Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

There are five practical situations when it is necessary to write a comparative and contrastive essay. In other words, this essay can be directed at fulfilling five different pragmatic tasks:

  • The author may seek to show which of the two (or more) compared objects better in one respect or another. The purpose of such essay is to convince the reader that the object A should be chosen over the object B.
  • The author may seek to show that the two objects, seemingly different, are one and the same. The purpose of such essay is to convince the reader that there is no difference between the objects A and B.
  • The author may seek to show that the two objects that appear the same are actually very different from each other. The purpose of such essay is to convince the reader to differentiate the objects described.
  • The author may seek to find out the true nature of the object, comparing it and contrasting it with other objects. This essay has a clear analytical focus.
  • The author may seek to clarify the meaning of an unknown object or phenomenon by comparing it with an object or phenomenon known to a reader. This problem often arises for the teacher, wishing to explain the new term, concept, etc. through the comparison with the already studied terms, concepts, etc.

It is quite simple to choose a topic for compare and contrast essay. There are many opportunities for a comparison in all subjects. The main thing is to select something intriguing and original in order to attract the reader’s attention. If you are having difficulties choosing an interesting topic, check out the list of the most convincing compare and contrast essay topics in various subjects.

  • Compare a big college campus to a small one
  • Differences between a female friend and a male friend
  • A real holiday and a dream holiday
  • “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “God Bless the USA”
  • Compare being a teen and a kid
  • Rich and famous
  • Anorexia and bulimia
  • Compare Frye’s and Bartky’s oppression accounts
  • Differences between WWI to WWII
  • Infatuation to love
  • Living in the village to living in the city

Compare and Contrast Essay Example

Let’s look at the example of one of the compare and contrast essay topics:

Comparative analysis of theories of nation by B. Anderson and E. Gellner.

There are many assumptions about what a nation is, but I want to analyze this definition in terms of two constructivists who have dedicated their works to the study of the phenomenon of nation and nationalism.

Ernest Gellner developed the theory of nationalism, which was reflected in his book “Nations and Nationalism”. The book marked the advent of the birth of his new approach to the consideration of ethnicity, constructivism.

He states his views on the theory of nationalism in order to understand why in our time nationalism is such an important policy principle.

Since the foundation of society, by Gellner, is culture and organization, nationalism is determined either as a political principle according to which political boundaries and national units must be the same, or as a feeling of indignation caused by the violation of the principle, or satisfaction caused by its implementation. Nationalism is the product of a purely industrial society. Traditional society is characterized by the presence of many cultures, each of which is formed in its local context.

When speaking of the nation, Gellner continually stipulates that this phenomenon exists within only industrialized societies, and is the product of nationalism policy.

The basic idea of the nation is embodied in two positions nominated by E. Gellner:

  • Two people belong to one nation only if they are united by one culture, which in turn is understood as a system of ideas, symbols, relationships, behaviors, and communication.
  • Two people belong to one nation only if they recognize each other belonging to this nation. In other words, nations are made by the man; nations are the product of human beliefs, preferences, and inclinations. The usual group of people becomes a nation when members of the group recognize common rights and obligations with respect to each other by virtue of uniting their membership. It is the mutual recognition of such associations that turns them into a nation, and not the other general quality of whatever they were that separate this group from all those standing outside of it.

Before giving his definition of the concept of nation, Anderson wrote about the three paradoxes of the nation that complicate its understanding in the eyes of eminent theorists of nationalism. They consist of the following:

  • Objective present and the youth of the nation in the eyes of historians, on the one hand, and subjective antiquity in the nationalists’ eyes, on the other.
  • Nationality’s formal universality as a socio-cultural term, on the one hand, and irreparable particularity of its specific demonstrations, on the other.
  • Nationalism’s political power on the one hand, and their philosophical destitution and internal inconsistencies, on the other.

Benedict Anderson considered the nation as the imagination of the political community and imagined it as something necessarily limited, but at the same time sovereign.

Thus, having considered the views of the two constructivists, we can note that for both scientists the compulsory condition for the emergence of the nation is the industrialization of the agricultural society and capitalism. The difference is that Gellner considered nation a sort of fabrication.

Anderson speaks of a nation as a community of the imagination, a certain creation, i.e. he talks about people who are not actually united, but united with their imagination, their perception of belonging to a single nation.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Here are more examples of compare and contrast essay topics:

  • Comparative analysis of the images of the heroes of one literary work
  • Comparative characteristics of images from different works by the same author
  • Comparative characteristics of the images of literary heroes of different authors
  • A comparison of the works in terms of a theme

Photo Essay Examples

Photo-essay is a series of pictures that tell a story. It may be photos about the building or demolition of a structure, or different stages of maturation of the child. Ansel Adams was well known for his black-and-white photo essay.

A good photo-essay can maintain and even enhance the impression of the events, such as the first year of life, some trip to the coast, or autumn leaf fall in your town. Regardless of whether you want to keep the memory of the special day or create a work of art, a photo-essay is a way to turn a set of your images in a vivid story.

Photo essays can be made on various topics that include:

  • Cars
  • Horses
  • Cats
  • Houses
  • Bridges
  • Cities
  • Towers
  • Candles

Synthesis Essay Example

Synthesis essays bring together various ideas and information from multiple sources into a single unit. Writing of a synthesis essay requires the ability to classify information and present it in an organized way.

The aim of a synthesis essay is to find constructive links between parts of one work or several works with the aim, in the end, to present and prove an idea on a specific topic. In other words, when you study the topic you’re looking for links that can build a chain of conclusive evidence of a certain point of view on the topic.
There are three types of a synthesis essay:

  • Argumentative
  • Review
  • Explanatory

Let’s look at the example of an argumentative type of a synthesis essay:

About the Dangers of Smoking

Throughout the course of life, a person faces large and small obstacles. Some of the obstacles can be overcome with minimal efforts while others require willpower and a lot of effort. Smoking is a bad habit that is usually hard to overcome for many people in order to be healthy.

A man who man grabs a cigarette in any stressful situation believing that cigarette will give confidence, peace of mind, and help you find the answer to a difficult situation. But this is misleading. People should deal with difficulties themselves because a cigarette will never solve them.

Each cigarette has a huge number of various harmful substances, including nicotine, which irritates the valve between the esophagus, the stomach, and the stomach lining, so smokers often suffer from heartburn. Smoking can cause or exacerbate a headache. It has also been proven that smoking plays a major role in the development of such diseases as lung cancer and heart disease. People who smoke are more prone to chronic bronchitis than nonsmokers. These are just a few examples of diseases that affect people who smoke.

It is impossible to find any acquittal reasons for smoking. A healthy person risks making it their addiction. Quit smoking! Of course, this is easier said than done. But you have to try to overcome this obstacle, no matter how difficult it can be.