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

compare and contrast essay topics

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.

Here is the list of some proposed topics for your compare and contrast essay: 

1. School bullies to dictators.

2. Buying a puppy vs. an older dog

3. Being Rich vs. Being Famous

4. A female friend and a male friend.

5. Country Living vs. City Living

6. Cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers

7. Allopathy vs. Homeopathy

8. A big college campus to a small college campus

9. Cable TV and DirecTV

10. Bulimia and anorexia

11. Daily Soap TV Shows vs. Reality Shows or Reality TV

12. The life of a horse to the life of a cat.

13. The Sound of Music (movie) to The Diary of Anne Frank.

14. Going to a movie to having a movie night at home.

15. Past and Future

16. Pollution in United States and Pollution in China

17. A real vacation and a dream vacation

18. Islam vs. Christianity

19. The Sound of Music (movie) to The King and I.

20. The Gospel of Matthew vs. the Gospel of Luke

21. The Australian Flora and Fauna vs. the African Flora and Fauna

22. Nazism vs. Fascism

23. Population in China and Population in India

24. Being the president to being a homeless person.

25. The 18th Century vs. the 21st Century

26. Democracy vs. Dictatorship

27. Two video games

28. Walking or biking vs. driving a car

29. The influence of music to the influence of Internet

30. Christopher Columbus to early astronauts.

31. Two pets in the same household

32. Watching a film on TV vs. watching it in a theater

33. Church sermons to campaign speeches.

34. The Star Spangled Banner to "American Pie" (the song)

35. Reading Ebooks vs. Reading Books

36. Playing Xbox games to playing baseball out in the fields.

37. Cinderella and Snow White

38. Antarctic Circle and Arctic Circle

39. Bulimia Nervosa vs. Anorexia Nervosa

40. The Battle Hymn of the Republic to "God Bless the USA"

41. Facebook vs. Twitter

42. Kindle vs. Nook

43. Creationism vs. Evolutionism

44. Mammals and Reptiles

45. Two approaches to parenting

46. A book vs. its screen version

47. The place where you live vs. the place you would like to live

48. Your best birthday to your worst birthday

49. The Wizard of Oz to Huckleberry Finn.

50. Two ways of losing weight: one healthy, the other dangerous


51. The Mediterranean Weather vs. the Sub Tropical Climate

52. Harry Potter--on the page and on the screen

53. The Sound of Music (movie) to The Parent Trap.

54. Cell phones to Pagers

55. Backstreet boys to N.SYNC

56. Reality TV shows to high school

57. William Shakespeare with William Wordsworth

58. Karl Marx with Max Webber

59. Condoms vs. Birth Control Pills

60. Being afraid to being bored

61. Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting

62. Pet Dogs vs. Pet Cats

63. The World War I and the World War II

64. Dyslexia vs. Learning Disabilities

65. Physical beauty to inner beauty.

66. The car you own and the car you dream of owning

67. Communism vs. Democracy

68. Online Teaching and Traditional Teaching

69. Nascar to Formula One.

70. Low Fat Diet vs. Low Carb Diet

71. Star Trek to F.R.I.E.N.D.S

72. Church Sermons vs. Campaign Speeches

73. Two stages of a person's life

74. Your Best Friend vs. Your Arch-enemy

75. Being an Employee vs. Being Self-Employed

76. Mitosis vs. Meiosis

77. Volcanoes and Earthquakes

78. Two places that are special for you in various ways

79. Poverty to paranoia.

80. Thanksgiving vs. Christmas

81. The 1970s to another decade.

82. Acting to lying.

83. Best Friend and Archenemy

84. Neighborhood stores vs. shopping malls

85. Comparing Volcanoes with Earthquakes

86. Weeds to flowers.

87. Comparing the Two World War Sides, Allies and Axis

88. The Pop Culture in the 1960s and the Pop Culture in the 1990s

89. Your happiest day to your saddest day

90. SRAM to DRAM

91. Rap Music vs. Pop Music

92. Abraham Lincoln with Thomas Jefferson

93. Two pieces of technology or equipment that you tried

94. Soul Music vs. Country Music

95. The influence of celebrities to the influence of parents.

96. Two perspectives on the same place: morning and night

97. Poverty to richness

