How to Come Up With Attractive Comparison-Contrast Essay Topics

When writing a comparison-contrast essay, you have to analyze how two things are similar and different at the same time. Sometimes, the topics for the essay are given; other times, you have to come up with them yourself. These steps will help you to come up with interesting subjects to compare and contrast.

  1. Define the purpose.
  2. A comparison-contrast essay always makes some point or serves a specific purpose. For example:

    • Show that one of the compared things is better than the other.
    • Clarify some little-known aspects of the compared subjects or dispel common misconceptions surrounding them.
    • Call attention to one or both of the essay’s subjects.
    • Provide a new understanding of the problem, show it from a different angle.
  3. Brainstorm.
  4. After defining the purpose of your essay, think about the subjects that interest you. Is there something you are particularly passionate about? What other things can be compared to it in a meaningful way? If you can’t think of any subjects momentarily, scan your surroundings. You can also use your experiences or hobbies to come up with interesting topics. Being passionate about the subject of your essay will keep you motivated, help during the research phase, and strengthen your argumentation. Think of as many good subjects as possible and write them all down.

  5. Evaluate the selected topics.
  6. Now that you have a list of potential topics, it is time to consider each one individually. To find out how well two subjects can be compared or contrasted quickly, it is useful to construct a Venn diagram. It will consist of two circles that cross each other. Write down anything you want to compare inside of each circle. How many facets of the two subjects can be meaningfully compared? To begin, ask some general questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? Fill the overlapping space with the characteristics that make the two subjects similar. List the qualities that differentiate the subjects in the corresponding non-overlapping areas. Now that you have a neat visual representation of your ideas you can start narrowing them down. Remember that the chosen subject must correspond to the purpose of your essay.

Here are some examples of comparison-contrast essay topics you may find interesting:

  • Your best friend vs. your archenemy
  • Acting vs. lying
  • Online classes vs. traditional classes
  • Fear and confusion
  • Bullies vs. dictators
  • Being rich vs. being famous

© All rights reserved. Updated: 27 May, 2020