100 compare and contrast essay topics

Top 100 Compare & Contrast Essay Topics

Compare and contrast essays are a staple in English in high school and college. Most students assume it is easy writing such essays but barely scoop all the points. A lot of the underperformance when writing a compare and contrast essay comes from the planning stage, which most students skip. Choosing a topic is where writing begins because writing about a topic you know about is easier than writing a topic you are new to. This article gives you an assortment of topics to choose from, as well as a guide on how to choose the best essay topic so that you’re on the right track

What is a compare and contrast essay?

This type of essay aims to help the reader see both sides of something and give a better understanding. It looks at the similarities between two things and also differences in those same things. The author needs to present them in an unbiased way that is fair to both subjects.

In order to make sure the essay is readable, use subheadings that describe each subject. This makes for an easier read and helps the reader understand what you are talking about. Make it clear, don’t be overly complicated with your language, and most of all, keep it interesting.

100 good topics for compare & contrast essays

We have compiled a list of the top compare and contrast essay topics. Pick a topic from our list and brainstorm ideas on it.

Best compare and contrast topics

  1. Compare and contrast the different types of love
  2. Compare and contrast two popular TV shows
  3. Compare and contrast a fictional character with their creator’s real-life counterpart
  4. Compare and contrast the movie Avatar to Pocahontas, focusing on similarities and differences in plot, characters, setting, etc. 
  5. Explain what is meant by “the American Dream” using examples from literature or popular culture (e.g., The Great Gatsby) 
  6. Contrast the protagonist’s journey in one book with another protagonist’s journey in another book or movie (e.g., Harry Potter vs. Luke Skywalker)
  7. Compare and contrast the benefits of living in a rural area versus an urban area
  8. Compare and contrast the advantages of public transportation versus using your car
  9. Compare and contrast how animals are treated in zoos vs. farms
  10. Compare and contrast the importance of physical education to academic performance
  11. Contrast how different cultures have different views on tattoos, piercings, or body modifications 
  12. Contrast how people react when they see someone with autism or mental illness
  13. Write a contrast essay about the effects of global warming on North America to those in South America
  14. 2. Compare and contrast two different types of music, such as classical vs. rock
  15. Write a contrast essay about two different careers that a student could have, such as teaching or engineering
  16. Discuss how humans are similar to animals in some ways and then compare those similarities with differences between them
  17. A contrast essay about the roles of men versus women in society today
  18. A comparative analysis of the way dogs and cats behave
  19. A contrast paper about the different ways to make coffee
  20. A comparison of how people in different countries spend their days
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Essay topics for college students

  1. Comparing what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom versus being a working mom
  2. Comparing and contrasting some of your favorite movies or TV shows 
  3. Contrast two people you know who are very similar but have one key difference that sets them apart from each other (e.g., compare/contrast yourself with your best friend)
  4. Comparing the lives of people in New York City to those living on a farm
  5. Comparing and contrasting how different cultures celebrate Christmas around the world
  6. A contrast paper about two actors who have been nominated for an Oscar
  7. Comparing clothes from the 1990s vs. 2000s fashion trends
  8. A comparison of what life was like in America before 9/11 with today’s society 
  9. Contrast your favorite book with one you didn’t enjoy reading as much, discussing why these books are so different
  10. Comparing and contrasting the lives of people in New York City to those living on a farm
  11. Comparing and contrasting how different cultures celebrate Christmas around the world
  12. Comparing and contrasting two actors who have been nominated for an Oscar
  13. Comparing and contrasting clothes from the 1990s vs. 2000s fashion trends
  14. Contrasting what life was like in America before 9/11 with today’s society 
  15. Contrasting your favorite book with one you didn’t enjoy reading as much, discussing why these books are so different
  16. Comparing the way different cultures greet each other
  17. Comparing the way people in various countries dress for work
  18. Comparing and contrasting two iconic paintings from different eras
  19. Comparing and contrasting how the world has changed over time, especially with technology
  20. Comparing and contrasting two famous novels that are similar but have key differences 

