Comparison and Contrast Essay (Essay 1)

From Chapter 7, Page 243, 40 Model Essays.

Select one of the following topics for an essay developed by comparison and contrast. Be sure to choose a topic you care about..


1. Two jobs you have held

2. Two experiences with discrimination

3. Your own version of an event you witnessed or participated in and someone else's view of the same event (perhaps a friend's or a reporter's)


4. Your relationships with two friends

5. Someone before and after marriage or the birth of a child

6. Two or more candidates for public office

7. Two relatives

Places and Things

8. A place as it is now and as it was years ago

9. Public and private transportation

10. Contact lenses and glasses

11. Two towns or cities

Art and Entertainment

12. The work of two artists or writers, or two works by the same person

13. Movies or television today and when you were a child

14. A high-school sports game and a professional game in the same sport

15. The advertisements on two very different Web sites

Education and Ideas

16. Talent and skill

17. Learning and teaching

18. Your study method and that of a classmate

19. A humanities course and a science or mathematics course

Definition and Example Essay (Essay 2)

From Chapter 8, Page 276, 40 Model Essays.

Select one of the following topics for an essay developed by definition. Be sure to choose a topic you care about.

Personal Qualities

1. Ignorance

2. Selflessness or selfishness

3. Loyalty or disloyalty

4. Responsibility

5. Hypocrisy

Experiences and Feelings

6. A nightmare

7. A good teacher, coach, parent, or friend

8. Religious faith

9. A good joke or a tasteless joke

10. Freedom

11. Success or failure

12. An emotion such as fear, excitement, or shame

Social Concerns

13. Poverty

14. Education

15. Domestic violence

16. Substance abuse

17. Feminism

18. Prejudice

Art and Entertainment

19. Jazz or some other kind of music

20. A good novel, movie, or television program

Cause and Effect Essay (Essay 3)

From Chapter 9, Page 315, 40 Model Essays.

Select one of the following questions for an essay developed by analyzing causes or effects. The question you choose should concern a topic you care about.

People and Their Behavior

1. Why is a past or present politician, athlete, police officer; or fire fighter considered a hero?

2. Why does a sound body contribute to a sound mind?

3. Why is a particular friend or relative always getting into trouble?

4. Why do people root for the underdog?

5. How does a person's alcohol or drug dependency affect others?


6. At what age should a person start working for pay, and why?

7. What effects do you expect your education to have on your choice of career and your performance in it?

8. What effect has the job market had on you and your friends?

9. Why would a man or a woman enter a field that has traditionally been filled by the opposite sex, such as nursing or engineering?

Art and Entertainment

10. How has the Internet changed the music industry?

11. What makes a professional sports team succeed in a new city?

12. Why is (or was) a particular television show, movie, or Web site so popular?

Contemporary Issues

13. Why does the United States spend so much money on health care?

14. How can a long period of involuntary unemployment affect a person?

15. Is a college education worth the expense?

16. Why do marriages between teenagers fail more often than marriages between people in other age groups?

17. Why might someone resort to a public act of violence, such as bombing a building?

Argument Essay (Essay 4)

From Chapter 10, Page 377, 40 Model Essays.

Select one of the following statements and support or refute it in an argumentative essay. The statement you choose should concern a topic you care about.

Popular Culture

1. Pornographic magazines and films should be banned.

2. Advertisements serve useful purposes.

3. Music recordings should be labeled if their lyrics contain violent or sexual references.

4. Professional athletes should not be allowed to compete in the Olympics.

Health and Technology

5. Terminally ill people should have the right to choose when to die.

6. Private automobiles should be restricted in cities.

7. Laboratory experiments on dogs, cats, and primates are necessary.

8. Smoking should be banned in all public places, including outdoors.


9. Students caught in any form of academic cheating should be expelled.

10. The school's costly athletic programs should be eliminated in favor of improving the academic curriculum.

11. Like high-school textbooks, college textbooks should be purchased by the school and loaned to students for the duration of a course.

Social and Political Issues

12. Corporate executives are overpaid.

13. Private institutions should have the right to make rules that would be unconstitutional outside those institutions.

14. Public libraries should provide free, unlimited access to the Internet for all.

15. When adopted children turn eighteen, they should have free access to information about their birth parents.