In an academic career, many writing tasks follow you like a ghost and the only way to get rid of them is to learn how to complete them. The first step towards the completion of any writing task is to prepare its outline. This guide will prove to be the best one if you’re struggling to write an essay based on comparison and contrast of two things and you’re not sure where to begin.
If you encounter the task of writing such an essay then you should at least be aware of its basic elements and structure. Just like its name implies, a compare and contrast essay is anchored on in what ways two elements are similar or different from each other. Those elements could be anything depending on the topic. You can compare and contrast two persons, places, movies, books, events, experiences, or any other thing.
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Just like for any other type of writing, in compare and contrast essays, the outline helps the essay writer in composing the final piece of writing. Its purpose is to give you enough time to gather your thoughts on a paper and ensure that you do not miss anything that you want to include in your final essay. It is the stage where you build a thesis and search for a piece of evidence to back it up. In short, it aids you in holding the ideas for your essay in a systematic order.
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Different people suggest different criteria for the outline. We have brought the following for you:
1. Come up with an attractive topic
The first step is obviously to decide what two things you're going to compare and contrast and devise an attractive topic for them. The topic would remain the same for your actual essay as well. Also, an interesting topic is necessary to catch the reader’s attention.
2. Develop a thesis statement
Since this is an outline, we do not expect you to prepare the perfect thesis at this stage. However, what is necessary is that you finalize the elements to be included in your thesis statements as they are going to decide the content of your entire outline.
3. Write the main points of the introductory paragraph
In bullet points, discuss the background of the topic and an initial introduction of the two things under discussion. Do not reveal too much information in your introduction. Also, keep the points concise.
4. Write main points of body paragraphs
You’ll now need to develop three to five body paragraphs depending on your essay’s length. Give each paragraph a different central theme. These themes will be extracted from the thesis statement. You can follow different compare and contrast formats for this part such as block pattern, or a point by point outline. It will depend on the two things under discussion.
5. Write main points of concluding paragraph
Finish off your outline by including the main points of the entire discussion. You can also write your personal evaluation of the topic in this part.
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