Let's say your high school or college teacher haven't assigned the topic for your assignment. It means you can choose compare and contrast essay topics by conducting in-depth research, asking for advice, or hiring a professional academic writer to help. It is simpler than deciding on the most relevant argumentative or scientific subject. However, every high grade expects a quality content written on the interesting essay topic; it is critical to learn how to write a compare and contrast essay and choose appropriate ideas to discuss.
Do not be trivial! The article you see now will help you to avoid confusing and banal essay topics. In addition to the list of the top-rated themes, we will share different links to websites with great examples and online writing help.
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Students will find some good points and ideas necessary for the development of a good school or college comparative essay. Online academic writing help is always available to lend a helping hand when it seems like the assignment is impossible to complete.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Major Principles
The answer to the disturbing question like how to write a compare and contrast essay begins with the structure of this type of academic writing. It has the same structure as other types of academic papers with the few major differences. Introduction with the powerful hook and thesis statement remains the same. In your conclusion, reword the thesis and summarize the arguments used to defend the main idea of the paper. The body paragraphs are different. It depends on whether the author focuses more on differences, similarities, or tries to balance with both.
Take a look at a couple of images below to realize how to write a paper of this type based on our examples.
How to Choose Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Wisely?
The most effective, time-tested way to select essay topics in case your teacher did not give some is through researching different types of sources:
- Newspapers. A student can find an endless source of great ideas. They are related to the ongoing world’s events, latest innovations, expert opinions, political fluctuations, and other fields. Pay attention to both columns, interviews, and analysis composed by an authoritative person from politics, economy, and other aspects of human life;
- News channels. Turn on your favorite channel not to watch favorite TV show this time. Learn about the contemporary problems and try to think about an interesting topic idea spending something around half an hour of your precious time.
- Magazines/Journals. If you are not a great fan of politics, religion, or economics, try to find some good ideas in the recent magazines/journals. Check the rubrics dedicated to entertainment, technology, teen life, and sports.
- Internet. It should be the greatest source of all ideas collected in the previous types of primary sources altogether.
- Do not forget to attend various seminars, conferences, meetings to learn more about the things going on in the world and recently discussed by the society.
“Before starting the topic, organize the thoughts in a logical manner. Develop some kind of a chart/graph/table to have a visual picture of how the final draft should look like. In this type of academic writing, it is important to focus on the comparable qualities & characteristics of the subjects/events/people to impress the target audience. It means the author should pick original criteria to draw parallels or stressing the gap between the objects.”
Professor Beverly Thompson, online English tutor and golden writer at NerdyMates
Students will not understand how to write a compare and contrast essay without memorizing and using properly so-called signal words. Those are transition words. In other types of essays, it is important to join different sections like body paragraphs and conclusion in a whole piece with the help of special words/phrases. Find the list of signal words below.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Famous People
It is time to answer the main question of our reader, “What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?”
World-known people like different celebrities and political figures have always attracted the attention of ordinary citizens. It's a great chance for every writer to catch an eye of the reader by describing and comparing the life of various American authorities.
You do not necessarily need to analyze the life of people from the same region or field of activity. Many students find it exciting to take a person from real life and a book or movie character. It leaves space for imagination. Have enough ideas to write your five-paragraph essay:
- Madonna and Celine Dion. While the first woman is a self-made American singer, the same can be said about her Canadian fellow singer. By comparing these two, you draw parallels between the American and Canadian pop stage.
- Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Even though these historical figures widely known to the public were from the opposing camps, there are more similarities between them than you can think.
- Peter Griffin vs. Homer Simpson. The two American television shows, "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" are alike by showing the disadvantages of the nation and laughing at the public stereotypes. However, one of the shows is still more radical.
- Bugs Bunny and Charlie Chaplin. As the time passes by, these figures remain the symbol of their time and entire American culture. It would be interesting to write about the similarities and differences between their comic images.
