Untroublesome Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

Untroublesome Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

So, this might be one of the toughest written assignments you’ve ever dealt with in your student life. A compare and contrast essay already sounds complicated. But when you embark on the writing process, you understand that you were completely right considering this task one of the most challenging ones.

The reason why this paper type gives you a shiver is that you have to involve complicated analytical thinking and creative skills. This is not just an ordinary essay where you explain why smoking is dangerous or share your point of view on one topic. In this essay, you show how two objects are connected and what sets them apart.

If you struggle writing this essay type, there is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, we adore the inquiring nature of your mind and your desire to dig deeper and grasp how to harness this paper type.

We are convinced that a successful paper starts with a neatly formulated topic and structure. So, today you’ll learn how to write a compare and contrast essay outline and get great topic ideas you can use for your future paper.

But First Things First - Choosing the Comparable Topic

Before you take up writing compare and contrast research paper outline, we strongly recommend you agree on the topic. At this point, many students make a huge mistake and select a subject that can’t be compared. For example, ‘Should you drink coffee or not’ or ‘Is global heating a myth or threatening reality?’. 

Why do we think that you should stay away from topics like that? Because every compare and contrast essay should have two objects that could be examined. Let’s change the previous topics and see how they are supposed to sound: ‘Should you drink coffee or tea’ and ‘What is more threatening for humankind: global heating or holes in the ozone layer?’.

Also, mind that the objects you choose for comparison should belong to the same category. For instance, vegetables, vehicles, personalities, drinks, physical phenomenon, sports, cities, whatever. You should be able to easily define the common and differentiating aspects of the things you are talking about. This will significantly simplify the process of writing a compare and contrast essay outline later.

So, let’s sum it up and see general rules for creating a topic for an outstanding paper:

  • include two objects that have both similarities and dissimilarities;
  • pick things that belong to one category;
  • stay away from things you do not fully understand;
  • pick stuff that could be easily researched.

15 Smashing Topics for Your Perfect Paper 

Do you absolutely have no idea which topic to create for your work? We’ve put out the most impressive ones that would help you craft a powerful essay with use.

  1. Key Differentiating Features of Soccer and American Football
  2. Christianity and Buddhism: Are These Religions Really So Different?
  3. Social Media Marketing and TV Ads: What Method Is More Beneficial for the Company?
  4. The Fine Line Between Puritans and Pilgrims
  5. How Ancient Greek Literature Influenced the Development of Written Works of the Renaissance Period
  6. Conscious and Subconscious: The Key Differences Between These Notions
  7. The US Economy Before and After WWII
  8. The Reasons for Urbanization and Ruralization: What’s the Best Place to Live?
  9. Italy or Florida: Where Would You Like to Spend Your Vacation?
  10. Original Sherlock Holmes Novels and My Favorite Movie Variation
  11. Modern Fashion and the Style of the 90s: How Many New Trends Are There in Modern Fashion?
  12. The Right and Left Hemispheres of the Human Brain: Is It Better to Be a Righty or Lefty?
  13. Go Vegan or Eat Meat: What Is Right for Humans?
  14. Celebration of Easter and the USA to European Traditions
  15. Read a Book or Watch a Movie: What Excites the Imagination More?

Key Strategies for Crafting an Awesome Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Making an outline for a compare and contrast essay is not a mandatory step. That is why many students skip it and then find themselves in big trouble when drafting their papers. They do not know where to start, what statements to use, and how to combine two objects in one paper. 

But when you rely on a neatly structured outline, the writing process becomes a breeze. Of course, you still have to put in some effort and pick the right words to deliver your ideas. But at least you know what message you would like to convey and do not jump between the paragraphs.

Getting Ready for Making a Compare and Contrast Outline Template

A good outline for your paper starts with the research and careful analysis of the subjects. 

If the subjects are well-known to you, you can skip the research process. But if you require additional information on at least one of the subjects, do not be lazy to devote some time to its investigation. Go to trusted resources like books, official journals, magazines, educational websites, etc. Make notes as you are studying the materials to keep all the vital information at hand and ensure you do not miss anything that would help you write a great essay.

When you are done with the research, it’s time to analyze data you’ve gathered and you already know. Make sure you’ve defined:

  • the common aspects of the objects;
  • the key differences;
  • 2-3 brightest and strongest features on both sides of the spectrum. 

There are different strategies for brainstorming and comparing stuff, here are the simplest and most effective ones.

