How to Write an Analytical Essay in 6 Steps
An analytical essay is an essay that meticulously and methodically examines a single topic to draw conclusions or prove theories. Although they are used in many fields, analytical essays are often used with art and literature to break down works’ creative themes and explore their deeper meanings and symbolism .
Analytical essays are a staple in academics, so if you’re a student, chances are you’ll write one sooner or later. This guide addresses all the major concerns about how to write an analytical essay, such as the preferred structure and what to put in the outline. Let’s start with an in-depth answer to the question, what is an analytical essay? Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly
What is an analytical essay?
One of the seven main types of essay , analytical essays intricately examine a single topic to explain specific arguments or prove the author’s theories. They commonly deal with creative works like art, literature, film, or music, dissecting the creator’s artistic themes and revealing hidden meanings. However, they can also address other issues in realms like science, politics, and society.
Analytical essays are a type of expository essay , so they’re not supposed to express bias, opinions , or persuasions . Even when the author is trying to prove their own theory (or disprove an opposing theory), their argument should stick solely to facts and logic and keep the author’s personal feelings to a minimum.
An analytical essay example could be a deep dive into the character of Hamlet, but this topic itself could have multiple interpretations. Your essay could focus on whether or not Hamlet truly loved Ophelia, question the motives for his constant hesitation, or even attempt to prove the theory that he was mentally ill—after all, he did see apparitions!
How to structure an analytical essay
Although analytical essays tend to be more detailed, specific, or technical than other essays, they still follow the same loose essay structure as the rest:
The introduction is where you present your thesis statement and prepare your reader for what follows. Because analytical essays focus on a single topic, the introduction should give all the background information and context necessary for the reader to understand the writer’s argument. Save the actual analysis of your topic for the body.
The body is the nucleus of your essay. Here you explain each separate point and offer evidence to support the thesis, breaking up your argument into paragraphs. While the introduction and conclusion are each usually just a single paragraph, the body is composed of many different paragraphs and often stretches out over pages, thereby making up most of the essay.
Every paragraph in the body still relates to your chosen topic and your thesis, but each paragraph should make a different point or focus on a different piece of evidence. For example, if your topic is about how Edgar Allan Poe uses the theme of death in his writing, one paragraph could explore the use of death in “The Tell-Tale Heart,” while a different paragraph could explore death in “The Raven,” and so on.
Finally, the conclusion wraps everything up. Conclusions usually don’t introduce new evidence or supporting details but instead reiterate the previous points and bring them all together to strengthen your original thesis. At this point your reader has sufficient background to understand the topic. With your evidential examples in mind, they’ll be more receptive to your main argument when you present it one last time.
How to write an analytical essay in 6 steps
The process of writing an analytical essay largely follows the same guidelines as all essay writing . Here we break down each individual step from start to finish.
1 Choose your topic
This step may be optional if your topic has been given to you as an assignment. If not, though, you should choose your topic with care.
Your topic should be specific enough that you’re able to discuss it thoroughly. If you choose a broad topic like “love in novels from Victorian England,” it’s unlikely you’ll be able to cover all Victorian novels in a single analytical essay (or even ten analytical essays!). However, narrowing the topic down to something such as “love in Jane Austen novels” makes your task more achievable.
That said, don’t be too specific, or you won’t have enough material to cover. Try to find a good middle ground: specific enough that you can discuss everything but general enough that you’ll be able to find enough research and supporting evidence.
2 Research your topic
Once you know your topic, you can begin collecting data and evidence to discuss it. If your analytical essay is about a creative work, you may want to spend time reviewing or evaluating that work, such as watching a film closely or studying the details of a painting. It’s also useful to review other people’s critiques of that work to inspire new ideas or reveal details you hadn’t noticed before.
Don’t forget to write down where you get your information, including page numbers for books or time codes if you’re watching visual media. You may need to reference these in your essay, so making a quick note about where you find your information while researching saves time later when you’re citing your sources .
It helps to know your thesis from the onset. However, you may realize during your research that your original thesis is not as strong as you thought. If this happens, don’t be afraid to modify it or choose a new one. In any case, by the time your research is finished, you should know what your thesis will be.
3 Create an outline
An essay outline gives you the opportunity to organize all your thoughts and research so you can put them in the optimal order. Ideally, you’ll have finished your research by now and made notes of everything you want to say in your analytical essay. The outline is your chance to decide when to talk about each point.
Outlines are typically broken up by paragraph. Each paragraph should explore an individual point you’re making and include your evidence or statistical data to back up that particular point. Be careful about trying to squeeze too much information into a single paragraph; if it looks excessive, try to break up the information into two or more paragraphs.
Feel free to move around or rearrange the order of paragraphs while outlining—that’s what this step is for! It’s much easier to fix structural problems now in the outline phase than later when writing.
4 Write your first draft
Now is the time you sit down and actually write the rough draft of your analytical essay. This step is by far the longest, so be sure to set aside ample time.
If you wrote your outline thoroughly, all you have to do is follow it paragraph by paragraph. Be sure to include each piece of evidence and data you had planned to include. Don’t worry about details like choosing the perfect wording or fixing every grammar mistake—you can do those later in the revisions phase. For now, focus solely on getting everything down.
Pay particular attention to how you start an essay. The introduction serves different purposes, such as telling the reader what to expect, providing background information, and above all presenting your thesis statement. Make sure your introduction checks all those boxes.
Likewise, be extra careful with your conclusion. There are special techniques for how to write a conclusion, such as using a powerful clincher and avoiding certain cliches like “in summary.” Conclusions usually hold more weight than the other paragraphs because they’re the last thing a person reads and can leave a lasting impression on them.
Finally, don’t forget to include transition sentences in between your body paragraphs when needed. Moving abruptly from one topic to the next can be jarring for the reader; transition sentences improve the essay’s flow and remove distractions.
5 Revise your draft
Your first draft is never meant to be perfect. Once you have all your ideas down on paper, it’s much easier to go back and revise . Now is the perfect time to improve your phrasing and word choice and edit out any unnecessary or tangential parts.
When you revise, pay particular attention to details. Try to find areas that you can remove to make your essay more succinct or passages that aren’t clear that need more explanation. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes: Will someone with no background knowledge still understand your points?
6 Proofread your essay
Last, it’s time to fix any grammar and spelling mistakes by proofreading . While it’s tempting to do this at the same time as your revisions, it’s best to do them separately so you don’t split your attention. This allows you to focus only on word choice, phrasing, and adding/removing content while revising and to concentrate solely on language mistakes during proofreading.
