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Finding and Using the Right Compare and Contrast Essay Topics and Ideas

It is never easy to write an outstanding compare and contrast essay. Since you have to pick two separate things and compare/contrast them for different characteristics, it's quite common to lose the plot after getting done with the first few sections. Most students face certain issues because they don’t pay much attention to the pre-writing stage – this is where you have to choose a course of action. If you manage to plan things in advance, you will find it a lot simpler to complete your essay. 

Actually, you have to go through a number of steps before you start writing the first paragraph. First of all, you'll have to consider a few compare and contrast essay topics and select the right one for you. As far as the compare and contrast essay ideas or topics are concerned, you'll find a lot of them – some of them will be simple, others will require detailed analysis. You should take your time and pick a topic that makes you feel excited. If it's interesting and keeps you on your toes, you will always be able to write a convincing essay. 

Before going any further, keep in mind that comparison and contrast essay topics will talk about two opposite sides of anything. It is therefore important to consider the relationship between the two events or phenomena before finalizing your topic. What it actually means is that you need to select such things for comparison that have direct relation to each other. You cannot discuss those things as separate entities; they should have something connecting them. In this way, when you will talk about a particular point related to one thing, it would also say something about the other thing. This will lay the foundation of your compare and contrast essay. 

By keeping this basic requirement in mind, you will make it easier to select a topic, which could be anything related to a wide range of things and scenarios. Your comparison and contrast paper topics could be related to plants, people, animals, artifacts, cities, meals, fashion, cultures and so on. 

Making a List of Distinctive Features

When writing a compare and contrast essay, you should start with an outline. You should start by making a list of distinctive features or facts related to your two topics. Once done, you need to make a list of characteristics that are not similar or are very different. After preparing the list, you should create a single thesis statement, which will also serve as your 'topic sentence'. 

If, at the time of selecting a topic, you're not sure that you'll be able to make a list of distinctive features, you will be better of selecting a different topic. Remember, you can get to a thesis statement only if you work on your outline in advance. In addition, the list will determine what you should or should not write in the body paragraphs – it means a professionally created list will give a direction to your essay. To ensure that you don’t have to go through any hassle, you can even pick some simple compare and contrast essay topics. For instance, you can compare prom night to Halloween night, or weeds to flowers, or your archenemy to your best friend, or paranoia to poverty. These topics for compare and contrast essays are quite interesting, and they have enough material available to help compare things better. 

The fact of the matter is that though you will be able to choose from a diverse range of compare and contrast essay topics, you should select one that makes it easy to compile a list of distinctive features. 

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics and Ideas


There are categories from which you can develop your own personalized topic:

  • Two different languages
  • A book and the film that is based on it
  • Two different versions of the same song
  • Two different cars
  • To different animals
  • Two different religions
  • Two different leaders
  • Two different television characters
  • Two different educational subjects
  • Two different styles of music
  • Two different decades
  • Two different books
  • Two different pieces of furniture
  • Two different countries
  • Two different supermarkets or other shops

Or you can choose from a variety of topics:

