As a student, you are used to the fact professors or teachers assign all sorts of tasks and essays. Compare and contrast essay is one of them. This type of essay requires an unbiased approach to the subject to show your ability to discuss similarities and differences without including your emotions and opinions into it. Throughout this guide, you’ll learn how to construct your compare and contrast and impress your teacher.
A compare and contrast essay analyzes two subjects or ideas by comparing or contrasting them. In many cases, an assignment requires both. The point of this essay is to demonstrate a deep understanding of the subject, the ability to research, and it also shows a student’s potential to analyze information from different angles.
Instead of listing similarities and differences one after another, compare and contrast essay looks into their relationship and tells the story that connects subjects that seemed incomparable.
Benefits of writing a compare and contrast essay
Contrary to the popular belief, professors and teachers don’t assign essays just to keep you busy and destroy your social life. These assignments help you enhance certain skills and allow lecturers to assess them. After all, the main goal of education is to prepare you for adulthood and it is structured to help you adopt certain skills you’ll use later on. Below, you can see the important skills you develop with compare and contrast essays:
- Strengthens memories – the essay requires focusing student thinking on analyzing pairs of ideas to compare or contrast them and it, thereby, strengthens your ability to remember key content
- Improves higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) – a concept popular in the American education system. The HOTS distinguishes critical thinking skills from low-order learning outcomes. These skills include analyzing, reasoning, synthesizing, application, comprehending, and evaluation. You develop all these skills with compare and contrast essays
- Writing skills – the paper strengthens your writing skills by providing a simple structure that helps you organize information and develop your ideas with greater precision and clarity
- Develops habits of mind – compare and contrast essay helps students develop habits of mind necessary for intelligent behavior and thought. These habits include thinking flexibly, metacognition (thinking about thinking), striving for accuracy, thinking and communicating with precision and clarity, and applying past knowledge to new situations
Areas of interest
The greatest advantage of compare and contrast essay is that you can write about anything you like. After all, we compare things on a regular basis without even realizing it. You compare food items while grocery shopping, movies, books, teachers or professors, and so much more. Below, you can see categories that you should consider for high-quality compare and contrast essay:
- IT and social media
- Historical figures and personalities
- Everyday life
- Social issues and changes
Compare and contrast essay outline
The beginning is always the hardest part and essays are not the exception. What to do first? Before you begin writing the compare and contrast essay, you need to be familiar with an outline to follow. Not only does the outline keep you on the right track, but it generates ideas that you can use for the essay. How? It shows what and where to mention. Below, you can see the outline for this type of paper:
- Introduction – the introductory paragraph provides a brief intro to the topic, it’s a hook that you use to get someone’s attention. The sentence can include a fun fact, general information, statistics, quotes, among other things. Then, you transition to a specific topic or ideas you will compare so the reader knows the matter that will be discussed. The introduction ends with a thesis statement that announces the main idea or point you will compare and contrast
- Body paragraphs – the central part of the compare and contrast essay, can be organized in two ways:
- Point-by-point pattern – used to compare subjects or items that are similar. Paragraphs start with a topic sentence and deal with subjects (similarities or differences) and explanations that provide a deeper insight into their relationship
- Block pattern (organization by item) – used to compare situations or items that are entirely different at a first glance. This approach is also useful when multiple criteria are involved. When using block pattern you can divide body paragraphs into categories such as similarities first, then contrasts, a combination etc.
