How to Write an Analytical Essay
Analytical essays come up often as writing assignments and term papers. Unfortunately many students find them difficult or intimidating, and don't perform their best when writing one. Of course some people just find that style of writing difficult, but often the problem is simply not understanding exactly what's required. It can help to understand the definition of an analytical essay, because then you have a better idea of what the markers will be looking for.
Writing the Analytical Essay What does it mean to analyze
The thesis statement can be defined as the central argument or main idea of the essay and serves as the essay's foundation. In an analytical essay, the thesis statement is reactionary. The writer has read the original work and is establishing a solid viewpoint regarding the text. This viewpoint can be a bold statement regarding the author's intended purpose of the original text. A clear, concise thesis statement in an analytical essay would be as follows: “Matthew Arnold believes that the onset of the Industrial Revolution has proven hazardous to the human spirit. He believes that progress has left humans spiritually empty due to the ever-growing dismissive attitude toward religion.” This claim about Arnold's poem is reactionary on the part of the writer. The writer will now set to prove his/her claim using evidence from the text.
An analytical essay can be defined as a writer's reaction/response to a body of work through a critical lens. That is, one must set out to explain the significance of the text by persuading the reader of a certain point regarding the text. This point or claim the writer is trying to make is not a fact, but rather his/her opinion of the text. The writer must support his/her argument by exploring the text in great depth. To do this effectively, one must use evidence from the text to explore all sides of his/her argument regarding the text and ultimately, support his/her claim.