  • College and High School
  • A female friend and a male friend.
  • Paper vs. Plastic
  • Weeds to flowers.
  • Music and Books
  • Two classes in the same subject: one in high school and the other in college
  • Physical beauty to inner beauty.
  • The Wizard of Oz to Huckleberry Finn.
  • Wandering on the African plain to drifting in the open sea.
  • The Toyota Camry hybrid and the Camry sedan
  • Coke vs Pepsi
  • Christopher Columbus to early astronauts.
  • Two close friends
  • Hitler vs. Napoleon
  • Barack Obama and Bill Clinton
  • Birds vs. Dinosaurs
  • Picard vs. Kirk
  • Nascar to Formula One.
  • Influence of the media and influence of parents
  • Herbal Medicine vs. Allopathic Medicine
  • The Neanderthal Man vs. the 21st Century Man
  • The Three Bears to The Three Little Pigs.
  • Novels and Short Stories
  • Machine gun to a short gun
  • Infatuation versus love
  • Being a snob to being a nerd.
  • Life to death
  • Two versions of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • American Idol vs. The Voice
  • Bread to cake
  • Dyslexia vs. Learning Disabilities
  • Low Fat Diet vs. Low Carb Diet
  • Two perspectives on the same place: morning and night
  • The Star Spangled Banner to "American Pie" (the song).
  • Food in the west and food in the east
  • Yoga vs. Aerobic Exercises
  • Comedy vs. Drama
  • Dogs vs. Cats
  • Floor to the wall
  • Reservation Quota vs. Equal Opportunity
  • Profit vs. Non-Profit
  • American Government vs. British Government (or any world government)
  • Beyonce Knowles vs. Rihanna
  • Strawberries vs. Apples
  • Natural Beauty vs. Cosmetic Beauty
  • Snowfall and Rainfall
  • Tony Blair and David Cameron
  • F.R.I.E.N.D.S vs. Charmed
  • The Sound of Music (movie) to The Parent Trap.
  • Nokia and Ericsson Mobile Phones
  • High School vs. College
  • Two places you have visited
  • Saltwater Fish vs. Freshwater Fish
  • Ellen DeGeneres vs. Oprah Winfrey
  • Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
  • Wired to wireless technology
  • Newton vs. Einstein
  • Mammals vs. Reptiles
  • The Iraq War vs. the Vietnam War
  • Mercury to Venus
  • Jazz vs. Classical Music
  • Hurricanes and Blizzards
  • Angela Carter fairy stories and brothers Grimm fairy stories
  • Antique vs. New
  • Prime minister and presidents
  • Two views of your parents: before and after you left home
  • Books and films
  • America in the1880s and America in the 1980s
  • Monopolies vs. Oligopolies
  • Soul Music vs. Country Music
  • Ego vs. Superego
  • Oven vs. Microwave
  • Two professional athletes
  • Modem to flash disk
  • Hinduism vs. Islam Religion
  • Being a teen to being a toddler.
  • Nuclear Fusion and Nuclear Fission
  • The 18th Century vs. the 21st Century
  • Trees to papers
  • Being rich to being famous.
  • Washing dishes to washing laundry.
  • Mobile phone to telephone booth
  • Dinosaurs and lizards
  • Soul Music and Country Music
  • Pollution in the United States vs. Pollution in China
  • Snake to lizard
  • Two types of exercise
  • Church sermons to campaign speeches.
  • Republican Ideals vs. Democratic Ideals
  • Bush and Obama
  • Harry Potter Books and Films
  • A camel milk to that of a cow
  • Getting a credit card and getting a loan
  • Condoms vs. Birth Control Pills
  • Fruits with Vegetables
  • Sam vs. Frodo Baggins
  • Anorexia and bulimia
  • A female friend and a male friend
  • Harry Potter Books and Harry Potter Movies
  • G8 and The EU
  • Inventions vs. Discoveries
  • Being the president to being a homeless person.
  • White rose to red rose
  • The influence of music to the influence of books.
  • Making an apple pie to making a mud pie.
  • Two ways of losing weight: one healthy, the other dangerous
  • Allopathy vs. Homeopathy
  • Halloween night to prom night.
  • Country Living vs. City Living
  • Jordan vs. Bryant
  • British English and American English
  • Jefferson vs. Adams
  • An American to an African
