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How to Write an Analytical Essay

How to Write an Analytical Essay

“Analysis is the art of creation through destruction.” ― P.S. Baber, Cassie Draws the Universe

Great, you finished watching a movie or reading a book for college or university! Before you’re free to go on exploring the wonders of college life, the professor decides to give you some more work to do (what a nice guy). Get ready to face the challenge! The pro gives out the instructions and tells you to analyze the book/movie and provide an informative argument for any related topic of your choice. Does it seem tedious?

To solve your troubles with homework and earn you some free time, feel free to ask EssayPro for some help.

Table Of Contents

What is An Analytical Essay?

The primary question to answer is, “What is an analytical essay?” What should an analytical essay do? Those are all great questions.
If we take a look at the official analytical essay definition, the term “analysis” means a critical and well thought-out observation of a specific idea.

An analytical essay is a piece of writing that provides an informative observation about the specific topic or idea. It has to link back to the book/movie, but contain your judgments as well.

Imagine that your problem of choice is Marijuana. Writing an essay on the topic of marijuana sounds general - focus on one of the related issues: from its origins to its impact on the drug war. The analytical essay asks you to take a small section of the entire topic, and use critical thinking to come up with some sort of argument, aka your thesis statement! A thesis statement is something to defend in your work. The idea is to write an evaluation based on both personal thoughts and credible sources.

Analytical Essay Topics And Ideas

There is an infinite number of different essay topics that can be analyzed. Think about any sort of fact or idea.

A student should not necessarily pick the issue that has already been examined from all aspects - the main reason why tutors do not always assign the specific topics to cover is the ability of students to develop their creativity.
So, if you wonder how to choose the proper analytical essay topics, the infographic below will give you a clue.

choose an analytical essay topic

That is how you select the topic if it is not specified. Here are some of the great analytical essay topics so that you have a general idea of how the final title of your paper should look like:

  1. Reasons why some teens are more susceptible to peer pressure than other kids
  2. In a what way does public debt affect private investment companies
  3. Pros and cons of using performance-enhancing drugs
  4. The primary signs of the job burnout
  5. The relevance of Karl Marx and his teachings to contemporary society
  6. The impact of the national high school curriculum on the teaching standards
  7. The practical ways to develop positive relations with company shareholders
  8. Qualities of the young adults that may push them to suicide
  9. Effective methods to prevent a child from anorexia nervosa
  10. Do gangs always recruit from the most deprived districts?
  11. Penalties acceptable to fight the curbing white collar crime
  12. Would universal health coverage be efficient?
  13. Factors that increase the threat of cyberbullying for teenagers
  14. TV ratings heavily influence the choice of programs among youngsters
  15. Should sex education be eliminated from the school program?

Different Types of Analysis

There are six basic types of analytical essays based on the different types of analysis itself. Every separate kind varies by its definition and purposes. You need to know how to write an analysis essay of every type as different life situations will require various approaches to analyzing things. Let’s get into the various types of analysis! Only after reading about each, you will get the best answer to the question, “What is an analytical essay?”

Poetry Analysis Essay

Poetry analysis requires the writer to research the poem’s content, structure, and historical significance. A writer should do it in an explanatory style. The main purpose of such writing is to make the reader understand the poem’s overall significance and messages.

Examples of this can be:

  • Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken
  • Edgar Allan Poe's A Dream Within a Dream
  • Emily Dickinson's There is Another Sky

How to Write an Analytical Essay on a Poem?

Many students tend to find out how to write an analysis essay on a poem first as it is the most popular type of analysis paper. That is why we decided to briefly explain how to write an analytical essay on a poem:

  1. Introduce the chosen piece of poem by summarizing it & providing descriptive details. Share a significant context. Come up with an impressive thesis to show an author’s point of view and your personal opinion towards the issue;
  2. Define the pattern. Insert examples from the analyzed work in the form of citations. Assess the opening part of the poem; evaluate the 2nd part of the poem step-by-step along with introducing evidence in the shape of quotations;
  3. Start your conclusion by paraphrasing the thesis statement. Stress how the poem meets the author’s intentions. Do not forget to conclude the ideas using the words of the analyzed author and personal opinions on his/her writing.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical analysis is an essay where you prove or reprove a fact that already holds weight. Imagine you are proving a fact to somebody who either can’t comprehend it or is skeptical of its authenticity. This type of analysis is based on facts & logic. Rhetorical papers tend to be written in the fields of science and mathematics!