- Online ads VS traditional ways to promote goods/services. How these methods affect lives of different popular people
- Hobbes or Locke. English philosophers’ roles regarding the contribution of each to the study of political science
- Batman VS Superman. The reasons why Batman won in the famous movie
- Start Wars modern episodes or episodes of 1970’s. Comparison of graphic, actors, plot, visual effects, music, sound effects, habits, etc
- Plato or Socrates. Decide which one contributed more to the philosophical research
- Putin & Obama. Differences in the political regime and economics offered by each president
Religion, Anthropology, and AP World History Compare & Contrast Essay Topics
Religion is often a taboo topic to discuss. Public schools and colleges have subjects dedicated to religion. Students are encouraged to write about it. Religion, history, and anthropology are closely related. You may choose AP world history compare and contrast essay that covers all three dimensions to enrich your essay.
Here we go with several good examples recommended by high school and college students:
- Discuss World War I and World War II. It is a traditional debate. Many people find the two wars similar, but historians point to a great number of differences such as main factors, actual causes, and consequences. Explain why World War II was much worse and terrifying.
- President Obama and President Kennedy. Mass media tends to draw parallels between both political figures very often. It is time to find out why.
- Ancient Greece Ancient Rome. All ideas related to the offered topic are good enough because these civilizations have a great impact on the modern world. Cover Greek and Roman mythology, describe their traditional public events, a way of living, differences and similarities in poetry, and influence on the modern American society.
- 18th Century Living VS Modern Life. Are American people freer now and how is a modern society divided into classes? What are the advantages of e-mail in contrast to the traditional mailing they used back in the 18th century?
- Frenemies. The way famous political competitors, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson acted often reminded of both friendship and rivalry – which one is correct?
- American Revolution VS French Revolution. Both held back in the VIII century, and both are having similarities & differences.
- The Salem Witch Trials & McCarthy Era in the US history. How they treated people accused of witchcraft in 2 different historical events.
- The idyllic period in the US history is the middle of XX century while the 1960s is known as a tumultuous decade.
- Ancient Greece VS Ancient Rome. Which civilization had a greater impact on the development of contemporary culture & art?
- 3 different branches of Christianity. Common issues, major differences, similarities, examples of traditions, etc.
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Political Essay Compare and Contrast Themes
These topics cover political science and cultural life of different countries. It is time to evaluate political regimes of different countries. Analyze the countries with the echo of communism and those where capitalism dominates; countries where women and men have equal rights versus countries where women are limited to their rights and freedoms.
- Classical Theory of Karl Marx against Modern Capitalistic Movement. Financial and political theories change with the flow of time. High school and college students have to understand the way economics work to get the ideas of different political regimes.
- The war in Syria/Military Situation in Ukraine. The countries could make a union based on the fact they are both regularly attacked by two other hostile countries. However, Ukraine is not officially involved in the war, they say. Research what media shares and analyze the given cases.
- The government of China VS The government of Korea. Both of these nations suffer from the consequences of communism. The second country, specifically North Korea, supports this political regime more than China. What is different and what's in common?
- Welfare Programs in the United States vs. Welfare Programs in the United Kingdom. Although high school and college students believe that these countries look alike in many senses, any related book or movie will show how wrong they are.
- Al Qaeda VS the Islamic State. Which of the terroristic organizations have a greater threat to the world’s peace?
- Legal systems in the United States & Canada: Are they too different in terms of laws, regulations, preventive measures, and other?
- Marriage VS civil union. Which of these types of a partnership between two people in love is less threatening to the image of political figure?
- Debit cards and credit cards: The role of government in establishing various payment methods and responsibility it has in case of any rule break
- Private & public companies. The obligations American government have concerning each of these types of organizations
- Political regime today and back in the 1950s: Things that changed for better and situations that got worse
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 6th Grade
Students who study in the sixth grade have to receive the simplest homework assignments and compare and contrast essay topics for 6th grade as they lack the experience to analyze something more complex than these:
- Winter or summer: More gorgeous season of year
- Christmas in another country/Christmas at home
- Juice VS water: While water may be healthier, juices are tastier and…
- Dogs and wolves: Similarities & differences
- Weeds and flowers: Why one cannot exist without another
- Eastern or Western USA: Living in both parts in different period of time
- Comic books or novels: The once which is more interesting to read
- Tennis VS ping pong: Your favorite game out of two
- Watching TV instead of reading a book: Difference/similarity in impressions
- Male friends or female friends: Based on such factors as loyalty, sincerity, bravery, and more
Compare and Contrast Topics for Middle School
Have a look at the list of compare and contrast topics for middle school!