  • Rap Music vs. Pop Music
  • Eye brows to eye lashes
  • Acting vs. Lying
  • Italy vs. Spain
  • Physical Beauty vs. Inner Beauty
  • Baleen vs. Toothed Whales
  • Staying in and watching a film to going out to the cinema
  • Thoroughbreds vs. Clydesdales
  • Working as a waitress to working as a flight attendant.
  • Camping in the Physical beauty to inner beauty deep woods to sleeping in a motel.
  • Creationism vs. Evolutionism
  • Liberal Arts and Technical Education
  • The life of a dog to the life of a cat.
  • Your best friend to your archenemy.
  • NASCAR to Formula One.
  • Nazism vs. Fascism
  • Compare Germany vs. America
  • Tragedy and Comedy
  • Going to a move to watching a movie at home.
  • Romeo and Juliet vs. Much Ado About Nothing
  • Reality TV vs. Sitcoms
  • Tablet device and laptop
  • Two video games
  • Two fast-food restaurants
  • Poetry vs. Prose
  • A real vacation and a dream vacation
  • Countries with Queens and countries without
  • Talking to your mom and talking to your friends.
  • Being afraid to being bored.
  • Buying a Puppy and Buying an Older Dog
  • Abraham Lincoln vs. Thomas Jefferson
  • Being an Employee vs. Being Self-employed
  • Sun to moon
  • Cinderella and Snow White
  • Classical Economics vs. Keynesian Economics
  • Henry VIII vs. King Louis XIV
  • The Sound of Music (movie) to The King and I.
  • Digital to analog technology
  • The benefits of cold to the benefits of heat.
  • 1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451
  • Big college and small college
  • Current Russia vs. the Former USSR
  • Learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car.
  • Two pets in the same household
  • Color red to color blue
  • Spiders vs. Scorpions
  • Bats vs. Birds
  • Friends vs. Family
  • The Australian Flora and Fauna vs. the African Flora and Fauna
  • Mozart vs. Beethoven
  • Money and Fame
  • Dishwasher and washing up
  • Your best shoes to your worst
  • Wearing boots to wearing rubber shoes
  • Antebellum Era vs. Reconstruction Era in American History
  • Harry vs. Draco
  • Microsoft’s Zune and Apple's iPod
  • Stocks vs. Bonds
  • Spirit Worship vs. Idol Worship
  • Watching cartoon to watching horror movies
  • Squids vs. Octopus
  • Karl Marx vs. Max Weber
  • Childhood vs. Adulthood
  • Dried Fruit vs. Fresh
  • Emily Dickinson vs. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Buddha and Jesus Christ
  • Spending time with your friend to spending time with your dog.
  • Buying a house and renting a house
  • Emile Bronte and Charlotte Bronte
  • Fruits vs. Vegetables
  • School in the 3rd world and school in America
  • Go on Vacation vs. Stay at Home
  • Albus Dumbledore vs. Gandalf
  • Communism vs. Democracy
  • e-Mail vs. Letters
  • High Fiber Diet vs. High Protein Diet
  • Washing dishes to washing laundry
  • Rap vs. Pop
  • Disparity vs. Discrimination
  • Poetry vs. Prose
  • The Pop Culture in the 1960s and the Pop Culture in the 1990s
  • Bullies vs. Dictators
  • A starting pitcher and a reliever
  • WEB DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington
  • Daily Soap TV Shows with Plays
  • African Lions and the Asian Tigers
  • Writing essays to going to the dentist.
  • Acting to lying.
  • Two sports fans
  • The car you own and the car you dream of owning
  • Living in a small town and living in a big city
  • Christianity vs. Judaism
  • Two ways of studying for an exam
  • Beowulf and Odysseus
  • Nuclear Power vs. Solar Power
  • Red vs. White (or any two colors)
  • Cosmetic Surgery vs. Liposuction
  • Hostel Living vs. Home Living
  • The NASCAR vs. the Formula One
  • Northern Hemisphere vs. Southern Hemisphere
  • William Shakespeare vs. Christopher Marlowe
  • Fox News vs. CNN
  • Fruits vs. Vegetables
  • Hinduism and Christianity
  • Socialism vs. Capitalism
  • Cricket and Soccer
  • Compare Cultivated Flowers vs. Non-cultivated Weeds
  • Short crust pastry and puff pastry
