Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College: Things You Must Consider


When writing compare and contrast essays there are a few things that students must consider for a successful paper. However, first we must answer the question of what is a compare and contrast paper? Simply defined, a compare and contrast essay (or paper) is an essay where typically two topics are compared and contrasted against one another. Naturally, when you are comparing topics, you are focusing on the similarities between the two and when you are contrasting them you are focusing on the differences.

Although there are several ways in which you can write a compare and contrast, there are a few primary points that should be essential to every essay.

Things to Consider:

  • Outline the similarities and differences prior to writing
  • An easy way to do this is to simply draw out a Venn diagram, which will quickly allow you to see both the differences and similarities of your chosen topic(s). If you are unfamiliar on how to draw a Venn diagram, there are tons of examples that are available free of charge online

  • Ask yourself the purpose of the assignment
  • Ask yourself what is the purpose of the assignment and the teacher (or professor) may want you to learn from it. This will allow you to come up with better points of comparison and contrast.

  • Be sure to ask yourself the traditional Ws
  • Looking at who, what, when, why, and where are essential for writing papers. If applicable for your compare and contrast essay be sure to ask these questions to better give you an idea on how to outline your essay.

  • Decide where to put your focus
  • At this point you should have quite an impressive list of similarities and differences. In order to narrow it down just a bit, ask yourself what you should focus on (i.e. what’s pertinent to the assignment and/or the course? What information is relevant to the point you are trying to get across? What information will support your essay?


Wrapping It Up

Although there may be other components to a successful compare and contrast essay, following the steps above will result in an informative paper. However, just to bring the paper together, remember to stay on track with you information as to not confused the reader. Also, you will want to make sure you have strong transition sentences for easier reading.

Creating a compare and contrast paper can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be, the choice is yours!



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