What An Analytical Essay Is: A Writing Manual

Instructors assign a variety of different types of essays. From persuasive essays to narrative essays, students need to have a good understanding of how to write different types of essays. One of the most commonly assigned essays is the analytical essay where students need to look at a complete project from the smaller pieces. Analytical essays are usually written about books, movies, procedures, and historical events.

Essay Writing Format Remains the Same

When you write an analytical essay, you should use the same structure that you use for every other essay. You need an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction needs to have a hook, background information about the topic as a whole, and a thesis that will show what the analysis will prove. The body paragraphs need to break down the topic and the conclusion needs to restate the thesis and the main points of the essay.

Break Down the Whole into Smaller Pieces

Analytical essays need to have thoughtful body paragraphs that break down the pieces of the topic as a whole. For example, if you are analyzing a historical event, you will need to look into the smaller events that led up to the major event. One body paragraph could discuss the people who are involved in the event. Another could discuss the place where the event occurred and how the location affected the event. You could also write about the results of the event and what happened after the event was finished.

Analyze Literature or Movies

If you are analyzing a book, you can look at all of the literary elements that go into the complete work. Paragraphs could focus on characters, setting, figurative language, style, and plot. Some analytical essays focus only on the plot and theme because those topics are so deep and complex. The same goes for movie analyses, where writers can look at the different aspects of film production to the screenplay, settings, costume choices, and more. Whatever you are assigned to analyze, you look at the smaller pieces and how they affect the whole.

Remember to Include Transitions

Another important aspect of analytical essay writing is the use of transitions. In order for the reader to understand how those parts all work together, students need to use transitions to show relationships. If you are unsure about what transitions to use where, you can find them online with suggestions as to how to use them.


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