Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Compare and contrast essays are some of the most interesting assignments and students (well, some) enjoy writing them. This is because unlike most kinds of essays, it is hardly possible to get writer's block when you are handling these. You are given the freedom to not only pick compare and contrast topics on your own, but you have the freedom to choose the side of your support as well as how to contrast it.

However, the fact that you are given all this freedom does not mean that this is the simplest essay to write. The biggest challenge is usually in picking the best topic for you and this can be quite a huge issue if you are not careful in what you are doing. Let's see compare and contrast essay topics ideas as well as brief strategies you can use in your writing.

Tips On How To Write Superb Compare And Contrast Essays

The first thing that you need to do before you start writing is to choose an appropriate topic to write about. This should essentially be a topic of interest to you or something that you can discuss in length without any problem whatsoever. Lucky for you, there are so many topics you could focus on when writing and it is all up to you to determine the exact topic that you want to build on.

In most cases, the topics you choose should be closely related. For example if you chose to go with sports, choose two contrasting topics that are in the same category such as soccer vs basketball. You should steer clear of choosing topics that do not have any kind of relationship whatsoever such as pasta vs winter. This will be difficult to compare as they do not have any similarities and are basically worlds apart.

However, there is an exception of really good art students who can pull off contrasting two things that are completely different or discussing certain topics from an artistic point of view. For example one may choose a topic such as, life in the shoes of a werewolf. You see that it is an unusual topic that may be quite difficult to imagine or explain, but some students may just turn that topic into a masterpiece.

Students are encouraged that when choosing a topic, you think outside the box as this will most likely earn you better grades. Students who excel in writing about such complex topic may have a chance to be enrolled into some of the best Art universities to develop their skills and talent.

How To Choose Your Sources

Just because you are given total freedom about what you are going to write, does not mean that you should write casually without giving any proof. Remember that a compare and contrast essay is an academic essay so the language and formatting should all be formal.

Referencing and giving citations in your work is one of the best ways of proving your points, hence explaining why you chose a particular stand. The sources that you choose should be up to date and not more than 5 years old unless you are discussing a historical topic. Always check for the credibility of your sources before using them in your essay so as not to give false information. Some of the best sources of information include:

  • Official textbooks and encyclopedias.
  • Books.
  • Published journals.
  • Official magazines.
  • Academic and research reports.
  • Documentaries.

Steps To Writing A Compare And Contrast Essay

As you may know, a compare and contrast essay is not really written like other common kinds of essays. There are certain aspects about it that make it so different from all these other essays and you need to be aware of that before you start writing.

The first thing you need to do is identify the type of compare and contrast essay that you are handling. There are basically four types:

  • Events. These essays focus on the comparison of different historical events in life or in books.
  • Different situations. They examine the differences of certain cases that you may have found yourself in or even others. If you know how to write a newspaper editorial you are familiar with this stylistics
  • Characters. Focused on people or characters in books, what they did and the impact.
  • Locations or travelling essays. Discusses different places and locations in the world.

As much as compare and contrast essays are written a bit differently from other types of essays, there are certain aspects about them that are similar to the writing format of other essays.

  1. Introduction. Just like in any other essay, a good compare and contrast essay has to have an introduction that is catchy and functional. Here, you need to explain what your topic is all about and what you hope to achieve at the end of the discussion. It should also have a thesis statement that will give a little more information about the subject matter and why you have chosen to discuss it.
  2. Your argument. The next step is to start writing about your stand point, while giving proof of why you think that the way you are looking at it is the best. Use references, quotations and citations to develop your argument into something readable and easy to understand.
  3. Opposing arguments. You need to do thorough research about the opposing arguments that your rival would use to counter your points. You should discuss at least two points here and refute these points standing with your own.
  4. Concluding statement. Here, you can choose to rephrase your thesis statement and supporting that your point of view is the best. Conclude with a powerful statement that will impact on the reader. Use some cause and effect essay outline to emphasise the connection between the paragraphs.

Writing Tips To Make Your Essay Stand Out

Any good essay has to stand out and encourage the reader to continue reading from the beginning to the end, no matter the type of essay it is. This is why you need to ensure that you make your compare and contrast essay as interesting and accurate as possible using these tips.