Essay topics for high school students

  1. Comparing your favorite song with a less-liked song by the same artist or band to show what you like about it (or vice versa)
  2. Comparing and contrasting the movie Frozen with the book The Lion King
  3. Comparing and contrasting your favorite TV show with a different show you like 
  4. A comparison of your life before college to now
  5. Comparing two people in history who had similar backgrounds but ended up taking very different paths in life
  6. Comparing your favorite food to another one that’s not so popular but you think is delicious 
  7. Comparing what it was like living in New York City versus living on a farm as a child
  8. Comparing the protagonist of “The Great Gatsby” with Jay Gatsby
  9. Comparing India’s caste system with America’s social classes
  10. A comparison of the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” to the book “Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption.”
  11. Compare and contrast how people behave when they’re drunk versus sober
  12. Comparing and contrasting a famous artist such as Pablo Picasso or Vincent Van Gogh to someone who is not well known like Claude Monet or Edward Hopper
  13. Comparing two sports teams from different eras – compare Alabama football in 2016 vs. Notre Dame football in 1943, for example
  14. Comparing and contrasting the two presidential candidates’ views on immigration
  15. Comparing and contrasting a person’s high school experience with an Ivy League education
  16. A comparison essay of how people are reacting to President Obama’s second term in office
  17. A comparison of what it is like to live in New York City versus Los Angeles
  18. Compare medical care in America today as opposed to ten years ago 
  19. Comparing and contrasting your favorite TV show from when you were five years old to now
  20. Compare the Harry Potter series to the Lord of the Rings trilogy

Good compare and contrast essay topics

  1. Comparing and contrasting fast food with healthy eating
  2. A comparison of two different types of detergents, one that is eco-friendly and one that isn’t
  3. Comparing and contrasting two different car brands
  4. Compare a traditional wedding gown to a more casual dress for a beach wedding 
  5. Compare an apple to an orange – which is better for you in terms of vitamins, nutrients, etc.?
  6. Compare the movie Titanic with the book
  7. Compare a school in America with one in China 
  8. Compare two different types of fashion trends for women
  9. Comparing and contrasting two different types of food trucks 
  10. Comparing and contrasting a day at work vs. a day on vacation 
  11. Explain what it’s like to live without internet access for one week, then compare it to your normal life
  12. Compare the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” to the book by Stephen King
  13. Comparing and contrasting two different types of cars
  14. Comparing and contrasting a popular TV show from the 1980s with one that is on now
  15. Comparing and contrasting your favorite childhood toy to what kids play with today
  16. A comparison of two books you’ve read recently 
  17. Comparing apples to oranges – compare how much they cost, their nutritional value, etc…
  18. Comparing and contrasting the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” to the book by Stephen King
  19. A comparison of two different types of cars
  20. Comparing and contrast a popular TV show from the 1980s with one that is on now

Easy compare and contrast essay topics

  1. Comparing and contrasting your favorite childhood toy to what kids play with today
  2. Comparing and contrasting two books you’ve read recently 
  3. Comparing and contrasting the life of a farmer to that of a city dweller
  4. Compare how people in different countries celebrate Christmas
  5. Comparing the differences between rural living vs. urban living
  6. Contrasting two different types of music, such as classical vs. jazz
  7. Contrasting an animal’s natural habitat with its domesticated environment 
  8. Comparing and contrasting two different types of food – for example, pizza slices vs. hamburgers
  9. Comparing and contrasting the French Revolution to the Russian Revolution
  10. Comparing and contrasting two different types of music
  11. A comparison of a popular movie with its remake
  12. Comparing and contrasting what it was like for your grandparents in their youth versus your childhood
  13. A comparison essay about how you feel about school now versus when you were younger or during high school 
  14. Contrasting between what life is like as an adult vs. being a child  
  15. Writing a compare and contrast two people who had similar backgrounds but chose different paths in life, such as Steve Jobs (Apple) vs. Bill Gates (Microsoft) 
  16. Compare some of your favorite movies from overtime, such as Citizen Kane versus Avatar
  17. Compare how one country’s culture differs from another country’s culture
  18. Compare how someone lives their day-to-day life today compared to 100 years ago
  19. Compare the American Dream to the Chinese Dream

Bonus Topics

  1. Compare and contrast the different types of love
  2. Compare and contrast a novel with its movie adaptation
  3. Compare and contrast two people who are close in age but have very different personalities, interests, or life paths
  4. Write about one person’s journey through life from birth until death (either their own story or someone else’s) 
  5. Discuss how various cultures view time differently – for example, some cultures see it as cyclical while others see it as linear; compare these views on time to each other to explore what they might say about cultural values

How do I write a comparative and contrast essay?

