200 Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

compare and contrast essay topics

This type of assignment examines to or more items that could anything from ideas to objects to people. Students are asked to compare items’ similarities and contrast items’ differences. Students may choose to focus on just similarities or differences, but in most cases, they are instructed to do both. It’s a good idea to pay close attention to the assignment prompt starting and to sure the topic selected is manageable given the amount of time one has to do the assignment.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Kids

Compare and contrast essay topics are among the first educational learning questions that students learn about. What is the difference between an apple and an orange? What makes a better pet: a cat or a dog? The following are a handful of compare/contrast essay topics ideal for young students learning how to formulate arguments:

  1. Summer holidays versus winter holidays.
  2. Fruit snacks versus vegetable snacks.
  3. Reading books versus watching movies.
  4. Walking in a big city or hiking in the hills.
  5. Harry Potter movies versus Lord of the Rings movies.
  6. Similarities and differences between Coke and Pepsi.
  7. Keeping animals in a zoo or keeping them in a wildlife sanctuary. Check out more animal rights topics.
  8. Writing essay longhand versus writing it on a computer.
  9. What makes a better pet? A dog or a cat.
  10. The taste of apples versus the taste of oranges.
  11. A presidency versus a monarchy.
  12. Nighttime walks versus daytime walks.
  13. Microsoft products versus Apple products.
  14. Face-to-face communication versus online communication.
  15. Compare and contrast octopuses versus squids.
  16. Playing team sports versus playing individual sports.
  17. The Star Trek movie franchise versus the Star Wars movie franchise.
  18. Simpsons animated series versus Family Guy animated series.
  19. Compare and contrast sea lions versus seals.
  20. Compare and contrast alligators versus crocodiles.

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Some of the best essays come from the careful selection of a great argumentative topic. A topic should be something that challenges you academically but is also something manageable. Here is a list of topics for a compare and contrast essay that will push you without becoming overwhelming:

  1. Similarities and differences between CVs and resumes.
  2. The original “Law and Order” television series versus “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”.
  3. Gas-powered vehicles versus electric-powered vehicles.
  4. Wind power technology versus solar power technology.
  5. NFL professional contracts versus NBA professional contracts.
  6. Compare and contrast standards of beauty in the 80s and 90s.
  7. Having siblings or being an only child.
  8. Benefits and disadvantages of becoming a teacher versus a college professor.
  9. A country during peacetime versus a country during wartime.
  10. Living in a big city or a small town.
  11. Spring sports versus fall sports.
  12. Compare and contrast the level of study in private schools versus public schools.
  13. The similarities and differences between an Android and an iOS.
  14. The benefits and disadvantages of owning a Samsung device versus an Apple device.
  15. Compare and contrast Christmas and Thanksgiving.
  16. Civil unions versus marriages in the LGBTQ community.
  17. Netflix streaming versus Amazon streaming.
  18. Going out to see a movie in the theater or streaming it at home.
  19. The Linux OS versus Apple’s iOS.
  20. Textbooks: Hard copies versus digital.

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sometimes the best way to capture an audience’s attention is to write about something funny. Humor can make a great first impression and this set of comparative essay topics might accomplish just that:

  1. The benefits and disadvantages of washing the dishes versus doing the laundry.
  2. Compare and contrast the effects of eating breakfast versus skipping it.
  3. Compare and contrast any two superheroes.
  4. Original Star Wars Trilogy Versus the Prequels.
  5. Compare and contrast plots in Graphic Novels versus Comic Books.
  6. Pizza versus cheeseburgers for lunch.
  7. The benefits and disadvantages of a Zombie Apocalypse versus a Nuclear Apocalypse.
  8. Compare and contrast any two supervillains.
  9. The benefits and disadvantages of any two superpowers.
  10. Compare and contrast any two fast-food chains.
  11. Video game systems: Xbox versus PlayStation (current versions).
  12. The Muppet Show versus Sesame Street.
  13. Compare and contrast Batman versus Superman.
  14. Compare and contrast comedy in 80s films versus 90s films.
  15. The benefits and disadvantages of a book versus a movie of the same title.
  16. Internet research versus library research.
  17. Compare and contrast studying in the day versus studying in the night.
  18. Benefits and disadvantages of starting a paper early or starting it late.
  19. Compare and contrast the ability to fly and the ability to be invisible.
  20. Learning abilities in males versus females.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Middle School

These essay ideas explore some more serious issues requiring students to think outside-of-the-box and to challenge themselves by providing examples culled from primary and secondary sources. This next set would likely be great ideas to explore when one has a week or two to adequately prepare:

  1. Compare and contrast what it is like being rich and what it’s like being poor.
  2. Compare and contrast the effects of a sedentary life and an active life.
  3. The similarities and differences between classical music and popular music.
  4. Britney Spears versus Christina Aguilera.
  5. Compare and contrast Metallica and Megadeth.
  6. Compare and contrast trucks versus SUVs.
  7. Benefits of traveling by plane versus by train.
  8. Getting around in a big city: Skateboards or bikes?
  9. Loyalty: Cats versus dogs.
  10. Figures in Literature: Ambrose Bierce and Stephen Crane.
  11. Famous Musicians: Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
  12. The similarities and differences between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
  13. Similarities and differences between the Northern States and the Southern States.
  14. Similarities and differences between State elections and Federal elections.
  15. Compare and contrast the health system in Canada and the United States.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School

