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How to Write an Analytical Essay - Step-by-Step Guide

How to Write an Analytical Essay - Step-by-Step Guide

Working on an analytical essay?
Thinking about what to add into it?

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.

1. 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.’ The purpose of such essays is to break down a topic into several subparts and to dissect and analyze them in detail and find out the main points.

An analytical essay 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, which you will learn in the later parts of this blog.

The main goal of these types of essays is to analyze the main topic and convince the reader about your viewpoint.

2. 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, give this article a thorough read.

The goal of analytical essay topics and the essays is to explain a topic in detail and with the aim that it increases the reader’s understanding.

2.1 How to Start an Analytical Essay

In order to write a good analytical essay, or other academic assignments, you must first spend your time planning for it.

Let’s take a look at what the prewriting stage should look like.

2.1.1 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 the society.

So the first step is figuring out the core focus of your essay and presenting relevant facts from a novel, film, or the findings of your research, to back up your point of view.

2.1.2 Choose your Topic

You can only start writing your essay once you have a topic in mind. Now, most professors like to assign a topic themselves; however, if you are given the opportunity to pick the topic yourself, then you have an edge.

You can go with an idea that you are passionate about and find interesting, this will make research and writing the essay itself, a fun and simple process for you.

2.1.3 Form a Thesis Statement

Once you have made your list of essay topics and have chosen the one for your essay, the next step is crafting the analytical 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.

2.1.4 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 the evidence that is authentic yet persuasive and directly related to the thesis. Use transition words to create proper linkage in the provided information.

You can also develop an analytical essay outline to plan your writing process.

2.1.5 Add Contextual Evidence

Other adding sources 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.

Adding textual examples build credibility as the reader would know that you know your work inside out.

You can also develop an analytical essay outline to plan your writing process.

3. Analytical Essay Outline Worksheet

Once you have gone through the prewriting stage, you are prepared for writing this type of essay. However, before beginning with the writing process, prepare a detailed outline worksheet for your essay. Preparing a good and detailed outline will help you in focusing on the main topic.

  • Introduction
  • Thesis Statement
  • Main Body
  • Conclusion

3.1 How to Write an Impressive Analytical Essay Introduction

Start writing your essay with the introductory paragraph. 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.

3.2 How to Write a Concise Thesis Statement for Analytical Essay

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.

3.3 How to 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 vary, depending upon the complexity of the topic.

Generally, each paragraph is made up of a topic sentence, analysis of the original text and evidence from the text that proves your opinion and thesis statement.

Please remember that each paragraph must present a single idea or topic. Do not try to add multiple ideas into a single paragraph.

3.4 How to Write Analytical Essay Conclusion

Want to know how to conclude an analytical essay strong? 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. Also, 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.

If you want to learn details about the different types of analytical essays, along with their examples, feel free to explore the analytical essay example and sharpen your writing skills.

4. How to Perfect your Analytical Essay

The final step after you have finished the writing process is to perfect your draft. To do so, you must practice the following techniques.

4.1 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.

4.2 Read the Essay Out Loud

It may sound weird but reading the paper out loud will actually help you in identifying 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 it 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.

4.3 Make Sure that You Have Added All the Necessary Details

And correctly also. Every assignment has specific guidelines and requirements and as a student, it is important for you 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 names of the characters and location, as mentioned in the novel, or your chosen subject.

4.4 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.

5. Analytical Essay Topics

The range of analytical essay topics is almost limitless. You can write an analytical essay and support your points with evidence and logical arguments on topics as wide ranging as the arts, political movements, social phenomena, scientific 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 mandatory school uniform. Provide strong arguments and proof.
  • 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 while 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 do the novel ‘Of Mice and Men’ discusses 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.

6. Analytical Essay Examples

To help you further, we have added downloadable analytical essay template and essay versions here. You can download them and use them as a guide for your essay writing process.

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Analytical Essay Outline Template (PDF)
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Analytical Essay Example (PDF)

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