analytical essay i

How to Write an Analytical Essay: Your Guide + Tips and Examples

analytical essay i

Defining What Is an Analytical Essay

If scrutinizing different tasks and constantly thinking out of the box are something you enjoy doing, then the analytical essay writing might be a fun assignment for you! With careful, in-depth analysis and the use of proper literary devices, you may discover a whole new set of perspectives and enrich your understanding of your chosen topic.

To be able to uncover the hidden pieces of literature and captivate your reader, first, you must understand what is an analytical essay and what it tries to accomplish. In a nutshell, analytical essays use textual evidence to support the author's claims and main points by utilizing logic and facts rather than relying on sentimental appeals and personal narratives.

Unlike a persuasive essay, where you only need to prove one side of the argument, analytical essay requires understanding and presenting all sides of an argument. At the end, you should discuss whether you agree or disagree with the analysis you have done.

Creating an Analytical Essay Outline Template

Now that you better understand the definition analytical essay, it's time to master the process of composing a top-notch paper. In order to streamline the writing process, you should put your thoughts into perspective and structure your arguments in a clear format. For this, you need to employ an analytical essay outline that will serve as a roadmap from the beginning to crafting a compelling concluding paragraph. So, let's break down the essential steps required for a proper analytical essay outline template to ensure you leave a lasting impact on your audience.

‍Introduction‍

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph 1‍

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the body paragraph to‍

Body paragraph 2‍

  • Transition to body paragraph 3

Body paragraph 3

  • Transition to conclusion
  • Summary of major points
  • Restate the thesis
  • Key takeaways

STEPS TO CHOOSING AN ANALYTICAL ESSAY TOPIC

Analytical Essay Introduction

The process of creating an introduction for an analytical paper is the same as for any other sort of essay. So, if you wondered how to start an analytical essay, remember that as the introduction is the first thing a reader reads, it's critical to grab their attention and ensure that they are aware of the topic of the paper. A strong beginning gives background information, outlines the paper's purpose clearly, and makes a few references to the assertions you will make.

The opening sentence needs to have a hook. In other words, it must draw the reader in and persuade them to continue reading the essay. A hook may be anything fascinating and related to your topics, such as an intriguing fact, a funny story, or a provocative inquiry.

Afterward, establish your thesis, which should be a brief and unambiguous summary of the stance you will take in your essay.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement

So, how to write a thesis for an analytical essay? Your thesis statement should be clear enough to steer the flow of your essay and should highlight the primary subject you will be examining, along with the supporting details or logic you'll use to back it up. A strong analytical thesis should be precise and straightforward. Therefore, it should present a claim rather than merely summarizing the subject or material under consideration. A compelling analytical thesis statement would be something like: 'Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' addresses the issue of loss and the mental torment it causes, eventually indicating that the only way to find peace is through tolerance.' This thesis statement states the fundamental point regarding the material and the strategies the essay will use to defend that claim.

The last step effectively flows from your introduction into the first body paragraph, which should expound on the first idea you will be addressing. By adhering to these essay format rules, you may create an effective and convincing opening that serves as the foundation for an analytical essay that is well-structured and appealing.

Analytical Essay Body Paragraphs

An analytical essay generally exceeds the traditional five-paragraph structure since additional body paragraphs may be required to adequately defend the thesis statement. The evidence and arguments in these body paragraphs support the thesis statement and are the essay's main body.

  • Topic sentence that clearly states the direction of analysis for the paragraph
  • The main piece of evidence for your claim
  • Supporting information
  • Transition to the next paragraph

The first sentence of your body paragraph should give the reader an idea of the specific issue that the paragraph will talk about. For example, if the essay is about the gamification of education, the topic sentence for the first body paragraph can be 'Educational video games are being used in many third world countries to help children who cannot access standard schooling systems.' Using this topic sentence, you may clarify the subject of the paragraph and offer supporting evidence.

A good topic sentence helps the reader keep track of and structures the flow of your analysis paper. Imagine having a conversation with a friend about a topic. The main pieces of support you make for your claim are topic sentences. 

The rest of the body paragraph includes factual information proving your topic sentence's validity. Each body paragraph should talk about only one issue, so make sure that the evidence you provide is related only to the specific claim you are making in that paragraph. It can be tempting to provide as much evidence as possible. Still, papers that are too dense with information can be hard to read and understand, so only mention the most important facts and figures. 

The main phrase should be briefly restated at the end of each body paragraph, highlighting how the arguments you've made support it. This is an excellent technique to move into the following body paragraph, which includes a new piece of evidence and analysis from a different point of view. A one-sentence summary or another kind of transition statement helps the essay flow better and builds a more convincing overall argument

Paper's conclusion paragraph frequently follows a predetermined format, restating the thesis statement and summarizing the key concepts covered in the body paragraphs. The conclusion of the essay may also include a remark or comment on the significance of the analysis in order to leave the reader with a lasting impression of its major point.

  • Reiterate the thesis
  • Recite the key details
  • Give supporting documentation
  • Suggest recommendations for further research

If someone can understand the purpose of your paper just by reading the conclusion, then you have written a good conclusion paragraph. By restating your thesis at the beginning, you reminded the reader of the main purpose of your essay. Going through three body paragraphs is important so the reader can connect the evidence presented and the thesis statement. 

Follow this up with a brief summary of the main claims and analysis in each body paragraph. Since you have already presented evidence backing up the claims, rephrase the main topic sentences and put together a convincing argument for your points. Make sure you don't include new evidence or points of analysis in the conclusion because this might confuse the reader. The conclusion paragraph only recaps and summarizes information. If you have a new point of analysis, then add a new body paragraph. 

Finally, end the conclusion paragraph with some of your own thoughts. Explain why the topic is important, why your perspective adds new information, how your analysis compares to experts in the field, etc. 

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Steps For How to Write an Analytical Essay

After uncovering the structure of an analytical essay, there are a few more things you can do to make the process of writing an analytical essay easier before you actually start writing it. The writing process will be made simpler, and the essay will have a better overall flow and structure the more preparation you do in advance. Before you begin writing, you should take the following steps from our write my essay for me experts:

how to write an analytical essay

Brainstorm Some Ideas

A good analytical essay writer spends some time brainstorming and making a mental map of thoughts associated with their subject before deciding on a theme. This might assist you in coming up with original and intriguing approaches to your study. You may, for instance, come up with a list of several ideas or motifs that emerge in the book and assess their relevance if your essay is about literature.

Use Visual Aids

Our expert research paper writer suggests communicating your research clearly and engagingly by using graphs and charts to help you arrange your insights. For instance, you could make a chart that contradicts two hypotheses or a diagram that illustrates the relationships between various protagonists in a play.

Use Contrasting Opinions

Including opposing viewpoints in your paper may seem unproductive, yet doing so is a terrific approach to developing a strong case for your position. Find the strongest opposing viewpoint and create a body paragraph that uses evidence to demonstrate why it is incorrect. Because it demonstrates that you have thought about alternative opinions, and by weakening the stronger one, it strengthens your case.

Use Primary Sources

When writing an analytical essay, utilizing primary materials like interviews, presentations, and original documents can provide an exceptional outlook on your chosen subject matter. By integrating primary sources into your analysis, you can construct a more intricate and exclusive perspective. For instance, if you are composing an analytical essay about a historical event, delving into letters or memoirs penned by individuals who lived during that time can assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of their viewpoints and experiences.

Use Multimedia Elements

Using multimedia in your essay, such as photographs, films, or audio recordings, may increase reader interest and make the analysis more vivid and engaging. For instance, you might include photographs of the artwork in your essay to graphically explain and demonstrate your observation if you were writing an analytical essay on a masterpiece. This strategy may not only assist in concept clarification but also provide additional life and intrigue to your writing.

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Analytical Essay Topics

As mentioned above, finding the right topic is vitally important when it comes to answering the question of how to write an analytical essay. Which is why we devoted this section to providing you with good options. Remember that a good topic:

  • Is something you generally find interesting
  • Should attract a reader's attention
  • It should not be too broad
  • Needs enough quality research to present evidence
  • Asks a question that is important

Finding a good topic for an analytical research paper isn't easy, but make sure you spend enough time pinpointing something that fulfills the criteria. The choice between finding writing enjoyable and receiving a good grade or finding it tedious and receiving a poor grade depends on the topic.

So, here is a list of good topics from our dissertation services to get you started.

Analytical Essay Topics about Psychology

Here are some topics on psychology essay writing:

  • What qualifies as a mental disorder?
  • Why do more young people feel lonely?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on mental health?
  • Is happiness an illusion?
  • What are effective methods of coping with depression?

Analytical Essay Topics about Pop Culture

  • Why DOTA is the perfect game
  • What is the impact of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
  • An analysis of the history of Science Fiction
  • Why blank is the best music genre
  • The rise and fall of Kanye West

Analytical Essay Topics about Art and History

  • How does World War II still affect us?
  • An analysis of postmodern art.
  • Are all artists geniuses?
  • What is the influence of the Renaissance?
  • What are the lessons learned from war?

Analytical Essay Examples

I assume you are going to use the examples that are already on the website

Despite the difference in doctrines, the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have in one way or another related in accordance to their faith and beliefs. The three monotheistic religions are known for their high regard for their disparities despite the similarities they manifest. It is not only a matter that concerns the religions themselves, but also the society given the world is slowly changing and more people have begun to question the existence of each religion in essence. While, the similarities may be just but subtle, the extent of reach is relatively wide, and for that cause the standing of these religion need some inspection. Noteworthy, there are common features in the religions such as the tenacious adherence by certain groups, which may also pose the question regarding not only lack of choice but also the need to be considered one.
A major consequence of war is in its ability to demolish traditional values and introducing drastic changes the perceptions of the world among those who experience the horror and devastation that define war. For military personnel, assuming a normal life after war is a form of torture because for such an individual visualizing the society from an optimistic perspective is relatively difficult considering that it always in the brink of war which threatens the peace that may be prevailing. Hemmingway uses this story to reminisce about his life after participating in the First World War. It was from his experience in the war as a driver for the Italian Army that he developed depression and he experienced multiple injuries.

Final Concluding Thoughts

By using the advice and illustrations provided by us, you may improve your writing abilities and produce essays that fascinate and interest your audience. You can master analytical writing with dedication and practice, enabling you to confidently take on any topic.

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The Ultimate Guide to Analytical Essay Writing: How to Craft an A-Grade Paper?

25 January, 2021

17 minutes read

Author:  Kate Smith

An analytical essay is often considered the most challenging piece of writing. However, those who have dealt with it at least once are a step closer to calling themselves masters of essay writing. This type of paper requires plenty of analytical skills to carry out an in-depth analysis of the assigned topic. Yet, the main goal of an analytical essay is not only to demonstrate your ability to learn the basics of the theme.

Analytical Essay

You also need to think critically, analyze facts, express your standpoint, and clearly show a deep understanding of key concepts. In short, your main task as an author is to prove the validity of your views by coming up with strong arguments that do not beg any questions.

how to write an analytical essay

The given guide provides a full analytical essay definition, as well as specifies its features and structural aspects. The following information will help you properly start your paper, choose a relevant topic, and come up with compelling conclusions. 

What is an Analytical Essay?

An analytical essay is a piece of writing aimed to provide a thorough analysis of a definite phenomenon using persuasive arguments and supporting assertions. Analysis in the analytical essay writing process stands for a method of research that allows one to study specific features of an object. Analytical papers also have to do with analysis of a specific problem; that is consideration of the problem itself and identification of its key patterns. The subject matter of analysis can be a well-known or little-studied scientific phenomenon, artistic work, historical event, social problem, etc.

The content of an analytical essay will totally depend on the object that has been chosen for analysis. Thus, when shedding light on any kind of scientific work, an analytical essay can be devoted to the analysis of research credibility, its relevance, or the adequacy of conclusions. When considering a work of art, an essay writer can focus on the analysis of the author’s artistic techniques or issues raised in the book. For this reason, it is essential to accurately determine the topic and subject matter of your future analytical essay.

Steps to Take Before Writing

The preparational stage of analytical essay writing cannot be omitted. It lays the basis for the A-grade paper and should be carefully completed. If you don’t know how to start an analytical essay, read a few handy tips that will ensure a solid foundation for your paper.  

Define a subject matter

You first need to clearly understand the issue you will base your essay on. Since analytical essays imply an in-depth analysis of a specific problem, you need to define its core. Try to split the analysis into several components and provide arguments taken either from a book, a research, a scientific work, or a movie (depending on the subject matter of your analysis), and support your views comprehensively.

Decide on the content of your analytical essay

If you are a student who was given an analytical essay topic, read the task several times before you are 100% sure that you clearly understand the requirements as to the analytical essay format. In case you were lucky to choose the topic of the analytical paper by yourself, make sure the theme you will be dealing with is familiar or at least seems interesting to you. 

Remember that different subject matters require a different approach to their analysis. If you examine some literature work, you can prove your opinion based on the deeds of a certain or several characters. But if you have been assigned the task to elaborate on some historic events, analyze their main causes, driving forces that have affected their course, and their global consequences.  

Take care of the proper start

Don’t forget to start your analytical essay with a thesis statement. It is a sentence or a couple of sentences that aim to summarize the key statements of your paper. A thesis statement should provide readers with a preliminary idea of what your essay is all about.  

Find extra reasoning

Make sure your thesis is supported by compelling arguments. To find enough evidence, you should carry out a thorough analysis of the assigned topic. List the crucial points of your research and ponder over the ways they can be used to prove your final opinion. 

Elaborate the outline

A sound outline elaborated at the preparation stage will help you ensure a proper analytical essay structure and make the overall writing process easier. As a rule, an analytical essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your outline plan should include the key arguments you want to discuss in each paragraph. 

Analytical Essay Thesis

A thesis statement represents the central idea of your paper and must serve as strong proof of your standpoint. While elaborating your thesis statement, it is crucial to include it at the end of the first paragraph and thus set a direction for the overall paper. 

Analytical Essay Outline

An outline is not a required element of analytical essays writing and should not be included in the text, but it can greatly facilitate the whole process of paper writing.

The analytical essay structure looks as follows:

Introduction

In the introduction of an analytical essay, you will need to identify your paper’s subject matter. Mention the purpose of your work and specify its scope of research. Don’t forget to include a thesis to let readers know what your work is about.

Body Section

As has already been mentioned, the body section covers three or more main paragraphs, each being supported with arguments and details. Besides, you need to provide a small conclusion to each statement to make your essay sound professional and persuasive. 

At this stage, you need to summarize the points elucidated in your paper and make sure there is a smooth and logical transition from the body section to the concluding part of the text. If you don’t know how to conclude an analytical essay, try to restate the thesis statement without copying it word for word.  

Analytical Essay Examples

Writing an analytical essay may seem to be a thorny way. If you are still not sure how to properly craft one, try to find some examples that will help you go in the right direction. Below, there are some great examples of analytical essays. Take a look at their structure and try to write something similar based on your views and ideas:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JeR4i4RIZIj448W3KVFyHP-eS3QPN7gW/view

https://stlcc.edu/docs/student-support/academic-support/college-writing-center/rhetorical-analysis-sample-essay.pdf

https://www.germanna.eduhttp://handmadewriting.com/wp-content/uploads/tutoring/handouts/Literary-Analysis-Sample-Paper.pdf

30 Analytical Essay Topics

If you were allowed to choose the theme for your paper by yourself, check on the following analytical essay topics. Each of them can bring you the highest score:

General topics

  • The influence of social networks on the life of teens
  • Are salaries of football players too high?
  • Wearing uniforms in schools should be banned
  • A person in society: the problems of loneliness and privacy
  • Sociology of corporate relationships
  • Does the observation of space need more investments?
  • Should the voting age in the UK be decreased?
  • Reasons why capital punishment should be brought back in the UK
  • A world with no rules: a new human era or a road to the global collapse?
  • Life without technologies: will modern people survive?
  • Should scientists test drugs on animals to fight cancer?
  • The problem of keeping the balance between career and family life
  • The importance of listening to your body 
  • Problems caused by the lack of communication
  • Food addiction and the problems it causes
  • Problems of vaccination in the XXI century
  • Does evil really rule the world?
  • How does body size affect life quality?
  • Pros and cons of video games 
  • The role of a family model in the life and career of a person

Analytical Essay Topics on Literature

  • “Robinson Crusoe”: fantasy vs reality
  • Observation of the artistic uniqueness in the comedy by W. Shakespeare “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 
  • Observe the social problems in the novel by John Steinbeck “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • Convulsions and death of the “little man” in the networks of impersonal, alienated forces in the novel “The Metamorphosis”
  • Observation of the problems of a man on a plagued land in the novel “The Plague”
  • Revolt of the protagonist in the novel by J. Salinger “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Observation of friendship and love in the fate of humanity in the XX century
  • The triumph of immorality in the novel by F. Sagan “Hello Sadness”
  • Observation of the personality of an American student in the novel by J. Salinger “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Eternal tragedies of humanity in the tragedy by W. Shakespeare “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”

How to Write a Well-Structured Analytical Essay With a Solid Argument

Writing an analytical essay with a clear structure might be challenging unless you are thoroughly prepared. We decided to help you out and create a detailed guide listing the main things to consider when creating an analytical essay outline. You need to explain your main idea in a concise way to bring your point across. As analytical writing has high requirements, it pays off to find an analytical essay example and analyze how this text was written. It will allow you to understand the analytical essay format better and learn how to provide substantive analysis on various topics. Read on to learn how to write a top-level analytical paper and submit it on time.

Main Tips for Writing an Analytical Essay

An analytical essay should provide a comprehensive analysis of a chosen topic. What makes an analysis essay different from other assignments is that it includes a personal opinion of an author. This is why analytical writing should be persuasive.

Below, we have rounded up the key tips you need to follow when producing an analytical essay outline and the main body of your text. Read on to learn more about the analytical essay format and create a text that will fully meet the requirements.

Select an Analytical Essay Topic

Before creating an analytical essay outline, make sure to pick a topic that you are interested in. It should be provocative enough to engage your readers. A widely-debated topic will help you write an analytical essay that grabs the attention of a wide audience.

Consider your goals and conduct thorough research to see if you have enough sources to support the main thesis of your analysis essay.

Come Up With a Strong Analytical Thesis Statement

When writing an analytical essay, start by formulating a thesis statement that includes the topic and the main goal of your text. It will help you create an analytical essay outline and show your readers what you will discuss in your analysis essay.

Add it to the last paragraph of your analytical essay introduction. Due to this, your analytical essay outline will look better structured. Look at any analytical essay example to see how you can introduce your subject. In most cases, one sentence will suffice to state your analysis essay’s goal. However, a complex analytical essay outline might require you to use two sentences for a thesis statement.

