How to Write an Analytical Essay – A Compete Guide for Students
If you become a student, then you will have to write not only research papers, coursework, and term papers. You will probably be faced with such a task as an analytical essay, as teachers of modern universities like to assign different types of essays, not only argumentative ones. An analytical essay is a completely different assignment. The following analytical essay writing guide will help you to understand what distinguishes it and how to cope with it correctly.
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What Is an Analytical Essay?
An analytical essay is a paper that provides a meaningful analysis of a topic. Analytical essays can be written about music, art, literary works, historical events, current events, politics, philosophy, and lots of other topics.
An analytical essay is a paper that includes certain research. The text should describe what exactly you are studying and what methods and approaches you use. In the end, conclusions must be drawn.
Types of Analytical Essay Writing
The purpose of writing an analytical essay is a detailed study of some issue, an analysis of facts.
In total, there are three types of such essays:
- Essays with simple research.
- Essays with an extended study accompanied by a short prediction.
- Essays with brief analysis with deep prediction.
The first option does not require the student to draw any conclusions and make assumptions. There is a study and its results. What follows from this is that everyone decides for themselves. On the one hand, this is interesting and stimulates thought. On the other hand, so many men, so many minds. The reader may not come to the conclusions that the author was leading. In addition, such essays become the subject of study, and other authors create analyses on their basis.
A large-scale study with a short forecast is an essay in which the author writes a lot about what problem he or she is considering, why it is important, and what is the relevance of the study, and then assumes a scenario for the development of a situation or problem. Such essays are especially liked by financial analysts. One such example is the following: “What awaits the dollar in the near future?” The study touches upon the events of the politics and cites the opinions of famous politicians and financiers. The conclusion presents an answer to the question: will the currency fall or not?
Essays of the third type focus on the further development of the topic. A prime example: “A 2013 study found that loving parents who pay attention to their children are much happier than chimera moms or weekend dads.” Further, there are assumptions about how much happier you will be if you kiss your baby every day, play with it, and take an interest in its life.
This is a difficult genre that has nuances, so not all students are ready to take on this kind of work.
How to Write an Analytical Essay Knowing Its Features
To make it easier for us to distinguish the analytical essay from other types of essays, let’s highlight its main features.
- The topic of the analytical essay is rather narrow, touching on some event, idea, or the creation of something, prompting analysis.
- The author’s position is required, which may be subjective.
- The topic should be considered in as much detail as possible, from different angles. Arguments must be provided.
- A detailed consideration of the issue here does not mean that you need to include too much information on this topic. Analysis should be short and succinct.
- You should stick to a clear structure. In order for the text to look logical, the standard composition should be observed: the text begins with the introduction, and then there is a number of opinions and arguments arising from each other, fastened by a logical link, and at the end, a small general conclusion.
Topics for an Analytical Essay
If there is no list of topics for an analytical essay, and the teacher only indicated the direction in which you should choose the theme for the essay, you will have to formulate the topic yourself. See what is being written, what articles and questions are of the greatest interest, and what affects you. Think about what topic will allow you to show yourself from the most advantageous side and what you can successfully analyze.
Most popular topics:
However, these are not the only areas in which you can make analysis. If you set yourself a goal, it is realistic to find research in almost all areas, be it trucking or the education of preschoolers. Such articles are posted on the Internet, social networks, or newspapers and magazines.
The question immediately arises: where to get material for an analytical essay? There are several sources:
- Independent research: survey, interview, experiment.
- Use the teacher’s information. They pass all the data to the student, who gives the material a beautiful frame in the form of an essay.
- Relying on other people’s analytical works.
You may ask yourself: isn’t it plagiarism? If you follow a few rules, no one will say that the work is not original.
- First, you need to refer to research in your essay, directly indicating who did the analysis and when.
- Secondly, you have the right to rework the material, adapt it for your own purposes and, possibly, come to completely opposite conclusions.
Sometimes serious facts need to be presented to an audience that does not like boring analytical essays. In this case, it is necessary to highlight the main thing from the scientific work, determine the evidence base, and add some interesting information. Here’s what you need:
- Interesting nuances. This will liven up the text, making it not only informative but also fascinating.
- Humor. You need to be careful here. Some teachers require rigor and serious facts.
- Expressive means. Don’t overdo it here: just make the essay attractive to readers.
- Facts – this is what an analytical essay cannot be without.
Rules for Analytical Writing
To successfully create an analytical essay, you need to follow the main rules of writing:
- The author must be well versed in the subject matter. Of course, a student who has experience in writing such papers is ready to delve into any topic, remove unnecessary details, and state the main point, but this is not enough. An in-depth study of the issue is required because ignorance of the specifics can lead to incorrect conclusions and misinformation for readers.
- If the teacher wants to receive a high-quality analytical essay, he or she should not insist on a certain point of view, asking from the student to draw conclusions that are close to him or her. A student in such an essay should rely only on facts. They must be reliable and supported by evidence. Otherwise, this will not be a high-quality analytical essay. In addition, there is a risk of misleading other people who will read your paper.
- An analytical essay is written in a language that the reader can understand. No matter how masterful you are with the terminology, the paper will be useless if it is not understood. Of course, you cannot do without terms at all, but try to explain every word that may cause bewilderment for the reader. An analytical essay in which the meaning of every tenth word is unclear will be studied only by narrow specialists. Such papers are not interesting to a wide range of readers.
- The title for the analytical essay should be chosen based on the discipline you are writing for. In any case, it should be something informative but without unnecessary intrigue. If your paper does not fit into the discipline, you can create the illusion of connection in the title. In this way, the essay will attract readers and will not get out of place.
