Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Students

13 min read

Published on: Feb 24, 2020

Last updated on: Mar 12, 2024

compare and contrast essay topics

Are you a student seeking inspiration for your next compare and contrast essay? You are in the right place!

We've compiled over 200 captivating compare and contrast essay topics in this blog to help you get started on your essay. 

Essay writing is a crucial part of your academic journey, and we understand the importance of choosing a good topic. So whether you're passionate about literature, science, history, or technology we have got you covered!

So without further ado let’s get started!

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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

compare and contrast essay is actually a multi-paragraph essay. It is written to explain different aspects in which two or more subjects differ or match. While writing this type of essay, the word ‘compare’ refers to the similarities, and ‘contrast’ means differences.

Basically, the comparison tells what they have in common. When a writer contrasts two things, they explain ways in which they are different.

A great compare and contrast essay can cover almost any topic and may pop up in a variety of subject areas. However, to decide what to include in the essay, a writer needs to keep one thing in mind: ‘relevance’.

The factor of relevance helps in determining which characteristics are worth comparing and contrasting.

Expert Tip

Check out this blog to learn about how to outline a compare and contrast essay!

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Students

Below is a list of topics that will help you to pick the right idea for your essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for University Students

  • Sciences or Arts: which has more worth in the job market?
  • Difference between Essays and research papers.
  • Benefits and disadvantages of homeschooling
  • The benefits and drawbacks of living in a city versus living in a rural area.
  • The differences and similarities between two famous historical figures.
  • The portrayal of love and relationships in classic literature versus contemporary literature.
  • The effects of using public transportation versus owning a car.
  • The similarities and differences between two major world religions.
  • Boarding schools vs. day schools.
  • Hostels vs. renting.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students

  • European History and US history.
  • Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.
  • World War I and II
  • The economic development of America and China.
  • Two personalities that contributed to the history of England.
  • Watching horror films on TV vs. on the large cinema screen.
  • New branded clothes vs. second-hand clothes.
  • Diets vs. drugs for weight loss.
  • Two works of Oscar Wilde.
  • Romeo and Juliet vs. Macbeth of Shakespeare.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

  • Sports or diets.
  • Audiobooks or paper books.
  • Fashion today and two decades before.
  • Silver vs. gold.
  • Chocolate vs. marmalade candies.
  • Autumn season vs. spring season.
  • Love vs. friendship.
  • Smart cars vs. sports bikes.
  • Instagram vs. printed photographs.
  • Messaging vs. real communication.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Middle School Students

  • Celebrating Christmas in Europe and the US
  • Role models for adults & teenagers;
  • Long-distance trips by car or train;
  • Whether novels or poems are more fun to read;
  • Benefits of traditional learning and remote education.
  • Paintings of Alberto Morocco & Pablo Picasso;
  • Settings, major themes, & plot details of two poems by Robert Frost;
  • Statues of David by Michelangelo & Bernini;
  • Music of Baroque & Renaissance;
  • Greek & Roman architecture.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 6th Grade

  • Active vs. passive rest.
  • Playing inside vs. outside.
  • Is your character similar to your parents’?
  • Doctor vs. teacher.
  • Swimming vs. flying.
  • Tennis vs. badminton.
  • Rugby vs boxing
  • American soccer vs. basketball.
  • Ballet vs. breakdance.
  • Two plays of Shakespeare.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Elementary School

  • Tomatoes: are they fruits or vegetables?
  • Spring and autumn
  • Aliens: real or not?
  • Circus vs. cinema
  • Skiing vs. swimming
  • New Year vs. Christmas celebration.
  • Summer season vs. winter season.
  • Apple vs. pear.
  • Emotional Support Animal vs. Service Animal
  • Short hair vs. Long hair.

Expert Tip

Check out this blog for interesting compare and contrast essay examples!

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Apple and Samsung
  • Coffee and performance-enhancing drugs
  • Morse code and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony
  • The moonwalk and Gangnam style
  • Soccer and American football
  • McDonald’s and Taco Bell
  • Exercising and dieting
  • Xbox and PlayStation
  • Being single and being in a relationship
  • Growing a tree and raising a child

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Books vs. movies
  • Functions of accountants in modern times & in the past
  • Core differences in the policies of a few modern presidents
  • High school & college experiences
  • Japanese or American cars
  • Whether you prefer spending your time in 5-star hotels or in the wild.
  • Being an only child and having siblings
  • Friends and family
  • Volleyball and basketball
  • Spring and fall

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Movies

  • Rock music vs. jazz music.
  • Dumbledore and Gandalf.
  • Fiction or nonfiction?
  • Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter.
  • Frodo Baggins or Sam.
  • Loki and Thor.
  • The Vampire Slayer, Buffy, or Charmed.
  • Soviet Union movies vs. American cinematography.
  • Movies or books: why many people choose reading.
  • Thrillers and horror movies: what do they have in common?

Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • What different methods are used in trait theory and contrast theory?
  • Is hallucination and illusive dreaming similar
  • Is problem-solving ability the same as intelligence
  • What are the similar patterns of anxiety and depression
  • Why do people have social anxiety and fear of speaking in public?
  • How does child abuse affect the parent-child relationship?
  • Is free-range parenting better than helicopter parenting?
  • Does Schizophrenia induce borderline personality disorder?
  • Ego vs. superego.
  • The influence of parents versus the influence of peers
  • Conscious vs. unconscious mind: roles and functions in psychology.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Sports

  • Tennis vs. badminton.
  • Hockey vs. golf
  • American soccer vs. basketball.
  • Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona.
  • Football Vs. Basketball.
  • Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner.
  • Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team.
  • Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing.
  • Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team.
  • Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.

Medical Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • To vaccinate or not-look at both sides and present them both accurately.
  • Wheat and Corn grain.
  • 3-D Imaging vs. traditional body limb replacements.
  • To stent or not to stent-why and how.
  • To have universal health care or not.
  • Right to Die and Right to Live.
  • Traditional drug therapies vs. holistic remedies
  • Traditional hospitals vs. outpatient clinics
  • Public health vs. personalized medicine
  • Conventional surgery vs. minimally invasive surgery

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Management and Marketing

  • Democratic vs. autocratic management styles & their effects during a crisis.
  • Tactical or strategic management.
  • Management by exception or by the objective.
  • Leadership or management.
  • Compare administration vs. management.
  • Evaluate marketing techniques in two companies.
  • Sales or marketing techniques.
  • Differences & similarities between two marketing research companies.
  • Discuss two marketing automation vendors.

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • The popularity of Pepsi and Coke.
  • Communism vs. capitalism.
  • Working in a huge corporation or startup.
  • KFC vs. McDonald's.
  • Differences between Baroque and Renaissance.
  • Burgers vs. vegetarian meals.
  • The convenience of laptops and tablets.
  • Effects of printed ads and TV commercials.
  • Outdoor activities or video games.
  • American and Australian English.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Teenagers

  • Acting vs. lying
  • Your mom and your dad.
  • High school vs. college
  • Summer camps and religious education.
  • Siblings vs. friends
  • Hostels vs. renting
  • Using cars or riding a bicycle
  • How does old fashion compare to trendy fashion?
  • Private college vs. public college
  • Childhood vs. adulthood

Compare and Contrast Topics on Economy

  • Capitalism vs. Socialism
  • Market Economy vs. Command Economy
  • Economic Growth vs. Economic Development
  • Free Trade vs. Protectionism
  • Microeconomics vs. Macroeconomics
  • Inflation vs. Deflation
  • Fiscal Policy vs. Monetary Policy
  • Developed Economies vs. Developing Economies
  • Globalization vs. Economic Nationalism
  • Income Inequality vs. Wealth Redistribution

Social Studies Compare and Contrast Essay Topics 

  • Impact of social media on political activism: A comparative analysis
  • Traditional education vs. online learning: Examining the pros and cons
  • Cultural assimilation vs. cultural preservation: Striking a balance in a globalized world
  • Democracy vs. authoritarianism: Contrasting approaches to governance
  • Urbanization vs. rural life: Exploring the advantages and disadvantages
  • Traditional gender roles vs. gender equality: Evolution of societal norms
  • Climate change and environmental policies: A comparative study of global efforts
  • Capitalism vs. socialism: Divergent economic systems and their impacts
  • Impact of immigration policies: Comparing approaches and outcomes
  • Indigenous rights and land conservation: Balancing preservation and development

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Education 2024

  • Traditional classroom learning and remote learning
  • Standardized testing versus alternative assessment methods
  • Public education versus private education
  • Project-based learning versus lecture-based learning
  • Online education versus traditional brick-and-mortar education
  • Individualized instruction versus whole-class instruction
  • STEM education versus liberal arts education
  • In-person schooling versus homeschooling
  • Cooperative learning versus independent learning
  • Classroom technology integration versus traditional teaching methods