- King Author VS Zeus. One of them is a way cooler than another one
- Comparison of the role models in 1950s with modern role models
- How does it feel to watch favorite movies in the cinema and watching films at home?
- The correlation between famous dictators & school bullies
- The consequences of tsunami might be worse than the consequences of hurricane
- Prom Night, Halloween Night, & Christmas Night: Which holiday is more fun?
- Car driving or bicycle driving: Which experience is more difficult?
- 3-star hotels or 5-star hotels: Reasons to choose each of them
- Things the early spacemen had in common with Christopher Columbus
- People who influence teenagers most of all: Parents and celebrities
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students
If you don't need specific ideas for academic papers, look at the list of general essay topics shared by successful college students. Now, we continue with compare and contrast essay topics for high school.
- Fiction or Non-Fiction Literature: Write about which type of literary works is more helpful for college students and why.
- Assess High School Examinations & College Tests. What is more important? Which styles are recommended to be used in academic writing when studying in different educational institutions? When is it easier to cheat?
- Traditional Learning or Online Learning: Do you find it helpful to be able to take college courses online? Is a traditional way of teaching still better and more effective?
- Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots: Which of the professional sports clubs is more authoritative and loved by high school students?
- Determine the effectiveness of online advertising and TV ads. What type of advertising channel is more influential on children?
- Printed books/e-Books: Which type of material might be more useful for the modern high school students?
- Wooden houses or story buildings. The significance of each type of construction
- Major differences and similarities between Portugal & Spain: Where is it better to have a vacation nowadays?
- American vision of beauty compared to Japanese vision of beauty: Discuss the standards based on the most recent beauty queens plus handsome men
- How rock music has changed: Rock music of early XX century and nowadays
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students
Finally, there are many ways you can analyze the life with family and on a college campus; important things to consider while studying at school and in university; passing SAT and taking TOEFL; etc. Enjoy the list of 10 compare and contrast essay topics for college students!
- Comparing Life with Parents to Living on Campus: In your essay, write the details about two ways of student's life. Share ideas on why you prefer one of the options (pros and cons of both).
- Where is academic rigor the greatest when it comes to comparing high school education and college learning.
- While Fall is the season of college arrivals, Spring is the time for student departures. Features of different educational seasons.
- Having a look at the meals students get at high school/college and the food they obtain at home from their family members. Which is tastier?
- The remote learning courses slowly replace conventional classes in college. Pros & cons of going technological.
- Living at home with parents compared to living on the college campus on the example of laundry service, cooking, and other everyday household activities.
- Manufacturing jobs against service sector jobs. A right choice of the college student
- Part-time jobs VS seasonal jobs: Pros & cons of each option
- Private colleges or public education: Reasons to make all educational institutions public in the United States
- Advanced placement classes: Better or worse than honors classes?
Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
If you do not want to go deep into the details breaking the head against the wall, choose one of the easy compare and contrast essay topics!
- Twilight & Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Analyze both shows’ characters
- It by Stephen King: Review book with the film
- Julius Caesar & Macbeth: Do these people have anything in common?
- Realism & modernism. Simple similarities & differences
- Poetry VS prose: List literary elements that make these genres different
- Life in a big city compared to village life: Discuss where people are healthier, kinder, more honest, etc.
- Donald Trump against Hilary Clinton: The one who should have won the latest presidential elections in the United States
- Real Madrid & Barcelona: Advantages + disadvantages of both Spanish football clubs
- iPhone VS Android mobile devices: Benefits Android users obtain against benefits iPhone users get
- Tablets or textbooks in school: Advantages each of these devices have when it comes to the process of learning
Things to Compare and Contrast
The last category contains the names of subjects only. Those are some great things to compare and contrast!
- Jails & Asylums
- Renaissance and Baroque Art
- Star Wars & Star Trek
- American Dad VS Family Guy
- Apple or Pineapple
- Moon and Sun
- Greek VS Scandinavian Mythology
- Communism against Capitalism
- New England Colonies or Southern Colonies (it is possible to add Middle Colonies)
- Fiction VS Non-Fiction
Compare and Contrast Essay Example from Writing Guru
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You’re looking for a great compare and contrast essay topic to kick start your assignment. How can you choose an interesting topic that’s simultaneously narrow yet broad enough to provide you with plenty of great material?
