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5 Basic Rules for Constructing an Outline for a Comparative Essay

An outline makes your writing process easy by giving you a framework that indicates the flow of ideas in your paper. An outline for a comparative essay is unique because of the approach given to this genre of writing. Here are five rules that will simplify your outline making process.

Understand Your Topic

The details of your outline will be determined by your topic. Comparison instructions may require you to provide similarities, differences or both. It is only after understanding the uniqueness of each subject that you can compare and contrast. Read widely on the subject and identify the points of convergence and diversion. They will help you when writing your paper.

Identify The Main Points

Each subject in the comparative debate has its main point. Main points are reflected on either of the two subjects. Look for a similar characteristic on the other subject to make comparison easier. When dealing with differences, identify what is unique in one subject compared to the other. These are the main ideas that will anchor your comparative essay. You may form a table that captures the similarities and the differences depending on the instructions issued by your tutor and the topic you are dealing with.

Support Your Main Ideas

Clarity in your paper will only be achieved if your main points are well supported. In case you indicate that two subjects are similar, go beyond mentioning the similarity to include how each can replace the other. The details used to support your main points lend credibility to your comparative easy. The frame formed by the main ideas must be filled with justification.

Do not include details

An outline only provides pointers to what you expect to do within your comparative essay. It should be lean and focused instead of including all the details available. Indicate sources of information in a way that is easy for you to understand instead of, for instance, quoting an entire paragraph. Let the details be contained in the actual paper.

Be Ready To Change

The outline should not tie you down when writing the actual paper. The order and details of your ideas may change depending on the discoveries you make in the course of writing. However, the change should not be fundamental unless you wish to divert from your original course.

The outline for a comparative essay should indicate your perspective of the subject in question. It should be lean enough yet detailed to simplify your writing. It is subject to adjustment should the need arise.