how to write an introduction for analysis essay

How to Write an Analytical Essay: Your Guide + Tips and Examples

how to write an introduction for analysis essay

Defining What Is an Analytical Essay

If scrutinizing different tasks and constantly thinking out of the box are something you enjoy doing, then the analytical essay writing might be a fun assignment for you! With careful, in-depth analysis and the use of proper literary devices, you may discover a whole new set of perspectives and enrich your understanding of your chosen topic.

To be able to uncover the hidden pieces of literature and captivate your reader, first, you must understand what is an analytical essay and what it tries to accomplish. In a nutshell, analytical essays use textual evidence to support the author's claims and main points by utilizing logic and facts rather than relying on sentimental appeals and personal narratives.

Unlike a persuasive essay, where you only need to prove one side of the argument, analytical essay requires understanding and presenting all sides of an argument. At the end, you should discuss whether you agree or disagree with the analysis you have done.

Creating an Analytical Essay Outline Template

Now that you better understand the definition analytical essay, it's time to master the process of composing a top-notch paper. In order to streamline the writing process, you should put your thoughts into perspective and structure your arguments in a clear format. For this, you need to employ an analytical essay outline that will serve as a roadmap from the beginning to crafting a compelling concluding paragraph. So, let's break down the essential steps required for a proper analytical essay outline template to ensure you leave a lasting impact on your audience.

‍Introduction‍

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph 1‍

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the body paragraph to‍

Body paragraph 2‍

  • Transition to body paragraph 3

Body paragraph 3

  • Transition to conclusion
  • Summary of major points
  • Restate the thesis
  • Key takeaways

STEPS TO CHOOSING AN ANALYTICAL ESSAY TOPIC

Analytical Essay Introduction

The process of creating an introduction for an analytical paper is the same as for any other sort of essay. So, if you wondered how to start an analytical essay, remember that as the introduction is the first thing a reader reads, it's critical to grab their attention and ensure that they are aware of the topic of the paper. A strong beginning gives background information, outlines the paper's purpose clearly, and makes a few references to the assertions you will make.

The opening sentence needs to have a hook. In other words, it must draw the reader in and persuade them to continue reading the essay. A hook may be anything fascinating and related to your topics, such as an intriguing fact, a funny story, or a provocative inquiry.

Afterward, establish your thesis, which should be a brief and unambiguous summary of the stance you will take in your essay.

Analytical Essay Thesis Statement

So, how to write a thesis for an analytical essay? Your thesis statement should be clear enough to steer the flow of your essay and should highlight the primary subject you will be examining, along with the supporting details or logic you'll use to back it up. A strong analytical thesis should be precise and straightforward. Therefore, it should present a claim rather than merely summarizing the subject or material under consideration. A compelling analytical thesis statement would be something like: 'Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' addresses the issue of loss and the mental torment it causes, eventually indicating that the only way to find peace is through tolerance.' This thesis statement states the fundamental point regarding the material and the strategies the essay will use to defend that claim.

The last step effectively flows from your introduction into the first body paragraph, which should expound on the first idea you will be addressing. By adhering to these essay format rules, you may create an effective and convincing opening that serves as the foundation for an analytical essay that is well-structured and appealing.

Analytical Essay Body Paragraphs

An analytical essay generally exceeds the traditional five-paragraph structure since additional body paragraphs may be required to adequately defend the thesis statement. The evidence and arguments in these body paragraphs support the thesis statement and are the essay's main body.

  • Topic sentence that clearly states the direction of analysis for the paragraph
  • The main piece of evidence for your claim
  • Supporting information
  • Transition to the next paragraph

The first sentence of your body paragraph should give the reader an idea of the specific issue that the paragraph will talk about. For example, if the essay is about the gamification of education, the topic sentence for the first body paragraph can be 'Educational video games are being used in many third world countries to help children who cannot access standard schooling systems.' Using this topic sentence, you may clarify the subject of the paragraph and offer supporting evidence.

A good topic sentence helps the reader keep track of and structures the flow of your analysis paper. Imagine having a conversation with a friend about a topic. The main pieces of support you make for your claim are topic sentences. 

The rest of the body paragraph includes factual information proving your topic sentence's validity. Each body paragraph should talk about only one issue, so make sure that the evidence you provide is related only to the specific claim you are making in that paragraph. It can be tempting to provide as much evidence as possible. Still, papers that are too dense with information can be hard to read and understand, so only mention the most important facts and figures. 

The main phrase should be briefly restated at the end of each body paragraph, highlighting how the arguments you've made support it. This is an excellent technique to move into the following body paragraph, which includes a new piece of evidence and analysis from a different point of view. A one-sentence summary or another kind of transition statement helps the essay flow better and builds a more convincing overall argument

Paper's conclusion paragraph frequently follows a predetermined format, restating the thesis statement and summarizing the key concepts covered in the body paragraphs. The conclusion of the essay may also include a remark or comment on the significance of the analysis in order to leave the reader with a lasting impression of its major point.

  • Reiterate the thesis
  • Recite the key details
  • Give supporting documentation
  • Suggest recommendations for further research

If someone can understand the purpose of your paper just by reading the conclusion, then you have written a good conclusion paragraph. By restating your thesis at the beginning, you reminded the reader of the main purpose of your essay. Going through three body paragraphs is important so the reader can connect the evidence presented and the thesis statement. 

Follow this up with a brief summary of the main claims and analysis in each body paragraph. Since you have already presented evidence backing up the claims, rephrase the main topic sentences and put together a convincing argument for your points. Make sure you don't include new evidence or points of analysis in the conclusion because this might confuse the reader. The conclusion paragraph only recaps and summarizes information. If you have a new point of analysis, then add a new body paragraph. 

Finally, end the conclusion paragraph with some of your own thoughts. Explain why the topic is important, why your perspective adds new information, how your analysis compares to experts in the field, etc. 

Meanwhile, you might also be interested in how to write a reflection paper , so check out the article for more information! Send us your assignment requirements, choose your personal research paper writer , and watch them write your paper.

Steps For How to Write an Analytical Essay

After uncovering the structure of an analytical essay, there are a few more things you can do to make the process of writing an analytical essay easier before you actually start writing it. The writing process will be made simpler, and the essay will have a better overall flow and structure the more preparation you do in advance. Before you begin writing, you should take the following steps from our write my essay for me experts:

how to write an analytical essay

Brainstorm Some Ideas

A good analytical essay writer spends some time brainstorming and making a mental map of thoughts associated with their subject before deciding on a theme. This might assist you in coming up with original and intriguing approaches to your study. You may, for instance, come up with a list of several ideas or motifs that emerge in the book and assess their relevance if your essay is about literature.

Use Visual Aids

Our expert research paper writer suggests communicating your research clearly and engagingly by using graphs and charts to help you arrange your insights. For instance, you could make a chart that contradicts two hypotheses or a diagram that illustrates the relationships between various protagonists in a play.

Use Contrasting Opinions

Including opposing viewpoints in your paper may seem unproductive, yet doing so is a terrific approach to developing a strong case for your position. Find the strongest opposing viewpoint and create a body paragraph that uses evidence to demonstrate why it is incorrect. Because it demonstrates that you have thought about alternative opinions, and by weakening the stronger one, it strengthens your case.

Use Primary Sources

When writing an analytical essay, utilizing primary materials like interviews, presentations, and original documents can provide an exceptional outlook on your chosen subject matter. By integrating primary sources into your analysis, you can construct a more intricate and exclusive perspective. For instance, if you are composing an analytical essay about a historical event, delving into letters or memoirs penned by individuals who lived during that time can assist you in gaining a deeper understanding of their viewpoints and experiences.

Use Multimedia Elements

Using multimedia in your essay, such as photographs, films, or audio recordings, may increase reader interest and make the analysis more vivid and engaging. For instance, you might include photographs of the artwork in your essay to graphically explain and demonstrate your observation if you were writing an analytical essay on a masterpiece. This strategy may not only assist in concept clarification but also provide additional life and intrigue to your writing.

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Analytical Essay Topics

As mentioned above, finding the right topic is vitally important when it comes to answering the question of how to write an analytical essay. Which is why we devoted this section to providing you with good options. Remember that a good topic:

  • Is something you generally find interesting
  • Should attract a reader's attention
  • It should not be too broad
  • Needs enough quality research to present evidence
  • Asks a question that is important

Finding a good topic for an analytical research paper isn't easy, but make sure you spend enough time pinpointing something that fulfills the criteria. The choice between finding writing enjoyable and receiving a good grade or finding it tedious and receiving a poor grade depends on the topic.

So, here is a list of good topics from our dissertation services to get you started.

Analytical Essay Topics about Psychology

Here are some topics on psychology essay writing:

  • What qualifies as a mental disorder?
  • Why do more young people feel lonely?
  • What is the effect of lockdowns on mental health?
  • Is happiness an illusion?
  • What are effective methods of coping with depression?

Analytical Essay Topics about Pop Culture

  • Why DOTA is the perfect game
  • What is the impact of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
  • An analysis of the history of Science Fiction
  • Why blank is the best music genre
  • The rise and fall of Kanye West

Analytical Essay Topics about Art and History

  • How does World War II still affect us?
  • An analysis of postmodern art.
  • Are all artists geniuses?
  • What is the influence of the Renaissance?
  • What are the lessons learned from war?

Analytical Essay Examples

I assume you are going to use the examples that are already on the website

Despite the difference in doctrines, the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have in one way or another related in accordance to their faith and beliefs. The three monotheistic religions are known for their high regard for their disparities despite the similarities they manifest. It is not only a matter that concerns the religions themselves, but also the society given the world is slowly changing and more people have begun to question the existence of each religion in essence. While, the similarities may be just but subtle, the extent of reach is relatively wide, and for that cause the standing of these religion need some inspection. Noteworthy, there are common features in the religions such as the tenacious adherence by certain groups, which may also pose the question regarding not only lack of choice but also the need to be considered one.
A major consequence of war is in its ability to demolish traditional values and introducing drastic changes the perceptions of the world among those who experience the horror and devastation that define war. For military personnel, assuming a normal life after war is a form of torture because for such an individual visualizing the society from an optimistic perspective is relatively difficult considering that it always in the brink of war which threatens the peace that may be prevailing. Hemmingway uses this story to reminisce about his life after participating in the First World War. It was from his experience in the war as a driver for the Italian Army that he developed depression and he experienced multiple injuries.

Final Concluding Thoughts

By using the advice and illustrations provided by us, you may improve your writing abilities and produce essays that fascinate and interest your audience. You can master analytical writing with dedication and practice, enabling you to confidently take on any topic.

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Do Analytical Essays Tend to Intimidate You?

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How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide

An analysis / analytical essay is a standard assignment in college or university. You might be asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of a research paper, a report, a movie, a company, a book, or an event. In this article, you’ll find out how to write an analysis paper introduction, thesis, main body, and conclusion, and analytical essay example.

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So, what is an analytical essay? This type of assignment implies that you set up an argument and analyze it using a range of claims. The claims should be supported by appropriate empirical evidence. Note that you need to explore both the positive and negative sides of the issue fully.

Analytical skills are the key to getting through your academic career. Moreover, they can be useful in many real-life situations. Keep reading this article by Custom-writing experts to learn how to write an analysis!

❓ What Is an Analytical Essay?

  • 🤔 Getting Started

📑 Analytical Essay Outline

  • 📔 Choosing a Title
  • 💁 Writing an Introduction
  • 🏋 Writing a Body
  • 🏁 Writing a Conclusion

🔗 References

Before you learn how to start an analysis essay, you should understand some fundamentals of writing this type of paper. It implies that you analyze an argument using a range of claims supported by facts . It is essential to understand that in your analysis essay, you’ll need to explore the negative sides of the issue and the positive ones. That’s what distinguishes an analytical essay from, say, a persuasive one.

Begin Your Analysis essay with a Literature Review. Then Make an Outline, Write and Polish Your Draft.

These are the steps to write an academic paper :

  • Review the literature . Before starting any paper, you should familiarize yourself with what has already been written in the field. And the analytical essay is no exception. The easiest way is to search on the web for the information.
  • Brainstorm ideas. After you’ve done your search, it is time for a brainstorm! Make a list of topics for your analysis essay, and then choose the best one. Generate your thesis statement in the same way.
  • Prepare an outline . Now, when you’ve decided on the topic and the thesis statement of your analytical essay, think of its structure. Below you will find more detailed information on how your paper should be structured.
  • Write the first draft. You’ve done a lot of work by now. Congratulations! Your next goal is to write the first version of your analysis essay, using all the notes that you have. Remember, you don’t need to make it perfect!
  • Polish your draft. Now take your time to polish and edit your draft to transform it into the paper’s final version.

