Mastering the Art of Analytical Essays Writing

If you haven't had to write an analytical essay already you probably will at some time. These essays have a lot of potential, because they let you demonstrate a wide range of skills. The problem is that many people find them difficult to write; at first they can seem like a bit of a black art, so a guide to mastering this art might come in handy.

An analysis essay is different from many other essays because as well as collecting and presenting information you have to add your own analysis and discussions about it. It also has to lead to a conclusion, so it's very important to get the structure right. What's the best way to put all this together?

The key to a good analytical essay is developing a proper outline before you start to write. This will not just help you lay your information out properly; it makes the actual essay a lot easier to write when you get to that stage. Your outline should start with four headings:

  1. Introduction. This will describe the purpose of the essay, briefly describe the analysis method and give a short, one-sentence summary of the conclusion. The thesis also goes at the end of the introduction once you've decided exactly what it is. You'll be writing the introduction last. Yes, really.
  2. Thesis. This is the question the essay sets out to analyse and answer. It can be a yes/no question, a comparison of two things or a question about an aspect of what's being discussed.
  3. Body. This is the main part of the essay and it's where most of the work is required. Here you will present your information, discuss it point by point and determine facts that will help you come to a conclusion.
  4. Conclusion. This is where you state what you have decided as a result of your analysis. Begin with a  one or two sentence summary of the discussion, give your conclusion in three or four short sentences then finish with something interesting. That could be a short anecdote, a suggestion for further research or even a joke.

The other vital thing to do when writing an analysis essay is to use multiple sources for your information. This guards against bias by the author of one reference, makes your analysis more interesting and shows examiners that you've made an effort to collect information.

By spending time on your outline and doing thorough research, analytical essays lose their mystery and become easy to write. Yes, there's work involved, but it's well within your reach. Take advantage of this to write some great essays and push your grades up.

Posted by January 14th, 2013