If you’re not confident in your grammar or spelling expertise, you can always use an app like Grammarly . Our app highlights any spelling or grammar mistakes directly in your text and gives proper suggestions on how to fix them. There are even features that help you choose the perfect word or adjust your writing to fit a certain tone. You can also copy and paste your writing to check your grammar and get instant feedback on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mistakes you might have missed.
Analytical essay outline example
If you’re having trouble, here’s an analytical essay example that shows how a proper outline or structure should look. The format here uses a five-paragraph essay structure, but for more complicated topics, you can add as many body paragraphs as you need.
Topic: Who is the real villain: Macbeth or Lady Macbeth?
- Briefly describe the plot of Macbeth for those who aren’t familiar with it
- Thesis statement : Lady Macbeth is the real villain of Macbeth because she manipulates her husband into committing an atrocious crime
Body Paragraph 1
- Murdering the king is all Lady Macbeth’s idea
- Macbeth is initially against it until Lady Macbeth convinces him
Body Paragraph 2
- Lady Macbeth has her own individual character arc where she is driven mad by her guilt
- Her guilt insinuates she knows her actions are villainous, with appropriate consequences
- Cite quotations from her “Out, damned spot!” speech
Body Paragraph 3
- Macbeth decides to listen to Lady Macbeth, so he is still guilty
- Speculate that he still would not have murdered the king if not for Lady Macbeth
- Macbeth remains the main character because most scenes revolve around him, but the person acting against him most is Lady Macbeth
- Remind reader that Macbeth didn’t want to murder the king until Lady Macbeth convinced him
- Clincher : Macbeth is still the hero albeit a tragic one. But his main antagonist is not Macduff or the king or even the prophecy itself; it’s his wife.
Analytical essay FAQs
An analytical essay is an essay that deeply examines a single topic, often a creative work, to reveal certain conclusions or prove theories held by the essay’s author.
How is an analytical essay structured?
Analytical essays are structured like most other essays: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, the body paragraphs have a stricter emphasis on facts, logic, and empirical evidence compared to other essays.
What are the steps to writing an analytical essay?
As with all essays, you first research and then organize all your points into a working outline. Next, you write the rough draft with all the data and evidence collected during your research. Revise the rough draft when it’s finished to improve the phrasing and add/remove certain parts. Last, proofread the essay for any grammar or spelling mistakes.
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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, 5 steps to write a great analytical essay.
Do you need to write an analytical essay for school? What sets this kind of essay apart from other types, and what must you include when you write your own analytical essay? In this guide, we break down the process of writing an analytical essay by explaining the key factors your essay needs to have, providing you with an outline to help you structure your essay, and analyzing a complete analytical essay example so you can see what a finished essay looks like.
What Is an Analytical Essay?
Before you begin writing an analytical essay, you must know what this type of essay is and what it includes. Analytical essays analyze something, often (but not always) a piece of writing or a film.
An analytical essay is more than just a synopsis of the issue though; in this type of essay you need to go beyond surface-level analysis and look at what the key arguments/points of this issue are and why. If you’re writing an analytical essay about a piece of writing, you’ll look into how the text was written and why the author chose to write it that way. Instead of summarizing, an analytical essay typically takes a narrower focus and looks at areas such as major themes in the work, how the author constructed and supported their argument, how the essay used literary devices to enhance its messages, etc.
While you certainly want people to agree with what you’ve written, unlike with persuasive and argumentative essays, your main purpose when writing an analytical essay isn’t to try to convert readers to your side of the issue. Therefore, you won’t be using strong persuasive language like you would in those essay types. Rather, your goal is to have enough analysis and examples that the strength of your argument is clear to readers.
Besides typical essay components like an introduction and conclusion, a good analytical essay will include:
- A thesis that states your main argument
- Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it
- Examples to support your analysis and allow a more in-depth look at the issue
In the rest of this article, we’ll explain how to include each of these in your analytical essay.
How to Structure Your Analytical Essay
Analytical essays are structured similarly to many other essays you’ve written, with an introduction (including a thesis), several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Below is an outline you can follow when structuring your essay, and in the next section we go into more detail on how to write an analytical essay.
Your introduction will begin with some sort of attention-grabbing sentence to get your audience interested, then you’ll give a few sentences setting up the topic so that readers have some context, and you’ll end with your thesis statement. Your introduction will include:
- Brief background information explaining the issue/text
- Your thesis
Your analytical essay will typically have three or four body paragraphs, each covering a different point of analysis. Begin each body paragraph with a sentence that sets up the main point you’ll be discussing. Then you’ll give some analysis on that point, backing it up with evidence to support your claim. Continue analyzing and giving evidence for your analysis until you’re out of strong points for the topic. At the end of each body paragraph, you may choose to have a transition sentence that sets up what the next paragraph will be about, but this isn’t required. Body paragraphs will include:
- Introductory sentence explaining what you’ll cover in the paragraph (sort of like a mini-thesis)
- Analysis point
- Evidence (either passages from the text or data/facts) that supports the analysis
- (Repeat analysis and evidence until you run out of examples)
You won’t be making any new points in your conclusion; at this point you’re just reiterating key points you’ve already made and wrapping things up. Begin by rephrasing your thesis and summarizing the main points you made in the essay. Someone who reads just your conclusion should be able to come away with a basic idea of what your essay was about and how it was structured. After this, you may choose to make some final concluding thoughts, potentially by connecting your essay topic to larger issues to show why it’s important. A conclusion will include:
- Paraphrase of thesis
- Summary of key points of analysis
- Final concluding thought(s)
5 Steps for Writing an Analytical Essay
Follow these five tips to break down writing an analytical essay into manageable steps. By the end, you’ll have a fully-crafted analytical essay with both in-depth analysis and enough evidence to support your argument. All of these steps use the completed analytical essay in the next section as an example.
#1: Pick a Topic
You may have already had a topic assigned to you, and if that’s the case, you can skip this step. However, if you haven’t, or if the topic you’ve been assigned is broad enough that you still need to narrow it down, then you’ll need to decide on a topic for yourself. Choosing the right topic can mean the difference between an analytical essay that’s easy to research (and gets you a good grade) and one that takes hours just to find a few decent points to analyze
Before you decide on an analytical essay topic, do a bit of research to make sure you have enough examples to support your analysis. If you choose a topic that’s too narrow, you’ll struggle to find enough to write about.
For example, say your teacher assigns you to write an analytical essay about the theme in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of exposing injustices against migrants. For it to be an analytical essay, you can’t just recount the injustices characters in the book faced; that’s only a summary and doesn’t include analysis. You need to choose a topic that allows you to analyze the theme. One of the best ways to explore a theme is to analyze how the author made his/her argument. One example here is that Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters (short chapters that didn’t relate to the plot or contain the main characters of the book) to show what life was like for migrants as a whole during the Dust Bowl.