- Conclusion – summary of main points, short analysis of discussion in the essay, demonstrates significance of the subject
The whole idea of writing an essay can be frightening, especially because you have many other projects to work on and it’s needless to mention you have a lot of studying to do for your exams. A lot of nervousness comes from lack of information about compare and contrast essay. Students rarely come across accurate tips and tricks and it only makes the writing process longer and more frustrating. Let’s put a stop to that with these tips:
- Stick to the assignment – sometimes the essay assignment is just to compare something, or you may be required to discuss differences. In other cases, you need to do both. Regardless of the scenario, you should always stick to the assignment. If your task is to compare something, then focus on similarities rather than spending too much time on differences
- Identify meaningful comparison points – look for connections that truly matter and don’t waste your precious time on superficial comparison points. Let’s say you need to compare two books; meaningful comparison points are similarities between characters, plot, and other factors. Trivial comparison points would include font selection, cover (unless it’s symbolic), and other factors that don’t contribute to the meaning or purpose of each of those books
- Choose an organizational strategy – as seen in the outline section the body of compare and contrast essay follows one of two organizational strategies: block or point-by-point structure. Based on the subject, choose the one that works for your paper
- Assume your reader knows nothing – sometimes we fail to mention important information because we assume our lecturer already knows it. Big mistake! Always consider a reader knows nothing about the subject and your job is to inform them. This will help you compile a high-quality paper
- Back it up – keep in mind that compare and contrast essay is just like any other form of academic writing – it requires the use of evidence. Whenever you discuss some important points of comparison or contrast you need to provide evidence that supports it. Otherwise, the argument loses its strength. Of course, this also means you should include sources you used in references section
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Your teacher or professor assigned a compare and contrast essay and gave you the freedom to choose your subject? The last thing you want is to spend way too much time on topic selection because it would prevent you from focusing on the writing process. At the same time, you want your topic to be strong and impactful.
Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
These ideas will help you find a perfect topic and focus on the writing part:
- Renaissance vs. Baroque
- Anthropology vs. religion
- Nazism and fascism: are they different or same?
- Online vs. traditional commerce
- Greek vs. Roman mythology: similarities and differences
- How Othello compares to Hamlet
- Tesla vs. Edison
- Main philosophical ideas of Macbeth against the main ideas of Hamlet
- Lord of the Rings trilogy vs. Harry Potter: similarities and differences
- Similarities and differences between public and private schools
- Aztecs vs. Mayans
- Obama vs. Trump: do they have anything in common?
- Immigration and emigration: how they differ?
- Differences between inventions and discoveries
- Similarities and differences between WWI and WWII
- Veganism and vegetarianism: compare and contrast
Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
- Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art
- Antebellum Era vs. Reconstruction Era in American History
- Similarities and differences between Star Wars and Star Trek
- Cats vs. dogs: which ones make better pets
- New England Colonies vs. Middle Colonies OR vs. Southern Colonies
- Communism vs. Capitalism
- Socialism vs. Capitalism
- Greek vs. Roman Mythology
- 1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451
- Roman Empire vs. British Empire
- Real Madrid vs. Barcelona – which club is more influential?
- Differences between Mediterranean diets and Western diet
- Poetry vs. Prose
- Fiction vs. Nonfiction
- City life compared to country lifestyles
- Books vs. movies – why a film adaptation will never match books
- How rap music has changed compared to the way it was two decades ago
- Tea vs. coffee – what’s better for your health?
- The similarities between religious practices and cultural ones that shows that they both stem from the same source
- A non-gluten diet compared to a gluten filled diet
- Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton – who’s a better politician?
- The Vietnam War compared to the Korean Conflict
- Compare Hobbes’ philosophies to Locke’s philosophies
- Compare and contrast emailing someone to writing them a letter
Regardless of the level of your writing skills, advanced or average, there always comes the time when you need help with the assignments. For students, it can be difficult to keep up with all the lessons, projects, and essays. All these tasks require a lot of time which you don’t have. Here’s how you can get help to finish your essay without risking its quality.
Essay topic generator
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Essay writing service
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Essay editing service
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Compare and contrast essay writing can be challenging for first-year college students. Writing a paper like this requires you to inspect two or more subjects for similarities or differences. Compare and contrast essays are not a basis for answering a specific question. Nor are they used for solidifying an opinionated argument. Your goal is to create analogies for the purpose of explanation or clarification. To write an essay in this format, you need to sharpen up your critical thinking skills. Are you unsure of how to choose your topic and write a high-quality paper? Join EssayPro to explore an excellent compare and contrast essay topics!
Finding Great Topics To Write About
Don’t limit yourself to topics that you already know inside-out. Compare and contrast essay writing can be exciting if you use it to discover something new.
To find appropriate essay topics to write about, you must engage in critical and analytical thought. You will need to find a topic that is not too broad nor too narrow. Otherwise, you risk wasting your time and effort. Consider taking two completely unrelated subjects and dissecting them for similarities and differences. This could be a great brainstorming tool to start.
