How Can I Write an Analysis Essay: Some Useful Suggestions

Many students panic when they find out they need to write an analysis essay. Most often, students worry because they don’t quite understand what an analysis essay is – or rather what makes it different from other types of essays. If this is you, don’t panic! It’s not difficult but you do have to know a few things to create a well-written analytical essay:

  • Know the objective:
  • Usually, an analysis essay is an assignment that wants you to thoroughly explore an issue or poses an opinion on some topic. You’ll probably have to analysis a primary source like a film, book, poem, or some other piece. Make yourself familiar with that piece and make sure you understand what you are trying to find out about it.

  • Choose a topic:
  • Your instructor may have provided you with one or more prompts to write about. If so, the only thing you need to worry about is choosing a topic that interests you and one you can write about without much trouble. If you’re choosing your own topic then be sure that your topic isn’t too broad that you can’t present a complete argument or too narrow that you can’t find enough information.

  • Draft your thesis statement:
  • Once you’ve chosen a topic you should be able to draft a version of your thesis – or the point you are trying to make on a particular question or subject. You may find that you will be changing your thesis along the way: this is okay. Just get something down early to guide your research, outline and first draft.

  • Find your supporting evidence:
  • Whether you are using books, articles, or a web source be sure your evidence is gathered from credible sources that are generally accepted as true by scholars and colleagues. Take down complete and accurate notes so you don’t make any mistakes about what the essence of your source is really all about.

  • Create an outline:
  • It’s a lot easier to follow an outline when you are writing an analysis essay than it is to go into it head first without a road map. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you invest too much time in the writing, so be sure you create a detailed outline that considers each of your major points.

  • Draft your essay:
  • Write your first draft as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It’s a good idea to get your first draft down with minimal breaks or stoppages. Even if you find yourself repeating information, be sure you get down all of your ideas. You can use your first revision to remove redundant parts and fix issues of logic and flow.

  • Know how and when to use quotations and paraphrases:
  • It’s good to use quotes when you need direct support for your argument and you can’t rewrite the content in any way to improve its message. But don’t overuse quotes. Paraphrasing is a way to summarize your source and works great as background. Be sure to apply proper credit!

  • Proofread and edit:
  • Your paper will suffer tremendously if it contains a number of distracting mistakes, which is why it’s important you give yourself enough time to proofread and edit all of the little mistakes your paper is likely to have after your first draft and revision. Spell check, look for grammar and punctuation mistakes and don’t forget to edit awkward and clunky sentences.

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