Pic Family Comparison Essay

Let's say your high school or college teacher haven't assigned the topic for your assignment. It means you can choose compare and contrast essay topics by conducting in-depth research, asking for advice, or hiring a professional academic writer to help. It is simpler than deciding on the most relevant argumentative or scientific subject. However, every high grade expects a quality content written on the interesting essay topic; it is critical to learn how to write a compare and contrast essay and choose appropriate ideas to discuss.

Do not be trivial! The article you see now will help you to avoid confusing and banal essay topics. In addition to the list of the top-rated themes, we will share different links to websites with great examples and online writing help.

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Students will find some good points and ideas necessary for the development of a good school or college comparative essay. Online academic writing help is always available to lend a helping hand when it seems like the assignment is impossible to complete.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Major Principles

The answer to the disturbing question like how to write a compare and contrast essay begins with the structure of this type of academic writing. It has the same structure as other types of academic papers with the few major differences. Introduction with the powerful hook and thesis statement remains the same. In your conclusion, reword the thesis and summarize the arguments used to defend the main idea of the paper. The body paragraphs are different. It depends on whether the author focuses more on differences, similarities, or tries to balance with both.

Take a look at a couple of images below to realize how to write a paper of this type based on our examples.

How to Choose Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Wisely?

The most effective, time-tested way to select essay topics in case your teacher did not give some is through researching different types of sources:

  • Newspapers. A student can find an endless source of great ideas. They are related to the ongoing world’s events, latest innovations, expert opinions, political fluctuations, and other fields. Pay attention to both columns, interviews, and analysis composed by an authoritative person from politics, economy, and other aspects of human life;
  • News channels. Turn on your favorite channel not to watch favorite TV show this time. Learn about the contemporary problems and try to think about an interesting topic idea spending something around half an hour of your precious time.
  • Magazines/Journals. If you are not a great fan of politics, religion, or economics, try to find some good ideas in the recent magazines/journals. Check the rubrics dedicated to entertainment, technology, teen life, and sports.
  • Internet. It should be the greatest source of all ideas collected in the previous types of primary sources altogether.
  • Do not forget to attend various seminars, conferences, meetings to learn more about the things going on in the world and recently discussed by the society.

Professional Advice:

“Before starting the topic, organize the thoughts in a logical manner. Develop some kind of a chart/graph/table to have a visual picture of how the final draft should look like. In this type of academic writing, it is important to focus on the comparable qualities & characteristics of the subjects/events/people to impress the target audience. It means the author should pick original criteria to draw parallels or stressing the gap between the objects.”

Professor Beverly Thompson, online English tutor and golden writer at NerdyMates

Students will not understand how to write a compare and contrast essay without memorizing and using properly so-called signal words. Those are transition words. In other types of essays, it is important to join different sections like body paragraphs and conclusion in a whole piece with the help of special words/phrases. Find the list of signal words below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Famous People

It is time to answer the main question of our reader, “What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?”

World-known people like different celebrities and political figures have always attracted the attention of ordinary citizens. It's a great chance for every writer to catch an eye of the reader by describing and comparing the life of various American authorities.

You do not necessarily need to analyze the life of people from the same region or field of activity. Many students find it exciting to take a person from real life and a book or movie character. It leaves space for imagination. Have enough ideas to write your five-paragraph essay:

  1. Madonna and Celine Dion. While the first woman is a self-made American singer, the same can be said about her Canadian fellow singer. By comparing these two, you draw parallels between the American and Canadian pop stage.
  2. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. Even though these historical figures widely known to the public were from the opposing camps, there are more similarities between them than you can think.
  3. Peter Griffin vs. Homer Simpson. The two American television shows, "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" are alike by showing the disadvantages of the nation and laughing at the public stereotypes. However, one of the shows is still more radical.
  4. Bugs Bunny and Charlie Chaplin. As the time passes by, these figures remain the symbol of their time and entire American culture. It would be interesting to write about the similarities and differences between their comic images.
  5. Online ads VS traditional ways to promote goods/services. How these methods affect lives of different popular people
  6. Hobbes or Locke. English philosophers’ roles regarding the contribution of each to the study of political science
  7. Batman VS Superman. The reasons why Batman won in the famous movie
  8. Start Wars modern episodes or episodes of 1970’s. Comparison of graphic, actors, plot, visual effects, music, sound effects, habits, etc
  9. Plato or Socrates. Decide which one contributed more to the philosophical research
  10. Putin & Obama. Differences in the political regime and economics offered by each president

Religion, Anthropology, and AP World History Compare & Contrast Essay Topics

Religion is often a taboo topic to discuss. Public schools and colleges have subjects dedicated to religion. Students are encouraged to write about it. Religion, history, and anthropology are closely related. You may choose AP world history compare and contrast essay that covers all three dimensions to enrich your essay.