You could write about how Steinbeck used literary devices throughout the whole book, but, in the essay below, I chose to just focus on the intercalary chapters since they gave me enough examples. Having a narrower focus will nearly always result in a tighter and more convincing essay (and can make compiling examples less overwhelming).
#2: Write a Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement is the most important sentence of your essay; a reader should be able to read just your thesis and understand what the entire essay is about and what you’ll be analyzing. When you begin writing, remember that each sentence in your analytical essay should relate back to your thesis
In the analytical essay example below, the thesis is the final sentence of the first paragraph (the traditional spot for it). The thesis is: “In The Grapes of Wrath’s intercalary chapters, John Steinbeck employs a variety of literary devices and stylistic choices to better expose the injustices committed against migrants in the 1930s.” So what will this essay analyze? How Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants could have it. Crystal clear.
#3: Do Research to Find Your Main Points
This is where you determine the bulk of your analysis--the information that makes your essay an analytical essay. My preferred method is to list every idea that I can think of, then research each of those and use the three or four strongest ones for your essay. Weaker points may be those that don’t relate back to the thesis, that you don’t have much analysis to discuss, or that you can’t find good examples for. A good rule of thumb is to have one body paragraph per main point
This essay has four main points, each of which analyzes a different literary device Steinbeck uses to better illustrate how difficult life was for migrants during the Dust Bowl. The four literary devices and their impact on the book are:
- Lack of individual names in intercalary chapters to illustrate the scope of the problem
- Parallels to the Bible to induce sympathy for the migrants
- Non-showy, often grammatically-incorrect language so the migrants are more realistic and relatable to readers
- Nature-related metaphors to affect the mood of the writing and reflect the plight of the migrants
#4: Find Excerpts or Evidence to Support Your Analysis
Now that you have your main points, you need to back them up. If you’re writing a paper about a text or film, use passages/clips from it as your main source of evidence. If you’re writing about something else, your evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as surveys, experiments, quotes from knowledgeable sources etc. Any evidence that would work for a regular research paper works here.
In this example, I quoted multiple passages from The Grapes of Wrath in each paragraph to support my argument. You should be able to back up every claim you make with evidence in order to have a strong essay.
#5: Put It All Together
Now it's time to begin writing your essay, if you haven’t already. Create an introductory paragraph that ends with the thesis, make a body paragraph for each of your main points, including both analysis and evidence to back up your claims, and wrap it all up with a conclusion that recaps your thesis and main points and potentially explains the big picture importance of the topic.
Analytical Essay Example + Analysis
So that you can see for yourself what a completed analytical essay looks like, here’s an essay I wrote back in my high school days. It’s followed by analysis of how I structured my essay, what its strengths are, and how it could be improved.
One way Steinbeck illustrates the connections all migrant people possessed and the struggles they faced is by refraining from using specific titles and names in his intercalary chapters. While The Grapes of Wrath focuses on the Joad family, the intercalary chapters show that all migrants share the same struggles and triumphs as the Joads. No individual names are used in these chapters; instead the people are referred to as part of a group. Steinbeck writes, “Frantic men pounded on the doors of the doctors; and the doctors were busy. And sad men left word at country stores for the coroner to send a car,” (555). By using generic terms, Steinbeck shows how the migrants are all linked because they have gone through the same experiences. The grievances committed against one family were committed against thousands of other families; the abuse extends far beyond what the Joads experienced. The Grapes of Wrath frequently refers to the importance of coming together; how, when people connect with others their power and influence multiplies immensely. Throughout the novel, the goal of the migrants, the key to their triumph, has been to unite. While their plans are repeatedly frustrated by the government and police, Steinbeck’s intercalary chapters provide a way for the migrants to relate to one another because they have encountered the same experiences. Hundreds of thousands of migrants fled to the promised land of California, but Steinbeck was aware that numbers alone were impersonal and lacked the passion he desired to spread. Steinbeck created the intercalary chapters to show the massive numbers of people suffering, and he created the Joad family to evoke compassion from readers. Because readers come to sympathize with the Joads, they become more sensitive to the struggles of migrants in general. However, John Steinbeck frequently made clear that the Joads were not an isolated incident; they were not unique. Their struggles and triumphs were part of something greater. Refraining from specific names in his intercalary chapters allows Steinbeck to show the vastness of the atrocities committed against migrants.
Steinbeck also creates significant parallels to the Bible in his intercalary chapters in order to enhance his writing and characters. By using simple sentences and stylized writing, Steinbeck evokes Biblical passages. The migrants despair, “No work till spring. No work,” (556). Short, direct sentences help to better convey the desperateness of the migrants’ situation. Throughout his novel, John Steinbeck makes connections to the Bible through his characters and storyline. Jim Casy’s allusions to Christ and the cycle of drought and flooding are clear biblical references. By choosing to relate The Grapes of Wrath to the Bible, Steinbeck’s characters become greater than themselves. Starving migrants become more than destitute vagrants; they are now the chosen people escaping to the promised land. When a forgotten man dies alone and unnoticed, it becomes a tragedy. Steinbeck writes, “If [the migrants] were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud,” (556). Injustices committed against the migrants become greater because they are seen as children of God through Steinbeck’s choice of language. Referencing the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s novel and purpose: to create understanding for the dispossessed. It is easy for people to feel disdain for shabby vagabonds, but connecting them to such a fundamental aspect of Christianity induces sympathy from readers who might have otherwise disregarded the migrants as so many other people did.
The simple, uneducated dialogue Steinbeck employs also helps to create a more honest and meaningful representation of the migrants, and it makes the migrants more relatable to readers. Steinbeck chooses to accurately represent the language of the migrants in order to more clearly illustrate their lives and make them seem more like real paper than just characters in a book. The migrants lament, “They ain’t gonna be no kinda work for three months,” (555). There are multiple grammatical errors in that single sentence, but it vividly conveys the despair the migrants felt better than a technically perfect sentence would. The Grapes of Wrath is intended to show the severe difficulties facing the migrants so Steinbeck employs a clear, pragmatic style of writing. Steinbeck shows the harsh, truthful realities of the migrants’ lives and he would be hypocritical if he chose to give the migrants a more refined voice and not portray them with all their shortcomings. The depiction of the migrants as imperfect through their language also makes them easier to relate to. Steinbeck’s primary audience was the middle class, the less affluent of society. Repeatedly in The Grapes of Wrath , the wealthy make it obvious that they scorn the plight of the migrants. The wealthy, not bad luck or natural disasters, were the prominent cause of the suffering of migrant families such as the Joads. Thus, Steinbeck turns to the less prosperous for support in his novel. When referring to the superior living conditions barnyard animals have, the migrants remark, “Them’s horses-we’re men,” (556). The perfect simplicity of this quote expresses the absurdness of the migrants’ situation better than any flowery expression could.
