How To Write An Analytical Essay In 5 Steps

Analytical essays usually require you to explore an issue, or present an opinion based on concrete facts. Most often, you will need to analyze another piece of writing, but you can also be asked to analyze a specific issue or idea. In order to do this properly, you need to be able to break down the topic into various parts and provide evidence from your own research that supports your claim. Below, you will find five critical steps to on how to write a high-quality analytical paper.

  1. Decided what to write about
  2. Generally, the topic you’re writing about will be assigned to you (e.g you need to determine whether you support a specific law or oppose it). Make sure you understand the prompt and what it’s asking of you. Sometimes, you’ll need to come up with your own topic. Whatever you end up writing about, you need to pick a side and stick with it even if you don’t fully believe in what you’re defending. Don’t straddle the fence or try to appeal to both options. It lessens the resolve of your stance, which needs to be strong and bold.

  3. Try to be critical and specific with your examples
  4. With an analytical paper, there’s no such thing as an example (information) that is “too” specific. You want to narrow in on the research you’re providing, and give concrete evidence to the reader as to why it supports your position. Avoid being broad and general (or vague). If something is abstract but can be an absolute, replace it.

  5. Use the opposing side
  6. Sometimes, the best way to strengthen your own paper is to acknowledge the counter-argument to your position (this promotes complexity to the issue). However, if you do decide to acknowledge the opposing stance, be sure to effectively criticize it in an effort to reiterate that your position on the topic is the valid one. Hand in hand with this, make sure you know the difference between slander and negative opinions, opposed to truthful criticism.

  7. Never, never lie. Ever
  8. Don’t ever use made-up statistics or “fabricated truths” in your writing. While it made sound fancy, readers have an innate way of discerning what’s plausible and what isn’t. Instead, focus on strong organization and logical arguments, supported by specific examples. In the end, this will strengthen your paper.

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