Here we go with several good examples recommended by high school and college students:

  1. Discuss World War I and World War II. It is a traditional debate. Many people find the two wars similar, but historians point to a great number of differences such as main factors, actual causes, and consequences. Explain why World War II was much worse and terrifying.
  2. President Obama and President Kennedy. Mass media tends to draw parallels between both political figures very often. It is time to find out why.
  3. Ancient Greece Ancient Rome. All ideas related to the offered topic are good enough because these civilizations have a great impact on the modern world. Cover Greek and Roman mythology, describe their traditional public events, a way of living, differences and similarities in poetry, and influence on the modern American society.
  4. 18th Century Living VS Modern Life. Are American people freer now and how is a modern society divided into classes? What are the advantages of e-mail in contrast to the traditional mailing they used back in the 18th century?
  5. Frenemies. The way famous political competitors, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson acted often reminded of both friendship and rivalry – which one is correct?
  6. American Revolution VS French Revolution. Both held back in the VIII century, and both are having similarities & differences.
  7. The Salem Witch Trials & McCarthy Era in the US history. How they treated people accused of witchcraft in 2 different historical events.
  8. The idyllic period in the US history is the middle of XX century while the 1960s is known as a tumultuous decade.
  9. Ancient Greece VS Ancient Rome. Which civilization had a greater impact on the development of contemporary culture & art?
  10. 3 different branches of Christianity. Common issues, major differences, similarities, examples of traditions, etc.

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Political Essay Compare and Contrast Themes

These topics cover political science and cultural life of different countries. It is time to evaluate political regimes of different countries. Analyze the countries with the echo of communism and those where capitalism dominates; countries where women and men have equal rights versus countries where women are limited to their rights and freedoms.

  1. Classical Theory of Karl Marx against Modern Capitalistic Movement. Financial and political theories change with the flow of time. High school and college students have to understand the way economics work to get the ideas of different political regimes.
  2. The war in Syria/Military Situation in Ukraine. The countries could make a union based on the fact they are both regularly attacked by two other hostile countries. However, Ukraine is not officially involved in the war, they say. Research what media shares and analyze the given cases.
  3. The government of China VS The government of Korea. Both of these nations suffer from the consequences of communism. The second country, specifically North Korea, supports this political regime more than China. What is different and what's in common?
  4. Welfare Programs in the United States vs. Welfare Programs in the United Kingdom. Although high school and college students believe that these countries look alike in many senses, any related book or movie will show how wrong they are.
  5. Al Qaeda VS the Islamic State. Which of the terroristic organizations have a greater threat to the world’s peace?
  6. Legal systems in the United States & Canada: Are they too different in terms of laws, regulations, preventive measures, and other?
  7. Marriage VS civil union. Which of these types of a partnership between two people in love is less threatening to the image of political figure?
  8. Debit cards and credit cards: The role of government in establishing various payment methods and responsibility it has in case of any rule break
  9. Private & public companies. The obligations American government have concerning each of these types of organizations
  10. Political regime today and back in the 1950s: Things that changed for better and situations that got worse
The example of a Political Compare and Contrast Essay:

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 6th Grade

Students who study in the sixth grade have to receive the simplest homework assignments and compare and contrast essay topics for 6th grade as they lack the experience to analyze something more complex than these:

  1. Winter or summer: More gorgeous season of year
  2. Christmas in another country/Christmas at home
  3. Juice VS water: While water may be healthier, juices are tastier and…
  4. Dogs and wolves: Similarities & differences
  5. Weeds and flowers: Why one cannot exist without another
  6. Eastern or Western USA: Living in both parts in different period of time
  7. Comic books or novels: The once which is more interesting to read
  8. Tennis VS ping pong: Your favorite game out of two
  9. Watching TV instead of reading a book: Difference/similarity in impressions
  10. Male friends or female friends: Based on such factors as loyalty, sincerity, bravery, and more

Compare and Contrast Topics for Middle School

Have a look at the list of compare and contrast topics for middle school!