In The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck uses metaphors, particularly about nature, in order to illustrate the mood and the overall plight of migrants. Throughout most of the book, the land is described as dusty, barren, and dead. Towards the end, however; floods come and the landscape begins to change. At the end of chapter twenty-nine, Steinbeck describes a hill after the floods saying, “Tiny points of grass came through the earth, and in a few days the hills were pale green with the beginning year,” (556). This description offers a stark contrast from the earlier passages which were filled with despair and destruction. Steinbeck’s tone from the beginning of the chapter changes drastically. Early in the chapter, Steinbeck had used heavy imagery in order to convey the destruction caused by the rain, “The streams and the little rivers edged up to the bank sides and worked at willows and tree roots, bent the willows deep in the current, cut out the roots of cottonwoods and brought down the trees,” (553). However, at the end of the chapter the rain has caused new life to grow in California. The new grass becomes a metaphor representing hope. When the migrants are at a loss over how they will survive the winter, the grass offers reassurance. The story of the migrants in the intercalary chapters parallels that of the Joads. At the end of the novel, the family is breaking apart and has been forced to flee their home. However, both the book and final intercalary chapter end on a hopeful note after so much suffering has occurred. The grass metaphor strengthens Steinbeck’s message because it offers a tangible example of hope. Through his language Steinbeck’s themes become apparent at the end of the novel. Steinbeck affirms that persistence, even when problems appear insurmountable, leads to success. These metaphors help to strengthen Steinbeck’s themes in The Grapes of Wrath because they provide a more memorable way to recall important messages.
John Steinbeck’s language choices help to intensify his writing in his intercalary chapters and allow him to more clearly show how difficult life for migrants could be. Refraining from using specific names and terms allows Steinbeck to show that many thousands of migrants suffered through the same wrongs. Imitating the style of the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s characters and connects them to the Bible, perhaps the most famous book in history. When Steinbeck writes in the imperfect dialogue of the migrants, he creates a more accurate portrayal and makes the migrants easier to relate to for a less affluent audience. Metaphors, particularly relating to nature, strengthen the themes in The Grapes of Wrath by enhancing the mood Steinbeck wants readers to feel at different points in the book. Overall, the intercalary chapters that Steinbeck includes improve his novel by making it more memorable and reinforcing the themes Steinbeck embraces throughout the novel. Exemplary stylistic devices further persuade readers of John Steinbeck’s personal beliefs. Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath to bring to light cruelties against migrants, and by using literary devices effectively, he continuously reminds readers of his purpose. Steinbeck’s impressive language choices in his intercalary chapters advance the entire novel and help to create a classic work of literature that people still are able to relate to today.
This essay sticks pretty closely to the standard analytical essay outline. It starts with an introduction, where I chose to use a quote to start off the essay. (This became my favorite way to start essays in high school because, if I wasn’t sure what to say, I could outsource the work and find a quote that related to what I’d be writing about.) The quote in this essay doesn’t relate to the themes I’m discussing quite as much as it could, but it’s still a slightly different way to start an essay and can intrigue readers. I then give a bit of background on The Grapes of Wrath and its themes before ending the intro paragraph with my thesis: that Steinbeck used literary devices in intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants had it.
Each of my four body paragraphs is formatted in roughly the same way: an intro sentence that explains what I’ll be discussing, analysis of that main point, and at least two quotes from the book as evidence.
My conclusion restates my thesis, summarizes each of four points I discussed in my body paragraphs, and ends the essay by briefly discussing how Steinbeck’s writing helped introduce a world of readers to the injustices migrants experienced during the dust bowl.
What does this analytical essay example do well? For starters, it contains everything that a strong analytical essay should, and it makes that easy to find. The thesis clearly lays out what the essay will be about, the first sentence of each of the body paragraph introduces the topic it’ll cover, and the conclusion neatly recaps all the main points. Within each of the body paragraphs, there’s analysis along with multiple excerpts from the book in order to add legitimacy to my points.
Additionally, the essay does a good job of taking an in-depth look at the issue introduced in the thesis. Four ways Steinbeck used literary devices are discussed, and for each of the examples are given and analysis is provided so readers can understand why Steinbeck included those devices and how they helped shaped how readers viewed migrants and their plight.
Where could this essay be improved? I believe the weakest body paragraph is the third one, the one that discusses how Steinbeck used plain, grammatically incorrect language to both accurately depict the migrants and make them more relatable to readers. The paragraph tries to touch on both of those reasons and ends up being somewhat unfocused as a result. It would have been better for it to focus on just one of those reasons (likely how it made the migrants more relatable) in order to be clearer and more effective. It’s a good example of how adding more ideas to an essay often doesn’t make it better if they don’t work with the rest of what you’re writing. This essay also could explain the excerpts that are included more and how they relate to the points being made. Sometimes they’re just dropped in the essay with the expectation that the readers will make the connection between the example and the analysis. This is perhaps especially true in the second body paragraph, the one that discusses similarities to Biblical passages. Additional analysis of the quotes would have strengthened it.
Summary: How to Write an Analytical Essay
What is an analytical essay? A critical analytical essay analyzes a topic, often a text or film. The analysis paper uses evidence to support the argument, such as excerpts from the piece of writing. All analytical papers include a thesis, analysis of the topic, and evidence to support that analysis.
When developing an analytical essay outline and writing your essay, follow these five steps:
Reading analytical essay examples can also give you a better sense of how to structure your essay and what to include in it.
Learning about different writing styles in school? There are four main writing styles, and it's important to understand each of them. Learn about them in our guide to writing styles , complete with examples.
Writing a research paper for school but not sure what to write about? Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you.
Literary devices can both be used to enhance your writing and communication. Check out this list of 31 literary devices to learn more !
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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.
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How to Write an Analytical Essay
Developing an analytical argument is one of the most useful skills to learn in school and in University. It helps in your professional career, when making personal decisions, and just navigating life. We analyze things all the time every day, but learning how to write an analytical paper formalizes the process and creates a mental template to follow. In this article, you will learn what is an analytical essay, how to choose a good topic, receive step-by-step instructions for each paragraph, and get other useful tips.
What Is an Analytical Essay?
One of the most common college assignments, an analytical essay asks you to carefully analyze a specific topic. The topic can range from current events, movies, books, news stories, a period In history, or anything that requires further understanding. Analytical essays prove a point using claims backed by evidence. They do not use emotional appeals and personal anecdotes, rather they build an analytical argument using logic and facts. Unlike a persuasive essay where you only need to analyze one side of an issue, when writing an analytical essay both sides must be understood and presented. In the end, you should cover your personal viewpoints of whether you agree or disagree with what you are analyzing.
