A Venn diagram is a great tool for brainstorming and creating a comparison between two or more objects, events, or people. You can use this 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 object, trait, or person 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.01of 02
Creating an Outline for Your Essay Using a Venn Diagram
From the Venn diagram above, you can create an easy outline for your paper. Here is the beginning of an essay outline:
1. 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
2. Both have drawbacks, as well.
- They shed
- They can damage property
- Both can be costly
- Both require time and attention
3. Cats can be easier to care for.
- Cat box
- Leaving for a day
4. Dogs can be better companions.
- 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.02of 02
More Uses for Venn Diagrams
Besides its usefulness for planning essays, Venn Diagrams can be used for thinking through many other problems both at school and at home. For example:
- Planning a Budget: Create three circles for What I Want, What I Need, and What I Can Afford.
- Setting Priorities: Create circles for different types of priorities: School, Chores, Friends, TV, along with a circle for What I Have Time for This Week.
- Choosing Activities: Create circles for different types of activities: What I'm Committed to, What I'd Like to Try, and What I Have Time for Each Week.
- Comparing People's Qualities: Create circles for the different qualities you're comparing (ethical, friendly, good looking, wealthy, etc.), and then add names to each circle. Which overlap?