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How To Structure An Analytical Essay

Somehow in the high school, your teacher stated something like an analytical essay, defined it as a type of writing that tries to analyze a text in an already established topic. This sounds like a perfect simplified mode of writing that just summarizes the events or characters but in practice, it can prove to be hectic. So, before learning how to write a good analytical essay, need have to have a clear understanding of what it actually is.

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Introduction

By definition, it’s an academic writing that separates the ideas and facts, gives the meaning to the facts to enable the reader to understand them easily. From this definition, it is very clear that it is not just a summary of the text, but an arrangement of how themes and characters align in a narrative. Analytical essay assists the reader to have a larger scope of understanding than it would be provided in a summary, as the facts are scrutinized and examined closely to portray the actual meaning of the text in a broader clearer picture.

How to write a good analytical essay

Writing a successful paper is not as automatic as you might think, thus, it requires some critical considerations. Remember that every word appealing and also helpful to the reader. The first genuine step is by studying examples of analytical essays considered successful.

This step sets a clear understanding of how to arrange the ideas and facts, and how to present them in the analysis. Of course, you are not confined to write exactly the way other samples outline, but it a great way to kick start your learning process.

Once an idea has been incepted in your memory, scrutinize the topics to have a clear understanding of the facts at hand.

Proper formatting

There are several writing outlines but generally, three general parts namely the Introduction, the Body and the Conclusion incorporated in every essay. The three make the general format of an essay.

The introduction

Plays an integral part of the overall writing. The first sentence should be interesting and attractive to the reader so that it can instill a motivation to continue studying the analysis. There are several options available to kick start your creative writing like making a compromising statement, giving interesting breathtaking facts or even asking a rhetorical question. This style draws the inspiration and the reader cannot wait to see the content in the whole review. After this, create a proper thesis statement that now introduces the reader to the main subject as it is.

The last bit is the proof of how you the thesis statement are supported throughout your analysis. It is from the introduction where you develop a list of ideas and topics to be included in the body.

The body

- is the PowerPoint of the entire writing so creativity should be portrayed at its best here. Typically, the body should not have less than three paragraphs depending on the topic under scrutiny but a writer can incorporate as many as deemed fit with his work.

The structure of the body mainly involves a topic sentence, a claim and the evidence. This is the general template of an analytical essay. The topic sentence introduces the reader on what the paragraph entails. The claim narrows down on more specific details concerning the topic sentence. And finally, the evidence section supports the claim. The three should allow the reader to understand the topic under consideration leaving no loopholes along. The evidence should directly relate to the claim to give a good flow of ideas in the topic.

Conclusion

It is a summary of your essay stating your main points indirectly.

This is the finishing point of any paper. This section should be literary good to prompt the reader to go over the topic again and again to probably get some facts right about a misunderstood section. It’s a point of reference and review. The reader can use it as a guide to refer back to the topics discussed. It is better if the conclusion can leave the reader satisfied and contented with the facts and evidences outlined on the essay.

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It is important

From the above points, analytical essay writing follows the outlined general structure. It is the effort of the writer to make it as persuasive as possible so as to accomplish the intended purpose in its meaning. It is important to review the whole work after done writing to see and improve on the ideas outlined in the whole statement.

: Writing an analytic essay requires that you make some sort of argument. The core of this argument is called a thesis. It is your claim, succinctly stated in a single sentence. What do budding literary critics such as yourselves argue about? You make a pervasive, persistent case that a certain thing is true about a piece of literature. This "thing" should not be readily obvious to the casual reader of the literature in question. It is what you draw out of the book or essay, how you interpret it. It is a claim that must be supported by specific evidence from the text. At least once during the course of writing your essay, isolate what you consider to be your thesis. Is your proposition both arguable and reasonable? If it is obvious (i.e. Mary Rowlandson used the Bible for comfort during her captivity) you don’t have an argument. Argument requires analysis (i.e. taking things apart and explaining them). One test that may help is asking yourself what the opposite "side" of your argument would be. A good, complicated thesis (which was proposed by one of your classmates) is that "Although Mary Rowlandson says she often used the Bible as a source of comfort during her captivity, a closer reading of her narrative suggests her faith may have been more troubled by her experience than she lets on." One useful structure for writing thesis statements is the "although" form used above: "Although x seems to be true about this piece of literature, y is in fact more true (or makes our thinking about x more complex)." In this form you present both sides of your argument at once and show which side you’re on. Your job in the paper is to convince your reader to join you. Another way to write an effective thesis statement is to use the form "If we look closely at x (e.g. how Bradford defines freedom) we discover y (that ).

Look for images or metaphors that the author uses consistently. What other sort of pattern can you identify in the text? How do you interpret this pattern so that your reader will understand the book, essay, poem, speech, etc. better?

What philosophical, moral, ethical, etc. ideas is the author advocating or opposing? What are the consequences of accepting the author's argument?

