How to Write an Analysis Paper

How to Write an Analysis Paper

Knowing how to write an analysis paper is very important because your instructor will most likely tell you to write an analysis of a specific work at some point during your academic career.  The purpose of an analysis paper or essay is to examine a work and sometimes evaluate it. See more at by following this link. Doing this entails breaking down the work into components and examining how they contribute towards ensuring the effectiveness of the work. When you know how to analyze any work, you can easily examine how different elements of that work function and appreciate them better.

For instance, you can analyze a poem in which you deal with different images and how they relate to each other enabling the poet to convey the main message in a more vivid manner. When writing an analysis paper of a play, you can examine how subplots relate to the main plot. You can also analyze a tragic hero’s character flaw and how it is revealed in different acts of the entire play. When analyzing a short story, your paper can include the identification of themes and how they are suggested by the writer through his or her viewpoint. You can also explain the attitude of the main characters in the play towards women and how it is revealed via actions or dialogue.

A four steps guide on how to write an analysis paper

Write the introduction

The introduction of an analysis paper should capture the interest of the readers. It should bring their focus to the subject of your analysis immediately. The introduction should also provide important background details of the work under analysis while preparing readers for the major thesis- follow the link here  for more information. Come up with an introduction that includes the work’s title, the author’s name and main theme’s explanation. You can also include details of the main characters and the setting. The main thesis of your analysis paper should come at the end of the introductory paragraph.

Write a strong thesis statement

Come up with a thesis statement for your analysis paper that tells readers what they should expect from your paper. Your thesis statement should be precise and restricted in its wording. It should be a declarative sentence stating the purpose of your analysis paper. If you do not craft a good thesis, your paper will have minimal success chances.

Therefore, come up with a thesis statement that:

  • Suggests how the author reveals the theme while showing how the paper is organized.
  • Relates the paper to the main theme of the work under analysis.

A thesis statement can be too large to fit in a single sentence. In such a case, use two sentences to express it.

Write the body paragraphs

The body of your analysis paper is where you support your thesis statement. You cannot claim to know how to write an analysis paper if you do not know how to write body paragraphs of an analysis since the body of an analysis paper is where the supporting details are presented. For instance, the body paragraphs can have concrete explanation, analysis or details of the topic sentence which are basically the main points of the analysis paper. Every paragraph in the body should basically have a topic sentence, textual evidence from the work under analysis, commentary, and a concluding sentence.

  • Topic sentence

This is the first sentence in a body paragraph. Note that a body paragraph is also called a support paragraph because it supports the thesis statement. This sentence identifies an aspect of the thesis statement and supports it with an aim of showing why the thesis statement is true.

  • Textual evidence

This is an example that is drawn from the work under analysis and it provides evidence for the stated topic sentence. Textual evidence may comprise of combined paraphrases or direct quotes from the subject or work under analysis.

  • Commentary

This is simply your interpretation and explanation of the stated textual evidence. Your commentary should tell readers the meaning of the text and/or how this proves the stated topic sentence. The commentary can include an analysis, interpretation, insight, reflection and/or argument.

  • Concluding sentence

This is the last sentence in a body paragraph. It should conclude the body paragraph by properly tying the evidence to the stated thesis statement.

While writing the body paragraphs, remember that an analysis paper should focus on the text under analysis closely. It should not introduce your original reaction, discussion, thought lines or opinions about the ideas of the author- follow the link for more information. If you quote anything from the work under analysis, use clear quotation marks.

Write the conclusion

Your analysis paper should have a properly-written conclusion. This is the last paragraph of the paper and it should start by echoing the main thesis of the paper though it should not do so using the exact words. Broaden your conclusion from the stated thesis to show how your paper has answered the “so what?” question.

Among the things that the conclusion of your analysis paper should accomplish include:

  • Reflect on the way the topic of your analysis paper relates to the work under analysis.
  • Evaluate the success of the creator of the work in accomplishing his/her goal.
  • Provide your personal statement towards the work or the topic.
  • Connect the work to your creative opening
  • Make predictions
  • Give an opinion of the work or its significance.

While writing your analysis paper, consider your subject as a varied, vast terrain where each square foot differs from the next with the differences having subtle meaning. As such, you have to go past simple gut reaction and do something that is more nuanced and be attentive to finer details of the work under analysis. Knowing these steps on how to write an analysis paper alone is not enough because your knowledge of the work or subject that you are required to analyze is also important when it comes to writing an excellent analysis paper. You also need to look at the work under analysis severally to understand it properly before you analyze it-follow the link here for more information.

Bonus hints and tips for writing an analysis paper

To write a good analysis paper, you need time, critical thinking and effort. You have to evaluate the work carefully considering more details below the surface. Writing a good analysis paper also requires you to read the work and understand its facets.

Here are tips that will enable you to come up with an excellent analysis paper:

  • Select a topic for your analysis paper wisely

You need to select a straightforward topic for your paper especially if you are allowed the freedom of selecting an angle or topic for your paper. Conduct some research of the material under analysis then choose a topic that will fit your analysis paper or subject better.

  • Start your analysis early

You need time to read and understand the work before you analyze it. Read the work severally taking notes so that you can understand its aspects or elements and how they work together to accomplish the goal of the creator of the work. After reading and taking notes, review the notes while being more detailed. Make sure that the final paper that you come up with is not vague or general but specific and detailed. Assess the materials once your ideas start taking shape to determine if the angle that you have taken is the right one.

  • Write a strong, effective thesis statement

The kind of a thesis statement that you write will tell readers whether you know how to write an analysis paper from the introduction and whether they should read your paper. A thesis statement usually comes at the introductory paragraph where it provides a preview of the analysis paper. It also grabs the attention of the reader. As such, your thesis should be straight to the point, narrow and specific. Its structure should enable it to present exactly what will be discussed in the paper. Therefore, take time to draft a strong, effective thesis statement for your analysis paper.

  • Back up your argument

Thesis statement will basically present your argument. However, the body should support your argument as presented by your thesis statement. Therefore, cite examples from the work under analysis directly to support your argument- follow the link  for more information.

  • Write a precise conclusion

An analysis paper should not be wordy. Make sure that the paper and the conclusion provide a detailed account of the analysis of the work or situation. Sum the analysis with a precise conclusion.

  • Use a good example of an analysis paper

Using a good analysis paper sample and the guidelines highlighted in this section is a surefire way that will enable you to grasp the steps on how to write an analysis paper. You can find a good analysis paper example online. Here are links to sample analysis papers that you can easily find online; McDonald’s competition analysis 2013 and Renaissance Paintings’ details analysis by Andy Warhol-

Get help with your analysis paper

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