98. Acting to singing

99. Microsoft's Zune and Apple's iPod


100. Being a snob to being a nerd.

101. Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox

102. The African Continent vs. the American Continent

103. A big college campus to a small college campus.

104. Two approaches to studying

105. The coverage of an event on tv vs. the coverage in a newspaper

106. Two types of exercise

107. High Blood Pressure and Low Blood Pressure

108. Talking to your mom and talking to your friends

109. Afavorite social spot during the day vs. night

110. The influence of celebrities to the influence of teachers

111. Vogue Magazine and Elle Magazine

112. An active student and a passive student

113. Joseph Stalin with Napoleon Bonaparte

114. Anovel and a movie that tell the same story

115. Washing dishes to washing clothes.

116. Talking to your mom and talking to your friends.

117. Classical Economics vs. Keynesian Economics

118. Your family home and the house of your dreams

119. Cosmetic Surgery vs. Liposuction

120. Being rich to being famous.

121. The benefits of cold to the benefits of heat

122. Baseball and Rugby

123. Living on campus and living off campus

124. Two perspectives on the same place: past and present

125. Inventions and Discoveries

126. Poetry vs. Prose

127. Two contradictory theories you are studying in a different college course

128. The effectiveness of two pieces of writing

129. Reality tv vs. sitcoms

130. Writing essays to going to the dentist.

131. Two ways of downloading music or movies

132. Two memorable teachers or professors

133. Celebrity Influence vs. Parental Influence

134. Snowfall to rainfall.

135. Some natural object and an artificial one

136. Bullies vs. Dictators

137. Going to a move to watching a movie at home.

138. Washing dishes to washing laundry

139. Dyslexia and Dementia

140. Compare Germany with America

141. Fruits and Vegetables

142. Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams

143. College Life vs. High School Life

144. Two ways to break a bad habit

145. Elle Magazine and Vogue Magazine

146. A starting pitcher and a reliever

147. Two vampires

148. Hurricanes to blizzards.


149. The influence of music to the influence of books

150. Two attitudes toward money

151. Cleopatra and Octavia

152. Wandering on the African plain to drifting in the open sea.

153. Going to a zoo vs. going to a pet store

154. The decisions of Red Riding Hood to the decisions of Goldilocks.

155. Comparing the Iraq War with the Vietnam War

156. A female friend and a male friend

157. Two approaches for dealing with problems

158. Comparing Harry Potter with Lord of the Rings

159. Contrast Wordsworth and Coleridge; what are the major differences in their poetry?

160. Hinduism vs. Islam Religion

161. Cleopatra with Octavia

162. The look at the hero phenomenon today and yesterday

163. Your best friend to your archenemy.

164. Halloween night to bonfire night.

165. Your best friend to your childhood friend.

166. Credit cards vs. paying cash

167. Two professional athletes

168. Beyonce Knowles with Rihanna

169. The rules set for you as a child and the rules you have set (or plan to set) for your own children

170. Inventions vs. Discoveries

171. Comparing Tarzan with Mowgli

172. Watching a movie on tv vs. viewing it in a theatre

173. Your best birthday to your worst birthday.

174. High school graduation vs. preschool graduation

175. Michael Jordan and Lebron James

176. Wi-Fi and Cable Internet

177. Reporting of the same news by two newspapers or magazines

178. Being grounded to being in jail

179. Paris Hilton with Lindsay Lohan

180. Compare Disparity with Discrimination

181. Texting while driving vs. drinking and driving

182. Camping in the deep woods to sleeping in a motel

183. Church sermons to political campaign speeches.

184. Learning to ride a motorbike to learning to drive a bus

185. Deserts and Snow lands

186. Swimming in a pool vs. swimming in swimming in the ocean

187. Bluetooth and Infrared

188. Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

189. Having siblings vs. being an only child

190. Two characters in a novel or other literary work

