Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Choosing Great Ideas

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Choosing Great Ideas

College and high-school students often need to write compare and contrast essays, and their key purpose is demonstrating the ability to analyze such distinct subjects as music, art, and government. You also need to determine their similar traits. The comparing element emphasizes similarities, while the contrasting one highlights differences, but you’re free to use different approaches. Picking interesting and unique compare and contrast essay topics is an important part of submitting a good piece of writing.

What is the main key to success?

Before you start, look for the compare and contrast essay topics that you’re familiar with (this small step can help you save time). Unexpected and original ideas are your ticket to success. There are many suitable compare and contrast essay topics.

Sources that you should use

Writing a compare and contrast paper is the activity that takes your full creativity and attention. Operate facts to compare things objectively. Your piece of writing requires strong evidence. Read and research both secondary and primary sources of information on a specific topic before you start the first draft. They should be relevant and updated. Use only credible sources to cover your topic, including:

  • Books;
  • Documentaries;
  • Textbooks;
  • Newspapers;
  • Academic journals;
  • Official reports;
  • Scientific articles.

How to write your compare and contrast essay?

Traditional approaches don’t work with this assignment. Take into account the common errors that a student can make and learn to avoid them to get good grades. Keep in mind that you can easily divide all compare and contrast essay topics into these groups:

  • Situations (compare two different episodes or cases from your life);
  • Places (describe different locations);
  • Events (point to the similarities and differences of historical episodes or events);
  • People and fictional characters.

What is a correct compare and contrast paper structure?

No matter what topic you choose, stick to a correct structure that consists of:

  • The introduction with an interesting and capturing hook (outline your subject and state your thesis);
  • Body paragraphs (research your subject, make your claims, include supporting evidence, and refute counterarguments);
  • The conclusion (restate your thesis and remind why your point is valid).

Helpful tips from smart American students

When working on your hook, look for helpful examples and use them as your effective guides to grab readers’ attention instantly. It influences their decision to read your paper. Add facts, figures, and numbers to attract their attention. There are different types of hooks that you can use:

  • Literary quotes;
  • Jokes and anecdotes;
  • Setting scenes;
  • Poetry lines;
  • Famous quotes;
  • Scientific facts;
  • Similes and metaphors;
  • Rhetorical questions.

Thesis statements

State your strong thesis is the last sentence of your introductory paragraph to conclude it on an interesting point. Brainstorm compare and contrast essay topics. The most effective way to decide on excellent compare and contrast essays is to brainstorm and write down interesting thoughts. Organize your ideas after choosing suitable subjects. Create a plan where you’ll discuss their differences and similarities.

Helpful examples

Use online services to find relevant sources on a specific subject, including articles, movies, books, and so on. As a part of your education, you need to conduct deep research to enrich your paper with important and strong details. Don’t miss any valuable source.


Don’t forget about formatting your in-text citations if you use indirect and direct quotes to make your points more persuasive. They serve as strong evidence to support your thesis.

It’s just a brief preview of the basic parts that you should include in your compare and contrast essay in English. Picking original topics can take a while if you don’t have any useful and good samples in front of you.

How to select topics wisely?

If your teachers don’t assign you any specific subject, the most effective way to find great topics for your compare and contrast essay is through reading the following sources:

  • News channels;
  • Newspapers;
  • Internet;
  • Journals and magazines.

Newspapers are endless sources of interesting compare and contrast essay topics because they relate to the current world’s events, expert opinions, public innovations, political changes, and other areas. Focus on interviews and columns. They’re usually written by people with a lot of expertise in the economy, politics, and other fields of daily living.

Turn on your favorite channel to learn about modern issues and come up with a perfect topic for your next compare and contrast essay, not to watch your favorite TV show. The internet is one of the best tools. It’s a great source of countless ideas.

If you aren’t fond of religion, politics, or economics, you can find a number of great compare and contrast essay topics in popular journals and magazines. Pay attention to rubrics about sports, technology, entertainment, etc. Attend different conferences, seminars, and meetings to find out more about current events and issues that many people discuss.

Great topics to write a compare and contrast essay: for college students

  • Unemployed students and students who decide to work: who will experience more benefits;
  • College vs school: innovations and new trends;
  • British English and American English: key differences;
  • Essays and research papers: the hardest academic task;
  • Employment and education: similarities;
  • Home or remote learning vs traditional education;
  • TOEFL and SAT: similarities and differences;
  • Argumentative and persuasive papers: how are they different?

Compare and contrast essay topics: politics and history

  • Religious studies and anthropology;
  • Baroque epoch and Renaissance;
  • UK prime minister and US president: who has more power;
  • The ideas of Washington and Lincoln;
  • King Louis XIV and Henry VIII;
  • South and North before the Civil War;
  • Compare capitalism and communism;
  • World War II and World War I: differences in historical events;
  • Soviet government or American government;
  • Are Nazism or Fascism different or the same?

Compare and contrast essay topics: for beginners

  • Orange vs apple;
  • Tea and coffee: their effects on people;
  • Feeling lonely and feeling sad;
  • Being rich and living in poverty;
  • Daytime and night time: benefits of every period;
  • Staying in villages or living in big cities;
  • Resting by the sea or camping in the woods;
  • Traditional dishes in England and the US: similarities and differences;
  • What makes people different from animals?