Take a look at the media that people consume daily. Consider how the electronic era left such a strong imprint on information gathering. There are lots of unreliable media outlets that market themselves as legitimate. Yet, the excess of available information infinitely expands your research possibilities. There are countless themes to explore and topics to write about. Such a broad definition could you spawn many good compare and contrast essay topics!
Keep It Exciting!
Look for topics that are interesting and inspiring for you. As a comic book fan, I would love to read an essay about Superman versus his alter-ego Clark Kent. Superman is from a different planet. Unlike other superheroes, he doesn’t wear a mask because his true identity is Superman. He puts on a mask only when he becomes Clark Kent because that’s the only way he can blend in with our society. This is a great topic with many parallels in our modern world. Feel free to explore exciting essay topics from our top writers.
- Spotify vs Apple Music
- Cats vs Dogs
- Typhoon vs Hurricane
- AT&T vs Verizon
- Lion vs Tiger
- Resume vs CV
- Leasing vs Buying a car
- Star Wars vs Star Trek
- Coyote vs Wolf
- Fascism vs Communism
- iPhone SE vs iPhone 6
- Coke vs Pepsi
- Fiction vs Nonfiction
- Plant Cell vs Animal Cell
- Analogy vs Metaphor
- Hobbes vs Locke
- Tea vs Coffe
- Expectations vs Reality
- Apple vs Microsoft
- Gandalf vs Dumbledore
- Boys vs Girls
- Stocks vs Bonds
- High School vs College
- South Korea vs North Korea
- Stalin vs Hitler
- Safari vs Chrome
- Ants vs Termites
- Kosher vs Halal
- Hydrogen Bomb vs Nuclear Bomb
- Facebook vs Twitter
- Bachelor of Arts vs Bachelor of Science
- Nike vs Under Armour
- Shareholder vs Stakeholder
- Head of state vs Head of government
- Alligator vs Crocodile
- Fruits vs Vegetables
- Greek vs Roman Gods
- Dusk vs Dawn
- Game of Thrones book vs Show
- Wage vs Salary
- MMA vs Boxing
- Soy Milk vs Milk
- Mozart vs Beethoven
- Pretty vs Beautiful
- Football vs Soccer
- Vampires vs Werewolves
- Iron Man vs Hulk
- Brain vs Heart
- Toads vs Frogs
- Closed vs Open headphones
- Thunder vs Lightning
- Monopoly vs Oligopoly
- Summer vs Winter
- Michael Jackson vs Elvis Presley
- Renting vs Owning
- Newton vs Einstein
- Cowboys vs Indians
- Baroque vs Renaissance
- Jefferson vs Adams
- Childhood vs Adulthood
- American Idol vs The Voice
- Nuclear Power vs Solar Power
- Poor people vs Rich people
- Coffee vs Energy Drink
- Family vs Friends
- Soviet vs American system
- Tom Sawyer vs Huckleberry Finn
- Watercolor vs Oil
- Red vs White
- Offence vs Defense
- Rap vs Pop
- Cash vs Credit Cards
- Motorcycle vs Bicycle
- Racism vs Sexism
- Chamberlain vs Churchill
- Recycling vs Landfill
- Roman Empire vs British Empire
- Letters vs Emails
- Drama vs Comedy
- Jazz vs Classical Music
- 1984 vs Fahrenheit 451
- Living in City vs Country
- Juice vs Water
- Books vs E-Books
- Diesel vs Petroleum
- Public vs Private transportation
- Living at home vs Living on campus
- Truth vs Lie
- Real World vs Virtual World
- Greek Philosophy vs Roman Philosophy
- North vs South before the War
- Harry Potter: The book vs Movie
- Antique vs New
- Home Education vs Traditional Education
- Thor vs Loki: friends of enemies (according to the movie)
- KFC vs McDonald's
- Online dating vs Real-life relations
- Modern Dance vs Ballroom dancing
- Being a freelancer vs Working in an office
- City vs Country lifestyle
We hope that this article has given you an idea of how to choose a compare and contrast essay topic. Did you find our list useful? Have you decided to use one of our topics in your essay? Let us know in the comments section below!
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