Write an Analytical Essay Body with a Clear Structure

Your analytical essay outline should include 3-4 paragraphs. However, a literary analysis essay usually consists of 5 paragraphs. When it comes to analytical writing, it is important to cover a different point in each section of the main body of an analysis paper.

After writing an analytical essay, check whether each paragraph contains an introduction and the main point. Besides, it should contain evidence. An expertly written analytical essay outline will help you reach out to your target audience more effectively.

Conduct Research Before Writing an Analytical Essay Outline

While this step is preparatory, it is a must for those who want to write a well-grounded analytical paper.

  • First, select the best ideas for your essay
  • Then, emphasize the problems with works written by other researchers
  • Finally, write your analytical essay outline to demonstrate what approach you want to take

Examine the context and find examples to illustrate the scope of the issue. You may draw parallels to emphasize your point and make your topic more relatable.

Analyze the Implications of the Evidence

After listing your pieces of evidence and demonstrating how it is related to your thesis, show why it is important. You need to explore it deeply and use it to support your argument. It will make your analytical essay outline well-grounded facts.

Write an Analytical Essay Conclusion

Whether you write a literary analysis essay or other types of assignments, there is no need to add any new data at the end of your analysis paper. Instead, summarize the arguments you mentioned in your analytical essay outline. The conclusion of your analysis essay should be short and clear. Here, you need to demonstrate that you have achieved your goals.

Analytical Essay Writing Tips

If you want to get the highest grade for your analytical essay, you need to know a little bit more than just the basics of paper writing. Read these handy tips to write a perfect essay you will be proud of:

  • Double-check your paper for spelling and grammar mistakes. In case your essay contains too many errors, neither an in-depth analysis nor the elaborate writing style will make it look any better. Situations when essays of great value in terms of research and a message they convey are poorly assessed because of the abundance of mistakes are not rare. Make sure you have enough time to proofread your paper before submission. Also, you may consider asking somebody to take a fresh look at your essay and check it for you.
  • Reading your analytical essay out loud helps you discover all types of errors or weak phrases. This method might seem a bit uncomfortable, but it has proved to be very effective for many students. Note that silent reading of your paper isn’t even half as helpful as reading it aloud. 
  • Another great idea to check on the rhythm and flow of your paper is to ask someone to read it for you. While listening to the text, you could perceive it from another perspective and discover even more inconsistencies and mistakes.  
  • Double-check the facts you use in your analytical essay. The names of people, books, research, publications, as well as dates of historical events are too important to be misspelled. Things like these show your professionalism and the way you treat your readers.

Write an Analytical Essay with HandmadeWriting

Writing an analytical essay requires time, strong writing skills, great attention to detail, and a huge interest in the assigned topic. However, life can be unpredictable sometimes, and students might find themselves at risk of failing their creative assignments. Stress, family issues, poor health, and even unwillingness to work on a certain topic may become significant obstacles on their way to the A-grade work.

If you have similar problems, there is no need to compromise your reputation and grades. You can always refer to HandmadeWriting professionals who are ready to help you with a paper of any type and complexity. They will understand your individual style and totally devote themselv

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What Is an Analytical Essay | Outlines and Examples

Unlocking the mystery of analytical essays can be a daunting task, but fear not! This ultimate guide has everything you need to know to write insightful and persuasive analytical essays with ease. Discover the key components of successful analytical essays and learn how to analyze texts effectively to craft compelling arguments!

Welcome to our blog post on "What is an Analytical Essay? | Outlines and Examples". Do you need help writing an analytical essay and need help figuring out where to start? Do you need some guidance on how to structure your essay effectively? If so, you're in the right place.

In this blog post, we'll explain an analytical essay and provide some examples and outlines to help you get started. But first, let us introduce you to Jenni.ai, the AI tool that can make your essay-writing process easier and quicker.

Jenni.ai is an innovative writing tool that uses AI technology to help students write better essays. With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, Jenni.ai can help you create articles and essays to improve your writing skills. Whether you need help with grammar, structure, or citations, Jenni.ai has got you covered.

Now, let's return to the topic: analytical essays. An analytical essay is a type of essay that requires you to analyze and interpret a text or a piece of literature. The purpose of an analytical essay is to break down the reader into its various components and explore how they relate to each other to create meaning.

To write an effective analytical essay, you must understand the text and its context clearly. You also need to be able to use evidence from the text to support your analysis and interpretation. In this blog post, we'll provide some analytical essay examples to help you understand how to structure your essay and use evidence effectively.

So, whether you're a high school or college student, or just someone who wants to improve their essay writing skills, Jenni.ai and this blog post can help you. Read on for some analytical essay examples and tips on how to write an effective analytical essay.

Using Data and Statistics in Analytical Essays: Best Practices and Examples

Data and statistics are crucial components of analytical essays. In any analytical essay, data and statistics are used to support the arguments presented by the author. Using data and statistics in analytical reports effectively adds credibility, depth, and relevance to the discussions.

They also help the author make their point more transparent and convincing to the reader. This article will explore the best practices for using data and statistics in analytical essays and provide examples to illustrate their application.

Best Practices for Using Data and Statistics in Analytical Essays

Using data and statistics in analytical essays requires a thorough understanding of their application. The following are best practices for using data and statistics in analytical reports:

Choose Relevant Data and Statistics: The data and statistics chosen must be relevant to the topic under discussion. Irrelevant data and statistics only confuse the reader and weaken the argument presented.

Use Reliable Sources: The data and statistics used in analytical essays must come from reliable sources. Reliable sources are peer-reviewed, published in reputable journals, or provided by respected institutions.

Provide Context: Data and statistics should be presented in the context of the argument. Providing context helps the reader understand the data's relevance and statistics to the topic under discussion.

Use Clear and Concise Language: Data and statistics can be complex and challenging to understand. Therefore, using clear and concise language to explain their relevance to the presented argument is essential.

Use Visuals: Visuals such as graphs, charts, and tables can help illustrate the presented data and statistics. Visuals also make it easier for the reader to understand complex data and statistics.

Examples of Using Data and Statistics in Analytical Essays

The following examples illustrate how data and statistics can be effectively used in analytical essays:

Example 1: Gun Control

Argument: The United States needs stricter gun control laws to reduce gun violence.

Data and statistics: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in 2019, there were 39,707 gun-related deaths in the United States. Of these deaths, 24,090 were suicides, and 14,414 were homicides.

Context: These statistics illustrate the high number of gun-related deaths in the United States. They provide context for the argument that stricter gun control laws are necessary to reduce gun violence.

Example 2: Climate Change

Argument: Climate change is a significant threat to the planet, and urgent action is necessary to mitigate its effects.

Data and statistics: According to NASA, the global average temperature has increased by 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 19th century. This increase is primarily due to increased greenhouse gases caused by human activity.

Context: These statistics prove that climate change is real and caused by human activity. They support the argument that urgent action is necessary to mitigate its effects.

Example 3: Education

Argument: Education is essential for economic and social development.

Data and statistics: According to the World Bank, countries with higher levels of education have lower levels of poverty and higher levels of economic growth. For every year of teaching, a person's income increases by an average of 10%.

Furthermore, it is also crucial to avoid misrepresenting or manipulating data and statistics to fit preconceived notions or biases. Doing so weakens the credibility of the argument and undermines the writer's integrity.

In addition, it is essential to acknowledge the limitations, and potential weaknesses of the data and statistics presented. By doing so, the writer can show that they have considered alternative perspectives and interpretations and can address possible counterarguments.

When incorporating data and statistics into analytical essays, it is also essential to consider the audience. For instance, technical jargon or complex statistical analysis may be appropriate for a more specialized audience, such as academic researchers.

However, for a broader audience, it may be necessary to simplify and explain the data and statistics to make the argument more accessible and understandable.

Moreover, it is essential to consider the ethical implications of using data and statistics in analytical essays. Using specific data or statistics may sometimes raise privacy concerns or violate ethical principles. In such cases, weighing the benefits of using the data and statistics against potential harm is essential to ensure appropriate measures are taken to protect individuals' privacy and rights.

In conclusion, using data and statistics in analytical essays is a powerful tool that can add depth and credibility to arguments. However, it requires careful consideration of the best practices outlined in this article, including choosing relevant data and statistics from reliable sources, providing context, using clear and concise language, and using visuals. 

It is also crucial to consider the audience, acknowledge limitations and potential weaknesses, and address ethical considerations. By following these best practices, writers can use data and statistics effectively to support their arguments and make them more compelling and convincing.

Analyzing Historical Events: Writing an Analytical Essay on a Significant Event

Analyzing historical events is a crucial aspect of studying history. History is not just about memorizing dates and names; it is about understanding the significance of those dates and names. Analyzing historical events involves examining and interpreting the available evidence to conclude the past.

One way to do this is by writing an analytical essay on a significant event. This essay will discuss the steps in writing an analytical essay on a historical event, with specific examples and tips.

In this article, we will explore the steps involved in writing an analytical essay on a significant historical event, including how to develop a strong thesis statement, gather evidence, and organize your analysis. By following these steps, you can produce a well-researched and compelling essay that demonstrates your critical thinking skills and understanding of history.

Step 1: Choose a Significant Historical Event

The first step in writing an analytical essay on a historical event is to choose a significant event to analyze. This can be a major event that had a substantial impact on the world, a lesser-known event that is important in a particular context, or an event that is significant to you personally.

Choosing a possibility you are interested in and passionate about is essential, as this will make the writing process much more manageable.

Once you have chosen your event, it is important to research it thoroughly. This includes reading primary and secondary sources, analyzing photographs and other visual material, and conducting interviews with experts in the field. The more research you do, the better your understanding of the event will be and the more insightful your analysis will be.

Step 2: Develop a Thesis Statement

Developing a thesis statement is the next step in writing an analytical essay on a historical event. The thesis statement is the main argument you will make in your article. It should be a clear and concise statement summarizing your event analysis.

For example, suppose you were writing an analytical essay on the American Civil War. In that case, your thesis statement might be: "The American Civil War was a turning point in American history, as it led to the abolition of slavery and the beginning of a new era of civil rights for African Americans."

Step 3: Outline Your Essay

Once you have developed your thesis statement, it is essential to outline your essay. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that you cover all of the necessary points in your analysis. Your essay outline should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

In your introduction, you should provide some background information on the event and explain its significance. You should also include your thesis statement in the introduction.

You should provide evidence to support your thesis statement in the body paragraphs. This might include analyzing primary sources, such as letters, diaries, and newspapers, or secondary sources, such as scholarly articles and books. Using various sources to support your analysis and provide a well-rounded view of the event is essential.

In your conclusion, summarize your analysis and restate your thesis statement. You should also provide some final thoughts on the event's significance and impact on history.

Step 4: Write Your Essay

Now that you have developed your thesis statement and outlined your essay, it is time to start writing. When writing your essay, it is essential to keep your thesis statement in mind and to use evidence to support your analysis.

When analyzing historical events, it is essential to consider the event's context. This might include the political, social, and economic factors that contributed to the event, as well as the cultural and ideological beliefs of the time. It is also essential to consider the event's impact on history and how it shaped the world we live in today.

Some tips for writing a successful analytical essay on a historical event include:

Use clear and concise language that is easy to understand.

Use evidence to support your analysis, and cite your sources.

Consider different viewpoints and perspectives on the event.

Avoid making sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims.

Use various sources to provide a well-rounded view of the event.

In conclusion, writing an analytical essay on a significant historical event is a valuable exercise in understanding the significance of the past. By choosing a significant event, developing a clear thesis statement, and conducting thorough research, it is possible to provide a thoughtful analysis of the event and its impact on history. 

It is essential to consider the event's context, use evidence to support your analysis, and avoid making sweeping generalizations or unsupported claims. Following these steps and tips, you can write a successful analytical essay contributing to our understanding of the past and its relevance to the present.

How to Develop a Strong Thesis Statement for Your Analytical Essay

A thesis statement is the backbone of any analytical essay. It is a concise statement summarizing your essay's central argument or point. Developing a solid thesis statement is crucial for a successful analytical essay as it sets the tone for the rest of your writing. This article will discuss the steps to develop a strong thesis statement for your analytical essay.

Step 1: Choose a Topic and Analyze It

The first step in developing a solid thesis statement for your analytical essay is to choose a topic and analyze it thoroughly. The case can be anything from literature, a historical event, or a social issue. Once you have selected a claim, you must analyze it and understand its nuances.

You need to read and re-read the source material to analyze your topic. Take notes and highlight key themes, characters, and events. Identify patterns and connections between different parts of the source material. Think about the context in which the source material was created and the message the author was trying to convey.

Step 2: Identify the Main Argument

Once you have analyzed your topic thoroughly, you must identify the central argument or point you want to make in your essay. This is the foundation of your thesis statement. Your main idea should be specific, clear, and concise.

For example, if you were writing an analytical essay on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," your main argument could be that the novel critiques the American Dream as unattainable and corrupt.

Step 3: Consider Counterarguments

A strong thesis statement takes into account counterarguments. Consider what objections someone might have to your argument and address them in your thesis statement.

For example, if you were writing an analytical essay on the adverse effects of social media, you might consider a counterargument that social media has brought people closer together. Your thesis statement should address this counterargument and show why your argument is still valid.

Step 4: Make Your Thesis Statement Clear and Specific

Your thesis statement should be clear and specific. It should tell the reader precisely what your argument is and what you will analyze in your essay.

For example, if you were writing an analytical essay on the symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter," your thesis statement could be: "Nathaniel Hawthorne's use of symbolism in 'The Scarlet Letter' reveals the hypocrisy and moral decay of Puritan society."

Step 5: Use Strong Language

Your thesis statement should use strong language that is assertive and confident. Avoid using words like "might," "could," or "possibly." Instead, use words like "will," "must," or "should." This makes your thesis statement more substantial and persuasive.

For example, instead of saying, "This essay might argue that," say, "This essay will argue that."

Step 6: Revise Your Thesis Statement

Once you have developed your thesis statement, revise it, ensure it is clear and specific, and address counterarguments. Make sure that your thesis statement is supported by evidence in your essay.

Step 7: Brainstorm Ideas

Before you start analyzing your topic, take some time to brainstorm ideas for your essay. Write down any thoughts or questions you have about the issue. Consider what interests you most about the issue and what you want to explore further.

Step 8: Research Your Topic

Once you have a list of ideas, start researching your topic. Look for scholarly sources such as books, academic journals, and reputable websites. Take notes as you read and highlight any critical information you want to include in your essay.

Step 9: Identify Key Themes and Patterns

As you analyze your topic, look for key emerging themes and patterns. These can help you identify the central argument of your essay. Consider how these themes and practices relating to the topic's broader context and implications.

Step 10: Formulate a Research Question

Using the information you have gathered, formulate a research question to guide your analysis. Your research question should be precisely focused and reflect your essay's central argument.

Step 11: Write a Working Thesis Statement

Using your research question as a guide, write a thesis statement summarizing your essay's central argument. Your working thesis statement should be flexible and open to revision as you continue to analyze your topic and gather more evidence.

Step 12: Write Your Essay

Now that you have developed a strong thesis statement, you can start writing your analytical essay. Be sure to structure your essay around your thesis statement, using your evidence to support your argument. Use clear, concise language and avoid making unsupported claims or generalizations.

Developing a solid thesis statement is crucial in writing a successful analytical essay. Choosing a topic, analyzing it thoroughly, and identifying the central argument are essential. Consider counterarguments and make your thesis statement clear and specific, using strong language.

Remember to revise your thesis statement and ensure it is supported by evidence in your essay. Following these steps, you can develop a strong thesis statement that will set the tone for your analytical paper and persuade your reader of your argument.

In conclusion, writing an analytical essay can be daunting for many students, but it doesn't have to be. With a clear understanding of an analytical essay and how to approach it, anyone can develop the skills to write a high-quality paper. An analytical essay requires careful analysis of a topic or issue, using evidence to support your argument, and demonstrating critical thinking skills. 

It's essential to begin with a strong thesis statement that outlines the central argument of your essay and provides a roadmap for your analysis. From there, you should develop a detailed outline that organizes your ideas and evidence into a coherent structure.

To support your thesis statement and argument, you must gather evidence from various sources, such as books, articles, and data. Evaluating your sources carefully is essential, looking for credible and reliable information that supports your argument. 

Once you have gathered your evidence, you must analyze it carefully, considering how each piece supports your argument and identifying any patterns or connections between different parts of evidence.

With the help of tools like Jenni.ai , writing an analytical essay can be made easier and quicker. Jenni.ai's AI-powered auto-completion feature can help you develop a strong thesis statement, create detailed outlines, and produce high-quality articles. 

By utilizing these tools, you can save time and energy while still producing top-notch work. By following the steps outlined in this blog and using the features offered by Jenni.ai, you can master the art of writing analytical essays and achieving academic and professional success.

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How to Write an Analytical Essay

Last Updated: February 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,980,556 times.

Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Don't worry! Take a deep breath, buy yourself a caffeinated beverage, and follow these steps to create a well-crafted analytical essay.

Prewriting for Your Essay

Step 1 Understand the objective of an analytical essay.

  • For example, "Stanley Kubrick's The Shining uses a repeating motif of Native American culture and art to comment on America's history of colonizing Native Americans' lands" is an analytical thesis. It is analyzing a particular text and setting forth an argument about it in the form of a thesis statement.

Step 2 Decide what to write about.

  • If you're writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could focus your argument on what motivates a specific character or group of characters. Or, you could argue why a certain line or paragraph is central to the work as a whole. For example: Explore the concept of vengeance in the epic poem Beowulf .
  • If you're writing about a historical event, try focusing on the forces that contributed to what happened.
  • If you're writing about scientific research or findings, follow the scientific method to analyze your results.

Step 3 Brainstorm.

  • Look for repeated imagery, metaphors, phrases, or ideas. Things that repeat are often important. See if you can decipher why these things are so crucial. Do they repeat in the same way each time, or differently?
  • How does the text work? If you're writing a rhetorical analysis, for example, you might analyze how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether you think the argument is effective. If you're analyzing a creative work, consider things like imagery, visuals in a film, etc. If you're analyzing research, you may want to consider the methods and results and analyze whether the experiment is a good design.
  • A mind map can be helpful to some people. Start with your central topic, and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles. Connect the bubbles to identify patterns and how things are related.
  • Good brainstorming can be all over the place. In fact, that can be a good way to start off! Don't discount any ideas just yet. Write down any element or fact that you think of as you examine your topic.

Step 4 Come up with...

