Analytical essays

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An analytical essay is a common writing assignment in educational institutions. This type of essay teaches students to analyze a specific issue, such as an event, movie, or text. It may seem that there is nothing complicated about analytical essays, and it is true if you are aware of how to do it right. The following article describes the types, peculiarities, and hints that would help you out with this essay type.

What is an analytical essay?

You may understand that an analytical essay is all about analysis. However, there is more to it. Such an essay will take you outside the limits so that you can dig deeper into the issue and look at it from diverse angles to support your position. The sources you need for analytical writing allow you to present the major arguments.

In other words, an analytical essay is not a meager summary but a profound and narrow analysis of a subject based on actual facts and credible opinions. At the same time, an author must not persuade but rather explain the argument’s strength through some examples and detailed analysis. The key components of the essay would be as follows:

  • Your argument also known as the thesis statement.
  • The body part consisting of your analysis and examples to support the thesis.
  • The conclusion.

Analytical essay types

Some of you may not know that analytical essays can be of different types. Namely, there are five of these. Below, you will find a short description to learn about their diversities:

Cause and effect essay

It is based on your analysis of how a certain event or concept impacts something or its effects in general. Basically, you are to find the reasons that precede a particular issue and examine its influences. Note that this type of writing is sometimes referred to as a reason and result essay.

Classification essay

A classification essay is known for its complex structure. You should research the nature of the subject and classify it into a group or category depending on certain similarities. This type teaches students to break a more general topic into specific parts; the purpose is to learn how to prove your subject’s belonging to a particular category.

Comparison and contrast essay

For such an essay, you need to either contrast or compare two subjects (or do both in some cases). The primary reason is to show your reader the barely discernible similarities and differences between the two subjects.

Definition essay

This type of analytical essay is quite a common writing task for students. The idea of a definition essay is to carry out careful research and find enough credible sources to explain a chosen concept, term, or event, using examples to support it.

Process essay

An analytical process essay is a rather unusual type of essay. The essay serves as an instruction that guides a reader. To put it simply, a process essay explains how to do something. These papers are very pedantic, as you must consider every step and additional tools required to complete a specific task.

Hints on writing an analytical essay

There is nothing complicated in writing an analytical type of essay, as long as you are aware of some critical moments.

Select a topic

If your teacher gave you a complete carte blanche to choose the topic on your own, this part is for you. If not, you can skip this step. Still, if you see that the assigned topic is broad, you may ask to select a more specific subject to make sure you handle it. Note that choosing the right topic is critical, while you can take on a complex concept, and it would be rather challenging to write an analytical essay on it.

The best way to realize if the topic is worth choosing is to do previous research and see what evidence you can use in your writing. A topic that is either too narrow or broad is not appropriate in your case; thus, focus on something average that is familiar to a reader. You can also make some notes to use these further in your work.

Write down your thesis statement

As you are searching for a subject to write about, you may also have some ideas for the thesis statement. The thesis is your guiding light throughout the entire essay and the most crucial sentence in it. You are to connect every paragraph in the body to the statement you make in your introduction.

You can say that the thesis is perfect if you can tell what the entire text is about just by reading this one sentence. It is essential that you write for a reader and not for yourself. It is also why the first sentence of each body’s paragraph relates to a thesis statement.

Do research

You should be ready for a long-lasting research part. It is for sure a time-consuming process that impacts your success. As you do research, you must pay attention to the sources that can underpin your key arguments. At this stage, you will appreciate the notes you took while searching for the topic.

The research part allows you to grab a collection of credible, trustworthy, and recent sources. Depending on the topic, these can include periodicals, books’ extracts, articles, movies, etc. If you understand that there are too many sources, you should revise the notes you have and select the ones that work best for your specific topic.

It may happen that you find lots of material. Yet, it would help if you consider that the best way to present a supporting idea is to put it into one paragraph. Thus, you will have an organized essay, where every paragraph offers a distinct point in favor of the thesis. If you want, you can even create the bibliography at this point. However, it is up for you to decide.

Define excerpts to support the analysis

Now that you have sources, you need to define the parts that will comprise your essay’s evidence. If you are working on a topic related to cinematography, you are likely to use specific movie clips, dialogues, scenes, or shots; sequences. In this case, make sure you know how to cite this. These would be your primary evidence.

Nonetheless, if the essay’s topic is not related to cinematography, you will work with diverse sources. You are free to use direct quotes, results of the recent experiments, social surveys, etc. Keep in mind that you should allocate the material you intend to use so that every claim has a piece of supporting evidence.

Create an outline

An outline is essential to any writing essay, helping you see your structure and organize the material in the best possible way. The plan will also help you to state your opinion coherently so that your readers get the idea. Besides, it will make the entire writing experience simpler.

There are three essential parts of the essay: introduction, body, and conclusion. For your introduction, consider identifying your primary purpose to make it clear for a reader. It would be best if you also outlined the scope of a subject so that the readers know what to expect next in the body paragraphs. Finally, there must be a solid thesis statement.

The body is the bulk of your paper. Every paragraph should include the following:

  • A topic sentence that refers to your thesis.
  • The supporting examples and details.
  • The concluding sentence.

As for the concluding part, you must rephrase your thesis statement and summarize the central argument using the examples discussed in the essay’s main part.

Get down to writing

It seems like you are ready to start writing your analytical essay now. At this stage, you have the thesis statement, enough materials, and the outline. It will help if you note the sources you want to use near every paragraph of the body right in your outline. By doing this, you can focus on specific evidence.

You can read about the specifics of the introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs above. After you finish your work, you should check the grammar, vocabulary, correct formatting of the citations, and spelling. Also, see if all the paragraphs are of more or less the same size.

To summarize, several rules would help you to complete a stunning piece of analytical writing:

  • Create a comprehensive thesis that defines the purpose of your essay.
  • Do not distract from your major statement throughout the paper.
  • Be specific when you support your points and create insightful paragraphs for the body part.
  • Pick credible sources that correspond to the topic and thesis.
  • Double-check your work.

That is all for an analytical essay. This type of writing is similar to any other except for particular specifics. A writer should follow the outline and stick to the structural peculiarities of the body parts. Following the tips from the paper, you will complete any kind of analytical essay successfully.

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FAQ about Analytical essays

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