How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide

An analysis / analytical essay is a standard assignment in college or university. You might be asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of a research paper, a report, a movie, a company, a book, or an event. In this article, you’ll find out how to write an analysis paper introduction, thesis, main body, and conclusion, and analytical essay example.

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So, what is an analytical essay? This type of assignment implies that you set up an argument and analyze it using a range of claims. The claims should be supported by appropriate empirical evidence. Note that you need to explore both the positive and negative sides of the issue fully.

Analytical skills are the key to getting through your academic career. Moreover, they can be useful in many real-life situations. Keep reading this article by Custom-writing experts to learn how to write an analysis!

❓ What Is an Analytical Essay?

  • 🤔 Getting Started

📑 Analytical Essay Outline

  • 📔 Choosing a Title
  • 💁 Writing an Introduction
  • 🏋 Writing a Body
  • 🏁 Writing a Conclusion

🔗 References

Before you learn how to start an analysis essay, you should understand some fundamentals of writing this type of paper. It implies that you analyze an argument using a range of claims supported by facts . It is essential to understand that in your analysis essay, you’ll need to explore the negative sides of the issue and the positive ones. That’s what distinguishes an analytical essay from, say, a persuasive one.

Begin Your Analysis essay with a Literature Review. Then Make an Outline, Write and Polish Your Draft.

These are the steps to write an academic paper :

  • Review the literature . Before starting any paper, you should familiarize yourself with what has already been written in the field. And the analytical essay is no exception. The easiest way is to search on the web for the information.
  • Brainstorm ideas. After you’ve done your search, it is time for a brainstorm! Make a list of topics for your analysis essay, and then choose the best one. Generate your thesis statement in the same way.
  • Prepare an outline . Now, when you’ve decided on the topic and the thesis statement of your analytical essay, think of its structure. Below you will find more detailed information on how your paper should be structured.
  • Write the first draft. You’ve done a lot of work by now. Congratulations! Your next goal is to write the first version of your analysis essay, using all the notes that you have. Remember, you don’t need to make it perfect!
  • Polish your draft. Now take your time to polish and edit your draft to transform it into the paper’s final version.

You are usually assigned to analyze an article, a book, a movie, or an event. If you need to write your analytical essay on a book or an article, you’ll have to analyze the style of the text, its main points, and the author’s purported goals.

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🤔 Analytical Essay: Getting Started

The key to writing an analysis paper is to choose an argument that you will defend throughout it. For example: maybe you are writing a critical analysis paper on George Orwell’s Animal Farm The first and imperative task is to think about your thesis statement. In the case of Animal Farm , the argument could be:

In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill gives a great explanation of the thesis statement , how to create one, and what its function is.

But that’s not all. Once you have your thesis statement, you need to break down how you will approach your analysis essay to prove your thesis. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Define the main goal(s) of your analysis . Remember that it is impossible to address each and every aspect in a single paper. Know your goal and focus on it.
  • Conduct research , both online and offline, to clarify the issue contained within your thesis statement.
  • Identify the main parts of the issue by looking at each part separately to see how it works.
  • Try to clearly understand how each part works.
  • Identify the links between the various aspects of the topic .
  • By using the information you found, try to solve your main problem .

At this point, you should have a clear understanding of both the topic and your thesis statement. You should also have a clear direction for your analysis paper firmly planted in your mind and recorded in writing.

This will give you what you need to produce the paper’s outline.

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An outline is the starting point for your work. A typical analytical essay features the usual essay structure. A 500-word essay should consist of a one-paragraph introduction, a three-paragraph body, and a one-paragraph conclusion. Find below a great analytical essay outline sample. Feel free to use it as an example when doing your own work!

Analysis Essay: Introduction

  • Start with a startling statement or provocative question.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal”. Animal Farm abounds in ironic and provocative phrases to start an analytical essay.

  • Introduce the work and its author.
  • Give background information that would help the reader understand your opinion.
  • Formulate a thesis statement informing the reader about the purpose of the essay. Essay format does not presuppose telling everything possible on the given topic. Thus, a thesis statement tells what you are going to say, implying what you will not discuss, establishing the limits.

In Animal Farm, Orwell uses different irony types to ridicule totalitarianism to manifest its inability to make every member of society equal and happy.

Analysis Essay: Body

The analytical essay structure requires 2-3 developmental paragraphs, each dedicated to one separate idea confirming your thesis statement. The following template should be used for each of the body paragraphs.

  • Start with a topic sentence that supports an aspect of your thesis.

Dramatic irony is used in Animal Farm to point out society’s ignorance.

  • Continue with textual evidence (paraphrase, summary, direct quotations, specific details). Use several examples that substantiate the topic sentence.

Animals are unaware of the fact that Boxer was never sent to the hospital. He was sent to the slaughterhouse. However, the reader and writer understand that this is a lie.

  • Conclude with an explanation.

By allowing the readers to learn some essential facts before the characters, dramatic irony creates suspense and shows how easy it is to persuade and manipulate the public.

Analysis Essay Conclusion

The next four points will give you a short instruction on how to conclude an analytical essay.

  • Never use new information or topics here.
  • Restate your thesis in a different formulation.
  • Summarize the body paragraphs.
  • Comment on the analyzed text from a new perspective.

📔 Choosing a Title for Your Analysis Essay

Choosing a title seems like not a significant step, but it is actually very important. The title of your critical analysis paper should:

  • Entice and engage the reader
  • Be unique and capture the readers’ attention
  • Provide an adequate explanation of the content of the essay in just a few carefully chosen words

In the Animal Farm example, your title could be:

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“How Do the Pigs Manage to Keep Social Control on Animal Farm?”

Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze the media content.
  • Analyze the specifics and history of hip-hop culture.
  • Sociological issues in the film Interstellar .
  • Discuss the techniques M. Atwood uses to describe social issues in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale .
  • Compare and analyze the paintings of Van Gogh and George Seurat.
  • Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Examine the juvenile crime rates.
  • Describe the influence of different parenting styles on children’s mind.
  • Analyze the concept of the Ship of Theseus .
  • Compare and analyze the various views on intelligence .
  • Analysis of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman .
  • Discuss the techniques used by W. Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream .
  • Analyze the biography of Frederic Chopin .
  • Manifestation of the Chicano culture in the artwork An Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio .
  • Similarities and differences of Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Spanish Empires .
  • Describe the problem of stalking and its impact on human mental health.
  • Examine the future of fashion .
  • Analyze the topicality of the article Effectiveness of Hand Hygiene Interventions in Reducing Illness Absence .
  • Discuss Thomas Paine’s impact on the success of American revolution.
  • Meaningful messages in Recitatif by Toni Morrison .
  • Explore the techniques used by directors in the film Killing Kennedy .
  • Compare the leadership styles of Tang Empress Wu Zetian and the Pharaoh Cleopatra .
  • Evaluate the credibility of Kristof’s arguments in his article Remote Learning Is Often an Oxymoron .
  • Analyze genetically modified food .
  • Examine the influence of Europeans on Indian tribes in The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson .
  • Describe the rhetoric techniques used in The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde .
  • The importance of fighting against violence in communities in the documentary film The Interrupters .
  • Analyze indoor and outdoor pollution .
  • Analyze the issue of overprotective parenthood .
  • Explore the connection between eating habits and advertisement.
  • Discuss the urgence of global warming issue .
  • Influence of sleep on people’s body and mental health.
  • Analyze the relationship between Christianity and sports .
  • Discuss the concept of leadership and its significance for company efficiency.
  • Analyze the key lessons of the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki .
  • Examine the specifics of nursing ethic .
  • The theme of emotional sufferings in the short story A Rose for Emily .
  • Analysis of bias in books for children .
  • Analyze the rhetoric of the article Public Monuments .
  • Describe the main messages in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea .
  • Explore the problem of structural racism in healthcare .
  • The reasons of tango dance popularity.
  • The shortcomings of the American educational system in Waiting for Superman.
  • Analyze and compare Erin’s Law and Megan’s Law .
  • Analyze the James Madison’s essay Federalist 10 .
  • Examine symbols in the movie The Joker .
  • Compare the thematic connection and stylistic devices in the poems The Road Not Taken and Find Your Way .
  • Describe and analyze the life of Eddie Bernice Johnson .
  • Explore the social classes in America .
  • Crucial strengths and weaknesses of the main translation theories .

💁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Introduction

You must understand how to compose an introduction to an analysis paper. The University of Wollongong describes the introduction as a “map” of any writing. When writing the introduction, follow these steps:

  • Provide a lead-in for the reader by offering a general introduction to the topic of the paper.
  • Include your thesis statement , which shifts the reader from the generalized introduction to the specific topic and its related issues to your unique take on the essay topic.
  • Present a general outline of the analysis paper.

Watch this great video for further instructions on how to write an introduction to an analysis essay.

Example of an Analytical Essay Introduction

“Four legs good, two legs bad” is one of the many postulates invented by George Orwell for his characters in Animal Farm to vest them with socialist ideology and control over the animal population. The social revolution on Manor Farm was built on language instruments, first for the collective success of the animals, and later for the power consolidation by the pigs. The novel was written in 1945 when the transition from limitless freedoms of socialist countries transformed into dictatorship. Through his animal protagonists, the author analyzes the reasons for peoples’ belief in the totalitarian regime. In Orwell’s Animal Farm , rhetoric and language prove to be more effective ways to keep social control than physical power.

🏋 Writing Your Analytical Essay Body

The body of the paper may be compared to its heart. This is the part where you show off your talent for analysis by providing convincing, well-researched, and well-thought-out arguments to support your thesis statement. You have already gathered the information, and now all you may start crafting your paper.

To make the body of an analytical essay, keep the following in mind:

  • Discuss one argument per paragraph , although each argument can relate to multiple issues
  • Strike a balance between writing in an unbiased tone, while expressing your personal opinion
  • Be reasonable when making judgments regarding any of the problems you discuss
  • Remember to include the opposing point of view to create a balanced perspective

The bottom line is: you want to offer opposing views, but you must pose your arguments so they will counter those opposing views and prove your point of view. Follow these steps when constructing each body paragraph:

  • Choose the main sentence. The main or topic sentence will be the first line in your essay. The topic sentence is responsible for presenting the argument you will discuss in the paragraph and demonstrate how this argument relates to the thesis statement.
  • Provide the context for the topic sentence , whether it relates to a quote, a specific incident in society, or something else. Offer evidence on who, what, where, when, why, and how.
  • Give your analysis of the argument and how it adequately proves your thesis.
  • Write a closing sentence that sums up the paragraph and provides a transition to the following paragraph.

Example of an Analytical Essay Body

Literacy can grant power, provided that there are animals who cannot read or write. In the beginning, the animals’ literacy and intellect are relatively the same. Old Major is the cleverest pig; he is the kind old philosopher, like Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin. During his retirement, he develops a theory that all humans are the root of evil. His speech was the foundation for the pigs’ assumption of power. They refined his ideas into a new ideology and called it Animalism. They also learned how to read. It allowed the pigs to declare themselves the “mind workers.” Therefore, the pigs’ literacy assured the illiterate animals in their objective superiority.

Meanwhile, as the pigs were the intellectual elite, they were not supposed to work, which raised their social status by itself. Snowball tried to promote education among all the animals, but most of them failed to master the alphabet. This is a metaphor for the general public being predominantly ignorant and easy to manipulate. At the same time, Boxer and other animals that spend most of the day in hard work merely have no time to develop their intellect. Thus, the pigs’ intention to build a school for pig children was highly efficient. Unequal access to education and unequal ability to express one’s thoughts in perspective reinforce the social divide, making the pigs smarter and more powerful and undermining other animals’ self-esteem.

At this point, the pigs resort to propaganda and rhetoric. Squealer uses his oratorical gift to refine the pigs’ message to the other animals. Upon Napoleon’s order, he breaks the Seven Commandments of farm governance. At night, he climbs the ladder to change them, and once even falls from the ladder trying to change the commandment on alcohol. The “proletarian” animals soon forget what the Seven Commandments were like in the first place and are unsure if they have ever been altered. Further on, Minimus writes a poem praising Napoleon. Finally, Squealer replaces the Commandments with a single assertion: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Language is no longer used to convince. It is used to control and manipulate.

🏁 Writing Your Analytical Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is short and sweet. It summarizes everything you just wrote in the essay and wraps it up with a beautiful shiny bow. Follow these steps to write a convincing conclusion:

  • Repeat the thesis statement and summarize your argument. Even when using the best summary generator for the task, reread it to make sure all the crucial points are included.
  • Take your argument beyond what is simply stated in your paper. You want to show how it is essential in terms of the bigger picture. Also, you may dwell on the influence on citizens of the country.

