How to Write an Analytical Essay - Step-by-Step Guide
An analytical essay is a common assignment that high school and college students often need to do. It is the most difficult type of essay that requires a thorough investigation of a topic and its substantial analysis.
Are you having difficulty writing a good analytical essay?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to write an analytical essay.
This blog will help you understand the core basics of an analytical essay. Once you are done reading it, you will be ready to write your essay easily.
What is an Analytical Essay?
According to an analytical essay definition, ‘it is a piece of writing in which the writer analyzes, interprets and critiques a work of art, situation, issue, or a particular event.’ Such essays aim to break down a topic into several subparts and dissect and analyze them in detail and find out the main points.
Analytical essay writing significantly differs from other types of essays. High school students often confuse this type of essay with argumentative essays. However, there is a sharp contrast between them.
The main goal of an analytical essay is to analyze the main topic and convince the reader about your viewpoint. On the contrary, an argumentative essay aims to present a claim about the topic and prove it written with evidence.
How to Start an Analytical Essay?
To write a good analytical essay, you must first spend your time planning for it. Let’s take a look at what the prewriting stage looks like.
Find the Focus
Students can write an analysis essay on a literary work, a film or a play, or even an issue or problem faced by society.
So the first step is figuring out the core focus of your essay and presenting relevant facts. The evidence can be collected from a novel, film, or it could be the findings of your research that back up your point of view.
Choose Your Topic
You can only start writing your essay once you have a topic in mind. Most professors like to assign a topic themselves; however, if you are allowed to pick the topic yourself, you have an edge.
You can go with the idea that you are passionate about and find interesting. It will make researching and writing the essay itself fun and simple process for you.
Form a Thesis Statement
Once you have chosen the topic for your essay, the next step is crafting the analytical essay thesis statement. A thesis statement is the basis of your overall essay.
The purpose of a thesis statement is to inform the readers about the purpose of your essay and the rhetorical question discussed throughout the paper.
Find Supporting Evidence
The next step is finding evidence that supports your argument. You can opt for primary or secondary sources, depending on the requirements of your assignment. Look for evidence that is authentic yet persuasive and directly related to the thesis to support your claim. Use transition words to create proper linkage in the provided information.
Add Contextual Evidence
Besides adding facts and evidence from credible and relevant sources, you should add quotes and paraphrased passages from the text. In an analytical essay example on a book, it is necessary to add phrases and quotes from the text as the main evidence. Reading the text from books or credible sources will help you collect relevant examples.
Adding textual examples build credibility as the reader would know that you know your work inside out. It will also help you support your thesis statement and the main claim of the essay.
How to Write an Analytical Essay?
Analytical writing can prove to be a difficult task for students but certainly not impossible. To learn how to write an analytical essay step-by-step, follow the guidelines given below.
The goal of analytical essay topics and essays is to explain a topic in detail. It aims to increase the reader’s understanding.
1. Create an Analytical Essay Outline Worksheet
The first step to write a compelling and strong analytical essay is to craft a detailed outline worksheet for your essay. Preparing a good and detailed outline will help you in focusing on the main topic.
The outline includes the following key sections:
- Main Body
2. Write an Impressive Analytical Essay Introduction
The essay introduction aims to provide the reader with the basic background information of the issue. An introduction section starts with a hook, an interesting and engaging fact or statement. Consider it first and probably the last chance to impress your readers.
The introduction should be exciting and leave the reader wanting to know more. However, be specific and keep everything brief. Do not overwhelm your readers with tons of information, and keep the details for the latter part of the essay.
3. Write a Concise Thesis Statement
The thesis statement comes after the introduction, and it is usually a one or two-liner. It is the core essence of the entire essay, and this is why it should be brief and to the point. It is usually written at the end of the introduction and is a small section.
To make it impressive, mention the main theme of the essay briefly.
4. Write Analytical Essay Body Paragraphs
The body of any essay is the main part that consists of the flesh of the essay. Writing an analytical essay, the number of body paragraphs varies, depending upon the complexity of the topic.
Generally, each paragraph comprises a topic sentence, analysis of the original text, and evidence from the text that proves your opinion. Use this opportunity to compare and contrast different views about the topic and then present your perspective.