You are usually assigned to analyze an article, a book, a movie, or an event. If you need to write your analytical essay on a book or an article, you’ll have to analyze the style of the text, its main points, and the author’s purported goals.

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🤔 Analytical Essay: Getting Started

The key to writing an analysis paper is to choose an argument that you will defend throughout it. For example: maybe you are writing a critical analysis paper on George Orwell’s Animal Farm The first and imperative task is to think about your thesis statement. In the case of Animal Farm , the argument could be:

In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives a great explanation of the thesis statement , how to create one, and what its function is.

But that’s not all. Once you have your thesis statement, you need to break down how you will approach your analysis essay to prove your thesis. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Define the main goal(s) of your analysis . Remember that it is impossible to address each and every aspect in a single paper. Know your goal and focus on it.
  • Conduct research , both online and offline, to clarify the issue contained within your thesis statement.
  • Identify the main parts of the issue by looking at each part separately to see how it works.
  • Try to clearly understand how each part works.
  • Identify the links between the various aspects of the topic .
  • By using the information you found, try to solve your main problem .

At this point, you should have a clear understanding of both the topic and your thesis statement. You should also have a clear direction for your analysis paper firmly planted in your mind and recorded in writing.

This will give you what you need to produce the paper’s outline.

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An outline is the starting point for your work. A typical analytical essay features the usual essay structure. A 500-word essay should consist of a one-paragraph introduction, a three-paragraph body, and a one-paragraph conclusion. Find below a great analytical essay outline sample. Feel free to use it as an example when doing your own work!

Analysis Essay: Introduction

  • Start with a startling statement or provocative question.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal”. Animal Farm abounds in ironic and provocative phrases to start an analytical essay.

  • Introduce the work and its author.
  • Give background information that would help the reader understand your opinion.
  • Formulate a thesis statement informing the reader about the purpose of the essay. Essay format does not presuppose telling everything possible on the given topic. Thus, a thesis statement tells what you are going to say, implying what you will not discuss, establishing the limits.

In Animal Farm, Orwell uses different irony types to ridicule totalitarianism to manifest its inability to make every member of society equal and happy.

Analysis Essay: Body

The analytical essay structure requires 2-3 developmental paragraphs, each dedicated to one separate idea confirming your thesis statement. The following template should be used for each of the body paragraphs.

  • Start with a topic sentence that supports an aspect of your thesis.

Dramatic irony is used in Animal Farm to point out society’s ignorance.

  • Continue with textual evidence (paraphrase, summary, direct quotations, specific details). Use several examples that substantiate the topic sentence.

Animals are unaware of the fact that Boxer was never sent to the hospital. He was sent to the slaughterhouse. However, the reader and writer understand that this is a lie.

  • Conclude with an explanation.

By allowing the readers to learn some essential facts before the characters, dramatic irony creates suspense and shows how easy it is to persuade and manipulate the public.

Analysis Essay Conclusion

The next four points will give you a short instruction on how to conclude an analytical essay.

  • Never use new information or topics here.
  • Restate your thesis in a different formulation.
  • Summarize the body paragraphs.
  • Comment on the analyzed text from a new perspective.

📔 Choosing a Title for Your Analysis Essay

Choosing a title seems like not a significant step, but it is actually very important. The title of your critical analysis paper should:

  • Entice and engage the reader
  • Be unique and capture the readers’ attention
  • Provide an adequate explanation of the content of the essay in just a few carefully chosen words

In the Animal Farm example, your title could be:

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“How Do the Pigs Manage to Keep Social Control on Animal Farm?”

Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze the media content.
  • Analyze the specifics and history of hip-hop culture.
  • Sociological issues in the film Interstellar .
  • Discuss the techniques M. Atwood uses to describe social issues in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale .
  • Compare and analyze the paintings of Van Gogh and George Seurat.
  • Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Examine the juvenile crime rates.
  • Describe the influence of different parenting styles on children’s mind.
  • Analyze the concept of the Ship of Theseus .
  • Compare and analyze the various views on intelligence .
  • Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman .
  • Discuss the techniques used by W. Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream .
  • Analyze the biography of Frederic Chopin .
  • Manifestation of the Chicano culture in the artwork An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio .
  • Similarities and differences of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Spanish Empires .
  • Describe the problem of stalking and its impact on human mental health.
  • Examine the future of fashion .
  • Analyze the topicality of the article Effectiveness of Hand Hygiene Interventions in Reducing Illness Absence .
  • Discuss Thomas Paine’s impact on the success of American revolution.
  • Meaningful messages in Recitatif by Toni Morrison .
  • Explore the techniques used by directors in the film Killing Kennedy .
  • Compare the leadership styles of Tang Empress Wu Zetian and the Pharaoh Cleopatra .
  • Evaluate the credibility of Kristof’s arguments in his article Remote Learning Is Often an Oxymoron .
  • Analyze genetically modified food .
  • Examine the influence of Europeans on Indian tribes in The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson .
  • Describe the rhetoric techniques used in The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde .
  • The importance of fighting against violence in communities in the documentary film The Interrupters .
  • Analyze indoor and outdoor pollution .
  • Analyze the issue of overprotective parenthood .
  • Explore the connection between eating habits and advertisement.
  • Discuss the urgence of global warming issue .
  • Influence of sleep on people’s body and mental health.
  • Analyze the relationship between Christianity and sports .
  • Discuss the concept of leadership and its significance for company efficiency.
  • Analyze the key lessons of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki .
  • Examine the specifics of nursing ethic .
  • The theme of emotional sufferings in the short story A Rose for Emily .
  • Analysis of bias in books for children .
  • Analyze the rhetoric of the article Public Monuments .
  • Describe the main messages in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea .
  • Explore the problem of structural racism in healthcare .
  • The reasons of tango dance popularity.
  • The shortcomings of the American educational system in Waiting for Superman.
  • Analyze and compare Erin’s Law and Megan’s Law .
  • Analyze the James Madison’s essay Federalist 10 .
  • Examine symbols in the movie The Joker .
  • Compare the thematic connection and stylistic devices in the poems The Road Not Taken and Find Your Way .
  • Describe and analyze the life of Eddie Bernice Johnson .
  • Explore the social classes in America .
  • Crucial strengths and weaknesses of the main translation theories .

💁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Introduction

You must understand how to compose an introduction to an analysis paper. The University of Wollongong describes the introduction as a “map” of any writing. When writing the introduction, follow these steps:

  • Provide a lead-in for the reader by offering a general introduction to the topic of the paper.
  • Include your thesis statement , which shifts the reader from the generalized introduction to the specific topic and its related issues to your unique take on the essay topic.
  • Present a general outline of the analysis paper.

Watch this great video for further instructions on how to write an introduction to an analysis essay.

Example of an Analytical Essay Introduction

“Four legs good, two legs bad” is one of the many postulates invented by George Orwell for his characters in Animal Farm to vest them with socialist ideology and control over the animal population. The social revolution on Manor Farm was built on language instruments, first for the collective success of the animals, and later for the power consolidation by the pigs. The novel was written in 1945 when the transition from limitless freedoms of socialist countries transformed into dictatorship. Through his animal protagonists, the author analyzes the reasons for peoples’ belief in the totalitarian regime. In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

🏋 Writing Your Analytical Essay Body

The body of the paper may be compared to its heart. This is the part where you show off your talent for analysis by providing convincing, well-researched, and well-thought-out arguments to support your thesis statement. You have already gathered the information, and now all you may start crafting your paper.

To make the body of an analytical essay, keep the following in mind:

  • Discuss one argument per paragraph , although each argument can relate to multiple issues
  • Strike a balance between writing in an unbiased tone, while expressing your personal opinion
  • Be reasonable when making judgments regarding any of the problems you discuss
  • Remember to include the opposing point of view to create a balanced perspective

The bottom line is: you want to offer opposing views, but you must pose your arguments so they will counter those opposing views and prove your point of view. Follow these steps when constructing each body paragraph:

  • Choose the main sentence. The main or topic sentence will be the first line in your essay. The topic sentence is responsible for presenting the argument you will discuss in the paragraph and demonstrate how this argument relates to the thesis statement.
  • Provide the context for the topic sentence , whether it relates to a quote, a specific incident in society, or something else. Offer evidence on who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Give your analysis of the argument and how it adequately proves your thesis.
  • Write a closing sentence that sums up the paragraph and provides a transition to the following paragraph.

Example of an Analytical Essay Body

Literacy can grant power, provided that there are animals who cannot read or write. In the beginning, the animals’ literacy and intellect are relatively the same. Old Major is the cleverest pig; he is the kind old philosopher, like Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. During his retirement, he develops a theory that all humans are the root of evil. His speech was the foundation for the pigs’ assumption of power. They refined his ideas into a new ideology and called it Animalism. They also learned how to read. It allowed the pigs to declare themselves the “mind workers.” Therefore, the pigs’ literacy assured the illiterate animals in their objective superiority.

Meanwhile, as the pigs were the intellectual elite, they were not supposed to work, which raised their social status by itself. Snowball tried to promote education among all the animals, but most of them failed to master the alphabet. This is a metaphor for the general public being predominantly ignorant and easy to manipulate. At the same time, Boxer and other animals that spend most of the day in hard work merely have no time to develop their intellect. Thus, the pigs’ intention to build a school for pig children was highly efficient. Unequal access to education and unequal ability to express one’s thoughts in perspective reinforce the social divide, making the pigs smarter and more powerful and undermining other animals’ self-esteem.

At this point, the pigs resort to propaganda and rhetoric. Squealer uses his oratorical gift to refine the pigs’ message to the other animals. Upon Napoleon’s order, he breaks the Seven Commandments of farm governance. At night, he climbs the ladder to change them, and once even falls from the ladder trying to change the commandment on alcohol. The “proletarian” animals soon forget what the Seven Commandments were like in the first place and are unsure if they have ever been altered. Further on, Minimus writes a poem praising Napoleon. Finally, Squealer replaces the Commandments with a single assertion: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Language is no longer used to convince. It is used to control and manipulate.

🏁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is short and sweet. It summarizes everything you just wrote in the essay and wraps it up with a beautiful shiny bow. Follow these steps to write a convincing conclusion:

  • Repeat the thesis statement and summarize your argument. Even when using the best summary generator for the task, reread it to make sure all the crucial points are included.
  • Take your argument beyond what is simply stated in your paper. You want to show how it is essential in terms of the bigger picture. Also, you may dwell on the influence on citizens of the country.

Example of an Analytical Essay Conclusion

Because of everything mentioned above, it becomes clear that language and rhetoric can rise to power, establish authority, and manipulate ordinary people. Animal Farm is the simplified version of a communist society. It shows how wise philosophers’ good intentions can be used by mean leaders to gain unopposed power and unconditional trust. Unfortunately, this can lead to the death of many innocent animals, i.e., people, as totalitarianism has nothing to do with people’s rule. Therefore, language and oratory are potent tools that can keep people oppressed and weak, deprive them of any chance for improvement and growth, and make them think that there is no other possible existence.

Now you are ready to write an analysis essay! See, it’s easier than you thought.

Of course, it’s always helpful to see other analysis essay examples. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock provides some great examples of an analytical paper .

✏️ Analysis Essay FAQ

A great analytical paper should be well-structured, cohesive, and logically consistent. Each part of the essay should be in its place, creating a smooth and easy-to-read text. Most importantly, the statements should be objective and backed by arguments and examples.

It is a paper devoted to analyzing a certain topic or subject. An analysis essay is all about reviewing certain details of the subject and interpreting them. For example, such an analysis for a poem includes a description of artistic means that helped the poet convey the idea.

Writing an analytical essay on a book/movie/poem start with an outline. Point out what catches the eye when reviewing the subject. See how these details can be interpreted. Make sure that you refer to the main idea/message. Add an appropriate introduction and a logical conclusion.

Being more analytical in writing can be essential for a student. This is a skill that can be self-taught: try to start noticing subtle details and describe them. As you write, interpret the facts and strive to draw conclusions. Try to be as objective as possible.

  • Elements of Analysis
  • How Can I Create Stronger Analysis?
  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay: Bucks.edu
  • Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
  • Analytical Writing: Looking Closely (Colostate.edu)
  • Analytical Thesis Statements – University of Arizona
  • Writing an analytic essay – UTSC – University of Toronto
  • Organizing Your Analysis // Purdue Writing Lab
  • How to Write an Analytical Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
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This resource helps me a lot. Thanks! You guys have great information. Do you think I can use these steps when taking a test? Could it be known as plagiarized if I just copy and paste the information?

