36 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

A compare and contrast essay is a really fun way to write about two things that are similar or different. It’s also, more importantly, an easy way to get all of your school work done on time! Here are 127 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for you to use, study them all before you choose one.

  1. Compare several types of popular music based on tempo, volume, lyrical content, etc. Compare their structure (verse/chorus) or instrumentation (strings/horns). Compare the artists’ messages. Compare how they were created. Compare these differences with one another across genres.
  2. Compare famous lovers from history, literature, film, plays, or television shows. Examples might include Romeo and Juliet vs. Mark Antony and Cleopatra, Jane Eyre vs. Mr. Rochester, or Elizabeth Bennet vs. Mr. Darcy. Compare these characters’ personalities, relationships to one another, audience’s first impression of them, etc.
  3. Compare two fairy tales with several different versions of each story. Compare the most famous versions of Cinderella, for example, across cultures, time periods, gender roles, etc., as you explain how they are similar or different from one another.
  4. Compare two types of insects on the basis of their anatomy/behavior/ecology. How are they alike? How are they different? Examine physical characteristics (such as size), behaviors (such as mating habits), and habitats (such as types of food sources). Compare these differences to one another.
  5. Compare two types of rocks based on their physical properties (such as hardness or color), where they originate, and what they are used for. Compare the minerals found in each type of rock, if appropriate. Compare how rocks are formed, including why some may be sedimentary while others are igneous. Compare a common household item made with a specific kind of rock. Compare them across different factors, such as use/origin/formation/composition
  6. Compare two famous battles from history, literature, film, plays, or television shows. Compare the most well-known examples from World War II: D-Day vs. Battle of the Bulge; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers vs. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Braveheart vs. Gladiator; etc., Compare how each battle was fought, why they were both important, and what happened as a result. Compare the outcomes of one battle to another
  7. Compare two famous speeches based on their rhetoric (such as classical or modern), subject matter, delivery style, audience response, overall impact on history, etc… Compare Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Compare Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Tears, And Sweat” speech with Hitler’s Nuremberg Rally Speech. Compare which one think had more influence on history. Compare which one was more persuasive
  8. Compare two types of animals based on their physical characteristics (such as size, weight, speed), how they move (swimming vs. flying), what they eat, where they live, etc. . Compare the number of different species of each animal; compare ecological niches. Compare differences in physical adaptations (such as camouflage) and social behavior (such as parenting techniques). Compare why one animal may be farmed while another is not
  9. Compare two sports based on popularity, rules, equipment needed, objective, audience participation, etc . Compare American football and basketball; or tennis and badminton; or soccer and hockey; etc. Compare something about the fan culture surrounding these sports: costumes, rituals, etc. Compare how much physical contact is allowed in each sport; Compare strategies used to win. Compare the athletes’ average salaries for one sport versus another
  10. Compare two famous paintings, such as Michelangelo’s David vs. The Last Judgement (Sistine Chapel), Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa vs. The Last Supper, or Grant Wood’s American Gothic vs. The Dinner Party. Compare the techniques and styles of each painting: brush strokes, color palette, style (such as impressionist), subject matter (such as symbolism), and intended audience (art history aficionados vs . general public). Compare these differences to one another across cultures/time periods/genres
  11. Compare two works of art based on their use of color, symbolism, technique, style, and audience impact. Compare impressionist paintings by Claude Monet (such as Water Lilies) with post-impressionist works by Vincent van Gogh (such as The Starry Night). Compare the symbolism in James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room with that in Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss
  12. Compare two fairy tales or fables based on their moral lessons, intended audiences, similarities/differences in plot lines, development of characters, etc. Compare “The Tortoise and the Hare” to “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” or Aesop’s Fables to Mother Goose rhymes. Compare relationships between characters in these stories (such as friendships, rivalries, relationships between friends or family members). Compare what makes these folk tales or fables distinct from one another
  13. Compare two famous novels based on their plots, character development, setting(s) , relationships between characters, use of symbolism (or lack thereof), etc . Compare The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit; compare Jane Austen’s Emma with Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations; Compare Beowulf to Gilgamesh; Compare A Tale of Two Cities to War and Peace
  14. Compare two important figures in history. Compare a heroic figure such as Abraham Lincoln or Mahatma Gandhi to a villainous individual such as Attila the Hun or Adolf Hitler. Compare political, philosophical, and religious views. Compare how these figures used rhetoric to influence others; Compare what they accomplished in their lives and compare the impact of their accomplishments (positive vs. negative) on history


