Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics: A+ Guaranteed

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Written By Jim Peterson

Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

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When you hear the words compare and contrast, the first thing that you might think of is the Venn Diagram. It is a visual representation of the similarities and differences between two subjects. However, compare and contrast topics are not limited to diagrams. They can also be the all-time favorite/nemesis of many students, representing just one type of direction they can go for when it’s time to pick a topic for the next college essay.

When you compare two subjects, you are analyzing what they have in common. On the other hand, when you contrast two subjects, you are looking at the things in which they differ. So, with that simple rule in mind, how do we write a compare and contrast essay?

Well, the goal of any compare and contrast essay topic is to analyze differences and similarities between two or more subjects. These types of essays also contain all the common essay parts, such as a thesis statement, introduction, body, and conclusion.

General Parts of Compare and Contrast Essays

Let’s go over them one by one.

1. Introduction

This is the part where you will give a general background of the subjects you will choose to compare and contrast. It should grab people’s attention and make them want to read more. Include a catchy hook to stimulate their engagement and interest. Also, this is the part where you will also introduce your thesis statement.

2. Thesis Statement

The statement contains the main point in your essay. Your thesis statement describes what significance you will assign to the subject matter under discussion. It is basically a road map for the paper. In other words, it explains to the reader what will follow in the body of the paper. Is an answer to the question directly asked by the reader.

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3. Body

This is where you will compare and contrast your chosen subjects and elaborate even more on the topic. It is essential to emphasize specific points, use solid evidence, and make an in-depth analysis that your readers will understand. Don’t pick too many points at once. Choose the most relevant ones, present good analysis, and conclude with a sentence that explains the major point of the paragraph.

4. Conclusion

This is where you will re-emphasize your point so that your readers can finish your essay with a lasting impression. Usually, it summarizes the differences and similarities of the compare and contrast subjects you chose. Make a lasting impact on your readers by making a point that will be remembered long after your paper is graded.

Now that you know how to write a compare and contrast essay, it’s time for you to learn the three steps or tips on how to pick your topic.

How to pick your compare and contrast topics?

1. Choose the two subjects of your interest that you want to compare and contrast. Make sure that they belong in the same category so that the comparison makes sense.

Example: Basketball vs. Volleyball

2. Brainstorm or list all things the two subjects have in common, as well as every unique thing about them and what they are both good at or worthy of. You do so to weigh their overall worth.

Example: Both are team sports and ball games, and they require teamwork too.

3. Come up with the main point you want to prove after comparing and contrasting them. Then, add the two subjects you have chosen and formulate a single topic you can write about.

Example: Basketball vs. Volleyball: Which is more strategic?

What to consider when writing a compare and contrast essay topic?

It is essential to pay attention to all details, small and large, when completing this academic assignment. The comparisons and contrasts should be connected. Brainstorm interesting topics, try to take a fresh look at them, and talk to your parents or other people to help you come up with a unique angle you may have not thought of.

It is also important to stick to a solid structure since all teachers pay attention to it. Take your audience into consideration and address matters they are interested in. Finally, make sure your essay has practical value by providing a list of comparisons and contrasts.

What should you keep in mind when writing a compare and contrast essay?

Here are the lists of things that you should follow and avoid in order to create your best compare and contrast essay paper.

You should:

1. Start every essay by providing a clear description of everything that needs to be contrasted and compared;

2. Research your chosen topic (use current and relevant data);

3. Introduce supporting information for your conclusion.

4. Ensure each section begins with a general idea and follows a certain structure.

5. Make sure all transitions and paragraphs are coherent because they ought to be interconnected logically.

You should not:

1. Use more than one structure in one essay (always use the same structure throughout your piece of writing);

2. Forget transitional words (they indicate that you want to get from one idea to another and also improve the flow of your paper);

3. Have any personal feelings or preferences about the topics you chose to study, because you must remain objective and derive all necessary conclusions from existing data and not from feelings or emotions;

4. Disregard basic academic writing rules (avoid controversial language, spelling, or punctuation errors, and try to write your paper in a formal style).

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College

Even though the compare and contrast topics we will show you are still considered topics for college students, they are a little bit more advanced mainly because they require more research, more studies, and more references. The main goal is to compare and contrast two subjects with a clear and straightforward thesis statement.

1. Written Test vs Performance Test: Which determines true excellence?

2. Regular Students vs Honor Students: Who will succeed in life faster?

3. Books vs E-books: Which is better for students?

4. Classroom Teaching vs. Online Teaching: Which is more effective?

5. Person with High EQ vs Person with High IQ: Who can make a difference?

6. Formal School vs Home School: Which works better?

7. True or False Exam vs Multiple Choice Exam: Which is more complicated?

8. Kind Teacher vs Strict Teacher: Who’s more effective?

9. Audio Presentation vs Video Presentation: Which is more effective?

10. Reading a Book or Listening to an Audio Book: Which is better?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Middle School

