What is an analytical essay? That question is really bothering you, isn’t it? You have to write an analytical essay, but no one explained what this type of assignment calls for.
Don’t worry! We’re always here for you!
Today, we’ll define what analytical essay writing means, and we’ll give you great tips that will guide you to a successful paper.
DEFINITION OF ANALYTIC ESSAY
|In its simplest definition, an analytical essay is a piece of academic content that analyzes a text. In practice, your professor gives you a text or instructions for choosing a text, and you analyze that content in all details. That text could be a scientific study, piece of literature, case study, or any other type of content.|
Many students mistake the analytical essay for a simple summary. They read the given text and they summarize the main points. That’s not the right way to approach this assignment. The analytical essay needs a very narrow focus. If, for example, you’re analyzing a poem, you should focus on how it was written, how the poet repeats particular themes throughout the poem, or how they used metaphors to bring more meaning.
In essence, you must look into the tiniest details of the work, so you’ll convey the whole picture.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO WRITING ANALYTICAL ESSAYS – WITH EXAMPLE
As usual, you’ll go through the three main stages of the academic writing process:
Since this is a special type of assignment that’s different from an argumentative, narrative, or cause/effect essay, you’ll adjust the stages accordingly. If this is your first time dealing with an analytical essay, you should keep in mind that the pre-writing stage will be much longer than usual. It involves reading a research paper, book, or another piece of content that might take time to go through. Plus, you’ll have to give yourself some time to think about the text and analyze it in details.
Time is the biggest challenge when it comes to analytical essay writing. It’s a limited resource and you’d like to save it as much as possible, but this project will consume a lot of it. The essay still comes with a strict deadline, so it’s important for you to start working on it as soon as possible.
Let’s go through each stage of the content development process, so you’ll get a clear impression on how to handle the assignment.
ANALYTICAL ESSAY WRITING: PRE-WRITING STAGES
- First of All, Read the Text
No; this is not a stage you can avoid. Yes; books are long, but you have to find the time to read the piece if you want to write a good analytical essay. The good news is that your professors usually tell you to write analytical papers about great pieces of literature, as well as about revolutionary research studies or amazing poems. You will have a good time reading this text, so try to approach this stage with a positive mindset.
Take notes as you read the text. That will help you find a unique aspect for your analysis.
- Understand Your Objective Before You Start Analyzing the Piece of Literature
Although this is not an argumentative essay, you still need an argument to present in analytical essay writing. You have to make a claim about the piece you’re analyzing.
If, for example, you’re analyzing Orwell’s 1984, your objective may be something like: “Orwell’s 1984 uses a dystopian motif to describe the harsh reality of our society’s development. Although the book is often viewed as criticism of the authoritarian or totalitarian state and it’s mostly related to communism, 1984 is the greatest critique of today’s ‘democratic’ society.”
As you can see, the objective is pretty subjective. It shows your own point of view, which you came down to after analyzing the book in different aspects. You’ll get ideas for this part out during the reading process, so it’s important to keep taking notes as you read.
- Plan the Outline
While you’re reading the text, you’ll get ideas on what to write about. It’s important to collect all those ideas and use them as a base for your outline. Otherwise, you risk writing disorganized content that doesn’t make sense.
In the outline, you’ll plan what you’ll write in the introduction, body, and conclusion of the paper. You’ll briefly state your arguments and you’ll indicate the evidence that will prove your point. This evidence will come in the form of excerpts from the text.
THE WRITING STAGE
So you read the text. You have your main argument, and you created a good outline. You’re almost there!
At this point, the writing stage should be easy.
- In the introduction, you’ll give some background regarding the topic of your analytical essay. You’ll also provide the thesis statement – your objective.
- Then, you’ll present your main arguments in the body of the paper. It’s best to start with the weakest and move towards the strongest argument, so you’ll finish with a bang. Remember: when you’re using a quote or you’re paraphrasing an author’s words, you have to provide a reference. Use MLA, APA, or any other recommended format.
- In the conclusion, you’ll remind the reader about your main argument, as well as about the way you supported it.
ANALYTICAL ESSAY WRITING: THE EDITING STAGE
The post-writing stage, also known as the revision, is consisted of two parts:
When you edit the paper, you’ll focus on the main message, the logical flow, and the argumentation of your paper. Make sure to fill in any gaps and get rid of the unnecessary words and sentences.
Once you’re sure that the paper’s structure is flawless, you’ll move onto the final stage: proofreading. At this point, all you need to do is read the paper several times and make the needed corrections in terms of grammar, syntax, and spelling.
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