15 Compare two media forms such as TV shows, movies, albums, books, video games, etc.. Compare something about each piece of media: popularity over time; awards received; critical acclaim; target audience; author or creator; technique (such as cinematography); etc . Compare the themes explored in each work: war and peace; crime and punishment; environmentalism; politics and social justice; family life; love and romance; friendship; problems with technology (such as iPhone addiction); etc . Compare how these themes are explored across different media forms

18 Compare two works of literature based on their characters, plots/story lines, writing style , or tone . Compare Romeo and Juliet to William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; Compare the Crucible with Arthur Miller’s The Misfits; Compare Frankenstein to Mary Shelly ‘s short story “The Modern Prometheus”. Compare the use of irony in each work. Compare how tragedies unfold in each text. Compare what makes these literary pieces distinct from one another

19 Compare two television shows, such as American Horror Story vs. South Park; compare a drama such as The Good Wife vs. a sitcom like Friends

  1. Compare two major cities based on their geographical location, size, weather, economy, industry, history, culture, etc . Compare New York City to Los Angeles; Compare London to Paris; Compare Sydney to Rome

21 Compare two sports based on popularity, equipment, rules, fan base size, type of sport (such as endurance vs. speed), training required for players or athletes

  1. Compare two musical genres such as hip-hop versus country versus rock music. Compare the lyrics in each genre; compare the performers/bands in each genre; compare how these musicians have influenced one another across time periods and generations. Compare what makes these genres distinct from one another

23 Compare two political leaders: a hero/heroine such as Nelson Mandela or Mother Teresa and a villain such as Adolf Hitler or Mao Zedong Compare the life experiences that shaped these leaders Compare how they used rhetoric to influence others Compare their impact on history Compare what makes these figures distinct from one another

  1. Compare two inventions: for example, compare the light bulb and Taylorism Compare how they work Compare how effective they are Compare who invented them Compare how these inventions changed lives (positively and negatively) across various time periods and generations
  2. Compare two wars: a war fought in the past such as World War II or Vietnam and a modern-day war such as Iraq or Afghanistan; compare a war of global proportions with a civil war; compare military strategy employed during each conflict; Compare historical accounts of these wars (such as primary source documents); Contrast the costs of each war (tangible and intangible); Compare how these wars have impacted the people who fought in them Compare what makes each war unique

27 Compare two leaders based on their political ideology, policies enacted during reign, or military strategy Compare leaders from different time periods (such as ancient world vs. modern day) Compare leaders across continents Compare leaders who influenced one another Compare why they were voted into power Compare how long they served Compare how effective they were Compare what impacts this had on history

28 compare two major scientific or technological discoveries: for example, compare penicillin and the polio vaccine; compare the theory of relativity with Big Bang theory; compare traditional theories about how planets revolve around our Sun with new evidence provided by space exploration Compare how these discoveries impact our society Compare how these discoveries are explained Compare who created them Compare why they are important

29 Compare two different religions: for example, compare Islam with Christianity Compare their history Compare how each system of beliefs is practiced Compare the symbolism in each religion Compare what makes them distinctive

30 Compare two cities that have similar cultural or economic status: for example, compare New York City with Los Angeles Compare the various aspects of each city (physical characteristics, population, education rates, crime rates) Compare specific communities within each city Compare how these factors impact one another Compare why people live in these places

  1. Compare an idea from the past such as chivalry compared to an idea today such as white privilege. Consider how this concept has based on current issues and events. Compare how this idea has evolved Compare what causes these changes Compare what makes a particular idea popular today Compare how influential it is Compare why people continue to promote ideas developed in the past

32 Compare two works of art: for example, compare a painting from the Renaissance with a work of art from the Impressionist period Compare and contrast techniques used by each artist Compare who influenced them Compare how they impacted one another Compare what makes them distinctive Compare what makes certain pieces stand out 33. Compare two forms of entertainment: for example, compare novels with movies; compare movies made in black and white with movies made in color Compare various aspects (acting, dialogue, costumes) of each piece Compare their impact on society at different points in time

  1. Compare the lives of two influential people: for example, compare Eleanor Roosevelt with Mohandas Gandhi Compare their education Compare the various parts of their life Compare how these people influenced each other Compare why they were important Compare what makes them distinctive

35 Compare two famous speeches: for example, compare Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech Compare their tone Contrast the ways in which each was received Compare how they impacted American society Compare what makes them distinctive

36 Compare two aspects of science: for example, compare gravity and evolution; contrast atoms and solar systems Consider how science has evolved over time Consider who discovered it Consider who benefited from this discovery Compare why certain ideas are accepted today compared to decades or


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