Opposite things for comparing and contrasting

  • Males and females;
  • White and red;
  • Summer or winter;
  • Sun and Moon;
  • Living on campus and living at home;
  • Hatred and love;
  • Being a freelancer or working in the office;
  • Rising a bus or driving a car;
  • Radio shows or TV shows;
  • Good and bad aspects of overworking;
  • Pepsi or Coke;
  • Country in peace or country in war.

Compare and contrast essay topics for teenagers

  • Compare adulthood and childhood;
  • Professional career or education: difficulties and benefits;
  • Roman and Greek culture: similarities and differences;
  • Scientific writing and academic writing;
  • Watching or reading screened versions: what many teens choose;
  • Science or art classes;
  • Soft toys or dolls: what should parents get for their kids?

Compare and contrast essay topics: social media and IT

  • Traditional mails and emails;
  • Forbes and New York Times;
  • Traditional and online commerce;
  • Searching for a new job traditionally or online;
  • Real-life relationships or online dating;
  • Traditional writing services or online writing services;
  • Video games, computer games, and smartphone games;
  • The benefits marketing professionals can get from using traditional and online advertising;
  • MySpace or Facebook: which one gives more opportunities to users?

Compare and contrast essay topics: music and movies

  • Rock vs jazz;
  • Dumbledore and Gandalf;
  • Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter;
  • Frodo Baggins or Sam;
  • Loki and Thor: enemies or friends;
  • The Vampire Slayer, Buffy, or Charmed;
  • Soviet Union movies vs American cinematography;
  • Movies or books: why many people choose reading;
  • Thrillers and horror movies: what do they have in common?

Compare and contrast essay topics on literature

  • Non-fiction and fiction books: their major differences;
  • Drama or comedy;
  • Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello;
  • Beauty and the Beast: the most important lessons;
  • Roman or Greek myths;
  • Lyrics and prose: what readers like more;
  • Modern literature and literature of the past;
  • Modern lyrics and Poetry of XII century;
  • Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings: which fantasy book is better?

Scientific compare and contrast ideas

  • Software with fool access to navigation or limited control tools;
  • Tsunami or earthquakes: their harsh consequences;
  • Microwaves or ovens;
  • DaVinci and Thomas Jefferson: innovations and their role;
  • Chemistry or physics;
  • Formulas of chemical reactions: their comparison;
  • The first mission to Moon and further visits: similarities and differences;
  • Andromeda and Milky Way: compare and contrast these galaxies’
  • What makes Mars different from Earth?

Popular compare and contrast essay topics

  • Divorce and marriage: two sides of the coin;
  • Football or soccer;
  • Obesity and anorexia nervosa: dangerous health consequences;
  • Korean or Chinese food;
  • Water or juice: why people should drink water;
  • Marxism and other ideas of capitalism;
  • Personal points of view or public opinion: their objectivity and subjectivity;
  • Linux and Windows: free or paid OS;
  • Dark beer and light beer: which one is better?

Philosophy compare and contrast topics

  • Death and life: existing philosophical views;
  • Living in reality and living in your dreams: advantages and disadvantages;
  • Mental and physical needs of a human being;
  • Friends and enemies: where is the edge?
  • Fantasy world or reality;
  • Humans and dogs: they’re more similar than it seems;
  • Roman philosophers and Greek philosophers;
  • Philosophical ideas in Hamlet and Macbeth;
  • Sources with rights reserved and free access: whether people need to protect intellectual property;
  • Is home a much better place than the Maldives?

What to do next?

Compare and contrast papers are common academic assignments, and you can use different approaches to complete this task successfully:

  • Find differences and similarities;
  • Decide what is relevant;
  • Determine how to organize your paper;
  • Write a strong introductory paragraph;
  • Assume that your readers know nothing.

Find differences and similarities

Write down all the differences and similarities that come to your mind by creating a special Venn diagram. Draw overlapping circles for every idea. Consider important points about each circle.

Decide what is relevant

Make a list of similarities and differences to choose the most relevant ones to your assignment instructions. Take your major argument or overall thesis into account to determine the most important points to include in your paper.

How to organize all sections?

Every piece of academic writing needs the plan that details its structure before you start discussing your ideas or evidence. There are many approaches that you can apply to make all of your thoughts flow logically and easy to read. How to create an outline? Use block or point-by-point approaches.

Write a strong introductory paragraph

A strong opening section plays a huge role, as this is where you explain how you will perform your contrasts and comparisons. In the introduction, you need not only to introduce your chosen subject but also summarize the key points that you will highlight. Clarity is essential. Make sure that an introductory paragraph gives clear explanations of your intentions without mentioning the points that you won’t cover.

Assume that your readers know nothing

When completing your assignment, you need to assume that target readers know nothing about your compare and contrast essay topic. Don’t miss major points. Provide the audience with exhaustive information and support it with strong evidence to get high scores for your piece of writing. Planning is the key to submitting a winning paper.

Where to get help

It can be tricky for you to choose perfect topics for your compare and contrast essay. The process of writing it is complex. Expert assistance from online writers can save you a lot of time that you can spend on your family, hobbies, friends, or other important studies. Let them help you with compare and contrast essay topics. Do you want to minimize your headache? If you still have problems with compare and contrast essay topics, let professional writers know because they’re willing to help you. Think about the benefits they offer. Highly qualified experts can complete any order regardless of its complexity level or deadlines.