What Is an Analytical Essay: Definition, Outline, Topics

Analytical Essay

Some students freak out when they hear the very term. There is no need to worry, the analytical essay definition will make it loud and simple, so you will understand at once that you have done this type of writing task before. To put it crudely, it is a well-though-out and well-rounded observation of a certain subject. Still, such paper will not cover all points of the subject. The analysis of too global theme cannot be fit into 500 words and it cannot be in-depth. That is why, when it comes to the analysis of certain book or film, it is necessary to select specific argument through which you will analyze the subject.

Different types of this kind of essay

  • Rhetorical analysis

    This type deals with proving of the fact that is already solid: for example, like proving the theorem in Math. Here much prominence is given to the facts and logic. Such analysis is the most typical for science sphere and mathematics.

  • Literary analysis

    It is the most common task among students in a college or a high school. Teachers utilize this academic paper as a tool of evaluating the level of a book comprehension. Students have to analyze certain situation depicted in a book or the influence of a certain quote on a plot. Usually such papers are focused on the emotions and characters rather than logic or facts.

  • Process analysis

    To define analytical essay of this type, it is essential to understand the core of the process. These papers deal with the description and analysis of the transformation that certain object goes through. Here it is necessary to explain the purpose of the process and dedicate a paragraph to each state of the process.

  • Character analysis

    Such papers depict the transformation of the character from A to Z.

  • Poetry analysis

    Here the writer should thoroughly research the content, structure and historical significance of the poem.

  • Causal analysis

    Consider it the most fully-fledged answer to the Why? question.

Most important qualities for analytical essay

Obviously, there are skills essential for creating ANY paper like writing or presentation skills. However, when writing an analytical essay, the analytical skills and critical thinking enters the stage. The ability to wax eloquent on a subject is less important when your teacher expects you to provide clear and concise thoughts in a logical and plain manner.

Instructions to create a good analytical essay

Here is the well-rounded guideline that will prompt you how to complete this type of essay successfully and in no time.

Decide what to write about

Bring into notice that it is necessary to make some preparations before actually writing. These steps will help you to complete more well-rounded and successful paper as they boost the level of the paper greatly.

  • Define the target audience
  • Get acquainted with the requirements of the task
  • Look through the instructions of the referencing style
  • Check the deadline of the task

These steps may seem obvious, but you cannot imagine how many tasks failed because of the non-compliance with these requirements!

Next, decide on the topic of the composition. Usually teachers propose topics to work on so you can choose one of the given subjects. But if you have a possibility to select the topic on your own, then better focus on:

  • Motivation of characters or the influence of specific line or a paragraph in a work of fiction
  • What forces participated in the occurrence of certain historical event
  • An analysis of certain scientific research or findings conducted using the scientific method

Thoroughly think, what theme you want to investigate, as it is your chance to show your knowledge and skills. The best plan to be followed is to select the theme you like and know much about, and yet, it is not threadbare.

Another important part is coming up with the catching title. The title is the very first thing that the reader sees and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Get the most out of it.

Creating an analytical essay outline

When you plan how you will structure your essay, consider it the best possible helper in your work. Traditional analytical essay structure consists of the common parts:

  1. The introduction
  2. The body of the text
  3. The conclusion

The number of paragraphs does not play an essential role, the only thing to remember is that the amount of paragraphs depends on the subject. If you have to depict certain process, then one paragraph will be dedicated to one stage of the transformation.

How to write an analytical essay introduction

The core of the intro section is the background information about the topic. Compare it with grabbing your reader by the hand and entering him in the world of certain literary work. Your reader should have a base to stand on when trying to delve into the debris of your analysis. Give him this lifeline to make sure that further reading will be interesting to him.

In addition, this is the place where you have to highlight that your research is important and relevant. Thus, more detailed outline of the intro part will look like this:

  1. The Hook
  2. Brief background information
  3. Transition sentence
  4. Thesis statement

The “hook” sentence is the very first sentence of the paper that acts like attention grabber. Usually it is an unexpected fact, anecdote or a question.

Writing body paragraphs

Analytical essay format calls for at least three body paragraphs aimed to fully prove the thesis statement. More than that, each body paragraph should have a specific structure:

  • The topic sentence that depicts the central idea of the paragraph
  • Analytical part. Here you develop the idea and analyze it. Literary, it is the essence of your essay so be the most attentive, clear and logical.
  • Pieces of evidence. Here you have to support your analysis with the solid evidence to make your argumentation stronger.
  • Concluding part. Highlight the connection between the analysis and the evidence and show the correctness of the illation.

This part should be clear, logical and readable, so the readers can follow your thoughts. Thus, do not forget about transitions, relevance of the information and correctness of quotes.

How to conclude the essay

This part, like suture, connects all thoughts of the paper together. To achieve this, you will have to rephrase the thesis statement here: thus you show that all ideas expressed at the beginning of the paper are covered and correct. Just look through any well-written analytical essay example. You will see that the same principle is used everywhere.

After that it is essential to summarize the key points of your paper and wrap everything up in one sentence that expresses the core of your analysis. This sentence should leave the aftertaste after reading and show what you’ve learned from this work.

Tips for writing an analytical essay

  • Avoid using the first or second person in writing
  • Avoid fluff sentences that have no message in them
  • Do not use too much quotes: one passage per paragraph will be fine
  • Do no enter new facts in the conclusion
  • Never neglect editing and proofreading

Top-30 analytical essay topics

Check these analytical essay sample papers to see the impact of a good topic. Here is the list of the most catching themes you can work upon:

  1. Why don’t teenage relationships last long?
  2. Why do teens rebel against their parents?
  3. How to save money while in college?
  4. How should working mothers balance their work and home duties?
  5. Steps toward making a bill of a law
  6. How did the USA survived the Great Depression
  7. What develops people’s phobias?
  8. The chemical causes of falling in love
  9. Why do people lie?
  10. Why do teens make graffiti?
  11. Why do people commit suicide?
  12. What causes tides?
  13. What causes wind?
  14. Why does India have a caste system?
  15. What increases the drug use in sports?
  16. Why teens leave their homes?
  17. The consequences of obesity
  18. How TV broadcasts shape sports?
  19. The change of gender roles
  20. Latino influence on the US culture
  21. The difference between single and dual parent families
  22. The effects of single parenting on children
  23. How Katherine Mansfield’s background influences her works
  24. Why Orwell used allegory in his “Animal farm”
  25. Do the Harry Potter books and movies have the same impact on the audience?
  26. How to conserve the O-Zone layer?
  27. How to prevent HIV/AIDS spread?
  28. How to identify a famous music producer?
  29. How to become a great film producer?
  30. How has eBay changed the way we do business?