Please remember that each paragraph must present a single idea or topic. Do not try to add multiple ideas into a single paragraph.
5. Write Analytical Essay Conclusion
Want to know how to conclude an analysis paper strongly?
Writing a conclusion has the same importance as the introductory paragraph. Use the conclusion to prove how and why your point of view was correct. Summarize all the main points, bring the discussion closer, and restate the thesis in a global context.
However, don’t introduce new ideas at this stage. It will only confuse your reader further. Explain the importance of the issue and your stance on it to the reader.
How to Perfect Your Analytical Essay?
Once you have finished the writing process, the next step is to perfect your draft. To do so, you must practice the following techniques.
Make it Error-Free
If your essay tackles an important issue and presents a solid argument, but at the same time, if it has grammatical or spelling errors, then it won’t come across as a well-written piece of writing.
Before the final submission, make sure that your essay is completely error-free. Check for spelling and grammar and make sure that everything is in line with your analytical essay structure.
Make it your habit to get rid of any mistakes before handing in your paper. You can do this easily by using spelling and grammar check software.
Read the Essay Out Loud
It may sound weird, but reading the paper aloud will help you identify your paper’s shortcomings. When writing, you may not be able to identify any complex or vague words and phrases. Reading it out loud will help you in picking such words and rectifying them before submission.
Reading it this way will also help you notice the readability of your text. In case something is not falling in place, you can change it at this stage.
Make Sure that You Have Added All the Necessary Details
Every assignment has specific guidelines and requirements, and as a student, you need to follow all of them. Some details include the analytical essay format, the required number of references, the required number of pages and words, etc. Other details include the correct mentioning of the characters’ names and location, as mentioned in the novel, or your chosen subject.
Ask a Friend or Sibling to Read it For You
Sometimes we miss minor mistakes and errors, and it is natural. This is why having someone else read it for you will help you in rectifying those mistakes. Ask your friend or a sibling to read it for you and point out structural or any other types of errors.
Analytical Essay Examples
To help you further, we have added some interesting analytical essay examples and essay samples here. You can download them and use them as a guide for your essay writing process.
Analytical Essay Topics
The range of analytical essay topics is almost limitless. You can write an analytical essay on topics as wide-ranging as the arts, political movements, social phenomena, scientific methods of discoveries, and current events.
To help you choose a topic for your essay, we have presented some topic ideas below:
- How does fashion influence the lives of teenagers?
- Do you think that footballers are overrated in terms of pay? If yes, then why?
- Can you imagine a world without technology? Prove your arguments with strong evidence.
- Express your views on having school uniforms mandatory. Provide strong arguments and proof.
- The voting age in the US should be revised. Agreed?
- Analyze ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and the theme of fate.
- Explain and analyze different literary terms.
- Discuss and analyze the theme of Ambition in the play ‘Macbeth.’
- Analyze the role of different female characters in ‘Hamlet.’
- Analyze Twain’s ‘Huckleberry Finn’ and discuss the themes of white supremacy and black slavery in the book
- Analyze the concept of ‘Power Corrupts’ in Marlowe’s ‘Doctor Faustus.’
- Identify and analyze different symbols in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot.’
- How does the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ discuss the era of the Great Depression?
- Discuss the elements of fantasy and reality in the play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’
- Analyze the various symbols in the play ‘The Glass Menagerie.’
- Is higher education directly related to a higher quality of life?
- Are high school and college exams necessary?
- Is peer pressure affecting students today?
- Analyze the latest presidential speech.
- Analyze the differences between identical twins.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of an analytical essay?
An analytical essay is a type of writing where the author explains an idea, describes a process or analyzes the text. It differs from summary in that it focuses on critical analysis instead of just retelling what happened without explanation.
What is the difference between an essay and an analysis?
The sole difference is in the definition and the way both of these are conducted. An analysis could be both verbal and written while an essay could be in written form only.
What is an analytical paragraph?
An analytical paragraph writes down and explains a topic by breaking down the information given in charts, clues, outlines, and other material.
Is academic writing analytical?
Not always but most of the time, academic writing is analytical. It breaks down and analyzes a subject and explains it in detail.
What is analysis in simple terms?
An analysis is the breaking down of a theme, a topic, or an idea to understand it in a better manner.