In this blog post, I’ll give you 70 compare and contrast essay topics. I’ve also included links to sample essays for even more inspiration.
With many of these topics, I’ll also give you some basic compare and contrast points to get your ideas going. Note that my points are pretty general.
When you write your compare and contrast essay, you’ll want to dig deep, do your research, and find the most interesting facts.
Let’s get started!
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Influential PeopleIt’s time to dust off your powers of creativity and have some fun comparing and contrasting influential people.
People are the definition of unique—no two are exactly alike. The challenge is to find the similarities between two individuals, even when they seem to have nothing in common.
Comparing two people from a similar background is pretty easy. But surprising comparisons—such as those between fictional characters and real-life people or between people from different epochs—can lead to the most interesting essays.
When you successfully make those unlikely connections, readers will be awestruck by your sheer brilliance.
1. Mahatma Gandhi vs. Osama Bin Laden
Mahatma Gandhi and Osama Bin Laden were both extremely influential figures who successfully motivated thousands of people to act on behalf of their visions. Both leaders were killed by their opposition.
Gandhi was a pacifist and a bastion of peace and compassion. He fought for freedom and civil rights. Bin Laden was an extreme militant and a bastion of war and intolerance. He fought for the implementation of extreme religious propaganda.
2. Edward Snowden vs. Julius Caesar
Both Edward Snowden and Julius Caesar played an instrumental role in the inevitable demise of the powerful institutions in which they functioned—Snowden the 21st century United States of America and Caesar the Roman Republic.
Snowden fights for the rights of the people, while Caesar fought against the people in his quest for ultimate power.
Speaking of Romans:The Roman and Han empires make for an interesting comparison. Even though the two nations were separated by time and geography, they experienced striking similarities in technological, political, and economic advances.
3. OJ Simpson vs. Tom Robinson
OJ Simpson and Tom Robinson were both black men who stood accused of violence against white women. Both men were convicted for these crimes. Their convictions left behind a debate as to whether the men were actually brought to justice or rather were victims of racial injustice.
Tom Robinson is a fictional character from the book To Kill a Mockingbird. OJ Simpson is a real-life former NFL player. Tom Robinson was sentenced to death, while OJ Simpson received a prison sentence.
4. Harriet Jacobs vs. Frederick Douglass
Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass were former slaves who became abolitionists. Both Jacobs and Douglass wrote profound autobiographical accounts of their lives as slaves that helped form the argument against slavery.
Harriet Jacobs wrote about the struggles and hardships unique to women in slavery, such as sexual abuse. Frederick Douglass wrote about the struggles and hardships specific to men in slavery, such as emasculation. Douglass went on to become a well-known orator and ran for vice president on the Equal Party Ticket. Jacobs remained an important but relatively unrecognized figure in the abolitionist movement.
5. Adolf Hitler vs. Joseph Stalin
Both Hitler and Stalin were dictators who achieved a high level of power during WWI and WWII. Both men were behind innumerable human atrocities that killed millions of innocent people.
Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party in Germany. Stalin was the leader of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union. Nazism, by definition, is opposed to communism.
6. Maya Angelou vs. Alice Walker
Maya Angelou and Alice Walker are both well-known African American authors. They are credited with contributing important fictional and non-fictional texts on the issues surrounding what it means to be black in the United States. They are both inspirational political and civil rights activists. They are both recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.
In addition to writing, Angelou is also known for her work as an actress and film and television producer. Even though they addressed similar topics in their writings, the two authors wrote in very different styles—each with her own unique voice.
7. Hobbes vs. Locke
Hobbes and Locke were both 17th century English philosophers. They were both interested in exploring political philosophy. Both men, for instance, talked about a state of nature—the idea of man existing without government—and the dangers of such a state (though that’s where their similarities largely ended on the topic).
Hobbes and Locke disagreed on a number of issues. For example, Hobbes believed that man is by nature a social animal, while Locke believed the opposite. Hobbes believed that man has an intrinsic understanding of the difference between right and wrong. Locke believed that man only understands the difference between right and wrong when an authority, such as the law or God, enforces it.