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Glad to help, Hazel! You can use it in your test but you should cite it accordingly

Thanks, very good information.

Thank you for your attention, Jaweria🙂!

Thanks for learning how to critique research papers in a proper way! This is what I need to cope with this task successfully! Thanks!

How much is an essay, and is there a chance it can be plagiarized?

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How to Write an Analytical Essay

Last Updated: February 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,979,807 times.

Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Don't worry! Take a deep breath, buy yourself a caffeinated beverage, and follow these steps to create a well-crafted analytical essay.

Prewriting for Your Essay

Step 1 Understand the objective of an analytical essay.

  • For example, "Stanley Kubrick's The Shining uses a repeating motif of Native American culture and art to comment on America's history of colonizing Native Americans' lands" is an analytical thesis. It is analyzing a particular text and setting forth an argument about it in the form of a thesis statement.

Step 2 Decide what to write about.

  • If you're writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could focus your argument on what motivates a specific character or group of characters. Or, you could argue why a certain line or paragraph is central to the work as a whole. For example: Explore the concept of vengeance in the epic poem Beowulf .
  • If you're writing about a historical event, try focusing on the forces that contributed to what happened.
  • If you're writing about scientific research or findings, follow the scientific method to analyze your results.

Step 3 Brainstorm.

  • Look for repeated imagery, metaphors, phrases, or ideas. Things that repeat are often important. See if you can decipher why these things are so crucial. Do they repeat in the same way each time, or differently?
  • How does the text work? If you're writing a rhetorical analysis, for example, you might analyze how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether you think the argument is effective. If you're analyzing a creative work, consider things like imagery, visuals in a film, etc. If you're analyzing research, you may want to consider the methods and results and analyze whether the experiment is a good design.
  • A mind map can be helpful to some people. Start with your central topic, and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles. Connect the bubbles to identify patterns and how things are related.
  • Good brainstorming can be all over the place. In fact, that can be a good way to start off! Don't discount any ideas just yet. Write down any element or fact that you think of as you examine your topic.

Step 4 Come up with...

  • This is an analytical thesis because it examines a text and makes a particular claim.
  • The claim is "arguable," meaning it's not a statement of pure fact that nobody could contest. An analytical essay takes a side and makes an argument.
  • Make sure your thesis is narrow enough to fit the scope of your assignment. "Revenge in Beowulf could be a PhD dissertation, it's so broad. It's probably much too big for a student essay. However, arguing that one character's revenge is more honorable than another's is manageable within a shorter student essay. [3] X Research source
  • Unless instructed to write one, avoid the "three-prong" thesis that presents three points to be discussed later. These thesis statements usually limit your analysis too much and give your argument a formulaic feel. It's okay to state generally what your argument will be.

Step 5 Find supporting evidence.

  • Example of supporting evidence : To support a claim that the dragon’s vengeance was more righteous than Grendel's mother's, 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. Don't: ignore or twist evidence to fit your thesis. Do: adjust your thesis to a more nuanced position as you learn more about the topic.

Step 6 Make an ...

  • If you're not quite sure how all your evidence fits together, don't worry! Making an outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress.
  • You can also make a more informal outline that groups your ideas together in large groups. From there, you can decide what to talk about where.
  • Your essay will be as long as it needs to be to adequately discuss your topic. A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and then allow only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it. This makes essays feel shallow or rushed. Don't be afraid to spend enough time discussing each detail!

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your ...

  • Example introduction : Revenge was a legally recognized right in ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The many revenges in the epic poem Beowulf show that retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age. However, not all revenges are created alike. The poet's portrayal of these revenges suggests that the dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than Grendel's mother.
  • This introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument, and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic (revenge) in the poem. This type of argument can be interesting because it suggests that the reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value. Don't: include filler and fluff sentences beginning with "In modern society" or "Throughout time." Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing.

Step 2 Write your body paragraphs.

  • Example topic sentence : The key to differentiating between the two attacks is the notion of excessive retribution.
  • Example analysis : Grendel's mother does not simply want vengeance, as per the Medieval concept of ‘an eye for an eye.’ Instead, she wants to take a life for a life while also throwing Hrothgar’s kingdom into chaos.
  • Example evidence : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294). She does this to lure Beowulf away from Heorot so she can kill him as well.
  • The formula "CEE" may help you remember: Claim-Evidence-Explanation. Whenever you present a claim, make sure you present evidence to support that claim and explain how the evidence relates to your claim.

Step 3 Know when to quote or paraphrase.

  • Example of a quote : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294).
  • Example of a paraphrased sentence : The female Grendel enters Heorot, snatches up one of the men sleeping inside it, and runs away to the fen (1294).

Step 4 Write your conclusion.

  • Example conclusion : The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent.
  • Example conclusion with a ‘bigger world connection’: The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent. As we saw from the study of other characters, these portrayals may tie into an early Medieval perception that women had greater potential for evil.

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Proofread your essay for spelling or grammar mistakes.

  • Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, using a 12-pt standard font (like Arial or Times New Roman) and 1" margins is standard.

Step 2 Read your paper out loud.

  • If you are analyzing a film, look up the list of characters online. Check two or three sources to make sure that you have the correct spelling.

Step 4 Read your paper as if you were your teacher.

Analytical Essay Writing Help

how to write an introduction for analysis essay

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask yourself "What am I trying to prove?" The answer should be in your thesis. If not, go back and fix it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are writing a formal analysis or critique, then avoid using colloquial writing . Though informal language may bring some color to a paper, you do not want to risk weakening your argument by influencing it with verbal slang. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid being too vague. Vagueness leaves room for misinterpretation and in a coherent, analytical essay, leaving room for misinterpretation decreases the effectiveness of your argument. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write an introduction for analysis essay

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  • ↑ https://www.stetson.edu/other/writing-center/media/Handout%20-%20Analytical%20Essay.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.bucks.edu/media/bcccmedialibrary/pdf/HOWTOWRITEALITERARYANALYSISESSAY_10.15.07_001.pdf
  • ↑ http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/rsrchppr.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-can-i-create-stronger-analysis-.html
  • ↑ https://academics.umw.edu/writing-fredericksburg/files/2011/09/Basic-Outlines.pdf
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-write-an-intro--conclusion----body-paragraph.html
  • ↑ https://lsa.umich.edu/sweetland/undergraduates/writing-guides/how-do-i-incorporate-quotes-.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/proofreading_suggestions.html
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/proofreading

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write an analytical essay, first write an introduction that gives your reader background information and introduces your thesis. Then, write body paragraphs in support of your thesis that include a topic sentence, an analysis of some part of the text, and evidence from the text that supports your analysis. You can use direct quotes from the text that support your point of view or paraphrase if you’re trying to summarize information. Finally, complete your essay with a conclusion that reiterates your thesis and your primary support for it. To learn from our English reviewer how to come up with your thesis statement and find evidence that supports it, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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how to write an introduction for analysis essay

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  • Introductions

The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis).

Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it. You don’t have to “hook” your readers with a dramatic promise (every other discussion of the topic you’re writing about is completely wrong!) or an exciting fact (the moon can reach 127 degrees Celsius!). Instead, you should use your introduction to explain to your readers why your essay is going to be interesting to read. To do this, you’ll need to frame the question or problem that you’re writing about and explain why this question or problem is important. If you make a convincing case for why your question or problem is worth solving, your readers will be interested in reading on.

While some of the conventions for writing an introduction vary by discipline, a strong introduction for any paper will contain some common elements. You can see these common elements in the sample introductions on this page . In general, your introductions should contain the following elements:

  • Orienting Information When you’re writing an essay, it’s helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing someone else’s argument, you will need to identify that argument and possibly summarize its key points. If you are joining a scholarly conversation about education reform, you will need to provide context for this conversation before explaining what your essay adds to the discussion. But you don’t necessarily have to summarize your sources in detail in your introduction; that information may fit in better later in your essay. When you’re deciding how much context or background information to provide, it can be helpful to think about that information in relation to your thesis. You don’t have to tell readers everything they will need to know to understand your entire essay right away. You just need to give them enough information to be able to understand and appreciate your thesis. For some assignments, you’ll be able to assume that your audience has also read the sources you are analyzing. But even in those cases, you should still offer enough information for readers to know which parts of a source you are talking about. When you’re writing a paper based on your own research, you will need to provide more context about the sources you’re going to discuss. If you’re not sure how much you can assume your audience knows, you should consult your instructor.

An explanation of what’s at stake in your essay, or why anyone would need to read an essay that argues this thesis You will know why your essay is worth writing if you are trying to answer a question that doesn’t have an obvious answer; to propose a solution to a problem without one obvious solution; or to point out something that others may not have noticed that changes the way we consider a phenomenon, source, or idea. In all of these cases, you will be trying to understand something that you think is valuable to understand. But it’s not enough that you know why your essay is worth reading; you also need to explain to your readers why they should care about reading an essay that argues your thesis.

  • Your thesis This is what you’re arguing in your essay.  

Tips for writing introductions  

  • If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow .  
  • In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.  
  • Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.  
  • Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.  
  • Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.  
  • Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
  • Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
  • Asking Analytical Questions
  • What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
  • Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
  • Transitions
  • Tips for Organizing Your Essay
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  • Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
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Do you need to write an analytical essay for school? What sets this kind of essay apart from other types, and what must you include when you write your own analytical essay? In this guide, we break down the process of writing an analytical essay by explaining the key factors your essay needs to have, providing you with an outline to help you structure your essay, and analyzing a complete analytical essay example so you can see what a finished essay looks like.

What Is an Analytical Essay?

Before you begin writing an analytical essay, you must know what this type of essay is and what it includes. Analytical essays analyze something, often (but not always) a piece of writing or a film.

An analytical essay is more than just a synopsis of the issue though; in this type of essay you need to go beyond surface-level analysis and look at what the key arguments/points of this issue are and why. If you’re writing an analytical essay about a piece of writing, you’ll look into how the text was written and why the author chose to write it that way. Instead of summarizing, an analytical essay typically takes a narrower focus and looks at areas such as major themes in the work, how the author constructed and supported their argument, how the essay used  literary devices to enhance its messages, etc.

While you certainly want people to agree with what you’ve written, unlike with persuasive and argumentative essays, your main purpose when writing an analytical essay isn’t to try to convert readers to your side of the issue. Therefore, you won’t be using strong persuasive language like you would in those essay types. Rather, your goal is to have enough analysis and examples that the strength of your argument is clear to readers.

Besides typical essay components like an introduction and conclusion, a good analytical essay will include:

  • A thesis that states your main argument
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it
  • Examples to support your analysis and allow a more in-depth look at the issue

In the rest of this article, we’ll explain how to include each of these in your analytical essay.

How to Structure Your Analytical Essay

Analytical essays are structured similarly to many other essays you’ve written, with an introduction (including a thesis), several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Below is an outline you can follow when structuring your essay, and in the next section we go into more detail on how to write an analytical essay.

Introduction

Your introduction will begin with some sort of attention-grabbing sentence to get your audience interested, then you’ll give a few sentences setting up the topic so that readers have some context, and you’ll end with your thesis statement. Your introduction will include:

  • Brief background information explaining the issue/text
  • Your thesis

Body Paragraphs

Your analytical essay will typically have three or four body paragraphs, each covering a different point of analysis. Begin each body paragraph with a sentence that sets up the main point you’ll be discussing. Then you’ll give some analysis on that point, backing it up with evidence to support your claim. Continue analyzing and giving evidence for your analysis until you’re out of strong points for the topic. At the end of each body paragraph, you may choose to have a transition sentence that sets up what the next paragraph will be about, but this isn’t required. Body paragraphs will include:

  • Introductory sentence explaining what you’ll cover in the paragraph (sort of like a mini-thesis)
  • Analysis point
  • Evidence (either passages from the text or data/facts) that supports the analysis
  • (Repeat analysis and evidence until you run out of examples)

You won’t be making any new points in your conclusion; at this point you’re just reiterating key points you’ve already made and wrapping things up. Begin by rephrasing your thesis and summarizing the main points you made in the essay. Someone who reads just your conclusion should be able to come away with a basic idea of what your essay was about and how it was structured. After this, you may choose to make some final concluding thoughts, potentially by connecting your essay topic to larger issues to show why it’s important. A conclusion will include:

  • Paraphrase of thesis
  • Summary of key points of analysis
  • Final concluding thought(s)

body_satessay-1

5 Steps for Writing an Analytical Essay

Follow these five tips to break down writing an analytical essay into manageable steps. By the end, you’ll have a fully-crafted analytical essay with both in-depth analysis and enough evidence to support your argument. All of these steps use the completed analytical essay in the next section as an example.