  1. King Author VS Zeus. One of them is a way cooler than another one
  2. Comparison of the role models in 1950s with modern role models
  3. How does it feel to watch favorite movies in the cinema and watching films at home?
  4. The correlation between famous dictators & school bullies
  5. The consequences of tsunami might be worse than the consequences of hurricane
  6. Prom Night, Halloween Night, & Christmas Night: Which holiday is more fun?
  7. Car driving or bicycle driving: Which experience is more difficult?
  8. 3-star hotels or 5-star hotels: Reasons to choose each of them
  9. Things the early spacemen had in common with Christopher Columbus
  10. People who influence teenagers most of all: Parents and celebrities

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students

If you don't need specific ideas for academic papers, look at the list of general essay topics shared by successful college students. Now, we continue with compare and contrast essay topics for high school.

  1. Fiction or Non-Fiction Literature: Write about which type of literary works is more helpful for college students and why.
  2. Assess High School Examinations & College Tests. What is more important? Which styles are recommended to be used in academic writing when studying in different educational institutions? When is it easier to cheat?
  3. Traditional Learning or Online Learning: Do you find it helpful to be able to take college courses online? Is a traditional way of teaching still better and more effective?
  4. Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots: Which of the professional sports clubs is more authoritative and loved by high school students?
  5. Determine the effectiveness of online advertising and TV ads. What type of advertising channel is more influential on children?
  6. Printed books/e-Books: Which type of material might be more useful for the modern high school students?
  7. Wooden houses or story buildings. The significance of each type of construction
  8. Major differences and similarities between Portugal & Spain: Where is it better to have a vacation nowadays?
  9. American vision of beauty compared to Japanese vision of beauty: Discuss the standards based on the most recent beauty queens plus handsome men
  10. How rock music has changed: Rock music of early XX century and nowadays

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students

Finally, there are many ways you can analyze the life with family and on a college campus; important things to consider while studying at school and in university; passing SAT and taking TOEFL; etc. Enjoy the list of 10 compare and contrast essay topics for college students!

  1. Comparing Life with Parents to Living on Campus: In your essay, write the details about two ways of student's life. Share ideas on why you prefer one of the options (pros and cons of both).
  2. Where is academic rigor the greatest when it comes to comparing high school education and college learning.
  3. While Fall is the season of college arrivals, Spring is the time for student departures. Features of different educational seasons.
  4. Having a look at the meals students get at high school/college and the food they obtain at home from their family members. Which is tastier?
  5. The remote learning courses slowly replace conventional classes in college. Pros & cons of going technological.
  6. Living at home with parents compared to living on the college campus on the example of laundry service, cooking, and other everyday household activities.
  7. Manufacturing jobs against service sector jobs. A right choice of the college student
  8. Part-time jobs VS seasonal jobs: Pros & cons of each option
  9. Private colleges or public education: Reasons to make all educational institutions public in the United States
  10. Advanced placement classes: Better or worse than honors classes?

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

If you do not want to go deep into the details breaking the head against the wall, choose one of the easy compare and contrast essay topics!

  1. Twilight & Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. Analyze both shows’ characters
  2. It by Stephen King: Review book with the film
  3. Julius Caesar & Macbeth: Do these people have anything in common?
  4. Realism & modernism. Simple similarities & differences
  5. Poetry VS prose: List literary elements that make these genres different
  6. Life in a big city compared to village life: Discuss where people are healthier, kinder, more honest, etc.
  7. Donald Trump against Hilary Clinton: The one who should have won the latest presidential elections in the United States
  8. Real Madrid & Barcelona: Advantages + disadvantages of both Spanish football clubs
  9. iPhone VS Android mobile devices: Benefits Android users obtain against benefits iPhone users get
  10. Tablets or textbooks in school: Advantages each of these devices have when it comes to the process of learning

Things to Compare and Contrast

The last category contains the names of subjects only. Those are some great things to compare and contrast!

  1. Jails & Asylums
  2. Renaissance and Baroque Art
  3. Star Wars & Star Trek
  4. American Dad VS Family Guy
  5. Apple or Pineapple
  6. Moon and Sun
  7. Greek VS Scandinavian Mythology
  8. Communism against Capitalism
  9. New England Colonies or Southern Colonies (it is possible to add Middle Colonies)
  10. Fiction VS Non-Fiction

Compare and Contrast Essay Example from Writing Guru

Students write better papers when they have some good examples in front of them. Looking for the compare and contrast essay example? Find many free samples on the professional academic writing websites or view these powerful papers shared by the top college writers with us.

