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How to Write an Analytical Essay: Structure and Topic Examples

According to educational statistics, analytical essay takes honorary third place after argumentative and narrative essays that college students in Canada have to complete. No matter what discipline is in question, analytical essay tasks can easily become quite challenging and time-consuming. Acting as one of the most demanding written assignments, analytical is often confused with argumentative. Major difference is that these papers have to provide more than one opinion or view on a subject unlike argumentative claims that reflect personal, definite opinion. In practice, it means that all available information has to be analyzed and made comprehensible. At EduBirdie, we have compiled this handy writing guide to help you understand structure and general writing rules, including topic examples, introduction, and conclusion parts made clear.

Essay Definition and Purpose

In order to understand what is an analytical essay, let us approach it as a mixture of research and discussion. Without proper research on chosen topic, analysis is definitely incomplete. Therefore, analytical essay can be defined as assignment that aims to collect diverse information by turning to reliable, academic, credible sources. In most cases, in addition to direct quoting, writers have to use paraphrasing. Here one has to focus on most common points of view without either positive or negative tone.

As for paper’s purpose, it should provide an argument that covers both sides of an issue or problem researched. While it may sound challenging for novice students, it always starts with correct structure where an in-depth research is presented. Paper should let target audience understand why chosen problem or issue are challenging and what kind of information is known. A reason why they call it analysis is because of summarizing and brief analysis of the available facts. What makes this essay type tricky is necessity to remain unbiased and avoid leaning towards single-sided arguments. Therefore, write of both sides, if available.

For example, when a student speaks of stricter education college requirements in Ottawa and says that it is plain wrong, he or she turns to argumentative essay style where argumentation is “why stricter requirements are wrong.”

If one tells about what caused these stricter rules by providing both cons and pros, it becomes analytical due to analysis and facts collecting that helps reader understand all these challenging parts. Let us proceed with analysis of things to check in your paper.

Process of Writing: Tips and Recommendations

  • Choose something that is both inspiring and relevant. As always, everything starts with a good theme. Analyzing scientific rarity will require more time spent for researching and might not be clear to an audience. Therefore, most college professors in Canada recommend choosing topics that are well-known and spend some time working at available information instead. Since it has to be presented in clear, condensed style, work at structure.
  • Work on thesis statement. Remember that in analytical essay it isn’t just a claim, but a conclusion that is based on previous research implemented by an author. If available, add evidence in your thesis even if it’s already obvious. While it’s often frowned upon, successful analytical assignments sometimes phrases like “It can be assumed that…” as thesis statement is composed.
  • Find evidence for arguments analyzed. It can be either direct quote or information’s paraphrasing from academic journal, book or newspaper. While citing or getting all arguments supported by evidence, remember to demonstrate personal analysis. It’s done by connecting the dots for target audience like in textbooks.
  • Work on academic and reliable sources list. Use only academic sources and avoid Wikipedia and odd websites that do not seem credible. Sort list according to format rules. In case you are unsure, turn to one of our analytical essay formatting experts at EduBirdie.
  • Come up with plan or outline. If there are 2-5 evidence available, use same paragraphs amount. Compose an outline and use existing information as topic-sentences. With such approach, analytical assignment will become more catchy and inspiring!
  • Work with paper’s draft in several stages. Start with inclusion of discovered information, then continue with different phrasing and style to help yourself choose what sounds best. Once feeling content, make paragraphs connected both logically and in relation to thesis.
  • Check for diverse opinions balance. Remember to show opposite opinions and offer overall coverage of an issue or subject.
  • Proofread your analysis essay twice. Do not underestimate proofreading and paper editing. Read it aloud to ensure that it sounds credible and confident.
  • Check for repetitions and grammar rules. Proofreading should consist of not only grammar and punctuation, but also checking for repetition, wordiness, explanation of unknown terms. If something sounds unclear, define each scientific term separately.

How to Choose Good Analytical Essay Topic: Handy Examples

When college students ask us about how to choose good topics, our writing experts always reply that an author has to relate to and understand what is being chosen. If there’s insufficient knowledge or writer sounds doubtful, audience will not continue reading. Therefore, no matter what theme is chosen, it is only as good as the research that’s done.

  • Read through different opinions.
  • Include word “opposition” and “opponents” next to chosen issue
  • Always check first if there’s evidence to support chosen books or articles.
  • Seeking for good ideas, enter DOI word to receive reliable results in Google.
  • Do not choose generic issues, be unique!
  • Remember that it’s analysis paper, thus provide your opinion.