  1. Check other essays for inspiration. Starting your own essay from scratch can be a bit confusing for most students. This is why you need to take some time and check out other written essays in the same category as the one you are writing for the best ways to start, develop your argument and finally conclude. See how to incorporate quotes, sayings and humor into your compare and contrast essay. Also check on creative ways to use our references to add some backbone to your argument.
  2. Think critically. This is necessary when you are trying to find a suitable topic to write about since there are so many to choose from. Brainstorm and write down a list of your best topics listing down the differences and similarities to see which work well together and have a lot of points that you can discuss.
  3. Seek professional assistance. Identifying great education services can help you get your hands on really useful sources on your chosen topics. This will help you build a strong argument and to be able to back what you are discussing. You can write literature review where you reveal your sources and how they helped in your discussion. It is a really great way of increasing your word count without unnecessary fluff.
  4. Proper formatting and in text citations. As earlier mentioned, a compare and contrast essay is an academic paper so the correct formatting needs to be used according to what you were instructed to do. In text citations give evidence of your discussion and why you chose the argument that you did.

So now you know how to choose the best compare and contrast topics and the different segments that you need to address when writing. You also understand how to find sources and the best kind to use in your paper to make it relevant and interesting. however, you may still have a problem identifying the best topics for you to discuss, which is why we have highlighted different topics that you can use in your compare and contrast essay.

Best Compare And Contrast Topics For University Students

  1. Sciences vs Arts: which are the most viable in the job market?
  2. Essays vs research papers: what is the difference:
  3. Home schooling: what are the benefits and disadvantages?
  4. College education: should it be free? What is to be gained if that step was taken?
  5. College degrees: how relevant are they in today’s job market?
  6. Education: is it necessary to become successful in life?
  7. Exams: are they a true reflection of a student’s ability?
  8. Boarding schools vs day schools: what are the major differences?
  9. Hostels vs renting: what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Political And Historical Topics

  1. Karl Marx vs Friedrich Hegel: who made the most impact?
  2. The bible vs the Quran: what are the differences in teachings
  3. The 60s vs the 90s music: which was better?
  4. Capitalism vs communism: which is superior?
  5. Dictatorship and democratic: how are they different?
  6. Al Qaeda vs Boko Haram: are they the same?
  7. African government vs western governments: what are the differences in governance?
  8. Greek gods: real or not?
  9. Us president vs Monarch of England: what are the differences in power?

Compare And Contrast Topics For Starters

  1. Tomatoes: are they fruits or vegetables?
  2. Netball vs basketball: are the rules different or the same?
  3. Samsung vs apple: which is the better brand?
  4. Being miserable in a mansion or happy in a shanty: which is better?
  5. Differences between the American and the British.
  6. Aliens: real or not?
  7. Marijuana: is it dangerous or a blessing in disguise?
  8. Winter vs summer: which is better?
  9. Dinner date vs movie and drinks.

Battle Of The Opposites Essay Topics

  1. White vs black.
  2. Alibaba vs amazon.
  3. Religious marriage vs civil marriage.
  4. Dogs vs cats.
  5. Happiness vs sadness.
  6. Pizza vs pasta.
  7. WW1 vs WW2.
  8. Good girl vs bad boy.
  9. Electric vs gas cars.

Teenage Compare And Contrast Essays

  1. Watching at home vs going out to a movie.
  2. When should one be allowed to date?
  3. Reading vs watching? Which is easier
  4. Arts vs Science
  5. Hip hop vs RnB
  6. White collar vs blue collar
  7. Android vs IOS
  8. Casual vs casual official? What is more appropriate?
  9. Snapchat vs Instagram: which is better?

IT And Social Media Essay Topics

  1. Does paper mailing have a space in future?
  2. Desktop computers vs tablets
  3. Facebook vs Twitter: which is better?
  4. Online jobs vs traditional jobs?
  5. SEO vs traditional marketing? Which yield more results?
  6. Blogs vs websites.
  7. Traditional learning vs E-learning: what does the future hold?
  8. Windows vs IOS.
  9. Radio vs newspapers.

Movie and Music Comparison Ideas

  1. Rock vs country.
  2. Batman vs superman: who is the true hero of the world?
  3. DC vs Marvel?
  4. Comedy vs Horror
  5. Dumbledore vs Voldemort
  6. Vampires vs werewolves: who are stronger?
  7. 3D vs normal screening? Differences and similarities?
  8. Avengers vs fantastic four
  9. Michael Jackson vs Prince: who is the true kind of pop music?

