Comparison Essay Topics

Comparison essays highlight the similarities and differences between two topics or issues. In many instances, writers will use a comparison essay to take a stance on an issue and prove why one option is superior to another.

Political Topics

Political issues are fantastic topics for comparison essays. There’s a reason Congress votes “Yay” or “Nay” on bills — there are two sides to any issue. Here are some specific ideas:

  • Choose a bill that has been in the news recently. Compare and contrast the current law with the changes that would be made if the bill was passed.
  • Compare and contrast two political parties: Democrats vs. Republicans, Libertarian vs. Republicans, Green vs. Democrat, or other third-parties.
  • Discuss two candidates in an upcoming election. Compare and contrast their positions on important ballot issues.

Literary Topics

This one is all about your English teacher. Choose a literary subject for your comparison essay, such as:

  • Choose two books with similar themes. Compare and contrast how the author expresses these themes. For example: Dystopian novels – 1984 vs. Fahrenheit 451; feminist literature – Joyce Carol Oates vs. Margaret Atwood; or psychological fiction – The Turn of the Screw by Henry James vs. The Body Artist by Don Delillo.
  • Compare and contrast two different poetic structures
  • Compare and contrast the lives of two writers from a similar time period

Historical Topics

History is a great topic for a comparison essay; much of what has happened throughout history has represented two sides of the same history. For example:

  • Compare and contrast Greek and Roman civilizations
  • Discuss the merits of both sides of a recent civil war or armed conflict
  • Examine the methods and effects of colonialism among different European nations