Example of an Analytical Essay Conclusion

Because of everything mentioned above, it becomes clear that language and rhetoric can rise to power, establish authority, and manipulate ordinary people. Animal Farm is the simplified version of a communist society. It shows how wise philosophers’ good intentions can be used by mean leaders to gain unopposed power and unconditional trust. Unfortunately, this can lead to the death of many innocent animals, i.e., people, as totalitarianism has nothing to do with people’s rule. Therefore, language and oratory are potent tools that can keep people oppressed and weak, deprive them of any chance for improvement and growth, and make them think that there is no other possible existence.

Now you are ready to write an analysis essay! See, it’s easier than you thought.

Of course, it’s always helpful to see other analysis essay examples. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock provides some great examples of an analytical paper .

✏️ Analysis Essay FAQ

A great analytical paper should be well-structured, cohesive, and logically consistent. Each part of the essay should be in its place, creating a smooth and easy-to-read text. Most importantly, the statements should be objective and backed by arguments and examples.

It is a paper devoted to analyzing a certain topic or subject. An analysis essay is all about reviewing certain details of the subject and interpreting them. For example, such an analysis for a poem includes a description of artistic means that helped the poet convey the idea.

Writing an analytical essay on a book/movie/poem start with an outline. Point out what catches the eye when reviewing the subject. See how these details can be interpreted. Make sure that you refer to the main idea/message. Add an appropriate introduction and a logical conclusion.

Being more analytical in writing can be essential for a student. This is a skill that can be self-taught: try to start noticing subtle details and describe them. As you write, interpret the facts and strive to draw conclusions. Try to be as objective as possible.

  • Elements of Analysis
  • How Can I Create Stronger Analysis?
  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay:
  • Essay Structure | – Harvard College Writing Center
  • Analytical Writing: Looking Closely (
  • Analytical Thesis Statements – University of Arizona
  • Writing an analytic essay – UTSC – University of Toronto
  • Organizing Your Analysis // Purdue Writing Lab
  • How to Write an Analytical Essay: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
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introduction about analysis essay

How to Write an Analytical Essay: Tips, Structure, Examples

introduction about analysis essay

If you're someone who loves diving deep into tasks and thrives on thinking outside the box, then analytical essays might just be your cup of tea! Through meticulous analysis and clever literary maneuvers, you'll uncover fresh perspectives and deepen your grasp of your chosen topic.

In this article, our research paper writer will explain what an analytical essay entails, learn how to structure your paper for top marks, snag some snazzy topic ideas, and glean practical examples. This guide has got all the essentials you need for writing success!

What Is an Analytical Essay

To write a successful analytical essay, it's crucial to grasp its purpose and approach. Simply put, analytical essays use evidence from the text to support the author's arguments logically, without relying on emotions or personal stories.

Unlike persuasive essays that push for a single viewpoint, a good analytical essay example should explore all angles of the topic. This means considering various perspectives, breaking down arguments, and evaluating evidence carefully.

Ultimately, you'll need to state your own position based on your analysis. This involves synthesizing your findings and deciding whether you agree with the conclusions drawn or have your own interpretation.

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How to Structure an Analytical Essay

Now it's time to ace the process of crafting an excellent paper. To make writing easier, organize your thoughts and structure your arguments clearly. An analytical essay needs the introduction, body, and conclusion of an outline, which acts as a guide from start to finish. Here's the simple breakdown of an analytical essay outline:

How to Structure an Analytical Essay


  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph 1‍

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the body paragraph to‍

Body paragraph 2‍

  • Transition to body paragraph 3

Body paragraph 3

  • Transition to conclusion
  • Summary of major points
  • Restate the thesis
  • Key takeaways

Analytical Essay Introduction: To start your essay effectively, focus on grabbing the reader's attention right away and clearly stating the topic. A strong beginning provides background information, states the purpose of the paper, and hints at the arguments you'll make. The opening sentence should hook the reader with something interesting and relevant, like a surprising fact, a humorous anecdote, or a thought-provoking question. Then, present your thesis, a concise summary of your stance in the essay.

Body Paragraphs: Each body paragraph in an analytical essay format starts with a clear topic sentence that guides the reader. It presents evidence supporting the thesis, focusing on one issue per paragraph. Briefly restating the main point at the end of each paragraph helps transition smoothly to the next one. This structure ensures clarity and coherence in the essay's argument.

Analytical Essay Conclusion: The conclusion paragraph of a paper typically follows a set pattern: restating the thesis, summarizing key points from the body paragraphs, and offering insights on the significance of the analysis. Don't forget to provide your own thoughts on the topic's importance and how your analysis contributes to it. This helps leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Meanwhile, you might also be interested in how to write a reflection paper , so check out the article for more information!

How to Write an Analytical Essay

Once you understand the structure, there are some steps you can take to make writing an analytical essay easier. Preparing beforehand can simplify the process and improve the overall flow and structure of your essay. Here are some tips from our experts. Meanwhile, you can also request from our experts - write my essay for me . And we'll take care of it right away.

How to Write an Analytical Essay

  • Think Ahead : Before writing analytical essays, a good analytical essay writer should spend some time thinking about the topic. Make a list of ideas or themes related to it. This helps you find interesting angles for your essay.
  • Create a Thesis Statement : Develop a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines the main argument of your essay. This will guide you in how to write an analytical essay introduction and keep your writing focused.
  • Visualize Information : Use graphs or charts to organize your thoughts visually. This makes your research easier to understand. For example, you can compare ideas with a chart.
  • Consider Different Views : Address opposing viewpoints in your essay. This shows you've thought about different perspectives and strengthens your argument.
  • Use Original Sources : Include interviews, presentations, or original documents in your research. They give a unique insight into your topic. For instance, old letters can offer personal views on historical events.
  • Analyze Cause and Effect : Explore the cause-and-effect relationships within your topic. Analyze how different factors contribute to certain outcomes or phenomena.

Analytical Essay Topics

Choosing the right one among lots of analytical essay topic ideas is crucial when tackling your essay. Here's a guide to help you pick wisely:

  • Find a topic that piques your interest. It's easier to dive into analysis when you're passionate about the subject.
  • Look for topics that catch the reader's eye. Think about what would make someone stop and want to read more.
  • Avoid topics that are too broad. Focus on something specific that you can thoroughly analyze within the scope of your essay.
  • Ensure there's enough quality research available to support your analysis. You'll need evidence to back up your points.
  • Your topic should raise questions worth exploring. Aim for something that sparks curiosity and has significance.

Now, here's a mix of engaging topics from our dissertation services to consider:

  • Analyzing the Impact of Blue Light from Screens on Sleep Quality
  • Exploring the Environmental Effects of Microplastics in Ocean Ecosystems
  • Understanding the Benefits of Deep Breathing Exercises for Anxiety Relief
  • Analyzing the Influence of Instagram Filters on Body Image Perception
  • Exploring the Health Risks of Artificial Sweeteners in Diet Soda
  • Understanding the Psychological Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Analyzing the Environmental Impact of Fast Food Packaging Waste
  • Exploring the Effects of Social Media Validation on Self-Esteem
  • Understanding the Benefits of Indoor Plants for Air Quality Improvement
  • Analyzing the Relationship Between Sugar Consumption and Dental Health
  • Exploring the Psychological Effects of Online Shopping Addiction
  • Understanding the Environmental Impact of Fast Fashion Textile Dyes
  • Analyzing the Effects of Smartphone Notifications on Focus and Productivity
  • Exploring the Benefits of Outdoor Exercise for Vitamin D Production
  • Understanding the Relationship Between Noise Pollution and Cardiovascular Health
  • Analyzing the Psychological Effects of Colorful Food Presentation on Appetite
  • Exploring the Impact of Petting Therapy Dogs on Stress Reduction
  • Understanding the Benefits of Classical Music for Concentration While Studying
  • Analyzing the Effects of Lavender Aromatherapy on Sleep Quality
  • Exploring the Health Risks of Prolonged Sitting and Sedentary Lifestyles

Analytical Essay Examples

Here are our analytical essay example samples to see theory in action. Notice how analytical thinking applies to real-world situations, improving your understanding of concepts. By studying these examples, you'll learn to analyze complex issues, build strong arguments, and sharpen your critical thinking skills.

Final Thoughts

With our tips on how to write an analytical essay and examples, you're ready to boost your writing skills and craft essays that captivate your audience. With practice, you'll become a pro at analytical writing, ready to tackle any topic with confidence.

And hey, if you need help to buy essay online , just drop us a line saying ' do my homework for me ' and we'll jump right in!

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Do you need to write an analytical essay for school? What sets this kind of essay apart from other types, and what must you include when you write your own analytical essay? In this guide, we break down the process of writing an analytical essay by explaining the key factors your essay needs to have, providing you with an outline to help you structure your essay, and analyzing a complete analytical essay example so you can see what a finished essay looks like.

What Is an Analytical Essay?

Before you begin writing an analytical essay, you must know what this type of essay is and what it includes. Analytical essays analyze something, often (but not always) a piece of writing or a film.

An analytical essay is more than just a synopsis of the issue though; in this type of essay you need to go beyond surface-level analysis and look at what the key arguments/points of this issue are and why. If you’re writing an analytical essay about a piece of writing, you’ll look into how the text was written and why the author chose to write it that way. Instead of summarizing, an analytical essay typically takes a narrower focus and looks at areas such as major themes in the work, how the author constructed and supported their argument, how the essay used  literary devices to enhance its messages, etc.

While you certainly want people to agree with what you’ve written, unlike with persuasive and argumentative essays, your main purpose when writing an analytical essay isn’t to try to convert readers to your side of the issue. Therefore, you won’t be using strong persuasive language like you would in those essay types. Rather, your goal is to have enough analysis and examples that the strength of your argument is clear to readers.

Besides typical essay components like an introduction and conclusion, a good analytical essay will include:

  • A thesis that states your main argument
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it
  • Examples to support your analysis and allow a more in-depth look at the issue

In the rest of this article, we’ll explain how to include each of these in your analytical essay.

How to Structure Your Analytical Essay

Analytical essays are structured similarly to many other essays you’ve written, with an introduction (including a thesis), several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Below is an outline you can follow when structuring your essay, and in the next section we go into more detail on how to write an analytical essay.


Your introduction will begin with some sort of attention-grabbing sentence to get your audience interested, then you’ll give a few sentences setting up the topic so that readers have some context, and you’ll end with your thesis statement. Your introduction will include:

  • Brief background information explaining the issue/text
  • Your thesis

Body Paragraphs

Your analytical essay will typically have three or four body paragraphs, each covering a different point of analysis. Begin each body paragraph with a sentence that sets up the main point you’ll be discussing. Then you’ll give some analysis on that point, backing it up with evidence to support your claim. Continue analyzing and giving evidence for your analysis until you’re out of strong points for the topic. At the end of each body paragraph, you may choose to have a transition sentence that sets up what the next paragraph will be about, but this isn’t required. Body paragraphs will include:

  • Introductory sentence explaining what you’ll cover in the paragraph (sort of like a mini-thesis)
  • Analysis point
  • Evidence (either passages from the text or data/facts) that supports the analysis
  • (Repeat analysis and evidence until you run out of examples)

You won’t be making any new points in your conclusion; at this point you’re just reiterating key points you’ve already made and wrapping things up. Begin by rephrasing your thesis and summarizing the main points you made in the essay. Someone who reads just your conclusion should be able to come away with a basic idea of what your essay was about and how it was structured. After this, you may choose to make some final concluding thoughts, potentially by connecting your essay topic to larger issues to show why it’s important. A conclusion will include:

  • Paraphrase of thesis
  • Summary of key points of analysis
  • Final concluding thought(s)


5 Steps for Writing an Analytical Essay

Follow these five tips to break down writing an analytical essay into manageable steps. By the end, you’ll have a fully-crafted analytical essay with both in-depth analysis and enough evidence to support your argument. All of these steps use the completed analytical essay in the next section as an example.

#1: Pick a Topic

You may have already had a topic assigned to you, and if that’s the case, you can skip this step. However, if you haven’t, or if the topic you’ve been assigned is broad enough that you still need to narrow it down, then you’ll need to decide on a topic for yourself. Choosing the right topic can mean the difference between an analytical essay that’s easy to research (and gets you a good grade) and one that takes hours just to find a few decent points to analyze

Before you decide on an analytical essay topic, do a bit of research to make sure you have enough examples to support your analysis. If you choose a topic that’s too narrow, you’ll struggle to find enough to write about.

For example, say your teacher assigns you to write an analytical essay about the theme in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath of exposing injustices against migrants. For it to be an analytical essay, you can’t just recount the injustices characters in the book faced; that’s only a summary and doesn’t include analysis. You need to choose a topic that allows you to analyze the theme. One of the best ways to explore a theme is to analyze how the author made his/her argument. One example here is that Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters (short chapters that didn’t relate to the plot or contain the main characters of the book) to show what life was like for migrants as a whole during the Dust Bowl.