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Comparison Writing

In academic writing, comparison and contrast is particularly valuable because it enables you to see familiar things in new ways. "Common sense" says that two things are the same, but a careful comparison and contrast demonstrates their important differences. That same common sense may say that two things are totally incompatible, but when you compare and contrast them systematically, you discover their affinities. Making comparisons helps student writers make decisions and judgments, both in planning other papers (see the discussion of synthesis) and in the forming theses and interpretations of data and ideas. In addition to helping you decide which of two or more items is more appropriate or more useful, comparison can help you think about the unfamiliar by allowing you to  contrast it with something you already know.
 

Comparison in Every Day Life

Question: “which team is going to win?” To answer this question you must first evaluate each team, considering a number of features from the skill and readiness of the players on each team to the strength of the coaching.  You'll probably consider averages, recent performance, health information and a host of other details. Once you've considered these aspects of each team, you will use them as criteria on which to base a comparison. You'll compare the teams point-by-point to decide which is the stronger (these two activities often occur simultaneously because people who engage in such discussions generally agree on the criteria for comparison). Based on this comparison, you will give your answer to the initial question. In this case the answer is a prediction, but we ask and answer similar questions about a host of other topics hundreds of times a day--where to get something to eat, which store to buy supplies from, which candidate to vote for, what task to do first. Sometimes the sequence is evaluate-compare-predict, at other times it is evaluate-compare-decide, or evaluate-compare-recommend, and even evaluate-compare-and then reject both options! The final term in this chain is a claim (this team will win, we should eat at the diner, we should buy brand X), which in academic papers tends to be called a thesis.  Academic papers often employ the same analytical sequence and evaluative and comparatives kills as we use in every day decision-making, and we write them for the same reason--to help us reach a decision about things we are comparing and then explain that decision to others.    

Key Features of a Comparison

(1)  it allows readers to easily see similarities and differences between two or more sources,
(2)  it accurately presents the information from the sources,
(3)  it presents the comparison for a purpose (i.e.: it has a thesis). 

Preparing to Write a Paper using Comparison

Prewriting for comparison and contrast papers can be conducted visually, through charts. Draw vertical lines down the center of a sheet of notebook paper, allowing one column for each thing to be compared and a small margin on the left. If you prefer to work on your computer, make a table using your word processing software or a spread sheet program. List the main points, topics, or features in the left margin or column and then note how each text responds or represents it in the relevant column.  You might find it helpful to indicate all of the similarities using a highlighter, marks next to each similarity, or some other system.  This technique will help you identify and keep track of the important similarities and differences. 


A warning!
When a comparison and contrast assignment asks you to compare your personal experience with something else, it is important not to fall into the fallacy of using personal experience to evaluate the accuracy of the other.  For example, you might read an essay arguing that the traditional image of family life in which Dad goes off to work and Mom stays at home to take care of the house and the children no longer describes the lives of the majority of American families.  Let us suppose that you are asked to compare your family and the families of your friends with the new image that the article describes (both parents working, or a single parent working and raising the children).  If your personal experience  contrasts with the author's description of how the majority of American families live, that is not sufficient evidence for denying (or, if your experience accords with her findings, validating) the accuracy of the author's description. The argument "The traditional family in which I grew up demonstrates how little the author of the article knows about American life" makes no sense because you are comparing a specific case with a generalization based on many cases. Your experience might, however, support a thesis along the line of "The work pattern described in Bergmann's essay might describe general trends, but many families, like mine, found other ways to respond to the fall in middle-class wages that she describes" or "While Barbara Bergmann describes the reasons that many women returned to the workplace in the last decade, my own experience shows that for some women the reasons are harder to isolate and analyze." 

Formulating a Comparative Thesis

Inexperienced academic writers often get lost when they are trying to decide on a thesis for a paper that uses comparison and contrast.  Assuming that the purpose of comparison and contrast is to discover similarities and differences, they formulate a thesis that says something like "X and Y have important similarities and differences" or "X is very similar to/different from Y."  For example, "The Republican and Democratic platforms for the 1960 American presidential election were very similar."  Readers of college-level papers with such a thesis might rightly ask "So?" or "Who cares?" because college-level writing requires that you say something about what you know rather than simply  repeating it. 

Developing a good thesis for a college-level comparison and contrast paper involves your looking at those similarities and differences and asking yourself the crucial question, "So what?"

