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Great Compare And Contrast Essay Topic Ideas

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If you think a compare and contrast essay should analyze the similarities and differences between two topics, you are only partially correct. The comparison should also be used to make a larger point about both topics. For example, if you compare and contrast two presidencies, you should be prepared to discuss the similarities and differences between both. In addition, you should be able to identify positive or negative results of both of those presidencies.

Of course, the process of writing a compare and contrast essay starts with one, very important step. You have to pick a topic. Which subjects should you compare and contrast? We’ve got a great list of topics for your use or inspiration.

  1. What Are The Similarities And Differences Between Old And New Money Wealth?
  2. Private Vs. Parochial Education

  3. Life in a Small Town or Life in a Big City

  4. Divorced Parents or Intact Family

  5. Kids Who Bully And Kids Who Don’t

  6. Cartoons of The Eighties or Cartoons of Today

  7. Working a Blue Collar Job or a White Collar Job

  8. Working or Staying Home With Children

  9. Employment or Freelancing

  10. Going to Work or Telecommuting

  11. Using Facebook or Reddit

  12. Hip Hop Culture or Country Music Lifestyle

  13. Living in an Apartment or Living in a House

  14. Owning a Car or Using Public Transportation

  15. Japanese or American Animation

  16. The Rise of Google Vs. The Rise of Microsoft

Both companies are technology juggernauts, and arguably two of the biggest influencers on a global scale. Compare and contrast the growth and management styles of both companies.

  1. Harvard University or Yale
  2. Getting a College Degree or Learning a Trade

  3. Life at a Large University or Small College

  4. Liberal Arts or Business

  5. Working in a Pro Union or a Right to Work State

  6. Negative Consequences or Positive Rewards

  7. Medically Assisted Drug Treatment or 12 Step Programs

Drug addiction is an issue that impacts people from every walk of life. Treating addiction is a bit of a controversial subject. Some people believe that 12 step programs that encourage complete abstinence are the key to curing addiction. Other People believe that medically assisted treatment options allow addicts to function normally without going through the pain of withdrawals. Compare and contrast both approaches and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

  1. Private Healthcare or Medicare For All
  2. The Political Campaign of Bernie Sanders Vs. Hillary Clinton

  3. Keto or Low Fat

  4. Cardio or Weight Training

  5. Free Range or Helicopter Parenting

  6. Veganism or Vegetarianism

  7. Traditional Theaters Vs. Themed Movie Experiences

  8. Local Music or Famous Musicians

  9. Film Festivals or Big Studio Screenings

  10. The Directing Style of Tarantino Vs. Clint Eastwood

  11. Twitch or YouTube For Video Streaming

  12. Living With a Chronic Illness as a Poor Person or a Wealthy Person

  13. On Campus Living Vs. Commuting to School

  14. Online Courses or Classroom Only

  15. Fashion Today or Fashion in The Victorian Era

  16. The Honeymooners or The Flintstones

  17. Traditional Advertising or Native Advertising

  18. Linux or Windows

Windows may be more popular, but Linux has and intensely loyal fanbase. Compare and contrast the features of both, then determine why each appeals to such a different audience.

  1. President Kennedy or President Obama
  2. McCarthyism And The Muslim Travel Ban

  3. Authoritarian Parenting or Authoritative Parenting

  4. Classical Music or Folk Music

  5. AP And Remedial Classes

  6. Teaching ESL Students or Native Speakers

  7. Teaching in a Wealthy District or Teaching in a Poor District

  8. Living Frugally or Being a Spendthrift

  9. High Risk or Income Based Investments

  10. Winter Vacations or Summer Vacations

  11. Disney or Universal Studios

  12. Beach Vacation or Mountain Getaway

  13. Road Trip or Resort Destination

  14. Structured Academics or Independent Study

  15. French Cuisine or Italian cuisine

  16. Baking or Cooking

  17. Casual Dating Vs. Serial Monogamy

You hear a lot about the hookup culture. On the other hand, there are plenty of millennials and members of Gen-z that move from one serious relationship to the next. What are the differences to these two approaches. Is it more fulfilling to date casually or to pursue monogamous relationships, even if they are only short term?

