Students like writing compare and contrast essays as they have enough space for creativity. Such papers allow expressing your thoughts regarding some contradictive issues. It makes more fun to draw a parallel between two people or objects instead of describing a single issue.
It does not mean, however, that compare and contrast essay is an easy assignment to complete. There are so many possible compare and contrast essay topics, and some of them are hard to carry out.
Keys to Writing Compare & Contrast Essay
Before you start, it is crucial to choose topics that you really know well. Most often, you should find two things that have enough differences and similarities. You can take two pets, cats and dogs, while comparing a food (i.e., banana) with music (i.e., hard rock) basically, makes no sense.
Of course, if you're a part of Arts class where tutor appreciates uncommon parallelism, you may try your luck in your compare and contrast essay. You may talk about a sense of taste and the book of your favorite author. For instance, you may try to explain how it tastes to be Dracula. Or you can highlight how it smells to be Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from famous novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Such creative comparisons are often appreciated and awarded with more than "A." Original and unexpected compare and contrast essay topics serve as your ticket to special universities where Arts are studied. Along with a personal statement written by professional writers, such essay will increase your chances to get enrolled.
Sources to be Used
In any case, writing about things to compare and contrast is an activity which requires your full attention and creativity. But when you have to compare things objectively, you should operate facts. Just like an argumentative essay, your text will need corresponding evidence. Search for the primary and secondary sources on the given topics before you start your first draft. Make sure these sources are no older than 5 years. They should be as relevant as possible. Don't forget to apply only credible sources to reveal your topics. Those are:
- Academic journals
- Scientific magazines
- Official reports
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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
The traditional essay tips won't work with compare and contrast paper. We have gathered the best ideas online to share with students. If you write such assignment for the first time in your school or college life, read information from us.
You need to keep in mind the most common writing mistakes school and college students make to avoid them.
Start with the type of your compare and contrast essay topic. The topics are divided into 4 different groups:
- Events (point to the differences and similarities of some historical events or episodes from the book)
- Situations (choose to compare two different cases or episodes from your life)
- People or fiction characters (choose the story)
- Places (describe different locations)
No matter what comparison and contrast topics you write on, you need to keep to the traditional structure of the academic paper.
Start with a capturing and interesting hook. Outline what your topic is. Point to the main argument of your topic known as a thesis statement. This sentence or two usually come in the last sentence of your first paragraph.
- Developing your arguments
You need to research your topic to choose three claims. Include evidence with the supporting points next to each argument. There should be up to three supporting points in each body paragraphs.
- Refuting opponent's arguments
This time, you need to research the topic to view the facts that contradict your thesis. It is important to choose at least one example and develop a paragraph with the counter-argument as well. Write down maximum two opposing views followed by a couple of your refutations.
Restate your thesis statement and stress why your side is right once again.
You can learn more information on the structure of five-paragraph paper online.
Writing Tips Used by Smart American College Students
Moreover, use such helpful words as "because,""for example," "the writer mentioned...," "according to the book/movie," "from the given reading, we know that...," "on the following page, I have found..."
"Why do you believe Americans will win the next Olympic games?"
"According to the reading I have found in my college library, their team showed better results than Canadians during the last games."
- Check possible examples of compare and contrast essays when working in your hook sentence. It has a great influence on the reader's decision whether to read your text on a specific topic or not. You may add numbers, figures, facts - whatever to make your reader interested. On the whole, there are many types of hooks:
- Anecdotes and jokes
- Literary quotes
- Quotes of famous people
- Lines from poetry
- Setting scenes
- Scientific facts
- Questions and rhetorical questions
- Metaphors and similes
- Thesis statements
We think it is better to write a thesis statement in the last sentence of the argumentative essay’s introduction to conclude.
- Brainstorm all the time. The best way to decide on two good compare and contrast topics to analyze is to brainstorm and write down possible versions on a blank paper. Once you choose the subjects, you have to organize your thoughts. Prepare a table where you will mention both similarities and differences between the two subjects.
- Get professional help and examples. Find online educational services which help to choose some good sources on the given topic. Those can be movies, books, articles, etc. It is the last pre-writing stage which is known as a literature review. School and college students conduct in-depth research to enrich their compare and contrast essay drafts with important details. If you miss any words to finish your essay, a literature review is a brilliant way to reach the necessary word count.
- Don't forget about the formatting and in-text citations. Apply direct and indirect quotes to make your text longer and more persuasive. Citations will serve as the strong evidence to support your compare and contrast topics.