  • What do you learn from having discovered similarities and differences?
  • How does it affect your point of view?
The answer to this question can lead to a thesis statement like "A comparison of the Republican and Democratic platforms for the 1960 presidential race reveals so many similarities that one must wonder whether Americans actually have options when they go to the polls."  That's a thesis that a reader might find interesting--or at least worth arguing about.
 
Organizing a Paper using Comparison

Once you have figured out a thesis statement, or at least something that you can work with temporarily (remember, you can always revise or replace your thesis once your paper is underway), you can begin drafting. 

Two general structural patterns are available for papers that use comparison and contrast.  Some papers adopt one or the other, but many actually blend these two patterns together in various ways. Being aware of the two basic patterns will help you make wise rhetorical choices as you draft your paper. The structures are the point-by-point pattern and the block pattern:

The point-by-point pattern: 
When you use this structure, you work back and forth between the sources you consider in your paper discussing one point of similarity or difference at a time.  Each paragraph takes one feature or point of similarity or difference and discusses each source in relation to it.  For example, a paper comparing three paintings might contain one paragraph discussing the similarities and differences in the use of light and shade in the three paintings, another discussing how each painting uses color, and so on.  A more complex paper might only focus on the use of color, with several paragraphs each discussing one color in the three paintings.

The point-by-point pattern is essential if your material is complicated or if your paper is a long one. It is also a standard pattern for academic comparison and contrast essays.  Most of your college professors will expect you to follow this pattern. 

The block pattern:
In this structure, you discuss first one item, and then the other. A comparison paper written using this pattern discusses all of the important features of one item and then, turning to the second item discusses all of its important features, explaining how they compare or contrast with those of the first item.  Some very simple block comparisons describe one item and then the second and then compare them.  This method rarely works for papers over three pages in length because readers do not remember the salient features of the first item once they have moved to the second (and third).

The block pattern is a good approach for a short paper (five pages or less) and may be familiar from high school comparison papers. You should also consider this approach if you're not feeling too confident of your analysis of one of the two items.  Using the principle of Nestorian order, you can begin the essay with what you consider to be your lesser analysis, and then place your more convincing analysis toward the end of the essay, where it will make a favorable impression on your readers.

The combination:
As with all writing, there is no simple formula for a paper that uses comparison.  You will read some professionally written comparisons that use a combination of these two methods, and you may find that a combination makes sense for your own papers as well.  Some longer papers may begin with a few paragraphs using the block pattern and then move on to point-by-point pattern.  This may be especially useful if the paper is comparing three or more articles and you want to provide a brief overview of each before you begin the comparison.

Once you have selected an organizational pattern for your paper, you may find it helpful to make a rough outline of what will be included where and then to ask a peer to review it to see if it makes sense.  

Checking your own writing or that of your peers

Printer-friendly version of peer response sheet (pdf)


Read the comparison carefully and answer the following questions:
  1. What do you like best about this comparison? (Why? How/where might the writer repeat it?)
  2. Is it clear what is being compared? (Did the writer list the source, and cite it correctly?)
  3. Is it clear why these things are being compared? (Is there a thesis?  Write it out.)
  4. What is the organizational structure of the extract? (Sketch out a simple plan/diagram)
  5. Do you think the organization is effective?  (Would another structure have been more effective, Why?  Map out that structure.)
  6. Does the writer include sufficient evidence to support the thesis?  (Regardless of whether or not you are convinced by the thesis, please evaluate evidence to support it. Is it appropriate? If not, what other evidence might be more useful?)
  7. Are the introduction and conclusion effective?  (If so, how?  If not, why not?  How could they be improved?)
  8. Were there any points in the comparison where you were lost because a transition was missing?  (If so, where and how might it be fixed?)
  9. Were there any points where you were lost because some information seems to have been omitted? (If so, where, and what seems to be missing? Why do you think it might be important?)
  10. If you have read the original sources, do you find the comparison fair? (If not, why?)
  11. Was there a mechanical, grammatical, or spelling error that annoyed you as you read the paper?  (If so, how could the author fix it?  Did you notice this error occurring more than once?)  Do not comment on every typographical or other error you see.  It is a waste of time to carefully edit a paper before it is revised!
  12. What other advice do you have for the author of this paper?

Sandra Jamieson, Drew University. 1999
Adapted from material written by Rebecca Moore Howard and Sandra Jamieson.
This work is provided free of charge under aCreative Commons License (click here to read the conditions governing use)
For permission to print and use this page, please contact Sandra Jamieson by e-mail.
 

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