You could write about how Steinbeck used literary devices throughout the whole book, but, in the essay below, I chose to just focus on the intercalary chapters since they gave me enough examples. Having a narrower focus will nearly always result in a tighter and more convincing essay (and can make compiling examples less overwhelming).

#2: Write a Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the most important sentence of your essay; a reader should be able to read just your thesis and understand what the entire essay is about and what you’ll be analyzing. When you begin writing, remember that each sentence in your analytical essay should relate back to your thesis

In the analytical essay example below, the thesis is the final sentence of the first paragraph (the traditional spot for it). The thesis is: “In The Grapes of Wrath’s intercalary chapters, John Steinbeck employs a variety of literary devices and stylistic choices to better expose the injustices committed against migrants in the 1930s.” So what will this essay analyze? How Steinbeck used literary devices in the intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants could have it. Crystal clear.

#3: Do Research to Find Your Main Points

This is where you determine the bulk of your analysis--the information that makes your essay an analytical essay. My preferred method is to list every idea that I can think of, then research each of those and use the three or four strongest ones for your essay. Weaker points may be those that don’t relate back to the thesis, that you don’t have much analysis to discuss, or that you can’t find good examples for. A good rule of thumb is to have one body paragraph per main point

This essay has four main points, each of which analyzes a different literary device Steinbeck uses to better illustrate how difficult life was for migrants during the Dust Bowl. The four literary devices and their impact on the book are:

  • Lack of individual names in intercalary chapters to illustrate the scope of the problem
  • Parallels to the Bible to induce sympathy for the migrants
  • Non-showy, often grammatically-incorrect language so the migrants are more realistic and relatable to readers
  • Nature-related metaphors to affect the mood of the writing and reflect the plight of the migrants

#4: Find Excerpts or Evidence to Support Your Analysis

Now that you have your main points, you need to back them up. If you’re writing a paper about a text or film, use passages/clips from it as your main source of evidence. If you’re writing about something else, your evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as surveys, experiments, quotes from knowledgeable sources etc. Any evidence that would work for a regular research paper works here.

In this example, I quoted multiple passages from The Grapes of Wrath  in each paragraph to support my argument. You should be able to back up every claim you make with evidence in order to have a strong essay.

#5: Put It All Together

Now it's time to begin writing your essay, if you haven’t already. Create an introductory paragraph that ends with the thesis, make a body paragraph for each of your main points, including both analysis and evidence to back up your claims, and wrap it all up with a conclusion that recaps your thesis and main points and potentially explains the big picture importance of the topic.


Analytical Essay Example + Analysis

So that you can see for yourself what a completed analytical essay looks like, here’s an essay I wrote back in my high school days. It’s followed by analysis of how I structured my essay, what its strengths are, and how it could be improved.

One way Steinbeck illustrates the connections all migrant people possessed and the struggles they faced is by refraining from using specific titles and names in his intercalary chapters. While The Grapes of Wrath focuses on the Joad family, the intercalary chapters show that all migrants share the same struggles and triumphs as the Joads. No individual names are used in these chapters; instead the people are referred to as part of a group. Steinbeck writes, “Frantic men pounded on the doors of the doctors; and the doctors were busy.  And sad men left word at country stores for the coroner to send a car,” (555). By using generic terms, Steinbeck shows how the migrants are all linked because they have gone through the same experiences. The grievances committed against one family were committed against thousands of other families; the abuse extends far beyond what the Joads experienced. The Grapes of Wrath frequently refers to the importance of coming together; how, when people connect with others their power and influence multiplies immensely. Throughout the novel, the goal of the migrants, the key to their triumph, has been to unite. While their plans are repeatedly frustrated by the government and police, Steinbeck’s intercalary chapters provide a way for the migrants to relate to one another because they have encountered the same experiences. Hundreds of thousands of migrants fled to the promised land of California, but Steinbeck was aware that numbers alone were impersonal and lacked the passion he desired to spread. Steinbeck created the intercalary chapters to show the massive numbers of people suffering, and he created the Joad family to evoke compassion from readers.  Because readers come to sympathize with the Joads, they become more sensitive to the struggles of migrants in general. However, John Steinbeck frequently made clear that the Joads were not an isolated incident; they were not unique. Their struggles and triumphs were part of something greater. Refraining from specific names in his intercalary chapters allows Steinbeck to show the vastness of the atrocities committed against migrants.

Steinbeck also creates significant parallels to the Bible in his intercalary chapters in order to enhance his writing and characters. By using simple sentences and stylized writing, Steinbeck evokes Biblical passages. The migrants despair, “No work till spring. No work,” (556).  Short, direct sentences help to better convey the desperateness of the migrants’ situation. Throughout his novel, John Steinbeck makes connections to the Bible through his characters and storyline. Jim Casy’s allusions to Christ and the cycle of drought and flooding are clear biblical references.  By choosing to relate The Grapes of Wrath to the Bible, Steinbeck’s characters become greater than themselves. Starving migrants become more than destitute vagrants; they are now the chosen people escaping to the promised land. When a forgotten man dies alone and unnoticed, it becomes a tragedy. Steinbeck writes, “If [the migrants] were shot at, they did not run, but splashed sullenly away; and if they were hit, they sank tiredly in the mud,” (556). Injustices committed against the migrants become greater because they are seen as children of God through Steinbeck’s choice of language. Referencing the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s novel and purpose: to create understanding for the dispossessed.  It is easy for people to feel disdain for shabby vagabonds, but connecting them to such a fundamental aspect of Christianity induces sympathy from readers who might have otherwise disregarded the migrants as so many other people did.

The simple, uneducated dialogue Steinbeck employs also helps to create a more honest and meaningful representation of the migrants, and it makes the migrants more relatable to readers. Steinbeck chooses to accurately represent the language of the migrants in order to more clearly illustrate their lives and make them seem more like real paper than just characters in a book. The migrants lament, “They ain’t gonna be no kinda work for three months,” (555). There are multiple grammatical errors in that single sentence, but it vividly conveys the despair the migrants felt better than a technically perfect sentence would. The Grapes of Wrath is intended to show the severe difficulties facing the migrants so Steinbeck employs a clear, pragmatic style of writing.  Steinbeck shows the harsh, truthful realities of the migrants’ lives and he would be hypocritical if he chose to give the migrants a more refined voice and not portray them with all their shortcomings. The depiction of the migrants as imperfect through their language also makes them easier to relate to. Steinbeck’s primary audience was the middle class, the less affluent of society. Repeatedly in The Grapes of Wrath , the wealthy make it obvious that they scorn the plight of the migrants. The wealthy, not bad luck or natural disasters, were the prominent cause of the suffering of migrant families such as the Joads. Thus, Steinbeck turns to the less prosperous for support in his novel. When referring to the superior living conditions barnyard animals have, the migrants remark, “Them’s horses-we’re men,” (556).  The perfect simplicity of this quote expresses the absurdness of the migrants’ situation better than any flowery expression could.

In The Grapes of Wrath , John Steinbeck uses metaphors, particularly about nature, in order to illustrate the mood and the overall plight of migrants. Throughout most of the book, the land is described as dusty, barren, and dead. Towards the end, however; floods come and the landscape begins to change. At the end of chapter twenty-nine, Steinbeck describes a hill after the floods saying, “Tiny points of grass came through the earth, and in a few days the hills were pale green with the beginning year,” (556). This description offers a stark contrast from the earlier passages which were filled with despair and destruction. Steinbeck’s tone from the beginning of the chapter changes drastically. Early in the chapter, Steinbeck had used heavy imagery in order to convey the destruction caused by the rain, “The streams and the little rivers edged up to the bank sides and worked at willows and tree roots, bent the willows deep in the current, cut out the roots of cottonwoods and brought down the trees,” (553). However, at the end of the chapter the rain has caused new life to grow in California. The new grass becomes a metaphor representing hope. When the migrants are at a loss over how they will survive the winter, the grass offers reassurance. The story of the migrants in the intercalary chapters parallels that of the Joads. At the end of the novel, the family is breaking apart and has been forced to flee their home. However, both the book and final intercalary chapter end on a hopeful note after so much suffering has occurred. The grass metaphor strengthens Steinbeck’s message because it offers a tangible example of hope. Through his language Steinbeck’s themes become apparent at the end of the novel. Steinbeck affirms that persistence, even when problems appear insurmountable, leads to success. These metaphors help to strengthen Steinbeck’s themes in The Grapes of Wrath because they provide a more memorable way to recall important messages.

John Steinbeck’s language choices help to intensify his writing in his intercalary chapters and allow him to more clearly show how difficult life for migrants could be. Refraining from using specific names and terms allows Steinbeck to show that many thousands of migrants suffered through the same wrongs. Imitating the style of the Bible strengthens Steinbeck’s characters and connects them to the Bible, perhaps the most famous book in history. When Steinbeck writes in the imperfect dialogue of the migrants, he creates a more accurate portrayal and makes the migrants easier to relate to for a less affluent audience. Metaphors, particularly relating to nature, strengthen the themes in The Grapes of Wrath by enhancing the mood Steinbeck wants readers to feel at different points in the book. Overall, the intercalary chapters that Steinbeck includes improve his novel by making it more memorable and reinforcing the themes Steinbeck embraces throughout the novel. Exemplary stylistic devices further persuade readers of John Steinbeck’s personal beliefs. Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath to bring to light cruelties against migrants, and by using literary devices effectively, he continuously reminds readers of his purpose. Steinbeck’s impressive language choices in his intercalary chapters advance the entire novel and help to create a classic work of literature that people still are able to relate to today. 

This essay sticks pretty closely to the standard analytical essay outline. It starts with an introduction, where I chose to use a quote to start off the essay. (This became my favorite way to start essays in high school because, if I wasn’t sure what to say, I could outsource the work and find a quote that related to what I’d be writing about.) The quote in this essay doesn’t relate to the themes I’m discussing quite as much as it could, but it’s still a slightly different way to start an essay and can intrigue readers. I then give a bit of background on The Grapes of Wrath and its themes before ending the intro paragraph with my thesis: that Steinbeck used literary devices in intercalary chapters to show how rough migrants had it.

Each of my four body paragraphs is formatted in roughly the same way: an intro sentence that explains what I’ll be discussing, analysis of that main point, and at least two quotes from the book as evidence.

My conclusion restates my thesis, summarizes each of four points I discussed in my body paragraphs, and ends the essay by briefly discussing how Steinbeck’s writing helped introduce a world of readers to the injustices migrants experienced during the dust bowl.

What does this analytical essay example do well? For starters, it contains everything that a strong analytical essay should, and it makes that easy to find. The thesis clearly lays out what the essay will be about, the first sentence of each of the body paragraph introduces the topic it’ll cover, and the conclusion neatly recaps all the main points. Within each of the body paragraphs, there’s analysis along with multiple excerpts from the book in order to add legitimacy to my points.

Additionally, the essay does a good job of taking an in-depth look at the issue introduced in the thesis. Four ways Steinbeck used literary devices are discussed, and for each of the examples are given and analysis is provided so readers can understand why Steinbeck included those devices and how they helped shaped how readers viewed migrants and their plight.

Where could this essay be improved? I believe the weakest body paragraph is the third one, the one that discusses how Steinbeck used plain, grammatically incorrect language to both accurately depict the migrants and make them more relatable to readers. The paragraph tries to touch on both of those reasons and ends up being somewhat unfocused as a result. It would have been better for it to focus on just one of those reasons (likely how it made the migrants more relatable) in order to be clearer and more effective. It’s a good example of how adding more ideas to an essay often doesn’t make it better if they don’t work with the rest of what you’re writing. This essay also could explain the excerpts that are included more and how they relate to the points being made. Sometimes they’re just dropped in the essay with the expectation that the readers will make the connection between the example and the analysis. This is perhaps especially true in the second body paragraph, the one that discusses similarities to Biblical passages. Additional analysis of the quotes would have strengthened it.


Summary: How to Write an Analytical Essay

What is an analytical essay? A critical analytical essay analyzes a topic, often a text or film. The analysis paper uses evidence to support the argument, such as excerpts from the piece of writing. All analytical papers include a thesis, analysis of the topic, and evidence to support that analysis.

When developing an analytical essay outline and writing your essay, follow these five steps:

Reading analytical essay examples can also give you a better sense of how to structure your essay and what to include in it.

What's Next?

Learning about different writing styles in school?  There are four main writing styles, and it's important to understand each of them. Learn about them in our guide to writing styles , complete with examples.

Writing a research paper for school but not sure what to write about?   Our guide to research paper topics has over 100 topics in ten categories so you can be sure to find the perfect topic for you. 

Literary devices can both be used to enhance your writing and communication. Check out this list of 31 literary devices to learn more !

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Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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  • How to write a rhetorical analysis | Key concepts & examples

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples

Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay  that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.

