An analysis essay assumes that you break a larger subject into subcategories and then examine each of them to form an opinion about the whole. After you have taken a problem apart, you must describe its components, explain how they are interrelated, and come up with your own conclusions.
Steps for Writing an Analysis Essay
- Narrow down the subject to a topic that is suitable for further analysis. Don’t try to analyze a wide range of issues in your analysis essay.
- Develop your own points of view on the chosen topic. An analysis essay must declare its author’s opinions. You will also have to document how you came up with the conclusions.
- Collect the material relevant to your topic. You can use available sources if someone has already written material on your chosen topic—or do your own research: find additional information, conduct experiments, or make comparisons. Analyze the material, noting the points that support your argument together with those that do not.
- Start writing your essay. In the introduction, briefly announce what you are going to analyze. You can start from a broad statement that is relevant to your theme, and then narrow it down to a specific topic.
- In the main body text, state your ideas and support them with examples, facts, or quotes taken from reliable sources.
- Summarize what you have written and restate your main points in the conclusion.
Analysis Essay Topics
Writing an analysis essay is a way to comprehend difficult topics that have many sides. Almost any subject can be broken into subcategories and be followed up by an examination of each of them. Still, one of the main factors of writing an analysis is your enthusiasm about the topic. If the essay is not preassigned to you by your instructor, it is better to write about a topic in a subject of your interest. Some possible topics for an analysis essay are listed below:
- What causes people to become addicted to gambling? Is there a specific reason some people are immune to gambling and others are not?
- What are the core requirements for becoming a great tennis player?
- What are the requirements to become a published author? Do you need to have a book deal with a major publisher?
- What causes an underwater earthquake? Is it related to a tsunami?
- What causes so much rain in tropical forests? Why do tropical forests have such a wide variety of animals and plants? Is it related to the climate or the abundance of water?
- What causes hurricanes? How can we prevent major damage resulting from a hurricane?
- What techniques are required to become a pro-wrestler? Do you need to have a wrestling coach?
- Why do larger-sized animals fare better in colder climates? Could the polar bear have survived if it had been of a smaller size?
- What skills are required to survive being marooned on an island after a shipwreck? What can be learned from the stories of survivors and fiction?
- What are the advantages of employing martial arts while training soldiers?
- Economic crisis and the rate of unemployment.
- Foreign policy in a globalized world.
- The metaphor of transformation in Kafka’s novel The Metamorphosis.
- The reasons for Mitt Romney’s defeat in the US presidential election 2012.
- The motives of suicide committed by Anna Karenina.
- The meaning of surrealistic images in Dali’s paintings.
Key Points to Consider
- Your assessment of the material may change in the process of writing your analysis essay.
- The analysis essay should be written on a topic that has several controversial opinions in it. Don’t write about issues that everyone knows about already.
- Analysis essays often use a “how-to,” compare and contrast, or cause and effect thought-pattern.
- A convenient way to think about your essay is by asking a question, for example: “What do I want to prove or deny with my essay?”
Do and Don’t
Common Mistakes When Writing an Analysis Essay
– It is not enough just to create a structure for the material and give its brief summary. You must investigate your topic, divide it into subsections, and then study each of them in order to make a conclusion about the whole.
– Improper quotations. Make sure that you’ve formatted all citations properly.
– Giving multiple arguments without any logical structure. If you don’t arrange your arguments in order from the most to least important, your analysis essay will look disorganized.
– Building your essay on one or two arguments. No matter how strong your argument is, if it is the only one that you build your essay on, your paper will most likely be weak.
– Confusing analysis and expository essays. Remember that an expository essay reports information. Simply speaking, it answers the question “What is it?” In its turn, an analysis essay examines the implication of reported information, answering the questions, “How did it happen? Why did it happen?”
Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic analysis essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our analysis essay samples to link theory with practice.
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Samples for Writing an Analysis Essay
Rescuing England: The Rhetoric of Imperialism and the Salvation Army
GMOs and Their Role in Nutrition
Raison d'Etre in J. P. Sartre's Novel “Nausea”
- Identify the author's thesis and purpose
- Analyze the structure of the passage by identifying all main ideas
- Consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand material that is unfamiliar to you
- Make an outline of the work or write a description of it
- Write a summary of the work
- Determine the purpose which could be
- To inform with factual material
- To persuade with appeal to reason or emotions
- To entertain (to affect people's emotions)
- If the purpose is to inform, has the material been presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence?
- If the purpose is to persuade, look for evidence, logical reasoning, contrary evidence
- If the purpose was to entertain, determine how emotions are affected: does it make you laugh, cry, angry? Why did it affect you?
SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR CRITICAL ESSAY
After the passage under analysis has been carefully studied, the critique can be drafted using this sample outline.
- I. Background information to help your readers understand the nature of the work
- A. Information about the work
- 1. Title
- 2. Author
- 3. Publication information
- 4. Statement of topic and purpose
- B. Thesis statement indicating writer's main reaction to the work
- II. Summary or description of the work
- III. Interpretation and/or evaluation
- A. Discussion of the work's organization
- B. Discussion of the work's style
- C. Effectiveness
- D. Discussion of the topic's treatment
- E. Discussion of appeal to a particular audience
Avoid introducing your ideas by stating "I think" or "in my opinion." Keep the focus on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself. Identifying your opinions weakens them.
Always introduce the work. Do not assume that because your reader knows what you are writing about, you do not need to mention the work's title.
Other questions to consider: Is there a controversy surrounding either the passage or the subject which it concerns?
What about the subject matter is of current interest?
What is the overall value of the passage?
What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Support your thesis with detailed evidence from the text examined. Do not forget to document quotes and paraphrases.
Remember that the purpose of a critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something.
Even though as a writer you set the standards, you should be open-minded, well informed, and fair. You can express your opinions, but you should also back them up with evidence.
Your review should provide information, interpretation, and evaluation. The information will help your reader understand the nature of the work under analysis. The interpretation will explain the meaning of the work, therefore requiring your correct understanding of it. The evaluation will discuss your opinions of the work and present valid justification for them.