Comparing and contrasting is just another way of saying similarities and differences. These types of essays are the most common types of essays one would come across as a student as it is one way of measuring the student’s critical thinking. A comparison essay talks about the similarities while a contrast essay talks about the differences.
Finding the appropriate compare and contrast essay topics for college can be quite difficult given that one would surely have exhausted all familiar topics in high school alone. But experience being the better teacher, it is often always acceptable to pick a topic one had chosen in high school and then write it in a whole new perspective. Almost anything can be a compare and contrast essay topic but one can choose a topic that has some impact on one’s major or one’s chosen field of study. Some samples of compare and contrast essay topics for college are: for science majors – habitat conservation versus ecological regulations, creationism versus evolutionism; for psychology majors – group thinking versus mob mentality; how men and women cope with stress; love marriages versus arranged marriages; disparity versus discrimination; for business majors – World Bank versus World Trade Organization, Ford Motor Company versus Chevrolet; for health care majors – low fat diet versus low carb diet, high fiber diet versus high protein diet; and for theology majors – spirit worship versus idol worship, Buddha versus Jesus Christ.
In creating a compare and contrast essay for college, one can follow one of two types of arrangement or outline. The first is called block arrangement wherein the writer talks about the first topic’s characteristics in the first paragraph and proceeds to talk about the second topic’s characteristics in the next paragraph. This type of arrangement usually consists of four paragraphs: the introduction, the paragraph about the first topic, the paragraph about the second topic, and the conclusion. The second arrangement is called the point by point arrangement wherein the writer talks about one characteristic of both topics in one paragraph and then talks about another characteristic of the two topics in the next paragraph. This arrangement can typically consist of five or more paragraphs, depending on the number of characteristics or traits the writer wishes to talk about. However, a compare and contrast essay isn’t merely a listing down of similarities and dissimilarities. It is the point or the possible reasons behind these similarities and dissimilarities that one should try to analyze and give explanation to.