  • Your best birthday to your worst birthday.
  • Your experiences before and after giving up a bad habit
  • Two candidates competing for public office
  • Toyota to Volvo
  • Being educated to being illiterate
  • Watching Movies in Theaters vs. Watching Movies at Home
  • The influence of celebrities to the influence of parents.
  • A good boss and a bad boss
  • Bulimia and anorexia
  • Cap to a hat
  • Microsoft Zune and Apple iPod
  • Two vampires
  • Watching the news and reading the news
  • Recycling vs. Landfill
  • eLearning and Traditional Classes
  • North vs. South Pole
  • City break and beach holiday
  • The Bible and the Quran
  • The World War I and the World War II
  • Women 100 years ago and Women Today
  • Facebook vs. Twitter
  • Two memorable teachers or professors
  • The Gospel of Matthew vs. the Gospel of Luke
  • Fostering and adoption
  • Fresh food and tinned food
  • Vogue Magazine and Elle Magazine
  • Watercolor vs. Oil
  • Rock vs. Scissors
  • Working as a waitress to working as a flight attendant
  • Christmas and Halloween
  • Nature and nurture
  • Your best birthday to your worst
  • Paris Hilton vs. Lindsay Lohan
  • eBooks vs. Real Books
  • Riding a roller coaster to loving somebody.
  • The Bhagavad Gita and the Quran
  • The rules set for you as a child and the rules you have set (or plan to set) for your own children
  • Facebook vs. Twitter
  • Modern Dance vs. Ballroom Dancing
  • Lifespan of a man to that of a woman
  • Fiction vs. Nonfiction
  • Yahoo Search Engine vs. Google Search Engine
  • Deep sea diving to normal diving
  • Apple vs. Microsoft
  • Two perspectives on the same place: past and present
  • College Life vs. High School Life
  • Listening to Music and Reading Books
  • Camping in the deep woods to sleeping in a motel.
  • Conservative party and Labour party
  • Lollipop vs. popsicles
  • Europe vs. Africa
  • Magazines vs. Comic Books
  • Babies and Puppies
  • Roger Federer and Pete Sampras
  • Flying a chopper and driving a car
  • Life in the Past vs. Life in the Future
  • Texting While Driving vs Drinking and Driving
  • Vampires vs. Werewolves
  • Baseball and Rugby
  • Harry Potter--on the page and on the screen
  • The African Continent vs. the American Continent
  • Internet Banking and Actual Banking
  • Butter and Margarine
  • Bullies and dictators
  • Offense vs. Defense
  • Best day of your life and the worst day
  • Church Sermons vs. Campaign Speeches
  • Beauty and personality
  • Republican vs. Democrat
  • Ebooks and Paper Books
  • Celebrity Influence vs. Parental Influence
  • Tragedy vs. Comedy
  • Hurricanes to blizzards.
  • Elephant to lion
  • Two ways to break a bad habit
  • Sherlock Holmes vs. Hercule Poirot
  • Living on a farm to living in the city.
  • Talking to your mom and talking to your friends.
  • Halogen vs. Incandescent
  • Two neighborhoods
  • A boy to a girl
  • Tarzan vs. Mowgli
  • The life of a dog to the life of a cat.
  • Sharp knife to blunt knife
  • A big college campus to a small college campus.
  • Bulimia Nervosa vs. Anorexia Nervosa
  • School bullies to dictators.
  • Writing for the Web and Writing for Print
  • Soccer vs. Football
  • Harry Potter Series and The Lord of the Rings Series
  • Motorcycle vs. Bicycle
  • Women of Eighteenth Century and Today's Women
  • Western Medicine and Ayurveda
  • Greek Gods and Roman Gods
  • Playing outside and playing computer games
  • Nazism and Fascism
  • Mitosis vs. Meiosis
  • Star Wars vs. Star Trek
  • Poverty to paranoia.
  • Suburban Home Life and Apartment Life
  • US President vs. UK Prime Minister
  • Communism vs. Capitalism
  • Being grounded to being in jail.
  • Two ways of downloading music or movies
  • Toilet training a dog and toilet training a baby
  • Airplanes vs. Helicopters
  • God to Satan
  • Paganism vs. the Wiccan Faith
  • Two coffee shops
  • Heaven to hell
  • Victorian Culture vs. Gothic Culture
  • Toads vs. Frogs