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Table of contents

Key concepts in rhetoric, analyzing the text, introducing your rhetorical analysis, the body: doing the analysis, concluding a rhetorical analysis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis.

Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.

Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos

Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.

Logos , or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing , where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.

Ethos , or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.

Pathos , or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.

These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.

Text and context

In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.

In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.

The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?

Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.

Claims, supports, and warrants

A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.

A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.

The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.

The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.

For example, look at the following statement:

We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.

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introduction about analysis essay

Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:

  • What is the author’s purpose?
  • Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
  • What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
  • Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
  • What kinds of evidence are presented?

By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.

The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.

Like all essays, a rhetorical analysis begins with an introduction . The introduction tells readers what text you’ll be discussing, provides relevant background information, and presents your thesis statement .

Hover over different parts of the example below to see how an introduction works.

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is widely regarded as one of the most important pieces of oratory in American history. Delivered in 1963 to thousands of civil rights activists outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech has come to symbolize the spirit of the civil rights movement and even to function as a major part of the American national myth. This rhetorical analysis argues that King’s assumption of the prophetic voice, amplified by the historic size of his audience, creates a powerful sense of ethos that has retained its inspirational power over the years.

The body of your rhetorical analysis is where you’ll tackle the text directly. It’s often divided into three paragraphs, although it may be more in a longer essay.

Each paragraph should focus on a different element of the text, and they should all contribute to your overall argument for your thesis statement.

Hover over the example to explore how a typical body paragraph is constructed.

King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.

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The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and showing how it has been developed by your analysis. It may also try to link the text, and your analysis of it, with broader concerns.

Explore the example below to get a sense of the conclusion.

It is clear from this analysis that the effectiveness of King’s rhetoric stems less from the pathetic appeal of his utopian “dream” than it does from the ethos he carefully constructs to give force to his statements. By framing contemporary upheavals as part of a prophecy whose fulfillment will result in the better future he imagines, King ensures not only the effectiveness of his words in the moment but their continuing resonance today. Even if we have not yet achieved King’s dream, we cannot deny the role his words played in setting us on the path toward it.

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The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.

Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.

The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.

Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.

In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.

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How to Write an Introduction to an Analytical Essay

Ideas to Make a Great Introduction for an Essay

Ideas to Make a Great Introduction for an Essay

The purpose of an analytical essay is to propose and support an argument. By analyzing the material on which the essay is based, the essay writer should develop a position regarding the accuracy of the original information. The introduction is one of the most important parts of an analytical essay. This is because it is in the introduction that the reader will receive his first impression of the essayist's position.

Understand the source material thoroughly. Every analytical essay is essentially a commentary on someone else's work. This means that an effective analytical essay writer is someone who is able to read and understand the source material exceptionally well.

Grab the reader's attention. By including a quotation or controversial statement in the first few lines of the introduction you generate interest in your essay. This increases the likelihood that your essay will leave an impression and actually influence the reader's opinion.

Summarize the source material. This summarization is sometimes referred to as an abstract and should be included in the introduction. The summary should inform the reader of the title and author of the source document as well as provide a brief synopsis of the source document's main points. By including this abstract in the introduction, the reader will have a better idea of the context in which your argument arose.

Finish with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a concise sentence that outlines precisely what the main argument of your essay is. The thesis statement is going to be the main idea or position that the remainder of your essay is going to support. It is important that this position be an opinion rather than a fact, since it must be something that can be argued both for and against.

  • The recommended length for most analytical essay introductions is around eight sentences.

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Understanding Analytical Essays: A Comprehensive Writing Guide with Real-Life Examples

Understanding Analytical Essays: A Comprehensive Writing Guide with Real-Life Examples

To help you get started, we have included real-life examples of analytical essays. These examples will show you how writers have approached various topics and how they have used their research to support their arguments. By studying these examples, you can gain a better understanding of the analytical essay format and learn how to structure your own essays.

If you need further assistance, we recommend checking out the Purdue OWL website. They have a wealth of resources on writing analytical essays, including guides on how to analyze different types of texts and how to restructure your essay for a more coherent argument. In addition to Purdue OWL, other online resources like YourDictionary can also provide helpful tips and examples to enhance your analytical writing skills.

So, if you are ready to dive into the world of analytical essays, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary tools to understand what they are, how to write them, and how to analyze actual data within your chosen topic. With this guide, you will be well-equipped to write analytical essays that not only meet academic standards but also demonstrate your critical thinking and analytical abilities.

What Is an Analytical Essay

When writing an analytical essay, it is important to connect your analysis with actual research and examples. This helps to support your arguments and make your essay more convincing. Analytical essays can be written on various topics, such as literature, history, social sciences, or even scientific research.

If you need assistance in writing your analytical essay, there are various resources available to help you. Websites like Purdue OWL and YourDictionary offer guides and examples of how to write analytical essays, as well as tips on how to structure your essay and restructure your paragraphs. Academic writers can also provide further assistance in analyzing and evaluating your essay topic.

Overall, analytical essays involve analyzing and evaluating a specific topic or idea in depth. They go beyond basic description and require critical thinking skills. By understanding the structure and patterns of analytical essays, and with the help of research and examples, you can successfully write a well-organized and convincing analytical essay.

General Structure and Format of an Analytical Essay

The body paragraphs make up the major part of your essay, where you will analyze and evaluate the data or texts you are discussing. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence that connects to your thesis statement and provides evidence or examples to support your analysis. Remember to use critical thinking and cite any sources you reference.

To help you in structuring and formatting your analytical essay, you can use an outline. An outline helps writers organize their thoughts and ensure a logical flow of ideas. It can also help you restructure your essay if needed, as you can easily move paragraphs or sections around to improve the overall structure.

When it comes to the format of your analytical essay, it is important to follow the guidelines provided by your academic institution or instructor. Most analytical essays are written in a formal tone and use the APA or MLA citation styles. Websites such as Purdue OWL and YourDictionary provide detailed guidelines on how to format your paper and cite sources correctly.

Remember, when analyzing and writing an analytical essay, writers need to understand the difference between summary and analysis. It involves critically evaluating the data or texts within the context of your thesis statement.

Analytical Essay Body Paragraph Example

Paragraph 1:

  • Thesis statement: State your thesis, which is your overall evaluation or analysis of the text. This should be a clear and concise statement that connects to the main topics of your essay.
  • Main points: In this paragraph, focus on one main point that supports your thesis statement. Provide specific examples, evidence, or data from the text to support your claim.
  • Analysis: Analyze the examples you provided in the previous point. Explain how they connect to your thesis and what they reveal about the text or its author.

Paragraph 2 (and beyond):

  • Main points: Focus on a new main point that supports your thesis statement. Again, provide specific examples, evidence, or data from the text.
  • Analysis: Analyze the new examples and discuss how they contribute to your overall analysis. Evaluate their significance and relevance to your thesis statement.

Remember that the body paragraphs of an analytical essay should focus on analyzing specific examples and providing evidence to support your claims. The structure and format of these paragraphs may vary depending on the specific requirements of your essay or the academic discipline you are writing for. However, the general pattern of introducing a main point, providing evidence and analysis, and concluding the paragraph should be followed to ensure a clear and logical argument.

Critical Analysis Paper

What is a critical analysis paper.

A critical analysis paper is an academic essay that examines a literary work or any other piece of written text with a focus on critically evaluating its structure, patterns, and themes. Unlike an analytical essay, which is more general and can be written on a variety of topics, a critical analysis paper requires writers to connect their analysis to specific data and support their claims with actual examples from the text being analyzed.

The Difference between Analytical Essays and Critical Analysis Papers

While both analytical essays and critical analysis papers involve analyzing and evaluating texts, the main difference between them lies in the level of specificity and the depth of analysis. Analytical essays can be written on a wide range of topics and do not necessarily require a deep examination of the text. On the other hand, critical analysis papers are more focused and require a more in-depth analysis of the text being studied.

How to Write a Critical Analysis Paper

Writing a critical analysis paper can be challenging, but there are resources available to help writers understand the process. The Purdue OWL and YourDictionary both offer guides on how to write a critical analysis paper, which can provide step-by-step assistance in organizing and structuring the essay.

When writing a critical analysis paper, it is important to carefully read and thoroughly understand the text being analyzed. Take notes on important details, themes, and motifs that can support your analysis. Create an outline to organize your thoughts and ensure a clear and logical flow of ideas.

Within the body paragraphs, make sure to include specific examples from the text that illustrate your points. Use analysis and interpretation to explain the significance of these examples and how they connect to your thesis statement. It is also essential to provide evidence and support for your claims by referencing the actual text.

When concluding your critical analysis paper, take the opportunity to offer your final evaluation of the text. Summarize your main points and explain how your analysis contributes to a deeper understanding of the text. You can also discuss any broader implications or connections to other works or ideas.

Analysis Paper Example

The body paragraphs.

The body of the analysis paper is where writers provide the actual analysis and evaluation of the text. Each body paragraph should focus on a different aspect or element of the text and provide evidence to support the writer’s claims. In the example paper, each body paragraph may focus on a particular theme, character, or literary technique present in the text, providing examples and further analysis.

It is important for writers to understand that analytical essays differ from other types of academic papers. They require a more critical and in-depth approach to analyzing the chosen text. The body paragraphs should not simply summarize the text but rather provide an evaluation of its meaning and significance.

What Is an Analytical Essay: A Writing Guide With Examples

In academic writing, analytical essays are a common type of paper that students are often required to write. These essays involve analyzing and evaluating a particular topic or text, and are structured in a way that allows writers to present their findings and arguments in a logical and organized manner.

Understanding the Structure

The body paragraphs make up the main part of the essay and provide analysis and evaluation of the topic. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or idea related to the thesis statement and provide supporting evidence or examples. It is essential to connect these paragraphs coherently and logically to maintain the flow of the essay.

Real-Life Examples

To further understand how to write an analytical essay, it can be helpful to examine some real-life examples. The Purdue OWL website and offer a wide range of sample analytical essays on various topics. These examples can provide guidance on how writers connect their analysis to the overall structure of the essay and demonstrate the use of evidence, critical thinking, and analysis in an analytical essay.

Analytical essays are an important part of academic writing and require students to analyze and evaluate data, texts, or literary works. Understanding the structure and format of analytical essays, as well as studying real-life examples, can help writers improve their analytical writing skills. By following the guidelines in this writing guide, writers can effectively write analytical essays that showcase their critical thinking and analysis abilities.

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

What is an analytical essay.

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that involves the evaluation and analysis of a specific topic or research question. Unlike general research papers, analytical essays focus on the critical examination of data and the connection between different texts.

The Difference between Analyzing General Texts and Writing Analytical Essays

While analyzing general texts, such as literary works or research papers, may involve a critical examination of the content, writing an analytical essay requires a more structured approach. Analytical essays have a specific format and the writer needs to evaluate the data using an organized pattern.

At Purdue OWL, we are here to guide you through the process of writing an analytical essay. Our writing examples and tips will help you understand the structure of analytical essays and how to effectively analyze and evaluate different topics.

Furthermore, we will provide examples of actual analytical essays to demonstrate how to apply the analytical techniques we discuss. This will give you a clear understanding of what an analytical essay looks like and how to structure your own essays.

How the Purdue OWL Can Help

At the Purdue OWL, we offer comprehensive assistance for writers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Whether you need help with understanding how to analyze and evaluate research or how to restructure your essay, we have the resources to support you.

Our guide will walk you through the process of analyzing different texts, including literary works and academic papers. We will explain the critical analysis techniques and provide examples of how to apply them in your writing.

So, welcome to the Purdue OWL! We are here to help you develop your analytical writing skills and guide you on your journey to becoming a proficient writer.

What is an analytical essay?

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to analyze and interpret a particular subject or text. It involves breaking down the subject into different components and examining these parts to provide a thorough understanding and evaluation. The essay typically includes an introduction, body paragraphs with supporting evidence and analysis, and a conclusion.

What is the difference between an analytical essay and a critical analysis essay?

The main difference between an analytical essay and a critical analysis essay is the level of depth and focus. While an analytical essay involves analyzing and interpreting a subject, a critical analysis essay goes a step further and critiques the subject, questioning its strengths, weaknesses, and implications. A critical analysis essay often requires more in-depth research and a stronger argumentative approach.

How should I structure an analytical essay?

An analytical essay typically follows a specific structure. It starts with an introduction that provides background information and states the thesis statement. The body paragraphs then present evidence and analysis to support the thesis statement, with each paragraph focusing on a specific aspect. The essay ends with a conclusion that summarizes the main points and restates the thesis with a final insight or thought.

An analytical essay is a type of academic writing that requires the writer to thoroughly analyze a topic, issue, or piece of literature. It involves breaking down the subject into various components and examining them in a logical and systematic manner.

How is an analytical essay different from a critical analysis essay?

