Has your professor requested you to write an analytical essay? How is an Essay Mama analytical essay different from other types of essay? And what do you need to include when writing this essay? In this post, we shall discuss the steps that you need to take when writing an analytical essay. Let’s get started!
Defining an analytical essay
Analytical essays focus on analyzing something – a film or a piece of writing in most cases. An analytical essay is not just a synopsis of the issue at hand. You’ll be required to go beyond the surface and discuss the key arguments of the issues. To write an analytical essay, you’ll need to look at how the text was written and why the author wrote it in that style. An analytical essay isn’t about summarizing but focusing on the major themes and how the author supports their arguments.
Unlike argumentative or persuasive essays, your goal shouldn’t be trying to convert readers to our side when writing an analytical essay. Therefore, you don’t have to use strong persuasive language in this type of essay. Your goal is to analyze key arguments clearly for readers to understand you.
Apart from conclusion, a good analytical essay should have:
- A thesis stating your argument.
- Analysis that is linked to your thesis and anchors it.
- Examples that support your thesis and enable you to look at the issue in-depth.
Structuring an analytical essay
The structure of an analytical essay is similar to other types of essay. It has an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Here is an outline that you can use when structuring an analytical essay.
Your introduction should begin with an attention-grabbing sentence that will excite your audience. Next, you’ll write a few sentences that set the topic so that readers can have context. And then, you’ll finish off your intro with your thesis. Your intro should include:
- An attention-grabbing sentence
- Brief background of the issue
- Thesis statement
2. Body paragraphs
Ideally, your analytical essay should have three or four paragraphs. And each covers a different analytical point. Start every paragraph with a sentence that focuses on the main point that you’ll discuss. Then, you’ll analyze that point and back it up with evidence that supports it. Keep analyzing while giving evidence for your analytical point until you exhaust all the strong points. You can choose to have a transition paragraph at the end of each body paragraph. Body paragraphs should include:
- Intro sentences that describe what you’ll share in the paragraph.
- Analytical point
- Evidence that supports your analytical point
- Repeat the sequence until you exhaust all ideas.
You won’t make new points in this section. The purpose of the conclusion section is to repeat the key points that you’ve mentioned in the body section and wrap things up. Start by rephrasing the thesis statement and summarizing all the key points in your essay. Your readers should read your conclusion and have a clear idea of what your essay is about and its structure. You can share your concluding thoughts after summarizing all the key points. Your conclusion should include:
- Your thesis statement.
- Summary of key analytical points
- Concluding thoughts
Writing an analytical essay
Here are manageable steps that you should follow when writing an analytical essay:
1. Choose a good topic.
If your professor has assigned a topic to you, you can skip this step. However, if it’s up to you to choose a topic, keep reading. Your topic can mean the difference between getting good grades and graduating and failing or repeating. Before choosing a topic, take a few hours to research and find a few strong points to analyze. If you choose a narrow topic, you’ll have a hard time finding content. On the other hand, if you go for a broad topic, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of points that you’ll need to cover.
2. Write your thesis statement.
The thesis statement is the most important part of your essay. Your readers should read your thesis statement and understand what you are analyzing in your essay. All sentences in your essay should be linked to the thesis statement. Keep in mind that a good thesis statement is made up of one sentence.
3. Conduct extensive research to find main points.
Conducting extensive research on your chosen topic will allow you to know and explore the important points in your essay. You need to list every important idea that comes to mind and research each of them. Choose the first three or four points. Weak points are those that don’t relate to your thesis or don’t have much content. Keep in mind that every paragraph in the body section should cover one point.
4. Find evidence to support your analysis.
With your main points, you need to support them. If you are analyzing a book or film, use clips and passages as main sources of evidence. If you are working on something else, your evidence should come from experiments, surveys, and quotes from reputable sources.
5. Put it together.
If you haven’t written your essay, now is the ideal time to put your essay together. Write your introductory paragraph, body paragraphs including your analysis and evidence to support it. And finish it with a strong conclusion that captures your main points and thesis.
After writing your essay, don’t forget to proofread and revise it. You should never submit your essay without proofreading. Remember, your first draft contains lots of spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. Therefore, read it at least three times before submitting it. If you don’t want to read your essay, consider sharing it with your study partner or supervisor. Most importantly, check for plagiarism to avoid missing your grades or getting a suspension.
Writing an analytical essay is not as difficult as most students think. You need to manage your time effectively by creating a solid plan and following it through to the end.