#1: Pick a Topic

You may have already had a topic assigned to you, and if that’s the case, you can skip this step. However, if you haven’t, or if the topic you’ve been assigned is broad enough that you still need to narrow it down, then you’ll need to decide on a topic for yourself. Choosing the right topic can mean the difference between an analytical essay that’s easy to research (and gets you a good grade) and one that takes hours just to find a few decent points to analyze

Before you decide on an analytical essay topic, do a bit of research to make sure you have enough examples to support your analysis. If you choose a topic that’s too narrow, you’ll struggle to find enough to write about.

For example, say your teacher assigns you to write an analytical essay about the theme in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of exposing injustices against migrants. For it to be an analytical essay, you can’t just recount the injustices characters in the book faced; that’s only a summary and doesn’t include analysis. You need to choose a topic that allows you to analyze the theme. One of the best ways to explore a theme is to analyze how the author made his/her argument. One example here is that Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters (short chapters that didn’t relate to the plot or contain the main characters of the book) to show what life was like for migrants as a whole during the Dust Bowl.

You could write about how Steinbeck used literary devices throughout the whole book, but, in the essay below, I chose to just focus on the intercalary chapters since they gave me enough examples. Having a narrower focus will nearly always result in a tighter and more convincing essay (and can make compiling examples less overwhelming).

#2: Write a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the most important sentence of your essay; a reader should be able to read just your thesis and understand what the entire essay is about and what you’ll be analyzing. When you begin writing, remember that each sentence in your analytical essay should relate back to your thesis

In the analytical essay example below, the thesis is the final sentence of the first paragraph (the traditional spot for it). The thesis is: “In The Grapes of Wrath’s intercalary chapters, John Steinbeck employs a variety of literary devices and stylistic choices to better expose the injustices committed against migrants in the 1930s.” So what will this essay analyze? How Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants could have it. Crystal clear.

#3: Do Research to Find Your Main Points

This is where you determine the bulk of your analysis--the information that makes your essay an analytical essay. My preferred method is to list every idea that I can think of, then research each of those and use the three or four strongest ones for your essay. Weaker points may be those that don’t relate back to the thesis, that you don’t have much analysis to discuss, or that you can’t find good examples for. A good rule of thumb is to have one body paragraph per main point

This essay has four main points, each of which analyzes a different literary device Steinbeck uses to better illustrate how difficult life was for migrants during the Dust Bowl. The four literary devices and their impact on the book are:

  • Lack of individual names in intercalary chapters to illustrate the scope of the problem
  • Parallels to the Bible to induce sympathy for the migrants
  • Non-showy, often grammatically-incorrect language so the migrants are more realistic and relatable to readers
  • Nature-related metaphors to affect the mood of the writing and reflect the plight of the migrants

#4: Find Excerpts or Evidence to Support Your Analysis

Now that you have your main points, you need to back them up. If you’re writing a paper about a text or film, use passages/clips from it as your main source of evidence. If you’re writing about something else, your evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as surveys, experiments, quotes from knowledgeable sources etc. Any evidence that would work for a regular research paper works here.

In this example, I quoted multiple passages from The Grapes of Wrath  in each paragraph to support my argument. You should be able to back up every claim you make with evidence in order to have a strong essay.

#5: Put It All Together

Now it's time to begin writing your essay, if you haven’t already. Create an introductory paragraph that ends with the thesis, make a body paragraph for each of your main points, including both analysis and evidence to back up your claims, and wrap it all up with a conclusion that recaps your thesis and main points and potentially explains the big picture importance of the topic.

body_student_laptop_computer

Analytical Essay Example + Analysis

So that you can see for yourself what a completed analytical essay looks like, here’s an essay I wrote back in my high school days. It’s followed by analysis of how I structured my essay, what its strengths are, and how it could be improved.

One way Steinbeck illustrates the connections all migrant people possessed and the struggles they faced is by refraining from using specific titles and names in his intercalary chapters. While The Grapes of Wrath focuses on the Joad family, the intercalary chapters show that all migrants share the same struggles and triumphs as the Joads. No individual names are used in these chapters; instead the people are referred to as part of a group. Steinbeck writes, “Frantic men pounded on the doors of the doctors; and the doctors were busy.  And sad men left word at country stores for the coroner to send a car,” (555). By using generic terms, Steinbeck shows how the migrants are all linked because they have gone through the same experiences. The grievances committed against one family were committed against thousands of other families; the abuse extends far beyond what the Joads experienced. The Grapes of Wrath frequently refers to the importance of coming together; how, when people connect with others their power and influence multiplies immensely. Throughout the novel, the goal of the migrants, the key to their triumph, has been to unite. While their plans are repeatedly frustrated by the government and police, Steinbeck’s intercalary chapters provide a way for the migrants to relate to one another because they have encountered the same experiences. Hundreds of thousands of migrants fled to the promised land of California, but Steinbeck was aware that numbers alone were impersonal and lacked the passion he desired to spread. Steinbeck created the intercalary chapters to show the massive numbers of people suffering, and he created the Joad family to evoke compassion from readers.  Because readers come to sympathize with the Joads, they become more sensitive to the struggles of migrants in general. However, John Steinbeck frequently made clear that the Joads were not an isolated incident; they were not unique. Their struggles and triumphs were part of something greater. Refraining from specific names in his intercalary chapters allows Steinbeck to show the vastness of the atrocities committed against migrants.

Steinbeck also creates significant parallels to the Bible in his intercalary chapters in order to enhance his writing and characters. By using simple sentences and stylized writing, Steinbeck evokes Biblical passages. The migrants despair, “No work till spring. No work,” (556).  Short, direct sentences help to better convey the desperateness of the migrants’ situation. Throughout his novel, John Steinbeck makes connections to the Bible through his characters and storyline. Jim Casy’s allusions to Christ and the cycle of drought and flooding are clear biblical references.  By choosing to relate The Grapes of Wrath to the Bible, Steinbeck’s characters become greater than themselves. Starving migrants become more than destitute vagrants; they are now the chosen people escaping to the promised land. When a forgotten man dies alone and unnoticed, it becomes a tragedy. Steinbeck writes, “If [the migrants] were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud,” (556). Injustices committed against the migrants become greater because they are seen as children of God through Steinbeck’s choice of language. Referencing the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s novel and purpose: to create understanding for the dispossessed.  It is easy for people to feel disdain for shabby vagabonds, but connecting them to such a fundamental aspect of Christianity induces sympathy from readers who might have otherwise disregarded the migrants as so many other people did.

The simple, uneducated dialogue Steinbeck employs also helps to create a more honest and meaningful representation of the migrants, and it makes the migrants more relatable to readers. Steinbeck chooses to accurately represent the language of the migrants in order to more clearly illustrate their lives and make them seem more like real paper than just characters in a book. The migrants lament, “They ain’t gonna be no kinda work for three months,” (555). There are multiple grammatical errors in that single sentence, but it vividly conveys the despair the migrants felt better than a technically perfect sentence would. The Grapes of Wrath is intended to show the severe difficulties facing the migrants so Steinbeck employs a clear, pragmatic style of writing.  Steinbeck shows the harsh, truthful realities of the migrants’ lives and he would be hypocritical if he chose to give the migrants a more refined voice and not portray them with all their shortcomings. The depiction of the migrants as imperfect through their language also makes them easier to relate to. Steinbeck’s primary audience was the middle class, the less affluent of society. Repeatedly in The Grapes of Wrath , the wealthy make it obvious that they scorn the plight of the migrants. The wealthy, not bad luck or natural disasters, were the prominent cause of the suffering of migrant families such as the Joads. Thus, Steinbeck turns to the less prosperous for support in his novel. When referring to the superior living conditions barnyard animals have, the migrants remark, “Them’s horses-we’re men,” (556).  The perfect simplicity of this quote expresses the absurdness of the migrants’ situation better than any flowery expression could.

In The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck uses metaphors, particularly about nature, in order to illustrate the mood and the overall plight of migrants. Throughout most of the book, the land is described as dusty, barren, and dead. Towards the end, however; floods come and the landscape begins to change. At the end of chapter twenty-nine, Steinbeck describes a hill after the floods saying, “Tiny points of grass came through the earth, and in a few days the hills were pale green with the beginning year,” (556). This description offers a stark contrast from the earlier passages which were filled with despair and destruction. Steinbeck’s tone from the beginning of the chapter changes drastically. Early in the chapter, Steinbeck had used heavy imagery in order to convey the destruction caused by the rain, “The streams and the little rivers edged up to the bank sides and worked at willows and tree roots, bent the willows deep in the current, cut out the roots of cottonwoods and brought down the trees,” (553). However, at the end of the chapter the rain has caused new life to grow in California. The new grass becomes a metaphor representing hope. When the migrants are at a loss over how they will survive the winter, the grass offers reassurance. The story of the migrants in the intercalary chapters parallels that of the Joads. At the end of the novel, the family is breaking apart and has been forced to flee their home. However, both the book and final intercalary chapter end on a hopeful note after so much suffering has occurred. The grass metaphor strengthens Steinbeck’s message because it offers a tangible example of hope. Through his language Steinbeck’s themes become apparent at the end of the novel. Steinbeck affirms that persistence, even when problems appear insurmountable, leads to success. These metaphors help to strengthen Steinbeck’s themes in The Grapes of Wrath because they provide a more memorable way to recall important messages.

John Steinbeck’s language choices help to intensify his writing in his intercalary chapters and allow him to more clearly show how difficult life for migrants could be. Refraining from using specific names and terms allows Steinbeck to show that many thousands of migrants suffered through the same wrongs. Imitating the style of the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s characters and connects them to the Bible, perhaps the most famous book in history. When Steinbeck writes in the imperfect dialogue of the migrants, he creates a more accurate portrayal and makes the migrants easier to relate to for a less affluent audience. Metaphors, particularly relating to nature, strengthen the themes in The Grapes of Wrath by enhancing the mood Steinbeck wants readers to feel at different points in the book. Overall, the intercalary chapters that Steinbeck includes improve his novel by making it more memorable and reinforcing the themes Steinbeck embraces throughout the novel. Exemplary stylistic devices further persuade readers of John Steinbeck’s personal beliefs. Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath to bring to light cruelties against migrants, and by using literary devices effectively, he continuously reminds readers of his purpose. Steinbeck’s impressive language choices in his intercalary chapters advance the entire novel and help to create a classic work of literature that people still are able to relate to today. 

This essay sticks pretty closely to the standard analytical essay outline. It starts with an introduction, where I chose to use a quote to start off the essay. (This became my favorite way to start essays in high school because, if I wasn’t sure what to say, I could outsource the work and find a quote that related to what I’d be writing about.) The quote in this essay doesn’t relate to the themes I’m discussing quite as much as it could, but it’s still a slightly different way to start an essay and can intrigue readers. I then give a bit of background on The Grapes of Wrath and its themes before ending the intro paragraph with my thesis: that Steinbeck used literary devices in intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants had it.

Each of my four body paragraphs is formatted in roughly the same way: an intro sentence that explains what I’ll be discussing, analysis of that main point, and at least two quotes from the book as evidence.

My conclusion restates my thesis, summarizes each of four points I discussed in my body paragraphs, and ends the essay by briefly discussing how Steinbeck’s writing helped introduce a world of readers to the injustices migrants experienced during the dust bowl.

What does this analytical essay example do well? For starters, it contains everything that a strong analytical essay should, and it makes that easy to find. The thesis clearly lays out what the essay will be about, the first sentence of each of the body paragraph introduces the topic it’ll cover, and the conclusion neatly recaps all the main points. Within each of the body paragraphs, there’s analysis along with multiple excerpts from the book in order to add legitimacy to my points.

Additionally, the essay does a good job of taking an in-depth look at the issue introduced in the thesis. Four ways Steinbeck used literary devices are discussed, and for each of the examples are given and analysis is provided so readers can understand why Steinbeck included those devices and how they helped shaped how readers viewed migrants and their plight.

Where could this essay be improved? I believe the weakest body paragraph is the third one, the one that discusses how Steinbeck used plain, grammatically incorrect language to both accurately depict the migrants and make them more relatable to readers. The paragraph tries to touch on both of those reasons and ends up being somewhat unfocused as a result. It would have been better for it to focus on just one of those reasons (likely how it made the migrants more relatable) in order to be clearer and more effective. It’s a good example of how adding more ideas to an essay often doesn’t make it better if they don’t work with the rest of what you’re writing. This essay also could explain the excerpts that are included more and how they relate to the points being made. Sometimes they’re just dropped in the essay with the expectation that the readers will make the connection between the example and the analysis. This is perhaps especially true in the second body paragraph, the one that discusses similarities to Biblical passages. Additional analysis of the quotes would have strengthened it.

