Analytical Essay: Outline, Structure, Writing Tips

Writing Tips

An analytical paper can be written about anything. From a philosophical conception to a movie, literally everything can become an object of your research. As a writer, you are expected to make yourself familiar with a theme, make an argument about it, and provide an analysis. This means that simply stating the facts is not enough. Your aim is to provide understanding of a subject. For example, if you are writing a book analysis, then you cannot just tell what the story is about. Instead, you should focus on the methods used by the author, objectives, and impact the book makes on the audience. If you are not sure that you know how to write an analytical essay, read this guide and get some instructions.

Where to start? Some pre-writing techniques

  • Choose a topic

If your tutor didn’t give you a list of topics, then you should pick one yourself. As we have mentioned at the very beginning, you can analyze almost anything. This might be a book, historical event, idea, etc. Just make sure that you pick a theme that has been already researched by other essay writers. This way, you will easily find enough appropriate materials to work with.

  • Make on outline

First and foremost, you need to have a plan to follow. This will help you keep the correct direction and stay focused on the main points you are trying to make. Before you start preparing a first draft, it is absolutely crucial to compose an analytical essay outline to keep everything in order. Without a detailed plan, you risk to forget about something important or fail to structure your paper correctly. Some students think that writing an outline is a waste of time and they can cope with the task faster if they skip this part. However, in the reality, you will waste significantly more time trying to organize and reorganize your draft done without an outline.

  • Come up with a thesis

Before you start writing a paper, it is necessary to create a thesis statement. Your thesis statement should depict your position about the topic and suggest the further argumentation you are going to develop. Be persuasive and specific. Note that a thesis statement shouldn’t be general, so narrow your main idea down and express it in a laconic manner (1-2 sentences).

Writing an analytical essay step by step

  • Introduction

Reread your analysis paper outline and start writing. You have two fundamental aims when writing an introduction: making your audience familiar with the topic and your position about it; and involving them into further reading. Tell your readers why your paper matters and what is your opinion about the main question. To evoke interest, you should make an interesting or even surprising point at the very beginning. To do so, you can present statistics or facts. The other common way to grab reader’s attention is to ask a question whether rhetorical or provocative. You can even make a joke or tell a small anecdote. Everything depends on a chosen topic and tone of your analysis.

  • Body paragraphs

Each paragraph should contain one claim supported by quotes and arguments. Perceive every paragraph as a small essay: start with an introduction, get to the point, and sum it up. For instance, if you are talking about literature techniques used by the author in a book, then you should describe and analyze each method in a separate paragraph. If you are analyzing an event, make sure to provide your understanding of its reasons and outcomes in a logical and consistent manner. Don’t forget about the overall structure – your paragraphs should support the thesis statement and unwrap your position gradually. And don’t forget to follow your analysis essay outline.

  • Conclusion

Your conclusion paragraph should summarize the main points made in the previous parts. Next, you can suggest some predictions, explanations, recommendations for further research, etc. To make readers remember your paper, you may include another rhetorical question or a joke here. Just avoid adding any new facts. When you are done with writing, don’t forget to create a bibliography and format your paper in a required format.

  • Revision

You are recommended to read your paper for a couple of times and fix the mistakes, if any. You may want to rewrite or paraphrase some parts of it. It is even better if you have an opportunity to ask someone for a review and get a critical response. This way, you will find out whether your arguments are clear, interesting, and fresh.

How to write an analysis essay on poetry?

Poetry analysis takes a special place in our guide, since it is different from any other. When analyzing a poem, you need to pay attention to some very special aspects of it. This is how you do that:

  • If your tutor didn’t give you a concrete piece to analyze, then choose it yourself. Pick the one that seems understandable and creative to you.
  • Read a chosen or assigned poem for a couple of times and write down any ideas that come to your head. This might be anything – just write it down. You will choose an idea to work with later.
  • Read what other researchers say. Before you start analyzing, you should take a look at some other pieces devoted to this poem. Let this information serve as a source of inspiration and a list of things you should pay special attention to.
  • Think about the poem’s mood, style, author’s voice, and tone.
  • If there any metaphorical or hidden meaning of the piece? How did the writer make those connections?
  • Are there any symbols that make this poem special? What are they? How do you understand them? How do they work together?

The structure of a poetry analysis paper should be the same as any other one: start with introduction, reveal your ideas one by one in body paragraphs, sum everything up in conclusion.

With this guide at hand, you will definitely learn how to compose better analytical essays!

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