Analytical Essay Outline
The first thing to consider is the analytical essay format. An analytical essay is usually between 500 and 1,000 words, which means that it can follow the classic five paragraph format of essays with an introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. If you need to write a longer or more detailed analysis, you can expand on the number of body paragraphs. Developing an outline is useful to plan the eventual essay and get an overview of the structure. Many people skip making an outline but it is worth it because the time you spend planning will help guide your research and make writing the actual essay take less time. Let's have a look at a typical analytical essay outline.
- ~ Background information
- ~ Thesis statement
- Body paragraph 1
- ~ Topic sentence
- ~ Supporting evidence
- ~ Transition to body paragraph to
- Body paragraph 2
- ~ Transition to body paragraph 3
- Body paragraph 3
- ~ Transition to conclusion
- ~ Summary of major points
- ~ Restate the thesis
- ~ Key takeaways
Analytical Essay Introduction
Writing an introduction for analytical papers is no different than writing an introduction for any other type of essay. The introduction is the first thing somebody reads so it's important to both engage the reader as well as make sure they understand what the paper is going to be about. A good introduction provides background information, clearly states what the goal of the paper is, and hints at the claims you are going to make.
The very first sentence should be a hook. This means that it should capture the reader's attention and compel them to read the rest of the essay. A hook can be a curious fact, a joke, an engaging question, essentially anything that's connected to your topic and also interesting.
Next, you need to give background information about the topic you are analyzing. If it is a piece of work done by somebody else like a book or a movie then this is where you give the title, year of release, name of the director/author, etc. If it is an academic subject or an abstract concept then this is where you give some brief background so that the audience gets an understanding of the topic.
Next, you need to clearly state your thesis. A thesis statement is essentially the main purpose of your essay. It is one or two sentences that clearly identify the issue you are going to analyze, hints at the claim you are trying to make, and states your opinion if you have one.
Coming up with a good thesis statement is one of the biggest challenges of any type of essay writing. A thesis statement clearly states the purpose of your essay in one or two sentences. A good thesis statement gives the reader an understanding of what the essay is about. For analytical essays, a thesis statement presents specifically what you analyzed and the conclusion you drew.
Each body paragraph should present evidence that backs up the claims you make in your thesis statement, so coming up with a clear and specific thesis is vitally important when writing an analytical essay. A thesis statement that is too broad can be difficult to prove in an analytical essay which is why it needs to be specific. Let's take a look at the following thesis statements:
- Climate change is one of the biggest problems in the world right now.
- Video games are going to be more important in the future.
- Reality television is bad for teenagers.
The topics being analyzed are interesting but the thesis statements are too broad to be covered in just one essay. Exactly how the topics will be analyzed are not mentioned, leaving the reader with no idea how you are going to approach the issue. The following are better versions of these thesis statements.
- Youth activism is one of the driving forces in the climate change debate and is affecting policy changes in governments.
- The gamification of education is making video games essential to the future of humanity.
- False versions of reality expressed in reality television shows are negatively impacting teenagers’ self-esteem.
These thesis statements analyze the main topics of climate change, video games, and reality television, but they focus on specific elements and include an opinion. This gives the paper direction and informs the reader exactly what the paper will be about. They further clearly identify the way the topic will be analyzed and can help you present specific evidence in the body paragraphs.
Analytical Essay Body
In a five paragraph structure, there are three body paragraphs, but in an analytical essay, you might have more. The body paragraphs contain the meat of your essay, the evidence that supports your thesis statement. Each body paragraph should discuss a particular claim or piece of evidence and follows a specific format.
- Topic sentence that clearly states the direction of analysis for the paragraph
- The main piece of evidence for your claim
- Supporting information
- Transition to the next paragraph
The first sentence of your body paragraph should give the reader an idea of the specific issue that the paragraph will talk about. For example, if the essay is about the gamification of education, the topic sentence for the first body paragraph can be “Educational video games are being used in many third world countries to help children who cannot access standard schooling systems”. This topic sentence clearly explains what the paragraph will be about and allows you to provide factual evidence.
A good topic sentence helps the reader keep track of and structures the flow of your analysis paper. Imagine having a conversation with a friend about a topic. The main pieces of support you make for your claim are topic sentences.
The rest of the body paragraph includes factual information that proves the validity of your topic sentence. Each body paragraph should talk about only one issue, so make sure that the evidence you provide is related only to the specific claim you are making in that paragraph. It can be tempting to provide as much evidence as possible, but analytical papers that are too dense with information can be hard to read and understand, so only mention the most important facts and figures.
End each body paragraph with a brief restatement of the topic sentence, emphasizing how the evidence you've presented backs up the claim. This is a great way of transitioning to the next body paragraph that contains a different piece of evidence and analysis from a different point of view. A one-sentence summary or another kind of transition statement helps the essay flow better and builds a more convincing overall argument.
Analytical Essay Conclusion
The conclusion of an analysis essay restates all the main points in a concise way. This is not the place to add new information or provide new points of analysis, rather it is a summary of the essay presented in a way to make the main purpose clear. In general, this is the format of a conclusion paragraph for an analysis paper.
- Restate the thesis
- Summarize the main topic sentences
- Provide key pieces of evidence
- Author's thoughts on possible further analysis
If someone can understand the purpose of your paper just by reading the conclusion then you have written a good conclusion paragraph. By restating your thesis at the beginning you reminded the reader of the main purpose of your essay. After going through three body paragraphs this is important so that the reader makes connections between the evidence presented and the thesis statement.
Follow this up with a brief summary of the main claims and analysis in each body paragraph. Since you have already presented evidence backing up the claims, rephrase the main topic sentences and put together a convincing argument for your points. Make sure you don't include new evidence or points of analysis in the conclusion because this might confuse the reader. The conclusion paragraph only recaps and summarizes information. If you have a new point of analysis then add a new body paragraph.
Finally, end the conclusion paragraph with some of your own thoughts. Explain why the topic is important, why your perspective adds new information, how your analysis compares to experts in the field, etc.
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Steps For How to Write an Analytical Essay
Before you actually start writing an analytical essay there are several steps you can take to make the process easier. The more preparation work you do beforehand, the easier the writing will go and the essay will have better flow and structure overall. These are the steps you should take before you even start writing.
- Brainstorm different topic ideas
- Research a few topics you like
- Choose a topic you like that has enough information to back up your claims
- Come up with a thesis statement to help direct your research
- Make an outline
Each time you remember: 'Oh, I need someone to write my essay for me ', it might be tempting to choose the first topic that pops into your head, but choosing the right topic is one of the most important aspects of analytical writing.
