Ever been at a cocktail party hobnobbing with the well-to-do members of society? If you haven’t, well, keep reading and let your imagination do the heavy lifting here. So, you’re at this event rubbing elbows with college-educated professionals.
Some have master’s degrees while others are working towards getting their Ph.Ds. It’s the sort of place where you have to be mindful of every word that leaves your lips or else you run the risk of letting everyone know that you’re a complete idiot.
Suddenly, from the corner of your eye, you spot Warren Buffet! And he’s walking straight towards you. You need to find a way to strike up a conversation with him to pitch a start-up idea you’ve always had. His billions will surely come in handy for your project.
So, you take a deep breath, approach him, stretch out your hand to greet him and introduce yourself. His demeanor is inviting. So you talk to him about your idea for a product that cuts across all cultural divides.
He’s impressed. He should be because you rehearsed that pitch a million times. He then says to you, “That’s a brilliant idea, young lad! But, is it possible to avoid cultural dominance altogether? Look at multicultural families for instance, would you say they’ve successfully bridged that gap?"
You stare at him with a blank look on your face, with not a clue as to how to respond to that. At that moment you know that you blew your chance and wish you had paid more attention to your analytical essay class. Here’s a crash course on analytical essay writing that’ll make anyone believe you’re smart.
What is an analytical essay?
As the name suggests, an analytical essay is an academic paper that examines and gives an author’s interpretation of a particular event, argument or claim. It describes the facts of a situation and demands that you take an in-depth look at it and evaluate it.
It’s not merely a description and summary. Put simply, it asks “why” and “how” rather than just “what”, “where” and “when”.
There’s a distinct difference between writing college-level and high school-level essays.
High school-level essays
- The topics here are usually general and broad.
- The thesis must be stated in a single sentence.
- Lengths typically run five paragraphs.
- They must contain at least three main points.
- The general structure consists of an introduction that contains a thesis statement, a body where the main ideas are evaluated and a conclusion to tie everything together.
College-level analytical essays
- Students have to present an in-depth analysis of a single highly-focused topic.
- The thesis has no length limitation. It has to explain what the essay will be about and provide evidence for assertions made in the paper.
- There’s no specific format for the length of the work. The number of paragraphs will depend on the argument in question.
- They have the same general analytical essay writing structure, i.e. an introduction with the thesis, main body, and conclusion.
How to start an analytical essay?
Before you begin writing, ensure that you go through all the material thoroughly. You need to understand what the author is trying to communicate in their work and the reason behind it.
Next, marry this into the assignment you’ve been given. Ensure you understand the relevance of the topic/argument in question, and why it’s been presented to you. Additionally, think about how the question has been stated. There’s a difference between essay terms like “Consider”, “Explain” and “Evaluate”.
You’ll then need to brainstorm around that particular topic and come up with a list of ideas. Make sure each of them directly relates to the assignment prompt and select the best ones that you consider most relevant.
Find interesting ways to explore and highlight the best ideas from opposing standpoints. Then, select the perspective you can comfortably defend.
The final step of this initial phase involves coming up with a working thesis. This is done by identifying which areas your discussion will center on so that you can defend or explain your thesis.
Developing the analysis
Now that you have a working thesis in place, as well as, a list of ideas you’ll use, it’s now time to assess whether you can defend your thesis. Identify which points support it and which ones oppose it.
While there may be hundreds of ideas that support your stance, you don’t need to include all of them. Choose only the best ones that offer a concrete defense.
In the course of writing your essay, different arguments might emerge. Think about whether any of them might give you plausible cause to rethink your thesis, and perhaps form an opposite conclusion from the one you had in the first place. Make sure that your final position is the best one.
Composing the essay
Despite the complexity of your essay, you need to present your argument in a structured, consistent and coherent way. Ensure that you don’t deviate from your thesis statement when writing each paragraph.
They all need to contribute to developing your argument, so don’t take any tangents! Present your ideas with a clear flow, and in a logical sequence. Remember to cite evidence in each paragraph.
Analytical essay topic example
Wondering what type of topics to expect for an analytical essay paper? Here is a couple of them:
- Analyze some of the differences that arise in male and female communication.
- Work-life balance: Evaluate some of the challenges career women face when trying to juggle family life and breaking the glass ceiling.
- Violence in movies: Discuss its impact on the younger generation.
There’s no right or wrong answer
The thing about analytical essays is, as long as you can defend your standpoint with concrete evidence, there isn’t any right or wrong answer. Simply make sure that you can get your point across clearly so that your audience understands where you’re coming from.
If all this sounds difficult, get a professional writer to do the job for you. Luckily, we have plenty of those. Reach out to us today and we’ll write an analytical essay that will blow your professor’s mind.