Resources › For Educators Compare-Contrast Prewriting Chart Share Flipboard Email Print Andy Ryan/Stone/Getty Images For Educators Teaching Teaching Resources An Introduction to Teaching Tips & Strategies Policies & Discipline Community Involvement School Administration Technology in the Classroom Teaching Adult Learners Issues In Education Becoming A Teacher Assessments & Tests Elementary Education Secondary Education Special Education Homeschooling By Melissa Kelly Education Expert M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction, University of Florida B.A., History, University of Florida Melissa Kelly, M.Ed., is a secondary school teacher, instructional designer, and the author of "The Everything New Teacher Book: A Survival Guide for the First Year and Beyond." our editorial process Melissa Kelly Updated November 04, 2019 In addition to planning for a compare-contrast essay, the compare/contrast chart is useful for evaluating two subjects prior to making a decision. It is sometimes called the Ben Franklin Decision T. Salespeople often use Ben Franklin's T to close a sale by selecting only those features that make their product appear superior to the competitor's. They word the features so they can be answered by a simple yes or no, and then persuasively list a string of yes's on their side and a string of no's on the competitor's side. This practice can be deceptive, so be cautious if someone tries it on you! Rather than trying to convince someone to decide something, your reason for completing the compare-contrast chart is to gather information so that you can write a thorough, interesting essay that compares and/or contrasts two subjects. Creating a Compare-Contrast Prewriting Chart Directions: Write the names of the two ideas or subjects you are comparing and/or contrasting in the cells as indicated.Think about the important aspects of subject one and list a general category for each one. For example, if you were comparing the 60s to the 90s, you might want to talk about rock and roll of the 60s. The broader category of rock and roll is music, so you would list music as a feature.List as many features as you think are important about subject I and then subject II. You can add more later. Tip: An easy way to think of features is to ask yourself questions beginning with who, what, where, when, why and how.Begin with one subject and fill in each cell with two kinds of information: (1) a general comment and (2) specific examples supporting that comment. You will need both types of information, so don't rush through this step.Do the same for the second subject.Cross out any rows that don't seem important.Number the features in the order of importance. Compare-Contrast Prewriting Chart Subject 1 Features Subject 2 Organizing Compare-Contrast Paragraphs How to Teach the Compare and Contrast Essay Beef Up Critical Thinking and Writing Skills: Comparison Essays French Comparative Adverbs: How They're Formed 80s Musical Acts Named After Geography Kid Science: How to Make Your Own Balance Scale Artists With the Most Pop Hits During the '80s How to Compare Two Novels in Comparative Essay What Are Pie Charts and Why Are They Useful? Grading for Proficiency in the World of 4.0 GPAs Understanding Delphi Class (and Record) Helpers Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Use Popular Songs to Teach Similes Graphic Organizers 501 Topic Suggestions for Writing Essays and Speeches How Hard Is the HiSET High School Equivalency Test?