50+ Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For College

October 19, 2022

compare and contrast essay topics

​In 1665, a Derbyshire village by the name of Eyam decided to quarantine itself to halt the spread of the bubonic plague and save surrounding villages.

In 2020, governments the world over are urging people to stay indoors and isolate themselves to halt the spread of a different kind of plague – COVID-19. The similarities are unnerving.

As a student, you will be required to write compare and contrast essays to highlight such similarities.

In such an essay, you pick two events, ideas, publications, famous men, or some other similar or contrasting objects and discuss their similarities and differences.

Such an essay serves to pass on previously unknown information, highlight interesting connections, or even act as evidence for or against an argument.

Every compare and contrast essay begins with the two objects as chosen. You have to choose correctly, or else the essay will be a failure.

The essay writing experts at Help for Assessment have come together to write this helpful guide on how to choose topics for compare and contrast essays, with more than 100 compare and contrast essay college topics to help you get started.

If you would prefer a full guide on how to write a compare and contrast essay, click here.

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If you’re only here to get sample compare and contrast essay topics, let’s get going. We shall also guide you on what a good compare and contrast essay topic is, how to choose topics yourself, and give sample topics under various categories.

How to Choose a Compare And Contrast Essay Topic

The responsibility of choosing a compare and contrast essay is usually left to the student.

The right topic should be interesting and not too common or predictable, with enough magnitude of similarity or contrast to cover the essay and be of some academic value in your field or society at large. This is how to do it:

  • ​Brainstorm for ideas. This never fails to yield several interesting results. Just list all the ideas you have, ask your colleagues for some, and explore the internet for others.
  • ​Go through your list of ideas and eliminate those that seem unlikely, too obvious, too general or those that lack academic merit. Keep in mind that you can always modify your topic ideas to fit these qualities.
  • ​Do your research, keeping a pen and paper handy so that you can write down the similarities and ideas as you find them. Take particular note of able subtle links or unexpected ones that will make your essay interesting to the reader.
  • ​Formulate a thesis statement. This is a one-sentence statement that outlines what you will be discussing in the essay. Reword the title from the thesis statement, and you’re ready to go.

​How to Plan a Compare and Contrast Essay

Because a compare and contrast essay is about giving similarities or differences between two objects of interest, the first thing you need to decide is how you will approach the essay.

For example, if your goal is to show an unexpected similarity, then it makes sense to start with seemingly dissimilar topics and gradually draw the lines.

To bring out contrast, start with objects or events that are very similar at first looks.

The second thing you have to make sure is that there are enough points of similarity or difference to cover your essay. It helps to draw a table with columns and list the similarities or differences, as the case might be.

Third, consider what format you will be using.

There is a parallel format where a point-by-point discussion of each similarity or difference is made about the two ideas.

The other option is a block format where each side of the argument is tackled independently with a full listing of all the similarities and differences each, essentially giving you two “blocks” of the essay.

That’s the long and short of a compare and contrast essay. But now, it’s time for the sample topics.

Good Compare And Contrast Topics

  1. Security in countries with strict gun laws and those that are more slack.
  2. Values and economic development between societies with more liberal views and those who are conservative.
  3. The carbon footprint of electric cars and non-electric ones.
  4. Child development in single-parent vs two-parent families.
  5. Health standards in Germany vs the US.
  6. Psychological development between kids who spend a lot of time outdoors vs those who stay indoors most of the time.
  7. Online reading/writing vs traditional books.
  8. Sahara desert vs the Amazon rain-forest.
  9. Forest fires and animal population booms.
  10. Drug laws in China vs US and trafficking volumes into/out of the country.

Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For College Students

  1. Virtual vs augmented reality and applications in industry.
  2. British vs Spanish colonization.
  3. Communism vs socialism.
  4. Statistics vs accounting and mathematical applications of both.
  5. Philosophical vs religious view of morality and justice.
  6. Plato vs Socrates.
  7. Natural disasters: tsunamis vs earthquakes.
  8. Hegel vs Karl Max.
  9. Natural (paleo) diet vs diet with processed foods and long term health effects.
  10. Archaeological discoveries vs common myths or religious beliefs.

Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For High School Students

  1. Parental control vs full freedom in teens.
  2. A famous book vs its movie/series rendition.
  3. Public schooling vs private tutoring.
  4. Military technology vs civilian technology.
  5. Science vs technology.
  6. Society during the Victorian era vs today.
  7. Alcohol addicts vs cannabis addicts.
  8. Actual vs perceived value of goods (e.g, designer clothes).
  9. Russian vs American art/architecture.
  10. Chemistry vs Biology.