  • This is an analytical thesis because it examines a text and makes a particular claim.
  • The claim is "arguable," meaning it's not a statement of pure fact that nobody could contest. An analytical essay takes a side and makes an argument.
  • Make sure your thesis is narrow enough to fit the scope of your assignment. "Revenge in Beowulf could be a PhD dissertation, it's so broad. It's probably much too big for a student essay. However, arguing that one character's revenge is more honorable than another's is manageable within a shorter student essay. [3] X Research source
  • Unless instructed to write one, avoid the "three-prong" thesis that presents three points to be discussed later. These thesis statements usually limit your analysis too much and give your argument a formulaic feel. It's okay to state generally what your argument will be.

Step 5 Find supporting evidence.

  • Example of supporting evidence : To support a claim that the dragon’s vengeance was more righteous than Grendel's mother's, look at the passages in the poem that discuss the events leading up to each monster’s attack, the attacks themselves, as well as the reactions to those attacks. Don't: ignore or twist evidence to fit your thesis. Do: adjust your thesis to a more nuanced position as you learn more about the topic.

Step 6 Make an ...

  • If you're not quite sure how all your evidence fits together, don't worry! Making an outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress.
  • You can also make a more informal outline that groups your ideas together in large groups. From there, you can decide what to talk about where.
  • Your essay will be as long as it needs to be to adequately discuss your topic. A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and then allow only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it. This makes essays feel shallow or rushed. Don't be afraid to spend enough time discussing each detail!

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your ...

  • Example introduction : Revenge was a legally recognized right in ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The many revenges in the epic poem Beowulf show that retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age. However, not all revenges are created alike. The poet's portrayal of these revenges suggests that the dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than Grendel's mother.
  • This introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument, and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic (revenge) in the poem. This type of argument can be interesting because it suggests that the reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value. Don't: include filler and fluff sentences beginning with "In modern society" or "Throughout time." Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing.

Step 2 Write your body paragraphs.

  • Example topic sentence : The key to differentiating between the two attacks is the notion of excessive retribution.
  • Example analysis : Grendel's mother does not simply want vengeance, as per the Medieval concept of ‘an eye for an eye.’ Instead, she wants to take a life for a life while also throwing Hrothgar’s kingdom into chaos.
  • Example evidence : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294). She does this to lure Beowulf away from Heorot so she can kill him as well.
  • The formula "CEE" may help you remember: Claim-Evidence-Explanation. Whenever you present a claim, make sure you present evidence to support that claim and explain how the evidence relates to your claim.

Step 3 Know when to quote or paraphrase.

  • Example of a quote : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294).
  • Example of a paraphrased sentence : The female Grendel enters Heorot, snatches up one of the men sleeping inside it, and runs away to the fen (1294).

Step 4 Write your conclusion.

  • Example conclusion : The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent.
  • Example conclusion with a ‘bigger world connection’: The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent. As we saw from the study of other characters, these portrayals may tie into an early Medieval perception that women had greater potential for evil.

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Proofread your essay for spelling or grammar mistakes.

  • Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, using a 12-pt standard font (like Arial or Times New Roman) and 1" margins is standard.

Step 2 Read your paper out loud.

  • If you are analyzing a film, look up the list of characters online. Check two or three sources to make sure that you have the correct spelling.

Step 4 Read your paper as if you were your teacher.

Analytical Essay Writing Help

analytical essay i

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask yourself "What am I trying to prove?" The answer should be in your thesis. If not, go back and fix it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are writing a formal analysis or critique, then avoid using colloquial writing . Though informal language may bring some color to a paper, you do not want to risk weakening your argument by influencing it with verbal slang. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid being too vague. Vagueness leaves room for misinterpretation and in a coherent, analytical essay, leaving room for misinterpretation decreases the effectiveness of your argument. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://www.stetson.edu/other/writing-center/media/Handout%20-%20Analytical%20Essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/rsrchppr.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-can-i-create-stronger-analysis-.html
  • ↑ https://academics.umw.edu/writing-fredericksburg/files/2011/09/Basic-Outlines.pdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/proofreading

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write an analytical essay, first write an introduction that gives your reader background information and introduces your thesis. Then, write body paragraphs in support of your thesis that include a topic sentence, an analysis of some part of the text, and evidence from the text that supports your analysis. You can use direct quotes from the text that support your point of view or paraphrase if you’re trying to summarize information. Finally, complete your essay with a conclusion that reiterates your thesis and your primary support for it. To learn from our English reviewer how to come up with your thesis statement and find evidence that supports it, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Do you need to write an analytical essay for school? What sets this kind of essay apart from other types, and what must you include when you write your own analytical essay? In this guide, we break down the process of writing an analytical essay by explaining the key factors your essay needs to have, providing you with an outline to help you structure your essay, and analyzing a complete analytical essay example so you can see what a finished essay looks like.

What Is an Analytical Essay?

Before you begin writing an analytical essay, you must know what this type of essay is and what it includes. Analytical essays analyze something, often (but not always) a piece of writing or a film.

An analytical essay is more than just a synopsis of the issue though; in this type of essay you need to go beyond surface-level analysis and look at what the key arguments/points of this issue are and why. If you’re writing an analytical essay about a piece of writing, you’ll look into how the text was written and why the author chose to write it that way. Instead of summarizing, an analytical essay typically takes a narrower focus and looks at areas such as major themes in the work, how the author constructed and supported their argument, how the essay used  literary devices to enhance its messages, etc.

While you certainly want people to agree with what you’ve written, unlike with persuasive and argumentative essays, your main purpose when writing an analytical essay isn’t to try to convert readers to your side of the issue. Therefore, you won’t be using strong persuasive language like you would in those essay types. Rather, your goal is to have enough analysis and examples that the strength of your argument is clear to readers.

Besides typical essay components like an introduction and conclusion, a good analytical essay will include:

  • A thesis that states your main argument
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it
  • Examples to support your analysis and allow a more in-depth look at the issue

In the rest of this article, we’ll explain how to include each of these in your analytical essay.

How to Structure Your Analytical Essay

Analytical essays are structured similarly to many other essays you’ve written, with an introduction (including a thesis), several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Below is an outline you can follow when structuring your essay, and in the next section we go into more detail on how to write an analytical essay.

Introduction

Your introduction will begin with some sort of attention-grabbing sentence to get your audience interested, then you’ll give a few sentences setting up the topic so that readers have some context, and you’ll end with your thesis statement. Your introduction will include:

  • Brief background information explaining the issue/text
  • Your thesis

Body Paragraphs

Your analytical essay will typically have three or four body paragraphs, each covering a different point of analysis. Begin each body paragraph with a sentence that sets up the main point you’ll be discussing. Then you’ll give some analysis on that point, backing it up with evidence to support your claim. Continue analyzing and giving evidence for your analysis until you’re out of strong points for the topic. At the end of each body paragraph, you may choose to have a transition sentence that sets up what the next paragraph will be about, but this isn’t required. Body paragraphs will include:

  • Introductory sentence explaining what you’ll cover in the paragraph (sort of like a mini-thesis)
  • Analysis point
  • Evidence (either passages from the text or data/facts) that supports the analysis
  • (Repeat analysis and evidence until you run out of examples)

You won’t be making any new points in your conclusion; at this point you’re just reiterating key points you’ve already made and wrapping things up. Begin by rephrasing your thesis and summarizing the main points you made in the essay. Someone who reads just your conclusion should be able to come away with a basic idea of what your essay was about and how it was structured. After this, you may choose to make some final concluding thoughts, potentially by connecting your essay topic to larger issues to show why it’s important. A conclusion will include:

  • Paraphrase of thesis
  • Summary of key points of analysis
  • Final concluding thought(s)

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5 Steps for Writing an Analytical Essay

Follow these five tips to break down writing an analytical essay into manageable steps. By the end, you’ll have a fully-crafted analytical essay with both in-depth analysis and enough evidence to support your argument. All of these steps use the completed analytical essay in the next section as an example.

#1: Pick a Topic

You may have already had a topic assigned to you, and if that’s the case, you can skip this step. However, if you haven’t, or if the topic you’ve been assigned is broad enough that you still need to narrow it down, then you’ll need to decide on a topic for yourself. Choosing the right topic can mean the difference between an analytical essay that’s easy to research (and gets you a good grade) and one that takes hours just to find a few decent points to analyze

Before you decide on an analytical essay topic, do a bit of research to make sure you have enough examples to support your analysis. If you choose a topic that’s too narrow, you’ll struggle to find enough to write about.

For example, say your teacher assigns you to write an analytical essay about the theme in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of exposing injustices against migrants. For it to be an analytical essay, you can’t just recount the injustices characters in the book faced; that’s only a summary and doesn’t include analysis. You need to choose a topic that allows you to analyze the theme. One of the best ways to explore a theme is to analyze how the author made his/her argument. One example here is that Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters (short chapters that didn’t relate to the plot or contain the main characters of the book) to show what life was like for migrants as a whole during the Dust Bowl.

You could write about how Steinbeck used literary devices throughout the whole book, but, in the essay below, I chose to just focus on the intercalary chapters since they gave me enough examples. Having a narrower focus will nearly always result in a tighter and more convincing essay (and can make compiling examples less overwhelming).

#2: Write a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the most important sentence of your essay; a reader should be able to read just your thesis and understand what the entire essay is about and what you’ll be analyzing. When you begin writing, remember that each sentence in your analytical essay should relate back to your thesis

In the analytical essay example below, the thesis is the final sentence of the first paragraph (the traditional spot for it). The thesis is: “In The Grapes of Wrath’s intercalary chapters, John Steinbeck employs a variety of literary devices and stylistic choices to better expose the injustices committed against migrants in the 1930s.” So what will this essay analyze? How Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants could have it. Crystal clear.

#3: Do Research to Find Your Main Points

This is where you determine the bulk of your analysis--the information that makes your essay an analytical essay. My preferred method is to list every idea that I can think of, then research each of those and use the three or four strongest ones for your essay. Weaker points may be those that don’t relate back to the thesis, that you don’t have much analysis to discuss, or that you can’t find good examples for. A good rule of thumb is to have one body paragraph per main point

This essay has four main points, each of which analyzes a different literary device Steinbeck uses to better illustrate how difficult life was for migrants during the Dust Bowl. The four literary devices and their impact on the book are:

  • Lack of individual names in intercalary chapters to illustrate the scope of the problem
  • Parallels to the Bible to induce sympathy for the migrants
  • Non-showy, often grammatically-incorrect language so the migrants are more realistic and relatable to readers
  • Nature-related metaphors to affect the mood of the writing and reflect the plight of the migrants

#4: Find Excerpts or Evidence to Support Your Analysis

Now that you have your main points, you need to back them up. If you’re writing a paper about a text or film, use passages/clips from it as your main source of evidence. If you’re writing about something else, your evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as surveys, experiments, quotes from knowledgeable sources etc. Any evidence that would work for a regular research paper works here.

In this example, I quoted multiple passages from The Grapes of Wrath  in each paragraph to support my argument. You should be able to back up every claim you make with evidence in order to have a strong essay.

#5: Put It All Together

Now it's time to begin writing your essay, if you haven’t already. Create an introductory paragraph that ends with the thesis, make a body paragraph for each of your main points, including both analysis and evidence to back up your claims, and wrap it all up with a conclusion that recaps your thesis and main points and potentially explains the big picture importance of the topic.

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Analytical Essay Example + Analysis

So that you can see for yourself what a completed analytical essay looks like, here’s an essay I wrote back in my high school days. It’s followed by analysis of how I structured my essay, what its strengths are, and how it could be improved.

One way Steinbeck illustrates the connections all migrant people possessed and the struggles they faced is by refraining from using specific titles and names in his intercalary chapters. While The Grapes of Wrath focuses on the Joad family, the intercalary chapters show that all migrants share the same struggles and triumphs as the Joads. No individual names are used in these chapters; instead the people are referred to as part of a group. Steinbeck writes, “Frantic men pounded on the doors of the doctors; and the doctors were busy.  And sad men left word at country stores for the coroner to send a car,” (555). By using generic terms, Steinbeck shows how the migrants are all linked because they have gone through the same experiences. The grievances committed against one family were committed against thousands of other families; the abuse extends far beyond what the Joads experienced. The Grapes of Wrath frequently refers to the importance of coming together; how, when people connect with others their power and influence multiplies immensely. Throughout the novel, the goal of the migrants, the key to their triumph, has been to unite. While their plans are repeatedly frustrated by the government and police, Steinbeck’s intercalary chapters provide a way for the migrants to relate to one another because they have encountered the same experiences. Hundreds of thousands of migrants fled to the promised land of California, but Steinbeck was aware that numbers alone were impersonal and lacked the passion he desired to spread. Steinbeck created the intercalary chapters to show the massive numbers of people suffering, and he created the Joad family to evoke compassion from readers.  Because readers come to sympathize with the Joads, they become more sensitive to the struggles of migrants in general. However, John Steinbeck frequently made clear that the Joads were not an isolated incident; they were not unique. Their struggles and triumphs were part of something greater. Refraining from specific names in his intercalary chapters allows Steinbeck to show the vastness of the atrocities committed against migrants.

Steinbeck also creates significant parallels to the Bible in his intercalary chapters in order to enhance his writing and characters. By using simple sentences and stylized writing, Steinbeck evokes Biblical passages. The migrants despair, “No work till spring. No work,” (556).  Short, direct sentences help to better convey the desperateness of the migrants’ situation. Throughout his novel, John Steinbeck makes connections to the Bible through his characters and storyline. Jim Casy’s allusions to Christ and the cycle of drought and flooding are clear biblical references.  By choosing to relate The Grapes of Wrath to the Bible, Steinbeck’s characters become greater than themselves. Starving migrants become more than destitute vagrants; they are now the chosen people escaping to the promised land. When a forgotten man dies alone and unnoticed, it becomes a tragedy. Steinbeck writes, “If [the migrants] were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud,” (556). Injustices committed against the migrants become greater because they are seen as children of God through Steinbeck’s choice of language. Referencing the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s novel and purpose: to create understanding for the dispossessed.  It is easy for people to feel disdain for shabby vagabonds, but connecting them to such a fundamental aspect of Christianity induces sympathy from readers who might have otherwise disregarded the migrants as so many other people did.

The simple, uneducated dialogue Steinbeck employs also helps to create a more honest and meaningful representation of the migrants, and it makes the migrants more relatable to readers. Steinbeck chooses to accurately represent the language of the migrants in order to more clearly illustrate their lives and make them seem more like real paper than just characters in a book. The migrants lament, “They ain’t gonna be no kinda work for three months,” (555). There are multiple grammatical errors in that single sentence, but it vividly conveys the despair the migrants felt better than a technically perfect sentence would. The Grapes of Wrath is intended to show the severe difficulties facing the migrants so Steinbeck employs a clear, pragmatic style of writing.  Steinbeck shows the harsh, truthful realities of the migrants’ lives and he would be hypocritical if he chose to give the migrants a more refined voice and not portray them with all their shortcomings. The depiction of the migrants as imperfect through their language also makes them easier to relate to. Steinbeck’s primary audience was the middle class, the less affluent of society. Repeatedly in The Grapes of Wrath , the wealthy make it obvious that they scorn the plight of the migrants. The wealthy, not bad luck or natural disasters, were the prominent cause of the suffering of migrant families such as the Joads. Thus, Steinbeck turns to the less prosperous for support in his novel. When referring to the superior living conditions barnyard animals have, the migrants remark, “Them’s horses-we’re men,” (556).  The perfect simplicity of this quote expresses the absurdness of the migrants’ situation better than any flowery expression could.

In The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck uses metaphors, particularly about nature, in order to illustrate the mood and the overall plight of migrants. Throughout most of the book, the land is described as dusty, barren, and dead. Towards the end, however; floods come and the landscape begins to change. At the end of chapter twenty-nine, Steinbeck describes a hill after the floods saying, “Tiny points of grass came through the earth, and in a few days the hills were pale green with the beginning year,” (556). This description offers a stark contrast from the earlier passages which were filled with despair and destruction. Steinbeck’s tone from the beginning of the chapter changes drastically. Early in the chapter, Steinbeck had used heavy imagery in order to convey the destruction caused by the rain, “The streams and the little rivers edged up to the bank sides and worked at willows and tree roots, bent the willows deep in the current, cut out the roots of cottonwoods and brought down the trees,” (553). However, at the end of the chapter the rain has caused new life to grow in California. The new grass becomes a metaphor representing hope. When the migrants are at a loss over how they will survive the winter, the grass offers reassurance. The story of the migrants in the intercalary chapters parallels that of the Joads. At the end of the novel, the family is breaking apart and has been forced to flee their home. However, both the book and final intercalary chapter end on a hopeful note after so much suffering has occurred. The grass metaphor strengthens Steinbeck’s message because it offers a tangible example of hope. Through his language Steinbeck’s themes become apparent at the end of the novel. Steinbeck affirms that persistence, even when problems appear insurmountable, leads to success. These metaphors help to strengthen Steinbeck’s themes in The Grapes of Wrath because they provide a more memorable way to recall important messages.

John Steinbeck’s language choices help to intensify his writing in his intercalary chapters and allow him to more clearly show how difficult life for migrants could be. Refraining from using specific names and terms allows Steinbeck to show that many thousands of migrants suffered through the same wrongs. Imitating the style of the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s characters and connects them to the Bible, perhaps the most famous book in history. When Steinbeck writes in the imperfect dialogue of the migrants, he creates a more accurate portrayal and makes the migrants easier to relate to for a less affluent audience. Metaphors, particularly relating to nature, strengthen the themes in The Grapes of Wrath by enhancing the mood Steinbeck wants readers to feel at different points in the book. Overall, the intercalary chapters that Steinbeck includes improve his novel by making it more memorable and reinforcing the themes Steinbeck embraces throughout the novel. Exemplary stylistic devices further persuade readers of John Steinbeck’s personal beliefs. Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath to bring to light cruelties against migrants, and by using literary devices effectively, he continuously reminds readers of his purpose. Steinbeck’s impressive language choices in his intercalary chapters advance the entire novel and help to create a classic work of literature that people still are able to relate to today. 

This essay sticks pretty closely to the standard analytical essay outline. It starts with an introduction, where I chose to use a quote to start off the essay. (This became my favorite way to start essays in high school because, if I wasn’t sure what to say, I could outsource the work and find a quote that related to what I’d be writing about.) The quote in this essay doesn’t relate to the themes I’m discussing quite as much as it could, but it’s still a slightly different way to start an essay and can intrigue readers. I then give a bit of background on The Grapes of Wrath and its themes before ending the intro paragraph with my thesis: that Steinbeck used literary devices in intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants had it.

Each of my four body paragraphs is formatted in roughly the same way: an intro sentence that explains what I’ll be discussing, analysis of that main point, and at least two quotes from the book as evidence.

