How to Choose a Topic and Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

If this is your first time writing a compare and contrast essay, you’ll appreciate this detailed guide that helps you deal with the assignment.

When you check out some compare and contrast essay topics for college students, the challenge may seem easy. This type of academic writing, however, is much more overwhelming than it initially seems. Each comparison has several layers that you’ll keep discovering as you write. If you don’t have a precise plan and you’re not organized during the development of the paper, you’ll get so confused that your mind will be completely blocked.

Do you know how you’ll understand the complexity of this assignment? Just check some compare and contrast essay examples college level! You’ll easily notice that a great a good compare/contrast paper is not only pointing out the key similarities and differences between two subjects. It makes meaningful arguments! When you’re done reading such a paper, you feel like you just learned something important.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean that you can’t write the essay. We’ll offer great tips that will help you choose a topic, plan the structure of the assignment, and write it!

Start With the Outline

You might be bored by this tip, since you get it whenever you’re reading a guide on how to improve your writing skills. Although most students know that the outline is highly recommended, they still tend to skip it. Do not skip this step! It will determine the success of the entire project.

Here’s how the outline for a compare and contrast essay looks like:

Introduction Here, you’ll provide basic background about the subjects you’re going to compare and contrast. You’ll include a thesis statement at the end of the paragraph.
Body There are three ways to plan the structure of the body:

  • Subject by subject (you’ll tackle all points on topic A, and then you’ll tackle all points on topic B)
  • Compare, then contrast (first you’ll tackle the similarities and then you’ll move onto the differences between topic A and topic B)
  • Point by point (you’ll switch back and forth between different points)
Conclusion You’ll summarize the evidence and restate the thesis statement.

Important Tips: How to Write a Thesis for a Compare and Contrast Essay

As soon as you figure out what you’ll write about and you’ll get general ideas about the structure, you’ll come down to a huge obstacle: the thesis statement. It’s the backbone of the essay. It’s the main claim, which will drive all arguments in a focused direction. How do you write it?

  • First, it’s important to check out some comparison and contrast essay examples point-by-point. Point-by-point is the usual approach to this type of assignment, since it goes back and forth between the two subjects, making the similarities and differences as obvious as possible.
  • Choose an approach!

  • For example, you may help the reader see a meaningful connection between the two subjects. Sociology and psychology are both great choices for a major in terms of perspectives, but they differ in terms of complexity, career choices, and usefulness for society.
  • You may also show the reader how one of the subjects has more advantages than the other. Fish are better pets than birds because they don’t need as much maintenance and are more adaptable to closed environments.
  • You may also talk about the similarities and differences in your thesis statement. Although both cats and dogs are great pets for young couples, they differ in terms of maintenance, adaptability, and independence from their owners.

Suggestions: Essay Topics to Write About

Writing tips will help you organize the outline and write the essay. If you check out a good compare and contrast essay introduction example, you’ll be inspired to write the introduction of your own paper. If you don’t have a specific topic, however, all tips are useless.

Unfortunately, professors rarely give you a specific topic for a compare and contrast essay. They might say “Write a compare and contrast essay on cats and dogs,” but you’ll have to think of a very specific topic and make the link straight from the headline. You might even get more general instructions, such as “Write a compare and contrast essay on a topic from World War 2.” In such case, you’ll have a general theme and you’ll have to do some research to find two subjects to compare and contrast.

But how do good compare and contrast essay topics look like? Here are few examples to give you an idea:

  1. Differences and Similarities between Argumentative and Personal Essays
  2. Differences and Similarities between Greek and Roman Philosophers
  3. Is Western Medicine Better than Eastern Medicine?
  4. Differences and Similarities between 19th and 20th Century South American Literature
  5. Snakes and Fish Are More Similar than We Think
  6. Is Living in a House Better than Living in an Apartment?
  7. Similarities and Differences between Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa
  8. Dark vs. Light Beer Production Process: Similarities and Differences
  9. The Main Difference Between Eastern and Western Religious Ideas
  10. Reading vs. Computer Games: What’s Better for Children?

These are only examples; but they will definitely help you formulate your own topic. The main thing to keep in mind is that the title has to be relevant to the instructions your professor provided for this paper. It must set a great foundation for research, since this type of writing demands facts!

What If You Can’t Write the Paper?

If you get stuck at any stage, going through a sample might help. However, you must remember that plagiarism is not allowed. You may get inspired by the work of other writers, but you mustn’t copy it.

When comparing two subjects, it’s hard to keep the structure of the paper focused. That’s where most students get confused and fail to complete a persuasive paper. Remember: it’s not just about finding the similarities or contrasting two subjects; it’s mostly about convincing the reader with strong argumentation.

If you struggle with comparative writing, you may always get assistance from an online service! A professional writer will conduct an analysis of your requirements. Then, they will deliver an entirely unique argumentative essay that will meet your expectations. These writers don’t offer pre- written samples; they complete plagiarism-free papers that you can actually use.

Hopefully, we helped you get inspired on how to pick a topic and develop a strong argument for your compare and contrast essay. Remember: if you struggle with this format, you can always hire a professional writer or editor to help.