How to Write an Analytical Essay: Useful Tips for Students
This type of paper is a common assignment for college or university students. The main point of an analytical essay is to interpret something, provide a thorough analysis. As for the subject of your analytical essay, it may be a specific object (an artwork, book, or movie), some event or phenomenon. Your task is to dissect this subject into many subparts (or subtopics) and discuss them in-depth, in as many details as possible. After this, the author consolidates all these parts and formulates the major point of the analytical essay, concludes it.
Simple Tips that Will Improve Your Essay
Such assignments may seem tough at first. Surely, writing a paper takes a lot of work and effort, but if you start working on your essay early and equip yourself with professional guidelines, your paper will be perfect. Follow our tips on how to write an analytical essay and get the best grades.
How to Prepare
Preparation is often neglected, but this stage is very important if you want your work to result in a top-notch analytical essay.
- Your first step is to identify the core of your essay. In a typical analytical essay, the author provides a detailed analysis and a solid opinion. Students mostly analyze artworks, books, movies, but you can also discuss some important issues or problems. Shortly speaking, determine the focus of your essay.
- Your teacher may give a specific topic for the paper, along with some guidelines. Read the task attentively and make sure you understand what the assignment is. If you can choose your own topic, great! This gives you freedom and room for maneuver. The good news is that you have plenty of options.
- However, you should put a lot of thought into the main topic. If you choose to write about something that is far from your interests, the whole process of working on the essay will be tiresome and overwhelming. Pick a topic that seems compelling and worthy. Apart from this, make sure that you possess the necessary knowledge and resources to cover the chosen topic.
Where to Start
Choosing a good topic may be difficult, but starting the essay is the toughest part. So, where to begin?
- Start with a thesis approval. A thesis is supposed to summarize your intentions and statements, as well as explain to the readers what will be analyzed.
- If your subject is a book or a movie, justify your ideas with the help of a certain character (or characters), their deeds and actions. If analyzing historical events, focus on the things that served as a driving force behind what happened. It might be interesting to analyze scientific research and its results, but in this case, you should use a scientific approach.
- Gather enough evidence. Revise the materials you plan on analyzing and determine what you can use to supplement your statement. Add secondary arguments to support the main point.
- Create a plan that will help you organize the essay and make the process easier. A typical analytical essay consists of an introduction, several main paragraphs, the main part, and the concluding paragraph. A plan might seem useless, but in reality, it helps a lot.
The Process of Writing an Analytical Essay
After you've prepared a plan and gathered the necessary information, start writing.
- In the introduction, explain what the main issue is, provide background information. Be creative and find ways to capture your readers’ attention. The introduction should excite the audience and make them want to read the whole essay without being overzealous. Do not exaggerate with exclamations and dramatic tone – it can ruin the first impression.
- Write the main paragraphs. Each one should include the main sentence, an analysis, a confirmation of your analysis, and, of course, a statement. Discuss the subject and express your opinion. Remember that statements should support your thesis. Generally, it is not recommended to write in the first person when you work on an analytical essay. Exceptions are possible, for instance, if you need to provide your personal opinion on the issue.
- Insert quotes and paraphrased ideas in the right places. Use citations to quote certain parts of the text. Citations may serve as supporting evidence and supplement your statement, as well as make your arguments more convincing. Make sure that you cite all the sources properly, using the APA, MLA, or Chicago format (according to the requirements provided by your professor).
- Conclude the essay by reminding the readers of the presented supporting evidence. You may try to rephrase the thesis, but avoid repeating the introduction. The conclusion should be unique and interesting. Reveal how the events are linked and explain how the evidence supports the main point.
How to Finish Your Analytical Essay
After you place the last full-stop in your last sentence, it may seem that the process is finished. However, there are a few more things to take care of. Your essay now needs a finishing touch.
- Proofread the whole paper. Make sure there are no grammatical, punctuation, or spelling mistakes. Even if your ideas are brilliant, but the essay is full of errors, don’t expect good grades. Missing commas or spelling mistakes can spoil the overall impression. It is better to proofread the essay after you’ve taken some rest or a short nap, maybe even the next day, if you have the time. Revisions are more effective if done with a clear head.
- It is recommended to use plagiarism detection software to make sure that your analytical essay is completely authentic. Sometimes plagiarizing happens unintentionally and can cause serious problems if you don’t eliminate it.
- Even professional writers sometimes overlook small mistakes, typos, and inaccuracies. So we recommend you to read the paper aloud a few times. You will see what parts of the essay need revision and correction. Modify the essay, add extra information, or remove what seems unnecessary. Continue improving your paper until you are finally satisfied with its quality and style.
- Check if all the titles and all the names of characters, places, and phenomena are written correctly. We recommend using multiple sources to verify this information.
- Here’s another good idea: you can ask someone (a close friend or a family member, for instance) to read the essay. They can provide constructive feedback and tell you what needs to be improved. They can also spot mistakes you’ve missed. Two minds are better than one, right?
Now you know how to write an analytical essay professionally. Follow the tips we provided, pay attention to details, and be creative! Original ideas and unique writing style will make your paper stand out. Good luck!