How to Write an Analytical Essay

October 21, 2016 How To Write
How to Write an Analytical Essay

Through sweat, tears and the occasional blood - we toil over the assignment criteria of the different types of essays we are assigned. Writing isn’t the hard part. It’s the specifics that need to be addressed. Let’s get right into the nitty-gritty.

Analytical Paper Roadmap

  • What is an Analytical Essay
  • What is an Analytical Paper?
  • What is the analysis in writing?
  • What is an analytical argument?
  • What does an analysis paragraph do?
  • Analytical Essay Topics and Types
  • Kinds of analysis
  • Topics list and ideas
  • What defines a good topic
  • Analytical Essay Outline
  • The essentials of a good blueprint
  • Analytical Essay Structure / Format
  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion
  • Rubric
  • Why rubrics are effective and how to use them.

What Defines an Analytical Essay?

The analytical essay definition is as follows: having a narrow focus (as opposed to a summary which is a general explanation) on the specifics of a text or a subject that you are viewing. Essentially, you are targeting the smaller aspects of the work(s) to uncover the larger picture.

definition of an analytical paper

Now that we know that, we can move to the next question under the subtext of how to write an analytical essay: what is the analysis in writing?

You will most likely be focusing on literary analysis which requires you to look at whether the writings serve to explore how the writing was done, how the issues were addressed, and if issues of controversy or logic were tackled exhaustively.

So, what is an analytical argument?

An analytical argument is based on your thesis which should obviously be extremely developed. The thesis statement is usually in the latter part of the introduction, but more on that later. The analysis paragraph is basically your body, and it should discuss one major point or idea with supporting evidence.

Analytical Essay Topics and Types

Literary analysis is not the only type of essay in its family tree. Before deciding on a subject, you must know what kind of analysis you want to / need to do.

types of an analysis paper

Let us have a look at some of the available types and give them a short explanation.

Rhetorical

Rhetorical analysis bases on proving or reproving a statement, theory or fact. Since this approach is based on logic and evidence, it is most commonly used in the “hard sciences” like mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc.
Related: How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Literary

Most commonly used in humanities and is based on the dynamics of the text as well as emotions and character decisions that drive the plot or establish a particular theme or vibe; this is the type of paper that I will be implementing as my example because it is used most often.
Related: How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

Character

Character analysis deviates from the literary analysis because its focal point is a character and their evolution throughout the story. It is a lot more fixed.
Related: How to Write a Character Analysis Essay

Process

An approach that is described in the title of itself - a process is a change from one form to another. Describing or analysing it would take place in a process essay.
Related: How to write a Process Essay

Causal

Causal analysis usually involves an answer to a set of “who, what, where, when, why and how” questions. It may require a process, and the initial question may be vague. Usually used for additional information and statistics.
Related: How to write a Causal Analysis Essay

You can see how the variation is endless; there are plenty more types that are simply not noteworthy. The fundamental principle, approach and outline stay the same. Now let us introduce an example of literary analysis. I will be comparing two literary works: “1984” by George Orwell and Muse’s “Resistance.”

Analytical Essay Outline And Structure

Think of an outline as a tool that encompasses all of the pre-writing stages. During your brainstorming, you should jot down notes about ideas, topics and possible resources. If you need to do any research, you should archive all of the sources that you think you will use for ease of access during the writing process. With that in mind, you can create a thesis, formulate your argument(s) and simply fill in the blanks when writing. An effective way to organise an outline is a graphic organiser which can take the form of simple bullet points.

  • Introduction
  • Must include a hook statement.
  • Narrowed down background information.
  • Analytical Essay thesis statement - usually has an elaborate form of several intertwined factors and should preferably be controversial.
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Topic Sentence - an introduction of the main point preferably in one sentence.
  • Analysis - Analysis of the provided evidence and its meaning.
  • Evidence - This is the support pillar of any paragraph. Having a source or an actual quote to use as evidence is essential.
  • Concluding Sentence - Usually a form of restatement and emphasis.
  • Conclusion
  • Restating your thesis statement.
  • Summarise key points
  • What you contributed within the essay’s margins.

Analytical Essay Example

So, when it comes to implementing these strategies, the most important aspects of a piece would look like this within an analytical essay example:

Analytical Essay Thesis: Muse’s interpretation of Orwell’s 1984 is clearly established in the song’s lyrical themes, musical progression and implementation of the book’s excerpts which underlines that Orwell’s portrayal of the love story is not orchestrated out of love, but rather necessity to oppose the party’s power.

This thesis is divided into three clear parts which the body paragraphs will delve into detail on with supporting evidence from the texts. The conclusion will just restate and put all of the described evidence into a historical or philosophical context.

When writing, it is essential to understand what your instructor will base their grade on. You can use that to your advantage to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.

  • The conclusion and the introduction to an analytical essay should grab attention and provide meaningful context and translate it into a persuasive argument.
  • The thesis is clear and contains a notable opinion.
  • The choice of evidence is powerful and supports the provided argument fully.
  • The commentary is extensive and goes beyond summary and the apparent comments. Contains creative approach and insights.
  • The word choice and sentence structure are varied, sophisticated and smooth.
  • No mechanical (punctuation, syntax, etc.) errors.

More samples here: Essay Samples

What You Can Do After Writing

Proofreading is the most important part of the post writing process. Since you probably did not have to make a very detailed and elaborate piece, it will only take a few minutes to skim through what you wrote and make sure that there are no errors. The essay that you wrote must have clarity in its structure, formatting and relationship between each part of the paper.

correcting mistakes in analytical essay

It is also immensely helpful to get someone to peer review your work. The arguments you presented may make sense to you, but they do not necessarily translate well to others. While proofreading, the other person makes sure that the thesis fits the arguments exactly the way they are presented. If there are deviations, you need to cater the thesis to the provided evidence. Make sure that they can help with how to conclude an analytical essay based on their experience with your paper.

For formatting help, you can refer to the link for help with referencing. It is always nice to provide the information you used very blatantly so it can be checked easily.

Still Need Help?

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