8. Ellen DeGeneres vs. Oprah Winfrey
Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey are both American television personalities who have hosted their own daytime talk shows. Both women have been extremely successful in their careers.
As a comedienne, DeGeneres relies on witty humor and sarcastic criticism to convey her messaging, while the more serious Winfrey relies on inspiration, insights, and aha moments.
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” – Ellen DeGeneres
9. Booker T. Washington vs. W.E.B. DuBois
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were both early 20th century civil rights activists. They were both great leaders of the black community. Both men were also accomplished scholars.
Washington and DuBois disagreed on how to go about achieving racial equality. Washington believed that African Americans should earn equality through self-help and hard work. DuBois, conversely, believed that African Americans needed to become better educated and more politically active.
10. Plato vs. Socrates
Plato and Socrates were both ancient Greek philosophers. They are considered to be the founders of Western philosophy. Both men also founded a school.
Socrates was Plato’s teacher and mentor. Socrates expounded on the wisdom of “I know that I know nothing.” Plato philosophized that the world of ideas was the only constant and that the world of senses is changeable.
11. Adolf Hitler vs. Regina George
Adolf Hitler and Regina George both can be considered dictators in their own right. Both Hitler and George believed that people with blonde hair, blue eyes, and other Aryan features were somehow better than other people.
Adolf Hitler was a real person, dictator, and founder of Nazism in Germany. He was responsible for countless human atrocities, including the murder of over 6 million Jews. Regina George is a fictional character from the 2004 movie Mean Girls. George’s biggest human atrocity is the creation of the Burn Book, a book that libels the other students in school.
12. Pope Francis vs. Macklemore
Both Pope Francis and Macklemore believe in love, equality, and showing compassion to others. Both are cultural icons. Both men have the ability to reach out to and speak to the masses.
Pope Francis is the leader of the Catholic Church. Macklemore is an American entertainer and hip-hop rapper. Macklemore “wears your grandad’s clothes,” while Pope Francis is old enough to be your grandad.
13. Lin-Manual Miranda vs. William Shakespeare
Both playwrights have changed the face of theater forever. Both playwrights have been criticized for creating historically inaccurate works. Both writers make political and social commentary in their plays.
Shakespeare’s plays were not musicals (though they often contained musical components). Miranda’s most famous play, Hamilton, is a wildly successful musical. Shakespeare lived and wrote in the 16th century, while Miranda is a contemporary playwright.
14. Ronald Reagan vs. Donald Trump
Reagan and Trump were both television and media stars before becoming president. When they were first elected, many people feared that neither one of these men would be strong or effective leaders.
When Reagan took office, interest rates and inflation were high. Trump, on the other hand, entered office with historically low inflation and interest rates. Many people believed Reagan understood the problems with government and believed he was willing to work with citizens to help solve problems. Trump has claimed that he alone will be able to solve problems.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: History
15. 19th century living vs. modern living
16. The Roman vs. Han empires
17. Medicine in Ancient Greece vs. medicine in Ancient China
18. Media coverage of past wars vs. media coverage of current wars
19. Russian propaganda during the Cold War vs. Russian propaganda today
20. The Great Depression vs. the Great Recession
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Religion
When you set out to compare and contrast world religions, you may feel like you have fallen down a rabbit hole. A student I know once wrote an essay comparing Jesus Christ and Snow White—talk about falling down a rabbit hole!
What’s more, the crossovers between two opposing religions can be surprising.
21. Protestantism vs. Catholicism
Protestants were originally a part of the Catholic Church. So they still believe that Jesus is the savior and that he was crucified and rose from the dead to save humanity.
Among their many differences, Catholics believe in Holy Water, purgatory, and that those wafers you eat at mass are actually, literally the body of Christ. Protestants don’t believe in any of that. (While protestants do take communion, they don’t think the wafers are really a piece of flesh.) Catholics have nuns, priests, and a pope. Protestants don’t.
22. Theravada vs. Mahayana Buddhism
Both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism follow Dharma, the teachings of Buddha. Both reject the notion of a god or gods (they are nontheistic). Both believe theistic religions are misguided.
Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism have some basic philosophical differences. For example, Theravada Buddhists believe that Buddha died, leaving his teachings behind. Mahayana Buddhists believe that Buddha lives on in various incarnations.
