How to Write an Analytical Essay
There are only two most used methods in the history of human knowledge which are: analysis and synthesis. Analysis is such an approach to a given topic/issue/problem, which:
- examines the topic from different viewpoints;
- scrutinizes its topic by dividing it into several smaller sub-topics;
- never loses the wholeness of the problem from sight, thus trying to find similarities and causal chains.
In contrast with the first method, synthesis usually combines together various topics, concepts, or even theories. Hence, analysis goes very deep into the matter; on the other hand, synthesis has broader scope. We have synthesis, for instance, when we put together several concepts and show that they are essentially one. However, every analysis puts stress on each single part or stage of the problem, or process, and attempts to single out its distinctive characteristics.
Analytical essays may be employed in different areas: in discussing literature, philosophizing, or as historical analysis, and so forth. Here you will find some tips about how to carry out a good analysis on a subject:
How to write an analytical essay – 6 important tips
1. Plan your paper carefully
Construct it by dividing it into several parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Put your thesis in the introduction and then set it forth again in the main part of the essay. Present your arguments in favor of the thesis.
2. Define your topic and scope of your research very clearly
If you find important information while writing, you may incorporate it, but not mechanically, it should fit in the text.
3. Take several points of view on the problem analyzed by you
For example, they could be: the most popular (or reliable) opinion, the opinion which completely contradicts it, your personal viewpoint, etc. Try to find out more views on the issue through your imagination. If you wish, put the problem into different context. For example, if you write about evolution, you can refer to evolution in biological sense, in philosophical sense, in astrophysical sense, in religious sense, and so on.
4. Inquire into the causes and effects of the phenomenon analyzed by you
In history, it may be the factors for a given event; in literature, the reasons for describing the main character in such and such way. Here you have to co-relate this phenomenon to another, to make association between your topic and other topics.
5. Divide your topics into sub-topics and examine them one by one
Show the connections between them again, and especially in causal sense. You can present different aspects of the problem, or different definitions. The point is to show its diversity.
Conclude your paper by showing the necessary connection between the parts or aspects. How your analysis has contributed to better understanding of the problem? Which side of the problem you conceive as the most important? What are the advantages and weaknesses of your approach? Try to prove your thesis throughout the paper and clarify it in the concluding part.
An analytical essay should inquire into a problem in such a way that it will reveal unknown or undervalued sides of it. It must also deal with details and show the necessary connection between various parts of the examined phenomena/process/problem/concept. It deals with regularities, principles or laws, thereby applying them to the given phenomenon.
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