My conclusion restates my thesis, summarizes each of four points I discussed in my body paragraphs, and ends the essay by briefly discussing how Steinbeck’s writing helped introduce a world of readers to the injustices migrants experienced during the dust bowl.

What does this analytical essay example do well? For starters, it contains everything that a strong analytical essay should, and it makes that easy to find. The thesis clearly lays out what the essay will be about, the first sentence of each of the body paragraph introduces the topic it’ll cover, and the conclusion neatly recaps all the main points. Within each of the body paragraphs, there’s analysis along with multiple excerpts from the book in order to add legitimacy to my points.

Additionally, the essay does a good job of taking an in-depth look at the issue introduced in the thesis. Four ways Steinbeck used literary devices are discussed, and for each of the examples are given and analysis is provided so readers can understand why Steinbeck included those devices and how they helped shaped how readers viewed migrants and their plight.

Where could this essay be improved? I believe the weakest body paragraph is the third one, the one that discusses how Steinbeck used plain, grammatically incorrect language to both accurately depict the migrants and make them more relatable to readers. The paragraph tries to touch on both of those reasons and ends up being somewhat unfocused as a result. It would have been better for it to focus on just one of those reasons (likely how it made the migrants more relatable) in order to be clearer and more effective. It’s a good example of how adding more ideas to an essay often doesn’t make it better if they don’t work with the rest of what you’re writing. This essay also could explain the excerpts that are included more and how they relate to the points being made. Sometimes they’re just dropped in the essay with the expectation that the readers will make the connection between the example and the analysis. This is perhaps especially true in the second body paragraph, the one that discusses similarities to Biblical passages. Additional analysis of the quotes would have strengthened it.

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Summary: How to Write an Analytical Essay

What is an analytical essay? A critical analytical essay analyzes a topic, often a text or film. The analysis paper uses evidence to support the argument, such as excerpts from the piece of writing. All analytical papers include a thesis, analysis of the topic, and evidence to support that analysis.

When developing an analytical essay outline and writing your essay, follow these five steps:

Reading analytical essay examples can also give you a better sense of how to structure your essay and what to include in it.

What's Next?

Learning about different writing styles in school?  There are four main writing styles, and it's important to understand each of them. Learn about them in our guide to writing styles , complete with examples.

Writing a research paper for school but not sure what to write about?   Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you. 

Literary devices can both be used to enhance your writing and communication. Check out this list of 31 literary devices to learn more !

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How To Write An Analytical Essay A Full Guide

analytical essay i

Crafting an impeccable analytical essay is an art form that demands precision, insight, and a structured approach. Whether you’re delving into literature, dissecting historical events, or unraveling scientific theories, the ability to present a compelling analysis is pivotal. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigate the intricate path of writing a flawless analytical essay.

What Is An Analytical Essay

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that delves deeply into a topic, idea, or piece of literature. Unlike descriptive or narrative essays, which focus on providing a vivid description or telling a story, an analytical essay aims to examine and dissect its subject matter.

The primary objective of an analytical essay is to present a thorough analysis or interpretation of the subject, often breaking it down into its constituent parts and scrutinizing how they contribute to the whole.

Why Analytical Essay Is Important

Analytical essays play a pivotal role in developing critical thinking skills and fostering a deeper understanding of complex subjects. Through the meticulous examination and interpretation of information, these essays teach individuals how to dissect arguments, evaluate evidence, and form well-supported conclusions. They serve as a platform for honing analytical prowess, enabling individuals to engage with diverse perspectives, challenge assumptions, and articulate their insights effectively. Moreover, mastering the art of analytical essays equips individuals with invaluable skills applicable across various disciplines, fostering a capacity for logical reasoning, problem-solving, and persuasive communication—a skill set indispensable in academia, professional endeavors, and everyday life.

Tips For Writing A Good Analytical Essay

Understanding the essence.

To excel in analytical writing, one must comprehend the essence of analysis itself. It’s not merely about summarizing or narrating; it’s about deconstructing the core components, scrutinizing their significance, and synthesizing perspectives to derive insightful conclusions.

Devising a Strategic Blueprint

Begin with a comprehensive understanding of your subject matter. Formulate a thesis statement —a succinct encapsulation of your perspective—which serves as the guiding beacon throughout your essay. Craft an outline delineating key sections and their respective arguments, ensuring a logical flow that seamlessly connects each point.

The Pinnacle of Research

A sturdy analytical essay is built upon a foundation of rigorous research. Delve into reputable sources, be it scholarly articles, books, or credible online repositories. Gather diverse perspectives and data to fortify your arguments, but always uphold the standards of credibility and relevance.

Structure: The Backbone of Brilliance

A well-structured essay is akin to an architectural marvel. The introduction should entice readers with a gripping hook, provide context, and introduce the thesis statement. The body paragraphs, each beginning with a topic sentence, should expound on individual arguments supported by evidence and analysis. Finally, the conclusion should reaffirm the thesis while offering a nuanced synthesis of the essay’s core ideas.

The Art of Analysis

Here’s where the magic unfolds. Analyze, dissect, and interpret the data and evidence gathered. Scrutinize underlying themes, dissect intricate details, and juxtapose contrasting viewpoints. Employ analytical tools pertinent to your subject, such as literary devices for literature analyses, statistical methods for scientific inquiries, or historical frameworks for historical essays.

Precision in Language and Style

The language employed in an analytical essay should be precise, articulate, and tailored to convey complex ideas clearly. Utilize a formal tone, vary sentence structures, and employ transitions to ensure a seamless progression of ideas. Embrace clarity and coherence as your allies in elucidating intricate analyses.

Revisiting and Refining

Revision is the crucible wherein a good essay transforms into a great one. Review your work meticulously—check for coherence, refine arguments, ensure logical transitions, and verify the alignment of evidence with your thesis. Seek feedback from peers or mentors to gain diverse perspectives and refine your essay further.

Conclusion: A Culmination of Mastery

In conclusion, a perfect analytical essay isn’t merely a collection of facts and opinions; it’s an orchestrated symphony of critical thinking, analysis, and eloquent expression. Embrace the journey of discovery, relish the complexities, and let your essay resonate as a testament to your mastery of analytical prowess.

Best Place To Avail Analytical Essay Service

At Allessaywriter.com, excellence meets expertise in crafting exceptional analytical essay services . Our platform is your gateway to top-tier service, offering a seamless experience to elevate your academic journey. With a team of seasoned writers dedicated to precision and depth in analysis, we ensure tailored essays that reflect critical thinking and comprehensive understanding. Trust us for meticulous research, compelling arguments, and impeccable structure, all aimed at delivering the finest analytical essays that exceed expectations.

An analytical essay service encapsulates the culmination of rigorous analysis, insightful interpretation, and concise articulation. It serves as the pinnacle of intellectual prowess, combining critical thinking with eloquent expression to offer a profound understanding of complex subjects. So if you are still wondering about analytical essay writing then ask our writers and get our do my essay help services.

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 How to Write a Perfect Analytical Paragraph

 How to Write a Perfect Analytical Paragraph

  • 8-minute read
  • 30th January 2023

If you are looking up how to write an analytical paragraph, you are most likely writing an argumentative or analytical essay. Analytical essays are similar to other essays, such as descriptive essays, in that you have a central idea, organize supporting ideas into body paragraphs, and make conclusions.

However, analytical essays differ from other essays because the writer must go further. They require the writer to interpret and analyze a given text or information using evidence to support their central idea or thesis statement. This analysis takes place in analytical paragraphs, or body paragraphs, if you are writing an analytical essay .

In this article, you’ll learn the components of a perfect analytical paragraph: the topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and conclusion. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is an Analytical Paragraph?

An analytical paragraph is a paragraph that breaks down a piece of literature, an idea, or a concept into smaller parts and analyzes each part to understand the whole. Being able to write an effective and successful analytical paragraph reflects a writer’s critical thinking and organizational writing skills. All in all, like any other type of writing, writing an analytical paragraph requires skill and practice.

Write the Topic Sentence

A topic sentence is usually the first, or sometimes second, sentence at the beginning of anybody paragraph. Your topic sentence should contain one main idea related to the thesis statement . If it is not related to your thesis statement, then you are likely off topic.

Pro Tip: If your topic sentence is the second sentence of your paragraph, then your first sentence should be a transitional sentence .

Let’s look at a thesis statement and some topic sentences to get a better idea.

Topic: Examine and analyze the marriages in George Eliot’s Middlemarch .

Thesis Statement: Eliot uses three different marriages to give depth to everyday people and show the reader the struggles of marriage within the nineteenth century’s societal standards of submissive roles, class range, and financial status.

Topic Sentence 1: Lydgate and Rosamond had a terrible marriage in Middlemarch , like all other marriages during this time.

This topic sentence is not effective because it is not specific enough and does not directly relate to the thesis statement. It does not mention how their “terrible” marriage is related to submissive roles, class range, or financial status. Additionally, the overly generalized language of “all” marriages being terrible marriages during this time is a weak argument.

Topic Sentence 2: Financial matters play a huge role in the Lydgate and Rosamond marriage, as Lydgate has no money and Rosamond is a big spender.

This topic sentence is effective because it directly supports the thesis statement. It is focused on the financial status of this marriage.

Provide Evidence

The type of evidence you use to support your topic sentence will largely depend on the topic of your analytical essay. For example, if you are writing an essay related to a work of literature, you will need to provide direct quotes, paraphrasing, specific details, or a summary from the work to support your main idea. If your topic is related to analyzing data, then you may use figures, statistics, or charts and graph evidence to support your topic sentence.

Regardless of what type of evidence you provide, it must be appropriate and directly relate to and support your topic sentence.

For example, if we take the above thesis and topic sentence, we might select direct quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from the novel Middlemarch that depict the marriage’s financial stress.

Pro Tip: When using direct quotes, make sure you always provide an in-text citation and use correct punctuation to ensure your essay is neat and clean.

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Once you have provided evidence, you should analyze it to illustrate its significance and how it relates to the topic sentence. In your analysis, you can discuss how an author uses certain literary devices to emphasize character traits, themes, patterns, and connections in a literary work.

Be sure that your analysis always connects to the topic sentence/main idea of the paragraph. Avoid introducing new ideas in this section. Save those for later paragraphs or consider creating a new one to explore and analyze the new point.

Conclude Your Paragraph

When closing an analytical paragraph, you can consider doing two things:

●  Briefly emphasize the main point your reader should take away after having read the paragraph.

●  Begin a transition if the analysis continues into the next paragraph. (This strategy may be more suitable for longer, more in-depth analytical essays).

Using the above example topic sentence, we might conclude the paragraph as follows:

Notice how this concluding statement not only emphasizes the main points from the paragraph but also ties back into the thesis statement.

Writing Tips For Analytical Paragraphs

Leave out first person language.

Avoid using language such as “in my opinion,” “from my perspective,” or “I think.” While the analysis is your interpretation of a text or information, you should rely on and focus on using evidence to support your ideas. Overall, you should aim to maintain an objective tone .

Instead of saying “I think Rosamond is manipulative,” you should use evidence from the text to show that she was manipulative. For example, “Rosamond shows a pattern of manipulation throughout Middlemarch , specifically toward her husband. For instance, she says, ‘…’”

Do Writing Exercises

When writing, especially in the early drafts of an essay, it is typical to find the main idea of a paragraph at the end. This is a natural course for our thinking process. However, the main idea should be presented as your topic sentence at the beginning of this paragraph. Additionally, most students leave this main idea at the end because they do not identify it as the main idea.

To overcome this dilemma, try a looping prewriting exercise . In this exercise, you write continuously for a designated time (maybe 10 minutes, your choice). At the end of that time, read over what you’ve written and circle the main idea of the text (this is usually at the end). In the next cycle, you start with this main idea at the beginning and further examine and analyze it.

This is a wonderful exercise to help you pick out main ideas and delve deeper into your analysis.

Get Feedback

If you are a student, there are several options to get feedback for free. Ask a friend to read your essay. Go to your writing center to get feedback and help with your writing. Go to your professor’s office hours with your writing or questions to get detailed advice. More often than not, they are happy to see you take advantage of their expertise.

As a working professional, writer, or author, you can look to fellow authors or bookish friends to read your work. You can find free beta readers online from sites such as Goodreads to get feedback from your target audience. You can also find writing groups on social media platforms.

Proofread Your Work

It can be easy to finish writing an essay and think “Finally, I’m done!” Unfortunately, that is only half the process. Be sure to always read and reread your writing before hitting submit. Check for stray commas, spelling errors, or awkward sentences to make your main ideas and hard work shine. Learn about 6 Quick and Easy Tips for Proofreading you can do at home.

Writing an analytical paragraph doesn’t have to be stressful. Be sure to include a topic sentence at the beginning of your paragraph that connects to the thesis statement. Provide a variety of evidence to support your main idea, analyze the text by highlighting literary devices used, themes, and patterns, and end with a brief concluding statement.

If you need more help with writing analysis, descriptive essays, or any other type of essay, then Proofed is here to help. Try our free trial today!

What Is a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence goes at the beginning of a body paragraph and clearly states the main idea of the paragraph.

How Do I Organize an Analytical Paragraph?

An analytical paragraph has four components: topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and conclusion. The topic sentence is the most important part of any body paragraph because it establishes the main idea of the paragraph and relates to the thesis statement.

What Makes a Good Analytical Paragraph?

A good analytical paragraph has a clear topic sentence, strong evidence, and a thorough analysis that reflects the writer’s critical thinking and writing skills. It should conclude by emphasizing the main idea of the paragraph and how it supports the essay overall.

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How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide

An analysis / analytical essay is a standard assignment in college or university. You might be asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of a research paper, a report, a movie, a company, a book, or an event. In this article, you’ll find out how to write an analysis paper introduction, thesis, main body, and conclusion, and analytical essay example.

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So, what is an analytical essay? This type of assignment implies that you set up an argument and analyze it using a range of claims. The claims should be supported by appropriate empirical evidence. Note that you need to explore both the positive and negative sides of the issue fully.

Analytical skills are the key to getting through your academic career. Moreover, they can be useful in many real-life situations. Keep reading this article by Custom-writing experts to learn how to write an analysis!

❓ What Is an Analytical Essay?

  • 🤔 Getting Started

📑 Analytical Essay Outline

  • 📔 Choosing a Title
  • 💁 Writing an Introduction
  • 🏋 Writing a Body
  • 🏁 Writing a Conclusion

🔗 References

Before you learn how to start an analysis essay, you should understand some fundamentals of writing this type of paper. It implies that you analyze an argument using a range of claims supported by facts . It is essential to understand that in your analysis essay, you’ll need to explore the negative sides of the issue and the positive ones. That’s what distinguishes an analytical essay from, say, a persuasive one.

Begin Your Analysis essay with a Literature Review. Then Make an Outline, Write and Polish Your Draft.

These are the steps to write an academic paper :

  • Review the literature . Before starting any paper, you should familiarize yourself with what has already been written in the field. And the analytical essay is no exception. The easiest way is to search on the web for the information.
  • Brainstorm ideas. After you’ve done your search, it is time for a brainstorm! Make a list of topics for your analysis essay, and then choose the best one. Generate your thesis statement in the same way.
  • Prepare an outline . Now, when you’ve decided on the topic and the thesis statement of your analytical essay, think of its structure. Below you will find more detailed information on how your paper should be structured.
  • Write the first draft. You’ve done a lot of work by now. Congratulations! Your next goal is to write the first version of your analysis essay, using all the notes that you have. Remember, you don’t need to make it perfect!
  • Polish your draft. Now take your time to polish and edit your draft to transform it into the paper’s final version.

You are usually assigned to analyze an article, a book, a movie, or an event. If you need to write your analytical essay on a book or an article, you’ll have to analyze the style of the text, its main points, and the author’s purported goals.

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🤔 Analytical Essay: Getting Started

The key to writing an analysis paper is to choose an argument that you will defend throughout it. For example: maybe you are writing a critical analysis paper on George Orwell’s Animal Farm The first and imperative task is to think about your thesis statement. In the case of Animal Farm , the argument could be:

In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives a great explanation of the thesis statement , how to create one, and what its function is.

But that’s not all. Once you have your thesis statement, you need to break down how you will approach your analysis essay to prove your thesis. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Define the main goal(s) of your analysis . Remember that it is impossible to address each and every aspect in a single paper. Know your goal and focus on it.
  • Conduct research , both online and offline, to clarify the issue contained within your thesis statement.
  • Identify the main parts of the issue by looking at each part separately to see how it works.
  • Try to clearly understand how each part works.
  • Identify the links between the various aspects of the topic .
  • By using the information you found, try to solve your main problem .

At this point, you should have a clear understanding of both the topic and your thesis statement. You should also have a clear direction for your analysis paper firmly planted in your mind and recorded in writing.

This will give you what you need to produce the paper’s outline.

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An outline is the starting point for your work. A typical analytical essay features the usual essay structure. A 500-word essay should consist of a one-paragraph introduction, a three-paragraph body, and a one-paragraph conclusion. Find below a great analytical essay outline sample. Feel free to use it as an example when doing your own work!

Analysis Essay: Introduction

  • Start with a startling statement or provocative question.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal”. Animal Farm abounds in ironic and provocative phrases to start an analytical essay.

  • Introduce the work and its author.
  • Give background information that would help the reader understand your opinion.
  • Formulate a thesis statement informing the reader about the purpose of the essay. Essay format does not presuppose telling everything possible on the given topic. Thus, a thesis statement tells what you are going to say, implying what you will not discuss, establishing the limits.

In Animal Farm, Orwell uses different irony types to ridicule totalitarianism to manifest its inability to make every member of society equal and happy.

Analysis Essay: Body

The analytical essay structure requires 2-3 developmental paragraphs, each dedicated to one separate idea confirming your thesis statement. The following template should be used for each of the body paragraphs.

  • Start with a topic sentence that supports an aspect of your thesis.

Dramatic irony is used in Animal Farm to point out society’s ignorance.

  • Continue with textual evidence (paraphrase, summary, direct quotations, specific details). Use several examples that substantiate the topic sentence.

Animals are unaware of the fact that Boxer was never sent to the hospital. He was sent to the slaughterhouse. However, the reader and writer understand that this is a lie.

  • Conclude with an explanation.

By allowing the readers to learn some essential facts before the characters, dramatic irony creates suspense and shows how easy it is to persuade and manipulate the public.

Analysis Essay Conclusion

The next four points will give you a short instruction on how to conclude an analytical essay.

  • Never use new information or topics here.
  • Restate your thesis in a different formulation.
  • Summarize the body paragraphs.
  • Comment on the analyzed text from a new perspective.

