Comparison Essay

Comparison Essay

In comparison essay writing, you are asked to make a reasonable comparison between two or more objects. The basic idea of this essay type is to use similarities and dissimilarities between two selected objects, ideas, things or phenomena to establish a certain approach. College and universities encourage students to do comparison essay writing. Before you are assigned to write a comparison essay, learn how to structure a comparison essay, select comparison essay topics and make the essay a pleasant experience for the readers.

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What examiner seeks in comparison essay writing?

Before you attempt writing a comparison essay, you should concentrate on knowing what an examiner looks for while marking your comparison essay — whether you have appreciated and explored the

  1. Ideas
  2. Approach and tone
  3. Structure and form.

When answering a comparison essay question, you should keep these three criteria in your mind. Here we elaborate the guidelines to fulfill the three criteria mentioned-above. Let’s start with ideas/topics.

  1. Comparison Essay Topics

Unlike the other essay types, comparison essay allows you to have fun with interesting topics. Here are 15 comparison essay topic suggestions that you are welcome to use as a reference while selecting comparison essay topics. As you look through the list, you will find that some of them are academic-based topics while the rest of them encourage interesting and fun writing activities.

  • High School vs College
  • Book vs Movie
  • Greek vs Roman mythology
  • Jazz vs Classical music
  • Two stages of a person’s life
  • The car you own and the car you dream to own
  • Harry Potter - on the page and on the screen
  • The influence of music and the influence of books
  • Being afraid against being bored
  • Being rich over being famous
  • Your happiest day and your saddest day
  • Plato and Socrates
  • Private universities vs public universities
  • Take away food vs home cooked food
  • Astronomy or Astrology

This is how comparison essay topics should look like.

  1. Approach and Tone:

Let’s move to the next element of comparison essay writing.

In order to write a successful comparison essay, use the following action plans to build your content.

  • Choose two subjects/objects/things that have some basic similarities and differences
  • Identify the key features and form the juxtapositions of differences and groups of similarities
  • Choose one or two ways to organize your ideas.

There are many ways to organize your compare/contrast essay. Here are the two most popular techniques to use in comparison essay writing.

  1. Subject-by-subject:

In this technique, you need to state your theme in the introduction paragraph. Say everything about the first subject you are discussing in the first body paragraph. Then move on and make all the points you want to make about the second subject. You mainly write two paragraphs about each subject while discussing the same points for each subject.

Here is an example of a comparison essay on a topic, Basketball vs Soccer, by using subject-by-subject technique.


While professional basketball and soccer may seem like two very different sports, it is important to note that they have quite similar attributes in them.


Despite the fact that basketball and soccer have a few similarities, they are two very different games.

Main body paragraph 1:

Dissimilarities: Basketball is played with a ball and in timed quarters. The object of this game is to penetrate opponent’s territory and score within the rectangular field. It is one of the most popular sports in USA. Soccer is played with the feet. In soccer, ball is kicked into a net and defended by goalie. (Expand these differences in writing).

  • Main body Paragraph 2:

Similarities: Similar to basketball, soccer is also played with a ball in timed halves. Within the rectangular field, both the teams play with the object of penetrating the opponent team and score. (Expand the idea in your language)

  • Conclusion:

Soccer and basketball have very few similarities, even though they are both played using balls within the rectangular fields. However, despite their similarities, they are very different to one another. (Expand the idea through your words)

  1. Point-by-point:

The main points must apply equally to both items. In a comparison essay created using point-by-point technique, the author takes up each comparison point and discusses the same selected attributes for both the objects. Here is an example to clear any confusion you are having.

Let’s take a comparison essay topic,

High School vs College

While writing a comparison essay on High school vs College using the point-by-point technique, you need to identify major points that both subjects have. In this case, you might want to decide on the following three points,

  • Cost of high school and college
  • Workload in high school and college
  • Social aspects of high school and college.


In the introduction part, you start by saying how high school and college is contradictory to one another. Despite being both educational stages, high school and college provide very different experience.

Main Body Paragraph 1:

Major Point - Cost

Topic Sentence: College is more costly compared to high school, in terms of tuition and living expenses.


  • Tuitions: $1,500 - $2,000 per term
  • Must pay for residence, rent and other accommodation

High School:

  • Tuitions: Comparably lower than college fees. Don’t have to pay tuitions if the school is funded by the government
  • Don’t need to pay for resident fees or any other accommodation as you are living at home.

Main Body Paragraph 2:

Major Point - Workload

Topic Sentence: The workload in college is far more challenging than in high school.


  • More assignments (average 3-5 per week)
  • More time and effort needed to accomplish those assignments
  • Assignments worth greater percentage of final grade

High School:

  • Fewer assignments (1-3 per week)
  • Less time and effort needed to be put in finishing the assignments
  • Assignments carry lower percentage of final grades

Main Body Paragraph 3:

Major Point - Social aspects

Topic Sentence: In college, you are given the chance to engage yourself in more activities, sports and clubs than in high school


  • Can play for various sports teams and make use of athletic facilities that college has to offer you
  • Can enjoy nightlife by attending the on-campus pubs
  • Can get to know fellow students by variant social activities.

High School:

  • There are only few teams that high schools boasts
  • There are no on-campus pubs at high school because too many students are underage
  • In order to meet, a variety of students must participate in activities outside the classroom.

Concluding Paragraph:

When college and high school is compared in terms of financial, academic and social aspects, you can clearly see college is more costly, more academically challenging and more socially stimulating than in high school environment.

  1. Structure and Format

Here is an outline of comparison essay using point-by-point. You can use this comparison outline as your reference while starting with a comparison essay.

Let’s say, you have selected two objects for comparison essay writing: A and B

  1. Point-by-point:


Introduce two subjects A and B, which are being compared and contrasted. And also include the overview of the theme.

  • Thesis Statement
  • Point #1
  • Point #2
  • Point #3

Main Body:

More detailed explanations of points with alternating discussion of Subject A and Subject B

Subject A – Point 1

  • Supporting Details
  • Example

Subject B – Point 1

  • Supporting Details
  • Example

Subject A – Point 2

  • Supporting Details
  • Example

Subject B – Point 2

  • Supporting Details
  • Example

Subject A – Point 3

  • Supporting Details
  • Example

Subject B – Point 3

  • Supporting Details
  • Example


  1. Subject-by-subject

The comparison essay topic is, Herald’s new coverage (subject 1) vs Beacon news coverage (subject 2).


Introduce everything about Subject 1 and Subject 2 and let your readers know the purpose of writing this comparison essay.

Main Body Paragraph 1:

Everything about Subject 1

Herald’s news coverage

  • International
  • National
  • Local

Main Body Paragraph 2:

Everything about Subject 2

Beacon’s new coverage

  • International
  • National
  • Local


Lastly conclude by saying despite the dissimilarities of Subject 1 and Subject 2, both the subjects have their own qualities and attributes of their own.

Things to remember while writing a comparison essay

  • Give your comparison essay a thorough read before handing it in
  • Whatever organization style you follow, let know your examiner about it by writing it at the top of the comparison essay paper
  • Ensure that your comparison essay is complete with the given requirements
  • Check spelling and grammar of the comparison essay.

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