Strategy 1

Grab a piece of paper. Divide it into two horizontal parts. Then divide the lower part so that you get two rectangular boxes below. Thus, you will have a bigger upper field, where you’ll write the common features of the objects of your paper. Write down the dissimilarities below in the corresponding separate boxes. In this way, you will have a full picture of the common and uncommon characteristics of two things.

Strategy 2

You will need a piece of paper again, but this time you’ll be drawing overlapping circles. Use the space where the circles overlap to specify similar features. Write the unique characteristics in the remaining sides of both circles. 

Strategy 3

Use a mind map to structure your thoughts. Create the first branch for listing all the things that unite two subjects. Then, make a separate branch for each item and specify the peculiar features in separate nodes.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Format with Examples

There are two ways of structuring the essay: block and point-by-point. We’ll explain the key differences and show the outline examples a little bit later.

Now, let us remind you that even though a compare and contrast essay is more complicated in its nature than an ordinary paper, it still has a traditional structure, which includes the introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

The introduction should actualize the topic, explaining why you are going to compare the chosen subjects. It should also introduce a thesis, which is a sentence you’ll be proving in your paper. Don’t make the introduction too long. Usually, 3-5 sentences are enough.

The body of the essay usually consists of three or sometimes more paragraphs. In this section, you show the connection between the subjects. The content of paragraphs will depend on the structural layout you choose for your paper, but let us stress the idea that one paragraph should dwell on one idea only.

As you reach the conclusion, you paraphrase the statement you announced in the introduction and make a small summary of your paper.

And now, let’s see how you can organize the space on your paper using one of the offered outline formats.

Block Outline

If you do not want to complicate things, the block outline structure is the best solution for you. It implies presenting facts about one subject in one block. After you are done with it, go to another subject and dwell on it in another block.

Why is it convenient? Because you do not have to organize information about multiple subjects in one place, which might be challenging. This method is suitable for subjects that have more dissimilarities than common things or the ones that are too complicated in their nature.

Let’s see a compare and contrast essay template on the topic ‘Who is a better employee: human or robot?’ using the block essay outline.


  • The problem of manpower on the modern market.
  • Why do we compare robots to humans?
  • Thesis statement: robots will never replace manpower.


  • Paragraph 1 - Robots and humans can do the same job.
    • Monotonous tasks.
    • Complicated work that requires physical effort.
    • AI and human creativity.
  • Paragraph 2 - Robots can help humans.
    • Do the daunting and tiresome work.
    • Deal with tasks that require inhuman strength.
    • Perform creative assignments like writing a text.
  • Paragraph 3 - Humans will always be at the top.
    • Control the performance of robots.
    • Maintain robots in the working state.
    • Do creative tasks better with a thorough understanding of the audience.


  • Robots facilitate the work process a lot and can be reliable helpers.
  • Humans still have the utmost control over robots.
  • So, robots are great, but humans are essential to ensure the flawless performance of machines. 

Point-by-Point Outline

This outline type is harder to write, but it provides the reader with a better picture of the contrasting subjects. You will also have a better chance to show a deeper understanding of the subject, which is more appreciated by teachers.

In a point-by-point outline, you show how specific features or aspects of two subjects are similar or different. Let us explain to you how it works using an example (we’ll use the same topic to show how the whole structure of the paper will change).


  • The problem of manpower on the modern market.
  • Why do we compare robots to humans?
  • Thesis statement: robots will never replace manpower.


  • Paragraph 1 - Dealing with monotonous tasks.
    • Thesis - Robots simplify human work by taking care of monotonous processes.
    • Robots rely on algorithms that help them deal with tedious tasks without any errors.
    • Humans can focus on processes that require more intellectual involvement.
  • Paragraph 2 - Doing physically demanding activities.
    • Thesis - Robots are stronger.
    • Machines lift heavy objects that a human will never lift.
    • Humans can’t pick insanely heavy objects, but they maintain robots in working conditions.
  • Paragraph 3 - Coping with creative tasks.
    • Thesis - Robots are smart, but humans know better.
    • Machines are empowered by AI, which enables them to deal with a wide range of creative tasks.
    • Humans perform creative tasks better with a thorough understanding of the audience, the subject, and other subtitles.


  • Robots facilitate the work process a lot and can be reliable helpers.
  • Humans still have the utmost control over robots.
  • So, robots are great, but humans are essential to ensure the flawless performance of machines.

Wow, Does It Look Too Complicated?

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We will connect you with the most experienced writer in the selected niche, who will craft an outstanding and A-grade compare and contrast essay for you without a hitch.