23. Judaism vs. Christianity
Judaism and Christianity are both monotheistic religions that teach about one almighty God. Both are Abrahamic religions. Both religions teach the Old Testament. Both believe in angels, demons, and spirits as spiritual beings.
Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ was the messiah and that he will return to Earth one day. Christians believe that Jesus died for the sins of humankind. Judaism teaches that Jesus was a teacher and a prophet of God, but not God himself. Judaism also rejects the notion of Jesus’s sacrifice.
24. Religious mindset vs. cult following
Both organized religions and cults seek spiritual enlightenment and follow the teachings of a leader. Both have members with varying levels of practice and extremism.
Cults are more likely to attempt to extort money from their followers. Cults are also more likely than religions to use mind-control to force members into following the teachings of the cult.
25. Jesus Christ vs. Buddha
Jesus Christ and Buddha were both spiritual leaders. Both were teachers and tutors during their time on Earth. Both were miraculously conceived, performed miracles, and were tempted but overcame the devil.
Though Jesus performed several notable miracles, Buddha did not. Buddha believed that he lived his life in search of the truth, while Jesus believed he was the truth.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Countries and Politics
26. Salem Witch Trials vs. McCarthyism
27. Welfare programs in the US vs. welfare programs in Canada
28. Malaysian government vs. Singapore government
29. The Democratic vs. Republican parties in the US
30. Classical liberalism vs. modern liberalism
31. Today’s Democratic liberals vs. today’s Republican conservatives
32. Past presidential elections vs. the most recent presidential election
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Education
You can compare and contrast different facets of education until you are as blue as a Smurf. To succeed, you’re better served by pitting two veryspecific elements of education against each other.
The trick is to narrow your angle down to a tight focus while leaving room to write enough compelling points to describe the differences and similarities.
33. Private vs. public universities
Both private and public universities offer a range of academic courses and opportunities. Both allow students to earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate degree.
Private universities are typically more expensive. The College Board reports that for the 2013-2014 school year, private universities cost over $30,000 for one year of tuition, while public universities cost just over $8,000 for in-state and $22,000 for out-of-state tuition. However, private institutions are known to offer better financial aid options.
34. Small vs. large universities
Both small and large universities can provide students with the opportunities to achieve educational goals. Both offer bachelor’s degrees. (We’re not comparing the size of their parties here…but you could!)
Small universities offer individualized majors, smaller class sizes, and hands-on learning opportunities. Large universities offer state-of-the art research facilities, a wider range of academic programs, and more student clubs and events.
35. High school vs. college
High school is a stepping stone to attending college. Students need to successfully complete the curriculum of both educational institutions in order to advance in many careers. Both institutions employ instructors to teach coursework. Both require students to refer to textbooks. Both require substantial homework.
High school allows for fewer academic choices. Students are typically limited to a state-designed curriculum that does not take into account a student’s particular strengths and interests. College is a time for students to focus on courses that are specific to their career goals.
36. Online vs. traditional classes
Both online and traditional classes offer education toward a degree program. Students have access to instructors in both class formats. Both involve some form of discussion among classmates. Both often have group projects.
Online classes allow for more flexibility than traditional classes. Students can take an online course at any time from the comfort of their homes. Traditional classes require students to attend class at a specific time and location. The access to instructors is virtual in online classes and in-person in traditional classes. Online classes often have discussion board posts that replace live classroom discussions.
37. Homeschooling vs. public education
Homeschooling and public education provide specific guidelines and learning outcomes for students. Both provide a way for children to experience and learn about the world around them.
Public education provides more opportunities for socialization than homeschooling. Homeschooling can be more demanding on parents as they must be both full-time parent and full-time teacher.
38. Advanced placement (AP) classes vs. honors classes
Both types of classes provide more rigor than traditional high school classes and are geared toward higher achieving students. Both types of classes can strengthen students’ college applications.
Honors courses are essentially high school courses that cover subject matter in greater depth. AP courses are designed to mirror college-level courses. High school honors courses do not allow students to earn college credit. Some high school AP courses allow students to earn college credit.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Film and Literature
Chances are, if you’ve been in English class for any length of time, you’ve been asked to compare and contrast two bodies of literature or other fictional work.
