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Analytical Essay

Updated: Apr 19, 2016
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Analytical Essay Writing

Mostly an assignment given in an English or writing composition course, the Analytical Essay is one where the student is required to literally analyze a piece of literature by investigating and dissecting its various characteristics, elements and components in order to arrive at a complete understanding of its meaning.


The Analytical Essay could mean understanding a poem’s meaning by dissecting its content and use of language; it could also mean analyzing a novel’s illustration of theme to unravel its meaning. The Analytical Essay could have the student considering the historical context of a short story in order to discover what its purpose was – whatever method the student can use to illustrate to the reader what the writer or the text was ultimately trying to say.


The student’s analysis of the text becomes the essay’s Thesis Statement – the argument to be defended in the essay’s subsequent paragraphs. The essay will be well received, and deserving of a high grade for evaluation, if its analysis was logical, believable and well defended.


Steps to Write an Analytical Essay

1. Choose a Topic, Item, Published Work, to be Analyzed


Once the student understands the point of the Analytical Essay, they can begin the creative planning process needed to produce a successful essay of this sort – the content of which being pertinent to the course in which the assignment is given.


The student must choose a subject or topic to analyze. In most cases a text of literature will be most appropriate – so the student should choose a published work that speaks to them personally, one that they understand fully and can thoroughly dissect. If you need help with analytical essay writing - place your order here!


2. Research to Build a Sufficient Analysis


Once the student has a good feel for what a piece of literature was implying, stating, saying or conveying, they can engage in research to thoroughly develop their argument. The Analytical Essay allows the student-writer to incorporate a number of methods to illustrate their analysis: they should always refer to certain parts of the text itself, its content, to illustrate their argument. But they can also (and maybe should) bring in historical information that adds insight into the era’s mentalities, or challenges the era faced, for example; the student, writing the analytical essay, is allowed to also validate their argument by adding pertinent information about the writer or group of writers who produced the work of literature.


One the student has researched their essay’s topic, its writer and the historical context in which the piece of literature was written, they should be well equipped to make a legitimate argument in their Analysis Essay.


3. Draft an Outline


In creating an outline, the student should keep in mind the Analytical Essay reads like most other academic essays, because it includes a central Thesis (the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained in the essay) and follows the five-paragraph essay format:


• An introductory paragraph easing the reader into the topic at hand that also has a Thesis Statement – in this case, a sentence or two explaining the meaning, purpose, etc., of the piece of literature being examined, along with the criteria used to define it.


• At least three body paragraphs that support, evidence, explain and illustrate how the essay’s subject can be analyzed to illustrate its overall meaning or implication. Each body paragraph should illustrate one of the three or more points defending the argument of the essay, its Thesis.


• Lastly, a conclusion paragraph tying the paper together and indicating the essay has come to a close. It rehashes what the essay sought to illustrate, ultimately finishing off its argument.


4. Following the Outline, Write the Essay


The student, using the outline as a guide, should write their essay the best they possibly can and in a confident, assertive tone. It should make a strong case for something, with several points being illustrated to support its overall argument – the essay’s Thesis.

5. Reread the Essay, Make Appropriate Revisions, and Submit for Final Evaluation


Before submitting their essay for evaluation, the student should, first and foremost, make sure they have made a strong, well-defended argument in their Analytical Essay. Secondly, they should search for errors and mistakes in their essay, making sure it is void of improper grammar, misspellings and careless punctuation mistakes, etc.


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