These topics cover several areas in the discussion today and are great for high school students. You should have no trouble finding plenty of background information on the web. But still, prepare yourself to conduct in-depth research at the library:

  1. Compare and contrast exam styles: Oral or Written?
  2. Literary genres: Fantasy versus Horror.
  3. Benefits and disadvantages of coffee versus tea.
  4. Compare and contrast Friday nights versus Saturday nights.
  5. Compare and contrast American versus British accents.
  6. Benefits and disadvantages of working out in the morning versus the evening.
  7. Compare and contrast the acts of reading and writing.
  8. Physics versus chemistry.
  9. Documentary films versus fictional films.
  10. Compare and contrast Stalin and Hitler.
  11. Benefits and disadvantages of Obama as President versus Trump as President.
  12. Compare and contrast Trump’s Administration and Bush’s Administration.
  13. Compare and contrast WWI and WWII.
  14. Benefits and disadvantages of exercise versus a healthy diet.
  15. Compare and contrast platonic love versus romantic love.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

This category also has some of the best ideas topics for compare and contrast essay for a college-level course. This is because some of these topics allow people to take opposing sides. Nevertheless, you should research your topic wisely to present a well-formed opinion:

  1. Compare and contrast fashion from the 2000s versus the 2010s.
  2. Learning from audiobooks versus paper books.
  3. Online learning versus in-class learning.
  4. Benefits and disadvantages of studying on a full stomach versus an empty stomach.
  5. Compare and contrast two Civil Rights leaders.
  6. Compare and contrast the first and second Gulf Wars.
  7. Benefits and disadvantages of getting a college degree or working after high school.
  8. Mineralogy versus Geology.
  9. Compare and contrast Twitter and Facebook.
  10. Benefits and disadvantages of receiving gifts versus giving them.

Comparative Politics Essay Topics for Graduate School

The ideas cover a wide variety of areas should you want to work broadly. Our team of academic experts can provide you a custom list that focuses on an area that fits your interest or expertise in pursuit of your degree:

  1. Compare and contrast Communism versus Democratic Socialism.
  2. Compare and contrast state and federal legal proceedings.
  3. Democrats versus Republicans.
  4. Adam Smith versus Karl Marx.
  5. Early Founders: Washington versus Adams.
  6. Benefits and disadvantages of private and universal health care.
  7. Northern states versus Southern states during the Civil War.
  8. Compare and contrast the Aztec and Mayan governments.
  9. Socialism versus communism in the 21st
  10. American government versus the Soviet government in the 20th

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

If you know you don’t have enough time to complete a writing project and you want to choose from a list of topics that you can research in a few days, then this list of compare contrast essay topics is just for you:

  1. Compare and contrast Fantasy Sports and online sports betting.
  2. Computer games or console games?
  3. Benefits and disadvantages of working 4 days versus 5 days a week.
  4. Benefits and disadvantages of public-school learning or home learning.
  5. Compare and contrast two modern laptops (any model).
  6. Compare and contrast two models of teaching children.
  7. Benefits and disadvantages of hands-on and hands-off leadership.
  8. S. History versus European History during the 20th century.
  9. Similarities and differences between Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
  10. Compare and contrast gender roles in two parts of the world.
  11. Education Systems: American versus British.
  12. Eastern Philosophy versus Western Philosophy.
  13. Latin American Soccer versus European Soccer.
  14. Compare and contrast two sports franchises.
  15. Compare and contrast two versions of the same story (e.g., film).

Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Many students know that writing on something unique poses greater challenges. It might be more difficult to find information on the web or in libraries. If you decide to pick one of these ideas, make sure you use academic resources to back up your arguments:

  1. Compare and contrast the Boston Celtics Dynasty with the L.A. Lakers Dynasty.
  2. Compare and contrast Michael Jordan and LeBron James’ playing styles.
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of learning how to play an instrument.
  4. Modern rock versus classic rock.
  5. Christianity versus Islam in the modern world.
  6. Buddhism in Japan versus Buddhism in China.
  7. Aerial predators versus sea predators.
  8. Compare and contrast Jupiter and Saturn.
  9. Compare and contrast the works of Charles Dickens and the works of Mark Twain.
  10. Compare and contrast two of Shakespeare’s History Plays.

