How to Write an Analytical Essay

What is an essay? An essay is an academic paper where a student is required to provide his or her opinion concerning a topic. The student who is the author of this paper will provide evidence and examples to back up his or her opinion.

How to Write an Analytical Essay

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When writing an essay, a writer conducts thorough research to provide valid and credible evidence to make his or her opinion a fact. An analytical essay is an example of the many types of essays that you may be required to write.

What is an Analytical Essay?

Analytical essay definition is an essay that enables you to acquire analytical skills necessary to set arguments and analyze them. Your instructor will ask you to write an analytical essay to develop useful skills like critical thinking.

Also, you will be able to perform in-depth research and come up with concrete evidence to support your opinion. It is essential to understand the purpose and the nature of the analytical essay you have been assigned to write.

This way, you can come up with a solid analytical paper, and you will accurately analyze any specific issue. When writing your essay, makes sure you develop your points. You can agree or disagree and provide explanations to support your claim logically.

Analytical Essay Format

The format of most essays usually has five paragraphs that include one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. An analytical essay follows the same format.

The body paragraph also depends on the number of arguments that you will present. The standard number is three, but you can add one more paragraph in the body section if you need it. Here is how to format your analytical essay

1.     Analytical essay introduction

Write an Analytical Essay

The introduction, which is the first paragraph that introduces your topic, should be exciting and surprising. You can grab your readers’ attention and keep them hooked to your essay from the beginning to the end with a compelling introduction.


The best way to achieve this is by using a hook. A hook that you choose will depend on the mood of your paper and your audience.

It is essential to choose a suitable hook that will not have the opposite effect on your readers. The main idea here is to make the introduction interesting and engaging enough to grab attention. Here are some hook ideas

  • Something funny like a joke or anecdote
  • A proven fact
  • A rhetorical question
  • A metaphor or simile
  • A quote

A hook is usually the first line of your introduction paragraph, followed by background information. The background information you provide brings focus to the topic and puts it in context.

You will provide a little bit more information about the topic. After the background information, you will transition into your thesis statement.


A thesis statement is the main idea of your entire paper, and it sets the theme for the paper. Everything that you will present in your essay should be traced back to the thesis statement. Below is a summary of how an introduction looks like

  • Hook – First sentence of an introduction
  • Background information – Make it narrow
  • Thesis statement- The main idea of your paper

2.     Analytical essay body paragraph

The purpose of the body section of your analytical essay is to elaborate and prove your thesis statement. The body of your essay is where you present your arguments and prove your idea using evidence like statistics, facts, and testimonials.

You will further analyze your evidence and provide relevant examples. All the evidence and examples should be from credible external sources.

The body section has three paragraphs, and each paragraph should analyze a point from your thesis statement. The last part of each paragraph in the body should have a concluding sentence.

This sentence will restate your analysis and its significance concerning the point being discussed. Make sure that your sentences are coherent with a good flow and proper transition from one point to another so that readers can easily follow your line of reasoning.

3.     How to conclude an analytical essay

informative essay fast

The conclusion, which is the final paragraph of your paper, brings your essay to a close and wraps it up. Start your conclusion by restating your main idea, which is your thesis.

This way, you exemplify to your readers’ that you have established your thesis statement. Next, you will need to summarize your steps and arguments in the body section.

It is important that you do not repeat the information in the body paragraph. Instead, you present a brief summary. This serves as a reminder to your readers of the key points of your arguments.

Also, make sure that your transition from the body to the conclusion is smooth and not abrupt. The final part of your conclusion should have a concluding statement. This statement can be about lessons learned from the essay or a key take away for your audience.

Analytical essay outline

It is essential that you create an outline before you start writing your essay. An outline will help you to organize your work and to complete your paper much faster. The following is an analytical essay outline

1.     Introduction

  • Hook
  • Background or contextual information
  • Thesis statement

2.     Body

Topic sentence 1

Argument1+Evidence (statistics, facts, testimonials) + Analysis + Examples

Concluding sentence 1

Topic sentence 2

Argument2+Evidence (statistics, facts, testimonials) + Analysis + Examples

Concluding sentence 2

Topic sentence 3

Argument3+Evidence (statistics, facts, testimonials) + Analysis + Examples

Concluding sentence 3

3.     Conclusion

Restate your thesis and summarize arguments in the body section. Include an overall concluding statement.

