Students like writing compare and contrast essays as they have enough space for creativity. Such papers allow expressing your thoughts regarding some contradictive issues. It makes more fun to draw a parallel between two people or objects instead of describing a single issue.
It does not mean, however, that compare and contrast essay is an easy assignment to complete. There are so many possible compare and contrast essay topics, and some of them are hard to carry out.
Keys to Writing Compare & Contrast Essay
Before you start, it is crucial to choose topics that you really know well. Most often, you should find two things that have enough differences and similarities. You can take two pets, cats and dogs, while comparing a food (i.e., banana) with music (i.e., hard rock) basically, makes no sense.
Of course, if you're a part of Arts class where tutor appreciates uncommon parallelism, you may try your luck in your compare and contrast essay. You may talk about a sense of taste and the book of your favorite author. For instance, you may try to explain how it tastes to be Dracula. Or you can highlight how it smells to be Jean-Baptiste Grenouille from famous novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. Such creative comparisons are often appreciated and awarded with more than "A." Original and unexpected compare and contrast essay topics serve as your ticket to special universities where Arts are studied. Along with a personal statement written by professional writers, such essay will increase your chances to get enrolled.
Sources to be Used
In any case, writing about things to compare and contrast is an activity which requires your full attention and creativity. But when you have to compare things objectively, you should operate facts. Just like an argumentative essay, your text will need corresponding evidence. Search for the primary and secondary sources on the given topics before you start your first draft. Make sure these sources are no older than 5 years. They should be as relevant as possible. Don't forget to apply only credible sources to reveal your topics. Those are:
- Academic journals
- Scientific magazines
- Official reports
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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
The traditional essay tips won't work with compare and contrast paper. We have gathered the best ideas online to share with students. If you write such assignment for the first time in your school or college life, read information from us.
You need to keep in mind the most common writing mistakes school and college students make to avoid them.
Start with the type of your compare and contrast essay topic. The topics are divided into 4 different groups:
- Events (point to the differences and similarities of some historical events or episodes from the book)
- Situations (choose to compare two different cases or episodes from your life)
- People or fiction characters (choose the story)
- Places (describe different locations)
No matter what comparison and contrast topics you write on, you need to keep to the traditional structure of the academic paper.
Start with a capturing and interesting hook. Outline what your topic is. Point to the main argument of your topic known as a thesis statement. This sentence or two usually come in the last sentence of your first paragraph.
- Developing your arguments
You need to research your topic to choose three claims. Include evidence with the supporting points next to each argument. There should be up to three supporting points in each body paragraphs.
- Refuting opponent's arguments
This time, you need to research the topic to view the facts that contradict your thesis. It is important to choose at least one example and develop a paragraph with the counter-argument as well. Write down maximum two opposing views followed by a couple of your refutations.
Restate your thesis statement and stress why your side is right once again.
You can learn more information on the structure of five-paragraph paper online.
Writing Tips Used by Smart American College Students
Moreover, use such helpful words as "because,""for example," "the writer mentioned...," "according to the book/movie," "from the given reading, we know that...," "on the following page, I have found..."
"Why do you believe Americans will win the next Olympic games?"
"According to the reading I have found in my college library, their team showed better results than Canadians during the last games."
- Check possible examples of compare and contrast essays when working in your hook sentence. It has a great influence on the reader's decision whether to read your text on a specific topic or not. You may add numbers, figures, facts - whatever to make your reader interested. On the whole, there are many types of hooks:
- Anecdotes and jokes
- Literary quotes
- Quotes of famous people
- Lines from poetry
- Setting scenes
- Scientific facts
- Questions and rhetorical questions
- Metaphors and similes
- Thesis statements
We think it is better to write a thesis statement in the last sentence of the argumentative essay’s introduction to conclude.
- Brainstorm all the time. The best way to decide on two good compare and contrast topics to analyze is to brainstorm and write down possible versions on a blank paper. Once you choose the subjects, you have to organize your thoughts. Prepare a table where you will mention both similarities and differences between the two subjects.