It was just a short preview of every section of your compare and contrast paper in English. Selecting the proper topics might take a while if you don't have a list of sample topics in front of you. We are ready to share the best compare and contrast essay subjects with you right now. You may use any example as the subject for your comparative essay when the theme is not assigned to you.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students
We have divided the topics into several categories to make it easier to select one. The list starts with the most relevant subjects college students usually discuss. Other categories are full of great ideas too.
- School vs. College: What's New?
- Students Who Work and Unemployed Students: Who Takes the Best of This Life?
- Research Paper and Essay: What Is More Responsible?
- American English vs. British English: Major Differences
- What Makes Education and Employment Similar?
- SAT and TOEFL: Differences and Similarities
- How Are Master Degree and Ph.D. different?
- Persuasive and Argumentative Paper: Different or the Same
- Traditional Education or Remote Learning?
History and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
- Comparison of Lincoln's and Washington' Ideas
- Renaissance vs. Baroque Epoch
- Anthropology vs. Religious Studies
- American Government vs. Soviet Government
- US President vs. UK Prime Minister
- North and South Before the Civil War in the US
- Henry VIII vs. King Louis XIV
- Fascism and Nazism: Different or the Same?
- World War I and World War II: Difference in Events
Compare and Contrast Topics for Beginners
- Compare Apple and Orange
- Night Time and Day Time: Advantages Each Period Has
- What Makes People Completely Different from Animals
- Living in Poverty and Being Rich
- Coffee and Tea: The Effects of Both
- Living in Big City or Staying in Village
- Feeling Sad against Feeling Lonely
- Differences and Similarities between American and British Traditional Dishes
- Camping in the Woods or Resting by the Sea?
Opposite Things to Compare and Contrast
- Females and Males
- Coke vs. Pepsi
- Red vs. White
- Country in War Compared to Country in Peace
- Driving a Car or Riding a Bus
- Love and Hatred
- Bad and Good Aspects of Overwork
- Moon and Sun
- Dolls or Soft Toys: What Should Parents Buy to Their Children?
Ideas Teenagers May Use in Their Papers
- Childhood vs. Adulthood
- Living at Home or Living on Campus
- Reading or Watching Screened Versions: What Teens Prefer
- Working in Office or Being a Freelancer?
- Academic Writing vs. Scientific Writing
- TV Shows and Radio Shows: What Is More Trendy?
- Education or Professional Career: What Is Easier and What Is More Difficult?
- Greek and Roman Culture: Differences and Similarities
- Comparing Art and Science Classes
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IT & Social Media Compare & Contrast Ideas
- E-mail or Traditional Mailing: What Will Happen in the Future?
- Online vs. Traditional Commerce
- Online Dating vs. Real-Life Relations
- Computer Games, Video Games, or Smartphone Games
- Choosing between New York Times and Forbes
- FaceBook or MySpace: Which Social Network Offers More Opportunities?
- Searching for Job Online or Traditionally?
- Using Online Writing Services against Traditional Writing Services
- Benefits Marketing Specialists Get from Using Online Advertising vs. Traditional One
Movie & Music Compare and Contrast Themes
- Buffy, the Vampire Slayer or Charmed?
- Books against Movies: Why Reading Is Preferred
- Jazz vs. Rock
- Sam vs. Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings)
- Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
- American Cinematography vs. Soviet Union Cinematography
- Thor and Loki: Friends or Enemies According to Movie of 2009?
- Horror Films and Thrillers: What's in Common?
- Harry Potter or Draco Malfoy?
Literature Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Comedy vs. Drama
- Greek vs. Roman Mythology
- Beauty and the Beast: Lessons Learned
- Prose or Lyrics: What People Prefer More and Why?
- Poetry of XIII Century and Nowadays Lyrics
- Shakespeare's Othello Compared to Hamlet
- Fiction or Non-Fiction Literature: When You May Need Different Types?
- Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter: Which Fantasy Book Is Better?
- Literature of the Past against Literature of the Future
Scientific Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Oven vs. Microwave
- Physics vs. Chemistry
- Our Galaxy, Milky Way, and Andromeda, the Closest
- What Makes Earth Different from Mars
- First Mission to Moon and Second Visit: What Are the Differences and Similarities?
- Thomas Jefferson or DaVinci: Whose Innovations Matter More?
- Earthquakes or Tsunami: Which Consequences Are Worse?
- Limited Control Tools or Software with Fool Access to Navigation
- Formulas of Two Different Chemical Reactions
Popular Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Soccer vs. Football
- Chinese vs. Korean
- Public Opinion vs. Personal Point of View: Discuss Subjectivity & Objectivity
- Juice and Water
- Light Beer vs. Dark Beer: Which One Is More Popular?