Once you have a few different topic ideas, conduct brief research on them to see if you really find them interesting and if there is enough information for you to write a convincing essay.
Now that you have a topic and know some information about it you should come up with a thesis statement so that you have a question in mind when conducting in-depth research to find evidence to support your claim.
Take notes while doing research and put them into an outline so that you can easily recover the information when writing your essay and you get an idea of the overall flow. An outline helps collect information as well as build a convincing argument.
Choose a Topic
The good thing about analytical essay topics is that anything can be analyzed so anything can be a topic. The bad news is that with so many options it can be challenging to find one actually worth analyzing. First things first, if your teacher has assigned a list of topics to choose from, go over the list and pick out the ones you find interesting. If your teacher has assigned a list of options then It is your job to explore one of the topics in a unique and interesting way. If you can choose any topic you want, go over a list of potential topics and conduct brief research to narrow them down to just two or three. The topic you choose should be based on a few things:
- If you are genuinely interested in the topic it will make the research and writing more fun
- The topic should have enough research for you to back your claims
- The topic should not be too broad so that you cannot fully explore it in one essay
- Try and find a unique way of approaching the topic
Congratulations, you have just finished the first step of how to write an analytical essay!
Write an Analytical Thesis Statement
Now that you have a topic in mind and have done adequate research your next challenge when writing an analytical essay is to come up with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is one or two sentences towards the end of an introductory paragraph that clearly states the purpose of the essay. A thesis statement directs the entire essay and tells the reader what to expect. Why write a thesis statement so early? Because coming up with a thesis statement early will help direct your research. Not only does this save time, but it also helps structure the essay and arguments in your mind as you discover new information.
A good thesis statement clearly states the specific topic you are going to talk about, what exactly you are going to analyze, and includes your opinion. For example, the thesis statement “The gamification of education is making video games essential to the future of humanity”, clearly tells the audience the essay will be about video games and their impact on education.
Organize the Body of Your Essay
Body paragraphs are the place in an analysis paper where you provide evidence to show the reader that your findings are valid. Each body paragraph should begin with a clear topic sentence that describes what is going to be discussed in that paragraph. Each body paragraph should only talk about one specific point of analysis or evidence. Each body paragraph should highlight a piece of evidence that backs up your original thesis. Organize your body paragraphs in a way that builds an argument from various viewpoints while ensuring that there is good flow and each individual argument is easy to understand.
Now that you have a thesis statement and understand the overall structure of the body paragraphs it is time to actually find the information you need to back up your analysis. Research your topic thoroughly while focusing on information related to your thesis. Make a list of information that backs up your claim and check if the sources are reliable or not. Choose three or four of the most relevant pieces of information that back up your claim and conduct further research on that information in particular. Fill in relevant information into your outline and record where you found the information. Doing research when writing an analytical essay doesn't have to take a long time or be boring, it can be fun if you enjoy the topic and conduct well-directed research.
Use Evidence Effectively
For an analytical essay to be convincing it needs facts, but presenting the facts in a robotic way isn't persuasive or engaging. Use the evidence and information you find in your research but craft a story around it. You can state a statistic like “30% of children in third world countries use education applications or say “30% of children in developing countries without access to formal education now use education applications to get high school degrees and pull their families out of poverty”.
Use Contrasting Opinions
It may seem counterproductive to include opinions that disagree with your opinion into your analytical paper, but it is a great way of building a convincing argument in an analysis paper. Find the strongest contrasting opinion and make a body paragraph where you explain why that viewpoint is incorrect using evidence. This builds a strong argument because it shows that you have considered opposing viewpoints, and by undermining the strongest one you strengthen your argument.
Write an Effective Summary
A conclusion paragraph is essentially a summary of all the main points of the essay. A well-written conclusion recaps the most important elements of the essay in just a few sentences. You can do this by restating the thesis to remind the readers about the purpose of the essay, and then restating the topic sentences from each body paragraph to summarize the strongest pieces of evidence backing up your claim. Finally, in a sentence or two explain why the topic is important and how your analysis is unique.
Just a few more things and you will know how to write an analysis essay!
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Analytical Essay Topics
As mentioned above, finding the right topic is vitally important when it comes to answering the question of how to write an analytical essay. Which is why we have this section devoted entirely to it. Remember that a good topic:
- Is something you generally find interesting
- Should attract a reader's attention
- Should not be too broad
- Needs enough quality research to present evidence
- Asks a question that is important
Finding a good topic for an analytical paper isn't easy, but make sure you spend enough time pinpointing something that fulfills the criteria. A good topic is the difference between enjoying the writing process and getting a good grade, or finding it a chore and getting a bad grade. You might also find it helpful to explore an article on how to write a reflection paper to get more information.
Here is a list of good analytical essay topics to get you started.
Topics about psychology
Here are some topics on psychology essay writing
- What qualifies as a mental disorder?
- Why do more young people feel lonely?
- What is the effect of lockdowns on mental health?
- Is happiness an illusion?
- What are effective methods of coping with depression?
Topics about pop culture
- Why DOTA is the perfect game
- What is the impact of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
- An analysis of the history of Science Fiction
- Why blank is the best music genre
- The rise and fall of Kanye West
Topics about art and history
- How does World War II still affect us?
- An analysis of postmodern art.
- Are all artists geniuses?
- What is the influence of the Renaissance?
- What are the lessons learned from war?
Analytical Essay Examples
I assume you are going to use the examples that are already on the website
Despite the difference in doctrines, the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have in one way or another related in accordance to their faith and beliefs. The three monotheistic religions are known for their high regard for their disparities despite the similarities they manifest. It is not only a matter that concerns the religions themselves, but also the society given the world is slowly changing and more people have begun to question the existence of each religion in essence. While, the similarities may be just but subtle, the extent of reach is relatively wide, and for that cause the standing of these religion need some inspection. Noteworthy, there are common features in the religions such as the tenacious adherence by certain groups, which may also pose the question regarding not only lack of choice but also the need to be considered one.
A major consequence of war is in its ability to demolish traditional values and introducing drastic changes the perceptions of the world among those who experience the horror and devastation that define war. For military personnel, assuming a normal life after war is a form of torture because for such an individual visualizing the society from an optimistic perspective is relatively difficult considering that it always in the brink of war which threatens the peace that may be prevailing. Hemmingway uses this story to reminisce about his life after participating in the First World War. It was from his experience in the war as a driver for the Italian Army that he developed depression and he experienced multiple injuries.