This is your chance to surprise the heck out of your professor (and get a good grade) by making unexpected comparisons.
Following are some topic examples.
39. Twilight vs. Dracula
Both pieces of literature investigate vampire lore. Both use foreshadowing as a literary device to move the story forward. Both also share three themes: attraction, addiction, and repulsion.
Twilight’s 21st century vampires are sexy and sparkly. Edward Cullen of Twilight is charming and irresistibly dangerous. On the other hand, Dracula is a 19th century blood-thirsty beast that anyone would resist. Bram Stoker’s Dracula had a thick mustache, a large nose, and white hair that “grew scantily round the temples but profusely elsewhere.” (Bella, eat your heart out.) Also, there are no werewolves in Dracula.
40. Breaking Bad vs. Lost
Both Breaking Bad and Lost were hit TV series of the early 21st century. Both shows have won a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy. Both have a character named Walt. Both use flashforward scenes to move the narrative forward.
Breaking Bad investigates the concept of the anti-hero in the character Walter White, who is easy to hate but hard not to cheer on as he descends into a life of crime. Lost investigates the virtues of a classic hero in the likeable character of Jack Shephard.
41. A Rose for Emily vs. The Yellow Wallpaper
Both stories depict women being forced into isolation as a result of “lunacy.” Both stories explore the definition of femininity and the repression of women. Both stories explore dysfunctional relationships between women and men.
“The Yellow Wallpaper” tells the story of a woman’s experience of being shut into a bedroom for a summer. “A Rose for Emily” explores a woman’s experience of shutting herself into a house for 40 years. Both stories investigate these themes in very different ways.
42.Fahrenheit 451 vs. Red Scarf Girl
Both stories uncover themes of cultural repression. Both stories revolve around the human experience of defying unjust government regulations. Censorship and loss of individual rights are themes in both books.
Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel about how the character Montag defies authority and begins to read the books that he had been ordered to burn. Red Scarf Girl is a true story about a young girl, Ji-li, and her experience of defiance and resistance during China’s cultural revolution.
43. The Day After Tomorrow vs. I am Legend
Both movies address the theme of the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic struggles for survival. Both movies touch on deeply rooted fears of humanity and our intrinsic understanding that the human race must eventually meet its end. Both showcase a lone scientific hero who tries to save humanity.
In I Am Legend, the harbinger of the apocalypse is a plague that turns people into killer monsters. In the Day After Tomorrow, an out-of-control storm ushers in an apocalyptic ice age.
44.The Hunger Games vs. Divergent
Both novels create a dystopian vision of life in the future where society has been divided into factions. Both novels are coming-of-age love stories. Both stories require the female protagonists to partake in violent rituals.
The Hunger Games explores themes of violence and corruption, and the defiance of unjust authority. Divergent explores themes of following your heart despite the odds.
45. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde vs. The Picture of Dorian Gray
Both of these stories feature a protagonist with a dark side that they try to hide from the world. Through such a lens, both stories share the theme of duality.
While Dr. Jekyll swings from being good and bad, Dorian Gray slowly transforms from good to bad as the story progresses. Dr. Jekyll outwardly manifests his dark side as Mr. Hyde, but Dorian keeps his darkness hidden, only acting on his impulses in secret. Dorian’s portrait is the only outward clue of his wrongdoing—the picture reveals his true nature with every wicked act.
46. 1984 vs. The Hunger Games
Both novels tell the story of a dystopian future where society is oppressed by an all-knowing and watchful authority. Both novels also have segments of the population in extreme poverty.
1984 is commentary on the dangers of a totalitarian state, and it’s set in Europe. The protagonist is an adult man. The Hunger Games is a coming-of-age story with a US-inspired setting. The protagonist is a young woman.
47. Julius Caesar vs. Macbeth
These two Shakespearean plays have a lot of common. They both revolve around regicide (the murder of a king). Both involve power plays, scandals, and manipulation (but don’t all Shakespeare tragedies?).
Macbeth relies on prophecies and the fulfillment of prophecies as one of its main literary hooks—it’s a story filled with magic and witches. JuliusCaesar is realism-based, focusing on the plausible dramas and tragedies of the Roman Empire.
