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How to Write an Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a common college assignment. It requires an in-depth analysis of the discussed matter. Thus, you should be prepared to present a strong analytical argument and prove it with evidence. Thorough preparation and planning are key to writing an A-level essay. Let us show you how to organize and structure your analytical paper to get the desired grade.  

What Is an Analytical Essay?

An analytical essay is a piece of writing with a narrow focus on a specific idea or concept. Your aim is to critically examine and analyze the discussed subject and make it persuasive enough to convince the audience by means of supporting evidence and examples. It is neither a general explanation of the topic nor a summary. Essentially, you are targeting the smaller aspects of the subject in order to uncover the larger picture. 

You need to build a strong analytical argument, which is a stance you are taking regarding a particular subject. An analytical essay often involves analyzing someone else's work, which gives you some room to express your opinion on the subject. Additionally, you can also agree or disagree on the argument the author made, providing your observations regarding the idea. This is where your analytical argument comes in.

Analytical Essay Outline and Structure

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

Here is an analytical essay format that you need to follow when writing your essay:

  1. Write a brief yet informative introduction. Do not forget to include a compelling opening line to get the readers' attention. 
  2. Formulate your assertions about the topic in a thoughtful thesis statement. Make sure it is original and debatable.
  3. Write body paragraphs (usually 3) that will prove your thesis statement. 
  4. Make sure that each body paragraph includes a topic sentence, evidence and its interpretation, and a concluding sentence. 
  5. Provide a concluding paragraph, restating your thesis statement and summarizing key points. 

How to Write an Analytical Essay Introduction 

The introduction of an analytical essay should get the audience involved in reading your paper. There are three main things that your introduction should contain:

  • The hook;
  • Thesis statement;
  • Telling the reader how you're going to prove your thesis.

Remember that the hook should be very interesting and even surprising. You won't have a second chance to impress your readers, so you have to do it from the very beginning of your analytical essay. You need to figure out who your future audience is in order to know how to grab their attention. It's possible to use various methods to achieve this, such as bringing up a rhetorical or provocative question, a joke, a quote, a fact, a statistic, or to combine several things. Almost anything will work here, as long as it fulfills the purpose of the hook - getting the reader's attention. This may or may not be something that will directly impact your grade. However, the hook is what separates a good piece of writing from a great piece of writing.

After you made a hook, you need to create your thesis statement. Its main purpose is to inform your audience about your analytical paper's subject and explain your opinion about the topic. A thesis statement explains to the audience why your analytical work matters and why it's important for them to read it. The process of creating a thesis statement for an analytical essay is described below in greater detail.

After you have hooked your reader and written down your thesis, it is time to give a reader a quick rundown of how you are going to support your thesis statement. Essentially, you will have to write down the points that your body paragraphs will make. This can help hold the reader's attention and intrigue them even more into reading your analytical essay. Remember not to get into too much detail in your introduction, as the main purpose of this section is to give the reader a quick rundown of what to expect in your essay. Now that we know how to write a proper introduction, let's examine, in greater detail, how to create a great thesis statement for your essay. 

How to Write a Strong Analytical Thesis Statement

Any good paper that argues or analyses a point has to have a clear thesis statement. It can be viewed as the backbone of the whole paper as it states the main topic of it. For a vast majority of students, this is, arguably, the hardest part of writing an analytical essay. This is a point where you decide what direction you want to take your essay in or what angle to approach a topic from.

When you begin your writing, remember that every paragraph in your analytical essay should support the idea presented in your thesis statement. It gives you a focal point and a clear idea of what you are talking about. Most of the thinking is done once you have created your thesis statement. As mentioned previously, this can be the most challenging part, but after it is ready, everything in your essay should fall into place.  

Let's imagine you use one of the following thesis statements:  

  • The use of solar power should be encouraged.
  • Saving endangered species should be a top priority. 

Do they sound convincing or specific? No, and without a strong thesis statement, your analytical essay will not be a convincing piece of writing as it will have no real purpose. So make sure your thesis statement reflects your claims regarding the topic. Here are some better options:

  • Due to the investments and efforts they make, people who install solar panels should be given some financial rewards.
  • Saving endangered species will help to maintain the biological diversity of our planet, benefitting its health and ecosystems.

Your reader should get the idea of what the essay will be about just by reading your thesis statement. A good technique to use when creating a thesis statement is to imagine you are engaged in a conversation. Even better if you can find a friend to help you out. In this conversation, you have to explain your analytical essay in one sentence. This very sentence is your thesis statement. A thesis statement can make or break your analytical essay, so choose it carefully. 

Body of the Analytical Paper

This is the part where you must put all your evidence to support the analysis you are making. Information provided in this section should support your thesis in the most detailed way possible. Unlike your introduction and conclusion, the body of your analytical essay is not a brief overview of the point you are explaining. Therefore, the body of your essay should be as extensive as it is needed to fully support your analysis. This also means it should include more paragraphs than the other parts of your essay.

Include three or four body paragraphs in your analytical essay. Each paragraph should cover a different point of analysis.  At the beginning of each body paragraph, use a sentence that will set up the main point you will discuss. Provide analysis on that point and back it up with evidence to support your claim. Take your time to provide detailed explanations of your analysis and make sure everything you write connects to your thesis. In order to stay on topic, it is important to make sure every argument you provide in your body paragraphs supports your thesis.

