The Compare and Contrast Essay, which illustrates the similarities and differences between two items, follows a format similar to the standard five-paragraph essay. Its Introduction Paragraph includes a Thesis Statement; it has at least three Body Paragraphs supporting the Essay’s Thesis or overall argument, and it ends with a Conclusion Paragraph tying the whole thing together.
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Below is an elaborate outline designed to illustrate the similarities and differences between Verse and Prose (how exactly they compare and contrast), an essay topic that is, perhaps, most appropriate to pursue for a writing composition course.
Outline for a Compare and Contrast Essay – Verse and Prose
I. Introduction Paragraph
A. Topic Sentence – organizes the essay’s first paragraph and relates the paragraph to the essay’s Thesis, acting as a signpost for its argument.
B. Thesis Statement – the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained in the essay, generally a sentence explaining that the two items compare and contrast based on a shared set of characteristics, functions, definitions, etc.
For example: There are numerous ways that verse and prose can be compared and contrasted based on their meanings and applications.
How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay
Compare and Contrast Essay Format
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
The Compare and Contrast Essay’s Body Paragraphs directly follow the Introduction Paragraph; they support, evidence, explain and illustrate how the items are similar and different in the form of three main points – all of which defend the Thesis one paragraph at a time. For this particular essay, the three main points can be expounded on in at least two ways: one, with each paragraph showing how Verse and Prose both compare and contrast; the other is examining one comparison or contrast at a time in each paragraph.
Once the student decides which method works best for their essay – whether having the first body paragraph or so illustrate the comparisons of Prose and Verse, then the subsequent paragraphs on their contrasts; or having each paragraph examine both the comparisons and contrasts of Prose and Verse – they will have their three main points.
Nonetheless, each body paragraph should begin with a Transitional Phrase indicating to the reader that a new point is being examined or put forth. Appropriate examples are provided below.
Also, in each body paragraph, before its main point is being illustrated, the student must remember to restate their Thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the Introduction Paragraph – to keep the reader focused and reminded of the argument being made or put forth.
II. Body Paragraph No. 1
A. Transitional Phrase – First of all, Firstly, To start off with, To begin with
B. Restate Thesis
C. Point No. 1
III. Body Paragraph No. 2
A. Transitional Phrase – Secondly, Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover
B. Restate Thesis
C. Point No. 2
IV. Body Paragraph No. 3
A. Transitional Phrase – Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover, Thirdly, Lastly
B. Restate Thesis
C. Point No. 3
(More paragraphs can be added if another point needs illustrating.)
V. Conclusion Paragraph – ties the paper together so that the reader understands the essay’s main argument.
A. Transitional Phrase – Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, Ultimately
B. Summary of Essay, from the original Thesis Statement to its three main points of support that are illustrated in the body paragraphs.
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How to Do a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
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The content of a compare and contrast essay is about two different, yet relatively related entities which are critically analyzed on the basis of their similarities or differences. The approach to a compare and contrast paper must therefore be objective in disentangling the subject and highlighting their common characteristics. The paper should be clear and comprehensive to avoid misconstrued elements that confuse the reader on the points outlined by the writer. The entities discussed in a compare and contrast paper must relate to having some common similarities while still distinguishable to show how they differ from one another.
This article offers guidelines whilst outlining tips on how to write a perfect compare and contrast essay and citing relevant examples where appropriate.
Tips concerning introduction writing
Here are some tips to consider when writing a compare and contrast paper introduction:
- The introduction of a compare and contrast paper must define the two or more principle subjects of the topic.
- The writer has to come up with a good and interesting hook for the paper to capture the attention of the reader and influence him/her to go through the whole.
- The introduction can also feature the definition of the principle terms to be compared and contrasted.
- To have a good introduction, ensure that it is short, clear and interesting without giving much detail.
- Include a thesis statement in the latter parts of the introduction paragraph to show the purpose and significance of the paper to the reader.
Tips on thesis writing
Thesis writing on a compare and contrast essay is largely founded on the main reason of the work.
- Place the thesis as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
- Use conditioned word to write the thesis statement such as; although, whereas, while, etc.
- Ensure you aptly show each of the discussable entities addressed in the paper.
- Narrow the focus of the paper to avoid overly broad content which may not be necessary.
- Include the specific purpose of the paper in the thesis statement.
Guidelines on body paragraphs
To write a great paper, keep in mind that in a compare and contrast essay writing, the author must show the distinctive characteristic of the subject entities.
- Each paragraph must carry its point.
- Write either the similarities or differences first and the other later.
- For the differences, each paragraph should show how the two different entities differ before proceeding to the next paragraph.
- Write short paragraphs that are clear, precise and specific to avoid ambiguity.
- Ensure you have an outline that makes you to adhere to the relevant and important details for your essay.
Tips on writing the outline
The importance of an outline for a compare and contrast paper is indispensable. The outline keeps the writer focused on the relevant elements of the subject topic. Orderliness and logical flow of ideas are of paramount importance in writing compare and contrast essay outlining to avoid ambiguity and confusion when writing the final draft.. Here are some of the tips for compare and contrast essay outline writing.
- Put down the similarities and differences of the entities in shorthand
- The compare and contrast paper outline should at least capture all the main points to be discussed
- Number your points
- Write the strongest points first
- Insert subtopics from topics followed by a short description
Tips on conclusion writing
The conclusion is a powerful part of the entire paper that brings together the two related yet antagonizing entities. Here are some tips for writing a perfect conclusion for a comparison and contrasting paper.
- Write a general summary of the points in the body paragraphs
- Reassert the thesis statement
- Base your conclusion on data/evidence presented above and not personal opinions
- The summary should not convey the content in the same words used in the body, but emphatically state the point in a new and convincing way
- Keep the conclusion short, concise and objective
The following is a perfect example of how a compare and contrast paper outline is written. The example of a compare and contrast paper outline below shows the format and general appearance of compare and contrast papers.
Dogs Vs Cats
Introduction to the broad topic – Cats and Dogs are some of the animals largely domesticated by man.
Thesis statement –in this paper, the differences and similarities of dogs and cats are discussed in details featuring the important details.
- Both are domestic animals
- They are both carnivorous
- Both are pets
- Dogs are bigger than cats
- Fully grown cats have 30 teeth while dogs have 42
- Dogs are more easily trainable than cats
Summary of main points – some of the differences discussed above include about their dental formula, trainability, and physical attributes. Their most pronounced attributes include their carnivorous nature and considered to be pets.