An analytical essay and a critical analysis essay are similar in many ways, but the main difference lies in the approach. While an analytical essay focuses on examining the topic or piece of literature objectively and presenting an analysis of its various aspects, a critical analysis essay involves not only providing an analysis but also offering a personal opinion or evaluation of the subject.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California , and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.

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46 Introduction to Analysis Writing

Amy Minervini

by Amy Minervini

Analysis is the process of digging deeper into what we read, see, and hear. This skill is used both in academic writing and in everyday life. In-depth exploration helps us to more effectively understand issues in society and our daily lives, including but not limited to the articles and books we read, the videos we watch, the brands and ads that influence our buying habits, and the songs we listen to. We can analyze authors, subjects, issues, images, and texts of all kinds using various methods of analysis. This chapter will introduce you to rhetorical and visual analysis, text and literary analysis, and cause and effect (another form of analysis).

Key Characteristics

Analysis writing generally exhibits the following:

  • Scrutinizing the details of a subject or text and then interpreting those details to show a particular point of view or theme is being conveyed
  • Using a subjective point of view, backed up by evidence
  • Determining the use of and quality of rhetorical strategies (pathos, ethos, logos, and kairos) used by others, see the Reading and Writing Rhetorically chapter for more information
  • An incorporation of ethos, pathos, and logos to help support claims
  • Awareness of and critique of bias that seeps in–for more information on this aspect, see the Addressing Bias and Stakeholder Concerns chapter for more information

Essay Types within this Chapter

  • Rhetorical Analysis
  • Textual (Article) Analysis
  • Literary Analysis
  • Image Analysis
  • Film Analysis
  • Cause and Effect

Introduction to Analysis Writing Copyright © 2020 by Amy Minervini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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The Ultimate Guide to Analytical Essay Writing: How to Craft an A-Grade Paper?

25 January, 2021

17 minutes read

Author:  Kate Smith

An analytical essay is often considered the most challenging piece of writing. However, those who have dealt with it at least once are a step closer to calling themselves masters of essay writing. This type of paper requires plenty of analytical skills to carry out an in-depth analysis of the assigned topic. Yet, the main goal of an analytical essay is not only to demonstrate your ability to learn the basics of the theme.

Analytical Essay

You also need to think critically, analyze facts, express your standpoint, and clearly show a deep understanding of key concepts. In short, your main task as an author is to prove the validity of your views by coming up with strong arguments that do not beg any questions.

how to write an analytical essay

The given guide provides a full analytical essay definition, as well as specifies its features and structural aspects. The following information will help you properly start your paper, choose a relevant topic, and come up with compelling conclusions. 

What is an Analytical Essay?

An analytical essay is a piece of writing aimed to provide a thorough analysis of a definite phenomenon using persuasive arguments and supporting assertions. Analysis in the analytical essay writing process stands for a method of research that allows one to study specific features of an object. Analytical papers also have to do with analysis of a specific problem; that is consideration of the problem itself and identification of its key patterns. The subject matter of analysis can be a well-known or little-studied scientific phenomenon, artistic work, historical event, social problem, etc.

The content of an analytical essay will totally depend on the object that has been chosen for analysis. Thus, when shedding light on any kind of scientific work, an analytical essay can be devoted to the analysis of research credibility, its relevance, or the adequacy of conclusions. When considering a work of art, an essay writer can focus on the analysis of the author’s artistic techniques or issues raised in the book. For this reason, it is essential to accurately determine the topic and subject matter of your future analytical essay.

Steps to Take Before Writing

The preparational stage of analytical essay writing cannot be omitted. It lays the basis for the A-grade paper and should be carefully completed. If you don’t know how to start an analytical essay, read a few handy tips that will ensure a solid foundation for your paper.  

Define a subject matter

You first need to clearly understand the issue you will base your essay on. Since analytical essays imply an in-depth analysis of a specific problem, you need to define its core. Try to split the analysis into several components and provide arguments taken either from a book, a research, a scientific work, or a movie (depending on the subject matter of your analysis), and support your views comprehensively.

Decide on the content of your analytical essay

If you are a student who was given an analytical essay topic, read the task several times before you are 100% sure that you clearly understand the requirements as to the analytical essay format. In case you were lucky to choose the topic of the analytical paper by yourself, make sure the theme you will be dealing with is familiar or at least seems interesting to you. 

Remember that different subject matters require a different approach to their analysis. If you examine some literature work, you can prove your opinion based on the deeds of a certain or several characters. But if you have been assigned the task to elaborate on some historic events, analyze their main causes, driving forces that have affected their course, and their global consequences.  

Take care of the proper start

Don’t forget to start your analytical essay with a thesis statement. It is a sentence or a couple of sentences that aim to summarize the key statements of your paper. A thesis statement should provide readers with a preliminary idea of what your essay is all about.  

Find extra reasoning

Make sure your thesis is supported by compelling arguments. To find enough evidence, you should carry out a thorough analysis of the assigned topic. List the crucial points of your research and ponder over the ways they can be used to prove your final opinion. 

Elaborate the outline

A sound outline elaborated at the preparation stage will help you ensure a proper analytical essay structure and make the overall writing process easier. As a rule, an analytical essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Your outline plan should include the key arguments you want to discuss in each paragraph. 

Analytical Essay Thesis

A thesis statement represents the central idea of your paper and must serve as strong proof of your standpoint. While elaborating your thesis statement, it is crucial to include it at the end of the first paragraph and thus set a direction for the overall paper. 

Analytical Essay Outline

An outline is not a required element of analytical essays writing and should not be included in the text, but it can greatly facilitate the whole process of paper writing.

The analytical essay structure looks as follows:


In the introduction of an analytical essay, you will need to identify your paper’s subject matter. Mention the purpose of your work and specify its scope of research. Don’t forget to include a thesis to let readers know what your work is about.

Body Section

As has already been mentioned, the body section covers three or more main paragraphs, each being supported with arguments and details. Besides, you need to provide a small conclusion to each statement to make your essay sound professional and persuasive. 

At this stage, you need to summarize the points elucidated in your paper and make sure there is a smooth and logical transition from the body section to the concluding part of the text. If you don’t know how to conclude an analytical essay, try to restate the thesis statement without copying it word for word.  

Analytical Essay Examples

Writing an analytical essay may seem to be a thorny way. If you are still not sure how to properly craft one, try to find some examples that will help you go in the right direction. Below, there are some great examples of analytical essays. Take a look at their structure and try to write something similar based on your views and ideas:


30 Analytical Essay Topics

If you were allowed to choose the theme for your paper by yourself, check on the following analytical essay topics. Each of them can bring you the highest score:

General topics

  • The influence of social networks on the life of teens
  • Are salaries of football players too high?
  • Wearing uniforms in schools should be banned
  • A person in society: the problems of loneliness and privacy
  • Sociology of corporate relationships
  • Does the observation of space need more investments?
  • Should the voting age in the UK be decreased?
  • Reasons why capital punishment should be brought back in the UK
  • A world with no rules: a new human era or a road to the global collapse?
  • Life without technologies: will modern people survive?
  • Should scientists test drugs on animals to fight cancer?
  • The problem of keeping the balance between career and family life
  • The importance of listening to your body 
  • Problems caused by the lack of communication
  • Food addiction and the problems it causes
  • Problems of vaccination in the XXI century
  • Does evil really rule the world?
  • How does body size affect life quality?
  • Pros and cons of video games 
  • The role of a family model in the life and career of a person

Analytical Essay Topics on Literature

  • “Robinson Crusoe”: fantasy vs reality
  • Observation of the artistic uniqueness in the comedy by W. Shakespeare “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” 
  • Observe the social problems in the novel by John Steinbeck “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • Convulsions and death of the “little man” in the networks of impersonal, alienated forces in the novel “The Metamorphosis”
  • Observation of the problems of a man on a plagued land in the novel “The Plague”
  • Revolt of the protagonist in the novel by J. Salinger “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Observation of friendship and love in the fate of humanity in the XX century
  • The triumph of immorality in the novel by F. Sagan “Hello Sadness”
  • Observation of the personality of an American student in the novel by J. Salinger “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Eternal tragedies of humanity in the tragedy by W. Shakespeare “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”

How to Write a Well-Structured Analytical Essay With a Solid Argument

Writing an analytical essay with a clear structure might be challenging unless you are thoroughly prepared. We decided to help you out and create a detailed guide listing the main things to consider when creating an analytical essay outline. You need to explain your main idea in a concise way to bring your point across. As analytical writing has high requirements, it pays off to find an analytical essay example and analyze how this text was written. It will allow you to understand the analytical essay format better and learn how to provide substantive analysis on various topics. Read on to learn how to write a top-level analytical paper and submit it on time.

Main Tips for Writing an Analytical Essay

An analytical essay should provide a comprehensive analysis of a chosen topic. What makes an analysis essay different from other assignments is that it includes a personal opinion of an author. This is why analytical writing should be persuasive.

Below, we have rounded up the key tips you need to follow when producing an analytical essay outline and the main body of your text. Read on to learn more about the analytical essay format and create a text that will fully meet the requirements.

Select an Analytical Essay Topic

Before creating an analytical essay outline, make sure to pick a topic that you are interested in. It should be provocative enough to engage your readers. A widely-debated topic will help you write an analytical essay that grabs the attention of a wide audience.

Consider your goals and conduct thorough research to see if you have enough sources to support the main thesis of your analysis essay.

Come Up With a Strong Analytical Thesis Statement

When writing an analytical essay, start by formulating a thesis statement that includes the topic and the main goal of your text. It will help you create an analytical essay outline and show your readers what you will discuss in your analysis essay.

Add it to the last paragraph of your analytical essay introduction. Due to this, your analytical essay outline will look better structured. Look at any analytical essay example to see how you can introduce your subject. In most cases, one sentence will suffice to state your analysis essay’s goal. However, a complex analytical essay outline might require you to use two sentences for a thesis statement.

Write an Analytical Essay Body with a Clear Structure

Your analytical essay outline should include 3-4 paragraphs. However, a literary analysis essay usually consists of 5 paragraphs. When it comes to analytical writing, it is important to cover a different point in each section of the main body of an analysis paper.

After writing an analytical essay, check whether each paragraph contains an introduction and the main point. Besides, it should contain evidence. An expertly written analytical essay outline will help you reach out to your target audience more effectively.

Conduct Research Before Writing an Analytical Essay Outline

While this step is preparatory, it is a must for those who want to write a well-grounded analytical paper.

  • First, select the best ideas for your essay
  • Then, emphasize the problems with works written by other researchers
  • Finally, write your analytical essay outline to demonstrate what approach you want to take

Examine the context and find examples to illustrate the scope of the issue. You may draw parallels to emphasize your point and make your topic more relatable.

Analyze the Implications of the Evidence

After listing your pieces of evidence and demonstrating how it is related to your thesis, show why it is important. You need to explore it deeply and use it to support your argument. It will make your analytical essay outline well-grounded facts.

Write an Analytical Essay Conclusion

Whether you write a literary analysis essay or other types of assignments, there is no need to add any new data at the end of your analysis paper. Instead, summarize the arguments you mentioned in your analytical essay outline. The conclusion of your analysis essay should be short and clear. Here, you need to demonstrate that you have achieved your goals.

Analytical Essay Writing Tips

If you want to get the highest grade for your analytical essay, you need to know a little bit more than just the basics of paper writing. Read these handy tips to write a perfect essay you will be proud of:

  • Double-check your paper for spelling and grammar mistakes. In case your essay contains too many errors, neither an in-depth analysis nor the elaborate writing style will make it look any better. Situations when essays of great value in terms of research and a message they convey are poorly assessed because of the abundance of mistakes are not rare. Make sure you have enough time to proofread your paper before submission. Also, you may consider asking somebody to take a fresh look at your essay and check it for you.
  • Reading your analytical essay out loud helps you discover all types of errors or weak phrases. This method might seem a bit uncomfortable, but it has proved to be very effective for many students. Note that silent reading of your paper isn’t even half as helpful as reading it aloud. 
  • Another great idea to check on the rhythm and flow of your paper is to ask someone to read it for you. While listening to the text, you could perceive it from another perspective and discover even more inconsistencies and mistakes.  
  • Double-check the facts you use in your analytical essay. The names of people, books, research, publications, as well as dates of historical events are too important to be misspelled. Things like these show your professionalism and the way you treat your readers.

Write an Analytical Essay with HandmadeWriting

Writing an analytical essay requires time, strong writing skills, great attention to detail, and a huge interest in the assigned topic. However, life can be unpredictable sometimes, and students might find themselves at risk of failing their creative assignments. Stress, family issues, poor health, and even unwillingness to work on a certain topic may become significant obstacles on their way to the A-grade work.

If you have similar problems, there is no need to compromise your reputation and grades. You can always refer to HandmadeWriting professionals who are ready to help you with a paper of any type and complexity. They will understand your individual style and totally devote themselv

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How to Write an Analytical Essay

Last Updated: February 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,983,364 times.

Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Don't worry! Take a deep breath, buy yourself a caffeinated beverage, and follow these steps to create a well-crafted analytical essay.

Prewriting for Your Essay

Step 1 Understand the objective of an analytical essay.

  • For example, "Stanley Kubrick's The Shining uses a repeating motif of Native American culture and art to comment on America's history of colonizing Native Americans' lands" is an analytical thesis. It is analyzing a particular text and setting forth an argument about it in the form of a thesis statement.

Step 2 Decide what to write about.

  • If you're writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction, you could focus your argument on what motivates a specific character or group of characters. Or, you could argue why a certain line or paragraph is central to the work as a whole. For example: Explore the concept of vengeance in the epic poem Beowulf .
  • If you're writing about a historical event, try focusing on the forces that contributed to what happened.
  • If you're writing about scientific research or findings, follow the scientific method to analyze your results.

Step 3 Brainstorm.

  • Look for repeated imagery, metaphors, phrases, or ideas. Things that repeat are often important. See if you can decipher why these things are so crucial. Do they repeat in the same way each time, or differently?
  • How does the text work? If you're writing a rhetorical analysis, for example, you might analyze how the author uses logical appeals to support her argument and decide whether you think the argument is effective. If you're analyzing a creative work, consider things like imagery, visuals in a film, etc. If you're analyzing research, you may want to consider the methods and results and analyze whether the experiment is a good design.
  • A mind map can be helpful to some people. Start with your central topic, and arrange smaller ideas around it in bubbles. Connect the bubbles to identify patterns and how things are related.
  • Good brainstorming can be all over the place. In fact, that can be a good way to start off! Don't discount any ideas just yet. Write down any element or fact that you think of as you examine your topic.

Step 4 Come up with...

  • This is an analytical thesis because it examines a text and makes a particular claim.
  • The claim is "arguable," meaning it's not a statement of pure fact that nobody could contest. An analytical essay takes a side and makes an argument.
  • Make sure your thesis is narrow enough to fit the scope of your assignment. "Revenge in Beowulf could be a PhD dissertation, it's so broad. It's probably much too big for a student essay. However, arguing that one character's revenge is more honorable than another's is manageable within a shorter student essay. [3] X Research source
  • Unless instructed to write one, avoid the "three-prong" thesis that presents three points to be discussed later. These thesis statements usually limit your analysis too much and give your argument a formulaic feel. It's okay to state generally what your argument will be.

Step 5 Find supporting evidence.

  • Example of supporting evidence : To support a claim that the dragon’s vengeance was more righteous than Grendel's mother's, look at the passages in the poem that discuss the events leading up to each monster’s attack, the attacks themselves, as well as the reactions to those attacks. Don't: ignore or twist evidence to fit your thesis. Do: adjust your thesis to a more nuanced position as you learn more about the topic.

Step 6 Make an ...

  • If you're not quite sure how all your evidence fits together, don't worry! Making an outline can help you figure out how your argument should progress.
  • You can also make a more informal outline that groups your ideas together in large groups. From there, you can decide what to talk about where.
  • Your essay will be as long as it needs to be to adequately discuss your topic. A common mistake students make is to choose a large topic and then allow only 3 body paragraphs to discuss it. This makes essays feel shallow or rushed. Don't be afraid to spend enough time discussing each detail!

Writing Your Essay

Step 1 Write your ...

  • Example introduction : Revenge was a legally recognized right in ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The many revenges in the epic poem Beowulf show that retribution was an essential part of the Anglo-Saxon age. However, not all revenges are created alike. The poet's portrayal of these revenges suggests that the dragon was more honorable in his act of revenge than Grendel's mother.
  • This introduction gives your readers information they should know to understand your argument, and then presents an argument about the complexity of a general topic (revenge) in the poem. This type of argument can be interesting because it suggests that the reader needs to think about the text very carefully and not take it at face value. Don't: include filler and fluff sentences beginning with "In modern society" or "Throughout time." Do: briefly mention the title, author, and publication date of the text you're analyzing.

Step 2 Write your body paragraphs.

  • Example topic sentence : The key to differentiating between the two attacks is the notion of excessive retribution.
  • Example analysis : Grendel's mother does not simply want vengeance, as per the Medieval concept of ‘an eye for an eye.’ Instead, she wants to take a life for a life while also throwing Hrothgar’s kingdom into chaos.
  • Example evidence : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294). She does this to lure Beowulf away from Heorot so she can kill him as well.
  • The formula "CEE" may help you remember: Claim-Evidence-Explanation. Whenever you present a claim, make sure you present evidence to support that claim and explain how the evidence relates to your claim.

Step 3 Know when to quote or paraphrase.

  • Example of a quote : Instead of simply killing Aeschere, and thus enacting just revenge, she “quickly [snatches] up” that nobleman and, with him “tight in her clutches,” she leaves for the fen (1294).
  • Example of a paraphrased sentence : The female Grendel enters Heorot, snatches up one of the men sleeping inside it, and runs away to the fen (1294).

Step 4 Write your conclusion.

  • Example conclusion : The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent.
  • Example conclusion with a ‘bigger world connection’: The concept of an ‘eye for an eye’ was very present in the early Medieval world. However, by comparing the attacks of both Grendel's mother and the dragon, the medieval world’s perception of righteous vengeance versus unjust revenge is made clear. While the dragon acts out in the only way he knows how, Grendel's mother attacks with evil intent. As we saw from the study of other characters, these portrayals may tie into an early Medieval perception that women had greater potential for evil.

Finalizing Your Essay

Step 1 Proofread your essay for spelling or grammar mistakes.

  • Make sure to also format your essay correctly. For example, using a 12-pt standard font (like Arial or Times New Roman) and 1" margins is standard.

Step 2 Read your paper out loud.

  • If you are analyzing a film, look up the list of characters online. Check two or three sources to make sure that you have the correct spelling.

Step 4 Read your paper as if you were your teacher.

Analytical Essay Writing Help

introduction about analysis essay

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Ask yourself "What am I trying to prove?" The answer should be in your thesis. If not, go back and fix it. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are writing a formal analysis or critique, then avoid using colloquial writing . Though informal language may bring some color to a paper, you do not want to risk weakening your argument by influencing it with verbal slang. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid being too vague. Vagueness leaves room for misinterpretation and in a coherent, analytical essay, leaving room for misinterpretation decreases the effectiveness of your argument. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write an analytical essay, first write an introduction that gives your reader background information and introduces your thesis. Then, write body paragraphs in support of your thesis that include a topic sentence, an analysis of some part of the text, and evidence from the text that supports your analysis. You can use direct quotes from the text that support your point of view or paraphrase if you’re trying to summarize information. Finally, complete your essay with a conclusion that reiterates your thesis and your primary support for it. To learn from our English reviewer how to come up with your thesis statement and find evidence that supports it, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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3.12: Writing an Introduction to a Literary Analysis Essay

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This video discusses the steps to take when writing an introduction to a literary analysis paper.

  • How to write an Introduction to a Literary Analysis Paper. Authored by : MrBarberteaches. Located at : . License : All Rights Reserved . License Terms : Standard YouTube License


Analysis of Commentary Essay Examples and Writing Tips

Table of Contents

Generally, composing a commentary essay as a part of an assignment might be daunting. However, it is not as complicated as several people say. With some commentary essay examples, you can easily understand the concept. In general, a commentary essay is just an analysis of a text, film, literary piece, or any other media.

But, when writing a commentary essay, instead of simply stating your opinion on the movie or text, you should make sure to support your claims by using evidence from that work itself. Most importantly, the commentary essay that you prepare should be well-structured and it should remain objective and analytical.

For your better understanding, in this blog, we have shared commentary essay examples analysis. In addition to that, we have also suggested some valuable tips for writing a perfect commentary essay.

Continue reading and update your knowledge of commentary essay writing.

What is a Commentary Essay?

A commentary essay is a type of essay that evaluates and examines a text or any other form of content. As a writer, in a commentary essay, you will have to analyze a specific text and share your opinion or interpretation of it. Particularly, to support your analysis in this essay type, you will have to present evidence from the content itself. Mostly, in college-level English courses, you will learn to write about commentary essay writing.

The commentary essays are of two types as specified below

  • Literary Commentary: It is a comprehensive analysis of a passage from a literary work such as a poem, novel, sonnet, etc.
  • Data Commentary: It is an analysis of a visual display like movies, and short films.

Commentary Essay Example

Commentary Essay Preparation

Usually, for your assignment, you will be asked to write a commentary for any piece of text. If you are about to prepare a commentary essay on a text, then first carefully read the entire text and annotate it. Annotation refers to making notes on the text itself. Also, when you read the text, take notes of the author’s argument or key point. Furthermore, take into account the supporting evidence the author has provided along with how well the author presents their case and whether or not you agree with them.

When writing a commentary essay, keep in mind that you are providing your view of the text. You should support your claims with proof from the text, but you should also be explicit about your opinions. Also, make a point of properly stating your position and explaining why you hold it.

Also Read: Excellent College Essay Topics and Ideas

Steps for Writing a Commentary Essay

Wondering how to write a commentary essay? If yes, then simply follow the steps suggested below. It will help you in coming up with a great commentary essay.

  • Carefully read and understand the commentary essay prompt.
  • Brainstorm the essay topic and generate ideas from different viewpoints.
  • Create a powerful thesis statement using one or two sentences. A thesis statement should be the key idea that you are about to discuss in your essay.
  • Conduct deep research on the material and note down the major points.
  • Develop a well-structured commentary essay outline by including essential components such as the introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Elaborate on the outline and compose an outstanding commentary essay. In the essay, you should analyze and share your opinion of the given text with supporting evidence from the text itself.
  • Finally, proofread your essay multiple times and improve its quality. The draft that is ready for submission should be original and free from errors.

Commentary Essay Outline

When composing a commentary essay, this is how you will have to create an outline.

  • Introduce your subject.
  • Talk about your major point or argument.
  • Provide proof to back up your point of view.
  • Explain why your argument is important.
  • Summarize your points and make suggestions for additional research on the subject.

Commentary Essay Examples

For your better comprehension, here, we have explained the concept of a commentary essay with examples. Without any hesitation, go through the commentary essay examples analysis and update your knowledge.

Mostly, you will be asked to give your commentary for a poem, a short story, or any other content. In such a scenario, before you begin writing your commentary essay, make sure to read the given text and note down the following things for your analysis.

  • Title, author name, publication date, and the genre
  • Theme, target audience, and core subject, it can be an event or characters in the novel
  • How the text is presented. E.g. the usage of words, active or passive voice
  • Mood and tone
  • Literary devices

Commentary Essay Example 1: For a Poem

For commentary essay example, we have taken Christopher Dewdney’s “The Night Wind.” Look below and understand how to write a commentary essay for a poem.


As said earlier, first you should start your essay with a catchy introduction. In specific, your introduction should include details such as the work title you are commentating on, the author’s name, and the genre. Also, in your introductory paragraph, you can express your main viewpoints and focus on things that affected you the most.

Find here, a sample of a commentary essay introduction.

“Recently, “The Night Wind” written by Dewdney impressed me a lot. He gives the wind a personality and a life of its own. Through this image, the author takes the reader on an intriguing voyage. The poem primarily focuses on an escape from life’s worries”

Next, in the body paragraph, you will have to share what you think is the purpose of the work and the intentions of the work. Here, you can discuss all the things that are impressive to you. Most importantly, in your commentary essay body, you need to evaluate the analyzed piece of literature and demonstrate your interpretation of the work. Use commentary sentences to highlight the text’s key ideas.

The following is an example of a commentary essay body.

“Note that there are no rhymes, meters, or schemes in the composition. Dewdney uses free verse to convey a lighthearted attitude. Also, through this way, he conveys the sense of freedom.”

Whenever you compose the body of the essay, make sure to back up your thoughts with valid examples as shared below. Keep in mind to use the quotes.

“The author uses uplifting phrases such as “The wind blows forever” to highlight the idea of freedom. Also, there are certain lines such as “Above me the Milky Way” that make the reader consider the grandeur of the universe.” 

Finally, wrap up your commentary essay with a powerful conclusion. In the conclusion, restate your position. To finish the comment excellently, paraphrase your primary idea.

See here the sample of a commentary essay conclusion.

“The poem “The Night Wind” represents an escape from the difficulties of everyday life. The text’s loose, sometimes whimsical form offers the reader a sense of lightness and calm. Reading such poetry transports the reader to the fantastic world of liberty.”  

Also Read: Best Process Essay Topics and Ideas

Commentary Essay Example 2: For an Essay

For the next commentary essay example, we have taken Christopher Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal.” Read and understand how to analyze an essay and come up with an engaging commentary essay.