- Get professional help and examples. Find online educational services which help to choose some good sources on the given topic. Those can be movies, books, articles, etc. It is the last pre-writing stage which is known as a literature review. School and college students conduct in-depth research to enrich their compare and contrast essay drafts with important details. If you miss any words to finish your essay, a literature review is a brilliant way to reach the necessary word count.
- Don't forget about the formatting and in-text citations. Apply direct and indirect quotes to make your text longer and more persuasive. Citations will serve as the strong evidence to support your compare and contrast topics.
It was just a short preview of every section of your compare and contrast paper in English. Selecting the proper topics might take a while if you don't have a list of sample topics in front of you. We are ready to share the best compare and contrast essay subjects with you right now. You may use any example as the subject for your comparative essay when the theme is not assigned to you.
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students
We have divided the topics into several categories to make it easier to select one. The list starts with the most relevant subjects college students usually discuss. Other categories are full of great ideas too.
- School vs. College: What's New?
- Students Who Work and Unemployed Students: Who Takes the Best of This Life?
- Research Paper and Essay: What Is More Responsible?
- American English vs. British English: Major Differences
- What Makes Education and Employment Similar?
- SAT and TOEFL: Differences and Similarities
- How Are Master Degree and Ph.D. different?
- Persuasive and Argumentative Paper: Different or the Same
- Traditional Education or Remote Learning?
History and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
- Comparison of Lincoln's and Washington' Ideas
- Renaissance vs. Baroque Epoch
- Anthropology vs. Religious Studies
- American Government vs. Soviet Government
- US President vs. UK Prime Minister
- North and South Before the Civil War in the US
- Henry VIII vs. King Louis XIV
- Fascism and Nazism: Different or the Same?
- World War I and World War II: Difference in Events
Compare and Contrast Topics for Beginners
- Compare Apple and Orange
- Night Time and Day Time: Advantages Each Period Has
- What Makes People Completely Different from Animals
- Living in Poverty and Being Rich
- Coffee and Tea: The Effects of Both
- Living in Big City or Staying in Village
- Feeling Sad against Feeling Lonely
- Differences and Similarities between American and British Traditional Dishes
- Camping in the Woods or Resting by the Sea?
Opposite Things to Compare and Contrast
- Females and Males
- Coke vs. Pepsi
- Red vs. White
- Country in War Compared to Country in Peace
- Driving a Car or Riding a Bus
- Love and Hatred
- Bad and Good Aspects of Overwork
- Moon and Sun
- Dolls or Soft Toys: What Should Parents Buy to Their Children?
Ideas Teenagers May Use in Their Papers
- Childhood vs. Adulthood
- Living at Home or Living on Campus
- Reading or Watching Screened Versions: What Teens Prefer
- Working in Office or Being a Freelancer?
- Academic Writing vs. Scientific Writing
- TV Shows and Radio Shows: What Is More Trendy?
- Education or Professional Career: What Is Easier and What Is More Difficult?
- Greek and Roman Culture: Differences and Similarities
- Comparing Art and Science Classes
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IT & Social Media Compare & Contrast Ideas
- E-mail or Traditional Mailing: What Will Happen in the Future?
- Online vs. Traditional Commerce
- Online Dating vs. Real-Life Relations
- Computer Games, Video Games, or Smartphone Games
- Choosing between New York Times and Forbes
- FaceBook or MySpace: Which Social Network Offers More Opportunities?
- Searching for Job Online or Traditionally?
- Using Online Writing Services against Traditional Writing Services
- Benefits Marketing Specialists Get from Using Online Advertising vs. Traditional One
Movie & Music Compare and Contrast Themes
- Buffy, the Vampire Slayer or Charmed?
- Books against Movies: Why Reading Is Preferred
- Jazz vs. Rock
- Sam vs. Frodo Baggins (Lord of the Rings)
- Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
- American Cinematography vs. Soviet Union Cinematography
- Thor and Loki: Friends or Enemies According to Movie of 2009?
