June 4, 2018
Probably everyone during their school years has written compare and contrast essays. Most of the time our teachers would give us a specific task and instructions to follow, so it was not really a very hard thing to do. But when the times comes to finally create something on your own, you suddenly feel like there is absolutely nothing to write about.
Don’t worry — everybody was in the same situation. Sometimes we are just not sure if the topic we picked is going to be interesting, and sometimes we don’t even know what to write about. But this article is going to help you go through your struggles — here are some compare and contrast essay ideas that will help you find a topic you like.
Why choose to write compare and contrast essay?
Compare and contrast essay is not the easiest type of essay to write, let’s agree on that. You have to find a lot of resources to use to show the full picture of the problem, and the structure of an essay has to be well planned. No doubt, there are many obstacles on the way to a perfect compare and contrast essay, but all of them are definitely worth it. Compare and contrast essay provides its audience with different views on the same problem or subject, giving readers a freedom to decide what they think about the issue after learning more about.
You can compare different times and historical periods, books, movies, theories, methods etc. You are not limited to anything, and you can choose any compare and contrast writing topics you are passionate about.
Some tips on how to write a good compare and contrast essay
There are a few things to do to create a great compare and contrast essay. This article will briefly explain how to compose your essay and which structure to use.
First of all, choose a topic for your essay. It can be literally anything. Think about what you are interested in, what you are passionate about. There are many good compare and contrast essay topics out there, you just need to find the one you like. This article contains various compare and contrast essay topics, you can easily pick one that will satisfy you.
Choose a type of structure for your essay. It can be a point-by-point structure or a block structure. The Point-by-point structure is when you name one similarity or difference for one object and right after that you state similarity or difference for another object. Block structure is when you give a full information about one object first and then about another. You can choose any type of structure you prefer if it wasn’t said in instructions for your essay which one exactly to use.
For the introduction, give a basic information about the subjects that are going to be compared. The introduction of an essay should also present your thesis statement. The role of an introduction is to encourage readers to continue reading, so try adding an interesting fact or a story from life that will get your readers interested. You can also ask your readers a provocative question and answer it in the main part or conclusion of the essay.
A Thesis statement is the most important part of the essay. There are a few important steps to take to create a good thesis statement. First of all, develop a thesis that has a purpose. If your topic is too broad, narrow it down to create a specific direction. For example, if your topic is ‘School vs. college’, make it more specific by changing your topic question to ‘School vs. college: what are their main similarities and differences’. After that, start analyzing your subjects. Look for detailed characteristics. Don’t just say ‘School and college are similar, even though they provide different learning experience’. Instead of this, try to make a specific statement like ‘Both school and college help us find great friends and learn new material, but they have different educational purposes’.
Now, this is time for the main part of an essay. In body paragraphs provide the evidence and support for the main argument and give more information about the subjects. Each body paragraph should provide a different proof that will analyze the evidence and how it connects to other proofs and thesis statement. The tone of your body paragraphs depends on a topic you chose —for funny compare and contrast essay topics you don’t have to use professional vocabulary and more serious voice, but for many topics, especially if they are scientific or academic, you have to use specific language.
Before writing the body paragraphs, create a list of things you know about each of the subjects. Ask yourself what do you already know and what requires more research. Review your list from time to time, remove and add new things to it if necessary. If you see that there might be a weak connection between the subjects, research a little more. Try to find not only interesting facts but also something that might not be known widely. Your readers probably already know something about the main topic, so it’s best to prepare for them something else, not only general information. Discuss not only positive sides, but negative ones too. Remember, that the best thing about compare and contrast essay is that it gives an overview of a problem without convincing anybody that the author’s perspective is right.
A Conclusion is the last part of the essay that summarizes the evidence and all of the main points. Its role is also to summarize the thesis statements in different words and give a deeper understanding. Reference all of the main points that you made in your body paragraphs — try not to miss anything important, but also don’t overload your essay with too many details.
Education is a very important part of our lives. We are learning new things not only in school and college but also when we go out, read books, attend various events, etc. The Education system has changed a lot over many years, but right now it needs to be reviewed and reformed once more. Writing a compare and contrast essay will be a great way to explore different options and ideas about how exactly should education change.
To write about education you should research other articles about the same topic online. Read different viewpoints, even if you don’t agree with them. You never know when new ideas will appear.
You can also talk to students and teachers to find out their opinion on education. Ask them about what they think of education right now and what they would like to be changed. Gather their thoughts and form a list of pros and cons of modern education and make a separate list of ideas about what new has to be added and done.
