How to Get Through an Analysis Essay

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

different types of chartsWhen I was studying in college, the most hated type of academic assignment for me was the analysis essay. Whatever I would write, it would often be either expository, or compare and contrast essay–at least that’s what my professor told me. By the end of college, I managed to learn to write these essays well enough to get good grades. It is not difficult, in fact; so, if you are like me and have an analysis essay due next week, I’ve prepared (from pure altruism and kindness, or course) a short list of advice that will help you overcome this obstacle.

1. At first, you should narrow your topic down. The more specific you make it, the easier it will be for you to research and write.

2. Ask yourself the main questions: why is this analysis important? What research methods would suit it the best? What do I want to prove or deny with the essay? Is the topic I write about controversial enough? The last question is important, as writing on a topic that everyone already has written about is pointless.

3. Collect material relevant to your topic. It is unlikely that your chosen topic is unique and has not been researched by others–so the wisest thing to do would be to use available sources.

4. However, the best would be to do your own research. Some of the examples of self-conducted research are experiments, sociological polls, observations, gathering statistics, making comparisons, and so on.

5. Analyze the material you have collected during your research. Note these results carefully, as you might have no other opportunity to repeat the experiment.

6. Based on whether the results of your research/experiments prove or deny your topic, formulate a thesis statement. Start writing the essay. In its introduction, announce what you are going to analyze, and provide some background information on the subject. In the main body, you should introduce the results of your research, showing how they are related to the thesis statement and the topic (how they prove or deny it). Finally, in the conclusion, briefly review the main points of your essay, explain how and why they are important, and why your audience should care about them.

As you can see, there is nothing special about writing analysis essays. After some practice, you will even start to enjoy them!


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