What Is Comparative Analysis?

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Comparative analysis is a study that compares and contrasts two things: two life insurance policies, two sports figures, two presidents, etc. The study can be done to find the crucial differences between two very similar things or the similarities between two things that appear to be different on the surface.

The basic approach starts with establishing three elements: a frame of reference, or the set of criteria used to measure; grounds for comparison, such as why the particular two were chosen; and the thesis or gist of the argument, such as why one should choose one of the two things studied over the other.