Compare-Contrast Essay


A comparison shows similarities; a contrast highlights differences.  Often, the two go hand in hand.  We use comparison/contrast daily to make decisions and choices in our lives.  We compare and contrast reviews and opinions about movies before deciding whether to see the one about a bank robbery or the one that tells a passionate love story.   We choose one History or English class over another.  After comparing the instructors and workload, one is more suited to our individual needs.  We compare the Honda CRV with the Toyota Rav-4 to decide which mini-SUV is right for our needs and the needs of our family.  We compare one presidential candidate to another to decide who will get our vote.

This assignment is a challenge for you compare/contrast

people, places, objects, events, beliefs, etc.


Assignment:        Choose two subjects.  Be sure to pull from the text to give detailed example(s), descriptions, and quotes for each. 

Purpose:                          To compare and/or contrast; lay two things side by side and evaluate them; perhaps to make a decision or come to a conclusion about the two things.

Audience:             General or specific.

Details:               The final draft of your research paper should follow the five+ paragraph format, be typed/printed/stapled/double spaced, 1000+ words in length, be written in the assigned rhetorical strategy, and include an outline, an underlined thesis statement, quotes/evidence/details from three or more sources (only one may be from the Internet), MLA in-text citations, an MLA Works Cited page, and a word count.  If your paper does not meet the above criteria, then it will not be accepted.


  1. Choose two subjects.
  1. Brainstorm ideas about these subjects.  What do you know about these subjects?  What is important for the audience to know about these subjects? Research your subjects. 
  1. Review your brainstorming.  Then, highlight the best three topics on which to compare and/or contrast your subjects. This will require you to mentally start writing your paper.  What specific examples, details, and quotes can you give for each subject? Collect these from the sources.
  1. Think of your audience.  A general audience works for this assignment, so you can just write for anyone.   However, you can choose a specific audience (elderly, teenagers, Christians, etc.).  If you do, keep your audience in mind and choose examples that would appeal to them.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline – Alternating

I.       Introduction – three prong thesis statement

  1. Topic I – ___wealth___________________________________________________

                           Subject 1 – ______real________________________________

                            Subject 2 – _______barca______________________________

  1. Topic II – _players____________________________________________________

                           Subject 1 –  _______rea______________________________

                            Subject 2 –  _______barca______________________________

  1. Topic III – ___professionalism_____________________________________

                           Subject 1 –  ________real_____________________________

                            Subject 2 – ________barca____________________________

  • Conclusion

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline – Block

  1. Introduction – three prong thesis statement
  1. Subject I – ___Real ______________________________________

                           Topic 1 – ____wealth__________________________________

                            Topic 2 – ______players_______________________________

                           Topic 3 – ______professionalism__________________________

  1. Subject II – ____barca________________________________________

                           Topic 1 – _____wealth_________________________________

                            Topic 2 – ______players______________________________

                                                Topic 3 – _______professionalism_________________________

  • Conclusion


Be yourself; be uniqueUse some imagination!


  1. Ask a peer editor to respond.  Have a classmate respond to your essay, noting its strengths and making suggestions for improvements. 
  • Use comparing/contrasting transitional words.
Although And, also, additionally As well as
But Conversely However
In like manner Nevertheless On the contrary
In contrast to In the same way Just as…so
On the other hand Similarly Too
Whereas While Yet
Both, neither Like The opposite of
The same as Unlike Contrary to

