13 Compare and Contrast Thesis Examples to Inspire You

Creative geniuses cannot create their masterpieces until they’re inspired. Perhaps you’re that creative genius who simply hasn’t been inspired to write a thesis statement to help focus your thoughts for your upcoming compare and contrast essay.

Perhaps you don’t fancy yourself a creative genius at all. Maybe you’re more of a major procrastinator who’s only now inspired to write a thesis statement because the clock is ticking and by this time tomorrow, you need a complete essay.

Whatever your reason(s) for looking for help, you’ve come to the right place. Before those 13 compare and contrast thesis examples that will (hopefully) inspire you to write your next essay, though, let’s do a quick recap on this essay type.

What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

If you have to write a compare and contrast essay and are struggling to figure out how turn a set of assignment guidelines into an actual essay, here are a few tips that can put you on the right track.

compare and contrast thesis examples

The name of the essay pretty much tells you what you’ll be doing: comparing and contrasting things or ideas. Sounds easy enough, right?

It can be fairly easy to construct a compare and contrast essay. The key to writing a successful essay is to choose the right points to compare and contrast and to tie them all together with a strong thesis statement.

Need a little help with the basics of the compare and contrast essay? Take a look at these two posts:

Now that you have a clear understanding of how to write a compare and contrast essay, let’s move on to those thesis statement examples.

13 Compare and Contrast Thesis Examples to Inspire You

The thesis statement provides a roadmap to the rest of your essay, so it’s important that you take the time to craft a thesis statement that tells readers the focus of your paper.

Remember: Readers should be able to read your thesis (without reading the rest of your paper) and understand the intended focus of your paper. If your thesis doesn’t do this, it’s time to revise.

Also, compare and contrast essays can take different approaches. Some require you to focus on primarily similarities (or differences). But others require you to focus on both. Check your assignment guidelines to see which type of compare and contrast essay you need to write.

With these points in mind, let’s take a look at 13 compare and contrast thesis statement examples to get you started with your essay.

I’ve included a broad topic for each thesis statement and divided the lists into general comparisons and literary comparisons. I’ve also linked each of the topics to a related example essay for extra inspiration.

Stuck on Your Essay?
Check Out These Example Compare and Contrast Essays

6 compare and contrast thesis examples (general comparisons)

Topic #1 How does culture and tradition impact student achievement?

Example thesis: In both Japan and the United States, cultural expectations greatly influence academic achievement in high school students.

Topic #2 What are the differences between high school and college?

Example thesis: While there a number of differences between high school and college, one of the most important is the level of emotional maturity required for success.

compare and contrast thesis examples

Topic #3 Which parenting style is most effective?

Example thesis: While authoritative and permissive parenting are seemingly complete opposites, they have one key similarity: parents who practice both parenting styles encourage their children to make their own decisions.

Topic #4 How have gender roles changed throughout history?

Example thesis: On the surface, it may seem as though women’s roles have changed drastically throughout history; however, a comparison of various eras illustrates how women are still repressed and shamed, especially in sexual expression and behavior.

Topic #5 What are the differences between brands of soda?

Example thesis: Even though many people cannot tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi, there are distinct differences in taste, nutritional content, and advertising.

Topic #6 How do classic movie genres compare to current genres?

Example thesis: While classic musicals used musical numbers to showcase artists, current musicals rely on musical numbers to advance the plot.

Interested in a learning a few more tips for analyzing films? Read How to Analyze a Movie for Dramatic Effect.

compare and contrast thesis examples

7 compare and contrast thesis examples (literary comparisons)

Topic #7 How is the theme of oppression portrayed in literature?

Example thesis: Though the plot lines in A Doll’s House and Animal Farm differ greatly, the two share a core theme: oppression.

Topic #8 How are the themes of political and social power struggles portrayed in literature?

Example thesis: The Kite Runner and The Handmaid’s Tale both utilize political and social power struggles to advance the plot and illustrate the core themes.

Looking for more help analyzing dystopian literature, such as The Handmaid’s Tale? Check out What 4 Popular Dystopian Novels Have in Common (and How To Write About Them).

Topic #9 How do characters define fate and free will in literature?

Example thesis: Harry Potter and Never Let Me Go both examine the notion of whether characters have free will or are destined to live out their fates.

Topic #10 How does poetry explore identity?

Example thesis: The poems “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks and “My Papa’s Waltz” by Theodore Roethke both explore the struggles young people face while developing their identities.

Want a little more assistance analyzing poetry? Read How to Analyze a Poem and Sound Smart Doing It.

Topic #11 What role do animals play in classic children’s stories and fables?

Example thesis: While many classic children’s stories include animal characters that are helpful to the protagonist, both Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood portray animals that present a danger to the protagonist.

compare and contrast thesis examples

Topic #12 How does literature address the concept of The American Dream?

Example thesis: The failed pursuit of The American Dream is a prominent theme used to define the protagonists in both The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman.

Topic #13 In what ways is the theme of alienation portrayed in literature?

Example thesis: The negative effects of alienation are central themes of both Flowers for Algernon and Catcher in the Rye.

More Compare and Contrast Essay Help

Inspired by one of compare and contrast thesis examples to write a masterpiece but having a hard time writing your own thesis? Read How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement.

Perhaps your muse has not yet inspired you with the perfect topic (or thesis) for your paper. That’s okay. One of these 70 compare and contrast essay topics might just spark your creative genius.

If you have a few ideas for your paper but would like to see a finished essay (complete with annotations explaining what the essays do well) check out 2 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Worth Emulating.

Finally, have a bunch of ideas swirling around in your head but still don’t know what to do with them? Try this compare and contrast essay outline to help beat writer’s block.

Already drafted your paper and compared it to the example essays? Are you now questioning whether your writing is truly a masterpiece? Let a Kibin editor help make sure your paper reflects your true genius!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.