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Compare And Contrast Expository Essay Prompts

The ability to provide information in different contexts is essential to effective communication. Students must practice expository writing throughout their academic careers. The sooner they start, the better. Below are some descriptive, sequential, compare and contrast, cause and effect, and problem/solution writing prompts to help you give your students the practice they need.

Descriptive

  1. Write an essay describing your school to a potentially new student.
  2. Write an essay describing the appeal of reality TV shows.
  3. Write an essay describing a rainy night.
  4. Write an essay describing your first pet.
  5. Write an essay describing your first memory.
  6. It’s Christmas morning and there is a package under the tree containing exactly what you requested. Describe the contents of your package..
  7. Write an essay describing how you feel when you wake up and discover snow on the ground outside — and school has been cancelled.

Sequential

  1. Writing an essay explaining the process you use to style your hair in the morning.
  2. You have invited your two best friends to spend the afternoon at your home. Write an essay telling how your prepare for their visit.
  3. Everyone has lost something at one time or another. Write an essay telling what you did to find what you had lost.
  4. Describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  5. Tell how you wash your hair.
  6. Describe the plot of your favorite book.

Compare and Contrast

  1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting ownership of cats and dogs.
  2. Compare and contrast this year in school to last year.
  3. Compare and contrast your two favorite characters.
  4. Compare and contrast your family’s home and the home of your dreams.
  5. Compare and contrast a typical day in your life today and what you think a typical day in your life will be like when you are 25.
  6. Compare and contrast your two favorite teachers.

Cause and Effect

  1. Write an essay telling how peer pressure has affected you this year.
  2. Write an essay explaining what causes students to drop out of high school.
  3. Discuss the causes and effects of bullying in schools.
  4. Discuss the causes and effects of poverty in rural (urban) areas.
  5. Discuss the causes and effects of drug or alcohol use on families.

Problem/Solution

  1. Most students do not read or watch news, resulting in a lack of knowledge about the world outside of their immediate neighborhood. Write an essay describing why this is a problem and telling how this problem might be solved.
  2. Think about the community in which you live. What could you do to make it a better place? Choose one problem that needs to be solved to make your community a better place to live. Write a letter to the editor describing how solving this problem would make your community a better place, and tell what you would do. Give reasons why you think your plan would work.
  3. Think about what you could do to make your school more beautiful. Think about how you would do this. How could you persuade the people in your school that your idea is a good one? Write a letter to the principal of your school asking for support for your plan for making your school more beautiful. Tell what you would do and how you would do it. Explain why you think your plan is important and why it would work.
  4. Think about animal abuse. Some people abuse animals by being intentionally cruel to them or neglecting their basic needs; others abuse animals out of ignorance. Think about what could be done to prevent both kinds of animal abuse. Write a letter to leaders in your community describing how you would solve this problem, and how treating animals better would improve the lives of animals and people. Explain why you think your plan will work.

I am a secondary English Language Arts teacher, a University of Oklahoma graduate student, and a NBPTS candidate. I am constantly seeking ways to amplify my students’ voices and choices.

Filed Under: PedagogyTagged With: expository writing prompts

Finding Interesting Compare & Contrast Essay Topic Ideas

A compare/contrast essay is one where you either compare two things or contrast two things. You are tasked with finding the similarities and the differences between two things and presenting them in an organized fashion to the reader. Your goal is to create which of the similarities and/or differences are the most important and which are the least important. You can choose to present them in a handful of ways.

One way to present your information is to explain all the details about one thing and then all the details about the other. Another way to present the information is to list each similarity or difference in order of most important to least important or vice versa. So using the same topic as above your paper would have one paragraph that explains the childhoods of both inventors. The next paragraph would cover their education and the final paragraph would focus on their contributions.

You can write a paper on almost any two things including but not limited to:

  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts two of your favorite characters
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts two places that you have visited or two places that you want to visit
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts two or more activities
  • Different sports
  • Write a paper addressing different teaching methods
  • Different leadership methods
  • Write a paper addressing different management styles
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts different advertising techniques
  • Different computer programs
  • Write a paper addressing different ways to protect children
  • Different eating habits
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts different exercise routines
  • Different ways to get around a city
  • Write a paper addressing different places to live
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts different homes in which to live
  • Different ways to study
  • Different ways to read
  • Write a paper addressing different ways of listening
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts different communication methods
  • Different coaching methods
  • Write a paper addressing different tutoring styles
  • Different purchasing habits
  • Books versus movies
  • Two social media networks
  • Public transportation versus private transportation
  • Flying versus train travel
  • Coffee versus tea
  • Poetry versus prose
  • Two seasons
  • Two desserts
  • Fiction versus nonfiction
  • Two flowers
  • Two wars
  • Books versus movies
  • Two seasons
  • Two lighting styles
  • Two cameras
  • Two designers
  • Two colleges
  • Two tests
  • Two teams
  • A paper that compares and/or contrasts different ways of dressing