📔 Choosing a Title for Your Analysis Essay

Choosing a title seems like not a significant step, but it is actually very important. The title of your critical analysis paper should:

  • Entice and engage the reader
  • Be unique and capture the readers’ attention
  • Provide an adequate explanation of the content of the essay in just a few carefully chosen words

In the Animal Farm example, your title could be:

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

“How Do the Pigs Manage to Keep Social Control on Animal Farm?”

Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze the media content.
  • Analyze the specifics and history of hip-hop culture.
  • Sociological issues in the film Interstellar .
  • Discuss the techniques M. Atwood uses to describe social issues in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale .
  • Compare and analyze the paintings of Van Gogh and George Seurat.
  • Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Examine the juvenile crime rates.
  • Describe the influence of different parenting styles on children’s mind.
  • Analyze the concept of the Ship of Theseus .
  • Compare and analyze the various views on intelligence .
  • Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman .
  • Discuss the techniques used by W. Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream .
  • Analyze the biography of Frederic Chopin .
  • Manifestation of the Chicano culture in the artwork An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio .
  • Similarities and differences of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Spanish Empires .
  • Describe the problem of stalking and its impact on human mental health.
  • Examine the future of fashion .
  • Analyze the topicality of the article Effectiveness of Hand Hygiene Interventions in Reducing Illness Absence .
  • Discuss Thomas Paine’s impact on the success of American revolution.
  • Meaningful messages in Recitatif by Toni Morrison .
  • Explore the techniques used by directors in the film Killing Kennedy .
  • Compare the leadership styles of Tang Empress Wu Zetian and the Pharaoh Cleopatra .
  • Evaluate the credibility of Kristof’s arguments in his article Remote Learning Is Often an Oxymoron .
  • Analyze genetically modified food .
  • Examine the influence of Europeans on Indian tribes in The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson .
  • Describe the rhetoric techniques used in The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde .
  • The importance of fighting against violence in communities in the documentary film The Interrupters .
  • Analyze indoor and outdoor pollution .
  • Analyze the issue of overprotective parenthood .
  • Explore the connection between eating habits and advertisement.
  • Discuss the urgence of global warming issue .
  • Influence of sleep on people’s body and mental health.
  • Analyze the relationship between Christianity and sports .
  • Discuss the concept of leadership and its significance for company efficiency.
  • Analyze the key lessons of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki .
  • Examine the specifics of nursing ethic .
  • The theme of emotional sufferings in the short story A Rose for Emily .
  • Analysis of bias in books for children .
  • Analyze the rhetoric of the article Public Monuments .
  • Describe the main messages in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea .
  • Explore the problem of structural racism in healthcare .
  • The reasons of tango dance popularity.
  • The shortcomings of the American educational system in Waiting for Superman.
  • Analyze and compare Erin’s Law and Megan’s Law .
  • Analyze the James Madison’s essay Federalist 10 .
  • Examine symbols in the movie The Joker .
  • Compare the thematic connection and stylistic devices in the poems The Road Not Taken and Find Your Way .
  • Describe and analyze the life of Eddie Bernice Johnson .
  • Explore the social classes in America .
  • Crucial strengths and weaknesses of the main translation theories .

💁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Introduction

You must understand how to compose an introduction to an analysis paper. The University of Wollongong describes the introduction as a “map” of any writing. When writing the introduction, follow these steps:

  • Provide a lead-in for the reader by offering a general introduction to the topic of the paper.
  • Include your thesis statement , which shifts the reader from the generalized introduction to the specific topic and its related issues to your unique take on the essay topic.
  • Present a general outline of the analysis paper.

Watch this great video for further instructions on how to write an introduction to an analysis essay.

Example of an Analytical Essay Introduction

“Four legs good, two legs bad” is one of the many postulates invented by George Orwell for his characters in Animal Farm to vest them with socialist ideology and control over the animal population. The social revolution on Manor Farm was built on language instruments, first for the collective success of the animals, and later for the power consolidation by the pigs. The novel was written in 1945 when the transition from limitless freedoms of socialist countries transformed into dictatorship. Through his animal protagonists, the author analyzes the reasons for peoples’ belief in the totalitarian regime. In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

🏋 Writing Your Analytical Essay Body

The body of the paper may be compared to its heart. This is the part where you show off your talent for analysis by providing convincing, well-researched, and well-thought-out arguments to support your thesis statement. You have already gathered the information, and now all you may start crafting your paper.

To make the body of an analytical essay, keep the following in mind:

  • Discuss one argument per paragraph , although each argument can relate to multiple issues
  • Strike a balance between writing in an unbiased tone, while expressing your personal opinion
  • Be reasonable when making judgments regarding any of the problems you discuss
  • Remember to include the opposing point of view to create a balanced perspective

The bottom line is: you want to offer opposing views, but you must pose your arguments so they will counter those opposing views and prove your point of view. Follow these steps when constructing each body paragraph:

  • Choose the main sentence. The main or topic sentence will be the first line in your essay. The topic sentence is responsible for presenting the argument you will discuss in the paragraph and demonstrate how this argument relates to the thesis statement.
  • Provide the context for the topic sentence , whether it relates to a quote, a specific incident in society, or something else. Offer evidence on who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Give your analysis of the argument and how it adequately proves your thesis.
  • Write a closing sentence that sums up the paragraph and provides a transition to the following paragraph.

Example of an Analytical Essay Body

Literacy can grant power, provided that there are animals who cannot read or write. In the beginning, the animals’ literacy and intellect are relatively the same. Old Major is the cleverest pig; he is the kind old philosopher, like Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. During his retirement, he develops a theory that all humans are the root of evil. His speech was the foundation for the pigs’ assumption of power. They refined his ideas into a new ideology and called it Animalism. They also learned how to read. It allowed the pigs to declare themselves the “mind workers.” Therefore, the pigs’ literacy assured the illiterate animals in their objective superiority.

Meanwhile, as the pigs were the intellectual elite, they were not supposed to work, which raised their social status by itself. Snowball tried to promote education among all the animals, but most of them failed to master the alphabet. This is a metaphor for the general public being predominantly ignorant and easy to manipulate. At the same time, Boxer and other animals that spend most of the day in hard work merely have no time to develop their intellect. Thus, the pigs’ intention to build a school for pig children was highly efficient. Unequal access to education and unequal ability to express one’s thoughts in perspective reinforce the social divide, making the pigs smarter and more powerful and undermining other animals’ self-esteem.

At this point, the pigs resort to propaganda and rhetoric. Squealer uses his oratorical gift to refine the pigs’ message to the other animals. Upon Napoleon’s order, he breaks the Seven Commandments of farm governance. At night, he climbs the ladder to change them, and once even falls from the ladder trying to change the commandment on alcohol. The “proletarian” animals soon forget what the Seven Commandments were like in the first place and are unsure if they have ever been altered. Further on, Minimus writes a poem praising Napoleon. Finally, Squealer replaces the Commandments with a single assertion: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Language is no longer used to convince. It is used to control and manipulate.

🏁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is short and sweet. It summarizes everything you just wrote in the essay and wraps it up with a beautiful shiny bow. Follow these steps to write a convincing conclusion:

  • Repeat the thesis statement and summarize your argument. Even when using the best summary generator for the task, reread it to make sure all the crucial points are included.
  • Take your argument beyond what is simply stated in your paper. You want to show how it is essential in terms of the bigger picture. Also, you may dwell on the influence on citizens of the country.

Example of an Analytical Essay Conclusion

Because of everything mentioned above, it becomes clear that language and rhetoric can rise to power, establish authority, and manipulate ordinary people. Animal Farm is the simplified version of a communist society. It shows how wise philosophers’ good intentions can be used by mean leaders to gain unopposed power and unconditional trust. Unfortunately, this can lead to the death of many innocent animals, i.e., people, as totalitarianism has nothing to do with people’s rule. Therefore, language and oratory are potent tools that can keep people oppressed and weak, deprive them of any chance for improvement and growth, and make them think that there is no other possible existence.

Now you are ready to write an analysis essay! See, it’s easier than you thought.

Of course, it’s always helpful to see other analysis essay examples. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock provides some great examples of an analytical paper .

✏️ Analysis Essay FAQ

A great analytical paper should be well-structured, cohesive, and logically consistent. Each part of the essay should be in its place, creating a smooth and easy-to-read text. Most importantly, the statements should be objective and backed by arguments and examples.

It is a paper devoted to analyzing a certain topic or subject. An analysis essay is all about reviewing certain details of the subject and interpreting them. For example, such an analysis for a poem includes a description of artistic means that helped the poet convey the idea.

Writing an analytical essay on a book/movie/poem start with an outline. Point out what catches the eye when reviewing the subject. See how these details can be interpreted. Make sure that you refer to the main idea/message. Add an appropriate introduction and a logical conclusion.

Being more analytical in writing can be essential for a student. This is a skill that can be self-taught: try to start noticing subtle details and describe them. As you write, interpret the facts and strive to draw conclusions. Try to be as objective as possible.

  • Elements of Analysis
  • How Can I Create Stronger Analysis?
  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay: Bucks.edu
  • Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
  • Analytical Writing: Looking Closely (Colostate.edu)
  • Analytical Thesis Statements – University of Arizona
  • Writing an analytic essay – UTSC – University of Toronto
  • Organizing Your Analysis // Purdue Writing Lab
  • How to Write an Analytical Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
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This resource helps me a lot. Thanks! You guys have great information. Do you think I can use these steps when taking a test? Could it be known as plagiarized if I just copy and paste the information?

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Glad to help, Hazel! You can use it in your test but you should cite it accordingly

Thanks, very good information.

Thank you for your attention, Jaweria🙂!

Thanks for learning how to critique research papers in a proper way! This is what I need to cope with this task successfully! Thanks!

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Understanding Analytical Essays: A Comprehensive Writing Guide with Real-Life Examples

Understanding Analytical Essays: A Comprehensive Writing Guide with Real-Life Examples

To help you get started, we have included real-life examples of analytical essays. These examples will show you how writers have approached various topics and how they have used their research to support their arguments. By studying these examples, you can gain a better understanding of the analytical essay format and learn how to structure your own essays.

If you need further assistance, we recommend checking out the Purdue OWL website. They have a wealth of resources on writing analytical essays, including guides on how to analyze different types of texts and how to restructure your essay for a more coherent argument. In addition to Purdue OWL, other online resources like YourDictionary can also provide helpful tips and examples to enhance your analytical writing skills.

So, if you are ready to dive into the world of analytical essays, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary tools to understand what they are, how to write them, and how to analyze actual data within your chosen topic. With this guide, you will be well-equipped to write analytical essays that not only meet academic standards but also demonstrate your critical thinking and analytical abilities.

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See Contents & Details

What is an analytical essay.

When writing an analytical essay, it is important to connect your analysis with actual research and examples. This helps to support your arguments and make your essay more convincing. Analytical essays can be written on various topics, such as literature, history, social sciences, or even scientific research.

If you need assistance in writing your analytical essay, there are various resources available to help you. Websites like Purdue OWL and YourDictionary offer guides and examples of how to write analytical essays, as well as tips on how to structure your essay and restructure your paragraphs. Academic writers can also provide further assistance in analyzing and evaluating your essay topic.

Overall, analytical essays involve analyzing and evaluating a specific topic or idea in depth. They go beyond basic description and require critical thinking skills. By understanding the structure and patterns of analytical essays, and with the help of research and examples, you can successfully write a well-organized and convincing analytical essay.

General Structure and Format of an Analytical Essay

The body paragraphs make up the major part of your essay, where you will analyze and evaluate the data or texts you are discussing. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence that connects to your thesis statement and provides evidence or examples to support your analysis. Remember to use critical thinking and cite any sources you reference.

To help you in structuring and formatting your analytical essay, you can use an outline. An outline helps writers organize their thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas. It can also help you restructure your essay if needed, as you can easily move paragraphs or sections around to improve the overall structure.

When it comes to the format of your analytical essay, it is important to follow the guidelines provided by your academic institution or instructor. Most analytical essays are written in a formal tone and use the APA or MLA citation styles. Websites such as Purdue OWL and YourDictionary provide detailed guidelines on how to format your paper and cite sources correctly.

Remember, when analyzing and writing an analytical essay, writers need to understand the difference between summary and analysis. It involves critically evaluating the data or texts within the context of your thesis statement.

Analytical Essay Body Paragraph Example

Paragraph 1:

  • Thesis statement: State your thesis, which is your overall evaluation or analysis of the text. This should be a clear and concise statement that connects to the main topics of your essay.
  • Main points: In this paragraph, focus on one main point that supports your thesis statement. Provide specific examples, evidence, or data from the text to support your claim.
  • Analysis: Analyze the examples you provided in the previous point. Explain how they connect to your thesis and what they reveal about the text or its author.

Paragraph 2 (and beyond):

  • Main points: Focus on a new main point that supports your thesis statement. Again, provide specific examples, evidence, or data from the text.
  • Analysis: Analyze the new examples and discuss how they contribute to your overall analysis. Evaluate their significance and relevance to your thesis statement.

Remember that the body paragraphs of an analytical essay should focus on analyzing specific examples and providing evidence to support your claims. The structure and format of these paragraphs may vary depending on the specific requirements of your essay or the academic discipline you are writing for. However, the general pattern of introducing a main point, providing evidence and analysis, and concluding the paragraph should be followed to ensure a clear and logical argument.

Critical Analysis Paper

What is a critical analysis paper.

A critical analysis paper is an academic essay that examines a literary work or any other piece of written text with a focus on critically evaluating its structure, patterns, and themes. Unlike an analytical essay, which is more general and can be written on a variety of topics, a critical analysis paper requires writers to connect their analysis to specific data and support their claims with actual examples from the text being analyzed.

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The Difference between Analytical Essays and Critical Analysis Papers

While both analytical essays and critical analysis papers involve analyzing and evaluating texts, the main difference between them lies in the level of specificity and the depth of analysis. Analytical essays can be written on a wide range of topics and do not necessarily require a deep examination of the text. On the other hand, critical analysis papers are more focused and require a more in-depth analysis of the text being studied.

How to Write a Critical Analysis Paper

Writing a critical analysis paper can be challenging, but there are resources available to help writers understand the process. The Purdue OWL and YourDictionary both offer guides on how to write a critical analysis paper, which can provide step-by-step assistance in organizing and structuring the essay.

When writing a critical analysis paper, it is important to carefully read and thoroughly understand the text being analyzed. Take notes on important details, themes, and motifs that can support your analysis. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a clear and logical flow of ideas.

Within the body paragraphs, make sure to include specific examples from the text that illustrate your points. Use analysis and interpretation to explain the significance of these examples and how they connect to your thesis statement. It is also essential to provide evidence and support for your claims by referencing the actual text.

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When concluding your critical analysis paper, take the opportunity to offer your final evaluation of the text. Summarize your main points and explain how your analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of the text. You can also discuss any broader implications or connections to other works or ideas.

Analysis Paper Example

The body paragraphs.

The body of the analysis paper is where writers provide the actual analysis and evaluation of the text. Each body paragraph should focus on a different aspect or element of the text and provide evidence to support the writer’s claims. In the example paper, each body paragraph may focus on a particular theme, character, or literary technique present in the text, providing examples and further analysis.

It is important for writers to understand that analytical essays differ from other types of academic papers. They require a more critical and in-depth approach to analyzing the chosen text. The body paragraphs should not simply summarize the text but rather provide an evaluation of its meaning and significance.

What Is an Analytical Essay: A Writing Guide With Examples

In academic writing, analytical essays are a common type of paper that students are often required to write. These essays involve analyzing and evaluating a particular topic or text, and are structured in a way that allows writers to present their findings and arguments in a logical and organized manner.

Understanding the Structure

The body paragraphs make up the main part of the essay and provide analysis and evaluation of the topic. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or idea related to the thesis statement and provide supporting evidence or examples. It is essential to connect these paragraphs coherently and logically to maintain the flow of the essay.

Real-Life Examples

To further understand how to write an analytical essay, it can be helpful to examine some real-life examples. The Purdue OWL website and YourDictionary.com offer a wide range of sample analytical essays on various topics. These examples can provide guidance on how writers connect their analysis to the overall structure of the essay and demonstrate the use of evidence, critical thinking, and analysis in an analytical essay.

Analytical essays are an important part of academic writing and require students to analyze and evaluate data, texts, or literary works. Understanding the structure and format of analytical essays, as well as studying real-life examples, can help writers improve their analytical writing skills. By following the guidelines in this writing guide, writers can effectively write analytical essays that showcase their critical thinking and analysis abilities.

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

What is an analytical essay.

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that involves the evaluation and analysis of a specific topic or research question. Unlike general research papers, analytical essays focus on the critical examination of data and the connection between different texts.

The Difference between Analyzing General Texts and Writing Analytical Essays

While analyzing general texts, such as literary works or research papers, may involve a critical examination of the content, writing an analytical essay requires a more structured approach. Analytical essays have a specific format and the writer needs to evaluate the data using an organized pattern.

At Purdue OWL, we are here to guide you through the process of writing an analytical essay. Our writing examples and tips will help you understand the structure of analytical essays and how to effectively analyze and evaluate different topics.

Furthermore, we will provide examples of actual analytical essays to demonstrate how to apply the analytical techniques we discuss. This will give you a clear understanding of what an analytical essay looks like and how to structure your own essays.

How the Purdue OWL Can Help

At the Purdue OWL, we offer comprehensive assistance for writers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Whether you need help with understanding how to analyze and evaluate research or how to restructure your essay, we have the resources to support you.

Our guide will walk you through the process of analyzing different texts, including literary works and academic papers. We will explain the critical analysis techniques and provide examples of how to apply them in your writing.

So, welcome to the Purdue OWL! We are here to help you develop your analytical writing skills and guide you on your journey to becoming a proficient writer.

What is an analytical essay?

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to analyze and interpret a particular subject or text. It involves breaking down the subject into different components and examining these parts to provide a thorough understanding and evaluation. The essay typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs with supporting evidence and analysis, and a conclusion.

What is the difference between an analytical essay and a critical analysis essay?

The main difference between an analytical essay and a critical analysis essay is the level of depth and focus. While an analytical essay involves analyzing and interpreting a subject, a critical analysis essay goes a step further and critiques the subject, questioning its strengths, weaknesses, and implications. A critical analysis essay often requires more in-depth research and a stronger argumentative approach.

How should I structure an analytical essay?

An analytical essay typically follows a specific structure. It starts with an introduction that provides background information and states the thesis statement. The body paragraphs then present evidence and analysis to support the thesis statement, with each paragraph focusing on a specific aspect. The essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis with a final insight or thought.

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to thoroughly analyze a topic, issue, or piece of literature. It involves breaking down the subject into various components and examining them in a logical and systematic manner.

How is an analytical essay different from a critical analysis essay?

