Comparative Essay Topics Handout

  1. Cash vs. Credit
  2. Fracking vs. Solar Power
  3. Recycling vs. Landfill
  4. Electric Cars vs. Hybrid Cars
  5. Renting vs. Owning
  6. Online Education vs. Traditional Education
  7. Paper Bags vs. Plastic Bags
  8. Friends vs. Family
  9. Antique/Used vs. New
  10. Offense vs. Defense
  11. Marriage vs. Civil unions
  12. Baseball vs. Football (comparison of other sports)
  13. Vacation vs. Staycation (staying at home)
  14. Childhood vs. Adulthood
  15. Infatuation vs. Love
  16. Talking vs. Texting
  17. Parental Influence vs. Peer Influence
  18. Toddlers vs. Teenagers
  19. Rural Living vs. Urban Living
  20. Eating Out vs. Eating at Home


Write a 750-1000-word essay about a pair of items in which the similarities and differences of those items are compared and contrasted in the style described within Unit III. Please note that the Comparative Essay Final will be due in Unit IV of this course. However, you should complete the entire paper in this draft and do your best work as you will have more applicable feedback from which to make changes to your essay for the final draft.

Purpose: Throughout Unit III, we have discussed the conventions of the comparative essay. The purpose of this assignment is to measure your mastery of those conventions by putting your knowledge into practice. In a larger context, the purpose of writing a comparative essay is to gain the skills of detecting similarities and differences between at least two items and then using those similarities and differences to create knowledge about either one or both of the items. In this way, the comparative essay is a tool used for both observation and analysis.

Process: For the comparative essay, you will complete the following steps:

  1. Choose a pair of topics that complement one another: See the suggested list of topics in the “Comparative Essay Topics Handout” below in the supplemental documents portion of these instructions.
  2. Create a list of similarities and differences: See Unit III, Lesson 2, for more instruction about how to create a list.
  3. Create a thesis statement based on similarities, differences, or both similarities and differences: See Unit III, Lesson 3, for more information about how to create a thesis statement.
  4. Choose whether to organize your essay by point or by subject: For an essay organized by point, see Unit III, Lesson 4, and the “Comparative Essay Example: Essay Organized by Point” below. For an essay organized by subject, see Unit III, Lesson 5, and the “Comparative Essay Example: Essay Organized by Subject” below.
  5. Consult the “Comparative Essay: Final Self-Check List” below before submission.

Stylistic details: All essays must meet the following requirements:

 750-1000 words.

 Write in Times New Roman, 12 pt. font.

 Include one-inch margins on all sides.

 Use double spacing (top-to-bottom every page, to include above and below titles and centered words).

 Include an APA title page (for all essays) and reference list that includes all of the sources used in the essay.

 Include a header.

 Include page numbers (upper-right corner only).

EH 1010, English Composition I 3

 Adhere to APA convention and documentation style (See the CSU citation guide for assistance.).

 At least one source is required. All sources used must be cited.

The following documents will assist you in creating this assignment:

 Comparative Essay Topics Handout


 Comparative Essay Self-check List

 Comparative Essay Example: Essay Organized by Subject


 Comparative Essay Example: Essay Organized by Point