: List the major concepts/ideas related to your topic. Under each, free-write words or phrases related to those concepts/ideas.
Listing difficult questions
: Make a list of a few questions related to your topic that you think would be very challenging to answer. Your thesis should come from one of these questions so that it represents both a topic AND an assertion.
Identify your audience
: In one complete sentence, describe the audience for whom this piece of writing is intended.
Decide on your organizational plan
: Will you structure your paragraphs in chronological order, description, criteria, categorical order, order of importance, order of appeals? In one complete sentence explain which organizational plan you will use.
Outlining the body:
You may have 3 body paragraphs or more. In a compare and contrast essay, you may only have 2 body paragraphs—one for similarities and one for differences. Why do we choose 3 body paragraphs in the first place? Perhaps we feel 3 reasons is enough proof to win an argument.