101 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Great Ideas for Essays

Nine compare and contrast essay topics, from types of animals to modes of currency


Compare and contrast essays are taught in school for many reasons. For one thing, they are relatively easy to teach, understand, and format. Students can typically understand the structure with just a short amount of instruction. In addition, these essays allow students develop critical thinking skills to approach a variety of topics.

Brainstorming Tip

One fun way to get students started brainstorming their compare and contrast essays is to create a Venn diagram, where the overlapping sections of the circle contain similarities and the non-overlapping areas contain the differing traits.

Following is a list of 101 topics for compare and contrast essays that you are welcome to use in your classroom. As you look through the list you will see that some items are academic in nature while others are included for interest-building and fun writing activities.

  1. Apple vs. Microsoft
  2. Coke vs. Pepsi
  3. Renaissance Art vs. Baroque Art
  4. Antebellum Era vs. Reconstruction Era in American History
  5. Childhood vs. Adulthood
  6. Star Wars vs. Star Trek
  7. Biology vs. Chemistry
  8. Astrology vs. Astronomy
  9. American Government vs. British Government (or any world government)
  10. Fruits vs. Vegetables
  11. Dogs vs. Cats
  12. Ego vs. Superego
  13. Christianity vs. Judaism (or any world religion)
  14. Republican vs. Democrat
  15. Monarchy vs. Presidency
  16. US President vs. UK Prime Minister
  17. Jazz vs. Classical Music
  18. Red vs. White (or any two colors)
  19. Soccer vs. Football
  20. North vs. South Before the Civil War
  21. New England Colonies vs. Middle Colonies OR vs. Southern Colonies
  22. Cash vs. Credit Cards
  23. Sam vs. Frodo Baggins
  24. Gandalf vs. Dumbledore
  25. Fred vs. Shaggy
  26. Rap vs. Pop
  27. Articles of Confederation vs. U.S. Constitution
  28. Henry VIII vs. King Louis XIV
  29. Stocks vs. Bonds
  30. Monopolies vs. Oligopolies
  31. Communism vs. Capitalism
  32. Socialism vs. Capitalism
  33. Diesel vs. Petroleum
  34. Nuclear Power vs. Solar Power
  35. Saltwater Fish vs. Freshwater Fish
  36. Squids vs. Octopus
  37. Mammals vs. Reptiles
  1. Baleen vs. Toothed Whales
  2. Seals vs. Sea Lions
  3. Crocodiles vs. Alligators
  4. Bats vs. Birds
  5. Oven vs. Microwave
  6. Greek vs. Roman Mythology
  7. Chinese vs. Japanese
  8. Comedy vs. Drama
  9. Renting vs. Owning
  10. Mozart vs. Beethoven
  11. Online vs. Traditional Education
  12. North vs. South Pole
  13. Watercolor vs. Oil
  14. 1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451
  15. Emily Dickinson vs. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  16. W.E.B. DuBois vs. Booker T. Washington
  17. Strawberries vs. Apples
  18. Airplanes vs. Helicopters
  19. Hitler vs. Napoleon
  20. Roman Empire vs. British Empire
  21. Paper vs. Plastic
  22. Italy vs. Spain
  23. Baseball vs. Cricket
  24. Jefferson vs. Adams
  25. Thoroughbreds vs. Clydesdales
  26. Spiders vs. Scorpions
  27. Northern Hemisphere vs. Southern Hemisphere
  28. Hobbes vs. Locke
  29. Friends vs. Family
  30. Dried Fruit vs. Fresh
  31. Porcelain vs. Glass
  32. Modern Dance vs. Ballroom Dancing
  33. American Idol vs. The Voice
  34. Reality TV vs. Sitcoms
  35. Picard vs. Kirk
  36. Books vs. Movies
  37. Magazines vs. Comic Books
  38. Antique vs. New
  39. Public vs. Private Transportation
  40. Email vs. Letters
  41. Facebook vs. Twitter
  42. Coffee vs. an Energy Drink
  43. Toads vs. Frogs
  44. Profit vs. Non-Profit
  45. Boys vs. Girls
  1. Birds vs. Dinosaurs
  2. High School vs. College
  3. Chamberlain vs. Churchill
  4. Offense vs. Defense
  5. Jordan vs. Bryant
  6. Harry vs. Draco
  7. Roses vs. Carnations
  8. Poetry vs. Prose
  9. Fiction vs. Nonfiction
  10. Lions vs. Tigers
  11. Vampires vs. Werewolves
  12. Lollipops vs. popsicles
  13. Summer vs. Winter
  14. Recycling vs. Landfill
  15. Motorcycle vs. Bicycle
  16. Halogen vs. Incandescent
  17. Newton vs. Einstein
  18. . Go on vacation vs. Staycation
  19. Rock vs. Scissors