Explain how the work functions as a piece of rhetoric--how does the author attempt to convince his or her reader of something? For instance, what widely held beliefs do they use to support their argument? How do they appeal to emotions, logic…

Re-examine something that the text or most readers take for granted (that Thoreau’s book Walden represents his attempt to escape from society). Question this major premise and see where it takes you

Ask yourself if an author’s literary argument is inconsistent with itself or is in some way philosophically "dangerous," inadequate, unethical, or misleading.

Examine how characters are presented in a story. How do they help the main character to develop? Which characters are trustworthy? Which are not? Why are they presented this way?

Structure

: How the parts of the book or essay follow one another; how the parts are assembled to make a whole? Why does the author start where they start, end where they end? What is the logical progression of thought? How might that progression be intended to affect the reader What effect might this progression of ideas have on a generic reader or on a reader from the time period in which the work was written? Does the piece move from the general to the specific or vice versa?

If you could divide the book/essay into sections, units of meaning, what would those sections be? How are they related to each other? Note that chapters, while they form obvious sections can themselves be grouped.

Referring to the text

: In writing analytic papers that address any kind of literature, it is necessary to refer to the text (the specific words on the page of the book) in order to support your argument. This means that you must quote and interpret passages that demonstrate or support your argument. Quotation is usually stronger than paraphrase. Remember also that your purpose in writing an essay is not merely to paraphrase or summarize (repeat) what the author has said, but to make an argument about how the make their point, or how they have said what they have said.

Language

: includes the way an author phrases his or her sentences, the key metaphors used (it’s up to you to explain how these metaphors are used, why these metaphors are appropriate, effective, ineffective, or ambiguous). Is the way a sentence is phrased particularly revealing of the author’s meaning?

Please title your paper and make the title apt and enticing--I LOVE a good title. It puts me in a good mood before I start reading.

Be clear about whether you’re writing about a book, an essay (non-fiction, short prose), a story (short fiction) a poem, a novel (book-length fiction), an autobiography, a narrative (as in Captivity Narratives) etc. Walden is a book comprised of chapters. Each of these chapters could also be called an essay. Within these essays, Thoreau sometimes tells stories. The book itself is not a story, but closer to a narrative, which is non-fiction.

Always go through at least two drafts of you paper. Let your paper sit, preferably for 24 hours between drafts sometime during the process of your writing.

Eliminate

first person pronoun ("I") in your final draft (it’s OK for rough drafts and may help you write).

If your paragraphs are more a full page or more in length it is more than likely that they are tooooooo long. Probably you have too many ideas "in the air" at once. Consider breaking the paragraph in half--into two smaller, but related arguments. Your reader needs a break, needs more structure in order to be able to follow your meaning.

If several of your paragraphs are exceedingly short (4-5 lines), it is likely that you are not developing your ideas thoroughly enough--that you are writing notes rather than analysis. Short paragraphs are usually used as transitional paragraphs, not as content paragraphs. (Short paragraphs can be used in the rhetorical devise of reversal where you lead your reader down a certain path (to show them one side of the argument, the one you are going to oppose) and then turn away from that argument to state the true argument of your paper.)

Employ quotation often.

One quotation per argumentative paragraph is usually necessary. Depending upon the length and complexity of the passage or topic you're dealing with, more quotations may be useful to prevent you from getting too far away from the text. Your quotations combined with your interpretations are your proof. Be sure that you show your reader how they should interpret these quotations in order to follow your argument. (Almost every quotation should be followed by an interpretation, a deeper reading of what is being said and how its being said. This interpretation demonstrates how the quotation supports the claim you're making about it). Pay attention to metaphor, phrasing, tone, alliteration, etc. How is the author saying what they are saying--what does that teach us about the text?

Remember to write directive (sometimes called "topic") sentences for your paragraphs. The first sentence of any paragraph should give your reader an idea of what the paragraph is going to say and how the paragraph will connect to the larger argument. It should have more to do with what you have to say about the materials than what the author him or herself has said.

Transitions between paragraphs

: try to get away from using "The next," "First of all" "Another thing..." to connect your paragraphs. This is the "list" method of structuring a paper--not an integrated, logical approach. A really strong transition makes the logical connection between paragraphs or sections of a paper and gives the reader a sense that you’re building an argument. To make sure you are making a well-connected argument, ask yourself how the last sentence of each paragraph and the first sentence of the next are connected. Each of the sentences within your paragraphs should be related somehow (follow from, refer to, etc.) the one that precedes it, and the one which follows it. This will help the reader follow the flow of your ideas. The order of your paragraphs should reveal a developing argument.

On the most basic level, you should be able to consciously justify the presence and placement of every word in every sentence, every sentence in every paragraph, every paragraph in every essay. To repeat: in revising your papers after the first draft (which is always, inevitably to some degree confused because you are involved in the process of working your ideas out), you should be highly conscious of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

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