It would be best to start with the introduction that tells the reader what you will be talking about and why. You then want to give two or three good reasons for your subject coming up in conversation. This is followed by a few paragraphs of background information, including; who, when, where, what, and maybe why before you get into your comparison and contrast of the two.

In the middle, you want to put your points into headings so that you can go over each point in a different paragraph. This lets your readers focus on one thing at a time and not get lost in all of the information you are giving them. Make sure every heading has descriptive words making it easier for everyone to understand.

The conclusion is the final section and should bring everything together. Make sure you put a nice, solid finish to your essay by reiterating what you have already said but putting it differently. This will summarize for the reader what they have just read and leaves them with a good overall understanding of the two subjects.

The best way to choose a compare and contrast topic.

When choosing a topic for your essay, start by writing down two topics that you can think of. Then when you have them both written down, eliminate the one you don’t like as much and make sure it isn’t just because it’s easier to write about. It would help if you found something hard and challenging but not so difficult that you can’t finish it.

If you are stuck on ideas, look around you in your daily life and find things that interest you. This can be anything from cars to music or even celebrities. You want something that will peak your curiosity and keep you going with the work until the end.

There are so many different topics to choose from, but you also want to take the reader’s interest into account as well. You can find other people’s opinions on your topic or search online for ideas and see what others have said about it.

Tips on how to write superb compare and contrast essays.

Compare and contrast essays are structured in the same way as argumentative essays, but instead of presenting an argument for a particular issue, both sides of an issue are presented. The essay writer’s personal opinion is not included.

When writing this kind of essay:

1)Always clearly state which point in each sentence is discussing and which side or view is being presented.

2)Provide enough background information about each topic to allow the reader to understand it fully.

3)Expressing a personal opinion is not appropriate in an essay of this kind. For example, you should not state that one movie was better than another because you liked it more. It would be acceptable to say that one movie was better because it had a clearer plot or stronger acting, but your opinion that one movie is better than another should not be expressed.

As with an argumentative essay, the compare and contrast essay must also have a clear thesis statement at the beginning to clearly state what you are attempting to do in your essay.

This will allow the reader to understand what point of view you are presenting and show your own opinion on the subject.

As with most essays, a compare and contrast essay can be strengthened by:

1) Supporting statements backed up by facts or specific examples from the text or other outside sources.

2) A clear and concise thesis statement at the beginning of the essay that clearly states what both sides are being presented so the reader will understand and can follow along with understanding.

3) Including a concluding paragraph that reiterates your point, ties together all points, and tells the reader what you think about each topic.

4) Staying on topic and making sure each sentence is relevant to the point you are trying to make.

5) Using transitions to help the reader flow through the essay without feeling lost or taking too long to find a specific paragraph.

6) Organizing your information into clear, well-labeled paragraphs that keep related information together rather than sprinkling it throughout your essay.

7) Proofreading carefully for any spelling errors, grammatical errors, or choice of words that could change the meaning (for example, saying “their” instead of “they’re”).

And remember, these essays are based on the premise that there are two sides to every issue. If you’re writing about something where there is only one side (for example, whether or not it’s raining outside), then you’re writing an argumentative essay instead of a compare and contrast essay!

Conclusion

Again, to be a good compare and contrast essay writer, you must first have a clear idea of your thesis statement at the beginning of the essay. You must also clearly state which point you are discussing in each sentence so that the reader will understand what is being discussed and can follow along with understanding.

You need to make sure there is enough information to support your point of view for each topic, and you need to stick to the topic.

Other than that, transitions will help the reader flow through the essay without feeling lost or taking too long to find a specific paragraph. Organizing your information into clear, well-labeled paragraphs is also important as it helps keep related information together rather than sprinkling it throughout the essay.

And, as always, remember to proofread carefully for any errors. If readers find too many mistakes in an essay, they may lose interest and stop reading altogether! Tired of writing? Send your paper to us for quality results, or place a completely new order to get a well-written essay in no time. What’s more? The prices are affordable. Consult our team today!

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