- Horror Films and Thrillers: What's in Common?
- Harry Potter or Draco Malfoy?
Literature Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Comedy vs. Drama
- Greek vs. Roman Mythology
- Beauty and the Beast: Lessons Learned
- Prose or Lyrics: What People Prefer More and Why?
- Poetry of XIII Century and Nowadays Lyrics
- Shakespeare's Othello Compared to Hamlet
- Fiction or Non-Fiction Literature: When You May Need Different Types?
- Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter: Which Fantasy Book Is Better?
- Literature of the Past against Literature of the Future
Scientific Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Oven vs. Microwave
- Physics vs. Chemistry
- Our Galaxy, Milky Way, and Andromeda, the Closest
- What Makes Earth Different from Mars
- First Mission to Moon and Second Visit: What Are the Differences and Similarities?
- Thomas Jefferson or DaVinci: Whose Innovations Matter More?
- Earthquakes or Tsunami: Which Consequences Are Worse?
- Limited Control Tools or Software with Fool Access to Navigation
- Formulas of Two Different Chemical Reactions
Popular Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Soccer vs. Football
- Chinese vs. Korean
- Public Opinion vs. Personal Point of View: Discuss Subjectivity & Objectivity
- Juice and Water
- Light Beer vs. Dark Beer: Which One Is More Popular?
- Anorexia Nervosa and Obesity: What Is More Dangerous?
- Marriage and Divorce: Two Sides of the Coin
- Windows or Linux: Paid vs. Free OS
- Marxism vs. Other Ideas of Capitalism
Philosophy Compare & Contrast Ideas
- Is Home Really a Better Place Than Miami Beach?
- Life and Death: Various Philosophical Views
- Living in Your Dreams or Living in Reality: Pros and Cons
- Friends and ... Where Is the Edge?
- Physical & Mental Needs of Human Beings
- Reality or Fantasy World?
- Main Philosophical Ideas of Macbeth against the Main Ideas of Hamlet
- Dogs and Humans: They Are More Similar Than We Think
- Sources with Free Access and Rights Reserved: Should We Protect Intellectual Property?
- Greek Philosophers vs. Roman Philosophers
Compare and contrast essay topics for college students might be tricky to choose. The whole process of academic writing is even longer and more complex. Online help from expert writers will save you a plenty of time. You just need to order a good essay from experts with the highest academic degrees in a variety of fields.
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The Comparison paragraph compares two subjects and discusses how they are alike and lists a few examples. In the contrast paragraph, two subjects are discussed as how they are different, again, listing a few examples. There are two ways to write a paragraph, first, there is the point by point paragraph and there is the blocked paragraph. In the point by point, writing back and forth between the two subjects. First, talking about topic A. then talk about topic B., then right back to topic A. and so on. Finally, the block paragraph only discusses one topic and then finishes the paragraph with the other subject that is to be compared or contrasted with the first. Then the conclusion puts what your compairing or contrasting together.
Transitional expressions used in comparison:
- in the same way
- and, also, in addition
- as well as
- both, neither
- each of
- just as...so
- the same
Transitional expressions used in contrast:
- on the other hand
- in contrast
Here are some examples of a compare-contrast paragraph:
Acoustic and Electric Guitars
As broad as their sounds are, there are several very distinct similarities and differences between electric and acoustic guitars. For instance, both utilize the use of a body for the neck to attach to and a neck with frets for finger placement. The strings attach to the lower end of the body and go all the way to the head, or the top of the neck. They both use strings that vary in gauge, or size, which are vital to produce sound when they are picked, hammered on, or strummed as a group. Similarly, each is tuned in the same manner to produce the proper tone desired. An acoustic guitar needs no amplifier to make its sound loud enough to be heard. An acoustic guitar uses the body of the guitar as its amplifier. Because the body is very thick and hollow it is able to project its own natural sound loudly. This makes it very portable and capable of being played virtually anywhere. An acoustic guitar doesn’t need any foot pedals, volume and tone knobs, or any other hardware like that to produce the sound it makes. An electric guitar is very hard to hear without an amplifier. An electric guitar requires the use of an amplifier to transport the sound though pickups that are secured in the body. These sounds are transferred through a cable connected to the guitar. The cable then goes to the amplifier which produces the sounds out of the speakers. Volume and tone knobs on the electric guitar can make it louder or change the sound of the strings being played. Additionally, foot pedals can be added to produce even more different sounds so that the musical capabilities of the electric guitar are almost limitless. There’s not a lot of music that I listen to that doesn’t have some sort of electric or acoustic guitar in the mix, either as the main instrument or as small as a fill in for a certain sound. The genre of the music frequently dictates which type of guitar should be used.
