Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

A comparative analysis requires a writer to compare and contrast essay topics or other ideas. This kind of writing is very popular in different educational institutions, such as high schools, colleges, universities. Quite often, a course will require students to do research on more than one term or theory, researcher or philosopher, and it is useful to know how to explore and discuss the differences or similarities you may have observed.


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There are several ways to structure a comparative analysis. Some students are good at using one topic as a way to critique another. For instance, possibly a student might try presenting that although two topics may have many similarities, they are eventually different. Though the task to compare and contrast essay topics and ideas may seem easy after all, it is vital to think of the goal of a comparative analysis that is to give a meaningful argument or conclusion about the topics being compared.

  • How to write a compare and contrast essay without comparative language, actually, there is no way to do that. Keep in mind these words that convey comparison: similarly, likewise, moreover and also; other words that might help to convey a contrast include: rather, conversely, and however.
  • Choose an over-arching theme to which your topics relate. Most probably, it will come in the introduction part of the essay. Moreover, it will help to make a clear argument and set up a bigger reason for why two things are being compared. For instance, you can decide to introduce your comparison of Aristotle and Plato by choosing a way in which they have similar perspectives and philosophies, and at that time, use your thesis to demonstrate how they are ultimately different.
  • Say why your themes are being compared. These paragraphs should come at the beginning of your analysis. It will help the readers to know why they should pay attention to what you are comparing. Showing importance to the relationship between the chosen topics also enhances the point. In addition, it is crucial to remind your readers of why you are doing the comparison of the selected topics in the conclusion of the analysis.
  • When looking at different compare and contrast essay examples, you can see that a thesis for a comparative analysis should be as clear as possible since it will serve as the map of the paper for the readers. In fact, you need to select an over-arching idea that will unite two topics. Most probably, the main part of a thesis statement for a comparative analysis is writing an argument; this will definitely help writers later to answer the “so what” question and consequently, give the analysis some meaning rather than a simple paper with the differences and similarities points of two topics.
  • A strong compare and contrast essay example shows that organization of topics is a key to success in writing. Though there is not one detailed way to structure a comparative analysis, a student might choose to present all of the information on the same topic, then present information on the other subject, and make the conclusion with the comparison. Another way to build this type of paper can be through alternating between comparable points in both themes and then conclude with a discussion of the relationship between ideas or topics.
  • Remember to link all the points back to the thesis statement. It is necessary to make sure that all the given pieces of evidence and ideas of comparison correlate with the thesis statement. There can be different ways to compare two or more topics or ideas; though, body paragraphs should present only those pieces of evidence that relate to thesis statement. Do not forget this important point, especially while focusing on contrasting and comparing topics.
  • In the conclusion of the comparative essay, you should summarize all the mentioned points in body paragraphs. Remember also to give the answer to the “so what” question in the conclusion of the paper. This will definitely help the readers to see the final comparison and why all of the pieces of evidence fit together in your work.

We hope that our tips on writing a compare contrast essay will help you achieve your academic success.