How to Choose Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Compare contrast essay topicsChoosing good compare and contrast essay topics is important to every author. In order to make the proper choice, you should focus on things that your are personally interested in and have enough knowledge to write about. It is also recommended to think about the subjects, persons, events and ideas you are going to contrast and compare in the abstract way.

To assist you in clarifying your thoughts and fortifying your commitment to the topic, here are several questions for you to think about before you begin writing your essay. Although the opinions may change when you start writing or they may become more elaborated, looking through your choice of the topic will definitely help you avoid many errors in future.

  • What two subjects will your paper consider?
  • In what ways are they similar or different?
  • Think over why are you interested in these particular subjects?
  • Did they play any significant role in your personal or professional life?
  • How much do you know about both subjects? Would you be able to give a balanced picture?
  • Put down several sentences describing your attitude toward them.
  • Decide whether you have a preference for one.
  • Explain why other people would find the topic of your choice interesting.
  • Would a certain group of people be more stirred by your topic than others?
  • What kind if difficulties might this topic present while writing a draft copy?

Here are some good compare and contrast essay topics to choose from. Before writing narrow your subject matter, state a thesis in which you make a clear point, and follow one of the two compare and contrast essay outlines.

  • Children’s interests today and yesterday;
  • Two places that are special for you in various ways;
  • Two teachers or tutors whose teaching styles are effective but different;
  • A book vs. its screen version;
  • Watching a film on TV vs. watching it in a theater;
  • Two well-known pieces of literature or art;
  • Two friends with different lifestyles;
  • Two contradictory theories you are studying in a different college course;
  • Reporting of the same news by two newspapers or magazines;
  • The look at the hero phenomenon today and yesterday;
  • Two pieces of technology or equipment that you tried;
  • Living ina detached house and living in a flat;
  • Two different appoaches to problem soving in some your professional field;
  • One of popular entertainments from nowadays vs. one from the past;
  • The physical and intellectual requirements of two jobs;
  • Parents and teachers as educators;
  • Some natural object and an artificial one.

Writing on one of compare and contrast essay topics is not really a difficult task. To prepare for it just make the list of all similarities that two or more subjects have. Then make another list with all their differences that you can remember. These first steps are as good as half over.

How to Choose the Proper Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Compare and contrast essay outlineAlmost every single day we exercise our intellectual process of comparison and contrast to arrive at a decision or make a judgment concerning 2 or more subjects, persons, opinions, or feelings. The important point to keep in mind when writing a compare and contrast essay is that in this piece of academic writing authors usually support their personal viewpoints.

In his paper one must always follow a certain compare and contrast essay outline. Your opinion about the two or more elements under consideration becomes the thesis statement. The body of your essay then explains why you came up to this opinion. There are two main formats in which you can write a compare and contrast essay: the block and point by point format. For the majority of short essays you should choose one of the formats and adhere to it. In case you are assigned a longer paper, you may prefer to mix the formats for a change like many professional authors do.

Block Format

One of the ways to arrange your material is to use the block format. This method of organization presents body paragraphs in which the author discusses the first subject on points one, two, three, etc., then writes about the second subject on the same points. For example, you may compare your trip to the Netherlands and Switzerland by taking such points as sightseeing, the overall cultural level and hotel service. If you consider these points in the Netherlands paragraph, you must consider the corresponding points in the Switzerland paragraph in the same order. Below is this compare and contrast essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph: Netherlands
    1. Sightseeing
    2. Culture
    3. Service
  • Body paragraph: Switzerland
    1. Sightseeng
    2. Culture
    3. Service
  • Conclusion

You must add to your discussion of the second subject certain references to the points you considered earlier while writing about the first subject since the readers may not remember accurately what you wrote previously. You should unobtrusively remind the audience with a certain reference to the earlier discussion. Because what should be one whole essay may look more like two separate mini-essays, making the audience do the job of comparing and/or contrasting for you.

Point by Point Format

The second format to arrange the same material is to discuss a particular point about your trip to the Netherlands and then in the same paragraph to consider the same point about the trip to Switzerland. This is called point by point or alternating essay organization. Here’s the model of this compare and contrast essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1: Sightseeng
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Body Paragraph 2: Culture
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Body Paragraph 3: Service
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Conclusion

In case you choose this compare and contrast essay outline, you must make a fine transition from the first subject to the second in each body paragraph. Write your paper consistently presenting the same subject first in each discussion of the main point.

While you prepare to write your first draft, you may ask yourself whether to use the block or point by point essay format. For many authors, selecting this or that format of arrangement involves thinking time in the prewriting phase, before beginning a draft. Quite often your essay’s topic will suggest the most effective way of development. The block format may be the better option if a total picture of each subject is required (for example, in “then-and-now” comparative essay).

But your compare and contrast essay topic also may be developed by making a number of distinct points for the audience to consider one by one. Papers that evaluate or argue the superiority or advantage of some thing over another often presuppose the use of point by point format, since each of the author’s claims may be distinctly supported by the side-by-side points.

Every author must decide which format of essay arrangement works best in this or that particular case. In academic writing clearness is a very important objective, and using the proper compare and contrast essay outline always contributes to it.