191. The Battle Hymn of the Republic to "God Bless the USA".

192. Sherlok Holmes with Watson

193. Riding a roller coaster to loving somebody.

194. The benefits of cold to the benefits of heat.

195. The "American Pie" (the song) to the "The Star Spangled Banner".

196. Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere

197. Watching Movies at Theaters vs. Watching Movies at Home


198. Being anti-slavery vs. being anti-abortion

199. Two close friends

200. Nascar to Formula One

201. Two places you have visited

202. Buddha and Jesus Christ

203. Mowgli and Tarzan

204. Life in the Past vs. Life in the Future

205. Yoga vs. Aerobic Exercises

206. NASCAR and Formula One

207. Two views of your parents: before and after you left home

208. Comparing High Fiber Diet with High Protein Diet

209. Physical Beauty vs. Inner Beauty

210. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding

211. Halloween night to prom night.

212. Spending time with your friend to spending time with your dog.

213. One of popular entertainments from nowadays vs. one from the past

214. Compare Friends with Charmed

215. The 1970s to the decade of 1980.

216. Rapunzel and Cinderella

217. Children's interests today and yesterday

218. Acupuncture vs. Acupressure

219. Being the us president vs. student council president

220. Laptops and Notebooks

221. Learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car

222. Your experiences before and after giving up a bad habit

223. Evergreen Forests vs. Coniferous Forests

224. Riding a roller coaster to loving somebody

225. Going to a move to watching a movie at home

226. The life of a dog to the life of a cat

227. Liposuction and Cosmetic Surgery

228. Reality TV shows to high school.

229. Fast food restaurant vs. sit down restaurant

230. Spending time with your friend to spending time with your dog

231. Compare WWI to WWII, identifying similarities in the causes, development, and outcomes of the wars

232. Physics and Chemistry

233. Windows vs. Linux

234. Coniferous Forests and Evergreen Forests

235. Highest Mountains and Highest Peaks

236. The Bible and the Quran

237. Compare Cultivated Flowers with Non-Cultivated Weeds

238. Slave insurrection to the Revolutionary War.

239. Compare and contrast Frye's and Bartky's accounts of oppression

240. The Writings of Confucius and the Hammurabi's Code of Laws

241. Snowfall and Rainfall

242. Cricket and Soccer

243. Being a snob to being a academic person

244. Camping in the deep woods to sleeping in a motel.

245. Two ways of studying for an exam

246. Two fast-food restaurants


247. Texting vs. calling

248. Spending time with your friend to spending time with your pet animal

249. Tragedy vs. Comedy

250. Pollution in the United States vs. Pollution in China

251. The Toyota Camry hybrid and the Camry sedan

252. Two friends with different lifestyles

253. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

254. Being afraid to being obsessed.

255. Natural Beauty vs. Cosmetic Beauty

256. Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes

257. Making an apple pie to making a mud pie

258. Himalayas and Rocky Mountains

259. African Lions and the Asian Tigers

260. Two horror or adventure movies

261. Making an apple pie to making a mud pie.

262. The decisions of Goldilocks to the decisions of Red Riding Hood.

263. Herbal Medicine vs. Allopathic Medicine

264. Snowfall to rainfall

265. Music and Books

266. Being grounded to being in jail.

267. Your attitude before and after getting to know someone

268. Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso

269. Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

270. Physical beauty to inner beauty

271. Two teachers or tutors whose teaching styles are effective but different

272. The life of a dog to the life of a cat.

273. Living on a farm to living in the city.

274. Two neighborhoods

275. Hostel Living vs. Home Living

276. Writing essays to going to reading books.

277. Comparing Fruits with Vegetables

278. Learning to ride a bike to learning to drive a car.

279. School bullies to unfair teachers.

280. E-Books and Books

281. Compare Ford Motor Company with Chevrolet

282. The influence of celebrities to the influence of parents