  1. Apple or Android
  2. Nintendo or Playstation

  3. Java or Python

  4. Web Development or Web Design

  5. Apps or Websites

  6. Christmas Vs. Thanksgiving

  7. Halloween or Valentines Day

  8. Living Alone or With Roommates

  9. Smoking Traditional Cigarettes or E-Cigs

  10. Classical Music or Folk Music

  11. Harry Potter Books or Harry Potter Movies

This is a classic subject. Is the book or the movie better. With Harry Potter, you are working with a current series of books and movies. This means you’ll be able to research the topic quite easily.

  1. Authoritarian or Authoritative Parenting
  2. Conventional or Alternative Medicine

  3. Los Angeles Vs. New York

  4. Minor League or Major League Baseball Games

  5. College Football Vs. NFL

  6. Nascar or Formula 1 Racing

  7. Mindfulness Vs. Transcendental Meditation

  8. Surgical Cancer Treatment Vs. Chemotherapy Alone

  9. RNA or DNA

  10. Red Blood Cells or White Blood Cells

  11. Harry Potter or The Lord of The Rings

  12. Young Adult or Romance

  13. YouTube Stars or A List Celebrities

  14. Fake News or Real Journalism

  15. House Lannister or House Stark

  16. Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary

  17. The Evangelical Movement of Today Vs. Thirty Years Ago

  18. Martin Luther King or Malcolm X

  19. Racism in Europe Vs. Racism in America

  20. Eastern Culture or Western Culture

  21. Islam And Judaism

  22. Catholicism or Protestantism

  23. Punishment And Justice

  24. Buddhism or Hinduism

  25. Communism or Theocracy

  26. Pacific Theater or Europe

  27. Civil War or Revolutionary War

  28. Traditional Poetry or Free Verse

  29. Soul or R&B

  30. Blues or Jazz

  31. CBT or Talk Therapy

Structuring Your Essay

When it comes to the structure of your essay, you have a few options. As always, you’ll need an intro, body, and conclusion. Your intro should introduce your topic, and state your hypothesis. Perhaps more importantly, you should clearly define the two topics. This means identifying what you will address and what you won’t. For example, if you are comparing WWI and WWII, that is a topic that can and has been the subject of full length books. So, you have to establish some parameters for the reader.

Next, you have to determine how you will approach the similarities and differences. You can focus on similarities, then differences, bringing both together at the end. You can also structure the body of your essay so you alternate between comparing and contrasting the two subjects.

Whatever you decide, it is very important that your transitions are strong. It should be clear to readers when you move from comparing to contrasting.

Finally, your conclusion is an important part of your compare and contrast essay. You should never simply restate the points you have made. Instead, you should synthesize those points and deliver a powerful message.

Make it Relevant

There’s more to this than simply finding a topic you like. It should be meaningful and relevant to your readers, and the class you are taking. Once you narrow down the topics that meet that criteria, you can begin identifying the ones that you find personally interesting.

Watch Your Own Bias

Remember that this isn’t a contest. You don’t have to identify one thing as being better or superior to the other. You are just analyzing differences and similarities, then drawing a greater conclusion from that analysis. If you have strong personal feelings about a topic, be careful. That could impact your ability to provide an objective analysis.

Researching Your Topic

The research you conduct will depend largely on the topic you select. For academic subjects you will likely rely on textbooks, journals, and academic databases. For current events, there are news sites, essays, news footage, etc. Whatever topic you choose, be sure you select one that has plenty of research sources for you to use.

Final Thoughts

Check out the topics listed above. These compare and contrast essay topics should provide you with a great idea, or at least a bit of inspiration.