- Anorexia Nervosa and Obesity: What Is More Dangerous?
- Marriage and Divorce: Two Sides of the Coin
- Windows or Linux: Paid vs. Free OS
- Marxism vs. Other Ideas of Capitalism
Philosophy Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Is Home Really a Better Place Than Miami Beach?
- Life and Death: Various Philosophical Views
- Living in Your Dreams or Living in Reality: Pros and Cons
- Friends and ... Where Is the Edge?
- Physical & Mental Needs of Human Beings
- Reality or Fantasy World?
- Main Philosophical Ideas of Macbeth against the Main Ideas of Hamlet
- Dogs and Humans: They Are More Similar Than We Think
- Sources with Free Access and Rights Reserved: Should We Protect Intellectual Property?
- Greek Philosophers vs. Roman Philosophers
Compare and contrast essay topics for college students might be tricky to choose. The whole process of academic writing is even longer and more complex. Online help from expert writers will save you a plenty of time. You just need to order a good essay from experts with the highest academic degrees in a variety of fields.
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Let's say your high school or college teacher haven't assigned the topic for your assignment. It means you can choose compare and contrast essay topics by conducting in-depth research, asking for advice, or hiring a professional academic writer to help. It is simpler than deciding on the most relevant argumentative or scientific subject. However, every high grade expects a quality content written on the interesting essay topic; it is critical to learn how to write a compare and contrast essay and choose appropriate ideas to discuss.
Do not be trivial! The article you see now will help you to avoid confusing and banal essay topics. In addition to the list of the top-rated themes, we will share different links to websites with great examples and online writing help.
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Students will find some good points and ideas necessary for the development of a good school or college comparative essay. Online academic writing help is always available to lend a helping hand when it seems like the assignment is impossible to complete.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Major Principles
The answer to the disturbing question like how to write a compare and contrast essay begins with the structure of this type of academic writing. It has the same structure as other types of academic papers with the few major differences. Introduction with the powerful hook and thesis statement remains the same. In your conclusion, reword the thesis and summarize the arguments used to defend the main idea of the paper. The body paragraphs are different. It depends on whether the author focuses more on differences, similarities, or tries to balance with both.
Take a look at a couple of images below to realize how to write a paper of this type based on our examples.
How to Choose Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Wisely?
The most effective, time-tested way to select essay topics in case your teacher did not give some is through researching different types of sources:
- Newspapers. A student can find an endless source of great ideas. They are related to the ongoing world’s events, latest innovations, expert opinions, political fluctuations, and other fields. Pay attention to both columns, interviews, and analysis composed by an authoritative person from politics, economy, and other aspects of human life;
- News channels. Turn on your favorite channel not to watch favorite TV show this time. Learn about the contemporary problems and try to think about an interesting topic idea spending something around half an hour of your precious time.
- Magazines/Journals. If you are not a great fan of politics, religion, or economics, try to find some good ideas in the recent magazines/journals. Check the rubrics dedicated to entertainment, technology, teen life, and sports.
- Internet. It should be the greatest source of all ideas collected in the previous types of primary sources altogether.
- Do not forget to attend various seminars, conferences, meetings to learn more about the things going on in the world and recently discussed by the society.
“Before starting the topic, organize the thoughts in a logical manner. Develop some kind of a chart/graph/table to have a visual picture of how the final draft should look like. In this type of academic writing, it is important to focus on the comparable qualities & characteristics of the subjects/events/people to impress the target audience. It means the author should pick original criteria to draw parallels or stressing the gap between the objects.”
Professor Beverly Thompson, online English tutor and golden writer at NerdyMates
Students will not understand how to write a compare and contrast essay without memorizing and using properly so-called signal words. Those are transition words. In other types of essays, it is important to join different sections like body paragraphs and conclusion in a whole piece with the help of special words/phrases. Find the list of signal words below.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Famous People
It is time to answer the main question of our reader, “What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?”
World-known people like different celebrities and political figures have always attracted the attention of ordinary citizens. It's a great chance for every writer to catch an eye of the reader by describing and comparing the life of various American authorities.
You do not necessarily need to analyze the life of people from the same region or field of activity. Many students find it exciting to take a person from real life and a book or movie character. It leaves space for imagination. Have enough ideas to write your five-paragraph essay:
- Madonna and Celine Dion. While the first woman is a self-made American singer, the same can be said about her Canadian fellow singer. By comparing these two, you draw parallels between the American and Canadian pop stage.
- Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Even though these historical figures widely known to the public were from the opposing camps, there are more similarities between them than you can think.
