Ideas For Compare And Contrast Essays

Basically your objective in a compare and contrast essay is to map out the similarities and the differences between two items/issues/objects and discuss them in an organized fashion. Sometimes this is done by first pointing out all the similarities and comparing them side by side. Next, the differences are contrasted against each other.

There are other styles and formats of doing this essay; namely the alternate method and the block method. No matter which method you use, the key to making a good essay is to pick the topics with the end result in mind.

Classic Essay Format vs Compare and Contrast Essay Format

Many essays are written in the classic 5-paragraph format. This format includes:

  • An opening paragraph which introduces the topic and three main points
  • The body consists of 3 paragraphs; 1 for each of the three main points
  • The concluding paragraph summarizes what was discussed

Sometimes it may be difficult to condense a compare and contrast essay into this format, because it is suggested that you take 3 similarities to compare and 3 differences to contrast. The compare and contrast essay would look like this:

  • An opening paragraph which introduces the 2 topics
  • The body consists of 6 paragraphs; 3 of which are comparisons and 3 of which are contrasts between the 2 topics.
  • The concluding paragraph summarizes what was discussed

As you can see these two formats are very similar and both serve the same objectives. Because there are two topics that need to be addressed, this type of essay is bound to be longer and require more paragraphs to sufficiently explore all the similarities and differences.

Suggested Topic Ideas

This type of essay requires two topics; the following are some topic pairs which would be very interesting to compare and contrast.

  1. iPhone vs Samsung
  2. Taking University on campus vs University by correspondence
  3. Travelling by plane vs travelling by boat
  4. Eating fresh food vs eating canned food
  5. Bungee jumping vs sky diving
  6. Desktop computers vs laptop computers
  7. Conventional dieting vs diet pills

Finding the right topics to use in your essay could be the tricky part. You should choose something you have a keen interest in, and can write about with feeling and passion. Your topic set should have at least 3 similarities that you can compare and 3 differences that you can contrast.