How to develop and write an analytic essay
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Handout: How to Write an Opinion Essay
Remember to write directive (sometimes called "topic") sentences for your paragraphs. The first sentence of any paragraph should give your reader an idea of what the paragraph is going to say and how the paragraph will connect to the larger argument. It should have more to do with what have to say about the materials than what the author him or herself has said.
At least once during the course of writing your essay, isolate what you consider to be your thesis. Is your proposition both arguable and reasonable? If it is obvious (i.e. Mary Rowlandson used the Bible for comfort during her captivity) you don’t have an argument. Argument requires analysis (i.e. taking things apart and explaining them). One test that may help is asking yourself what the opposite "side" of your argument would be. A good, complicated thesis (which was proposed by one of your classmates) is that "Although Mary Rowlandson says she often used the Bible as a source of comfort during her captivity, a closer reading of her narrative suggests her faith may have been more troubled by her experience than she lets on." One useful structure for writing thesis statements is the "although" form used above: "Although x seems to be true about this piece of literature, y is in fact more true (or makes our thinking about x more complex)." In this form you present both sides of your argument at once and show which side you’re on. Your job in the paper is to convince your reader to join you. Another way to write an effective thesis statement is to use the form "If we look closely at x (e.g. how Bradford defines freedom) we discover y (that ).
How to Write an Analytical Essay
To write an essay introduction, first start with a relevant anecdote, fun fact, or quote that will entice people to keep reading. Follow your opening with 2-3 sentences containing background information or facts that give your essay context, like important dates, locations, or historical moments. Then, introduce your thesis statement. Make sure your thesis statement is specific and provable and that it answers a question about your essay topic. For more advice from our reviewer, like how to come up with a good hook for your first sentence, read on!