How to Write a Comparative Analysis

Comparative analysis, as the name suggests, is comparing and contrasting two things that belong to the same class. It can be two pieces of literature, two different governmental policies, two different apps solving the same purpose, two different web hosting services and the list goes on and on and on.

 The key to writing a successful comparative analysis is to establish a good thesis and organisational scheme before you start writing. Let us see step by step how to proceed with writing a good comparative analysis.

  1. The very first thing that you need is a frame of reference around which you can base your comparison. Let’s see if we have to compare two web hosting companies then the frame of reference can be service quality, speed, price, extra benefits etc. In the case of two different Shakespearean sonnets, the reference cannot be Shakespeare but any other factor like the brevity of life or the transience of beauty.

 

  1. The next step is to make a list of the similarities and differences between the two. The fact is two things; however close they are, they must be having some differences too. Your goal is to build up your thesis around these similarities and differences. In a compare-and-contrast thesis, you need to specify how the two things being compared are related to. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another?

 

  1. Once you are clear with your frame of reference and have started building up your thesis, here’s time for some brainstorming. Discuss your points with your friends if you want or else read about it on the net and try to find all relevant material.

 

  1. Once you are set with all material, it is time to jot down. You can follow any of the two effective ways of organising a comparative analysis.

 

  • The first approach says that you write all about the first subject and then write about the second emphasising the similarities and the differences.
  • The second approach is to go point-wise. Write about both the subjects under a particular heading and keep going that way till you have touched all the points - whether similarities or differences that you want to cover.

 

  1. This completes all that you had researched about the topics and how you felt the two subjects in question were similar or different. Now it is time to give the conclusion. The conclusion basically is the gist of all the comparison and contrast you did above. The right conclusion will reinforce your thesis. The conclusion needs to be very clear and crisp and no ambiguous terms should be used.

 

  1. Last but not the least you might need some help during the process. The best time to get help is while you're in the process of writing it and not when you've done a first draft that needs reworking.

It is your analysis that reflects your thinking, which might not be acceptable to some, so be prepared for it.