- Peter Griffin vs. Homer Simpson. The two American television shows, "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" are alike by showing the disadvantages of the nation and laughing at the public stereotypes. However, one of the shows is still more radical.
- Bugs Bunny and Charlie Chaplin. As the time passes by, these figures remain the symbol of their time and entire American culture. It would be interesting to write about the similarities and differences between their comic images.
- Online ads VS traditional ways to promote goods/services. How these methods affect lives of different popular people
- Hobbes or Locke. English philosophers’ roles regarding the contribution of each to the study of political science
- Batman VS Superman. The reasons why Batman won in the famous movie
- Start Wars modern episodes or episodes of 1970’s. Comparison of graphic, actors, plot, visual effects, music, sound effects, habits, etc
- Plato or Socrates. Decide which one contributed more to the philosophical research
- Putin & Obama. Differences in the political regime and economics offered by each president
Religion, Anthropology, and AP World History Compare & Contrast Essay Topics
Religion is often a taboo topic to discuss. Public schools and colleges have subjects dedicated to religion. Students are encouraged to write about it. Religion, history, and anthropology are closely related. You may choose AP world history compare and contrast essay that covers all three dimensions to enrich your essay.
Here we go with several good examples recommended by high school and college students:
- Discuss World War I and World War II. It is a traditional debate. Many people find the two wars similar, but historians point to a great number of differences such as main factors, actual causes, and consequences. Explain why World War II was much worse and terrifying.
- President Obama and President Kennedy. Mass media tends to draw parallels between both political figures very often. It is time to find out why.
- Ancient Greece Ancient Rome. All ideas related to the offered topic are good enough because these civilizations have a great impact on the modern world. Cover Greek and Roman mythology, describe their traditional public events, a way of living, differences and similarities in poetry, and influence on the modern American society.
- 18th Century Living VS Modern Life. Are American people freer now and how is a modern society divided into classes? What are the advantages of e-mail in contrast to the traditional mailing they used back in the 18th century?
- Frenemies. The way famous political competitors, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson acted often reminded of both friendship and rivalry – which one is correct?
- American Revolution VS French Revolution. Both held back in the VIII century, and both are having similarities & differences.
- The Salem Witch Trials & McCarthy Era in the US history. How they treated people accused of witchcraft in 2 different historical events.
- The idyllic period in the US history is the middle of XX century while the 1960s is known as a tumultuous decade.
- Ancient Greece VS Ancient Rome. Which civilization had a greater impact on the development of contemporary culture & art?
- 3 different branches of Christianity. Common issues, major differences, similarities, examples of traditions, etc.
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Political Essay Compare and Contrast Themes
These topics cover political science and cultural life of different countries. It is time to evaluate political regimes of different countries. Analyze the countries with the echo of communism and those where capitalism dominates; countries where women and men have equal rights versus countries where women are limited to their rights and freedoms.
- Classical Theory of Karl Marx against Modern Capitalistic Movement. Financial and political theories change with the flow of time. High school and college students have to understand the way economics work to get the ideas of different political regimes.
- The war in Syria/Military Situation in Ukraine. The countries could make a union based on the fact they are both regularly attacked by two other hostile countries. However, Ukraine is not officially involved in the war, they say. Research what media shares and analyze the given cases.
- The government of China VS The government of Korea. Both of these nations suffer from the consequences of communism. The second country, specifically North Korea, supports this political regime more than China. What is different and what's in common?
- Welfare Programs in the United States vs. Welfare Programs in the United Kingdom. Although high school and college students believe that these countries look alike in many senses, any related book or movie will show how wrong they are.
- Al Qaeda VS the Islamic State. Which of the terroristic organizations have a greater threat to the world’s peace?
- Legal systems in the United States & Canada: Are they too different in terms of laws, regulations, preventive measures, and other?
- Marriage VS civil union. Which of these types of a partnership between two people in love is less threatening to the image of political figure?
- Debit cards and credit cards: The role of government in establishing various payment methods and responsibility it has in case of any rule break
- Private & public companies. The obligations American government have concerning each of these types of organizations
- Political regime today and back in the 1950s: Things that changed for better and situations that got worse
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 6th Grade
Students who study in the sixth grade have to receive the simplest homework assignments and compare and contrast essay topics for 6th grade as they lack the experience to analyze something more complex than these:
- Winter or summer: More gorgeous season of year
- Christmas in another country/Christmas at home
- Juice VS water: While water may be healthier, juices are tastier and…
- Dogs and wolves: Similarities & differences
- Weeds and flowers: Why one cannot exist without another
- Eastern or Western USA: Living in both parts in different period of time
- Comic books or novels: The once which is more interesting to read
- Tennis VS ping pong: Your favorite game out of two
- Watching TV instead of reading a book: Difference/similarity in impressions
- Male friends or female friends: Based on such factors as loyalty, sincerity, bravery, and more
Compare and Contrast Topics for Middle School
Have a look at the list of compare and contrast topics for middle school!