~© 2005 Jessi Johnson~
Although I raised Marcee and Obbie from puppies, they have completely diverse personalities. Obbie is a six year old, male, toy Pomeranian whereas Marcee is a one year old, female, Boston terrier. Obbie is small and soft, unlike Marcee who has bristly hair and is much bigger. Marcee insists on sleeping on the bed, under the covers every night. On the other hand, Obbie will only sleep on the floor, under the bed. Obbie is tremendously loyal and uptight; however, Marcee is hyper and friendly to anyone she meets or sees. Around other dogs, Marcee cowers to the larger dog, yet Obbie will always stand his ground, never giving up until he is scolded. Given that they were both treated the same way all their life, it is hard to believe that they are so different in everything they do.
~© 2005 Kayla Marie Anfinson~
Lars Ulrich vs. Mike Portnoy
Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica, and Mike Portnoy, the drummer for Dream Theatre, share some common similarities, and some great differences in their playing style and kit setup. Both Lars and Mike play Tama drums, with full maple shells. Remo heads provide the resonance for both Mike and Lars. Both drummers play the majority of their songs with a driving bass line, coming from the bass drums. When given the chance to solo, both drummers can produce some amazing sounding beats. They take the cymbals and mix them together in a rather simple sounding way, with unparalleled rhythm. Both drummers possess amazing speed and control behind the kit. Their coordination is above most other drummers of today’s music. However, even though they both play Tama drums, Lars uses a more traditional “metal” double bass drum setup, and Mike plays a much larger triple bass drum kit. Mike also incorporates some things into his kit that Lars does not. Mike brings a lot more percussion elements than drums, such as granite blocks, a cowbell, chimes, and a gong. Mike uses two thrones (seats) behind his kit, to help him move around the kit between songs, while Lars has one, and brings his kit in closer to him. Lars prefers a simpler double bass setup, with much fewer cymbals than Mike uses. Portnoy prefers his Sabian cymbals, while Ulrich rocks out hard on his Zildjian cymbals. Lars tunes his bass drums to give a rich, driving sound, while Mike tunes his down to a sharp attack. Lars prefers to drive hard on the bass drum, as opposed to Mike who uses quick kicks in different sequences to produce a lighter sounding bass drum. Mike uses Pro Mark sticks, while you can find Ahead 5B sticks in Lars’ hands. While there are some similarities and differences between the two, both can be considered masters of their craft.
~© 2005 Kristian Anderson~
Life now and life five years ago
My life now and my life five years ago are similar but there are also some major differences. Five years ago,I was living in Havre and going to high school. I didn’t have to work because my parents supported me. I went to school everyday and spent time with my friends. I babysat my nieces everyday after school because both of my parents were working at the time. I had the responsibility of feeding them and making sure nothing happened to them while I was watching them. I didn’t really have any major goals five years ago. I wasn’t really thinking about my future quite yet. On the other hand, now I live in Great Falls and I’m not in high school anymore. I have to work now in order to support myself. I only work twenty hours a week because I’m in school right now. I have a lot more responsibility now than I did five years ago. I have to take responsibility for myself now and everything that I do. I have a lot of major goals now. For instance, I want to graduate and get my two year degree. I want to come back and get a bachelor’s degree. I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish now. Five years ago, I really wasn’t going anywhere with my life, but now I’m starting to get my life in order and deciding what I want to do. In addition,I am still living at home with my parents and I still go to school. I still baby sit my nieces every once in a while. I find time to spend with my family and friends. I still have some of the same responsibilities. I help my mom take care of my oldest niece. She has always lived with us, so I’ve always helped take care of her ever since she was a baby. Even though she is not a baby anymore,I still have to baby sit her when my parents are gone because she is not quite old enough to stay by herself yet. I still have to depend on my parents for transportation because I don’t have a vehicle right now. My life now has changed a lot in only five years.