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Summary: How to Write an Analytical Essay

What is an analytical essay? A critical analytical essay analyzes a topic, often a text or film. The analysis paper uses evidence to support the argument, such as excerpts from the piece of writing. All analytical papers include a thesis, analysis of the topic, and evidence to support that analysis.

When developing an analytical essay outline and writing your essay, follow these five steps:

Reading analytical essay examples can also give you a better sense of how to structure your essay and what to include in it.

What's Next?

Learning about different writing styles in school?  There are four main writing styles, and it's important to understand each of them. Learn about them in our guide to writing styles , complete with examples.

Writing a research paper for school but not sure what to write about?   Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you. 

Literary devices can both be used to enhance your writing and communication. Check out this list of 31 literary devices to learn more !

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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How To Write Analysis Essay – A Comprehensive Guide

how-to-write-analysis-essay

You have often been asked to analyze something like a place, a company, a movie, an event, and a book. There are times when you had a chance to choose the topic of your choice from several analysis essay topics. 

So, what makes this type of essay different from other types? How to write good analysis essay ? What do you need to include in your analytical essay? You will get the answer to all these queries as you continue reading this blog.

The analytic essay is not just about a simple summary and explanation. Instead of telling the audience the situation’s circumstances, the analytic essay requires you to examine the information and evaluate it. In different words, the analytic essay doesn’t just ask what, when, and where; it asks how and why. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything you want to know regarding How to write good analysis essay. But before that let us see what an analysis essay is.

What Is An Analysis Essay?

Table of Contents

Analysis means breaking things into parts or discussing something so that it becomes an analysis of the whole. An analytical essay type is a bit difficult and differs from other kinds of essays. Its main goal is to explain something bit by bit so that readers can understand it easily. 

An analytical essay is mainly written about analyzing something like a place, a company, a movie, an event, a book or a process, or an idea. However, in literature, it is a critical analysis of some literary text that is done to enhance its understanding.

Types of Analytical Essay

  • Cause and Effect : One way of examining something is to explain the causes and effect of something on other things.
  • Comparison and Contrast : This is another way of analyzing something is to compare and contrast something.
  • Classification : To learn the nature classification is another way of analyzing things.
  • Process : Process is also another kind of analysis writing.
  • Definition : For analyzing the nature of things, defining things is also another way.

What Is the Purpose of an Analysis Essay?

The main purpose behind writing Analytical essays serves two purposes, one for the reader and one for the writer. Usually, teachers and professors assign analysis papers to students to help their writing and thinking skills. Analytical essays enhance a student’s writing skills and improve their understanding of a particular topic.

These essays also help readers. Magazines and Newspapers routinely publish significant analysis essays to help the readers make sense of the day’s news. 

Analysis essays enable writers, who may be specialists in their areas, to teach their fellow citizens on politics, culture, art, economics, architecture, and other important subjects.

  • How to write analytical essay
  • Handy tips on how to write an assignment
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How to Structure Your Analytical Essay

How to write good analysis essay.

The most successful analytical essays have a distinct point of view, are well organized around the main point, discuss counter-arguments, and are entirely backed up with primary and secondary sources. 

Here is a stepwise guide on how to write good analysis essay . Follow these tips to break down things into manageable steps. 

Pick your point of view

No matter what topic you choose and what you choose as your main point of view, provide to anchor your complete analysis essay around a single thesis statement.

Write an Eye catchy introduction

If your introduction is engaging, then the reader will take more interest. Therefore, your opening paragraph is good enough to capture the reader’s interest. 

A good introduction always starts with a hook such as a start with a question or a bold statement and gives a global context, describing questions that your analysis will begin with. 

A good introduction ends with a thesis statement that works as the north star for the whole essay.

Organize the body of your essay

Once you are done writing an introduction for your analysis essay, it’s time for you to write the body paragraph. All body paragraphs should serve the primary goal of establishing your thesis statement, either by giving background information, delving into details, or presenting different viewpoints. 

The number of body paragraphs will vary depending on the scope of your essay. The analysis essay structure is important as the essay’s subject; therefore, take your time to plan each body paragraph.

Populate your essay with evidence

Make sure the main body of your essay has a mixture of matter and analysis. You cannot convince your readers by making definitive statements if there is no solid evidence to back it up. 

Therefore, it is crucial to support the central points of your analysis with solid evidence used from both primary and secondary sources. 

Summarize your Essay

Whether you are trying to get good grades or just to give your readers a pleasant reading experience, conclude your analysis essay with a concluding paragraph that recaps your argument. 

This final section is not the place to add new evidence. Instead, it is the final impression of your entire essay. Remind your readers of the most important points and leave them with some last words for consideration.

From the above discussion, I hope you got a clear idea of how to write good analysis essay . We have also given some examples for your convenience. Keep all the points in mind before you start writing any kind of analysis essay. 

The analytic essay is not just about a simple review and explanation. Instead of telling the audience the situation’s circumstances, the analytical essay requires you to examine the information and evaluate it.

In case you need analysis essay help , you can get in touch with us or you can leave a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of an analytical essay.

Like every other type of essay, an analytical essay consists of three main parts i.e., an introduction, main body paragraph, the conclusion.

How To Write Good Analysis Essay?

Pick your point of view Write an Eye-catchy introduction Organize the body of your essay Populate your essay with evidence Summarize your Essay

What is analysis in writing?

When you are asked to write an analysis, it is not enough to summarize. Analysis means separating things into their various parts and then asking critical thinking questions such as HOW and WHO in order to reach some outcomes of your own essay writing.

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How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay

Ideas to Make a Great Introduction for an Essay

Ideas to Make a Great Introduction for an Essay

The purpose of an analytical essay is to propose and support an argument. By analyzing the material on which the essay is based, the essay writer should develop a position regarding the accuracy of the original information. The introduction is one of the most important parts of an analytical essay. This is because it is in the introduction that the reader will receive his first impression of the essayist's position.

Understand the source material thoroughly. Every analytical essay is essentially a commentary on someone else's work. This means that an effective analytical essay writer is someone who is able to read and understand the source material exceptionally well.

Grab the reader's attention. By including a quotation or controversial statement in the first few lines of the introduction you generate interest in your essay. This increases the likelihood that your essay will leave an impression and actually influence the reader's opinion.

Summarize the source material. This summarization is sometimes referred to as an abstract and should be included in the introduction. The summary should inform the reader of the title and author of the source document as well as provide a brief synopsis of the source document's main points. By including this abstract in the introduction, the reader will have a better idea of the context in which your argument arose.

Finish with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a concise sentence that outlines precisely what the main argument of your essay is. The thesis statement is going to be the main idea or position that the remainder of your essay is going to support. It is important that this position be an opinion rather than a fact, since it must be something that can be argued both for and against.

  • The recommended length for most analytical essay introductions is around eight sentences.

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  • Custom Writing: Analytical Essay

Soren Bagley recently graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.A. in English Literature. He has been a professional writer for two years and his work has appeared on a wide variety of internet web sites, including Associated Content.com and Ehow.com.

  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 1 Unit Introduction

Introduction

  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify the elements of the rhetorical situation for your report.
  • Find and focus a topic to write about.
  • Gather and analyze information from appropriate sources.
  • Distinguish among different kinds of evidence.
  • Draft a thesis and create an organizational plan.
  • Compose a report that develops ideas and integrates evidence from sources.
  • Give and act on productive feedback to works in progress.

You might think that writing comes easily to experienced writers—that they draft stories and college papers all at once, sitting down at the computer and having sentences flow from their fingers like water from a faucet. In reality, most writers engage in a recursive process, pushing forward, stepping back, and repeating steps multiple times as their ideas develop and change. In broad strokes, the steps most writers go through are these:

  • Planning and Organization . You will have an easier time drafting if you devote time at the beginning to consider the rhetorical situation for your report, understand your assignment, gather ideas and information, draft a thesis statement, and create an organizational plan.
  • Drafting . When you have an idea of what you want to say and the order in which you want to say it, you’re ready to draft. As much as possible, keep going until you have a complete first draft of your report, resisting the urge to go back and rewrite. Save that for after you have completed a first draft.
  • Review . Now is the time to get feedback from others, whether from your instructor, your classmates, a tutor in the writing center, your roommate, someone in your family, or someone else you trust to read your writing critically and give you honest feedback.
  • Revising . With feedback on your draft, you are ready to revise. You may need to return to an earlier step and make large-scale revisions that involve planning, organizing, and rewriting, or you may need to work mostly on ensuring that your sentences are clear and correct.

Considering the Rhetorical Situation

Like other kinds of writing projects, a report starts with assessing the rhetorical situation —the circumstance in which a writer communicates with an audience of readers about a subject. As the writer of a report, you make choices based on the purpose of your writing, the audience who will read it, the genre of the report, and the expectations of the community and culture in which you are working. A graphic organizer like Table 8.1 can help you begin.

Summary of Assignment

Write an analytical report on a topic that interests you and that you want to know more about. The topic can be contemporary or historical, but it must be one that you can analyze and support with evidence from sources.

The following questions can help you think about a topic suitable for analysis:

  • Why or how did ________ happen?
  • What are the results or effects of ________?
  • Is ________ a problem? If so, why?
  • What are examples of ________ or reasons for ________?
  • How does ________ compare to or contrast with other issues, concerns, or things?

Consult and cite three to five reliable sources. The sources do not have to be scholarly for this assignment, but they must be credible, trustworthy, and unbiased. Possible sources include academic journals, newspapers, magazines, reputable websites, government publications or agency websites, and visual sources such as TED Talks. You may also use the results of an experiment or survey, and you may want to conduct interviews.

Consider whether visuals and media will enhance your report. Can you present data you collect visually? Would a map, photograph, chart, or other graphic provide interesting and relevant support? Would video or audio allow you to present evidence that you would otherwise need to describe in words?

Another Lens. To gain another analytic view on the topic of your report, consider different people affected by it. Say, for example, that you have decided to report on recent high school graduates and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the final months of their senior year. If you are a recent high school graduate, you might naturally gravitate toward writing about yourself and your peers. But you might also consider the adults in the lives of recent high school graduates—for example, teachers, parents, or grandparents—and how they view the same period. Or you might consider the same topic from the perspective of a college admissions department looking at their incoming freshman class.

Quick Launch: Finding and Focusing a Topic

Coming up with a topic for a report can be daunting because you can report on nearly anything. The topic can easily get too broad, trapping you in the realm of generalizations. The trick is to find a topic that interests you and focus on an angle you can analyze in order to say something significant about it. You can use a graphic organizer to generate ideas, or you can use a concept map similar to the one featured in Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text.”

Asking the Journalist’s Questions

One way to generate ideas about a topic is to ask the five W (and one H) questions, also called the journalist’s questions : Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Try answering the following questions to explore a topic:

Who was or is involved in ________?

What happened/is happening with ________? What were/are the results of ________?

When did ________ happen? Is ________ happening now?

Where did ________ happen, or where is ________ happening?

Why did ________ happen, or why is ________ happening now?

How did ________ happen?

For example, imagine that you have decided to write your analytical report on the effect of the COVID-19 shutdown on high-school students by interviewing students on your college campus. Your questions and answers might look something like those in Table 8.2 :

Asking Focused Questions

Another way to find a topic is to ask focused questions about it. For example, you might ask the following questions about the effect of the 2020 pandemic shutdown on recent high school graduates:

  • How did the shutdown change students’ feelings about their senior year?
  • How did the shutdown affect their decisions about post-graduation plans, such as work or going to college?
  • How did the shutdown affect their academic performance in high school or in college?
  • How did/do they feel about continuing their education?
  • How did the shutdown affect their social relationships?

Any of these questions might be developed into a thesis for an analytical report. Table 8.3 shows more examples of broad topics and focusing questions.

Gathering Information

Because they are based on information and evidence, most analytical reports require you to do at least some research. Depending on your assignment, you may be able to find reliable information online, or you may need to do primary research by conducting an experiment, a survey, or interviews. For example, if you live among students in their late teens and early twenties, consider what they can tell you about their lives that you might be able to analyze. Returning to or graduating from high school, starting college, or returning to college in the midst of a global pandemic has provided them, for better or worse, with educational and social experiences that are shared widely by people their age and very different from the experiences older adults had at the same age.