Compare And Contrast Literature Topics

  1. Fiction vs nonfiction: which has a larger readership?
  2. Romance vs horror.
  3. Past vs present works of literature: which is better?
  4. Hardcopy vs E- books
  5. Romeo and Juliet: takeaway lessons
  6. Is Shakespeare the greatest poet who ever lived?
  7. Poetry vs hip hop: are there any similarities?
  8. Greek vs Egyptian mythology
  9. Is harry potter the best magical fantasy book ever written?

Scientific Topic Ideas

  1. Uranus vs Saturn: are there any similarities?
  2. The sun vs the moon
  3. Chemistry vs biology
  4. Nuclear vs fossil energy
  5. Disputable scientific statements
  6. Science and technology: are they interdependent?
  7. Is there life on other planets
  8. Can theories in physics be used to explain all aspects of life?
  9. Hurricanes vs tornados

Everyday Compare And Contrast Topics

  1. Coffee vs tea
  2. Wood vs bricks: which is better to build with
  3. The west vs the east: similarities
  4. Catholics vs protestants
  5. African countries vs European countries
  6. Flying vs driving: which one is better?
  7. McDonalds vs KFC
  8. Cartoon network vs Nickelodeon
  9. American English vs British English

Philosophy Topic Ideas

  1. Music vs poetry: do they have the same effect on people
  2. Philosophers vs historians: are they similar?
  3. Which is more important food or health care?
  4. Are humans wilder than wild animals?
  5. Should there be justification for evil deeds?
  6. Friends vs enemies: who should you be weary of?
  7. Good vs evil: where is the line drawn?
  8. Simplest explanation vs complex explanation: which is best?
  9. Similarities between philosophy and religion.
  10. The pen is mightier than the sword: how true is this?

Final Thoughts

The above mentioned compare and contrast essay topics are just a few of the many topics you can choose to discuss in your essay. If you are still having problems making a decision, then you can always ask for assistance from our professional essay writers who will help you find the best topic. You can also order a fully written compare and contrast essay and ease the amount of work you have to do.

compare and contrast essay topics

It’s no wonder that students like to write contrast and compare essays because they leave a lot of space for creativity and own opinion. Such an essay allows the student to put in his own thoughts on the subjects compared and it can be quite fun to compare two entities rather just analyzing one and composing an essay on that. Of course, this doesn’t make it a very easy job and there are some rules and tips you should be aware of before starting to write a comparative essay.

Main Parts of Writing a Compare Essay

Before you even start writing it is very important to choose the topic that will put you in advantage. In most of the situations, you should look for items to compare that have some differences but similarities as well. For example, you can’t go on writing a comparative essay between a stone and rock and roll. So focus on comparison items that will give you the chance to talk about things they have in common but as well on how one is better than the other at certain aspects.

After you establish the comparison items you needs to do some proper research so that you have enough information on both to be able to perform a proper comparison. There are several sources from where you can gather information on your subjects but make sure that you always go with facts. Your text will need some proper back-up and sources to be cited. You can use sources like:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Documentaries
  • Scientific magazines
  • Academic journals
  • Official Reports
  • Newspapers

How to Write a Comparative and Contrast Essay

If you think that you can simply use the basic essay tips you learned in class or for other types of essays, you’re wrong. The thing with comparative and contrast essays is that you’re not just focusing on one item and anything you write has to be constructed in such a way that it can be used to compare it with the other one.

You can start with the type of topic you choose for your compare and contrast essay. Usually, the topics are divided into 4 categories:

  • Events
  • Situations
  • People and Fiction
  • Places

No matter what category you choose to go with, you will have to always follow the structure of any academic paper. If you’re not sure how that goes, let us refresh your memory a bit.


Here is the place where you have to try and get your readers to listen and hook them with your story. You need to present your topic, of course, and also your thesis statement which has the role of indicating to your readers what is the probable course of the entire work. The thesis statement usually goes in the first paragraph, somewhere around the last sentence of it.

Emphasizing on your arguments

After you’ve done the research, it’s time to develop the arguments that you make when comparing one thing to another. Makes sure to include reliable sources and don’t overdo it, just make it enough for your comparison to look well-researched.

Refuting arguments

In this section things will go the other way around. You need to research the selected topic and find facts to contradict your initial thesis. Again, choose at least one example and expand it into a paragraph at least that contains the counter-argument and as well as sources you used to reach that conclusion.


Obviously, this is the part where you draw your conclusions. You can restate your thesis statement and point out some of the arguments used over the entire essay that backs it up.