Examples of the rhetorical analysis ideas could be:

  • Geometric Proofs
  • Fundamental of Physics (Newton’s Law, Theory of Relativity,...)
  • General Principle of Economics (Money makes Money)

Literary Analysis Essay

One of the most common types of analysis that college and high school students perform is a literary one. Be ready to face it at your literature class.

After reading a specific short story or any piece of literature, provide an informative analysis of a certain situation, or critically analyze a quote and its impact on the plot. This type of writing is different from rhetorical. A rhetorical analysis is mostly based around logic and provable facts. A literary analysis usually goes deeper into things such as emotion and decision making of certain characters! Thus, a literary analysis essay outline will look different.

Examples could be:

  • Effects of “Utopia-rescue” societies on people! Book: 1984 By George Orwell
  • Loves an effect on human decision making. Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
  • Conforming to societies norms: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee!

Process Analysis Essay

If we think about the definition, a process is a change from one state to another through several stages/levels. A common way to explain this change is through a process analysis essay format. This would require you to explain its purpose, as well as explaining the transformation through a series of paragraphs.

Examples of this can be:

representation of the water cycle

  • Describing the Water Cycle
  • Offering a general assessment of the piece, pointing out the strengths and differences
  • Defining each of the special terms used by the author to make the piece sound more professional
  • Analyzing the list of materials used and quoted by the author: their relevance, credibility, etc.

Character Analysis Essay

Used within the context of some sort of story/tale, character analysis is similar to process analysis essay. Focus on the character of your choice. This type of essay requires you to explain and analyze the transformation of a character from the initial point until the end. Things that should be analyzed are: personality, character traits, mental reformation, role in society, etc. Explain the character’s development.

Examples of this paper can be:

  • Transformation of Huck and Jim in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Will Hunting’s mental evolution in Good Will Hunting
  • Viktor Navorksi in The Terminal

Causal Analysis Essay

If you have ever dealt with an annoying child asking “WHY” a million times in a row, you have dealt with this type of paper in real life. The causal essay requires you to answer a “why” question. A lot of the times, questions can’t be answered 100%. This is why the causal academic paper is also known as the speculating about causes essay, and it requires you to describe the process that occurs, following up with why you believe it occurred the way it did.

Examples can be:

  • Why do we respond physically to fear?
  • Why do teenagers rebel against their parents and authority?
  • Why are random shootings & similar crimes becoming more common in the US and some other neighboring American countries?

These are just some of the most common types of analytical essays. The variation is practically endless, but they all must follow the same type of outline.

Steps To Take Before Writing

Unless essay writing comes to you naturally, preparation is key in writing that well-rounded and high-quality paper. So before you start typing up your masterpiece, 5 steps should be taken:

  • Brainstorming and deciding on a topic (look for the details above);
  • Crafting a Captivating Title (it should not repeat the topic);
  • Creating a strong thesis;
  • Finding supporting evidence from credible sources;
  • Creating an outline.

Create A Strong Analytical Essay Thesis

The goal of the analytical essay is to prove a certain point that the writer is trying to make. From the information that has been gathered, the writer needs to link things together and create a certain decision.

This decision is called a thesis statement. It’s an argument created to prove an assumption created by the writer, using facts, statistics, examples, and research findings. For certain topics, it's important to introduce the outside forces that contributed to the creation of your thesis. An example will help. Say, if you are talking about historical events, it's important to introduce the external factors (books or manuscripts) that led to your analytical essay thesis. If we are talking about a scientific research, considering the scientific method is a necessity.

The thesis shouldn't be a simple yes or no question with an answer. It should be a complex point that has many interconnected factors. The thesis should be controversial and require tons of research to come up with a respectable statement. Lastly, the thesis should be a high impact statement that strongly effects the topic of choice.

Find Supporting Evidence

Why do you need evidence? You won't be able to sway anybody with your thesis statement unless it's backed by something. This is why all good thesis statements need in-depth research, analysis, & some forecasts. It's important to gather information that supports your argument from the primary sources:

  • Books & e-Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Journals
  • Scholarly articles
  • Reports
  • Websites
  • Videos

Depending on the type of essay, it won’t necessarily be straightforward information.

If we are talking about a historical topic or some sort of scientific fact, then your supporting evidence will evidently be facts taken from previous findings. However, if you are writing a literary analysis essay, then most likely your evidence will be quotes from the story. This type of evidence requires analysis and assumptions in regards towards how the reader should interpret the line.

Create an Analytical Essay Outline

Organizing the structure of the essay is very important and makes the entire writing process easier. A number of paragraphs in the paper carries little to no importance. The experts recommend having up to 5 paragraphs. A paper outline will vary based on the topic of discussion and the thesis statement that is created. Regardless, the Intro-Body(s)-Conclusion style is a staple in any analytical essay outline.