In his “A Modest Proposal” essay, Swift says that the Irish poor sell their children to wealthy English landowners to lessen the country’s economic load. He makes his argument through satire and explains certain subtle jokes with the help of annotations.

Swift starts by describing the terrible circumstances that Ireland faces due to its extreme poverty and overcrowding. Next, he presents his “solution,” which involves selling Irish kids to the wealthy as food. Particularly, by using irony and sarcasm, Swift illustrates how absurd this idea is and how heartless the wealthy are toward the underprivileged. Finally, he concludes that in England, poor people are being treated like commodities regularly.

Swift’s suggestion is a stinging criticism of the English nobility and their treatment of the Irish people. Moreover, the annotations serve to explain Swift’s ideas and demonstrate why his essay is so compelling.

Tips for Writing a Commentary Essay

So far, we have seen a few commentary essay examples. Next, let us look at some valuable tips for writing a commentary essay. Following the commentary essay writing tips will assist you in improving the quality of your essay content.

  • In the essay, always write a topic sentence with evidence and start the next sentence using the phrase “This shows that”. By using this method, you can explain the quote from the text.
  • Provide thorough information about the original content starting from the author’s information to the research paper’s publication date. Try to use the Literary Elements and Techniques (LET) method. Typically, when you analyze a text, make sure to pay attention to the literary techniques, style, character, plot, viewpoints, language, settings, conflict, etc used by the author.
  • Always keep your comments within a boundary. Avoid giving an appreciation for the original content.
  • Make sure to include a key title that summarizes the information. Try to incorporate keywords from both your thesis statement and the original material.
  • Follow the concept of 4 cells when analyzing a text. In this method, you will have to divide a sheet of paper into four parts. Then, after dividing, place a quote and topic sentences in the top two cells and write comments to them at the bottom squares. This method will assist you in analyzing each piece of text and integrating the comments into a single whole.
  • Avoid summarizing the entire text because the reader won’t find it useful. Briefly discuss only the key points in the original work.
  • Never make generalizations.
  • Cite all the sources you have used. Avoid using irrelevant citations.
  • Before submission of your essay, check over your work twice and correct if there are any grammar and structural errors.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully, by now, you will have gained a better understanding of how to write a brilliant commentary essay. If you are writing a commentary essay for the first time, then refer to the commentary essay examples shared above. It will give you an idea of how to share your opinions or comments for literature or any other work. In case, you are still not confident enough to handle commentary essay writing on your own, call us immediately. We have numerous skilled essay writers on our platform to offer affordable essay writing help . According to the guidelines you sent us, our essay helpers will prepare and deliver plagiarism-free essays of all types including a commentary essay.

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How To Write Analysis Essay – A Comprehensive Guide


You have often been asked to analyze something like a place, a company, a movie, an event, and a book. There are times when you had a chance to choose the topic of your choice from several analysis essay topics. 

So, what makes this type of essay different from other types? How to write good analysis essay ? What do you need to include in your analytical essay? You will get the answer to all these queries as you continue reading this blog.

The analytic essay is not just about a simple summary and explanation. Instead of telling the audience the situation’s circumstances, the analytic essay requires you to examine the information and evaluate it. In different words, the analytic essay doesn’t just ask what, when, and where; it asks how and why. 

In this blog, we will discuss everything you want to know regarding How to write good analysis essay. But before that let us see what an analysis essay is.

What Is An Analysis Essay?

Table of Contents

Analysis means breaking things into parts or discussing something so that it becomes an analysis of the whole. An analytical essay type is a bit difficult and differs from other kinds of essays. Its main goal is to explain something bit by bit so that readers can understand it easily. 

An analytical essay is mainly written about analyzing something like a place, a company, a movie, an event, a book or a process, or an idea. However, in literature, it is a critical analysis of some literary text that is done to enhance its understanding.

Types of Analytical Essay

  • Cause and Effect : One way of examining something is to explain the causes and effect of something on other things.
  • Comparison and Contrast : This is another way of analyzing something is to compare and contrast something.
  • Classification : To learn the nature classification is another way of analyzing things.
  • Process : Process is also another kind of analysis writing.
  • Definition : For analyzing the nature of things, defining things is also another way.

What Is the Purpose of an Analysis Essay?

The main purpose behind writing Analytical essays serves two purposes, one for the reader and one for the writer. Usually, teachers and professors assign analysis papers to students to help their writing and thinking skills. Analytical essays enhance a student’s writing skills and improve their understanding of a particular topic.

These essays also help readers. Magazines and Newspapers routinely publish significant analysis essays to help the readers make sense of the day’s news. 

Analysis essays enable writers, who may be specialists in their areas, to teach their fellow citizens on politics, culture, art, economics, architecture, and other important subjects.

  • How to write analytical essay
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How to Structure Your Analytical Essay

How to write good analysis essay.

The most successful analytical essays have a distinct point of view, are well organized around the main point, discuss counter-arguments, and are entirely backed up with primary and secondary sources. 

Here is a stepwise guide on how to write good analysis essay . Follow these tips to break down things into manageable steps. 

Pick your point of view

No matter what topic you choose and what you choose as your main point of view, provide to anchor your complete analysis essay around a single thesis statement.

Write an Eye catchy introduction

If your introduction is engaging, then the reader will take more interest. Therefore, your opening paragraph is good enough to capture the reader’s interest. 

A good introduction always starts with a hook such as a start with a question or a bold statement and gives a global context, describing questions that your analysis will begin with. 

A good introduction ends with a thesis statement that works as the north star for the whole essay.

Organize the body of your essay

Once you are done writing an introduction for your analysis essay, it’s time for you to write the body paragraph. All body paragraphs should serve the primary goal of establishing your thesis statement, either by giving background information, delving into details, or presenting different viewpoints. 

The number of body paragraphs will vary depending on the scope of your essay. The analysis essay structure is important as the essay’s subject; therefore, take your time to plan each body paragraph.

Populate your essay with evidence

Make sure the main body of your essay has a mixture of matter and analysis. You cannot convince your readers by making definitive statements if there is no solid evidence to back it up. 

Therefore, it is crucial to support the central points of your analysis with solid evidence used from both primary and secondary sources. 

Summarize your Essay

Whether you are trying to get good grades or just to give your readers a pleasant reading experience, conclude your analysis essay with a concluding paragraph that recaps your argument. 

This final section is not the place to add new evidence. Instead, it is the final impression of your entire essay. Remind your readers of the most important points and leave them with some last words for consideration.

From the above discussion, I hope you got a clear idea of how to write good analysis essay . We have also given some examples for your convenience. Keep all the points in mind before you start writing any kind of analysis essay. 

The analytic essay is not just about a simple review and explanation. Instead of telling the audience the situation’s circumstances, the analytical essay requires you to examine the information and evaluate it.

In case you need analysis essay help , you can get in touch with us or you can leave a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the format of an analytical essay.

Like every other type of essay, an analytical essay consists of three main parts i.e., an introduction, main body paragraph, the conclusion.

How To Write Good Analysis Essay?

Pick your point of view Write an Eye-catchy introduction Organize the body of your essay Populate your essay with evidence Summarize your Essay

What is analysis in writing?

When you are asked to write an analysis, it is not enough to summarize. Analysis means separating things into their various parts and then asking critical thinking questions such as HOW and WHO in order to reach some outcomes of your own essay writing.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Reading — My Little Library Analysis


My Little Library Analysis

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  • 04 March 2024
  • Clarification 05 March 2024

Millions of research papers at risk of disappearing from the Internet

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You have full access to this article via your institution.

Old documents and books stored on shelves in a library's archive.

A study identified more than two million articles that did not appear in a major digital archive, despite having an active DOI. Credit: Anna Berkut/Alamy

More than one-quarter of scholarly articles are not being properly archived and preserved, a study of more than seven million digital publications suggests. The findings, published in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication on 24 January 1 , indicate that systems to preserve papers online have failed to keep pace with the growth of research output.

“Our entire epistemology of science and research relies on the chain of footnotes,” explains author Martin Eve, a researcher in literature, technology and publishing at Birkbeck, University of London. “If you can’t verify what someone else has said at some other point, you’re just trusting to blind faith for artefacts that you can no longer read yourself.”

Eve, who is also involved in research and development at digital-infrastructure organization Crossref, checked whether 7,438,037 works labelled with digital object identifiers (DOIs) are held in archives. DOIs — which consist of a string of numbers, letters and symbols — are unique fingerprints used to identify and link to specific publications, such as scholarly articles and official reports. Crossref is the largest DOI registration agency, allocating the identifiers to about 20,000 members, including publishers, museums and other institutions.

The sample of DOIs included in the study was made up of a random selection of up to 1,000 registered to each member organization. Twenty-eight per cent of these works — more than two million articles — did not appear in a major digital archive, despite having an active DOI. Only 58% of the DOIs referenced works that had been stored in at least one archive. The other 14% were excluded from the study because they were published too recently, were not journal articles or did not have an identifiable source.

Preservation challenge

Eve notes that the study has limitations: namely that it tracked only articles with DOIs, and that it did not search every digital repository for articles (he did not check whether items with a DOI were stored in institutional repositories, for example).

Nevertheless, preservation specialists have welcomed the analysis. “It’s been hard to know the real extent of the digital preservation challenge faced by e-journals,” says William Kilbride, managing director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, headquartered in York, UK. The coalition publishes a handbook detailing good preservation practice.

“Many people have the blind assumption that if you have a DOI, it’s there forever,” says Mikael Laakso, who studies scholarly publishing at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. “But that doesn’t mean that the link will always work.” In 2021, Laakso and his colleagues reported 2 that more than 170 open-access journals had disappeared from the Internet between 2000 and 2019.

Kate Wittenberg, managing director of the digital archiving service Portico in New York City, warns that small publishers are at higher risk of failing to preserve articles than are large ones. “It costs money to preserve content,” she says, adding that archiving involves infrastructure, technology and expertise that many smaller organizations do not have access to.

Eve’s study suggests some measures that could improve digital preservation, including stronger requirements at DOI registration agencies and better education and awareness of the issue among publishers and researchers.

“Everybody thinks of the immediate gains they might get from having a paper out somewhere, but we really should be thinking about the long-term sustainability of the research ecosystem,” Eve says. “After you’ve been dead for 100 years, are people going to be able to get access to the things you’ve worked on?”

Nature 627 , 256 (2024)


Updates & Corrections

Clarification 05 March 2024 : The headline of this story has been edited to reflect the fact that some of these papers have not entirely disappeared from the Internet. Rather, many papers are still accessible but have not been properly archived.

Eve, M. P. J. Libr. Sch. Commun. 12 , eP16288 (2024).

Article   Google Scholar  

Laakso, M., Matthias, L. & Jahn, N. J. Assoc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 72 , 1099–1112 (2021).

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introduction about analysis essay

Autonomy and Its Limits A Discussion of the Shortcomings of Informed Consent

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Medicine is intertwined with promotion of positive health while prioritizing a patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. The prioritization of a patient’s needs stems from a branch of morality called biomedical ethics, which focuses on moral principles that arise in healthcare, medical research. [1] Biomedical ethics serves to provide a framework for addressing complex medical questions while safeguarding the rights, dignity, and well-being of individuals. 1 Often times in healthcare, decisions made by physicians and patients result in beneficence and/or maleficence. Beneficence implies that healthcare professionals and institutions have a moral duty to act in a patient’s best interest by providing positive health outcomes while minimizing harm (maleficence). 1 As a result of biomedical ethics’ emphasis on beneficence and maleficence, healthcare is designed to respect a patient’s needs, beliefs, and decisions. The practice of allowing patients to make their own medical decisions is called autonomy, and it is vital to biomedical ethics because it emphasizes the concerns of the patient. [2] However, it is difficult to ensure that a person has autonomy over their medical decision-making if they are not fully informed about the circumstances of their health or treatment options.

Thus, an important aspect of biomedical ethics is informed consent. Informed consent is a practice in healthcare and research where individuals must voluntarily agree to or decline medical care after being educated about their medical condition. [3] Informed consent protects an individual’s right to express their beliefs and make educated decisions about their health. Furthermore, there is an important distinction to be made between voluntary consent and informed consent. While informed consent emphasizes that individuals are fully educated and comprehend information about a procedure, voluntary consent maintains that a person must freely and willingly make decisions without any form of pressure or coercion. 3 While a patient might be educated or informed about their health, they might not have the power to voluntarily make medical choices. Thus, consent must be both informed and voluntary to ensure that a patient is fully educated while preserving the right to make medical decisions. Without autonomy and (voluntary) informed consent, individuals would be deprived of their freedom to make educated medical choices, leading to interventions that do not align with their wishes or desires. However, autonomy and informed consent also have severe limitations and barriers, specifically when it comes to the informedness gap, cognitive capacity, and underestimation or overestimation of treatment risks.

