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Analytical Essay: Writing Guide for Beginners

January 22, 2019
Analytical Essay: Writing Guide for Beginners

What Is an Analytical Essay?

Let’s dive into the topic headlong: the main trick of writing a good analytical essay is never to mix it with descriptive or reflective essays. While the two latter ones definitely resemble analysis, they are actually gliding on the surface of things and do not dive deep into the issue under analysis. They describe or summarize, and dwell on personal subjective opinions of a writer instead of delivering impartial clear-cut analysis.

Analyzing, in its turn, means that the problem is dissected into separate elements and each element is explored individually and in its relation to the whole issue (its impact, its significance, etc.) This analytical essay definition may sound hazy, but let us take an analytical essay example and explore its components.

To begin with, there are several types of analytical paper that depend on the area of study and topic or purpose of analysis.

Rhetorical analysis targets the mechanics of how written texts work. Rhetorical analysis uncovers such basic components of a text as logos, ethos and pathos. Detecting these elements within a text and describing through what specific means they are embodied is sheer analysis.

Literary or character analysis is undertaken on the material of some literary work. The whole book or story is examined in relation to its plot, motifs, symbols, stylistics, specific metaphors and important messages and characters. A character is analyzed in regard to his or her behavior, beliefs, thoughts, attitudes towards the other characters and the world, and so on.

Poetry analysis is a variety of literary analysis. The same applies here: a poem is explored from the viewpoint of plot, motifs, tropes, sound effects, etc.

Causal analysis essay is a bit more complex because it does not have any obligatory components that you bound to find. Rather, you have to look at the given event or phenomenon and determine where it begins and ends, and what causes what to happen. Separating a whole concept into its constituents is tricky, but once you grasp the work routine, you will be writing these essays with greater speed and ease.

Process analysis: you got it. Take a whole process and separate it into stages, determine what precedes and what follows, and how each stage impacts the outcome. Voila! The essay of analytical character is ready. Just take an issue and carefully divide it into components, and support your reasoning by evidence – and you are equipped for going to a class.

Samples and Examples of Analytical Essay

Now that we have clarified how to write an analytical essay you may say: ‘OK but I need to see such an essay first. I need a sample to follow and to use as a guide.’ And we can only applaud such a decision. Tracing how reason works in well-written professional samples of analytics helps improve your writing skills and logical thinking. So looking for a good analysis essay example is quite normal. Here you will find a selection of analytical samples illustrating all essays mentioned –and written in different styles and tones so that you can pick the one most appealing to you. Here are some perfect examples that can guide you through the challenging process of writing an analytical essay.

Analytical Essay Outline and Format

Well, in theory you know what is an analytical essay and you have read through loads of samples. But how to actually start writing an analytical essay? We recommend that you begin with coming up with a thesis and an outline. It goes without saying that you should have a number of sources to use – and read them thoroughly before getting down to writing. When you master the material, the rest is more or less simple.

A thesis is a claim that you will analyze and defend or disprove. Thus it should be analyzable and debatable. From this thesis arises the structure of an essay-to-be. You jot down main components of a phenomenon under analysis and mention evidence to use with each component (data, facts, quotes). Here it is now, the map of a good essay.

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So how will analytical essay outline look like?

  • Begin with an introduction: name what you analyze, and why/how you will analyze it (a thesis).
  • Body paragraph 1: name the component/argument, give evidence and your reasoning.
  • Body paragraph 2: name the component/argument, give evidence and your reasoning.
  • Body paragraph 3: name the component/argument, give evidence and your reasoning.
  • Body paragraph…..
  • Conclusion (reformulate the thesis, no new information, just a nice wrap-up)

This looks schematic, but indeed it is a scheme into which you can insert any topic and facts and get a decent essay. Just do not forget: no primitive description. Instead dissect, point to elements and their interrelations, how they impact each other, and so on. Now organize the ready paper according to a predefined analytical essay format (MLA, APA, Harvard. . . ) and hand in with confidence. Keep calm and analyze!