How to start an analytical essay

The first step to starting your analytical essay is to select a topic. Your instructor can provide you with a topic, or you can select a topic for yourself.

You can write about almost anything from a book analysis, article, a specific event, or even a movie. Depending on the topic, you select some of the things you can analyze is the style used.

Others include the author’s intentions and other main points. Here are steps you can follow when selecting analytical essay topics

1.     Brainstorm

Write down all possible issues and ideas related to your subject of interest. This will help you to generate the best idea. Think of as many options as possible.

2.     Perform a research

Choose the analytical essay topics you want to write about and make sure it’s something that interests you. This way, you will be motivated to work on it, and you will enjoy researching it.

Research your topic on the internet and note all the relevant information you need for your analytical essay. Also, check the school library for more material on your topic. When you perform in-depth research, you make your writing more streamlined, and your arguments will be more solid.

3.     Verify your sources

Make sure you research your information from credible sources. Verify that your sources are reliable, leading to a high quality and credible academic paper. Choose the best topic that you can cover depending on the amount of information provided.

4.     Confirm with your instructor

When you finally settle on a topic, consult your professor or instructor for further guidance. Verify that the problem you want to analyze fits what is expected. Eventually, you can come up with an eye-catching and original title.

Preparing for writing your analytical essay

It is essential that you prepare for the writing process before you begin. You will need to understand a few things concerning the essay you are about to write. This is what you need to consider

1.     Find out what is expected

Find out precisely what you are required to do and the instructions you need to follow. For example, does the essay involve writing something about a book or movie?

What is the essay prompt asking you to focus on? Are you analyzing a plot or character? You will need to decide what you will focus on and the direction you will take when writing your paper.

2.     Decide and understand what you need to write

Read and understand your professor’s instructions. Your instructor might give you analytical essay topics to choose from, or you might have to look for one.

You can start with a simple topic. When analyzing a book, you can look at the characters, relationships, or even assumptions. Purpose to delve deeper into your analysis and produce compelling arguments with substantial evidence for your readers.

3.     Write a strong analytical essay thesis statement

A create a strong thesis statement that is the focus of your argument. Readers can know your stance on a subject using your thesis statement.

Your thesis should be easy to understand and not ambiguous. This is a claim that proves your assumption using statistics, facts, and reliable testimonies.

It also provides the most important information at the start of your analytical essay. A thesis statement brings the reader’s attention to the topic and sets them in the right direction.

4.     Find evidence

Evidence is critical in giving your work credibility. Look for concrete evidence that will add depth to your argument and make your paper high quality.

This way, your readers will be more persuaded to consider your point of view. Do a thorough research and find valid evidence from credible external sources.

Organize your evidence to make your writing process easier in the body of your essay. Also, you can include relevant analytical essay examples where needed.

Tips on how to write an analytical essay

It is necessary to give your essay the correct structure and format and to prepare before you can begin writing your paper. Here are some additional tips that will help make your essay even better and increase your chances of getting better grades.

1.     Proofread your work

analytical essay thesis

It is not enough to write your paper, read it once and submit it. You need to thoroughly proofread your writing and make sure it is near perfect.

Check your work for any grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes and correct them. You can use grammar checking software to make the proofreading process smooth.

Also, check the tone of voice, rhythm, and flow of your writing and make sure it suits your topic and resonates with your audience. When you check and correct these issues, you are likely to impress your professor and get higher grades.

Take a few days off and give yourself a mental break from your essay before submitting it. When you resume your proofreading, counter check your paper to see if you missed any mistakes the first time.

Check the evidence and examples you have used and make sure they are well placed and flow in the right order. You can also ask a friend to proofread your work before you finally submit it. A fresh pair of eyes might catch glaring mistakes that you may have missed.

2.     Make your conclusion impactful

Your conclusion is not only a place to restate your thesis, but it is where you leave a lasting impression in the minds of your readers. Make it count.

Paraphrase your thesis statement at the beginning of your conclusion and in the end challenge your readers. Give them something to think about or encourage them to take action about something.

Key takeaway

An analytical essay is a type of paper that will help develop your analytical skills that are useful in real-life situations. Writing this type of paper requires you to make preparations before you begin, understand the outline and the format that is needed. You will also need to know a few tips and tricks that will make your work unique. When you follow these guidelines, you will enjoy researching and writing your essay, and your audience will enjoy reading it. 

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