More Tips on Writing a Comparative and Contrast Essay

Always check for possible examples of essays when working on your hook sentence. This sentence has a great influence on a first-time reader of your work decision to keep reading or simply pass. There’s a wide variety of hooks you can use such as:

  • Literary queotes
  • Anecdotes or jokes
  • Quotes of important persons
  • Setting scenes
  • Quotes from poetry
  • Scientific arguments
  • Rhetorical questions

Never stop brainstorming since it’s the best way to make a decision regarding the two items you’re going to write about. Make sure to write them down so you can go over them later and finally decide what you’re going to focus on. You can even start to sketch a few similarities and differences between the topic you brainstormed so that you have an idea on how complicated it will be to write the essay.

If needed, you can always turn to professionals to give you a nudge or help you with your topics or sources. You can appeal to books, movies or articles that are discussing the same topic you’re going to approach in your essay.

Make sure you don’t forget about in-text citations and formatting since you’re writing an academic paper. You have to use all the correct citations, including indirect and direct quotes to make your text even more believable.

We are trying to keep the part on how to write a comparative and contrast essay as brief as possible as we already approached this subject, in full, in another article. This article puts more focus on subjects and topic for these types of essays since without a good topic, you might end up getting stuck and have to start over and over again. So here are the best 150 topics you can elaborate a compare and contrast essay on.

Topics for Compare and Contrast Essays That Can be Used by College Students

As you can see, the topics are divided into multiple categories so that it would be easier for you to select one. We chose to start this list of categorized topics with what’s most relevant for college students and that’s obviously college itself and how to handle it. So, here we go:

  1. College vs Schools – what’s changed?
  2. Unemployed students compared to students that work. Who’s having the right approach.
  3. Essays vs research papers – what’s the best choice?
  4. British English or American English – what are the major differences?
  5. Are there any similarities between employment and education?
  6. TOEFL and SAT – what are the similarities and differences?
  7. Ph. D and Master Degree – main differences
  8. Argumentative papers vs persuasive paper – same or different
  9. Traditional Education or remote education – what works best?

6th Grade Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Summer or Winter – what’s the best season?
  2. Christmas at home vs Christmas traveling
  3. Wolves and dogs – differences and similarities
  4. Flowers and Weeds – why do we need both?
  5. Novels or comic books – what’s more interesting to read?
  6. Ping-pong vs tennis – what’s your favorite game?
  7. Reading a book vs watching TV
  8. Female friend or male friends – which ones are best?
  9. Western USA vs Eastern USA

Middle School Essay Topics

  1. Zeus vs King Arthur – which one is cooler?
  2. Role models of 1950s compared to modern role models
  3. Watching a move at home compared with going to the cinema
  4. Is there a link between school bullies and dictators?
  5. Is a hurricane worse than a tsunami or the other way around?
  6. Christmas, Halloween or Prom night – which one is the most fun?
  7. Bicycle or car driving – which one is more difficult?
  8. 5-star hotels vs 3-star ones – why should you choose each of them?
  9. Parents or celebrities – who influences a teenager most of all?

High School Compare and Contrast Essay Themes

  1. Historic literature or fiction – which one appeals most to college students?
  2. College Tests vs High School examinations – what is the most important of the two?
  3. E-learning versus traditional learning – is science and technology really helping with the learning process?
  4. New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons – who has more fans?
  5. Printed books vs e-books – what is the most appealing form of reading for colleague students?
  6. Story buildings or wooden houses – what type of construction is best?
  7. Portugal and Spain – what are the main similarities and differences?
  8. Japanese concept of beauty compared with the American one – what are the standards?
  9. Modern rock music compared with rock from the early 20th century – what are the differences and how did this genre evolve?

Day-to-day Compare and Contrast Essay Themes

  1. Buffy or Twilight – similarities and differences in characters
  2. Macbeth vs Julius Caesar – what do they have in common?
  3. Modernism vs realism – main differences and similarities
  4. Prose vs poetry – what are the literary elements that differentiate these genres
  5. Rural vs urban living – what are the similarities and differences
  6. Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump – who should have won and what do they have in common?
  7. Barcelona vs Real Madrid – differences and things the two clubs have in common
  8. Android vs iOS – benefits of both operating systems
  9. Textbooks or tablets in schools – what are the advantages and disadvantages of each in the process of learning?
  10. Asylums vs Jails
  11. Star Trek vs Star Wards
  12. Family Guy vs American Dad
  13. Pineapple vs Apple
  14. Scandinavian Mythology vs Greek Mythology