It is important to remember that your analytical essay acts as your face, especially when it comes to a large circle of readers. A deep qualitative analysis increases the level of trust in the student, which is the key to success and getting a good grade. People recognize the opinion of the authority and independently promote the position.
What Skills Are Required for Analytical Essay Writing
In addition to knowing the language and the ability to clearly express their own thoughts, the students need to:
- Have a broad outlook.
- Thoroughly study the topic on which they write.
- Be loyal to all points of view on this issue, treating the opinions of other people with respect and a level head.
- Draw conclusions and take responsibility for them.
It is important for analytical writers to know the opinions of experts who are not interested in a particular point of view. This is the only way to achieve objectivity in the analysis. As for the genre, it has the right to be anything: from a strictly academic format to frivolous research with a bit of humor.
Structure of an Analytical Essay
The analytical essay always contains the following blocks:
– Formulation of the problem. What made the author pay attention to it? Why is it important to solve it?
– Facts. What or who proves the relevance of the issue raised?
– The views of the parties. Most often, several points of view are explored, and sometimes they are completely opposite to each other.
– A solution offered by experts. What are the pros and cons?
The author’s conclusion and a forecast for the future.
There is an assumption that such essays lack objectivity. However, it is not true. An analytical paper assumes that the author has sufficient knowledge and experience, and at the same time, the right to an opinion.
In structure, an analytical essay is similar to a scientific or informational article, resembles a research paper, term paper, or thesis, and contains:
- Introduction. It outlines the essence of the problem, the time frame and stages of research, and the facts that you are checking. They need to be covered in as much detail as possible. It depends on this how much the reader will be imbued with the importance of the essay and what conclusions will come at the end. Special attention is paid to the title and the first paragraph. For example, your topic is “Covid-19 Mystery: Comparison of Coronavirus Mortality Statistics in Different Countries.” In this way, your introduction may be: “Due to the fact that complications from chronic diseases not associated with infection are the cause of death of coronavirus patients, many believe that the real death rate from Covid-19 remains a mystery, but is it so? To find out how accurate the statistics are, it is necessary to analyze data from open sources and draw a conclusion about the reliability of the information provided.”
- The main part acting as the analysis process itself. Each fact is investigated in detail, viewed from all sides. Here you need to think broadly to avoid subjectivity.
- Conclusion. Here, the author’s conclusions and further predictions are presented. The entire essay should be easy to read; for this, it should be structured, divided into blocks, since most of the readers read the text diagonally. To draw attention to important points, you need to use highlights: quotes, footnotes, and so on. These blocks lead the reader to the correct conclusions.
However, sometimes there are analytical essays, the purpose of which is to cause a resonance, to divide the public into several groups. Such papers attract increased attention to the topic.
Analytical Essay Example
How Did Japanese Art Influence Van Gogh’s Paintings?
Japanese religious and worldly arts are extremely sophisticated. They are often made using a natural base, such as silk or wood. Japanese artists use a brush rather than a pen, which gives paintings and calligraphy exceptional beauty. They focus more on the natural and spiritual than any other country’s art (Gabriela). These characteristics fascinated Impressionist painters, and one of them is Vincent Van Gogh. But how did Japanese arts influence Vincent Van Gogh’s painting? Woodblock prints, unusual color combinations, and attention to details of nature are commonly found in Japanese artworks, and these influenced Vincent’s paintings.
Vincent is an avid collector of Ukiyo-e. Ukiyo-e is a genre of woodblock prints from the 17th to 19th centuries that focused on elements of beauty in the world (Stewart). He mentioned that he owned hundreds of prints in his letter to his brother Theo. These became Vincent’s inspiration for his paintings, and one of those is his most famous paintings, “Almond Blossoms.”
Japanese artists are not afraid to crop out elements, exclude the horizon, use unusual color combinations, and leave a space in the middle foreground of their work (Stewart). These characteristics are not common for European artists. However, Vincent liked the unusual spatial effects and the expanses of colors (“Inspiration”). He thought that he could freely express himself with these principles.
Most Japanese artworks are inspired by nature. This was apparent on the woodblocks that Vincent had in his collections. Nature was the point of departure for his art throughout his life (“Inspiration”). Through the influence of Japanese art, Vincent realized that he does not need to give up nature as his inspiration for his artworks.
Japanese art had a great influence on Vincent’s paintings. It became his inspiration for his artwork. It also helped him to express himself better. On one of his letters to his brother Theo, he said that “after some time your vision changes, you see with a more Japanese eye, you feel color differently. I’m also convinced that it’s precisely through a long stay here that I’ll bring out my personality.”
“4 Characteristics of Japanese Arts.” GabrielaAnastacio, http://gabrielaanastasio.com/4-characteristics-of-japanese-art/. Accessed 13 September 2019.
Small. Zachary. “The Japanese Prints that Inspired Vincent Van Gogh.” Hyperallergic, November 20 2018, https://hyperallergic.com/470161/the-japanese-prints-that-inspired-vincent-van-gogh/. Accessed 13 September 2019.
Stewart, Jessica. “500 Japanese Woodblock Prints from Van Gogh’s Collection Are Now Available to Download.” My Modern Met, February 2, 2019, https://mymodernmet.com/van-gogh-museum-japanese-woodblock-prints/. Accessed13 September 2019.
Van Gogh Museum. “Inspiration From Japan.” https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en/stories/inspiration-from-japan#0. Accessed13 September 2019.
Help with Analytical Essay Writing
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