  • Living on campus and living off campus
  • Baseball vs. Cricket
  • Perception and Sensation
  • Two Characters in a Novel or Other Literary Work
  • Sand to clay
  • 9/11 and London 7/7 Bombings
  • The beauty to the beast
  • Pride and Prejudice vs. Sense and Sensibility
  • Goat meat to pork
  • Compare Contrast Europe and America
  • Slave insurrection to the Revolutionary War.
  • Chamberlain vs. Churchill
  • North vs. South Before the Civil War
  • Hurricanes and Blizzards
  • World War I and the World War II
  • Tree to grass
  • The Battle Hymn of the Republic to "God Bless the USA."
  • Catholic Schools vs. Public Schools
  • Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald
  • Public vs. Private Transportation
  • Diesel vs. Petroleum
  • Reality TV shows to high school
  • Seeing a Play and Seeing a Movie
  • Adolf Hitler vs. Joseph Stalin
  • African Elephant and the Asiatic Elephant
  • The Two World War Sides - Allies and Axis
  • Biology vs. Chemistry
  • Snow and rain
  • Fred vs. Shaggy
  • Life of a dog and the life of a cat
  • Germany and Africa
  • Rap Music with Pop Music
  • Riding a roller coaster to loving somebody
  • Hobbes vs. Locke
  • SRAM vs. DRAM (Static Random Access Memory vs. Dynamic Random Access Memory)
  • Christianity vs. Judaism (or any world religion)
  • The 1970s to another decade.
  • Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art
  • Theatre or films
  • Roman Empire vs. British Empire
  • Volcanoes vs. Earthquakes
  • Joseph Stalin vs. Napoleon Bonaparte
  • Roses vs. Carnations
  • Living in the west and living in the east
  • Kindle vs. Nook
  • Online vs. Traditional Education
  • Renting vs. Owning
  • College and school
  • Pet Dogs vs. Pet Cats
  • Reality TV shows to high school.
  • Your Best Friend vs. Your Archenemy
  • Flowers and weeds
  • Seals vs. Sea Lions
  • Books vs. Movies
  • Coffee vs. an Energy Drink
  • Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes
  • An active student and a passive student
  • WW1 and WW2
  • Being Rich vs. Being Famous
  • Fear and Confusion
  • Lust and love
  • Windows vs. Linux
  • The Sound of Music (movie) to The Diary of Anne Frank.
  • Black to white
  • George Carlin vs. Richard Pryor
  • Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer
  • Boys vs. Girls
  • Democracy and Socialism
  • Astrology vs. Astronomy
  • Evergreen Forests vs. Coniferous Forests
  • Snowfall to rainfall.
  • New York and London
  • Crocodiles vs. Alligators
  • Two video games
  • Playing Wii™ games to playing real games.
  • Greek vs. Roman Mythology
  • Watching a Movie on TV and Watching it in a Theater
  • Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings
  • Two stages of a person's life
  • Acupuncture vs. Acupressure
  • Two hosts of late-night talk shows
  • Cash vs. Credit Cards
  • A Good Boss and a Bad Boss
  • The Mediterranean Weather vs. the Sub Tropical Climate
  • Articles of Confederation vs. US Constitution
  • Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams
  • Dyslexia and Dementia
  • Monarchy vs. Presidency
  • The Writings of Confucius and Hammurabi's Code of Laws
  • A cow to a sheep
  • The benefits of cold to the benefits of heat.
  • Your family home and the house of your dreams
  • The decisions of Red Riding Hood to the decisions of Goldilocks.
  • Crocodiles and alligators
  • Lion vs. Tiger
  • An online class compared to a traditional class
  • Daily Soaps vs. Reality TV Shows
  • Chinese vs. Japanese
  • Democracy vs. Dictatorship
  • Credit Cards and Paying By Cash
  • New England Colonies vs. Middle Colonies OR vs. Southern Colonies
  • Your happiest day to your saddest day.
  • Porcelain vs. Glass
  • Real object to the image
  • Two workplaces
  • Being grounded to being in jail
  • Nightclubs and pubs
  • Islam vs. Christianity
  • Summer vs. Winter
  • Private school and home school


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