You don’t have to talk about major problems and changes in education if you don’t want. There are many others persuasive compare and contrast essay topics regarding education if you are willing to write about it. You can discuss the importance of different subjects, extracurricular activities, school clubs, etc.
Here is a list of some compare and contrast essay topics on education:
- What is better: living at home or living on campus?
- Public or private schools: which gives a better education?
- Online education or traditional education: which one is more effective?
- Doing homework at school and learning material at class or learning new things at home and completing tasks at school: what’s best?
- Science vs. Humanities: which are more valuable to the society?
- Bachelor degree or Master degree: are these really that different?
- Remote learning or classroom education: which gives better results in learning?
- School vs. college: what are the main similarities and differences?
- Students that work and students that are unemployed: who made the right decision?
- Boarding schools vs. day schools: what are the advantages and disadvantages?
- SAT or ACT: which testing gives the best evaluation of students’ skills and knowledge?
- Early start vs. late start at school: when is it better to start school?
- Should a person get one education or more — what are the benefits of having one degree or multiple degrees?
- Studying abroad vs. taking local courses: which one has more advantages?
- College tests vs. high school exams: which one is more important and which one is harder?
If you don’t have much time, but still have to write a compare and contrast essay, use some of the easy topics that this article has. But the fact that these topics are easy does not mean that you don’t have to work on making your essay nice and readable. Follow the instructions for your essay, cite resources and quotes, and check grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
- The American vs. The British: what are the main differences?
- Reading vs watching: which one is better to get new information?
- Flying or driving: which one is safer?
- Working in office or being a freelancer: in which conditions do people work better?
- Public transportation vs. private transportation: what is the best way to get to work or school?
- Living in a big city or staying in a village or town: which one provides a more comfortable life?
- The elderly vs. the youth: what are the differences in a lifestyle?
- Being famous or being wealthy?
- TV or newspapers: where to get news from?
- Outdoors or indoors?
- Selfies vs. traditional photos
- Living in a big family vs. being the only child in the family
- Vacations on the beach or in mountains?
- Coffee vs. tea: which effects do they have on our organism?
- Computer games vs. board games: which are more fun?
Compare and contrast essays on a legal matter are pretty popular and many students choose them to write about. The reason for this is pretty simple: there are always debates about legal topics, and it’s interesting to discuss them. Also, there are lots and lots of resources to use to write your essay, so there shouldn’t be any problem with your research.
There is a variety of interesting compare and contrast essay topics you can choose from — you can describe laws you would like to create, to offer some changes to already existing laws, or to suggest to cancel a law that you don’t like for particular reasons. You can also write about controversial issues and laws that raise debates in modern society.
You don’t have to be very detailed in your essay, but make sure that you check everything you write about. You don’t have to write about something that has already been changed in the way you want.
Here are great compare and contrast topics about the law:
- Cigarettes or marijuana: which should be outlawed?
- Higher vs. lower drinking age: which one is appropriate?
- Criminal vs. civil justice: what is the difference?
- Law system of past centuries vs. modern law system: what are the main differences and which one worked more effectively?
- Pro-Choice vs. Pro-life: should abortion be legalized?
- Western law vs. Eastern law: how different are they?
- Who should be responsible for children violating the law: parents or their children?
Essays on moral and ethical topics are one of the most popular choices among college students. There are many topics to choose from, from animal testing to the freedom of speech.
All of these topics are still discussed in our society a lot and raise debates since everybody has a different opinion about whether something is right or wrong.
Some topics may have a connection to the law — for example, death penalty or abortion legalization.
When you write an essay on moral topics, describe the problem from different points of view, showing both sides of the same problem.
Make sure that you don’t let your emotions take over your mind. You should use a neutral voice, and if you are willing to tell your opinion in the essay, don’t mock an opposite viewpoint.
- Death penalty vs. life imprisonment: what is the best way to do justice?
- Volunteer work vs. paid work: which gives more benefits?
- Atheism vs. theism: what best explains reality?
- Freedom of speech vs. hate speech: where should we draw the line between these?
- Child labor vs. child work: how to fight against slavery and work that deprives children of their childhood and help children get equal rights and choices?
- Eating meat and fish vs. vegetarianism: is it ethical to eat animals as they are living creatures?
- Pro-Choice vs. pro-life: what is the right decision?
- Prostitution vs. human trafficking: what is the difference and should prostitution be legalized or not?
- Compulsory education vs. freedom of choice: is it immoral to control younger population?
