Guide How to Write an Analytical Essay: Making Things Clear

Writing guide
Posted on February 7, 2019

What is Analytical Essay?

Analytical essay is a kind of academic work which requires analysis, critique, overview, or summary of a specific issue or aspect. In general, an analytical essay is offered as a task for students in case it is necessary to analyze a specific topic from a critical, rational point of view. In the majority of cases, a professor requires the writing of this kind of essay if it is necessary to check the ability of the student to make a complex analysis, to explain various parts of a complicated issue, and to compare the topic with knowledge from different spheres.

Analytical investigation of the issue is aimed at its complete analysis and definition of its main interconnections with several other aspects. This kind of essay can be aimed at analysis of the different issues including various events, objects of art, different studies, cases, and situations. The student tries to realize all the main parts of the issue, define it in accordance with a specific system or field of studies, or even compare the subject with some other items. The task depends on the problem stated by a professor and the requirements for writing the essay.

It is important to understand the difference between an analytical essay writing and summary or descriptive works. Summary or description is aimed at the representation of the particular object or issue including its main components and additional factors. On the contrary, the analytical essay is related to an examination or evaluation of the specific issue. What is more, the topic for the essay can be different including quite general or narrow issue to study. The structure of this essay can be different; it can include various aspects, a different number of paragraphs and arguments. In order to make a complex and accurate analysis, it is important to consider all related aspects of the issue and clearly represent it in the paper. Hence, the analytical essay is aimed at evaluation of a particular issue, event, situation, or case with a goal to analyze specific aspect or answer an academic question.

How to Choose a Topic for the Essay?

The topic of the essay in the majority of cases is provided by a professor, who requires specific work from students. The topic should be related to the sphere of the course and the issue that is interesting for a student to analyze. In addition, a professor can add some specific requirements to the work that should be followed by a student during the process of the essay writing.
The other variant is choosing the topic by a student based only on his or her analytical interests. Despite a wide variety of topics, the theme should be connected with the course a student is studying. In order to choose an appropriate issue for studying, a student has to analyze the whole course and mark the aspect that is the most interesting for him or her to study. The topic should be up to date, corresponding to the requirements of a professor, and should be interesting for a student. There are different examples of topics that can be used for studying in the analytical essay:

  1. The Role of Parents in Children’s Upbringing.
  2. The Role of the Internet in the Lives of Modern Teenagers.
  3. It Is Hard to Imagine the Modern World Without Technologies.
  4. Interdependence of the Future of Science with IT Development.
  5. Should Government Invest More Money into the Preservation of Species Variety?
  6. Should Government Introduce Stricter Rules for Gun Control?
  7. The Position of the United States Regarding the Global Changes of Climate.
  8. Weighing Consequences of Brexit for the UK.
  9. Migration Crisis in the European Union and Its Reasons.
  10. The Issue of Capital Punishment in the System of the United States.

As follows, the variety of topics provides students with an opportunity to choose a particular one that will be the most interesting and special for studying. The analytical essay can be written on the topic from different spheres including political science, technologies, society, economics, and finances.

Pre-writing Tips from Our Academic Experts

Determine the main idea of the paper.
The majority of analytical topics do not include a specific position. As a result, it is necessary to mark several main ideas to study in the essay and state them in the thesis statement. It is necessary to create the plan of the essay, which will include a plan of main ideas and arguments. Such a method will help the student to follow one core opinion and develop it in the essay. There are several techniques that can simplify the creation of main ideas for an analytical essay:

  • Brainstorming. It is a technique, which includes writing of random ideas on a shit of paper in order to create a strong basis for the essay. Brainstorming is an activator for students’ brains because it requires quick thinking and production of a big number of ideas. This method is useful because in the process of brainstorming various interesting analytical thoughts can appear.
  • Freewriting. This method includes writing of the text that is based on students’ thoughts and opinions about an issue of analytics. It differs from the brainstorming because you need to write complete sentences with a defined structure. This technique is also useful for relaxing because using freewriting you can write out all your emotions and fears regarding the process of work.
  • Analyze the audience. This aspect is essential because it shows the style in which the essay should be written. The audience may be interested in the partial analysis of the issue, comparison with some other specific aspect, or the definition of the issue in terms of a particular system. As a result, it is important to pay attention to the audience analysis or the analysis of the professor’s requirements to be successful in writing the essay.
  • Find sources. Find sources for your essay before starting to write it. Accurately read all the articles, chapters of books, or other sources and define the most significant information. It will allow you to make the general idea of the studied issue, understand its aspects and see what information you have missed.