An analytical essay and a critical analysis essay are similar in many ways, but the main difference lies in the approach. While an analytical essay focuses on examining the topic or piece of literature objectively and presenting an analysis of its various aspects, a critical analysis essay involves not only providing an analysis but also offering a personal opinion or evaluation of the subject.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California , and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.

  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 1 Unit Introduction

Introduction

  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify the elements of the rhetorical situation for your report.
  • Find and focus a topic to write about.
  • Gather and analyze information from appropriate sources.
  • Distinguish among different kinds of evidence.
  • Draft a thesis and create an organizational plan.
  • Compose a report that develops ideas and integrates evidence from sources.
  • Give and act on productive feedback to works in progress.

You might think that writing comes easily to experienced writers—that they draft stories and college papers all at once, sitting down at the computer and having sentences flow from their fingers like water from a faucet. In reality, most writers engage in a recursive process, pushing forward, stepping back, and repeating steps multiple times as their ideas develop and change. In broad strokes, the steps most writers go through are these:

  • Planning and Organization . You will have an easier time drafting if you devote time at the beginning to consider the rhetorical situation for your report, understand your assignment, gather ideas and information, draft a thesis statement, and create an organizational plan.
  • Drafting . When you have an idea of what you want to say and the order in which you want to say it, you’re ready to draft. As much as possible, keep going until you have a complete first draft of your report, resisting the urge to go back and rewrite. Save that for after you have completed a first draft.
  • Review . Now is the time to get feedback from others, whether from your instructor, your classmates, a tutor in the writing center, your roommate, someone in your family, or someone else you trust to read your writing critically and give you honest feedback.
  • Revising . With feedback on your draft, you are ready to revise. You may need to return to an earlier step and make large-scale revisions that involve planning, organizing, and rewriting, or you may need to work mostly on ensuring that your sentences are clear and correct.

Considering the Rhetorical Situation

Like other kinds of writing projects, a report starts with assessing the rhetorical situation —the circumstance in which a writer communicates with an audience of readers about a subject. As the writer of a report, you make choices based on the purpose of your writing, the audience who will read it, the genre of the report, and the expectations of the community and culture in which you are working. A graphic organizer like Table 8.1 can help you begin.

Summary of Assignment

Write an analytical report on a topic that interests you and that you want to know more about. The topic can be contemporary or historical, but it must be one that you can analyze and support with evidence from sources.

The following questions can help you think about a topic suitable for analysis:

  • Why or how did ________ happen?
  • What are the results or effects of ________?
  • Is ________ a problem? If so, why?
  • What are examples of ________ or reasons for ________?
  • How does ________ compare to or contrast with other issues, concerns, or things?

Consult and cite three to five reliable sources. The sources do not have to be scholarly for this assignment, but they must be credible, trustworthy, and unbiased. Possible sources include academic journals, newspapers, magazines, reputable websites, government publications or agency websites, and visual sources such as TED Talks. You may also use the results of an experiment or survey, and you may want to conduct interviews.

Consider whether visuals and media will enhance your report. Can you present data you collect visually? Would a map, photograph, chart, or other graphic provide interesting and relevant support? Would video or audio allow you to present evidence that you would otherwise need to describe in words?

Another Lens. To gain another analytic view on the topic of your report, consider different people affected by it. Say, for example, that you have decided to report on recent high school graduates and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the final months of their senior year. If you are a recent high school graduate, you might naturally gravitate toward writing about yourself and your peers. But you might also consider the adults in the lives of recent high school graduates—for example, teachers, parents, or grandparents—and how they view the same period. Or you might consider the same topic from the perspective of a college admissions department looking at their incoming freshman class.

Quick Launch: Finding and Focusing a Topic

Coming up with a topic for a report can be daunting because you can report on nearly anything. The topic can easily get too broad, trapping you in the realm of generalizations. The trick is to find a topic that interests you and focus on an angle you can analyze in order to say something significant about it. You can use a graphic organizer to generate ideas, or you can use a concept map similar to the one featured in Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text.”

Asking the Journalist’s Questions

One way to generate ideas about a topic is to ask the five W (and one H) questions, also called the journalist’s questions : Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Try answering the following questions to explore a topic:

Who was or is involved in ________?

What happened/is happening with ________? What were/are the results of ________?

When did ________ happen? Is ________ happening now?

Where did ________ happen, or where is ________ happening?

Why did ________ happen, or why is ________ happening now?

How did ________ happen?

For example, imagine that you have decided to write your analytical report on the effect of the COVID-19 shutdown on high-school students by interviewing students on your college campus. Your questions and answers might look something like those in Table 8.2 :

Asking Focused Questions

Another way to find a topic is to ask focused questions about it. For example, you might ask the following questions about the effect of the 2020 pandemic shutdown on recent high school graduates:

  • How did the shutdown change students’ feelings about their senior year?
  • How did the shutdown affect their decisions about post-graduation plans, such as work or going to college?
  • How did the shutdown affect their academic performance in high school or in college?
  • How did/do they feel about continuing their education?
  • How did the shutdown affect their social relationships?

Any of these questions might be developed into a thesis for an analytical report. Table 8.3 shows more examples of broad topics and focusing questions.

Gathering Information

Because they are based on information and evidence, most analytical reports require you to do at least some research. Depending on your assignment, you may be able to find reliable information online, or you may need to do primary research by conducting an experiment, a survey, or interviews. For example, if you live among students in their late teens and early twenties, consider what they can tell you about their lives that you might be able to analyze. Returning to or graduating from high school, starting college, or returning to college in the midst of a global pandemic has provided them, for better or worse, with educational and social experiences that are shared widely by people their age and very different from the experiences older adults had at the same age.

Some report assignments will require you to do formal research, an activity that involves finding sources and evaluating them for reliability, reading them carefully, taking notes, and citing all words you quote and ideas you borrow. See Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information and Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources for detailed instruction on conducting research.

Whether you conduct in-depth research or not, keep track of the ideas that come to you and the information you learn. You can write or dictate notes using an app on your phone or computer, or you can jot notes in a journal if you prefer pen and paper. Then, when you are ready to begin organizing your report, you will have a record of your thoughts and information. Always track the sources of information you gather, whether from printed or digital material or from a person you interviewed, so that you can return to the sources if you need more information. And always credit the sources in your report.

Kinds of Evidence

Depending on your assignment and the topic of your report, certain kinds of evidence may be more effective than others. Other kinds of evidence may even be required. As a general rule, choose evidence that is rooted in verifiable facts and experience. In addition, select the evidence that best supports the topic and your approach to the topic, be sure the evidence meets your instructor’s requirements, and cite any evidence you use that comes from a source. The following list contains different kinds of frequently used evidence and an example of each.

Definition : An explanation of a key word, idea, or concept.

The U.S. Census Bureau refers to a “young adult” as a person between 18 and 34 years old.

Example : An illustration of an idea or concept.

The college experience in the fall of 2020 was starkly different from that of previous years. Students who lived in residence halls were assigned to small pods. On-campus dining services were limited. Classes were small and physically distanced or conducted online. Parties were banned.

Expert opinion : A statement by a professional in the field whose opinion is respected.

According to Louise Aronson, MD, geriatrician and author of Elderhood , people over the age of 65 are the happiest of any age group, reporting “less stress, depression, worry, and anger, and more enjoyment, happiness, and satisfaction” (255).

Fact : Information that can be proven correct or accurate.

According to data collected by the NCAA, the academic success of Division I college athletes between 2015 and 2019 was consistently high (Hosick).

Interview : An in-person, phone, or remote conversation that involves an interviewer posing questions to another person or people.

During our interview, I asked Betty about living without a cell phone during the pandemic. She said that before the pandemic, she hadn’t needed a cell phone in her daily activities, but she soon realized that she, and people like her, were increasingly at a disadvantage.

Quotation : The exact words of an author or a speaker.

In response to whether she thought she needed a cell phone, Betty said, “I got along just fine without a cell phone when I could go everywhere in person. The shift to needing a phone came suddenly, and I don’t have extra money in my budget to get one.”

Statistics : A numerical fact or item of data.

The Pew Research Center reported that approximately 25 percent of Hispanic Americans and 17 percent of Black Americans relied on smartphones for online access, compared with 12 percent of White people.

Survey : A structured interview in which respondents (the people who answer the survey questions) are all asked the same questions, either in person or through print or electronic means, and their answers tabulated and interpreted. Surveys discover attitudes, beliefs, or habits of the general public or segments of the population.

A survey of 3,000 mobile phone users in October 2020 showed that 54 percent of respondents used their phones for messaging, while 40 percent used their phones for calls (Steele).

  • Visuals : Graphs, figures, tables, photographs and other images, diagrams, charts, maps, videos, and audio recordings, among others.

Thesis and Organization

Drafting a thesis.

When you have a grasp of your topic, move on to the next phase: drafting a thesis. The thesis is the central idea that you will explore and support in your report; all paragraphs in your report should relate to it. In an essay-style analytical report, you will likely express this main idea in a thesis statement of one or two sentences toward the end of the introduction.

For example, if you found that the academic performance of student athletes was higher than that of non-athletes, you might write the following thesis statement:

student sample text Although a common stereotype is that college athletes barely pass their classes, an analysis of athletes’ academic performance indicates that athletes drop fewer classes, earn higher grades, and are more likely to be on track to graduate in four years when compared with their non-athlete peers. end student sample text

The thesis statement often previews the organization of your writing. For example, in his report on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trevor Garcia wrote the following thesis statement, which detailed the central idea of his report:

student sample text An examination of the U.S. response shows that a reduction of experts in key positions and programs, inaction that led to equipment shortages, and inconsistent policies were three major causes of the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths. end student sample text

After you draft a thesis statement, ask these questions, and examine your thesis as you answer them. Revise your draft as needed.

  • Is it interesting? A thesis for a report should answer a question that is worth asking and piques curiosity.
  • Is it precise and specific? If you are interested in reducing pollution in a nearby lake, explain how to stop the zebra mussel infestation or reduce the frequent algae blooms.
  • Is it manageable? Try to split the difference between having too much information and not having enough.

Organizing Your Ideas

As a next step, organize the points you want to make in your report and the evidence to support them. Use an outline, a diagram, or another organizational tool, such as Table 8.4 .

Drafting an Analytical Report

With a tentative thesis, an organization plan, and evidence, you are ready to begin drafting. For this assignment, you will report information, analyze it, and draw conclusions about the cause of something, the effect of something, or the similarities and differences between two different things.

Some students write the introduction first; others save it for last. Whenever you choose to write the introduction, use it to draw readers into your report. Make the topic of your report clear, and be concise and sincere. End the introduction with your thesis statement. Depending on your topic and the type of report, you can write an effective introduction in several ways. Opening a report with an overview is a tried-and-true strategy, as shown in the following example on the U.S. response to COVID-19 by Trevor Garcia. Notice how he opens the introduction with statistics and a comparison and follows it with a question that leads to the thesis statement (underlined).

student sample text With more than 83 million cases and 1.8 million deaths at the end of 2020, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. By the end of 2020, the United States led the world in the number of cases, at more than 20 million infections and nearly 350,000 deaths. In comparison, the second-highest number of cases was in India, which at the end of 2020 had less than half the number of COVID-19 cases despite having a population four times greater than the U.S. (“COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic,” 2021). How did the United States come to have the world’s worst record in this pandemic? underline An examination of the U.S. response shows that a reduction of experts in key positions and programs, inaction that led to equipment shortages, and inconsistent policies were three major causes of the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths end underline . end student sample text

For a less formal report, you might want to open with a question, quotation, or brief story. The following example opens with an anecdote that leads to the thesis statement (underlined).

student sample text Betty stood outside the salon, wondering how to get in. It was June of 2020, and the door was locked. A sign posted on the door provided a phone number for her to call to be let in, but at 81, Betty had lived her life without a cell phone. Betty’s day-to-day life had been hard during the pandemic, but she had planned for this haircut and was looking forward to it; she had a mask on and hand sanitizer in her car. Now she couldn’t get in the door, and she was discouraged. In that moment, Betty realized how much Americans’ dependence on cell phones had grown in the months since the pandemic began. underline Betty and thousands of other senior citizens who could not afford cell phones or did not have the technological skills and support they needed were being left behind in a society that was increasingly reliant on technology end underline . end student sample text

Body Paragraphs: Point, Evidence, Analysis

Use the body paragraphs of your report to present evidence that supports your thesis. A reliable pattern to keep in mind for developing the body paragraphs of a report is point , evidence , and analysis :

  • The point is the central idea of the paragraph, usually given in a topic sentence stated in your own words at or toward the beginning of the paragraph. Each topic sentence should relate to the thesis.
  • The evidence you provide develops the paragraph and supports the point made in the topic sentence. Include details, examples, quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from sources if you conducted formal research. Synthesize the evidence you include by showing in your sentences the connections between sources.
  • The analysis comes at the end of the paragraph. In your own words, draw a conclusion about the evidence you have provided and how it relates to the topic sentence.

The paragraph below illustrates the point, evidence, and analysis pattern. Drawn from a report about concussions among football players, the paragraph opens with a topic sentence about the NCAA and NFL and their responses to studies about concussions. The paragraph is developed with evidence from three sources. It concludes with a statement about helmets and players’ safety.

student sample text The NCAA and NFL have taken steps forward and backward to respond to studies about the danger of concussions among players. Responding to the deaths of athletes, documented brain damage, lawsuits, and public outcry (Buckley et al., 2017), the NCAA instituted protocols to reduce potentially dangerous hits during football games and to diagnose traumatic head injuries more quickly and effectively. Still, it has allowed players to wear more than one style of helmet during a season, raising the risk of injury because of imperfect fit. At the professional level, the NFL developed a helmet-rating system in 2011 in an effort to reduce concussions, but it continued to allow players to wear helmets with a wide range of safety ratings. The NFL’s decision created an opportunity for researchers to look at the relationship between helmet safety ratings and concussions. Cocello et al. (2016) reported that players who wore helmets with a lower safety rating had more concussions than players who wore helmets with a higher safety rating, and they concluded that safer helmets are a key factor in reducing concussions. end student sample text

Developing Paragraph Content

In the body paragraphs of your report, you will likely use examples, draw comparisons, show contrasts, or analyze causes and effects to develop your topic.

Paragraphs developed with Example are common in reports. The paragraph below, adapted from a report by student John Zwick on the mental health of soldiers deployed during wartime, draws examples from three sources.

student sample text Throughout the Vietnam War, military leaders claimed that the mental health of soldiers was stable and that men who suffered from combat fatigue, now known as PTSD, were getting the help they needed. For example, the New York Times (1966) quoted military leaders who claimed that mental fatigue among enlisted men had “virtually ceased to be a problem,” occurring at a rate far below that of World War II. Ayres (1969) reported that Brigadier General Spurgeon Neel, chief American medical officer in Vietnam, explained that soldiers experiencing combat fatigue were admitted to the psychiatric ward, sedated for up to 36 hours, and given a counseling session with a doctor who reassured them that the rest was well deserved and that they were ready to return to their units. Although experts outside the military saw profound damage to soldiers’ psyches when they returned home (Halloran, 1970), the military stayed the course, treating acute cases expediently and showing little concern for the cumulative effect of combat stress on individual soldiers. end student sample text

When you analyze causes and effects , you explain the reasons that certain things happened and/or their results. The report by Trevor Garcia on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is an example: his report examines the reasons the United States failed to control the coronavirus. The paragraph below, adapted from another student’s report written for an environmental policy course, explains the effect of white settlers’ views of forest management on New England.

student sample text The early colonists’ European ideas about forest management dramatically changed the New England landscape. White settlers saw the New World as virgin, unused land, even though indigenous people had been drawing on its resources for generations by using fire subtly to improve hunting, employing construction techniques that left ancient trees intact, and farming small, efficient fields that left the surrounding landscape largely unaltered. White settlers’ desire to develop wood-built and wood-burning homesteads surrounded by large farm fields led to forestry practices and techniques that resulted in the removal of old-growth trees. These practices defined the way the forests look today. end student sample text

Compare and contrast paragraphs are useful when you wish to examine similarities and differences. You can use both comparison and contrast in a single paragraph, or you can use one or the other. The paragraph below, adapted from a student report on the rise of populist politicians, compares the rhetorical styles of populist politicians Huey Long and Donald Trump.

student sample text A key similarity among populist politicians is their rejection of carefully crafted sound bites and erudite vocabulary typically associated with candidates for high office. Huey Long and Donald Trump are two examples. When he ran for president, Long captured attention through his wild gesticulations on almost every word, dramatically varying volume, and heavily accented, folksy expressions, such as “The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!” In addition, Long’s down-home persona made him a credible voice to represent the common people against the country’s rich, and his buffoonish style allowed him to express his radical ideas without sounding anti-communist alarm bells. Similarly, Donald Trump chose to speak informally in his campaign appearances, but the persona he projected was that of a fast-talking, domineering salesman. His frequent use of personal anecdotes, rhetorical questions, brief asides, jokes, personal attacks, and false claims made his speeches disjointed, but they gave the feeling of a running conversation between him and his audience. For example, in a 2015 speech, Trump said, “They just built a hotel in Syria. Can you believe this? They built a hotel. When I have to build a hotel, I pay interest. They don’t have to pay interest, because they took the oil that, when we left Iraq, I said we should’ve taken” (“Our Country Needs” 2020). While very different in substance, Long and Trump adopted similar styles that positioned them as the antithesis of typical politicians and their worldviews. end student sample text

The conclusion should draw the threads of your report together and make its significance clear to readers. You may wish to review the introduction, restate the thesis, recommend a course of action, point to the future, or use some combination of these. Whichever way you approach it, the conclusion should not head in a new direction. The following example is the conclusion from a student’s report on the effect of a book about environmental movements in the United States.

student sample text Since its publication in 1949, environmental activists of various movements have found wisdom and inspiration in Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac . These audiences included Leopold’s conservationist contemporaries, environmentalists of the 1960s and 1970s, and the environmental justice activists who rose in the 1980s and continue to make their voices heard today. These audiences have read the work differently: conservationists looked to the author as a leader, environmentalists applied his wisdom to their movement, and environmental justice advocates have pointed out the flaws in Leopold’s thinking. Even so, like those before them, environmental justice activists recognize the book’s value as a testament to taking the long view and eliminating biases that may cloud an objective assessment of humanity’s interdependent relationship with the environment. end student sample text

Citing Sources

You must cite the sources of information and data included in your report. Citations must appear in both the text and a bibliography at the end of the report.

The sample paragraphs in the previous section include examples of in-text citation using APA documentation style. Trevor Garcia’s report on the U.S. response to COVID-19 in 2020 also uses APA documentation style for citations in the text of the report and the list of references at the end. Your instructor may require another documentation style, such as MLA or Chicago.