Here are several analytical essay ideas that will help understand possible challenges. Take a look at our list:

  1. Role of social media in modern businessmen lives.
  2. What are five benefits in learning a foreign language?
  3. Analyze “love and loss” in Shakespearean poetry?
  4. Is there evidence of link between autism and vaccination?
  5. Should First Nations People be given special privileges?
  6. What would be an effect of Brexit on Canadian economy?
  7. What stands behind homelessness in Calgary?
  8. Could distance learning be future of education?
  9. Analyze security threats on Facebook and Instagram.
  10. What’s emotional impact of capital punishment?
  11. Should healthcare college students receive equal amount of theory and practice?
  12. IT market in Canada versus Educators job market.
  13. Are majority of environmental campaign methods lost in commercial tricks?
  14. Gender issues in Toronto adjacent territories.
  15. Should immigrants be forced to join language courses?
  16. Can different political powers unite people?
  17. Theme of “pride” in XYZ, as written by ABC.
  18. Should Canada implement stricter gun control laws?
  19. Is Internet really free?
  20. Does social media impact physical interactions and stress levels?

Correct Analytical Paper Structure

In some cases college professors already specify essay structure for analytical assignments. Yet, being creative Canadians we are, teachers often challenge students to brainstorm diverse structures on their own. Still, there are classic rules that should be followed to be safe!

Basically, it follows Introduction, 3 Body Paragraphs, and Conclusion format. Here is what has to be included in practice:

Introduction. First sentence contains good hook, 2-3 sentences to introduce background, thesis and 2-3 sentences that serve evidence for its credibility.

3 Body Paragraphs. Start each paragraph with topic-sentence that instantly introduces idea and connects to general claim(s). If necessary, include citing and be sure to use explanations for rare terms in own words. Paraphrasing, remember plagiarism rules. Introduce ideas from strongest to weakest. Try to use one paragraph for single idea. This way it will be clearer. In each step, evaluate if direct quoting is necessary.

Conclusion. Summary in different terms. Thesis should be rephrased. Recommendation or a call for additional research.

Works Cited / References page. Always add Bibliography in correct format. If any quoting has been implemented, it should be included in analytical essay ending. Remember that Bibliography may not be counted in overall word count!

How to Write Strong Introduction in Analytical Paper

In this part of our guide, we will review everything related to strong introduction. You might be surprised, but most college professors agree that good introduction is “work in progress” as analytical paper is composed. What it means in practice is that it’s advisable to edit thesis as information is processed while one adds more (or removes) from background.

Hook Sentence. It should be creative, interesting, challenging or inspiring at the same time. You can use statistics, unusual fact or question that will motivate readers to continue and find out more. Thinking of chosen topic, imagine what would you tell someone interested in an issue when meeting face-to-face. What unusual fact or claim would that be?

Thesis Statement speaks of reasons why particular problem is crucial and should be researched. Avoid making one-sided claims or definite position arguments because our task is to analyze and sum up existing information. Answer the most crucial question in your own words turning to research and analyzing.

Supporting Evidence Element. It always depends on topic because Physics research and English Literature analysis do differ. For complex research assignments, it’s recommended to use methodology as evidence or best scientific approach. If working with books or magazines, use them as supporting sources. In any case, if there’s something you cite from, it may already include sufficient data to make thesis credible.

Analytical Essay Conclusion Rules

Analytical essay conclusion part is almost equal to thesis in terms of importance.

  • Once thesis is ready, try to rephrase it, so main idea can be explained in conclusion by different phrasing.
  • While conclusion summarizes what is included in body paragraphs, it should not make odd assumptions or introduce any new ideas.
  • In closure, add personal recommendations or speak of main essay information source that may provide additional data. Since it’s not possible to include every argument or idea out there, mentioning good research or analysis methods can be beneficial for your success.
  • If not applicable, end one's analytical paper with rhetorical question or personal reflection that audience may relate to.

Some Extra Pieces of Advice

  • When looking for specific elements to analyze, ask yourself about what appears most inspiring and unusual. If there are comparisons and metaphors used as literary devices, paraphrase them in analysis paper to help readers relate.
  • Even though no side is taken in this style of writing, choose strong title that will help your audience see why certain issue is important and should be analyzed.
  • If working with sensitive issues like religion or healthcare, remember to remain sensitive and use special wording that will not hurt potential reader’s feelings.
  • Imagine that your paper answers to predefined list of questions that audience may already have.
  • To avoid cluttering of ideas, write in a speech style where every idea is short, to the point, and accessible.
  • If working with Literature assignment, use allegories to support challenging explanations.
  • If paper involves IT and Engineering, start with an anecdote or refer to famous personality that will instantly remove complexity and biased attitude.
  • In case of Psychology or Social Sciences essays, always introduce background if topic is specific or not for general audience.
  • In order to avoid bias, offer different viewpoint by explaining why opposite camps think this or that way.

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