Some report assignments will require you to do formal research, an activity that involves finding sources and evaluating them for reliability, reading them carefully, taking notes, and citing all words you quote and ideas you borrow. See Research Process: Accessing and Recording Information and Annotated Bibliography: Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Sources for detailed instruction on conducting research.

Whether you conduct in-depth research or not, keep track of the ideas that come to you and the information you learn. You can write or dictate notes using an app on your phone or computer, or you can jot notes in a journal if you prefer pen and paper. Then, when you are ready to begin organizing your report, you will have a record of your thoughts and information. Always track the sources of information you gather, whether from printed or digital material or from a person you interviewed, so that you can return to the sources if you need more information. And always credit the sources in your report.

Kinds of Evidence

Depending on your assignment and the topic of your report, certain kinds of evidence may be more effective than others. Other kinds of evidence may even be required. As a general rule, choose evidence that is rooted in verifiable facts and experience. In addition, select the evidence that best supports the topic and your approach to the topic, be sure the evidence meets your instructor’s requirements, and cite any evidence you use that comes from a source. The following list contains different kinds of frequently used evidence and an example of each.

Definition : An explanation of a key word, idea, or concept.

The U.S. Census Bureau refers to a “young adult” as a person between 18 and 34 years old.

Example : An illustration of an idea or concept.

The college experience in the fall of 2020 was starkly different from that of previous years. Students who lived in residence halls were assigned to small pods. On-campus dining services were limited. Classes were small and physically distanced or conducted online. Parties were banned.

Expert opinion : A statement by a professional in the field whose opinion is respected.

According to Louise Aronson, MD, geriatrician and author of Elderhood , people over the age of 65 are the happiest of any age group, reporting “less stress, depression, worry, and anger, and more enjoyment, happiness, and satisfaction” (255).

Fact : Information that can be proven correct or accurate.

According to data collected by the NCAA, the academic success of Division I college athletes between 2015 and 2019 was consistently high (Hosick).

Interview : An in-person, phone, or remote conversation that involves an interviewer posing questions to another person or people.

During our interview, I asked Betty about living without a cell phone during the pandemic. She said that before the pandemic, she hadn’t needed a cell phone in her daily activities, but she soon realized that she, and people like her, were increasingly at a disadvantage.

Quotation : The exact words of an author or a speaker.

In response to whether she thought she needed a cell phone, Betty said, “I got along just fine without a cell phone when I could go everywhere in person. The shift to needing a phone came suddenly, and I don’t have extra money in my budget to get one.”

Statistics : A numerical fact or item of data.

The Pew Research Center reported that approximately 25 percent of Hispanic Americans and 17 percent of Black Americans relied on smartphones for online access, compared with 12 percent of White people.

Survey : A structured interview in which respondents (the people who answer the survey questions) are all asked the same questions, either in person or through print or electronic means, and their answers tabulated and interpreted. Surveys discover attitudes, beliefs, or habits of the general public or segments of the population.

A survey of 3,000 mobile phone users in October 2020 showed that 54 percent of respondents used their phones for messaging, while 40 percent used their phones for calls (Steele).

  • Visuals : Graphs, figures, tables, photographs and other images, diagrams, charts, maps, videos, and audio recordings, among others.

Thesis and Organization

Drafting a thesis.

When you have a grasp of your topic, move on to the next phase: drafting a thesis. The thesis is the central idea that you will explore and support in your report; all paragraphs in your report should relate to it. In an essay-style analytical report, you will likely express this main idea in a thesis statement of one or two sentences toward the end of the introduction.

For example, if you found that the academic performance of student athletes was higher than that of non-athletes, you might write the following thesis statement:

student sample text Although a common stereotype is that college athletes barely pass their classes, an analysis of athletes’ academic performance indicates that athletes drop fewer classes, earn higher grades, and are more likely to be on track to graduate in four years when compared with their non-athlete peers. end student sample text

The thesis statement often previews the organization of your writing. For example, in his report on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Trevor Garcia wrote the following thesis statement, which detailed the central idea of his report:

student sample text An examination of the U.S. response shows that a reduction of experts in key positions and programs, inaction that led to equipment shortages, and inconsistent policies were three major causes of the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths. end student sample text

After you draft a thesis statement, ask these questions, and examine your thesis as you answer them. Revise your draft as needed.

  • Is it interesting? A thesis for a report should answer a question that is worth asking and piques curiosity.
  • Is it precise and specific? If you are interested in reducing pollution in a nearby lake, explain how to stop the zebra mussel infestation or reduce the frequent algae blooms.
  • Is it manageable? Try to split the difference between having too much information and not having enough.

Organizing Your Ideas

As a next step, organize the points you want to make in your report and the evidence to support them. Use an outline, a diagram, or another organizational tool, such as Table 8.4 .

Drafting an Analytical Report

With a tentative thesis, an organization plan, and evidence, you are ready to begin drafting. For this assignment, you will report information, analyze it, and draw conclusions about the cause of something, the effect of something, or the similarities and differences between two different things.

Some students write the introduction first; others save it for last. Whenever you choose to write the introduction, use it to draw readers into your report. Make the topic of your report clear, and be concise and sincere. End the introduction with your thesis statement. Depending on your topic and the type of report, you can write an effective introduction in several ways. Opening a report with an overview is a tried-and-true strategy, as shown in the following example on the U.S. response to COVID-19 by Trevor Garcia. Notice how he opens the introduction with statistics and a comparison and follows it with a question that leads to the thesis statement (underlined).

student sample text With more than 83 million cases and 1.8 million deaths at the end of 2020, COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. By the end of 2020, the United States led the world in the number of cases, at more than 20 million infections and nearly 350,000 deaths. In comparison, the second-highest number of cases was in India, which at the end of 2020 had less than half the number of COVID-19 cases despite having a population four times greater than the U.S. (“COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic,” 2021). How did the United States come to have the world’s worst record in this pandemic? underline An examination of the U.S. response shows that a reduction of experts in key positions and programs, inaction that led to equipment shortages, and inconsistent policies were three major causes of the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths end underline . end student sample text

For a less formal report, you might want to open with a question, quotation, or brief story. The following example opens with an anecdote that leads to the thesis statement (underlined).

student sample text Betty stood outside the salon, wondering how to get in. It was June of 2020, and the door was locked. A sign posted on the door provided a phone number for her to call to be let in, but at 81, Betty had lived her life without a cell phone. Betty’s day-to-day life had been hard during the pandemic, but she had planned for this haircut and was looking forward to it; she had a mask on and hand sanitizer in her car. Now she couldn’t get in the door, and she was discouraged. In that moment, Betty realized how much Americans’ dependence on cell phones had grown in the months since the pandemic began. underline Betty and thousands of other senior citizens who could not afford cell phones or did not have the technological skills and support they needed were being left behind in a society that was increasingly reliant on technology end underline . end student sample text

Body Paragraphs: Point, Evidence, Analysis

Use the body paragraphs of your report to present evidence that supports your thesis. A reliable pattern to keep in mind for developing the body paragraphs of a report is point , evidence , and analysis :

  • The point is the central idea of the paragraph, usually given in a topic sentence stated in your own words at or toward the beginning of the paragraph. Each topic sentence should relate to the thesis.
  • The evidence you provide develops the paragraph and supports the point made in the topic sentence. Include details, examples, quotations, paraphrases, and summaries from sources if you conducted formal research. Synthesize the evidence you include by showing in your sentences the connections between sources.
  • The analysis comes at the end of the paragraph. In your own words, draw a conclusion about the evidence you have provided and how it relates to the topic sentence.

The paragraph below illustrates the point, evidence, and analysis pattern. Drawn from a report about concussions among football players, the paragraph opens with a topic sentence about the NCAA and NFL and their responses to studies about concussions. The paragraph is developed with evidence from three sources. It concludes with a statement about helmets and players’ safety.

student sample text The NCAA and NFL have taken steps forward and backward to respond to studies about the danger of concussions among players. Responding to the deaths of athletes, documented brain damage, lawsuits, and public outcry (Buckley et al., 2017), the NCAA instituted protocols to reduce potentially dangerous hits during football games and to diagnose traumatic head injuries more quickly and effectively. Still, it has allowed players to wear more than one style of helmet during a season, raising the risk of injury because of imperfect fit. At the professional level, the NFL developed a helmet-rating system in 2011 in an effort to reduce concussions, but it continued to allow players to wear helmets with a wide range of safety ratings. The NFL’s decision created an opportunity for researchers to look at the relationship between helmet safety ratings and concussions. Cocello et al. (2016) reported that players who wore helmets with a lower safety rating had more concussions than players who wore helmets with a higher safety rating, and they concluded that safer helmets are a key factor in reducing concussions. end student sample text

Developing Paragraph Content

In the body paragraphs of your report, you will likely use examples, draw comparisons, show contrasts, or analyze causes and effects to develop your topic.

Paragraphs developed with Example are common in reports. The paragraph below, adapted from a report by student John Zwick on the mental health of soldiers deployed during wartime, draws examples from three sources.

student sample text Throughout the Vietnam War, military leaders claimed that the mental health of soldiers was stable and that men who suffered from combat fatigue, now known as PTSD, were getting the help they needed. For example, the New York Times (1966) quoted military leaders who claimed that mental fatigue among enlisted men had “virtually ceased to be a problem,” occurring at a rate far below that of World War II. Ayres (1969) reported that Brigadier General Spurgeon Neel, chief American medical officer in Vietnam, explained that soldiers experiencing combat fatigue were admitted to the psychiatric ward, sedated for up to 36 hours, and given a counseling session with a doctor who reassured them that the rest was well deserved and that they were ready to return to their units. Although experts outside the military saw profound damage to soldiers’ psyches when they returned home (Halloran, 1970), the military stayed the course, treating acute cases expediently and showing little concern for the cumulative effect of combat stress on individual soldiers. end student sample text

When you analyze causes and effects , you explain the reasons that certain things happened and/or their results. The report by Trevor Garcia on the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is an example: his report examines the reasons the United States failed to control the coronavirus. The paragraph below, adapted from another student’s report written for an environmental policy course, explains the effect of white settlers’ views of forest management on New England.

student sample text The early colonists’ European ideas about forest management dramatically changed the New England landscape. White settlers saw the New World as virgin, unused land, even though indigenous people had been drawing on its resources for generations by using fire subtly to improve hunting, employing construction techniques that left ancient trees intact, and farming small, efficient fields that left the surrounding landscape largely unaltered. White settlers’ desire to develop wood-built and wood-burning homesteads surrounded by large farm fields led to forestry practices and techniques that resulted in the removal of old-growth trees. These practices defined the way the forests look today. end student sample text

Compare and contrast paragraphs are useful when you wish to examine similarities and differences. You can use both comparison and contrast in a single paragraph, or you can use one or the other. The paragraph below, adapted from a student report on the rise of populist politicians, compares the rhetorical styles of populist politicians Huey Long and Donald Trump.

student sample text A key similarity among populist politicians is their rejection of carefully crafted sound bites and erudite vocabulary typically associated with candidates for high office. Huey Long and Donald Trump are two examples. When he ran for president, Long captured attention through his wild gesticulations on almost every word, dramatically varying volume, and heavily accented, folksy expressions, such as “The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!” In addition, Long’s down-home persona made him a credible voice to represent the common people against the country’s rich, and his buffoonish style allowed him to express his radical ideas without sounding anti-communist alarm bells. Similarly, Donald Trump chose to speak informally in his campaign appearances, but the persona he projected was that of a fast-talking, domineering salesman. His frequent use of personal anecdotes, rhetorical questions, brief asides, jokes, personal attacks, and false claims made his speeches disjointed, but they gave the feeling of a running conversation between him and his audience. For example, in a 2015 speech, Trump said, “They just built a hotel in Syria. Can you believe this? They built a hotel. When I have to build a hotel, I pay interest. They don’t have to pay interest, because they took the oil that, when we left Iraq, I said we should’ve taken” (“Our Country Needs” 2020). While very different in substance, Long and Trump adopted similar styles that positioned them as the antithesis of typical politicians and their worldviews. end student sample text

The conclusion should draw the threads of your report together and make its significance clear to readers. You may wish to review the introduction, restate the thesis, recommend a course of action, point to the future, or use some combination of these. Whichever way you approach it, the conclusion should not head in a new direction. The following example is the conclusion from a student’s report on the effect of a book about environmental movements in the United States.

student sample text Since its publication in 1949, environmental activists of various movements have found wisdom and inspiration in Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac . These audiences included Leopold’s conservationist contemporaries, environmentalists of the 1960s and 1970s, and the environmental justice activists who rose in the 1980s and continue to make their voices heard today. These audiences have read the work differently: conservationists looked to the author as a leader, environmentalists applied his wisdom to their movement, and environmental justice advocates have pointed out the flaws in Leopold’s thinking. Even so, like those before them, environmental justice activists recognize the book’s value as a testament to taking the long view and eliminating biases that may cloud an objective assessment of humanity’s interdependent relationship with the environment. end student sample text

Citing Sources

You must cite the sources of information and data included in your report. Citations must appear in both the text and a bibliography at the end of the report.