According to author Onora O’Neill, the informedness gap occurs when patients may not fully understand the complex medical information provided to them by their physician. [4] The informedness gap is especially prevalent when medical professionals discuss complex procedures or treatments, as the patients may feel overwhelmed by the information and not make truly informed decisions. In addition to the informedness gap, limited cognitive capacity and mental health can hinder effective communication and informed consent. [5] When patients are unable to provide informed consent due to factors like dementia, mental illness, or unconsciousness, ensuring thorough communication and education becomes extremely challenging. 4

Additionally, it is important to consider how informed consent is limited by underestimation or overestimation of treatment risks. Patients may be overly optimistic about the success of a treatment or procedure, thereby underestimating the likelihood of complications or adverse outcomes. On the other hand, patients may possess fear and anxiety, causing them to overestimate the effects of treatment. Anxiety can cause a heightened perception of risk, which can lead to refusal of beneficial treatments, despite the presence of objective medical evidence. [6] Overall, these limitations of informed consent demonstrate that even when a patient is educated about their health, they still might not be fully knowledgeable when making medical decisions. In fact, while patients have the power of autonomy to make medical choices, the limitations of informed consent can have fatal effects. This becomes abundantly clear when looking at the case study of the world-famous musician, Michael Jackson.

Michael Jackson’s death was the result of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. Propofol and benzodiazepine are extremely powerful medications commonly used for ICU sedation. [7] Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's personal physician, was involved in Jackson’s care leading up to his death and played a central role in the events surrounding it. To briefly summarize the case, Michael Jackson was experiencing chronic insomnia and sought medical treatment after struggling to sleep for months. [8] Initially, Dr. Murray prescribed conventional anti-anxiety medications to help the artist sleep, but he was unsuccessful in resolving Jackson’s symptoms. 7 Without coercing the artist, Dr. Murray offered to administer the powerful anesthetics, propofol and benzodiazepine. After Dr. Murray’s brief description of the effects of propofol and benzodiazepine, Jackson voluntarily agreed to this treatment. 7 Initially, the treatment was a success, but Jackson was unaware of the significant toll these sedatives had on his health. On June 25th, 2009, after 2 and a half months of treatment, Jackson experienced severe propofol intoxication, causing him to die from cardiac arrest. [9]

Clearly, this case highlights how limitations of informed consent, specifically the informedness gap and underestimation of treatment risks, can have fatal consequences. Michael Jackson was granted the autonomy to make medical decisions about treatments for his insomnia, and he was briefly informed that propofol and benzodiazepine are potent sedatives. 7 However, according to the artist’s family, Jackson wasn’t fully educated about the level of addictivity and long-term ramifications of the drugs he was administered. 8 The Jackson family cited that while the artist voluntarily agreed to treatment, his chronic sleep deprivation caused him to underestimate the effects of his medication. The family explained that Jackson lacked the mental capacity to make informed decisions about his health. 8 Perhaps the outcome of this case may have been different if Dr. Murray had fully explored alternatives for treatment or made a thorough effort to fully educate Jackson about the effects of propofol. Additionally, it is difficult to discredit how sleep deprivation hindered Jackson’s ability to make rational decisions about his health. 8 While it is true that Dr. Murray informed Michael Jackson about the strength of the sedatives he was administered, that doesn’t mean Jackson fully understood the treatment’s consequences or the weight of his decision.

Furthermore, Michael Jackson didn’t suffer from the limitations of informed consent because of his unique status as a celebrity; Jackson is not an exception from the norm. Research suggests that factors such as limited interaction time between patients and physicians causes an informedness gap in about 1 out of every 3 people. [10] Michael Jackson had the wealth and resources to be informed about his health; he could have employed any doctor to provide his treatment. Yet, the average person does not have the resources to employ their own doctor or be thoroughly educated about their health. 10 If Michael Jackson wasn’t fully informed about his medical condition or treatment, it is likely that the average person is uninformed as well.

To put it simply, autonomy and informed consent ensure that individuals can express their personal beliefs while making educated decisions about their health. However, it is crucial to consider the limitations of informed consent such as the informedness gap, cognitive capacity, and misjudgment of treatment risks. How useful is autonomy and informed consent if patients lack the ability to think clearly, logically, and holistically about their health? [11] The tragic case of Michael Jackson exemplifies how limitations of informed consent have profound consequences. Although Jackson was informed about the risks associated with propofol and voluntarily agreed to his treatment, he was not fully aware of the drug’s long-term ramifications. If healthcare seeks to achieve positive health outcomes, there is an ongoing need for effective communication and patient education to address the limitations of autonomy and informed consent.

[1] Tom L. Beaucham, Standing on Principles: Collected Essay p, European Journal of Health Law 19, no. 5 (2012): 544–51.

[2] Daniel Callahan, “Autonomy: A Moral Good, Not a Moral Obsession,” The Hastings Center Report 14, no. 5 (1984): 40–42,

[3] Onora O’Neill, “Between Consenting Adults,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 14, no. 3 (1985): 252–77.

[4] Onora O’Neill, “Some Limits of Informed Consent,” Journal of Medical Ethics 29, no. 1 (February 1, 2003): 4–7,

[5] Antoine Aoun, Sibelle Al Hayek, and Flora El Jabbour, “The Need for a New Model of the Physician–Patient Relationship: A Challenge for Modern Medical Practice,” Family Medicine & Primary Care Review 20, no. 4 (2018): 379–84,

[6] Rebecca Dresser. "Sunday Dialogue: Conversations Between Doctor and Patient,” The New York Times , August 25, 2012, sec. Opinion,

[7] Katherine Harmon, “What Is Propofol--and How Could It Have Killed Michael Jackson?” Scientific American, accessed October 15, 2023,

[8] “Doctor Is Guilty in Michael Jackson’s Death - The New York Times,” accessed October 15, 2023,

[9] B. Lyons, “Medical Manslaughter,” Irish Medical Journal 106, no. 1 (January 2013): 26–27.

[10] D. R. Hansberry et al., “Are We Effectively Informing Patients? A Quantitative Analysis of On-Line Patient Education Resources from the American Society of Neuroradiology,” American Journal of Neuroradiology 35, no. 7 (July 1, 2014): 1270–75,

[11] Rebecca Kukla, “How Do Patients Know?,” Hastings Center Report 37, no. 5 (2007): 27–35.

Maxwell Fry

Editor’s pick in Voices in Bioethics' 2023 persuasive essay contest.

Disclaimer: These essays are submissions for the 2023 essay contest and have not undergone peer review or editing.

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Why the ‘colorblindness’ movement is peaking now

introduction about analysis essay

It is very much worth reading Nikole Hannah-Jones’s essay for the New York Times Magazine exploring the emergence of what she calls the “colorblindness” trap. It’s a reference to an increasingly common — and effective — rejoinder to programs meant to combat racial discrimination: Why aren’t we, instead, enforcing a colorblind society? Often, this argument has as its central component the Martin Luther King Jr. quote about people being judged by the content of their character — a quote that, as Hannah-Jones notes, plucks one particularly palatable cherry from King’s orchard of advocacy for addressing discrimination and discriminatory systems.

Hannah-Jones tracks the half-century during which this counterargument’s potency has grown, from the Supreme Court’s 1978 decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke to the political rhetoric of the moment. Or, really, how the argument is a continuation of an eternal tension in the United States.

At times, often following “violent upheavals,” she writes, “enough white people in power embraced the idea that racial subordination is antidemocratic and so the United States must counter its legacy of racial caste not with a mandated racial neutrality or colorblindness but with sweeping race-specific laws and policies to help bring about Black equality. Yet any attempt to manufacture equality by the same means that this society manufactured inequality has faced fierce and powerful resistance.”

So it’s worth asking: Why, besides the fact that there’s been a concerted effort over decades to unwind programs meant to address historic discrimination, has the trap Hannah-Jones identifies been sprung now?

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Hannah-Jones’s presentation depends on the reader accepting the existence of ingrained patterns that for centuries have disadvantaged Black Americans — more specifically, those whose ancestors were enslaved. That is: the existence of systemic racism. She describes how racism survived direct efforts to combat it during the civil rights era.

“Systems constructed and enforced over centuries to subjugate enslaved people and their descendants based on race no longer needed race-based laws to sustain them,” Hannah-Jones writes. “Racial caste was so entrenched, so intertwined with American institutions, that without race-based counteraction, it would inevitably self-replicate.”

Here we see one of the reasons that the question of addressing historic discrimination is so aggressively contested in the moment: Acceptance of this idea is now polarized on partisan lines.

The General Social Survey (GSS) has asked Americans since the 1970s whether they believed that the differences in economic status between Black and White Americans were mostly due to discrimination. Before 2000, at which point the GSS adopted a more expansive way to record race, White Democrats were slightly more likely to attribute the differences to discrimination than were White Republicans. (Both groups were less likely to believe it than Black Americans.) Then, after 2014, belief that social differences were due to discrimination soared — particularly among White Democrats.

Why? Almost certainly because of the Black Lives Matter movement, which brought enormous attention to the issue of systemic racism. But that movement — which itself quickly became polarized on partisan lines — did not have the same observable effect on White Republicans. In fact, they are less likely to say they think Black Americans are primarily disadvantaged by discrimination than they were in the 1980s.

This is a central issue for the question of affirmative action programs, of course. Hannah-Jones notes that the intent of such programs was to address long-standing discriminatory practices. Her essay includes the famous Lyndon B. Johnson quote: “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” But those efforts have been reframed as being centrally about race, not historic disadvantages, because race was for so long a useful proxy for those disadvantages.

It no longer is.

I looked at historic Census Bureau data on race as I was writing my 2023 book and summarized the shift in the non-White population of the United States like so:

“In 1960, before immigration laws were loosened, more than 94 percent of non-White U.S. residents were Black — though this was also before Hispanic ethnicity was separated from the overall White category. In 1970, 2 in 3 non-Whites (a group now including Hispanics) were Black (including Black Hispanics). By 2010, though, when Obama was president, only about a third of non-White residents were Black. By 2020, that density had fallen under 3 in 10.”

This is a reason the GSS changed how it records race: Its old process for categorizing race as White/Black/Other was no longer sufficient.

This evolution in America’s demographic composition is a central aspect of the movement Hannah-Jones describes. In part, that’s because, as she puts it, “institutions have treated affirmative-action programs as a means of achieving visual diversity,” emphasis added. The programs often drifted from being centered on addressing discrimination and injustice to more broadly focusing on representation. The disadvantages that are downstream from enslavement were submerged. Experiences with discrimination lost some differentiation.

The demographic evolution is also central, though, because it overlaps with a strong sense among White Americans that the country is changing away from them. The country is growing more diverse, and more quickly among younger generations. Older White Americans — who are more likely to be Republican than other populations — see the country changing literally as they read about it changing demographically. “Make America great again” is, in part, an unsubtle response to that change.

So we see that Republicans (the vast majority of whom are White) generally agree that racism against Black Americans used to be a problem — but that more of them now think racism against White Americans is a problem.

More Republicans think racism against White people is a problem than think that racism against Black, Latino or Asian Americans is.

This is a manifestation of the success of the movement Hannah-Jones is talking about. White Republicans think that systems are arrayed against them more than against historically disadvantaged groups. The effort by Black Lives Matter to elevate systemic racism heightened this sense of aggrievement rather than easing it, thanks largely to the utility for Republican leaders of casting BLM as a political foil.

A decade ago, the Republican Party arrived at a crossroads. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 and, more so, his reelection four years later seemed to augur the arrival of a new, diverse, Democratic coalition. In considering how the GOP failed to regain the White House in 2012, the party compiled a report of recommendations. Among them: better outreach to Black, Hispanic and Asian voters. When the party fared unexpectedly poorly in the 2022 midterms, RNC cChair Ronna McDaniel assembled an advisory council tasked, among other things, with the same desired outcome.

But that was just one path. Donald Trump chose the other path, elevating White grievance and concerns about “reverse racism,” a more rhetorically pointed version of the “colorblindness” argument. A sense that Whites were being left behind was a better predictor of primary support for Trump in 2016 than economic insecurity. And that approach from Trump continues. After he recently triggered the ouster of McDaniel, the party spiked its minority outreach program . In recent years, the argument seems to be, the GOP is faring better with Black and Hispanic voters regardless.

Hannah-Jones quotes University of California at Berkeley professor Ian Haney López.

“This rhetoric is a massive fraud, because it claims colorblindness toward race but is actually designed to stimulate hyper-race-consciousness among white people,” Haney López said. “That strategy has worked.”

Trump’s ascent seems like obvious evidence of that effect. His rise, in fact, is inextricable from the patterns to which Hannah-Jones points, including the backlash against programs meant to address historic injustice and changing demography. The trend existed before 2016, as she writes. But it’s not a coincidence that both he and the backlash are seeing success at the same time.

introduction about analysis essay


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