- Dermatological testing vs. animal testing: should we abandon animal testing and use alternative ways of testing cosmetics?
- Traditional energy vs. alternative energy: what is the cost of both and which one causes less pollution?
There are always times when you want to go below the surface and to discover a deeper meaning of some things. Use your ideas to write a compare and contrast essay on philosophical topics.
Philosophical topics might be controversial since many things have more than one explanation for it, so it is not easy to determine the truth. Remember, that almost any topic you pick will have different perspectives. Study academic resources to find out more about the issue you are going to discuss — this will help you gather more opinions. Search essays on the subject you picked to see how other writers dealt with the same topic.
The main thing is to be interested in the topic you are writing about because this way you will be able to create a great piece that will conquer the hearts of your readers and will make them think more deeply.
Here are some unique compare and contrast essay topics on philosophy:
- Life and death: philosophical views
- Animals vs. humans: are we more similar to animals than we think?
- Physical vs. mental needs of humans: what is more important to us?
- Greek philosophers vs. Roman philosophers: what are the main differences between their philosophies?
- Good and evil: which one will eventually win?
- Is it wrong or good to believe that God exists?
- Selfishness vs. altruism: which one drives human evolution?
- Is happiness derived from helping others or from getting material goods?
- Wisdom vs. intelligence: what is the difference?
- Sexual desire vs. love: are these the same thing?
- Reality or fantasy world?
- Realists vs. dreamers: is it better to be a realist or a dreamer?
- Monotheism vs. Polytheism
- Music vs. poetry: do they affect humans in the same way?
- Friends or enemies: who can be more dangerous?
- Childhood vs. adulthood: how does a life change when you get more responsibilities
Compare and contrast essays are very popular tasks in college, so no wonder if you will get this one as your assignment. Here are some great compare and contrast essay topics college-level institutions might require.
- Sciences vs. Arts: which are more valuable on the job market?
- Education or professional career: which path is easier and which one is harder?
- Research paper vs. essay: which one is harder to write?
- Comparing two different political leaders, how they are different and similar (for example, Donald Trump vs. Margaret Thatcher)
- Comparing two religions, their similarities, and differences
- Communism vs. capitalism
- Theory vs. practice: which one gives a better learning experience?
- British vs. American education systems: which one is more efficient?
Politics and history have been tightened together forever. Writing about these topics means doing a lot of additional research, but digging deeper is always interesting.
For such types of topics make sure to find out as much as possible about the main subject. You should use only reliable and academic resources for your essay because false information will turn readers away from you.
- American government vs. Soviet government: how different they were? (you can also compare two other governments)
- US President vs. Monarch of England: how their powers are different?
- North and South before the Civil War in the US
- Fascism vs. Nazism: are they different or the same?
- Dictatorship vs. democracy: what are the main differences?
- Karl Max vs. Adam Smith: how their ideas are connected?
- Republican vs. Democrat: what do parties stand for?
- Anarchism vs. libertarianism: two sides of the same coin
- Maya vs. Aztecs civilizations: how similar they were?
- Renaissance vs. Baroque epoch: what are the key differences between both of them?
- Lincoln vs. Washington: compare their ideas
- Greek Gods vs. Roman Gods: difference and comparison (you can also compare other ancient myths)
- The Great Depression vs. The Great Recession
Compare and contrast essay is also a popular type of essay in high school. From time to time teachers might ask their students to write compare and contrast essay.
It is not going to be a hard task, but it is best to make sure that the teacher’s instructions are followed.
Here is a list of popular compare and contrast essay topics for high school students:
- Compare book and movie characters
- European history vs. US history
- Poetry vs. prose: how both genres influence our society?
- Social networks: pick any two social networks and compare their advantages and disadvantages
- Online courses vs. traditional courses: what are the pros and cons of both?
- Reading a paper book or an e-book: which are the benefits of both?
- Gender roles in different parts of the world (for example, the Western world vs. the Eastern world)
- Compare two different genres of music
- Fiction vs. non-fiction: what is the main difference?
- Textbooks or tablets at schools: how do these help the process of learning?
So now as you have come to the end of this article you can see that there are many compare and contrast essay topics you can choose from. The list is not limited only to this one, because there are even more interesting essay topics.
The only thing you have to remember about picking the topic is that it has to interest you. Not your friends or family, but you. And when you write about something that you are passionate about, more people will be interested in your writing. Do your research, learn more about grammar and punctuation, write daily, and, what is most important, believe in yourself — and you will succeed.