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M. C. Escher's geometrical optical illusions challenge how viewers see reality. Likewise, analytical essays challenge readers to see written works in different ways. This can be in terms of how that works fits into its genre, culture, society, or history.
Analytical Essay Definition
Analytical essays move a step beyond summarizing a subject to include an interpretation of the subject. Other essays may ask you to write about, for example, The Great Depression, but an analytical essay could ask you to discuss The Great Depression in relation to agricultural practices. In other words, Analytical essays explore context .
When you talk about context , you refer to the circumstances that surround the subject. Some broad circumstances you might consider are historical, political, or economic. In a text, you look at the words that surround an excerpt to determine its meaning.
How Analytical Essays Are Different from Expository Essays
Both analytical and expository essays narrow a topic's focus to explore its deeper meaning, but they have a couple of differences:
- Analytical essays leave room for evidence-based opinion, while expository essays remain neutral . Part of writing an analytical essay is arguing whether the subject accomplished its goal. For example, if you are asked to analyze a piece of artwork, you could include whether or not the artist's artistic choices successfully expressed its theme.
- Analytical essays rely on insight, and expository essays are fact-based . An analytical essay wants to know your thought process and what conclusions you arrived at while examining your topic. For example, if reviewing a text concerning historical events that happened when it was written, what clues do you see in the text that support your claim?
You are writing an expository essay rather than an analytical essay if the topic asks you to "explain" or "define." For example, the topic "Explain How Jim Crow Laws Led to Discrimination in the Housing Industry Toward African Americans" can be an emotional subject.
However, the clue word "explain" lets you know that your audience wants to know more about the subject. In order to educate them, it works best to write an essay that relies on verifiable evidence ( expository essays are fact-based ) that is presented in an objective manner ( expository essays remain neutral ) to avoid triggering any conscious or subconscious bias they may have. Doing so allows them to weigh the evidence for themselves to see the damage that was done.
Analytical Essay Types
Some of the types of analytical essay assignments in school discuss films, works of art, or even historical events. Two of the most common analytical essay assignments that will pop up on standardized exams are analyzing a piece of literature or nonfiction writing. In either type of analysis, explain how the author's choices influence your understanding of the text.
Authors use literary devices to engage the reader. Literary devices evoke the senses and use words to guide the reader to make new connections between different objects or ideas. When you write a literary analysis, discuss what the author does with literary devices and why it is or isn't effective . Some standard literary devices you can use in your analysis are:
- Metaphor : takes two unrelated objects and compares them (e.g., his eyes were pools of ice).
- Imagery : uses the five senses and other literary devices to create pictures in the reader's mind (e.g., (the cold rain plopped against the sidewalk).
- Symbolism : uses an object to represent a concept (e.g., light represents goodness).
- Slang : informal language used to describe socioeconomic background, education level, geographical location, and time period (e.g., "gams" was a popular term for pretty legs in the 1920s or so).
Victorian literary critic John Ruskin made up the term " pathetic fallacy " to describe a type of personification (applying human characteristics to non-humans) that paints nature with human actions and feelings. It is usually used in connection with a character or narrator to express their inner thoughts and feelings . So, if someone is sad, a corresponding pathetic fallacy is for it to be raining outside.
Rhetorical analysis asks you to ignore what is being said and focus on how the author says it . When writing a rhetorical analysis, some things to discuss are:
- Context : Why does this piece of writing exist? Examine the intended audience and purpose and how it fits into society.
- Tone : How does the mood of the piece influence the audience?
- Word choice : Does the language of the text help or hurt the author's message?
- Appeal : Does the author use emotion, logic, or both to approach the audience?
Analytical Essay Topics
If you get to choose an analytical essay topic, keep these tips in mind:
- Avoid analytical essay topics that are too specific or vague. Your essay will appear shallow and rushed if your subject is too wide-ranging. An example of a too-broad topic is "90s Grunge Bands." Conversely, y ou will not have enough to write about if the scope of your topic is too limited. Choosing a pre-Pearl Jam Eddie Vedder band as the focus of an essay would be difficult to find information about.
- Pick a topic idea you know something about and are interested in to cut down on some of the research and make the analytical essay fun to write.
- Pick a relatively mainstream topic, so you will not have a hard time finding reliable sources for your analytical essay.
Here are a few potential topic ideas for your analytical essay:
- Is graffiti art?
- Analyze your favorite song
- What makes "I Have a Dream" a compelling speech?
- Analyze your favorite movie
- Analyze a turning point in a war
Analytical Essay Structure
Follow the standard essay format for your analytical essay:
- Introduction : Use a hook to grab the reader's attention. A thought-provoking quote or statistic makes the reader curious, so they want to read more. Next, relate your subject to the hook and provide some brief, general information. Finally, round out the introduction with a thesis statement that clearly outlines your analytical essay's argument and main points.
- Body Paragraphs : Body paragraphs vary by topic, but there should be at least three.
- Conclusion : Use the conclusion for final thoughts on the main points of your analytical essay and restate your thesis.
Use the CER Model to help construct the body paragraphs of your analytical essay :
C laim: The main point/ topic sentence of a body paragraph. The main points of the essay work to support the thesis statement.
E vidence: Support your claim with an example from the text or a source.
R easoning: Explain the connection between the main point and the evidence.
Analytical Essay Outline
Before constructing your outline, brainstorm your topic. Writing out your thoughts and knowledge of the subject is an effective way to figure out a clear and concise thesis for your analytical essay . Formulate your outline to look like this:
B. Introduce Subject
C. Thesis Statement
II. Body Paragraphs
A. Summarize Main Points
B. Restate Thesis
C. Final Impression
Analytical Essay Example
This analytical essay sample is an abbreviated example of a film analysis that focuses on framing an episode of a television show within the context of its current events:
"You know what? There's a lesson here somewhere," 1 says Canadian border agent Beau while he shares a beer with an American congressman. The Creepshow episode "Drug Traffic" discusses the issues of high prescription costs, know-it-all bureaucracy, and political showboating. "Drug Traffic" uses hyperbole to express frustration over the lack of control people have regarding their health care .
The sample analytical essay uses a quote from the episode as a hook . The thesis statement expresses both an argument and a main point.
In "Drug Traffic," a mother is desperate to get her daughter Mai the medication she needs, so she agrees to be part of a congressman's photo op. The congressman arranges to film himself bringing a group of Americans across the Canadian border to access the medications they can't afford at home.
Unfortunately, as Mai's health begins to deteriorate rapidly, she and her mother get caught in the ideological crossfire of Beau and the congressman. As a result, Mai's condition worsens until she becomes a disembodied head that feeds on the group. Finally, rather than getting Mai the medicine she needs to return to normal, Beau and the congressman join forces and attempt to murder her.