Compare/Contrast Essay Ideas

Subject For example… Subject For example…
Careers Doctor vs. Nurse Practitioner Computers Mac vs. IBM
Holidays Christmas vs. Easter Cars Honda CRV vs. Toyota Rav-4
Wars World War I vs. World War II Racing Indianapolis 500 vs. Dayton 500
Marathons Boston vs. Chicago Horse Racing Kentucky Derby vs. Belmont Stakes
Styles of Music Reggae vs. Ska Cities Boston vs. New York
Parenting styles Spock vs. Brazelton States Indiana vs. Arizona
Athletes Jordan vs. Bryant Countries U.S.A. vs. Croatia
Military Figures Grant vs. Lee Psychologists Freud vs. Jung
Poets Maya Angelou vs. Lucille Clifton Leaders MLK vs. Malcolm X
Religions Catholicism vs. Muslim Coaches John Wooden vs. Bobby Knight
Pets Golden Retriever vs. Italian Greyhound Vacations San Diego vs. Lake Tahoe
Educational Theorists Piaget vs. Thorndike Musicians Shania Twain vs. Faith Hill
Presidents Washington vs. Lincoln Writers Twain vs. Vonnegut
Cuisine Japanese vs. Chinese Majors in College History vs. English
Insurance GEICO vs. All State Concerts Woodstock ’69 vs. Woodstock ‘99
Cameras Canon vs. Panasonic Philosophers Socrates vs. Plato
Baseball Stadiums Wrigley Field vs. Yankee Stadium Football Stadiums Lambeau Field vs. Mile-High
  1. Examine two photos of the Beatles:  one from their early days when their music was sexy, fun, and innocent; and one from the later years when they produced music which was more complex and introspective.  Now listen to songs from both periods.  Compare the results.  Write an essay that attempts to answer this question:  what does the change in appearance and the change in tone of the lyrics/music say about changes in our culture at the time?
  1. Watch two films, the original and the remake, and read reviews of both movies.  Write an essay comparing and contrasting the two.  Then, agree or disagree with the critic(s).   Which version is better?  Also, what does the remake say about changes in our culture?
  1. Write an essay comparing Dracula – perhaps Bela Lugosi’s version – to Anne Rice’s modern vampire Lestat in the film Interview with a Vampire, and read reviews of both movies.  How has the image of the vampire changed to reflect modern culture?  Why?

Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas – Analogy

Heart – Pump

Brain – Computer

Wires and Electricity – The Nervous System

Wires and Electricity – Multiple Sclerosis

A person’s life – A book

River – Mother

A person – A city

A person – A parade

Professional football – Warfare

An adult’s home – A castle

Life – Party

Life – Football Game

Camera – Eye

Writing – Composing

New York City Street – Battlefield

Backpacker – Kangaroo

Music – Language

Animals – United States Presidents

Marriage – Driving

A blind date – A surprise package

A child’s room – A kingdom

Mind – Eye

Dance Hall – Church

Home – Country

Lawyers – Basketball players


Name of Student

Name of Professor

English 101 Paper

11 December 2024.


  1. Introduction – overview of the two teams

Thesis statement: Barcelona is a better team than Real Madrid in terms of style of play, performance, and professionalism.

  1. Style of Play

                           Subject 1 – Barcelona: tactful, coordinated and efficient

                           Subject 2 –Real Madrid: skills are not consistent

  1. Performance

                           Subject 1 –Barcelona: high level of performance

                           Subject 2 – Real Madrid: Equally good but has fallen back slightly

  1. Professionalism

                           Subject 1 – Barcelona: Exhibits high degree of professionalism

Subject 2 –Real Madrid: Its extent in professionalism is diminished.

  • Conclusion

Barcelona versus Real Madrid

It is a well-known and undisputed fact that both Barcelona and Real Madrid, both hailing from Spain, are among the best soccer teams in the world. In addition to that, both teams have exhibited exemplary performances and unprecedented successes in major football tournaments like UEFA Champions League. However, many soccer fanatics more often than not argue about which of the two teams is the best. In addressing this issue, the most crucial factors to consider include style of play, performance, and professionalism among players. Based on these factors, Barcelona is a better team than Real Madrid.

