How to Write an Analysis Essay
Knowing how to write an analysis essay is very important because analysis is major cornerstone of the critical thinking process. Usually, analysis essays are demanding, frequent and capable of inspiring students. An analysis essay can be defined as a short writing piece in which the writer presents a specific topic, analysis of its subject matter and conclusions at the end. Simply put, a good analysis essay surpasses a simple description and summary. Instead of simply stating facts about a situation, an analysis essay entails the evaluation and examination of information. An analysis essay does not simply ask the what, when and where questions. It also asks the how and why questions.
Know how to write an analysis essay to enhance your understanding of literature
When your instructor asks you to write an analysis essay on a piece of literature, he/she wants you to break it down into parts and explain how the parts work to ensure the success of the entire work. While writing an analysis essay, you have to think about the way each part of the literature work contributes to the entire work’s success. This is very important because it enhances your understanding of the piece of literature under analysis.
It is important to note that while writing an analysis essay, you should not simply summarize the original story, article, poem, or novel. Instead, tell readers what you are analyzing, which entails summarizing the work, and then describe why and how its elements or parts function, which is to analyze the work. When asked to write an analysis essay, think about how a car can be analyzed. For instance, what does a car do? The answer can be transporting a family. The analysis can entail questioning how each part of the car enables it to achieve this goal. This would involve finding out how gasoline is used to power the engine of a car.
How to write an analysis essay step by step
Step 1: Study the material carefully and critically
The first step in writing an analysis essay is to study the material that you are required to write a critical analysis essay about carefully and critically. Know what exactly the author says and why. While studying the material, take notes and be keen to note how ideas are presented. Note down everything that you consider significant.
For instance, if you are required to write an analysis essay on a novel or play, ask yourself whether there are actions of characters that seem incongruous or odd. Are there statements made by characters that show their relationships in the story? Are there words or phrases that have been repeated throughout the poem? Why does the poet repeat the words or phrases? Note down what you think while studying the work. Be keen to look past the surface of the work so that you can understand its true meaning rather that its simple face value.
Step 2: Understand what the assignment requires you to do
Read the given assignment prompt carefully. Understand the assignment and differences between different keywords such as “analyze,” “explain,” “evaluate” and “consider”. Select the angle to take in your analysis and brainstorm for ideas. Come up with many ideas that relate to the assigned task. Highlight key ideas from the supporting and opposing perspectives. Make a decision on the perspective to defend in your analysis essay.
Step 3: Dig deeper and examine the work at different levels
If a poem mentions a flower, it might have a deeper meaning such as a love symbol. If a character wears a red hat, it might also have a deeper meaning such as the independence of the character. Therefore, instead of simply summarizing the events in the work, write your commentary. Express your thoughts as you read the work and ask question. Question the occurrence of events, acts of characters and why the piece was written in a specific style. Draw connections and use the space in developing meaning while analyzing the work.
Step 4: Develop a focus
Review the notes that you have taken in connection to what your analysis has uncovered. Choose the best ideas to use in shaping the focus of your analysis essay. Take time to examine and organize ideas so that you can narrow the focus of your analysis essay according to the requirement of your assignment. For instance, you can focus on the theme of a short story or a novel. You might also focus on the development of a character in a novel or play.
Step 5: Develop a thesis statement
A thesis statement is a statement or sentence that tells your readers what your essay is about. It informs readers about the point of your analysis essay. Thus, after examining different parts of the work under analysis, you now have to tell readers about it and its meaning.
Here is a sample thesis statement:
“The Beowulf revenges indicate that retribution formed an essential aspect of life during the Anglo-Saxon age. Additionally, their portrayal by the poet suggests that he honored the dragon more than the mother of Grendel during the revenge mission.”
Such a thesis statement is analytical because it makes a specific claim while examining the specific work that is being analyzed. It is also arguable, which means that it does not simply state facts. Once you have developed a thesis statement, organize supporting evidence from the notes that you took while studying the work. The assignment might state clearly that you use the work under analysis only or it can allow you to use secondary sources which may include journal articles and books.
Step 6: Develop an analysis essay outline
Developing an outline is an important step of a guide on how to write an analysis essay because a good outline helps in structuring a good analysis essay. It also simplifies the task of writing the essay. Creating an outline will enable you to determine how to present evidence in your analysis essay.
Step 7: Write the introduction of your analysis essay
In the introduction, give readers background information regarding the work under analysis. Make the introduction engaging and state your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be the last sentence in the introduction.
Step 8: Write the body paragraphs
The body of your analysis essay should present your comprehensive analysis. Here, you provide evidence that supports your thesis statement. Use examples from the work under analysis to convince your readers. Again, use the notes that you took while studying the work to find the most appropriate supporting evidence. For instance, you can cite a section of a dialogue in the work under analysis to explain the mood of a character and use it to show how this contributes to their overall character.
Step 9: Write the conclusion
The conclusion should tell readers that your analysis essay has come to an end. In the conclusion, remind readers how you developed and supported your argument. Your instructor might want a conclusion that provides a broader connection. This implies that you have to make a global connection which might mean stating the effects of your argument on other claims that have been made about the work. It might also imply stating how the claim that you have made about the work might change the views of other people about the work that you have analyzed. Therefore, be careful while mastering this step of a guide on how to write an analysis essay to ensure that your analysis essay has an appropriate and effective conclusion.
Step 10: Finalize the essay
Proofread the essay for grammar and spelling mistakes. Read your essay out loud to find instances where it sounds awkward. Ensure that all titles, places and characters have correct spelling. Additionally, ensure that all points and their supporting evidence come out clearly. Alternatively, hire our editing service to have your analysis essay edited by experienced editors within your timeline.
Bonus tips on how to write an analysis essay
- Start by mapping out different components of the essay prompt to determine the most appropriate ways of addressing them. Follow this by mapping out your analysis and how to present it to your readers.
- Use transitions between topic sentences, analysis and supporting evidence to enable readers to know the direction of the argument. Such transitions include, “for instance,” “for example,” “therefore,” “also” and “however.” Transitions play an important role of showing how ideas relate in an analysis essay.
- Use a sample analysis essay as your guide. A good analysis essay sample will make mastering the steps of writing an analysis essay easier. Click here for an analysis essay example.
- Be clear on whether you are analyzing a book, a company, an article, a poem or even an autobiography. This will send a clear message to your readers enabling them to determine whether your essay is worth reading.
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