Funny Compare And Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Having a cat vs having a girlfriend.
  2. Playing console games vs PC games.
  3. Dirty comedy vs clean comedy.
  4. Intelligence of famous criminals vs their success rate.
  5. Sleep vs food: which is more important?
  6. Abstinence from alcohol vs moderate drinking.
  7. Music festival vs a day at the beach; which would you rather go?
  8. Real-life vs online dating.
  9. Star Wars vs Star Trek.
  10. Harry Potter books vs Movies.

Interesting Compare And Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Aerodynamics in boxy trucks vs streamlined trucks.
  2. Efficiency when cycling with cleats or with pedals.
  3. Poetry vs prose.
  4. Play-acting vs unintended scenes in movies.
  5. Music quality in the classic vinyl and player vs modern digital tracks.
  6. Gandalf vs Dumbledore.
  7. US President vs UK Prime Minister.
  8. Nuclear power vs solar power carbon footprint.
  9. Leasing vs owning outright.
  10. Submarines vs aircraft carriers.

Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For Science

  1. Physis vs anatomy.
  2. Jupiter vs the sun.
  3. Sciences vs arts.
  4. Hurricanes vs tornadoes.
  5. DNA historical evidence vs recorded literature/beliefs.
  6. Atoms vs cells.
  7. Linguistics of Latinos vs native English speakers.
  8. Carbon II oxide vs Nitrogen gas in food.
  9. Nuclear power vs solar power.
  10. Imperial system of units vs metric system.

Sports & Leisure Topics

  1. American football vs soccer.
  2. Tennis vs badminton/squash.
  3. Summer vs winter games.
  4. Rowing vs swimming.
  5. Formula one vs drag racing.
  6. World cup vs club football leagues in soccer.
  7. US athletics team vs Jamaican team.

Topics About Culture

  1. Greek gods vs Hindu gods.
  2. Christianity vs Jewish religion.
  3. Caucasian Australians vs native aborigines.
  4. US. cuisine vs French cuisine.
  5. German vs Russian architecture.
  6. Native Africans vs African Americans.

Compare And Contrast Essay Topics About Tv Shows, Music And Movies

  1. Dance music vs heavy metal
  2. Horror. vs thriller movies.
  3. 80’s romantic music vs today’s romantic music.
  4. Classical music vs jazz.
  5. James Bond vs Frank Sinatra.
  6. Hollywood vs Bollywood.
  7. Vietnam war movies vs superhero movies.
  8. Superman vs Batman.
  9. Movies vs series.

Topics About Art

  1. Paintings vs sculptures.
  2. Renaissance vs Baroque art.
  3. Picasso vs Van Gogh.
  4. Importance of Italy vs France in art.
  5. Men vs women in Picasso’s art.
  6. Classic vs contemporary art.
  7. Painting vs photography.
  8. Ancient Greek vs Egyptian art.
  9. Chinese vs Japanese pottery.

Easy Compare And Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Computer science vs mathematics.
  2. Biology vs physics.
  3. Teaching vs parental roles in discipline.
  4. Disciplined vs free living.
  5. Traveling vs staying at home.
  6. Dating vs marriage.
  7. Friends of opposite vs those of the same gender as you.
  8. Communism vs socialism.
  9. Wearing designer vs regular clothes.

Psychology Compare And Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Juvenile institutions vs prisons on children’s mentality.
  2. Bipolar vs epilepsy.
  3. Advice from adults vs advice from friends.
  4. Lust vs love.
  5. Anxiety vs depression.
  6. Social anxiety vs being an introvert.
  7. Autism vs Down Syndrome.
  8. Antisocial behavior vs psychosis

Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For Sixth-Graders

  1. Similarities between high school and elementary school.
  2. Learn an instrument or play a sport?
  3. Staying home vs going out with friends.
  4. Having strict parents vs open parenting.
  5. Lying vs telling the truth.
  6. Waking up early vs waking up late.
  7. Your dad vs your mom.

As you can see with these topics, they are not very refined.

Thus, you will have to take time to research them, pick an approach, or use them as inspiration to find a better topic. Hopefully, these will get you started on your compare and contrast essay.

Get Help With Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

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About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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