Outline of the Essay

Before writing the essay, a student can develop a plan of the text that will help to make the text well-structured. This plan will show a student the weak aspects that should be added with essential argumentation. The outline of the essay aims to simplify the writing process and may be required by a professor. The outline of the analytical essay can be as follows:

  • Introduction:
    1. General information about the analyzed issue;
    2. The thesis statement at the end of the paragraph.
  • Body part:
    1. First body paragraph:
      • The first main idea of the essay;
      • Supporting arguments;
      • Conclusion.
    2. Second body paragraph:
      • The second main idea of the essay;
      • Supporting arguments;
      • Conclusion.
    3. Third body paragraph:
      • The third main idea of the essay;
      • Supporting arguments;
      • Conclusion.
  • Conclusion:
    1. Restate the thesis statement;
    2. Summarize all ideas represented in the essay.

The structure of an outline can differ depending on the number of body paragraphs and on the number of main ideas. Creating the outline is aimed at simplification of the essay writing because it makes a student limited in a structure and defined in a number of paragraphs. Hence, an outline is helpful for a student in writing the analytical essay because it helps to develop main statements and make the essay well-structured.

Structure of the Essay and Its Main Components

The analysis essay has a traditional structure as an academic essay. As follows, an analytical essay includes the introduction, several body paragraphs, and conclusion part. The number of body paragraphs depends on the issue of analysis and on the number of the main ideas the student wants to analyze in work.

Title of the Essay

Choosing a title for the essay can become a real challenge for a student because this aspect is extremely essential for the reader. An appropriate title can catch the audience’s attention and make a separate person interested in reading the essay or even making deeper research on the topic. There are several tips on how to choose a successful title for the analytical essay:

  • Eye-catching collocation. The title should summarize the content of the essay and catch the attention of the reader. Students should include in the title both the main issue of studying and the controversy that analyzes regarding the issue. A student can use a question or a specific statement as a title in case it is allowed by requirements of the professor.
  • Easy to read. The title should be simple to understand and read due to its role as a summary of the essay. Do not use complicated words, which can be hard to understand by an ordinary reader. Do not use a lot of words and make it simple to read and understand.
  • Clear and accurate. It is necessary to make the title clear enough and accurate in order to simply represent the issue a reader is going to read. Remember that your title should not mislead a reader, and he or she should understand what the essay is about.

Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a sentence or several sentences that represent the issue that will be analyzed in the paper. The thesis statement should shortly include all the represented ideas regarding the analysis. This part of the paper includes clearly represented thoughts or can even represent your opinion about the analyzed issue. Writing a thesis statement, you should be specific and accurate. Do not make it too long with a lot of unnecessary words. In addition, this sentence should be located at the end of an introductory paragraph and can be marked by a transitional word. Pay attention to the thesis statement because it helps readers to understand the general idea of the essay and decide whether it is interesting for him or her. Additionally, the thesis statement can introduce your command of the topic and your analytical skills.

Post-writing Tips

There are several analytical essay writing tips that will help a student to complete the essay and make it successful. In case a student adheres to the following tips, a professor will highly evaluate the essay.

Editing the Essay

Read the essay aloud several times. During reading your essay, you should focus on grammar, stylistics, spelling, content of the paper and make sure that the work follows the requirements. Take a break and relax after having written the essay. Then read it once more. As a result, you will experience the emotions and ideas an ordinary reader will get from your essay. Add all necessary aspects to improve the essay, divide too long sentences, or change the structure if needed. Editing the essay is aimed at improving the essay content and making it more understandable to a reader.

Proofread the Essay

Proofreading the essay is an essential stage of the task completing. At this stage you should check the grammar and if all words are appropriate for a context. You should use only official academic language avoiding idioms or phrasal verbs. As follows, read the essay attentively and correct all linguistic mistakes. What is more, pay attention to grammar and check if all tenses are used appropriately. In addition, it is important to eliminate the number of passive constructions and correct it in the essay during proofreading.

Referencing the Essay

References of the essay should be formatted according to the required format of the essay. There are different formats including MLA, APA, Chicago, or ASA. It is important to reference all used sources in accordance with the requirements of a specific essay format. In addition, the separate aspect is connected with in-text citations that mark the information in the text taken from other studies. In-text citations should be formatted as instructed by the professor and the format of the essay. It is important to use the citation in all cases in order to avoid plagiarism.

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