Choosing Compare And Contrast Essay Topics For 8th Graders

A compare and contrast essay is a great essay for this age group because it is fairly easy to teach due to the fact that there is a definite structure and it uses information that you can get from research so there isn’t a lot of subjective thinking involved which is more difficult for this age group. This type of essay challenges the student to use critical thinking skills which need to be developed because this type of thinking is used throughout their scholastic career and in their life.

The most difficult part of writing a compare and contrast essay is to decide on a topic. This is extremely difficult for middle school students but with a little guidance, it can be done. There are many different ways they can go about finding a topic:

  • Choose a topic that is appropriate for the course it is being written in – This will narrow down the choices considerably. If this is for a history class they can compare and contrast something from history such as comparing wars, or presidents, or states. They can be narrowed down further by having the topics pertain to whatever subject they are currently studying. If they are doing this for an English class, maybe the topics can come from comparing books, or television shows or movies.
  • Choose a topic that interests the student – If the student is a sports nut, they may find it interesting to compare two different professional athletes, or compare different sports. If you allow the student to choose a topic that he is interested in, he may do a much better job.
  • Choose something you know your peers will be interested in – It can be anything as long as you can make it interesting. You can compare Coke to Pepsi if you want. The more interesting you can make it, the more fun you will have creating it and the more fun it will be for the reader to read it.

In any type of essay you are writing, the topic is the most important part. In a compare and contrast essay, you need to decide on two topics. Once you decide on a topics, the rest of the essay is just a matter of following a particular format and organizing the essay with an outline so you can make your essay flow well and it can be easily understood by your reader.