Language Arts Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Classic literature vs. contemporary fiction: Contrasting narrative styles and themes
  • Science fiction vs. fantasy
  • Poetry vs. prose: Analyzing the different forms of expression
  • Classic fairy tales vs. modern fairy tales
  • Shakespearean tragedies vs. Greek tragedies 
    Fictional heroes vs. real-life heroes
  • Journalism vs. creative writing
  • Symbolism in literature vs. allegory in literature
  • Autobiography vs. biography
  • Dystopian literature vs. utopian literature

Science and Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Artificial intelligence vs. human intelligence
  • Renewable energy vs. fossil fuels
  • Genetic engineering vs. natural selection
  • Virtual reality vs. augmented reality
    Robotics vs. automation
  • Quantum computing vs. classical computing
  • Biotechnology vs. bioengineering
  • Nanotechnology vs. microtechnology
  • Space exploration vs. ocean exploration
  • Cybersecurity vs. privacy: Balancing protection and individual rights in the digital age

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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 2024 in Politics

  • Populist movements vs. establishment politics
  • Global climate change agreements: Paris Agreement vs. future efforts
  • Technological innovations in political campaigns
  • Progressive policies vs. conservative policies
  • Green parties vs. traditional political parties
  • International relations: Multilateralism vs. bilateralism
  • Youth political engagement: Activism and voter turnout
  • Addressing disinformation and privacy
  • Decentralization vs. centralization of power
  • Gender representation in politics: Striving for leadership equality

Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas About Daily Life

  • Traditional Meals vs. Fast Food
  • City Living vs. Suburban Living
  • Traditional Family Structure vs. Modern Family Structures
  • Morning Routine vs. Evening Routine
  • Public Transportation vs. Private Transportation
  • Traditional Communication Methods vs. Digital Communication
  • Stay-at-Home Parent vs. Working Parent
  • Rural Farming vs. Urban Farming
  • Offline Hobbies vs. Online Hobbies
  • Traditional Shopping vs. Online Shopping

Entertainment Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  • Movies vs. books: Examining different forms of storytelling
  • Live performances vs. recorded performances: Contrasting audience experiences
  • Traditional television vs. streaming services: Changing landscape of entertainment consumption
  • Music concerts vs. music festivals: Comparing live music experiences
  • Theater vs. cinema: Analyzing theatrical and cinematic productions
  • Video games vs. sports: Exploring virtual and physical competitions
  • Stand-up comedy vs. improv comedy: Contrasting styles of humor performance
  • Traditional board games vs. video games: Evaluating interactive gaming experiences
  • Fine arts vs. digital arts: Comparing traditional and contemporary art forms
  • Theme parks vs. adventure parks: Examining different types of amusement experiences

How to Choose a Compare and Contrast Essay Topic?

Choosing a compare and contrast essay topic can be challenging but it doesn't have to be! Follow these simple steps to find the perfect topic:

  • Identify your interests: Consider subjects and choose a topic that genuinely intrigue you.
  • Research potential topics: Look for current and relevant ideas to ensure your essay stands out.
  • Select comparable subjects: Choose two subjects that share similarities but also have distinct differences.
  • Consider audience appeal: Opt for topics that will captivate your readers and generate interest.
  • Brainstorm ideas: Jot down potential topics and explore their potential for comparison and contrast.
  • Evaluate available resources: Ensure there are enough credible sources to support your essay.
  • Narrow down your options: Select the most compelling and manageable topic from your list.
  • Refine your thesis statement: Craft a clear and concise thesis that highlights the main points of comparison.
  • Stay organized: Create a structured outline to guide your essay writing process.

By following these steps, you'll confidently choose a compelling compare and contrast essay topic that will impress your audience.

The Bottom Line!

We have explored a wide range of compare and contrast essay topics that are relevant and engaging for students. These topics provide a starting point for your writing, allowing you to compare and contrast different aspects of various subjects. 

We hope that this blog has been helpful in sparking your creativity and assisting you in selecting unique topics.

However, if you feel like you need help writing your essay, it is best to reach out to a professional.

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So whether you need help refining your essay topic or organizing your thoughts, our team is here for you. 

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Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Education)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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