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How to Write an Analytical Essay
What is an analytical essay? No one has an exact analytical essay definition, but you must know that writing an analytical essay is a great way to state your opinion about a certain subject. For example, if you were asked to write an essay about poverty, an analytical essay is a good way to express your stand about the issue, prove your point, and defend your argument. You may find yourself inspired to write an essay now that there are several social, political, and environmental issues globally. Throughout your college life, at least one of your professors will require you to write an analytical or critical analysis — and oftentimes you are free to choose your topic, but there are cases wherein the topic will be assigned by your professor. Although stating your opinion on an issue is fun and enlightening, you must know that there are still repercussions. You must take into consideration that an analytical paper is different from a persuasive essay or contrast essay, although you have to choose a stand, you cannot sound too biased because it might take away the credibility of the paper. It can be quite confusing to choose a stand and still remain objective on stating facts, especially if you are not familiar with the technicalities in writing an analytical essay. If you find yourself guessing how to write an analytical essay, then this article is definitely for you. If you want to learn more about the process for analytical writing, continue reading.
What is analytical writing and what should you consider before writing an analytical essay?
One of the beauties of writing an analytical essay is that in simply doing so, you get to learn new things and gain different perspectives about your chosen topic in the process. But sometimes, you might discover facts that may contradict your stand. Here’s a scenario, you’re almost done with your analytical essay. You find strong evidence that disproves your claim, what should you do? Should you stick to your claim even though it’s wrong or should you change your claim? It’s tricky and you wouldn’t want to experience that, so here are some things you should consider before starting your essay:
Narrow down your analytical essay topics to those you’re most interested in.
An analytical essay is quite lengthy, and you would not want to lose interest in the middle of writing your paper, for this could affect the overall quality. Also, you’ll find yourself struggling to find factual evidence for your essay when you’re less interested in the topic.
Gather facts before making creating your claim.
Educate yourself about the topic you’ve chosen, and upon gathering enough information, weigh-in where you’ll stand. Not only will it save you from lots of trouble, but it will also be easier for you to write your thesis statement. Gathering facts before making a claim can also help you remove as much bias as you can, not only will it make your paper more articulate and formidable, it will also make your paper credible.
Create an outline to organize your ideas.
Crafting an analytical essay outline is an effective way of organizing your thoughts. There are times when you are just overwhelmed with ideas and supporting facts that you have no idea what way you want your paper to go. It is completely normal and every student has probably experienced it at some point, so create an outline to save yourself some time. This will also help your ideas flow smoothly. This will also help you determine analytical essay variations.
Always verify check your sources before deciding to include them in your essay.
Check and balance is very important when writing an analytical essay. You don’t want your paper to be marked with a low grade just because one of your supporting evidence came from an illegitimate source.
How to start an analytical essay?
Now that you’ve prepared your ideas and supporting facts, what should you do next? The analytical essay introduction is important to help your readers prepare for your discussion. For the introductory part of your essay, here are the important things you must remember:
Start your essay with a thesis statement.
A thesis statement will help you set the direction and tempo of your paper. A thesis statement is the summary of your ideas and argument claim compressed a sentence. When think you’re getting further from your main point, just always read your thesis statement, it can help you check whether what you are currently writing still falls under your thesis statement.
Don’t forget the hook.
Tap into your creative side and write a statement that would encourage the readers to continue reading your paper. Remember that it should match the tone of your whole paper. Inserting light statements that help your argument will not hurt as long as they do not distract the readers from your main point.
Explain the purpose of your essay.
Is your analytical essay relevant? Why? Don’t forget to tell the readers why they need to hear you out and why they need to keep reading. This will also help you set your objectives clearly. Your analytical essay’s content and tone should convey its significance.
Let your readers know about the scope and limitations of your discussion.
Your discussion can go anywhere so make sure to inform your readers of the scope of your essay. This will also help them stop wondering as to why certain points about your topic were or were not discussed.
Provide a background of your topic.
Contextualization is one of the main factors which makes any type of essay easy to understand. Readers must understand where your claims are coming from, and for them to do so you must provide the context of your topic. You can use a few literary reviews related to your essay to make it more effective and credible.
How to keep going?
This part is an equally crucial part of essay writing — the analytical essay's main body. This is where you will elaborate on the major points of your essay, so don’t forget to be concise and to be organized. Here are the other important things you must remember for you have to a good essay structure:
Apply the TIOC, this will help your ideas flow smoothly. TIOC stands for trend, issue, observation, and conclusion. Apply this formula while writing the body of the essay to help readers better understand your essay.
- Trends - Trends pertain to current events or phenomena surrounding your topic. This can help you in proving the relevance of your topic. Start with your supporting evidence that is connected to the present.
- Issues - What are the issues surrounding your topic? What is the main issue? Your supporting evidence that answers these questions is the ones you should write in this part.
- Observation - What are your observations regarding your topic? This is where you can write your opinion, but don’t forget to include facts as supporting evidence to back your opinion.
- Conclusion - Remember, this is to conclude what you have observed based on trends, issues, and observations. This is where you can point out your claim, and make a strong discussion about it. Again, don’t forget to support your argument with facts.
- Plus, topic sentences - When opening another point, you must treat it as a topic sentence. Remember that whatever you will discuss will serve as supporting statements to your thesis statement.
How to end your analytical paper?
An analytical essay conclusion can be quite complex to write since this is the part where you summarize all the major points of your essay. Here are some important things you must consider when writing the conclusion:
1. If you discussed a problem, state a possible solution . If you have thought of any solution to an issue regarding your topic, then this is the best part to discuss it. Ending an essay by attempting to resolve issues is an effective way for your paper to be stand out and be remembered.
2. Restate your thesis statement. Remind the readers of your main point by rewriting your thesis statement, not only will it clarify your paper but it will also help readers remember your claims. Your thesis statement encapsulates your argument and its importance.
3. State your final insight. You may tap your creativity again by composing a hooking sentence that the readers will remember. If you want your paper to be remembered, a strong ending statement should do the trick. Remember to match it with the tone of your whole paper.
4. Always include a list of bibliography. Don’t forget to cite your sources because this will make your claims strong. Follow the APA format when writing a bibliography.
How to write an analytical essay for a literary piece?
There are several essay classifications and one of those is literature. Doing an analytical essay on a literary piece is almost similar except for some parts. Here are the things you must consider:
Define the tone, writing style, mood, and voice of the author.
This is very important when writing an analytical essay on literary pieces since this will help you decipher the message behind symbolism used in the literary piece you’ve chosen.
Dissect the paragraphs.
Every paragraph is an essential part of a literary piece, overlooking a single paragraph might mistakenly make a whole new yet wrong meaning about the message the author is trying to send, so it is important for you to try to analyze each paragraph. At the least, after reading, choose which paragraphs are the most important and then analyze it.
Reveal hidden messages.
Define the figures of speech and symbolism used, then make a discussion about it. This is the best part to state your own interpretation regarding the message the author is trying to send.
A few analytical essay topics you can start with
Thinking of a topic won't be easy if you're not one to be that interested in writing. Luckily, there are custom writing services you can see to help you with that writing project. But, if you are determined to write your own analytical essay, then here are some topics you can start with:
- Modern age feminism
- The changing gender roles and how it continues to defy social norms
- Civic journalism and the spread of fake news
- An analysis of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- An analysis of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
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