Bonus read:Don’t Make These 6 Tragic Mistakes in Your Macbeth Essay
48. Beowulf vs. Wolverine
Both have cool, wolfish names. Both are heroes who undertake epic adventures to fight evil. Both experience serious transitions during their journeys.
Beowulf was created in the ancient stew of medieval literature. Wolverine was created in 1974. Beowulf revels in glories, while Wolverine’s good deeds go without reward.
49. Beowulf vs. Odysseus
Beowulf and Odysseus both must battle monsters on their epic journeys. Both heroes share many of the same traits: courage, intelligence, and strength. Both men use all three traits to win their respective battles.
Odysseus makes it safely home and dies in his old age. Beowulf dies after slaying a dragon. Odysseus uses deception while battling enemies, while Beowulf doesn’t play games to gain an advantage against his enemies.
50. 12 Angry Men stage play vs. a film adaptation of 12 Angry Men
Both the play and the movie follow the same basic plot, with jurors attempting to determine the guilt of the accused. In both, the jurors are nameless, known only by their juror numbers.
The scenes are more detailed in the movie compared to the descriptions in the play. The producers took some liberties with adding and/or altering dialogue from the original screenplay.
Bonus info:12 Angry Men was made into a movie in 1957 and in 1997. You might also write a compare and contrast essay about the two film adaptations.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Art
51.Olympia vs. Grande Odalisque
52. Pablo Picasso vs. Salvador Dali
53. King Arthur vs. Zeus
54. Realism vs. Modernism
55. Michelangelo’s Davis vs. Bernini’s David
56. Impressionism vs. Post-Impressionism
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Culture and SocietyThere are infinite possibilities when it comes to choosing from compare and contrast essay topics about culture and society. The trick here is to pick a topic that is very specific and interesting.
Here are some ideas.
57. Korean concept of beauty vs. American concept of beauty
Both Americans and Koreans value thinness as an ideal beauty standard. Both cultures hold ideals of beauty that are impossible for most people to achieve.
Americans focus on beauty standards, such as blonde hair, blue eyes, big breasts (on women), round butts, and tans. Korean beauty focuses on ideal face and eye shapes and pale skin.
58. Cohabitation vs. marriage
Cohabitation and marriage both involve two people living together and sharing resources. Both also usually mean two people are in a serious relationship.
Marriage involves a legal and binding contract between two people that includes healthcare benefits and tax benefits. Cohabitation does not require a legal contract and does not include such benefits.
59. Teenagers vs. toddlers
Both teenagers and toddlers are moody, willful, and needy. Both teens and toddlers are usually exploring newly found independence. Both often require supervision in many areas.
Teenagers are more mobile than toddlers and can be far more destructive in their actions. Toddlers are a thousand times more adorable than teenagers. Teenagers have the ability to reason, unlike toddlers, but rarely take advantage of this ability.
60. Traditional Chinese parenting vs. Western parenting
Both Chinese and Western parents want the best for their children. Both educate and discipline their children in ways they feel will best prepare their children for the future.
Compared to Western parents, Chinese parents (particularly “Tiger Moms”) are very strict. They do not allow their children much free time and stress discipline and rigid schedules.
61. Authoritative parenting vs. permissive parenting
In both parenting styles, parents attempt to communicate with their children. In both styles, parents are also likely to encourage creativity and expression in their children.
Authoritative parents are assertive and in control while not being extremely demanding. Permissive parents are more lenient and likely to avoid conflict with their children.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: Technology
62. Apple vs. Google smartphones
63. Apple vs. Microsoft
64. Honda vs. Ford
65. Gasoline vs. ethanol vs. biodiesel
66. Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4
67. Tablets vs. textbooks
68. Solar energy vs. wind energy
69. Face-to-face relationships vs. online relationships
70. Safety of cars with seat belts only vs. safety of cars with seat belts and airbags
Hopefully, you’ve found a topic that will make writing your essay fun and easy. If you need even more ideas, here is a web app that helps you compare just about anything. And here’s a cool website with compare and contrast topics galore.
Once you’ve settled on a topic, I recommend reading these posts to get started with your essay:
Once your own compare and contrast essay is drafted, send it to one of our awesome essay editors for review.
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