Beau's repeated roadblocks and the congressman's exaggerated political ambition make them caricatures of their job titles . Mai's blood is literally on Beau and the congressman's hands, and face, and clothes, as one expresses useless "if onlys" and the other muses over political spin . 1 The viewer's sympathy lies with Mai after watching her and her mother do everything in their power to overcome the hurdles that led to this outcome.
After a brief paragraph summarizing the episode, a new body paragraph states a claim . It is supported with evidence from the episode and followed with reasoning that connects the claim and the evidence .
Writer Christopher Larsen uses over-the-top body horror to shed light on how chronic illness and the American healthcare system intersect. As with other medications, pharmaceutical companies have prioritized profit over accessibility. Throughout the episode, the anguished look on Mai's face alludes to the viewer that she constantly struggles with her body, like any chronically ill person. Mai's mother feels she has no choice but to depend on the help of a wannabe career politician who sees these people's sickness as an opportunity. Mai is visibly ill, but her mother is treated first as hysterical and then as a criminal when she becomes anxious. Mai's transformation into a disembodied head symbolizes her loss of control over her body . Director Greg Nicotero uses this hyperbolic image to visually smack the viewer into awareness of the disconnect between patients and their healthcare options.
Many of the literary devices used by authors can be applied to visual media as well. Alluding to something means that the visual object or words remind the audience of something else without mentioning that something else specifically. The author of the sample analytical essay offers an interpretation of a visual effect that uses an example of symbolism .
"Drug Traffic" effectively uses body horror to discuss the frustrating struggle numerous chronically ill people have with the healthcare system . Some people go to drastic lengths to access expensive medications for their loved ones. Unfortunately for many, it's too little, too late, or sometimes not at all. In a world of slow-moving bureaucracy and self-serving politicians, the viewer relates most to a disembodied, cannibalistic head.
The conclusion restates the thesis in a different way and makes a bold statement in connection with the information shared in the article to leave a lasting impression on the audience.
Analytical Essay - Key Takeaways
- An analytical essay interprets a subject from different perspectives and explores the way it works in terms of how it fits into its genre, culture, society, or history.
- When writing a literary or rhetorical analysis, include how the author's choices affect your understanding of the subject.
- A literary analysis examines the literary devices an author uses to convey their message. A rhetorical essay examines how the author shares their message.
- Choose an analytical essay topic that is neither too specific nor too vague.
- Using the CER Model (Claim, Evidence , Reasoning) for your analytical essay helps construct effective body paragraphs.
1 Nicotero, Greg, Dir. "Drug Traffic." Creepshow . 2021
Frequently Asked Questions about Analytical Essay
--> what is an analytical essay.
An analytical essay interprets a subject from different perspectives and explores the way it works in terms of how it fits into its genre, culture, society, or history.
--> How do you write an analytical essay?
An analytical essay is structured into the typical essay format and includes an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
--> How do you write a thesis for an analytical essay?
To write a thesis for an analytical essay, brainstorm your topic. This helps organize your thoughts and knowledge on the subject into a clear and concise thesis statement.
--> How do you write a conclusion for an analytical essay?
Restate your thesis and summarize the main points in the conclusion of the analytical essay. Include a final thought that is a result of information shared in the essay to leave a final impression on the audience.
--> How do you write an introduction for an analytical essay?
To write an introduction for an analytical essay, use a hook, such as a thought-provoking quote, statistic, or anecdote, to grab the reader's attention. Next, relate your subject to the hook and offer some general information about the subject. Finally, round out the introduction with a thesis statement that clearly outlines the main points and argument of the essay.
Final Analytical Essay Quiz
What is an analytical essay?
An analytical essay interprets a subject from different perspectives and explores the way it works in terms of how it fits into its genre, culture, society, or history.
True or False: An analytical essay is a neutral discussion of its subject.
False. An analytical essay uses evidence-based opinion in its discussion.
What explanation should you include as part of literary or rhetorical analysis?
While writing a literary or rhetorical analysis, include an explanation of how the author's word choices influence your understanding of the text.
Which are topics of discussion within a rhetorical analysis?
All of the above
True or False: Analytical essays rely on insight.
True: Analytical essays want to know your thought process and what conclusions you drew while examining your topic.
What is "pathetic fallacy?"
Pathetic fallacy is a type of personification that paints nature with human actions or emotions. It is usually connected to a character and expresses their inner thoughts and feelings.
What are literary devices?
Literary devices engage the reader by evoking their senses or guiding them to make new connections between different objects or ideas.
How is brainstorming helpful when writing an analytical essay?
Brainstorming is helpful when writing an analytical essay because when you write out your thoughts and knowledge of the subject they are more easily organized into a clear and concise thesis statement.
What is included in the CER Model?
Why should you be careful to avoid a topic that is too specific or too vague?
You should be careful to avoid choosing a topic that is too specific or too vague because a topic that is too specific will severely limit the information you can write about, and a topic that is too vague will produce an essay that appears shallow and rushed.
It takes two unrelated objects and compares them. What is it?
It uses the five senses and other literary devices to create pictures in the reader's mind. What is it?
It uses an object to represent a concept. What is it?
It is informal language. What is it?
What asks you to ignore what is being said and focus on how the author says it ?
What asks you to discuss devices like metaphor and imagery?
It involves the intended audience and how the piece of writing fits into the author's society. What is it?
Its authorial mood might influence the audience. What is it?
It may hurt or help the author's message. What is it?
It is the way an author tries to connect with an audience. What is it?
- Language Analysis
- Lexis and Semantics Summary
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An analytical essay is an essay that meticulously and methodically examines a single topic to draw conclusions or prove theories. Although they are used in many fields, analytical essays are often used with art and literature to break down works’ creative themes and explore their deeper meanings and symbolism.
An analytical essay is a piece of writing that provides substantive analysis of a topic. Analysis papers can be written about art, music, literary works, current events, historical events, politics, scientific research, and philosophy, among other topics.
Analytical essays analyze something, often (but not always) a piece of writing or a film. An analytical essay is more than just a synopsis of the issue though; in this type of essay you need to go beyond surface-level analysis and look at what the key arguments/points of this issue are and why.
What Is an Analytical Essay? One of the most common college assignments, an analytical essay asks you to carefully analyze a specific topic. The topic can range from current events, movies, books, news stories, a period In history, or anything that requires further understanding. Analytical essays prove a point using claims backed by evidence.
An analytical essay interprets a subject from different perspectives and explores the way it works in terms of how it fits into its genre, culture, society, or history. True or False: An analytical essay is a neutral discussion of its subject. False. An analytical essay uses evidence-based opinion in its discussion.