Academic Guide to Comparison Essay: Structure, Topics, Examples

comparison essay

Comparison essay is a common assignment for school and college students. Children start writing comparison essay at elementary school, comparing some simple things like winter and summer. At college they already do deep analysis and compare, for example, political achievements of two former presidents of the USA. This article will be your full guide into the world of comparison essay. Enjoy!

What Is Comparison Essay?

what is comparison essay

The goal of the comparison essay is to contrast two subjects, people, phenomena, ways of doing something etc. There are different variations of this essay depending on the task your professor assigned you.

  • comparative essay (you focus on common features of two items, phenomena etc.),
  • contrasting essay (identify features that are different)
  • compare and contrast essay (mix of comparative and contrasting essay).

Students often ask me “What is the goal of comparative essay?” The answer is not simple: it depends on the items you compare in your essay. For example, if we are talking about the topic “Comparison of Marketing strategies of Unilever and L’oreal”, it is clear that the goal is to identify how marketing strategy influences the activity of each company. If it is the topic “English: American, Australian, British”, the goal is to demonstrate how those three languages were formed, how they are similar and different in terms of pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. If it is “Being an only child vs Having siblings”, the goal may be to formulate your own point of view on the topic.

Comparison Essay Structure

The most popular comparison essay structure is so called point-by-point. Santa Barbara city college gives alternative methods of essay structuring. Make sure to check and select the most convenient for you.


How to start a comparison essay? Every essay starts with an introduction. You should present the topic for your readers and try to attract their attention. Read several tips below that will help you to make your readers super interested in the topic:

  • Underline the importance of comparison of two subjects, phenomena, persons
  • Doubt a well-known fact about these two things, people, phenomena
  • State that difference/similarities of these two things, people, phenomena are a matter of discussion of professionals


Body contains the most important information of your comparison essay. In this part you cover similarities/differences of objects.

Body consists of several paragraphs, each being a difference or similarity. Make sure to plan an order of similarities/differences in your essay and provide clear connections between them.


The final part of your essay – conclusion – has a different purpose. You are to summarize main ideas of the body and underline the importance of the issue you have covered.

You could state how the outcomes of your essay may be useful in practice, it will also add value to your comparison essay and definitely impress your professor.

Comparison Essay Outline


  • Attract readers’ attention
  • Discuss how two objects of comparison are related
  • Explain why the topic is interesting for you
  • Explain why these two objects are worth comparing


  • First aspect that is different or similar
  • Second detail that is different or similar
  • Third detail that is different or similar


  • Summary of the body
  • Mention how your outcomes may be valuable

Comparison Essay Outline Example

Online education vs In-class education


Nowadays, parents, students and professors often discuss what is the most effective way of studying : online or offline? I am also a student and would like to compare these types of education in terms of their influence on students’ performance.


  • Offline vs online mode
  • Evaluation of online and in-class education
  • Concentration while studying online vs in class


My personal opinion is the following: understanding of study materials  is much better if you are present in class. It is also easier to evaluate student’s performance while being physically present. However, studies show that student’s concentration is better if he/she studies online.

Overall, in-class education system appears to be more efficient.

 List of Topics For Comparison Essay

comparison essay topics

Popular topics for comparison essay

  • Political system in France and USA
  • Globalization in 20 and in 21 centuries
  • Comparison of Russian and French art
  • Comparison of different dialects of Chinese language
  • Master in Management or MBA
  • Go to college or start working?
  • Teleworking or Office 10-19?
  • Legislation system in UK and Mexico
  • Parliament election in France and USA
  • Argumentative essay or Research paper
  • Stereotypes about inhabitants of New York and Los Angeles
  • Interesting job or well-paid job
  • Media in USA and China
  • Young leaders vs Experienced leaders
  • Auto industry in USA and in Germany
  • TV and printed media as the sources of information
  • Royal families in UK and Morocco
  • Online dating vs Real dating
  • Comparison of P&G and Unilever
  • Working for start-up or working for a big corporation

Interesting topics for comparison essay

  • Cost leadership and Differentiation strategy
  • Mass marketing vs Target marketing
  • Traditional medicine vs Experimental medicine
  • Academic career vs Professional career
  • Going to the gym or Playing sports
  • Casual style vs Office style
  • Non-fiction reading vs Fiction reading
  • Bringing up a girl vs Bringing up a boy
  • Asian mentality vs European mentality
  • Sexual harassment issues in USA and Brazil
  • Formal language vs Informal language
  • Math education vs Economics education
  • Health care in developed and developing world
  • Psychology vs Psychiatry
  • How I met your mother and Friends: comparison of TV series
  • Sales and Marketing: differences and similarities of two business functions
  • Private banking vs Premium banking
  • Import and Import substitution
  • Being a freelancer vs Being a full-time worker

Comparison essay topics for college students

  • Growing up in a traditional family vs growing up in a gay family
  • Market Penetration vs Market development
  • Uber vs Traditional taxi services
  • Microeconomics and Macroeconomics
  • NAFTA vs EU as integration groups
  • Audit vs Consulting as business functions
  • Presidential republic vs Parliamentary republic
  • Industrial and post-industrial society
  • Democratic party vs Republican party
  • Multiple regression analysis vs Single regression analysis
  • Going to the cinema vs Going to the theater
  • Reading news online vs Reading newspapers
  • Economy of Brazil vs Economy of Argentina
  • Machine-learning vs Artificial intelligence
  • Political capital vs Cultural capital (baed on example of different countries)
  • Corporate university or working with training company: ways to upgrade employees’ skills
  • Christianity vs Islam
  • Traditional advertising vs advertising on social networks
  • Mass cinematography vs Commercial cinematography

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