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Middle School

Compare and contrast essay topics are not only for college students. In fact, they are often given to middle school students too. Even if the main flow of the essay is to compare and contrast, there are still great arguments that can arise from their young thoughts as to why they believe that one is better than the other. Speaking of arguments, if you are looking for argumentative essay topics, check out our other article on the subject. Now, back to our list of compare and contrast essay topics for middle school students:

1. Pizza vs Burger: Which is the best?

2. Super Mario vs Bomber Man: Which game is more exciting to play?

3. Yogurt vs Ice Cream: Which is better?

4. Mobile Games vs Computer Games: Which games more complicated?

5. Red Spaghetti vs White Spaghetti: Which is the best?

6. Singing a song vs Reciting a poem: Which is easier?

7. Apple vs Pear: Which tastes better?

8. Dark Chocolate vs Black Chocolate: Whis is the best?

9. Playing with friends vs Playing with classmates: Which is more enjoyable?

10. Papaya vs Avocado: Which tastes and smells better?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

These compare and contrast essay topics for high school students are not that technical and not too basic at the same time. Considering they will be written by high school students, the topics should be more complicated than the topics for middle school level, but not as complicated as the college level compare and contrast topics. The bottom line is they should trigger the assessment and reasoning skilsl of high school students.

1. Private High School vs Public High Schools: Which is a better choice?

2. In a Relationship vs Self-love: Which is better for a high school student?

3. Joining a Club vs Not Joining a Club: Which assures fun high school memories?

4. Making a lot of friends vs Making few friends: Which could bring more fun?

5. Long distance travel vs Short distance travel: Which is better?

6. Paid Schooling vs Scholarship Grant: Which assures future success?

8. English vs Mathematics: Which is more complicated?

9. Science vs History: Which is easier?

10. Co-curricular vs Extracurricular: Which is more important?

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

If you think about it, many everyday conversations and thoughts can turn into great compare and contrast topics if you know how to handle the facts and information for the subjects that you put under comparison. Always remind yourself that if your topic is funny or unusual enough to catch the attention of your teachers, it should also contain relevant and valuable information for them to give you a high score.

1. Today vs Tomorrow: When is the best time to die?

2. Monday vs Sunday: Which should come first?

3. Copper vs. Bronze: Which is better?

4. Egg vs Chicken: Which comes first?

5. Cats vs Dogs: Which one should stay at home?

6. Nuclear Apocalypse vs Zombie Apocalypse: Which one can we overcome? 

7. Washing clothes vs Washing the dishes: Which is more annoying?

8. Young People vs Old People: Who has a better lifestyle?

9. Taking your own photos vs Others taking your photo: Which photos look better?

10. Big City vs Small Town: Which gives a better life?

11. Chatting or Calling: Which is better?

12. Eating vs Sleeping: Which is more essential?

13. Your parents give you money vs You give money to your parents: Which feels better?

14. Portrait Painting vs Portrait Photo: Which is worthy of being displayed in a gallery?

15. Pink or Violet: Which color suits Spiderman the best?

Controversial Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Controversial Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Choosing controversial essay topics to compare and contrast is not a bad idea. However, you should be very careful when explaining your thoughts without offending your readers. Considering these topics are high-profile or sensitive, prepare yourself for a lot of good research.

1. Family vs Friend: Who’s more influential to your behavior?

2. Being with other people vs Being with yourself: Which is better for your mental health?

3. Living alone vs Living with family: Which works better for a college student?

4. Atheism vs Creationism: Which one should be considered true?

5. With Siblings vs Being an Only Child: Which is a happier life?

6. Book Reading vs Audiobook Listening: Which is more effective in learning?

7. Cheating on Exam or Plagiarizing an Essay: Which is the worst student mistake?

8. Democracy vs Dictatorship: Which is needed by countries nowadays?

9. Abortion vs Giving the baby away for adoption

10. President vs Prime Minister: Who’s more respectable?

11. Islam vs Christianity: Depth of Faith

12. Buddhism vs Hinduism: Which has the most peculiar rules?

13. Muhammad vs Moses: Life of a chosen prophet

14. Quran vs Bible: Holy teachings for the humanity

15. Fasting vs Abstinence: Which is better?

Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Young people know everything about the latest technology so they can easily pick a topic to write about. It is both timely and relevant, which the readers would definitely enjoy. Considering the fact that you will be writing about technology, detailed how-tos, and vivid description is a must. This way, your readers would be engaged.

1. Laptop vs Desktop: Which is better?

2. Phone or Tablet: Which is more helpful?

3. Wi-Fi or Data: Which is more efficient?

4. Oven vs Microwave: Which is better?

5. Wired or Wireless: Which is the best for Internet connection?

6. Macs vs Windows: Which performs the best?

7. Android vs iPhone: Which is more efficient?

8. Physical Storage vs Cloud Storage: Which is more student-friendly?

9. Google Chrome vs Microsoft Edge: Which is the best browser?

10. MS Word vs G Documents: Which is the best writing platform?

11. Gas Cars vs Electric Cars: Which is a wiser choice?

12. Airplane vs Ship: Which is the best transportation?

13. Bus vs Train: Which is a better option?

14. Bicycle vs Motorcycle: Which is more practical?

15. Van vs SUV: Which is better?

Economics Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Economics Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Writing about the latest ventures in the economy can also turn into a good compare and contrast essay topic. It will show how much you know and care about the economy in your generation. Writing about the economy will not only teach you about the new trends but will also open your interest to venture into them in the future.

1. Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Which works better?

2. Branding vs Marketing: Which determines business success?

3. SEO vs GMB: Which is better for business?

4. Real Currency vs Cryptocurrency: Which will stay longer?

5. Physical Business vs Online Business: Which is better?

Social Media Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Social Media Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Social media plays a huge role in our everyday lives. So, a compare and contrast essay topic on social media is relatable for most people. Therefore, you won’t have a hard time getting people interested in reading since they can relate to any social media topic.

1. TikTok vs YouTube: Which is the best video streaming site?

2. Facebook vs Twitter: Which is more updated on trends?

3. Meet vs Zoom: Which is better?

4. Snapchat vs Instagram: Which has the best photo filters?

5. Blogger vs Medium: Which is the best blogging site?

Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Writing about sports is a great idea too. Sports is simply one of the most interesting things for most people. If you choose to compare and contrast two different sports games, you will definitely catch the attention of your reader especially if they are sports enthusiasts.

1. Basketball vs. Volleyball: Which is more strategic?

2. Football vs Baseball: Which is more popular?

3. Field Hockey vs Ice Hockey: Which is better?

4. Fencing vs Kendo: Which is more complicated?

5. American Football vs Rugby: Which is more physically challenging?

Nature Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Nature Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Nature-related topics are great too. There are so many great compare and contrast topics about nature we can come up with and write a lot about. Comparing and contrasting two ideas will always be great if your readers can visualize them too. Therefore, writing about these topics is definitely a safe move. All you need to do is to add interesting and relevant information for your reader to get engaged even more.

1. Sunny vs Rainy: Which is the best?

2. Mountains vs Seas: Which is the better view?

3. Summer vs Winter: Which is the best season?

4. Bird vs Fish: Which animal has better characteristics?

5. Hot Spring vs Cold Spring: Which is better?

6. Tornado vs Whirlpool: Which is more deadly?

7. Day or Night: Which is more important?

8. Wildlife vs Marine Life: Which is more sustainable?

9. Sun vs Moon: Which is more important?

10. Air Pollution vs Water Pollution: Which can be solved faster?

Movies and Characters Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Movies and Characters Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

There’s nothing more interesting than comparing and contrasting two movies or two characters. The readers will also be fascinated to know more about a movie they love. Going for a compare and contrast topic that’s movie or character related will certainly trigger the curiosity of your reader, especially if you put in some extra work and present little known facts and information about those movies or characters. 

1. Harry Potter vs The Lord of the Rings: Which is the best fantasy movie?

2. Titanic vs Pearl Harbor: Which film is more tragic?

3. Conjuring vs Insidious: Which is more frightening?

4. Marvel vs DC: Which has the coolest heroes?

5. Maze Runner vs Hunger Games: Which has the best storyline?

6. Mr. Bean vs Charlie Chaplin: Who’s acts are funnier?

7. Avengers vs Justice League: Which has the strongest heroes?

8. Moana vs Raya: Who had the most interesting adventure?

9. Superman vs Batman: Who is better?

10. Zathura vs Jumanji: Which has the best storyline?

11. Dumbledore vs Gandalf: Who is stronger?

12. Iron Man vs Batman: Who’s more high-tech?

13. Zeus vs. Jupiter: Who’s the mightiest?

14. Venus vs Aphrodite: Who’s the most beautiful?

15. Captain Marvel vs Wonder Woman: Who is stronger?

Literature Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Literature Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Literature can be serious but it can also inspire you to come up with a great topic for your upcoming essay. Your language and literature teachers will surely appreciate your compare and contrast essay topic even more if you write about a topic they know about. It will definitely involve them because they are highly familiar with these topics. However, that over-familiarity is also a challenge. You have to go an extra mile and give them something they haven’t read or known yet.

1. Short Story vs Novel: Which is better?

2. Fiction vs Nonfiction: Which has more significance?

3. Prose or Poetry: Which is more artistic?

4. Sci-Fi vs Fantasy: Which is better?

5. Poem vs Songs: Which is more sophisticated?


In this article, you have found out that when you compare and contrast you must have two subjects that are of equal value or that belong to the same criteria. Also, we hope you found out that comparing two subjects can be fun and easy. Still, don’t forget that your essay should be factual, relevant, and logical. 

Also, you have to remember that even though you can compare and contrast two subjects throughout your essay, you have to make sure that you have stated or made your point clear. That way, your essay will be more impactful and it will make more sense.

Furthermore, most readers (especially teachers and professors), would love your compare and contrast essay if you have successfully and clearly stated your main intention or reason why you chose to put those subjects under comparison.

So, the next time your teacher asks you to pick a topic for your essay, slay the task and hit a high score with a great compare and contrast essay topic.

What do you think of this article? Did it help you find the perfect compare and contrast essay topic? If so, don’t forget to share it with your friends and classmates!

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