A Venn diagram is a great tool for brainstorming and creating a comparison between two or more objects, events, or people. You can start with a Venn diagram as a first step to creating an outline for a compare and contrast essay.
Simply draw two (or three) large circles and give each circle a title, reflecting each person or object you are comparing.
Inside the intersection of the two circles (overlapping area) write all the traits that the objects have in common. You will refer to these traits when you compare similar characteristics.
In the areas outside the overlapping section you will write all of the traits that are specific to that particular object or person.
Creating an Outline for Your Essay
From the Venn diagram above, you can create an easy outline for your paper. Here is the beginning of an essay outline:
I. Both dogs and cats make great pets.
- Both animals can be very entertaining
- Each is loving in its own way
- Each can live inside or outside the house
II. Both have drawbacks, as well
- They shed
- They can damage property
- Both can be costly
- Both require time and attention
- Cat box
- Leaving for a day
- Going to the park
- Going for walks
- Will enjoy my company
As you can see, outlining is much easier when you have a visual aid to help you with the brainstorming process!