Continue providing the analysis and supporting evidence until you have covered the topic fully. At the end of each body paragraph, use a transition sentence that will set up what the next paragraph will be about. Transition sentences can take your analytical essay a long way, as they make it much more readable. Usage of transition sentences is what separates a great essay from an average essay. While making sure your essay flows smoothly, don't forget to structure your sentences and paragraphs in such a way, so that everything can be linked to your thesis statement.

Like the rest of the essay, the body of your essay should follow a certain structure. Make sure your body paragraphs include:

  • Introductory sentence explaining what you'll cover in the paragraph;
  • Point of analysis;
  • Evidence that supports the analysis;

An introductory sentence at the beginning of each paragraph may seem trivial; however, it is important to include it. It helps the reader keep track of what is going on and not get lost in the sheer volume of information you are putting in front of them. Also, an introductory sentence in front of each paragraph can help the reader see how it is connected to your thesis statement.

In addition to having an introductory sentence in each paragraph, make sure it has a point of analysis. Ever wondered how to write a good analysis? The first step is having a point of analysis, which focuses your paragraph on. A point of analysis determines the direction your paragraph is going in.

For example, if the point of analysis of your body paragraph is the impact of deforestation on the quality of air in a particular geographical area, then your paragraph should be focused on that point and that point only. Feel free to include all the information that you need to analyze that point; however, make sure it is directly related to the point. In our example, including the data about the number of trees that were cut during the past year and the CO2 levels is a great idea. On the other hand, information on the marine population in the Atlantic Ocean would be irrelevant. The example is a bit exaggerated; however, it should give you an idea of what the point of analysis in each of your body paragraphs should be.

When you have established the point of analysis for your body paragraphs, it is time to get to the actual analysis; after all, this is the main purpose of the body of your analytical essay. However, you must not forget to include the evidence to support your analysis. Use the sources you can find to gather information and put it in your own words. The process is similar to writing a research paper. However, the analytical essay is typically smaller in size.

How to Conclude Your Analysis Essay

In your conclusion, you will not be making any new points. At this point, you must reiterate the key points you have already made. Essentially, you will repeat some of the things you said in your introduction. Re-stating your main points in different words will remind your reader where you have started your analysis. Also, reiterating the key points will allow the reader to see that you have covered all of them in the body paragraph and answered all the questions you have brought up at the beginning of your analytical essay.

Additionally, the conclusion can help the reader make connections between body paragraphs and the introduction. More often than not, this helps get your point across as the conclusion provides a quick recap of the essay without loading the reader with a large volume of information from the body paragraphs. 

To create a strong conclusion, begin by rephrasing your thesis. After that, summarize the main points you made in the body of your analytical essay. A reader should be able to come away with a basic idea of what your essay was about just by reading the conclusion. After this, feel free to make some final concluding thoughts and some of your own thoughts. For instance, connecting your essay topic to larger issues can help show the importance of the topic. A conclusion must include:

  • Paraphrase of thesis;
  • Summary of key points of analysis;
  • Author's final thoughts.

Analytical Essay Topics 

For a lot of us, choosing the topic of the essay is usually the hardest part, especially if they don't know how to write an analytical essay yet. The easiest way to do this is to pick a topic that you are personally interested in or the one that really matters to you.

This is not always the case, however, as sometimes, your educator will assign a topic for you or give you a list to choose from. These may or may not include the topic you would like. This may sound obvious, but it is still worth mentioning that the point of an analytical paper is to analyze a topic. This is good news because anything can be subjected to analysis. Therefore, it is up to you to find a way to approach a topic and break it down into several parts. You can find a list of potential topics for an analytical essay below. Let's start with possible topics for a literary analysis essay.

Topics on Literature

  • What separates a good novel from a great one?
  • Analyze character development in "Faust" by Goethe. 
  • Does modern literature romanticize mental illnesses? 
  • What is quality literature? 
  • Do you need to read classic literature? 
  • What makes a story compelling? 

Topics on Society 

  • Is love a chemical reaction?
  • Why do people lie?
  • How to get rid of gambling addiction?
  • Describe your attitude to reverse discrimination.
  • Is it important to cherish national cultural heritage?
  • What are the reasons for poor digital literacy? 

Topics on Environment

  • Can an individual make a change and stop global warming?
  • What do you think about the phenomenon of climate refugees?
  • Should people face grave penalties for littering?
  • How is ozone depletion related to climate change?
  • What laws can be created in order to encourage recycling?
  • Should people receive certain compensation for installing solar panels?

To Sum Up

An analytical essay involves analyzing a topic, as the name suggests. When writing your analytical essay, keep it focused on the main point, don't turn it into a summary. Before you start an essay, plan it out, what you will say first, what will you say last, etc. Create a good introduction that includes an extensively developed thesis that will form a strong backbone of your essay. Use the body paragraphs to support your thesis with detailed arguments and all the useful information you can find. Conclude your analytical essay with a short summary of the rest of the essay, and feel free to add some thoughts of your own on the subject.

If you feel like you have any difficulties with writing an analytical essay, contact our “write my essay”. We have a team of expert essay writers who can help you create a top-notch analytical essay in a short amount of time.

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