - Transition and discuss the first point of the second subject, providing similarities and differences with the first point of the first subject.
  • Fifth body paragraph - Discuss the second point of the second subject and provide similarities as well as differences with the second point of the first subject.
  • Sixth body paragraph - Discuss the third point of the second subject and provide similarities and differences with the third point of the first subject.
  • Conclusion - Emphasize the importance of the similarities and differences between the two subjects with relevance to your thesis.

FORMAT 2: Point-By-Point Approach

This pattern is most effective when used on longer essays, such as a comparison of two articles, short stories, or novels. You should organize the body by discussing one point at a time and how it applies to each subject before moving on to the next point.

The most common way of writing essays is the five-paragraph essay format, where you write an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Below is the five-paragraph essay format for writing a compare and contrast essay.

1.0 Introduction

Introduce the two or more subjects being compared and lead to a thesis statement. The thesis statement for compare and contrast essay is the sentence in the introduction that relays to readers the results of the comparison and what to expect from the essay that follows.

2.0 Three Or More Body Paragraphs

The body should be made up of three or more body paragraphs, depending on the number of items you want to include in your compare and contrast essay. Each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that highlights the main point to be discussed in the paragraph. You should then include more information within the paragraph to support this point. Use sources to support every claim.

  • First Body Paragraph: First point

Discuss the first point of both subjects comparing and contrasting the proof of this point in each subject.

  • Second Body Paragraph: Second point

Discuss the second point of both subjects comparing and contrasting the proof of this point in each subject.

  • Third Body Paragraph: Third point

Discuss the third point of both subjects comparing and contrasting the proof of this point in each subject.

3.0 Conclusion

Emphasize the importance of the similarities and differences between the two subjects in line with their relevance to your thesis.  

4.0 References

Add every reference that you used in your essay in the referencing section. Check the course’s marking rubric to know the style that should be used for the paper and use it accurately.