A Venn Diagram is a visual depiction of the similarities and differences between
two different items and its structure allows it to organize a wide variety of
information. It consists of a series of shapes, usually but not restricted to
circles, whose edges overlap. A circle is most convenient because several
circles can overlap easily. Each shape represents some group or entity. Where
the shapes overlap, everything relevant that the two entities have in common
is written. If a group has something that another does not, the item is written
in the area contained by its corresponding shape but not shared with the other.
If all the features of one entity are among additional features of another entity,
the entire shape of the first entity is contained within that of the second.
Venn Diagrams are useful in any situation requiring a direct comparison of two or
more entities. Their function varies from an informative poster to a decision-making
- Determine the purpose. Determine the subjects to be compared. Place a descriptive title at the top of the page.
- Create the diagram. Make a circle for each of the subjects to be compared. Every circle should overlap with every other circle. This step can be made easy using the Venn Diagram template offered by SmartDraw.
- Label each circle. Near or inside of each circle place the name of the topic or item which the circle represents. Avoid writing the titles inside neighboring circles in order to maintain clarity. It may be useful to distinguish the titles from other text by placing them in a box or altering their font or color.
- Enter the differences. Inside each circle place characteristics that are unique to that specific item or idea, and are not true of any of the other topics.
- Enter the similarities. If two or more subjects have a feature in common, place that feature in the section in which all such shapes overlap.
- Verify accuracy and draw conclusions. Consult with coworkers, employees, or team members to confirm the information in the diagram. Use the completed diagram to draw any necessary conclusions from the information accumulated.