Peer Review: Getting Feedback from Readers

You will likely engage in peer review with other students in your class by sharing drafts and providing feedback to help spot strengths and weaknesses in your reports. For peer review within a class, your instructor may provide assignment-specific questions or a form for you to complete as you work together.

If you have a writing center on your campus, it is well worth your time to make an online or in-person appointment with a tutor. You’ll receive valuable feedback and improve your ability to review not only your report but your overall writing.

Another way to receive feedback on your report is to ask a friend or family member to read your draft. Provide a list of questions or a form such as the one in Table 8.5 for them to complete as they read.

Revising: Using Reviewers’ Responses to Revise your Work

When you receive comments from readers, including your instructor, read each comment carefully to understand what is being asked. Try not to get defensive, even though this response is completely natural. Remember that readers are like coaches who want you to succeed. They are looking at your writing from outside your own head, and they can identify strengths and weaknesses that you may not have noticed. Keep track of the strengths and weaknesses your readers point out. Pay special attention to those that more than one reader identifies, and use this information to improve your report and later assignments.

As you analyze each response, be open to suggestions for improvement, and be willing to make significant revisions to improve your writing. Perhaps you need to revise your thesis statement to better reflect the content of your draft. Maybe you need to return to your sources to better understand a point you’re trying to make in order to develop a paragraph more fully. Perhaps you need to rethink the organization, move paragraphs around, and add transition sentences.

Below is an early draft of part of Trevor Garcia’s report with comments from a peer reviewer:

student sample text To truly understand what happened, it’s important first to look back to the years leading up to the pandemic. Epidemiologists and public health officials had long known that a global pandemic was possible. In 2016, the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) published a 69-page document with the intimidating title Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents . The document’s two sections address responses to “emerging disease threats that start or are circulating in another country but not yet confirmed within U.S. territorial borders” and to “emerging disease threats within our nation’s borders.” On 13 January 2017, the joint Obama-Trump transition teams performed a pandemic preparedness exercise; however, the playbook was never adopted by the incoming administration. end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: Do the words in quotation marks need to be a direct quotation? It seems like a paraphrase would work here. end annotated text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: I’m getting lost in the details about the playbook. What’s the Obama-Trump transition team? end annotated text

student sample text In February 2018, the administration began to cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; cuts to other health agencies continued throughout 2018, with funds diverted to unrelated projects such as housing for detained immigrant children. end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: This paragraph has only one sentence, and it’s more like an example. It needs a topic sentence and more development. end annotated text

student sample text Three months later, Luciana Borio, director of medical and biodefense preparedness at the NSC, spoke at a symposium marking the centennial of the 1918 influenza pandemic. “The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern,” she said. “Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no.” end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: This paragraph is very short and a lot like the previous paragraph in that it’s a single example. It needs a topic sentence. Maybe you can combine them? end annotated text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: Be sure to cite the quotation. end annotated text

Reading these comments and those of others, Trevor decided to combine the three short paragraphs into one paragraph focusing on the fact that the United States knew a pandemic was possible but was unprepared for it. He developed the paragraph, using the short paragraphs as evidence and connecting the sentences and evidence with transitional words and phrases. Finally, he added in-text citations in APA documentation style to credit his sources. The revised paragraph is below:

student sample text Epidemiologists and public health officials in the United States had long known that a global pandemic was possible. In 2016, the National Security Council (NSC) published Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents , a 69-page document on responding to diseases spreading within and outside of the United States. On January 13, 2017, the joint transition teams of outgoing president Barack Obama and then president-elect Donald Trump performed a pandemic preparedness exercise based on the playbook; however, it was never adopted by the incoming administration (Goodman & Schulkin, 2020). A year later, in February 2018, the Trump administration began to cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving key positions unfilled. Other individuals who were fired or resigned in 2018 were the homeland security adviser, whose portfolio included global pandemics; the director for medical and biodefense preparedness; and the top official in charge of a pandemic response. None of them were replaced, leaving the White House with no senior person who had experience in public health (Goodman & Schulkin, 2020). Experts voiced concerns, among them Luciana Borio, director of medical and biodefense preparedness at the NSC, who spoke at a symposium marking the centennial of the 1918 influenza pandemic in May 2018: “The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern,” she said. “Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no” (Sun, 2018, final para.). end student sample text

A final word on working with reviewers’ comments: as you consider your readers’ suggestions, remember, too, that you remain the author. You are free to disregard suggestions that you think will not improve your writing. If you choose to disregard comments from your instructor, consider submitting a note explaining your reasons with the final draft of your report.

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Analytical Essay Guide

Analytical Essay Example

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15 Analytical Essay Samples to Learn From - Tips Included

Published on: Mar 3, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 29, 2023

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Analytical essay writing can be hard for students because it demands a thorough grasp of a subject and the skill to break it into smaller pieces.

This can lead to stress, lower grades, and a sense of frustration.

No need to fret! MyPerfectWords.com has a solution for you.

In this blog, we'll provide you with excellent analytical examples and easy-to-follow tips for writing outstanding analytical essays.

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Analytical Essay -Definition 

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that dives deep into a specific subject, dissecting it into its various components and examining how they interrelate.

It requires the writer to not only present a clear understanding of the topic but also to analyze and evaluate it critically. 

Unlike a descriptive essay , an analytical essay demands a more in-depth exploration, often involving an argument or thesis statement that guides the analysis. 

Analytical Essay Examples

To truly understand the art of analytical essay writing, one of the most effective methods is to examine practical examples. 

Analytical essay examples provide a clear blueprint of how to approach this challenging task successfully.

Take a look at these examples to find inspiration for writing a compelling analytical essay.

Analytical Essay Example (Pdf)

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Short Analytical Essay Example

IHere are some more examples of analytical essays to help you get inspired.

Thesis Statement For An Analytical Essay Example

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Macbeth Analytical Essay Example

How To Write An Analytical Essay - Example

Analytical Essay Example Apa Format

Analytical Essay Example On A Book

Analytical Essay Outline Example

When tackling an analytical essay, having a well-structured outline is your key to success. This outline serves as a roadmap, guiding you through the essay-writing process, ensuring you don't miss vital elements.

Let's break down the essential sections of an analytical essay outline :

Introduction - Setting the Stage

In the introduction , your aim is to set the stage for your analysis. This section should introduce the topic, provide context, and present a clear thesis statement that outlines the main argument or focus of your essay.

Body - Analyzing Key Points

The body paragraphs of your analytical essay are where the real analysis takes place. This section can be divided into multiple paragraphs, each addressing a specific point or aspect related to your thesis. 

Here, you should provide evidence, examples, and critical analysis to support your argument.

Conclusion - Summing It Up

As you reach the essay conclusion , it's time to tie it all together. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and underscore the importance of your analysis. 

Remember, this is not the place to introduce new background information. Instead, offer a succinct and impactful recap of your discoveries.

Here's a sample outline for your reference to simplify the process.

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Analytical Essay Topics Examples

Choosing the right type of essay topic is a crucial first step when writing an analytical essay. The topic you select should be engaging, relevant, and suitable for in-depth analysis. 

Here are some thought-provoking analytical essay topics to consider:

  • The Symbolism of the "Green Light" in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
  • The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health
  • Analyzing the Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality
  • The Role of Nature in Shakespeare's Sonnets
  • Analyzing the Historical Significance of the Industrial Revolution
  • The Influence of Technology on Education
  • The Psychology of Marketing and Consumer Behavior
  • The Impact of Globalization on Cultural Identity
  • Analyzing the Ethical Dilemmas in Artificial Intelligence
  • The Evolution of Environmental Policies and Their Impact on Conservation

Are you still having trouble coming up with a good analytical essay topic? Check out this blog for more than 150 compelling analytical essay topics .

Tips to Write an Effective Analytical Essay

Writing an effective analytical essay requires a structured approach and attention to detail. Here are some valuable tips to help you craft a compelling analytical essay:

  • Focus Your Topic : Select a specific topic or aspect for in-depth analysis rather than a broad subject.
  • Research Thoroughly : Gather reliable sources and evidence to support your analysis.
  • Create a Well-Structured Outline : Plan your essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Analyze, Don't Summarize : Avoid summarizing the subject; instead, critically evaluate and interpret it.
  • Use Clear Topic Sentences : Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis.
  • Provide Evidence : Support your analysis with quotes, examples, and data from your research.
  • Critical Thinking : Engage in critical thinking to question assumptions and explore alternative perspectives.
  • Maintain Clarity : Use clear and concise language to convey your points effectively.

In conclusion, the analytical essay stands as a potent tool for honing your skills and conveying your understanding of complex subjects.

Through this guide, we've explored the essence of analytical essays and the essential steps to compose a compelling piece.

If you are assigned to write an analytical essay, take help from the above-mentioned examples. Another option is to get assistance from a professional analytical essay writer. 

The top  analytical essay writing service  at MyPerfectWords.com can assist you and provide customized written essays and papers for every academic level. We offer the best essay writing service.

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When you write an essay for a course you are taking, you are being asked not only to create a product (the essay) but, more importantly, to go through a process of thinking more deeply about a question or problem related to the course. By writing about a source or collection of sources, you will have the chance to wrestle with some of the ideas that you are learning about in the course. Through the careful work of considering evidence and assumptions and thinking through the logic of arguments, you will begin to figure out what you think about complicated or controversial topics. Your goal when you write an essay should not be only to show readers what you know, but to learn more about something that you’re genuinely curious about.

For some assignments, you’ll be given a specific question or problem to address that will guide your thought process. For other assignments, you’ll be asked to identify your own topic and/or question. In those cases, a useful starting point will be to come up with a strong analytical question that you will try to answer in your essay. Your answer to that question will be your essay’s thesis .

You may have many questions as you consider a source or set of sources, but not all of your questions will form the basis of a strong essay. For example, your initial questions about a source may be answered by reading the source more closely. On the other hand, sometimes you will identify a genuine ambiguity or problem in your sources that raises a question that others considering the same sources would also have. In that case, your answer to the question will be interesting not only for you, but also for your readers.

Properties of a strong analytical question 

A strong analytical question

  • speaks to a genuine dilemma presented by your sources . In other words, the question focuses on a real confusion, problem, ambiguity, or gray area, about which readers will conceivably have different reactions, opinions, or ideas.  
  • yields an answer that is not obvious . If you ask, "What did this author say about this topic?” there’s nothing to explore because any reader of that text would answer that question in the same way. But if you ask, “how can we reconcile point A and point B in this text,” readers will want to see how you solve that inconsistency in your essay.  
  • suggests an answer complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of discussion. If the question is too vague, it won't suggest a line of argument. The question should elicit reflection and argument rather than summary or description.  
  • can be explored using the sources you have available for the assignment , rather than by generalizations or by research beyond the scope of your assignment.  

How to come up with an analytical question  

One useful starting point when you’re trying to identify an analytical question is to look for points of tension in your sources, either within one source or among sources. It can be helpful to think of those points of tension as the moments where you need to stop and think before you can move forward. Here are some examples of where you may find points of tension:

  • You may read a published view that doesn’t seem convincing to you, and you may want to ask a question about what’s missing or about how the evidence might be reconsidered.  
  • You may notice an inconsistency, gap, or ambiguity in the evidence, and you may want to explore how that changes your understanding of something.  
  • You may identify an unexpected wrinkle that you think deserves more attention, and you may want to ask a question about it.  
  • You may notice an unexpected conclusion that you think doesn’t quite add up, and you may want to ask how the authors of a source reached that conclusion.  
  • You may identify a controversy that you think needs to be addressed, and you may want to ask a question about how it might be resolved.  
  • You may notice a problem that you think has been ignored, and you may want to try to solve it or consider why it has been ignored.  
  • You may encounter a piece of evidence that you think warrants a closer look, and you may raise questions about it.  

Once you’ve identified a point of tension and raised a question about it, you will try to answer that question in your essay. Your main idea or claim in answer to that question will be your thesis.

point of tension --> analytical question --> thesis

  • "How" and "why" questions generally require more analysis than "who/ what/when/where” questions.  
  • Good analytical questions can highlight patterns/connections, or contradictions/dilemmas/problems.  
  • Good analytical questions establish the scope of an argument, allowing you to focus on a manageable part of a broad topic or a collection of sources.  
  • Good analytical questions can also address implications or consequences of your analysis.
  • picture_as_pdf Asking Analytical Questions

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Organizing Your Analysis

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This resource covers how to write a rhetorical analysis essay of primarily visual texts with a focus on demonstrating the author’s understanding of the rhetorical situation and design principles.

There is no one perfect way to organize a rhetorical analysis essay. In fact, writers should always be a bit leery of plug-in formulas that offer a perfect essay format. Remember, organization itself is not the enemy, only organization without considering the specific demands of your particular writing task. That said, here are some general tips for plotting out the overall form of your essay.

Introduction

Like any rhetorical analysis essay, an essay analyzing a visual document should quickly set the stage for what you’re doing. Try to cover the following concerns in the initial paragraphs:

  • Make sure to let the reader know you’re performing a rhetorical analysis. Otherwise, they may expect you to take positions or make an evaluative argument that may not be coming.
  • Clearly state what the document under consideration is and possibly give some pertinent background information about its history or development. The intro can be a good place for a quick, narrative summary of the document. The key word here is “quick, for you may be dealing with something large (for example, an entire episode of a cartoon like the Simpsons). Save more in-depth descriptions for your body paragraph analysis.
  • If you’re dealing with a smaller document (like a photograph or an advertisement), and copyright allows, the introduction or first page is a good place to integrate it into your page.
  • Give a basic run down of the rhetorical situation surrounding the document: the author, the audience, the purpose, the context, etc.

Thesis Statements and Focus

Many authors struggle with thesis statements or controlling ideas in regards to rhetorical analysis essays. There may be a temptation to think that merely announcing the text as a rhetorical analysis is purpose enough. However, especially depending on your essay’s length, your reader may need a more direct and clear statement of your intentions. Below are a few examples.

1. Clearly narrow the focus of what your essay will cover. Ask yourself if one or two design aspects of the document is interesting and complex enough to warrant a full analytical treatment.

The website for Amazon.com provides an excellent example of alignment and proximity to assist its visitors in navigating a potentially large and confusing amount of information.

2. Since visual documents often seek to move people towards a certain action (buying a product, attending an event, expressing a sentiment), an essay may analyze the rhetorical techniques used to accomplish this purpose. The thesis statement should reflect this goal.

The call-out flyer for the Purdue Rowing Team uses a mixture of dynamic imagery and tantalizing promises to create interest in potential, new members.

3. Rhetorical analysis can also easily lead to making original arguments. Performing the analysis may lead you to an argument; or vice versa, you may start with an argument and search for proof that supports it.

A close analysis of the female body images in the July 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine reveals contradictions between the articles’ calls for self-esteem and the advertisements’ unrealistic, beauty demands.

These are merely suggestions. The best measure for what your focus and thesis statement should be the document itself and the demands of your writing situation. Remember that the main thrust of your thesis statement should be on how the document creates meaning and accomplishes its purposes. The OWl has additional information on writing thesis statements.

Analysis Order (Body Paragraphs)

Depending on the genre and size of the document under analysis, there are a number of logical ways to organize your body paragraphs. Below are a few possible options. Which ever you choose, the goal of your body paragraphs is to present parts of the document, give an extended analysis of how that part functions, and suggest how the part ties into a larger point (your thesis statement or goal).

Chronological

This is the most straight-forward approach, but it can also be effective if done for a reason (as opposed to not being able to think of another way). For example, if you are analyzing a photo essay on the web or in a booklet, a chronological treatment allows you to present your insights in the same order that a viewer of the document experiences those images. It is likely that the images have been put in that order and juxtaposed for a reason, so this line of analysis can be easily integrated into the essay.

Be careful using chronological ordering when dealing with a document that contains a narrative (i.e. a television show or music video). Focusing on the chronological could easily lead you to plot summary which is not the point of a rhetorical analysis.

A spatial ordering covers the parts of a document in the order the eye is likely to scan them. This is different than chronological order, for that is dictated by pages or screens where spatial order concerns order amongst a single page or plane. There are no unwavering guidelines for this, but you can use the following general guidelines.

  • Left to right and top to down is still the normal reading and scanning pattern for English-speaking countries.
  • The eye will naturally look for centers. This may be the technical center of the page or the center of the largest item on the page.
  • Lines are often used to provide directions and paths for the eye to follow.
  • Research has shown that on web pages, the eye tends to linger in the top left quadrant before moving left to right. Only after spending a considerable amount of time on the top, visible portion of the page will they then scroll down.

Persuasive Appeals

The classic, rhetorical appeals are logos, pathos, and ethos. These concepts roughly correspond to the logic, emotion, and character of the document’s attempt to persuade. You can find more information on these concepts elsewhere on the OWL. Once you understand these devices, you could potentially order your essay by analyzing the document’s use of logos, ethos, and pathos in different sections.

The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay may not operate too differently from the conclusion of any other kind of essay. Still, many writers struggle with what a conclusion should or should not do. You can find tips elsewhere on the OWL on writing conclusions. In short, however, you should restate your main ideas and explain why they are important; restate your thesis; and outline further research or work you believe should be completed to further your efforts.

Brightly colored threads in the outline of a brain shape float against a dark background with constellation-like patterns.

Several companies are testing brain implants – why is there so much attention swirling around Neuralink? Two professors unpack the ethical issues

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Putting a computer inside someone’s brain used to feel like the edge of science fiction. Today, it’s a reality . Academic and commercial groups are testing “brain-computer interface” devices to enable people with disabilities to function more independently. Yet Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, has put this technology front and center in debates about safety, ethics and neuroscience.

In January 2024, Musk announced that Neuralink implanted its first chip in a human subject’s brain. The Conversation reached out to two scholars at the University of Washington School of Medicine – Nancy Jecker, a bioethicst , and Andrew Ko, a neurosurgeon who implants brain chip devices – for their thoughts on the ethics of this new horizon in neuroscience.

How does a brain chip work?

Neuralink’s coin-size device, called N1, is designed to enable patients to carry out actions just by concentrating on them, without moving their bodies.

Subjects in the company’s PRIME study – short for Precise Robotically Implanted Brain-Computer Interface – undergo surgery to place the device in a part of the brain that controls movement. The chip records and processes the brain’s electrical activity, then transmits this data to an external device, such as a phone or computer.

The external device “decodes” the patient’s brain activity, learning to associate certain patterns with the patient’s goal: moving a computer cursor up a screen, for example. Over time, the software can recognize a pattern of neural firing that consistently occurs while the participant is imagining that task, and then execute the task for the person.