The sample paragraphs in the previous section include examples of in-text citation using APA documentation style. Trevor Garcia’s report on the U.S. response to COVID-19 in 2020 also uses APA documentation style for citations in the text of the report and the list of references at the end. Your instructor may require another documentation style, such as MLA or Chicago.

Peer Review: Getting Feedback from Readers

You will likely engage in peer review with other students in your class by sharing drafts and providing feedback to help spot strengths and weaknesses in your reports. For peer review within a class, your instructor may provide assignment-specific questions or a form for you to complete as you work together.

If you have a writing center on your campus, it is well worth your time to make an online or in-person appointment with a tutor. You’ll receive valuable feedback and improve your ability to review not only your report but your overall writing.

Another way to receive feedback on your report is to ask a friend or family member to read your draft. Provide a list of questions or a form such as the one in Table 8.5 for them to complete as they read.

Revising: Using Reviewers’ Responses to Revise your Work

When you receive comments from readers, including your instructor, read each comment carefully to understand what is being asked. Try not to get defensive, even though this response is completely natural. Remember that readers are like coaches who want you to succeed. They are looking at your writing from outside your own head, and they can identify strengths and weaknesses that you may not have noticed. Keep track of the strengths and weaknesses your readers point out. Pay special attention to those that more than one reader identifies, and use this information to improve your report and later assignments.

As you analyze each response, be open to suggestions for improvement, and be willing to make significant revisions to improve your writing. Perhaps you need to revise your thesis statement to better reflect the content of your draft. Maybe you need to return to your sources to better understand a point you’re trying to make in order to develop a paragraph more fully. Perhaps you need to rethink the organization, move paragraphs around, and add transition sentences.

Below is an early draft of part of Trevor Garcia’s report with comments from a peer reviewer:

student sample text To truly understand what happened, it’s important first to look back to the years leading up to the pandemic. Epidemiologists and public health officials had long known that a global pandemic was possible. In 2016, the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) published a 69-page document with the intimidating title Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents . The document’s two sections address responses to “emerging disease threats that start or are circulating in another country but not yet confirmed within U.S. territorial borders” and to “emerging disease threats within our nation’s borders.” On 13 January 2017, the joint Obama-Trump transition teams performed a pandemic preparedness exercise; however, the playbook was never adopted by the incoming administration. end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: Do the words in quotation marks need to be a direct quotation? It seems like a paraphrase would work here. end annotated text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: I’m getting lost in the details about the playbook. What’s the Obama-Trump transition team? end annotated text

student sample text In February 2018, the administration began to cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; cuts to other health agencies continued throughout 2018, with funds diverted to unrelated projects such as housing for detained immigrant children. end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: This paragraph has only one sentence, and it’s more like an example. It needs a topic sentence and more development. end annotated text

student sample text Three months later, Luciana Borio, director of medical and biodefense preparedness at the NSC, spoke at a symposium marking the centennial of the 1918 influenza pandemic. “The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern,” she said. “Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no.” end student sample text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: This paragraph is very short and a lot like the previous paragraph in that it’s a single example. It needs a topic sentence. Maybe you can combine them? end annotated text

annotated text Peer Review Comment: Be sure to cite the quotation. end annotated text

Reading these comments and those of others, Trevor decided to combine the three short paragraphs into one paragraph focusing on the fact that the United States knew a pandemic was possible but was unprepared for it. He developed the paragraph, using the short paragraphs as evidence and connecting the sentences and evidence with transitional words and phrases. Finally, he added in-text citations in APA documentation style to credit his sources. The revised paragraph is below:

student sample text Epidemiologists and public health officials in the United States had long known that a global pandemic was possible. In 2016, the National Security Council (NSC) published Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents , a 69-page document on responding to diseases spreading within and outside of the United States. On January 13, 2017, the joint transition teams of outgoing president Barack Obama and then president-elect Donald Trump performed a pandemic preparedness exercise based on the playbook; however, it was never adopted by the incoming administration (Goodman & Schulkin, 2020). A year later, in February 2018, the Trump administration began to cut funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving key positions unfilled. Other individuals who were fired or resigned in 2018 were the homeland security adviser, whose portfolio included global pandemics; the director for medical and biodefense preparedness; and the top official in charge of a pandemic response. None of them were replaced, leaving the White House with no senior person who had experience in public health (Goodman & Schulkin, 2020). Experts voiced concerns, among them Luciana Borio, director of medical and biodefense preparedness at the NSC, who spoke at a symposium marking the centennial of the 1918 influenza pandemic in May 2018: “The threat of pandemic flu is the number one health security concern,” she said. “Are we ready to respond? I fear the answer is no” (Sun, 2018, final para.). end student sample text

A final word on working with reviewers’ comments: as you consider your readers’ suggestions, remember, too, that you remain the author. You are free to disregard suggestions that you think will not improve your writing. If you choose to disregard comments from your instructor, consider submitting a note explaining your reasons with the final draft of your report.

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  • Writing Tips

 How to Write a Perfect Analytical Paragraph

 How to Write a Perfect Analytical Paragraph

  • 8-minute read
  • 30th January 2023

If you are looking up how to write an analytical paragraph, you are most likely writing an argumentative or analytical essay. Analytical essays are similar to other essays, such as descriptive essays, in that you have a central idea, organize supporting ideas into body paragraphs, and make conclusions.

However, analytical essays differ from other essays because the writer must go further. They require the writer to interpret and analyze a given text or information using evidence to support their central idea or thesis statement. This analysis takes place in analytical paragraphs, or body paragraphs, if you are writing an analytical essay .

In this article, you’ll learn the components of a perfect analytical paragraph: the topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and conclusion. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is an Analytical Paragraph?

An analytical paragraph is a paragraph that breaks down a piece of literature, an idea, or a concept into smaller parts and analyzes each part to understand the whole. Being able to write an effective and successful analytical paragraph reflects a writer’s critical thinking and organizational writing skills. All in all, like any other type of writing, writing an analytical paragraph requires skill and practice.

Write the Topic Sentence

A topic sentence is usually the first, or sometimes second, sentence at the beginning of anybody paragraph. Your topic sentence should contain one main idea related to the thesis statement . If it is not related to your thesis statement, then you are likely off topic.

Pro Tip: If your topic sentence is the second sentence of your paragraph, then your first sentence should be a transitional sentence .

Let’s look at a thesis statement and some topic sentences to get a better idea.

Topic: Examine and analyze the marriages in George Eliot’s Middlemarch .

Thesis Statement: Eliot uses three different marriages to give depth to everyday people and show the reader the struggles of marriage within the nineteenth century’s societal standards of submissive roles, class range, and financial status.

Topic Sentence 1: Lydgate and Rosamond had a terrible marriage in Middlemarch , like all other marriages during this time.

This topic sentence is not effective because it is not specific enough and does not directly relate to the thesis statement. It does not mention how their “terrible” marriage is related to submissive roles, class range, or financial status. Additionally, the overly generalized language of “all” marriages being terrible marriages during this time is a weak argument.

Topic Sentence 2: Financial matters play a huge role in the Lydgate and Rosamond marriage, as Lydgate has no money and Rosamond is a big spender.

This topic sentence is effective because it directly supports the thesis statement. It is focused on the financial status of this marriage.

Provide Evidence

The type of evidence you use to support your topic sentence will largely depend on the topic of your analytical essay. For example, if you are writing an essay related to a work of literature, you will need to provide direct quotes, paraphrasing, specific details, or a summary from the work to support your main idea. If your topic is related to analyzing data, then you may use figures, statistics, or charts and graph evidence to support your topic sentence.

Regardless of what type of evidence you provide, it must be appropriate and directly relate to and support your topic sentence.

For example, if we take the above thesis and topic sentence, we might select direct quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from the novel Middlemarch that depict the marriage’s financial stress.

Pro Tip: When using direct quotes, make sure you always provide an in-text citation and use correct punctuation to ensure your essay is neat and clean.

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Once you have provided evidence, you should analyze it to illustrate its significance and how it relates to the topic sentence. In your analysis, you can discuss how an author uses certain literary devices to emphasize character traits, themes, patterns, and connections in a literary work.

Be sure that your analysis always connects to the topic sentence/main idea of the paragraph. Avoid introducing new ideas in this section. Save those for later paragraphs or consider creating a new one to explore and analyze the new point.

Conclude Your Paragraph

When closing an analytical paragraph, you can consider doing two things:

●  Briefly emphasize the main point your reader should take away after having read the paragraph.

●  Begin a transition if the analysis continues into the next paragraph. (This strategy may be more suitable for longer, more in-depth analytical essays).

Using the above example topic sentence, we might conclude the paragraph as follows:

Notice how this concluding statement not only emphasizes the main points from the paragraph but also ties back into the thesis statement.

Writing Tips For Analytical Paragraphs

Leave out first person language.

Avoid using language such as “in my opinion,” “from my perspective,” or “I think.” While the analysis is your interpretation of a text or information, you should rely on and focus on using evidence to support your ideas. Overall, you should aim to maintain an objective tone .

Instead of saying “I think Rosamond is manipulative,” you should use evidence from the text to show that she was manipulative. For example, “Rosamond shows a pattern of manipulation throughout Middlemarch , specifically toward her husband. For instance, she says, ‘…’”

Do Writing Exercises

When writing, especially in the early drafts of an essay, it is typical to find the main idea of a paragraph at the end. This is a natural course for our thinking process. However, the main idea should be presented as your topic sentence at the beginning of this paragraph. Additionally, most students leave this main idea at the end because they do not identify it as the main idea.

To overcome this dilemma, try a looping prewriting exercise . In this exercise, you write continuously for a designated time (maybe 10 minutes, your choice). At the end of that time, read over what you’ve written and circle the main idea of the text (this is usually at the end). In the next cycle, you start with this main idea at the beginning and further examine and analyze it.

This is a wonderful exercise to help you pick out main ideas and delve deeper into your analysis.

Get Feedback

If you are a student, there are several options to get feedback for free. Ask a friend to read your essay. Go to your writing center to get feedback and help with your writing. Go to your professor’s office hours with your writing or questions to get detailed advice. More often than not, they are happy to see you take advantage of their expertise.

As a working professional, writer, or author, you can look to fellow authors or bookish friends to read your work. You can find free beta readers online from sites such as Goodreads to get feedback from your target audience. You can also find writing groups on social media platforms.

Proofread Your Work

It can be easy to finish writing an essay and think “Finally, I’m done!” Unfortunately, that is only half the process. Be sure to always read and reread your writing before hitting submit. Check for stray commas, spelling errors, or awkward sentences to make your main ideas and hard work shine. Learn about 6 Quick and Easy Tips for Proofreading you can do at home.

Writing an analytical paragraph doesn’t have to be stressful. Be sure to include a topic sentence at the beginning of your paragraph that connects to the thesis statement. Provide a variety of evidence to support your main idea, analyze the text by highlighting literary devices used, themes, and patterns, and end with a brief concluding statement.

If you need more help with writing analysis, descriptive essays, or any other type of essay, then Proofed is here to help. Try our free trial today!

What Is a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence goes at the beginning of a body paragraph and clearly states the main idea of the paragraph.

How Do I Organize an Analytical Paragraph?

An analytical paragraph has four components: topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and conclusion. The topic sentence is the most important part of any body paragraph because it establishes the main idea of the paragraph and relates to the thesis statement.

What Makes a Good Analytical Paragraph?

A good analytical paragraph has a clear topic sentence, strong evidence, and a thorough analysis that reflects the writer’s critical thinking and writing skills. It should conclude by emphasizing the main idea of the paragraph and how it supports the essay overall.

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Writing a Research Paper Introduction | Step-by-Step Guide

Published on September 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on March 27, 2023.

Writing a Research Paper Introduction

The introduction to a research paper is where you set up your topic and approach for the reader. It has several key goals:

  • Present your topic and get the reader interested
  • Provide background or summarize existing research
  • Position your own approach
  • Detail your specific research problem and problem statement
  • Give an overview of the paper’s structure

The introduction looks slightly different depending on whether your paper presents the results of original empirical research or constructs an argument by engaging with a variety of sources.