Politics and History Compare Essay Topics

  1. Washington’s Ideas compared with Lincoln’s way of action
  2. Baroque vs Renaissance epochs
  3. Religious Studies vs Anthropology
  4. Soviet Government opposed to the American Government
  5. UK Prime Minister vs US President
  6. South and North Before the events of the Civil War in the United States
  7. King Louis XIV compared with Henry VIII
  8. Nazism and fascism: are there any differences?
  9. Difference in the events of World War II and World War I

Easy to Approach Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Comparing an orange to an apple
  2. Day Time vs Night Time – what are the advantages of each time frame?
  3. What are the main differences between animals and people
  4. Being rich opposed to living in poverty
  5. Tea or Coffee – What are the similarities and contrasts?
  6. Living in a small village opposed to living in a big city
  7. The differences between feeling sad or lonely
  8. Main differences and similarities between British and American traditional dishes
  9. Camping sites – seashore or in the woods?

Opposite Compare Essay Topics

  1. Males vs Females
  2. Pepsi or Coke?
  3. White vs Red
  4. Peace vs War
  5. Riding the bus or driving a car?
  6. Hatred and love
  7. Positive and negative aspects of working a lot
  8. Sun and the Moon
  9. Soft toys or dolls – what are the most appropriate toys?

Compare and Contrast Topics for Teenagers

  1. Adulthood vs Childhood
  2. Living on Campus opposed to living at home
  3. Watching a movie or reading the book that the movie was made after?
  4. Freelancing or working in an office?
  5. Scientific writing vs academic writing
  6. Radio shows or TV show?
  7. Professional career or education – what should you focus on?
  8. Roman and Greek culture – what are the main similarities and differences
  9. Science Classes compared with Art Classes

Social Media and IT Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Traditional Mailing vs email
  2. Traditional Commerce vs e-commerce
  3. Real-life dating vs online dating sites and apps
  4. Video Computer games vs smartphone games
  5. Forbes or New York Times?
  6. MySpace or Facebook? What’s the best social network?
  7. Online job application vs traditional methods
  8. Traditional writing services compared with online writing services
  9. Online advertising compared with traditional advertising

Music and Movie Compare and Contrast Essay Themes

  1. Charmed or Buffy?
  2. Movies against books: Reading is the best way to explore a novel?
  3. Rock vs Jazz
  4. Frodo vs Sam – Which Lord of the Rings character is more important?
  5. Dumbledore vs Gandalf
  6. Soviet cinematography vs American films
  7. Loki and Thor – Brothers or Enemies?
  8. Thriller or horror films – what do they have in common
  9. Draco Malfoy vs Harry Potter

Literature-Inspired Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas

  1. Drama vs Comedy
  2. Roman vs Greek Mythology
  3. Lessons learned from Beauty and the Best
  4. Lyrics of Prose – what students prefer?
  5. Nowadays Lyrics compared with poetry of the 13th century
  6. Non-fiction vs fiction literature
  7. Harry Potter vs Lord of the Rings
  8. Literature of the past compared with the one of the future

Scientific Topics for Compare and Contrast Essays

  1. Microwave vs Oven
  2. Chemistry vs Physics
  3. Andromeda and Milky Way
  4. What are the differences between Mars and Earth
  5. Differences and similarities of the two moon missions
  6. DaVinci vs Thomas Jefferson
  7. Tsunami vs Earthquakes – what’s the worse natural phenomenon
  8. Two different chemical reactions formulas
  9. Limited control software vs full access navigation

Popular Compare Essay Themes

  1. Football vs Soccer
  2. Korean vs Chinese
  3. Personal point of view vs public opinion
  4. Water or juice
  5. Dark beer vs light beer
  6. Obesity and Anorexia – what is the most dangerous
  7. Divorce and marriage
  8. Linux or Windows – Paid vs free OS
  9. Capitalism vs Marxism

Philosophical Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Is Miami Beach a better place to live rather than home?
  2. Life and Death
  3. Anchored in reality or dreamy – what are the pros and cons?
  4. Friends or more – where’s the limit?
  5. Mental and physical needs of humans
  6. Fantasy world or reality?
  7. Macbeth and Hamlet – a philosophical approach
  8. Humans and dogs – similarities
  9. Free access compared with reserved rights – how intellectual property should be treated?
  10. Roman philosophers vs Greek ones
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