Neuralink’s current trial is focused on helping people with paralyzed limbs control computers or smartphones . Brain-computer interfaces, commonly called BCIs, can also be used to control devices such as wheelchairs .

A few companies are testing BCIs. What’s different about Neuralink?

Noninvasive devices positioned on the outside of a person’s head have been used in clinical trials for a long time , but they have not received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for commercial development.

A young woman in a green shirt sits with a wired contraption on her head as four other people look on.

There are other brain-computer devices, like Neuralink’s, that are fully implanted and wireless . However, the N1 implant combines more technologies in a single device: It can target individual neurons, record from thousands of sites in the brain and recharge its small battery wirelessly. These are important advances that could produce better outcomes.

Why is Neuralink drawing criticism?

Neuralink received FDA approval for human trials in May 2023. Musk announced the company’s first human trial on his social media platform, X – formerly Twitter – in January 2024.

Information about the implant, however, is scarce , aside from a brochure aimed at recruiting trial subjects. Neuralink did not register at ClinicalTrials.gov , as is customary, and required by some academic journals .

Some scientists are troubled by this lack of transparency . Sharing information about clinical trials is important because it helps other investigators learn about areas related to their research and can improve patient care. Academic journals can also be biased toward positive results , preventing researchers from learning from unsuccessful experiments.

Fellows at the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank, have warned that Musk’s brand of “ science by press release, while increasingly common, is not science .” They advise against relying on someone with a huge financial stake in a research outcome to function as the sole source of information.

When scientific research is funded by government agencies or philanthropic groups , its aim is to promote the public good. Neuralink, on the other hand, embodies a private equity model , which is becoming more common in science . Firms pooling funds from private investors to back science breakthroughs may strive to do good, but they also strive to maximize profits, which can conflict with patients’ best interests .

A phone screen shows a white page that says 'Elon Musk,' positioned below an abstract black design and the word 'NEURALINK.'

In 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture investigated animal cruelty at Neuralink, according to a Reuters report, after employees accused the company of rushing tests and botching procedures on test animals in a race for results. The agency’s inspection found no breaches, according to a letter from the USDA secretary to lawmakers, which Reuters reviewed. However, the secretary did note an “adverse surgical event” in 2019 that Neuralink had self-reported.

In a separate incident also reported by Reuters, the Department of Transportation fined Neuralink for violating rules about transporting hazardous materials, including a flammable liquid.

What other ethical issues does Neuralink’s trial raise?

When brain-computer interfaces are used to help patients who suffer from disabling conditions function more independently, such as by helping them communicate or move about, this can profoundly improve their quality of life. In particular, it helps people recover a sense of their own agency or autonomy – one of the key tenets of medical ethics.

However well-intentioned, medical interventions can produce unintended consequences. With BCIs, scientists and ethicists are particularly concerned about the potential for identity theft, password hacking and blackmail . Given how the devices access users’ thoughts, there is also the possibility that their autonomy could be manipulated by third parties.

The ethics of medicine requires physicians to help patients, while minimizing potential harm. In addition to errors and privacy risks, scientists worry about potential adverse effects of a completely implanted device like Neuralink, since device components are not easily replaced after implantation.

When considering any invasive medical intervention, patients, providers and developers seek a balance between risk and benefit. At current levels of safety and reliability, the benefit of a permanent implant would have to be large to justify the uncertain risks.

What’s next?

For now, Neuralink’s trials are focused on patients with paralysis. Musk has said his ultimate goal for BCIs, however, is to help humanity – including healthy people – “ keep pace” with artificial intelligence .

This raises questions about another core tenet of medical ethics: justice . Some types of supercharged brain-computer synthesis could exacerbate social inequalities if only wealthy citizens have access to enhancements.

What is more immediately concerning, however, is the possibility that the device could be increasingly shown to be helpful for people with disabilities, but become unavailable due to loss of research funding. For patients whose access to a device is tied to a research study, the prospect of losing access after the study ends can be devastating. This raises thorny questions about whether it is ever ethical to provide early access to breakthrough medical interventions prior to their receiving full FDA approval.

Clear ethical and legal guidelines are needed to ensure the benefits that stem from scientific innovations like Neuralink’s brain chip are balanced against patient safety and societal good.

  • Neuroscience
  • Neurotechnology
  • Neuroethics
  • Brain-computer interface
  • Ethical question

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Lydia Polgreen

Restoring the Past Won’t Liberate Palestine

An illustration of two faces atop the ground. A small white person stands on top of one of the faces.

By Lydia Polgreen

Opinion Columnist

Amid the graphic images, fierce polemics and endless media criticism that have dominated my social media feeds since the war in Gaza began late last year, I noticed a seemingly bizarre subplot emerge: skin cancer in Israel.

“You are not Indigenous if your body cannot tolerate the area’s climate,” one such post read, highlighting outdated news coverage claiming that Israelis had unusually high rates of skin cancer. (They do not .) Skin cancer, these posts claimed, was proof that Israeli Jews were not native to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea but were white Europeans with no ancestral connection to the region, enactors of one of the worst crimes of the modern age: settler colonialism.

On one level, the claims about skin cancer — like similar ones about Israeli cuisine and surnames — are silly social media talking points from keyboard warriors slinging hashtags, hyped up on theories of liberation based on memes of Frantz Fanon quotes taken out of context. In the context of the ongoing slaughter in Gaza — more than 28,000 people dead, mostly women and children — such posturing may seem trivial. But even, or maybe especially, at this moment, when things are so grim, the way we talk about liberation matters. And I find this kind of talk revealing of a larger trend on the left these days, emanating from important and complex theories in the academy but reflected in crude and reductive forms in the memes and slogans at pro-Palestine protests — an increasingly rigid set of ideas about the interloping colonizer and the Indigenous colonized. In this analysis, there are two kinds of people: those who are native to a land and those who settle it, displacing the original inhabitants. Those identities are fixed, essential, eternal.

I have spent much of my life and career living and working among formerly colonized peoples attempting to forge a path for themselves in the aftermath of empire. The rapacious carving up of much of the globe and the genocide and enslavement of millions of people by a handful of European powers for their own enrichment was the great crime of early modernity. The icons who threw off the yoke of colonial oppression — including Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, India’s Jawaharlal Nehru and Fanon — were my childhood heroes, and they remain my intellectual lodestars. But I sometimes struggle to recognize their spirit and ideas in the way we talk about decolonization today, with its emphasis on determining who is and who is not an Indigenous inhabitant of the lands known as Israel and Palestine.

A good deal of the antipathy toward Israeli Jews today is undergirded and enabled, I believe, by something that to some ears sounds progressive: the idea that people and lands that have been colonized must be returned to their indigenous peoples and original state. But that belief, when taken literally, is, at best, a kind of left-wing originalism, a utopian politics that believes the past answers all the questions of the present. At worst, it is a left-wing echo to the ancestral fantasies of the far right, in which who is allowed to live in which places is a question of the connection of one’s blood to a particular patch of soil.

Implicit in the emphasis on indigeneity is a promised restoration, albeit one of a very different sort from the imperial fantasies of Vladimir Putin or the gender obsessions of Ron DeSantis. Decolonization “is not converting Indigenous politics to a Western doctrine of liberation; it is not a philanthropic process of ‘helping’ the at-risk and alleviating suffering; it is not a generic term for struggle against oppressive conditions and outcomes,” as the scholars Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang write in an influential academic paper published in 2012, “ Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor .”

“The broad umbrella of social justice may have room underneath for all of these efforts,” Tuck and Yang write. “By contrast, decolonization specifically requires the repatriation of Indigenous land and life.”

There is perhaps no more vexed question in the world than how this might play out in Israel and Palestine. There is no doubt that Palestinians long lived in the land that became Israel. Jews have deep historical roots in that land, but a vast majority of the people who established the state of Israel came from elsewhere, fleeing genocide and persecution in Europe and forced into exile by Middle Eastern and North African nations. It is impossible to separate Israel’s birth from the dying gasps of the old colonial order. It was, in the indelible phrase of Arthur Koestler, “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.”

In theory, decolonization includes the disestablishment of the very idea of land as property, of modern notions like nationhood and citizenship. In theory, it is a chance to do it all over and replay history with the benefit of indigenous ideas and traditions to guide us.

But history doesn’t work that way. People do bad things. Other people resist those bad things. Humans invent and discover; they create and destroy. There is no going backward to some mythic state. There is no restoration. The events that unfold over time shape the land and the people who live on it, and those people shape one another in manifold ways, some brutal and destructive, some generative and loving. But time and experience ensure that nothing can ever be the same as it was before the last thing that happened.

A s I was thinking through these issues, I came across a series of social media posts about settler colonialism by Iyad el-Baghdadi, a Palestinian writer and activist whose work has been an indispensable guide for me in the present crisis. I sent him an email, and he agreed to speak with me to expand on his ideas. I explained my unease with the reliance on concepts like indigeneity to decide who has a just claim to live in a place.

“Don’t take these people seriously,” he told me, though he made clear that he has some sympathy for those who espouse such views. “They’re not really motivated by some kind of ideology. They’re really motivated by emotion, and they kind of slap together an ideology to satisfy their emotion, but then emotions, by their very nature, cannot be satisfied that way.” He told me that sometimes when he hears people talk about Palestinian liberation, it is almost as though they are expecting a literal reversal of 1948, what Palestinians call the nakba, or catastrophe, of their expulsion upon the founding of the state of Israel.

“It is as if there will be this magical moment and all our villages are going to appear out of the earth. And then 75 years of settler colonialism is going to disappear,” he said. “But this romantic idea is really unmourned trauma.”

Questions of indigeneity are simply a distraction, he said, from the real challenge of building Palestinian political power. “I don’t care if they’re settlers or not,” he said. “The solution is not to constantly try to moralize. The solution is to fix the power imbalance. The future needs to be rooted in the truth that all human beings are equal and that Jewish life is equivalent to Palestinian life and that we can together work on a future in which nobody is oppressed and we can address the inequities of the past.”

Eventually our conversation came around to Fanon, whose writings on political violence are now once again in vogue, taken up with alacrity by the activists focused on undoing settler colonialism — even, or perhaps especially, if it requires bloodshed.

“People are really using him to lend some kind of intellectual legitimacy for political violence,” he said. “And I find that really, really obscene. When I read Fanon, I think he’s talking about power. He’s not really talking about violence. Violence is a weak person’s idea of what power is.”

Fanon, a psychiatrist turned anticolonial political figure, had a lot to say about violence. In his book “The Wretched of the Earth” he wrote that “violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect.”

There is no question that Fanon, who devoted much of his short life to the often violent struggle to liberate Algeria from French rule, believed that violence was a legitimate tool to fight oppression. But what did he actually mean, and did he write these words as a physician’s description or a revolutionary’s prescription?

The writer Adam Shatz argues in “The Rebel’s Clinic,” his terrific new biography of Fanon , that “cleansing” is a misleading translation: “The English translation of ‘la violence désintoxique’ as ‘violence is a cleansing force’ is somewhat misleading, suggesting an almost redemptive elimination of impurities,” Shatz writes. “Fanon’s more clinical word choice indicates the overcoming of a state of drunkenness, the stupor induced by colonial subjugation.”

Indeed, what violence restored to the colonial subject was agency, the ability to shake off the role imposed by the colonizer and begin to act of his or her own volition. Colonized people may harbor fantasies of returning to a long-lost past, before their land was stolen. But it is equally likely that they, like Fanon, want to build a new and different future.

Fanon had a lot to say about history. Shatz’s book details Fanon’s early infatuation with the romantic ideas of thinkers like Léopold Sédar Senghor, the poet and anticolonial leader who would become Senegal’s first president. Senghor and some of his generation of Black colonial intellectuals posited an idealized and mystical precolonial African past that needed to be unearthed and revived.

Eventually, Fanon rejected these backward-looking ideas: “In no way do I have to dedicate myself to reviving a Black civilization unjustly ignored,” he wrote in his book “Black Skin, White Masks.” “I will not make myself the man of any past.”

A nd yet. How can we not look to the past to try to find a path through the present, just as we look to the future as the repository of some long-awaited justice that never quite arrives? This human propensity leaves us stuck between memory and dreams, neither of which tell us all that much about our present difficulties.

We think understanding the past with hindsight will somehow save us. But what is that hindsight? A perfect knowledge of the past that was not accessible or visible to those experiencing it. Somehow, we believe, the future will be untainted by the passions of the present and able to see what unfolded more clearly. In practice, it works the other way: We see the past through the prism of the present and often in the blinding light of our hopes for the future, eliding and emphasizing the role of the past as suits our present purpose.

A theory of decolonization that seeks to move backward will inevitably run up against this human tendency. But it also, perhaps unwittingly, strips the formerly colonized of the very self-determination they seek.

Olúfémi Táíwò, a Nigerian philosopher at Cornell University, argued in his book “Against Decolonisation: Taking African Agency Seriously” that the Manichaean divide between the colonized and the colonizer and the rejection of everything emanating from the latter stripped the colonized of agency by denying them the creative freedom to make something new out of the experience of being oppressed. “It must and does foreclose the possibility that the colonized could find anything of worth in the life and thought of the colonizer which they could repurpose for their own societies, both during and after colonialism,” he wrote.

Africans, Táíwò argues, should be able to take what they want from modernity and use it, like any free people, to invent their own future, not look backward to a past that in any case can never be recovered.

The agonizing months since Oct. 7 have made it seem all but impossible for any of us to imagine what kind of hopeful future might be invented out of the present nightmare. We have reached a terrifying new stage of the war with the looming assault on Rafah, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled Israeli bullets and bombs only to find themselves once again in the cross hairs with nowhere left to run. But generations of Palestinian activists and intellectuals, people who have perhaps the greatest reason to find sustenance in fantasies of a mythic past free of Israel and its people, do not dream of rolling back time.

“Successful liberation movements were successful precisely because they employed creative ideas, original ideas, imaginative ideas, whereas less successful movements (like ours, alas) had a pronounced tendency to formulas and an uninspired repetition of past slogans and past patterns of behavior,” wrote the Palestinian American scholar Edward Said. “The future, like the past, is built by human beings. They and not some distant mediator or savior provide the agency for change.”

Said was perhaps the most influential intellectual heir to Fanon, and in a tragic twist, he too died of leukemia, the same cancer that killed Fanon at the age of 36. Both of them died without seeing their lifelong struggles won. But both went to their graves as modern, cosmopolitan men, engaged with the world not as they wished it was but as they found it, chronicled it and shaped it toward their unshakable vision of self-determination and freedom for the colonized peoples of the world. Liberation requires invention, not restoration. If history tells us anything, it is this: Time moves in one direction, forward.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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Lydia Polgreen is an Opinion columnist and a co-host of the “ Matter of Opinion ” podcast for The Times.

Opinion: We know how voters feel about Trump and Biden. But how do the experts rank their presidencies?

Wax figures of nine American presidents.

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Presidents Day occurs at a crucial moment this year, with the presidency on the cusp of crisis as we inexorably shuffle toward a rematch between the incumbent and his predecessor. It’s the sort of contest we haven’t seen since the 19th century, and judging by public opinion of President Biden and former President Trump, most Americans would have preferred to keep it that way.

But the third installment of our Presidential Greatness Project , a poll of presidential experts released this weekend, shows that scholars don’t share American voters’ roughly equal distaste for both candidates.

Biden, in fact, makes his debut in our rankings at No. 14, putting him in the top third of American presidents. Trump, meanwhile, maintains the position he held six years ago: dead last, trailing such historically calamitous chief executives as James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson. In that and other respects, Trump’s radical departure from political, institutional and legal norms has affected knowledgeable assessments not just of him but also of Biden and several other presidents.

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Like Biden, Obama and Reagan had rough reelection polls. Too many journalists treat polls as predictive, but political professionals use them to inform campaigns.

Jan. 24, 2024

The overall survey results reveal stability as well as change in the way scholars assess our nation’s most important and controversial political office. Great presidents have traditionally been viewed as those who presided over moments of national transformation, led the country through major crises and expanded the institution of the presidency. Military victories, economic growth, assassinations and scandals also affect expert assessments of presidential performance.

The presidents at the top of our rankings, and others like ours, reflect this. Hallowed leaders such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and George Washington consistently lead the list.

Our latest rankings also show that the experts’ assessments are driven not only by traditional notions of greatness but also by the evolving values of our time.

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President Trump’s final grade will be in the hands of scholars. It doesn’t look good.

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One example is the continuing decline in esteem for two important presidents, Andrew Jackson and Woodrow Wilson. Their reputations have consistently suffered in recent years as modern politics lead scholars to assess their early 19th and 20th century presidencies ever more harshly, especially their unacceptable treatment of marginalized people.

More acutely, this survey has seen a pronounced partisan dynamic emerge, arguably in response to the Trump presidency and the Trumpification of presidential politics.

Proponents of the Biden presidency have strong arguments in their arsenal, but his high placement within the top 15 suggests a powerful anti-Trump factor at work. So far, Biden’s record does not include the military victories or institutional expansion that have typically driven higher rankings, and a family scandal such as the one involving his son Hunter normally diminishes a president’s ranking.

Biden’s most important achievements may be that he rescued the presidency from Trump, resumed a more traditional style of presidential leadership and is gearing up to keep the office out of his predecessor’s hands this fall.

Trump’s position at the bottom of our rankings, meanwhile, puts him behind not only Buchanan and Johnson but also such lowlights as Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding and William Henry Harrison, who died a mere 31 days after taking office.

Trump’s impact goes well beyond his own ranking and Biden’s. Every contemporary Democratic president has moved up in the ranks — Barack Obama (No. 7), Bill Clinton (No. 12) and even Jimmy Carter (No. 22).

Yes, these presidents had great accomplishments such as expanding healthcare access and working to end conflict in the Middle East, and they have two Nobel Prizes among them. But given their shortcomings and failures, their rise seems to be less about reassessments of their administrations than it is a bonus for being neither Trump nor a member of his party.

Indeed, every modern Republican president has dropped in the survey, including the transformational Ronald Reagan (No. 16) and George H.W. Bush (No. 19), who led the nation’s last decisive military victory.

Academics do lean left, but that hasn’t changed since our previous surveys. What these results suggest is not just an added emphasis on a president’s political affiliation, but also the emergence of a president’s fealty to political and institutional norms as a criterion for what makes a president “great” to the scholars who study them.

As for the Americans casting a ballot for the next president, they are in the historically rare position of knowing how both candidates have performed in the job. Whether they will consider each president’s commitment to the norms of presidential leadership, and come to rate them as differently as our experts, remains to be seen.

Justin Vaughn is an associate professor of political science at Coastal Carolina University. Brandon Rottinghaus is a professor of political science at the University of Houston.

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