Good Comparative Essay Topics

A good topic for this kind of writing gives students the chance to show some creativity when it comes to finding similarities between two items. Students have a lot of fun writing these assignments, especially when they write about something they like. Consider this set of ideas:

  1. Benefits and disadvantages of growing your food or purchasing it from the store.
  2. Advantages and disadvantages of walking and driving to work.
  3. Compare and contrast wisdom versus intelligence.
  4. The great recession versus the great depression.
  5. Compare and contrast pro-life versus pro-choice.
  6. Compare and contrast free will and determinism.
  7. Compare and contrast free speech and hate speech.
  8. Benefits and disadvantages of being a pessimist and being an optimist.
  9. Driving to work versus taking public transportation.
  10. Compare and contrast women’s voting rights from two countries.
  11. Drinking alcohol versus abstaining from it.
  12. Similarities and differences between veganism and vegetarianism.
  13. Compare and contrast physical health and mental health.
  14. Compare and contrast poetry and prose.
  15. Advantages and disadvantages of volunteering versus working for money.

Comparative Analysis Essay Topics

These compare and contrast essay topics for college are much more challenging than you may be used to. But they also provide you the opportunity to present compelling arguments that are sure to earn you the highest grade possible:

  1. Similarities and differences between civil justice and criminal justice.
  2. Compare and contrast modern law and the law of the 19th century in the U.S.
  3. Compare and contrast two actors who played the same role.
  4. Similarities and differences between adulthood and childhood.
  5. The benefits and disadvantages of living at home or living on campus.
  6. Compare and contrast going to college out of state or staying in state.
  7. Similarities and differences between writing and editing.
  8. Similarities and differences between Nazism and Fascism.
  9. Compare and contrast the Renaissance and Baroque Period.
  10. Similarities and differences between cigarettes and alcohol.

College Level Compare Contrast Essay Topics

These compare and contrast essay topics college level deal with more difficult subjects. At this level, students are expected to conduct in-depth research to challenge established ideas. Here is a list for your consideration:

  1. Benefits and disadvantages of lowering the drinking age or keeping it as it is.
  2. Benefits and disadvantages of getting new information from reading or watching.
  3. Similarities and differences between working in an office or working from home.
  4. Better place to get news? Online or from newspapers?
  5. Similarities and differences between lions and tigers.
  6. Advantages and disadvantages in buying versus leasing a car.
  7. Saving money or spending money in your thirties.
  8. Renting versus buying a home.
  9. Similarities and differences between the bull and bear markets.
  10. The benefits and disadvantages of economic growth in the U.S.

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

In our daily lives, we are consistently making comparing and contrasting things to help us make choices. Even simple things like choosing between two breakfast items can be compared and contrasted across many factors. Here are some topics you might find interesting:

  1. Liberal arts versus the sciences in today’s job market.
  2. Friedrich Hegel versus Karl Marx.
  3. Music in the 1990s versus music in the 1960s.
  4. Developing countries: Capitalism versus communism.
  5. Compare and contrast Boko Haram with Al Qaeda.
  6. Compare and contrast two mobile phone manufacturers.
  7. Civil marriages versus religious marriages.
  8. Compare and contrast white-collar jobs and blue-collar jobs.
  9. Traditional jobs versus online jobs.
  10. Desktop computers versus laptop computers.

Art History Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

As you will see, these issues in art history can be quite challenging for students. They require you to research a topic thoroughly, establish a firm opinion, and provide support of that opinion in an academically and intellectually sound way:

  1. Compare and contrast French art with English art.
  2. Compare and contrast the works of Picasso versus the works of Dali.
  3. Similarities and differences between Romanticism and Expressionism.
  4. Compare and contrast graffiti art with experimental art.
  5. Compare and contrast how art survived in two regions of the world.
  6. Similarities and differences between Islamic and Christian art.
  7. Compare and contrast the works of art from two ancient cultures.
  8. Compare and contrast religious art with political art.
  9. Similarities and differences in how war affected art survival in two countries.
  10. The works of Renaissance Masters versus the works of Romanticism Masters.

Comparative Analysis Essay Topics

This kind of writing follows the same basic principles of compare and contrast assignment. However, this is more advanced and requires you to provide more in-depth analysis. You need to thoroughly conduct research, brainstorm several lists of similarities and differences, and present a thesis in which you present your opinion on why one item is better than the other. Here are some ideas:

  1. Compare and contrast suicide and homicide.
  2. Compare and contrast current fashion trends with traditional fashion trends.
  3. Similarities and differences between television comedies of the 60s and 2000s.
  4. Epilepsy versus bipolar disorder.
  5. Compare and contrast Civil Rights efforts in the 1960s and 2010s.
  6. Compare and contrast Arab countries before and after the Ottoman Empire.
  7. Similarities and differences between Greek Mythology and Roman Mythology.
  8. Advantages and disadvantages of online shopping versus traditional shopping.
  9. Compare and contrast two types of movie genres.
  10. Compare and contrast the Marvel and DC universes.

What did you think about our list of topics? If you need something that specifically addresses an assignment prompt or if you want a collection of ideas dealing in a certain area, we’ll be glad to help. We are a team of dedicated academic professionals that aims to provide the world’s top-notch assistance in any academic discipline and level. You can even get a custom essay if you need it. Reach out to us any time you need help and we’ll get you the material you need to find academic success.

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