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To begin with, style of play is evidently crucial when it comes to soccer. Thus, it should be put into consideration whenever one attempts to determine the success of a soccer club. In light of this, Barcelona as a team has been known to use a tactic known as “tiki-taka”. It involves short passes and coordinated movements together with efforts to direct the ball through diverse channels to ensure maximum ball possession at all times. Although seemingly simple, the tactic takes a lot of practice, patience, and resilience to perfect. It focuses mainly on keeping the ball away from opponents while simultaneously creating goal-scoring opportunities. At Barcelona, this tactic has become an area of tremendous success. For instance, it contributed to the team’s aggressive march towards victory in the 2008-2009 UEFA Champions League and in 2009 when the team bagged a total of six trophies followed by the UEFA Super Cup. On the other hand, Real Madrid’s most dominant tactic involve the use of power, speed, and counterattacks (Ball 73). They are however inconsistent in terms of embracing a particular style of play due to the constant changes in the club’s management. Each new manager introduces a slightly different variant of this tactic. Currently, the club’s tactic involves a 4-3-3 formation which accords the team the advantage of having key players getting the ball in deep positions while offering increased mobility for other players to attack in the search for goal-scoring opportunities. Nevertheless, Barcelona’s style is way better than Real Madrid’s since it deviates from conventional aspects of attacks and counterattacks by focusing on a systemic approach based on team unity.

Secondly, performance in terms of successes serves as an excellent framework based on which two teams can be compared and contrasted. Both teams have shown great success from the time of their inception until today. For instance, by the 1990s, Real Madrid had dominated Spanish football having won 24 La Liga trophies and 6 Champions League tournaments as compared to Barcelona who had only won 10 La Liga tournaments. Despite this spectacular performance in previous years, Real Madrid has fallen back (McManaman and Edworthy 105). The odds have since shifted in recent times, and Barcelona is currently the indomitable force in Spanish and European football having won 5 Champions League titles and 13 La Liga titles ahead of Real Madrid’s 8 La Liga trophies and 4 Champions League victories. It would be correct to conclude that both teams exhibit a high level of performance as seen in their history of successes. However, unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona has improved its spectacular record over the years. It emerges as the better of the two because of the way it has strived to maintain its tempo in a winning streak that has greatly contributed to its dominant position in Spanish and European soccer.

Crossing over to the issue of professionalism among soccer players, a lot can be said about the degree to which the two teams differ. To begin with, Barcelona has been known to maintain a profession-based brand which is built on unity and dignity. It has traditionally maintained exceptional, well-trained players who hail from the club’s youth training academy, La Masia. Prolific players such as Lionel Messi and Andre Iniesta are among the world-class soccer icons to have emerged from the academy. Moreover, a majority of players in Barcelona have been nurtured from local clubs; thus, they are familiar with the operations of the club. This approach enhances professionalism in that the players know what is expected of them by management in terms of goals. Barcelona’s high level of professionalism was recognized when three of its players: Messi, Xavi, and Iniesta were chosen as the three world’s best players during the FIFA Ballon D’or Awards in 2010. On the other hand, Real Madrid has a tendency to buy players rather than nurture and establish their brand of talent. As one of the wealthiest clubs in soccer history, Real Madrid possesses an advantage over Barcelona in that it is unquestionably guaranteed to secure numerous player signings each season. Despite the vast differences between players in the two soccer clubs, both have excellent players who exude stupendous footballing skills. That said, the power of home-grown talent at Barcelona makes the club better than Real Madrid in terms of professionalism.

In conclusion, Barcelona is the ideal soccer team today, and it will go down in history as the greatest football club that ever existed. In terms of all three issues discussed in this essay, the club easily emerges by far better than its local archrival, Real Madrid. Although Real Madrid comes out as an equally strong team in terms of tactics employed, Barcelona’s excellence in terms of consistent use of skill, technique, and teamwork to optimize performance is unrivalled. Moreover, all Barcelona players show a higher degree of professional development than their Real Madrid counterparts. The interplay of these variable is what constitutes a great team. For this reason, Barcelona is not only better than Real Madrid, but it is also the best football club in the history of the game.

Works Cited

Ball, Phil. White Storm: The Story of Real Madrid. London: Random House, 2003. Print.

McManaman, Steve and Edworthy, Sarah. El Macca: Four Years with Real Madrid. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004. Print.

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