283. A female friend to a male friend.

284. Working as a waitress to working as a flight attendant

285. Significant trend vs. passing fad

286. Larry Fitzgerald and Drew Brees

287. Children's pastimes today and yesterday

288. The Nascar vs. the Formula One

289. Working as a nurse to working as a waitress

290. Being the president to being a house wife

291. Perception and Sensation

292. Typewriter vs. word processor

293. Living ina detached house and living in a flat

294. Halloween Night and Prom Night

295. North American Continent and South American Continent


296. The influence of music to the influence of books.

297. Two candidates competing for public office

298. Yahoo Search Engine vs. Google Search Engine

299. The physical or mental demands of two jobs

300. Working as a waitress to working as a flight attendant.

301. Poetry and Prose

302. Suburban home life vs. apartment life

303. Two sports fans

304. New York Jets and Denver Broncos

305. Christopher Columbus to Vasco de Gama.

306. Being a teen to being a toddler

307. Acting vs. Lying

308. Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood

309. Two hosts of late-night talk shows

310. City life vs. country life

311. Two coffee shops

312. Romeo and Juliet with Much Ado About Nothing

313. The atmosphere in two classes

314. Being a teen to being a toddler.

315. The Neanderthal Man vs. the 21st Century Man

316. Being afraid to being bored.

317. Two comedians

318. Landslides and Avalanches

319. Making of an apple pie to making a chocolate mud pie.

320. Playing foosball vs. soccer

321. The Battle Hymn of the Republic to "God Bless the USA."

322. Your happiest day to your saddest day.

323. Microsoft Zune and Apple iPod

324. SRAM vs. DRAM (Static Random Access Memory vs. Dynamic Random Access Memory)

325. Women 100 years ago and Women Today

326. Building with legos vs. building with bricks

327. Infatuation versus love

328. Victorian Culture vs. Gothic Culture

329. Two career family vs. a one career family

330. Something natural vs. something artificial

331. Two rooms where you spend a good deal of time

332. Comparing Europe with Africa

333. Washing dishes to washing laundry.

334. William Shakespeare and William Wordsworth

335. Two different appoaches to problem soving in some your professional field

336. Parents and teachers as educators

337. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter

338. Reservation Quota vs. Equal Opportunity

339. Hurricanes and Blizzards

340. Two techniques for doing something in your field

341. Two well-known pieces of literature or art

342. Living on a farm to living in the city

343. Christianity vs. Judaism

344. The Star Spangled Banner to "American Pie" (the song).


345. Republican Ideals vs. Democratic Ideals

346. An online class compared to a traditional class

347. Living at home vs. living in an apartment or dorm

348. Two workplaces

349. Shopping at the mall vs. shopping online

350. The Three Bears to The Three Little Pigs.

351. Obesity and Overweight

352. Comparing the Current Russia with the Former USSR

353. Being rich to being famous

354. Beowulf and Odysseus

355. Playing Wii games to playing real games.

356. Fear and Confusion

357. The Bhagwad Gita and the Quran

358. Pride and Prejudice with Sense and Sensibility

359. Using Mac to using PC

360. The physical and intellectual requirements of two jobs

361. Two versions of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers

362. Fox News vs. CNN News

363. Caribbean Islands and Mediterranean Islands

364. Comparing Paganism with the Wiccan Faith

365. Catholic Schools vs. Public Schools

366. Lance Armstrong and Alessandro Petacchi

367. Going to a wedding vs. going to a quinceanara

368. Adolf Hitler with Joseph Stalin

369. Two classes in the same subject: one in high school and the other in college

370. African Elephant and the Asiatic Elephant

371. Parents vs. teachers as educators

372. A good boss and a bad boss

373. MP3 Players to iPods

374. Aliberal arts vs. a technical education

375. Nuclear Fusion and Nuclear Fission

376. Seeing a play vs. seeing a movie

377. Spirit Worship vs. Idol Worship