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Table of contents

Step 1: introduce your topic, step 2: describe the background, step 3: establish your research problem, step 4: specify your objective(s), step 5: map out your paper, research paper introduction examples, frequently asked questions about the research paper introduction.

The first job of the introduction is to tell the reader what your topic is and why it’s interesting or important. This is generally accomplished with a strong opening hook.

The hook is a striking opening sentence that clearly conveys the relevance of your topic. Think of an interesting fact or statistic, a strong statement, a question, or a brief anecdote that will get the reader wondering about your topic.

For example, the following could be an effective hook for an argumentative paper about the environmental impact of cattle farming:

A more empirical paper investigating the relationship of Instagram use with body image issues in adolescent girls might use the following hook:

Don’t feel that your hook necessarily has to be deeply impressive or creative. Clarity and relevance are still more important than catchiness. The key thing is to guide the reader into your topic and situate your ideas.

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This part of the introduction differs depending on what approach your paper is taking.

In a more argumentative paper, you’ll explore some general background here. In a more empirical paper, this is the place to review previous research and establish how yours fits in.

Argumentative paper: Background information

After you’ve caught your reader’s attention, specify a bit more, providing context and narrowing down your topic.

Provide only the most relevant background information. The introduction isn’t the place to get too in-depth; if more background is essential to your paper, it can appear in the body .

Empirical paper: Describing previous research

For a paper describing original research, you’ll instead provide an overview of the most relevant research that has already been conducted. This is a sort of miniature literature review —a sketch of the current state of research into your topic, boiled down to a few sentences.

This should be informed by genuine engagement with the literature. Your search can be less extensive than in a full literature review, but a clear sense of the relevant research is crucial to inform your own work.

Begin by establishing the kinds of research that have been done, and end with limitations or gaps in the research that you intend to respond to.

The next step is to clarify how your own research fits in and what problem it addresses.

Argumentative paper: Emphasize importance

In an argumentative research paper, you can simply state the problem you intend to discuss, and what is original or important about your argument.

Empirical paper: Relate to the literature

In an empirical research paper, try to lead into the problem on the basis of your discussion of the literature. Think in terms of these questions:

  • What research gap is your work intended to fill?
  • What limitations in previous work does it address?
  • What contribution to knowledge does it make?

You can make the connection between your problem and the existing research using phrases like the following.

Now you’ll get into the specifics of what you intend to find out or express in your research paper.

The way you frame your research objectives varies. An argumentative paper presents a thesis statement, while an empirical paper generally poses a research question (sometimes with a hypothesis as to the answer).

Argumentative paper: Thesis statement

The thesis statement expresses the position that the rest of the paper will present evidence and arguments for. It can be presented in one or two sentences, and should state your position clearly and directly, without providing specific arguments for it at this point.

Empirical paper: Research question and hypothesis

The research question is the question you want to answer in an empirical research paper.

Present your research question clearly and directly, with a minimum of discussion at this point. The rest of the paper will be taken up with discussing and investigating this question; here you just need to express it.

A research question can be framed either directly or indirectly.

  • This study set out to answer the following question: What effects does daily use of Instagram have on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls?
  • We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls.

If your research involved testing hypotheses , these should be stated along with your research question. They are usually presented in the past tense, since the hypothesis will already have been tested by the time you are writing up your paper.

For example, the following hypothesis might respond to the research question above:

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The final part of the introduction is often dedicated to a brief overview of the rest of the paper.

In a paper structured using the standard scientific “introduction, methods, results, discussion” format, this isn’t always necessary. But if your paper is structured in a less predictable way, it’s important to describe the shape of it for the reader.

If included, the overview should be concise, direct, and written in the present tense.

  • This paper will first discuss several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then will go on to …
  • This paper first discusses several examples of survey-based research into adolescent social media use, then goes on to …

Full examples of research paper introductions are shown in the tabs below: one for an argumentative paper, the other for an empirical paper.

  • Argumentative paper
  • Empirical paper

Are cows responsible for climate change? A recent study (RIVM, 2019) shows that cattle farmers account for two thirds of agricultural nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands. These emissions result from nitrogen in manure, which can degrade into ammonia and enter the atmosphere. The study’s calculations show that agriculture is the main source of nitrogen pollution, accounting for 46% of the country’s total emissions. By comparison, road traffic and households are responsible for 6.1% each, the industrial sector for 1%. While efforts are being made to mitigate these emissions, policymakers are reluctant to reckon with the scale of the problem. The approach presented here is a radical one, but commensurate with the issue. This paper argues that the Dutch government must stimulate and subsidize livestock farmers, especially cattle farmers, to transition to sustainable vegetable farming. It first establishes the inadequacy of current mitigation measures, then discusses the various advantages of the results proposed, and finally addresses potential objections to the plan on economic grounds.

The rise of social media has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the prevalence of body image issues among women and girls. This correlation has received significant academic attention: Various empirical studies have been conducted into Facebook usage among adolescent girls (Tiggermann & Slater, 2013; Meier & Gray, 2014). These studies have consistently found that the visual and interactive aspects of the platform have the greatest influence on body image issues. Despite this, highly visual social media (HVSM) such as Instagram have yet to be robustly researched. This paper sets out to address this research gap. We investigated the effects of daily Instagram use on the prevalence of body image issues among adolescent girls. It was hypothesized that daily Instagram use would be associated with an increase in body image concerns and a decrease in self-esteem ratings.

The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

The way you present your research problem in your introduction varies depending on the nature of your research paper . A research paper that presents a sustained argument will usually encapsulate this argument in a thesis statement .

A research paper designed to present the results of empirical research tends to present a research question that it seeks to answer. It may also include a hypothesis —a prediction that will be confirmed or disproved by your research.

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How to Write an Introduction for a Literary Analysis Essay

Erica sweeney.

The introduction to a literary analysis essay has to hook the reader.

A literary analysis essay explains the significance of a specific aspect of a literary work. Literary analyses are scholarly essays and should be written more conservatively than other types of essays. An introduction for a literary analysis should provide relevant information about the work of literature, include a thesis statement and orientate the reader to what will follow.

Start out with a clear topic. The topic should be an interpretation of a specific aspect of a work of literature, such as racism in "To Kill a Mockingbird" or foreshadowing in "Lord of the Flies." Understanding what you are writing about is vital to writing a good introduction and essay.

State the title and author of the literary work in the first sentence. This is essential so that the reader knows which poem, short story or novel you are discussing. Do not start out discussing characters before telling the reader in which work of literature they appear.

Hook the reader in the first sentence, just as you would in any other essay. What is something interesting about the work that you can tell the reader in the first line? The piece of interesting information must also be relevant to the topic and to the literary element being discussed.

Assume that the reader has read and is familiar with the work of literature that you are writing about. Keeping this in mind will stop you from including too much plot summary in the introduction and the rest of the essay.

Make clear what it is you are analyzing in the essay. Explain a bit about this aspect in the introduction so that the reader is clear about what is being analyzed.

Do not start analyzing the work. Acquaint the reader with what will be analyzed, but save the actual analyzing for the body.

State the thesis in the last sentence of the introduction. The thesis should clearly state what the essay will analyze and should be very specific. It also must argue something. For example: "Although Harper Lee has been criticized for being too sympathetic of white racists in 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' her honest portrayal of the setting has aided anti-racism efforts."

Use transitions throughout the introduction. Because there are so many things that have to be included, the introduction can end up a clump of sentences stuck together. Make sure that it makes sense on its own as a paragraph.

About the Author

Erica Sweeney is a freelance writer and editor based in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in journalism from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her work has been published at SaidIt.org, Arkansas Times, Aging Arkansas and Arkansas Business.

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  1. How to Write an Analytical Essay in 6 Steps

    The introduction is where you present your thesis statement and prepare your reader for what follows. Because analytical essays focus on a single topic, the introduction should give all the background information and context necessary for the reader to understand the writer's argument. Save the actual analysis of your topic for the body.

  2. How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

    Step 1: Reading the text and identifying literary devices The first step is to carefully read the text (s) and take initial notes. As you read, pay attention to the things that are most intriguing, surprising, or even confusing in the writing—these are things you can dig into in your analysis.

  3. How to Write an Essay Introduction

    Step 1: Hook your reader Step 2: Give background information Step 3: Present your thesis statement Step 4: Map your essay's structure Step 5: Check and revise More examples of essay introductions Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about the essay introduction Step 1: Hook your reader

  4. How to Write an Analytical Essay (with Samples)

    For this, you need to employ an analytical essay outline that will serve as a roadmap from the beginning to crafting a compelling concluding paragraph. So, let's break down the essential steps required for a proper analytical essay outline template to ensure you leave a lasting impact on your audience. ‍Introduction‍. Hook. Background ...

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    These are the steps to write an academic paper: Review the literature. Before starting any paper, you should familiarize yourself with what has already been written in the field. And the analytical essay is no exception. The easiest way is to search on the web for the information. Brainstorm ideas.

  7. How to Write an Analytical Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

    Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing. 2. Write your body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should have 1) a topic sentence, 2) an analysis of some part of the text and 3) evidence from the text that supports your analysis and your thesis statement.

  8. Introductions

    The introduction to an academic essay will generally present an analytical question or problem and then offer an answer to that question (the thesis). Your introduction is also your opportunity to explain to your readers what your essay is about and why they should be interested in reading it.

  9. 5 Steps to Write a Great Analytical Essay

    Your introduction will include: A hook Brief background information explaining the issue/text Your thesis Body Paragraphs Your analytical essay will typically have three or four body paragraphs, each covering a different point of analysis. Begin each body paragraph with a sentence that sets up the main point you'll be discussing.

  10. How to Write an Analytical Essay in 7 Simple Steps

    An excellent introduction can engage your reader's interest, so take extra care on your opening paragraph. The best introductions start with a hook such as a rhetorical question or a bold statement and provide global context, outlining questions that your analysis will tackle.

  11. How To Write a Good Analytical Essay in 7 Steps

    How to write an analytical essay To best approach the analytical essay, consider the components outlined above and follow these steps: 1. Take your stance on a topic

  12. How To Write Analysis Essay

    An analytical essay is mainly written about analyzing something like a place, a company, a movie, an event, a book or a process, or an idea. However, in literature, it is a critical analysis of some literary text that is done to enhance its understanding. Example:

  13. How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay

    How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay Soren Bagley The purpose of an analytical essay is to propose and support an argument. By analyzing the material on which the essay is based, the essay writer should develop a position regarding the accuracy of the original information.

  14. How to Write Literary Analysis

    1. Ask questions 2. Collect evidence 3. Construct a thesis 4. Develop and organize arguments 5. Write the introduction 6. Write the body paragraphs 7. Write the conclusion 1 Ask Questions When you're assigned a literary essay in class, your teacher will often provide you with a list of writing prompts. Lucky you!

  15. How To Write an Analysis (With Examples and Tips)

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  16. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    Key concepts in rhetoric Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field. Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos

  17. 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report

    Some students write the introduction first; others save it for last. Whenever you choose to write the introduction, use it to draw readers into your report. Make the topic of your report clear, and be concise and sincere. End the introduction with your thesis statement.

  18. PDF HOW TO WRITE A LITERARY ANALYSIS ESSAY

    The introduction to your literary analysis essay should try to capture your reader‟s interest. To bring immediate focus to your subject, you may want to use a quotation, a provocative question, a brief anecdote, a startling statement, or a combination of these.

  19. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    The essay writing process consists of three main stages: Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline. Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion. Revision: Check your essay on the content, organization, grammar, spelling ...

  20. How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

    The best introductions often start with a hook such as a rhetorical question or a bold statement. Your intro paragraph must also name the book or work of art that your analysis will tackle. Use the author's name, the title of the work, and any relevant publication information.

  21. How to Write a Perfect Analytical Paragraph

    Leave Out First Person Language. Avoid using language such as "in my opinion," "from my perspective," or "I think.". While the analysis is your interpretation of a text or information, you should rely on and focus on using evidence to support your ideas. Overall, you should aim to maintain an objective tone.

  22. Writing a Research Paper Introduction

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  23. How to Write an Introduction for a Literary Analysis Essay

    Start out with a clear topic. The topic should be an interpretation of a specific aspect of a work of literature, such as racism in "To Kill a Mockingbird" or foreshadowing in "Lord of the Flies." Understanding what you are writing about is vital to writing a good introduction and essay.