How To Write an Analytical Essay

If you’ve never done an analytical essay before, it can be difficult.Don’t fret!Take a deep breath, buy yourself a beverage, and follow these steps to create an analytical essay.

Step 1: Understand the purpose of an essay.

An analytical essay requires you to make a claim about what you are analyzing.Most of the time you will have to analyze another piece of writing or a film, but you could also be asked to look at an issue, or an idea.If you want to do this, you need to break the topic down into parts and provide evidence that supports your claim.The Shining uses a repeating theme of Native American culture and art to comment on America’s history of colonizing Native Americans’ lands, is an analytical thesis.An argument can be made in the form of a thesis statement when analyzing a text.

Step 2: Decide what to write about.

If you are writing this for a class, your teacher will usually assign you a topic to write about.Carefully read the prompt.What is the prompt for you to do?Sometimes you have to come up with your own topic.If you’re writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could argue about what motivates a specific character or group of characters.You could argue that a certain paragraph is central to the work as a whole.In the epic poem Beowulf, explore the concept of vengeance.If you’re writing about a historical event, focus on the forces that contributed to it.Follow the scientific method to analyze your findings if you’re writing about scientific research.

Step 3: There’s a brainstorm.

Once you’ve chosen your topic, you may not know what your thesis statement should be.That’s okay.It is possible to find out what you think about your topic by doing some research.You should consider it from many angles.Repeated imagery, metaphors, phrases, or ideas is what you should look for.Things that are repeated are important.See if you can figure out why these things are so important.Do they repeat the same way each time?The text works how it is supposed to.If you’re writing a rhetorical analysis, you might look at how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether or not the argument is effective.If you’re analyzing a creative work, it’s a good idea to look at things like imagery.If you’re analyzing research, you should consider the methods and results, as well as the experiment’s design.A mind map can help people.Pick your central topic and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles.To identify patterns and how things are related, connect the bubbles.There can be good ideas all over the place.It can be a good way to start off.Don’t discount anything yet.As you examine your topic, write down any elements or facts that you think are true.

Step 4: You have to come up with a thesis statement.

The thesis statement summarizes the claim you will make in your paperIt tells the reader what the essay will be about.Don’t write a vague or obvious thesis such as “Revenge is a central theme in Beowulf.”Make an argument such as “Beowulf explores different styles of vengeance in the Anglo-Saxon age, contrasting the dragon’s honorable retribution with the response of the mother.”An analytical thesis examines a text and makes a claim.It’s not a statement of pure fact that nobody could challenge.An analytical essay makes an argumentMake sure your thesis is small enough to fit your assignment.Revenge in Beowulf is so broad that it could be a PhD thesis.It’s too large for a student to write an essay.There is a way to argue that one character’s revenge is more honorable than another.Unless told to write one, avoid the “three-prong” thesis that presents three points to be discussed later.The thesis statements limit your analysis and give you a feel for your argument.It is okay to state what your argument will be.

Step 5: You can find supporting evidence.

Depending on your assignment, you may only need to work with your primary sources, such as the text or texts you’re analyzing, or with other books or journal articles.The assignment should tell you which sources are needed.Your argument is more convincing if you have good evidence.To support your claim, list out the supporting evidence.Look at the passages in the poem that discuss the events leading up to each monster’s attack, the attacks themselves, as well as the reactions to those attacks in order to support the claim that the dragon was more righteous than the mother.As you learn more about the topic, adjust your thesis to a more nuanced stance.

Step 6: An outline is something to make.

Writing an outline will make it easier to structure your essay.It’s important that you understand how long your essay needs to be.Many teachers prefer essays to be longer and explore topics more in-depth than the standard 5 paragraph essay.Your outline should be structure accordingly.Don’t worry if you’re not sure how all your evidence meshes together.An outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress.A more informal outline would group your ideas in large groups.What to say about where is up to you.It will take as long as necessary to adequately discuss your topic.A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it.It makes essays feel rushed.Don’t be afraid to spend a lot of time talking about each detail.

Step 7: Your introduction should be written.

Your introduction should tell your reader about your topic.If you want to make your introduction engaging, try not to be too overzealous.It is a good idea to simply state your argument.The beginning of an essay with a question or exclamation is best to avoid.Do not use the first or second person in your essay.The thesis should be the last sentence of the first paragraph.Revenge was a legal right in Anglo-Saxon culture.Retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age according to the epic poem Beowulf.Revenges are not created the same way.The dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than the mother, according to the poem.The introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic in the poem.The reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value, that’s what this type of argument suggests.”In modern society” or “throughout time” should not be included.Mention the title, author, and publication date of the text that you’re analyzing.

Step 8: Write your body paragraphs.

The body paragraphs should have 1) a topic sentence, 2) an analysis of some part of the text, and 3) evidence that supports your thesis statement.A topic sentence tells the reader what the paragraph will be about.The analysis of the text is where you make your arguments.Your argument is supported by the evidence you provide.Each claim you make should support your thesis.The idea of excessive retribution is the key to differentiating between the two attacks.As per the Medieval concept of “an eye for an eye,” the mother of Grendel wants to take a life for a while while also throwing Hrothgar’s kingdom into chaos.She snatched up the nobleman and left for the fen instead of simply killing Aeschere.She wants Beowulf to leave Heorot so she can kill him as well.The formula “CEE” can help you remember.Make sure you explain how the evidence relates to your claim when you present it.

Step 9: You know when to say something.

Quoting means taking the exact text and placing it in quotation marks in your essay.Quoting is a good way to support your claim.If you are using Chicago style, make sure you use the correct form of quotation.Paraphrasing is when you summarize the text.A lot of details can be compressed into a short space using phrasing.If you have a lot of information or need to quote a huge portion of text, it can be good.Supporting all subtle or controversial claims with quotes or paraphrasing is a rule of thumb.Instead of simply killing Aeschere, she snatched up that nobleman and left for the fen, with him tight in her clutches.The female Grendel enters Heorot, snatches up one of the men sleeping inside and runs away to the fen.

Step 10: Write down your conclusion.

You remind your reader of how you supported your argument in your conclusion.In your conclusion, some teachers want you to make a bigger connection.They want you to make a big world connection.This could be anything from stating how your argument affects other claims to changing someone’s view of the text.Do not introduce a completely new argument in your conclusion.The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was present in the early Medieval world.The medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge was made clear by comparing the attacks of the mother and dragon.While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, his mother attacks with evil intent.The concept of an “eye for an eye” was present in the early Medieval world.The medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear by comparing the attacks of the mother and the dragon.The dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, but his mother attacks with evil intent.The portrayals may tie into an early Medieval perception that women had greater potential for evil.

Step 11: If you make mistakes in your essay, you should proofread it.

A paper with many mistakes gets a lower grade than one that has been polished.Look for run-on sentences and check for punctuation errors.Make sure your essay is formatted correctly.Arial or Times New Roman is a 12-point standard fonts.

Step 12: You have to read your paper loud.

You can find places in the essay that sound awkward by reading loud.You can find run-on sentences that you might have not noticed before.

Step 13: Make sure that all the information is correct.

If the main character’s name is spelled wrong in your paper, teachers will mark you down.You can confirm that your spelling is correct by going back to the text.The list of characters can be found online.To make sure you have the correct spelling, check at least two or three sources.

Step 14: As if you were your teacher, read your paper.

Do you get your point across?Is the structure of your paper easy to understand?Do you explain why the topic matters in your paper?

Step 15: You can ask someone else to read your paper.

Do they think you should add or remove?Do they understand the point you are trying to make?