How to Write an Analytical Essay and Achieve the Best Results
First of all, you need to have an idea of what an analytical essay is. Typically, in this specific kind of essay, the writer is supposed to analyze, interpret, or even critique the particular event, artwork, research, or even a certain situation. While analyzing something, the author dissects the subject into many small parts or elements. These pieces may be presented as subtopics, which will further be analyzed in-depth, or in multiple details. The next step would be to consolidate all the elements, formulate the main point of the essay, and come up with a conclusion.
Simple Steps You Should Follow When Writing an Analytical Essay
Surely, this type of assignment may not be the easiest one. There are many important things to consider if you want to achieve good grades. However, if you apply a bit-by-bit approach and pay attention to details, success is guaranteed, even if the task seems tough at first. Our detailed guide will provide you with helpful recommendations and ideas on how to write an analytical essay with minimum effort.
Step 1: Preparation is Important
- It is crucial to determine the core of your paper. Normally, analytical essays present a comprehensive analysis and express strong opinions. A lot of things depend on whether you can choose a topic yourself or if a teacher provides you with one. The first option is better, of course. Most often, students choose to analyze artworks, such as books or movies. You can go further than that and analyze a specific issue or a disturbing situation. Your options are truly broad here, and that is good news. However, deciding on the main subject should be taken very seriously. If you choose to analyze something that does not raise your genuine interest, the whole project may become a failure. In this situation, do not spend time on something that does not seem engaging to you. Besides, remember that you should be well familiar with the topic of your analytical essay. This is important because you are supposed to support your point with facts from the book, or film, or anything else you choose to analyze. Supporting information needs to be there, period.
- Okay, you have determined a topic. What is next? You probably wonder how to start your analytical essay. If you are analyzing a book and your paper concerns prose, the ideas may be justified in reliance on the deeds of certain characters. If you choose to analyze historical events, discuss the driving force behind those events. Sometimes students choose to write about scientific research, in which case it is important to use scientific methods for analysis and conclusions
- The thesis approval is your starting point. What is a thesis, you may ask? This is a text piece that summarizes all your statements and goals. In the thesis, the author should inform the reader about issues that will be discussed in the analytical essay.
- Come up with enough evidence. You should consider revising the materials you analyze. Use a movie, a novel, or scientific data to support your statement. Besides, provide the secondary arguments and explain how they supplement your main point.
- Construct a plan for your essay. This simple step may seem unnecessary, but be sure that it will help you in structuring the essay properly. The whole process of writing will get simpler, too. Normally, an analytical essay contains an introduction, several paragraphs, the major part, and the concluding part. In your plan, outline the three major arguments. In every paragraph, write about the main points that you have discovered in the book, film, or article.
Consider this example of a plan:
- Part 1: Causes of war
- Part 2: War descriptions
- Part 3: The main character’s reaction to the war
Step 2: Writing an Analytical Essay
- Come up with an introduction. Provide your potential readers (or listeners) with information about the main issue. Here you should aim for creativity. The intro is supposed to be catchy and exciting, but do not exaggerate. Instead of summarizing facts in the intro, try to attract the audience’s attention by compellingly focusing on major points. Dramatic tone and exclamations may not be the best idea for the intro part, so it is better to avoid them at this stage.
- Compose the paragraphs. Generally, every paragraph should consist of the main sentence, an analysis of the text, a fact that confirms your analysis, and a statement. Analysis implies that you discuss the major issue and express a personal opinion on it. Statements are supposed to support a thesis. When it comes to the analytical essay, avoid writing in the first person. There might be exceptions, for instance, if you were asked to provide a personal opinion on the matter.
- Quotes and paraphrased ideas should be included in the right place. You can provide citations, which means that you quote a certain part of the text and insert it in your text. Citations may supplement the statement and serve as important evidence. Check if you are citing the source properly depending on the formatting style that is required for this specific assignment (APA, MLA, or Chicago style).
- Provide personal conclusions. In the concluding part, be sure to remind your audience of supporting evidence that you presented. Rephrasing your thesis is also a good idea, but you should avoid repeating the introduction. Make this part unique. In the concluding part, some teachers require students to reveal the links between the events. This implies that the author has to explain how the provided evidence supports the major point.
Step 3: Finish
- Proofread your essay and make sure that you have eliminated all mistakes (grammatical, punctuation, spelling). Errors can kill even the most brilliantly written essay. We also recommend using a plagiarism checker. You need to make sure that your paper can not be accused of plagiarism. Remember: it is a very serious offense.
- There is always a chance that you have overlooked something, so read the whole essay multiple times. Do it aloud. This will help you realize what parts of the paper need more attention or extra work. Modify and improve the essay until you are completely satisfied with the result. Now is when you should start working on your intro and the concluding part.
- Check if the spelling of the characters’ or places’ names is correct. If you choose to analyze a movie, it might be a good idea to use several sources to check this information.
Think about ways to provide your audience with some food for thought. Be creative, come up with non-standard ideas, and pay attention to small details. Remember that a few missing commas or incorrect spelling can ruin the most brilliant text.