- King Author VS Zeus. One of them is a way cooler than another one
- Comparison of the role models in 1950s with modern role models
- How does it feel to watch favorite movies in the cinema and watching films at home?
- The correlation between famous dictators & school bullies
- The consequences of tsunami might be worse than the consequences of hurricane
- Prom Night, Halloween Night, & Christmas Night: Which holiday is more fun?
- Car driving or bicycle driving: Which experience is more difficult?
- 3-star hotels or 5-star hotels: Reasons to choose each of them
- Things the early spacemen had in common with Christopher Columbus
- People who influence teenagers most of all: Parents and celebrities
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students
If you don't need specific ideas for academic papers, look at the list of general essay topics shared by successful college students. Now, we continue with compare and contrast essay topics for high school.
- Fiction or Non-Fiction Literature: Write about which type of literary works is more helpful for college students and why.
- Assess High School Examinations & College Tests. What is more important? Which styles are recommended to be used in academic writing when studying in different educational institutions? When is it easier to cheat?
- Traditional Learning or Online Learning: Do you find it helpful to be able to take college courses online? Is a traditional way of teaching still better and more effective?
- Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots: Which of the professional sports clubs is more authoritative and loved by high school students?
- Determine the effectiveness of online advertising and TV ads. What type of advertising channel is more influential on children?
- Printed books/e-Books: Which type of material might be more useful for the modern high school students?
- Wooden houses or story buildings. The significance of each type of construction
- Major differences and similarities between Portugal & Spain: Where is it better to have a vacation nowadays?
- American vision of beauty compared to Japanese vision of beauty: Discuss the standards based on the most recent beauty queens plus handsome men
- How rock music has changed: Rock music of early XX century and nowadays
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students
Finally, there are many ways you can analyze the life with family and on a college campus; important things to consider while studying at school and in university; passing SAT and taking TOEFL; etc. Enjoy the list of 10 compare and contrast essay topics for college students!
- Comparing Life with Parents to Living on Campus: In your essay, write the details about two ways of student's life. Share ideas on why you prefer one of the options (pros and cons of both).
- Where is academic rigor the greatest when it comes to comparing high school education and college learning.
- While Fall is the season of college arrivals, Spring is the time for student departures. Features of different educational seasons.
- Having a look at the meals students get at high school/college and the food they obtain at home from their family members. Which is tastier?
- The remote learning courses slowly replace conventional classes in college. Pros & cons of going technological.
- Living at home with parents compared to living on the college campus on the example of laundry service, cooking, and other everyday household activities.
- Manufacturing jobs against service sector jobs. A right choice of the college student
- Part-time jobs VS seasonal jobs: Pros & cons of each option
- Private colleges or public education: Reasons to make all educational institutions public in the United States
- Advanced placement classes: Better or worse than honors classes?
Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
If you do not want to go deep into the details breaking the head against the wall, choose one of the easy compare and contrast essay topics!
- Twilight & Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Analyze both shows’ characters
- It by Stephen King: Review book with the film
- Julius Caesar & Macbeth: Do these people have anything in common?
- Realism & modernism. Simple similarities & differences
- Poetry VS prose: List literary elements that make these genres different
- Life in a big city compared to village life: Discuss where people are healthier, kinder, more honest, etc.
- Donald Trump against Hilary Clinton: The one who should have won the latest presidential elections in the United States
- Real Madrid & Barcelona: Advantages + disadvantages of both Spanish football clubs
- iPhone VS Android mobile devices: Benefits Android users obtain against benefits iPhone users get
- Tablets or textbooks in school: Advantages each of these devices have when it comes to the process of learning
Things to Compare and Contrast
The last category contains the names of subjects only. Those are some great things to compare and contrast!
- Jails & Asylums
- Renaissance and Baroque Art
- Star Wars & Star Trek
- American Dad VS Family Guy
- Apple or Pineapple
- Moon and Sun
- Greek VS Scandinavian Mythology
- Communism against Capitalism
- New England Colonies or Southern Colonies (it is possible to add Middle Colonies)
- Fiction VS Non-Fiction
Compare and Contrast Essay Example from Writing Guru
Students write better papers when they have some good examples in front of them. Looking for the compare and contrast essay example? Find many free samples on the professional academic writing websites or view these powerful papers shared by the top college writers with us.
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