~© 2005 Brandy Doney~
Although VCI and Qwest have some similarities, they are also very different. VCI charges a $150 connection fee that you pay $25 the first time, and $10 a month addition to your regular phone bill for 1 year. They charge $15 a month for local service plus tax; in addition, they offer call waiting, three way calling, and caller Id. There is no long distance offered in this package. The bill would total anywhere from $35 to $45 a month. If your bill is late they charge an additional $10 for a late fee; on the other hand, Qwest offers no connection fee for service and free local calls for the first three months with no deposit, just for hooking up service with them. They charge $15 a month for local service + tax with voice mail, call waiting, and caller Id. They also offer unlimited long distance for $20 a month. They charge no late fees for late payments; however, with long distance the bill would total about $50 a month. Both VCI and Qwest offer necessary service to the public; However, their service rates are different.
~© 2005 Rubyee Brown~
There are many differences and likenesses between my two brothers. Glenn, my eldest brother, was very rebellious as a teenager. For example, he would go out drinking all night with his buddies, and was always looking for trouble. Eric, whom is older then me, but younger than Glenn, was not rebellious as a teenager. A couple of examples are the fact that Eric always put his academics ahead of everything and stayed out of trouble. Glenn did not attend college, but pursued a career in the military. Where as Eric did attend college, became a pharmacist, and is in the Army National Guard. They are both religious, but Glenn is a Catholic who speaks with anyone and everyone about his religion, and Eric is a Christian who lets you believe what you believe. Glenn is a very “manly” person. He hides his emotions, is very handy around the house, and runs his family in the military style. Eric is a “semi-feminine” person. He shows his emotions, hires someone else to fix things around the house, and does not run his home in the military life style. Glenn is overly protective of his family. Eric is protective, but not overly protective of his family. Both Glenn and Eric have a wonderful sense of humor. There is never a dull moment when they are in the same room. Another likeness is that they both have served time in Iraq. They went over to Iraq within one month of each other, and are coming home within one or two months of each other. It has been very difficult for our family having the only two boys in Iraq. Glenn and Eric are both married to their high school sweethearts, and have had large families. Glenn has three boys, and one girl. Eric has three girls. Lastly, they both own beautiful homes that are comfortable for their family sizes. My brothers are very different, yet similar.
~© 2005 Kelly Deck~
Although cell phones and regular phones have the same purpose and they both work the same, they have many differences as well. For example a cell phone has to have at least six service bars in order to talk an dthe battery has to have a charge before it will work. The battery needs to charge for about an hour but it depends on what kind of charger you use. The charger that comes with the cell phone doesn't take as long to charge the phone as chargers purchased over the counter. A hard wired phone, one that has to be installed through wiring within your home, can be used anywhere in your home and is maintained by telephone servicemen. some of hard wired phones are cordless, which means they can be used throughout the home and even in the yard. You can't take your hard wired phone with you in your vehicle because service is limited to just a short range. A cordless phone has to be returned to its base periodically to be recharged. With your cell phone, someone can leave you a message an dyou can get it right on the phone where as on a home phone, you have to have an answering machine. Although they have many differences, they also have some similarities. They both have to be charged in order to keep the battery full an dthe phone working. You can use both to make an drecieve a call. They also both ring t tell you that you have an incomming call. A cell phone can be programed for special rings but a hard wired phone has only one ring tone. Cell phones are much smaller in apperance than a hard wired phone. Cell phones may have different apperences and gadgets but they both serve the same purpose. ~(c)2005 Laura White~