Proper Outline

Analytical Essay Outline

Writing an Analytical Essay Introduction

The introduction starts out with some sort of background information. Using a hook statement can be effective.
A hook sentence is made of 1-2 sentences aimed to grab the reader’s attention from the opening lines of the paper. The choice of hook depends on the mood of the work. It could be a funny joke/anecdote, proven fact, shaking statistics, rhetorical question to provoke a debate, or a literary term like metaphor or similar. You can also add a quote of famous person.
There is no specific style for the introduction, but background information is the most common method of approach; provide information that is relevant to your thesis. This information should start out broad and narrow down in relevance towards the thesis.
We prepared a summary of the introduction below.

  • Hook Statement/ Brief Introductory Point
  • Background Info (Narrowed)
  • Transition sentence
  • Thesis Statement

Write Your Body Paragraphs

The main goal of the body paragraphs is to fully prove the thesis statement. Each individual paragraph should focus on a certain aspect of the thesis. For example, if the thesis is centered around the evolution of Will Hunting, then the body paragraphs should each hold their own point. One body paragraph focuses on his diminishing self-guilt, and a second could talk about the ever increasing support system and its impact on his mentality. The body paragraphs should maintain proper structure:

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the main point of the body paragraph in one straightforward and effective sentence.

  • Analysis: Analyze your supporting evidence and explain how the evidence supports your thesis. This part should take 1 or 2 sentences and is arguably the most important part of the entire essay. The reader will see your understanding of the topic based on what you write within these 2 sentences. Make sure it's creative and impactful, but also keep it original!

  • Evidence: No analysis is complete without supporting evidence. This is where you show how you handled the research. The analysis is created from the supporting evidence that you find, so they should always go hand in hand. Make sure that these 2 parts link together in a straightforward manner.

  • Concluding Sentence: After providing a well thought out analysis and adding in evidence, the paragraph should always add a concluding sentence. Restate to the reader your analysis and its significance to the point in hand.

After reading a single body paragraph, the viewer should have clearly understood the argument or point you were trying to prove. If he had some trouble painting himself a picture or understanding your logic, then one or more parts of your body paragraph may have some mistakes.

It's important to mention that having numerous body paragraphs isn’t that important. Depending on the topic, each essay will vary based on the depth of the thesis. Quality over quantity goes a long way here.

How to Write a Conclusion for an Analytical Essay?

The conclusion plays a vital role in the sense that it ties up the entire essay.
Start out by restating your thesis statement. The significance of this is to clearly exemplify to your viewer that you have fully proven the thesis and to summarize the steps you took in order to do so. To end the entire essay, it’s necessary to create an overall concluding statement. This can be either what you have learned from writing the essay or what the audience should take away from your work. The structure should look like this:

  • Rephrase the Thesis statement
  • Summarize key points
  • Overall Concluding Statement

That is how to write a conclusion for an analytical essay.

General Tips & Advice


After writing the entire essay, take a short break and then reread it from front to back. The chances are that you will find parts of the paper which are filled with mistakes or parts that need clarity. Regardless of what the issues are, make sure the essay has clarity before handing in completed work.
You can also get an academic writing help from out company in case You need some third-party opinion.

Get a Second Pair of Eyes

Just because the essay made sense to you, doesn’t mean that everyone else will receive it with the same level of understanding. Online essay writer or peer edits help to give the essay a wider range of clarity.

Make sure the thesis fits your argument points

Your paper will be highly judged based on how well you proved your thesis. That’s why it’s important to edit your thesis based on the type of arguments you provided. If your explanations don’t perfectly suit the thesis statement you crafted, then adjust it accordingly.

Analytical Essay Sample

Analytical Essay example

Analytical Essay example

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

An analytical essay is not explained in many writing textbooks. In essay writing, an analysis is the fundamental element of synthesis essays, summary essays, reflective essays, and most types of college papers. Without knowing how to analyze articles or walk your reader through a process properly, you will not be able to produce lab reports or literature papers. In an essay like this, something to stress is that analysis requires you dig deep; you can not simply summarize. You need to go beyond the who, what, where, and when, and instead answer questions of how and why.

My personal advice is to begin with a set of questions: How is this written? Who is the audience? And Is it effectively written for that audience? After answering these, it will be much easier to answer how exactly the author wrote the piece and elaborate further on why the piece was written. While writing, make sure to annotate and take notes. Keep your eye on the author’s tone and diction. This skill is incredibly important and will follow you all through middle school, high school, college, and then into life itself.

Professor Jay, from EssayPro

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