Analytical essay – How to Write an Analytical Essay — Outline, Example

This Analytical Essay Outline Will Kick Start Your Writing

You’ve been staring at your blank computer screen for what feels like hours, trying to figure out how to start your analytical essay. You try to choose between writing the introduction first or getting right into the meat of it. But somehow, it seems too difficult to do either.

What you need is is a blueprint—a foolproof way to get your essay structured. Then all you have to do is fill in the blanks.

By Anonymous [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsDon’t worry—consider me your architect. I’m here to give you an analytical essay outline that’ll make writing the final draft (relatively) painless.

What an Analytical Essay Is—And What It Isn’t

Check Out These Example Analytical Essays

Before we get to the good stuff, you should know exactly what an analytical essay is. Your middle school and high school teachers probably told you something like, “An analytical essay is writing that analyzes a text.”

Helpful, right? Um, not so much.

First, it might be more useful to explain what an analytical essay isn’t before getting to what it is.

An analytical essay isn’t a summary. Though this may seem obvious in theory, it’s more difficult in practice. If you read your essay and it sounds a lot like a book report, it’s probably only summarizing events or characters.

One way to figure out if you’re summarizing instead of analyzing is to look at your support. Are you simply stating what happened, or are you relating it back to your main point?

Okay, so what is an analytical essay, exactly?

Usually, it’s writing that has a more narrowed focus than a summary. Analytical essays usually concentrate on how the book or poem was written—for example, how certain themes present themselves in the story, or how the use of metaphor brings a certain meaning to a poem.

In short, this type of essay requires you to look at the smaller parts of the work to help shed light on the larger picture.

An example of a prompt—and the example I’m going to use for the rest of this post—could be something like: Analyze the theme of sacrifice in the Harry Potter series. (Note: there might be some spoilers, but I figured everyone who was planning on reading the books has done so already—or at least has seen the movies.)

Analytical Essay — Examples and Definition of Analytical Essay

Definition of Analytical Essay

Analytical implies the breaking down of something into parts, or the discussion of something in a way that it becomes a dissection of the whole. An analytical type of essay differs from other types of essays in that its primary goal is to explain something bit by bit to enhance understanding. Most of the times, an analytical essay is written about the analysis of a text, or a process, or an idea. In literature, however, it is a critical analysis of some literary text which is done to enhance its understanding.

Difference Between an Analytical Essay and a Critical Essay

An analytical essay is just an analysis of a literary text. By contrast, a critical essay involves, not only an analysis of the text in question, but also dissection of the literary terms and devices used by the author to make his meanings clear. The critical essay also explains the functions of the literary terms used, and evaluates their usage, and whether they have achieved the intended purposes or not.

Types of Analytical Essay

  1. Cause and Effect: One way of analyzing something is to discuss the cause of something, and its effect on other things.
  2. Comparison and Contrast: Another way of analyzing something is to compare and contrast things among themselves.
  3. Classification: Classification is yet another method of analyzing things, to learn of their nature.
  4. Process: Process is also a type of analysis writing.
  5. Definition: Defining things is also a way of analyzing the nature of things.

Examples of Analytical Essay in Literature

Example #1: Liposuction: The Key to Energy Independence (by Barbara Ehrenreich)

“I say to my fellow humans: It’s time to stop feeding off the dead and grow up! I don’t know about food, but I have a plan for achieving fuel self-sufficiency in less time than it takes to say ‘Arctic Natio

Analytical Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Analytical essays are some of the most common essays assigned at college. You may have even written one before, without even knowing it. Here’s how to write a great essay, without the hassle.

Table Of Contents

  1. What is Analytical Essay?
  2. Analytical Essay Structure
  3. How to Write Analytical Essay
  4. Analytical Essay Topics
  5. Analytical Essay Examples

An analytical essay is quite simply an essay where you analyse a topic. They’re most commonly used for analysing media, such as books or films. However, they can be used to analyse almost any topic. You’re asked to come up with your own thesis, and support your case with research.

  • Introduction: Introduce your topic. What is it, how long has it been around? How is it relevant to your course?
  • Thesis statement: This is where you state your intentions for the essay. What have you found through analysing this topic?
  • Main body: This will always differ, depending on what you’re analysing. However, you’ll always need to structure each paragraph the same way:
    1. Topic sentence
    2. Evidence to support your statement
    3. Detail on your statement

    Each section should flow into the next, to make the essay feel cohesive.

  • Conclusion: this is where you’ll draw all your points together, and restate your thesis. What in your essay proved it?
  • If you’ve been given some media to analyse, make sure you take it in. Sit and make notes that you can refer back to later.
  • Now, do some wider reading so you can start analysing your subject. Keep these notes so you can use the evidence in text.
  • Write an essay outline. This essay will be your road map for the essay. Use the structure above, and fill in the points you want to make.
  • Write your essay. Taking your outline, start writing and fill in the gaps with your research and insights. Remember to back up any important points you make with evidence.
  • Proofread and edit. Make sure you don’t skip this step. If you do, you could lose marks off an otherwise good essay.

As mentioned before, an analytical essay can be written about almost any topic. You’ll be given a topic that sounds rather vague, and it will be your job to look at it from every angle, and form an informed opinion. For example, you could be asked to write about college football, or anti drugs campaigns.

Here are some examples of what an analytical essay could be about:

  • Homelessness in your city
  • Obesity in society
  • Body size and modelling
  • Changing gender roles

You can practice writing essays on these topics yourself. What’s your opinion on them? Start researching and come up with a thesis that you can write around. You’ll see that it’s a lot easier to write an analytical essay than you first thought.

This guide should help you write the best essay possible. Just follow this advice, and you’ll be getting excellent grades before you know it.

Write Your Best Analytical Essay Today: Tips and Tricks

So your assignment is writing an analytical essay? And now you’re asking yourself, “What do I do? How do I start? Will I ever be happy again?” The answers are don’t panic, follow these simple guidelines about how to write an analysis paper (or ask Custom Writing service for professional assistance), and yes (when your essay is done).

There are many styles of writing papers and types of analytical writing, so perfecting a strategy will help you throughout your education.

But first:

If you’re totally unsure of where to begin, consider watch a video on the process of writing this type of essay.

But why are these essays so difficult to write?

Look, analytical essays can be one of the trickiest challenges for even professional writers for two reasons:

First, these essays require you to explore a topic by letting the experts argue about the subject. Arguments should be provided by the people who know the most about your subject — the experts!

Second, you must present these expert arguments without arguing about the subject from your own perspective. In other words, this type of essay is all about objectivity. By being objective, you help the reader understand the topic, which allows them to come up with their own conclusions.

This next tip may sound crazy, but…

What makes an analytical essay great

Actually, the most persuasive essays are written to sound totally objective!

That’s right:

Oddly, by not directly stating your opinion on a topic, you can more easily convince the reader of your own opinion!

One quick and easy tip to seem like a more objective writer:

Avoid first-person pronouns like the plague. If you can banish “I” and “me” from your essay vocabulary, your analysis will instantly be elevated by the expert opinions you present. Even though they forbidden by the rules of writing, the person grading your essay might hate first person pronouns, so don’t use them!

But don’t worry:

We’ll dig further into other super important tips throughout this blog post, so don’t skip ahead, especially if you’re unsure how to write your essay!

How are analytical papers different from other types of essays?

Remember, analytical essays are just one of many types of essays. Even though most types of essays share the same basic rules, it’s still helpful to figure out how each type is unique.

To keep things simple, roughly speaking, there are two types of research papers: argumentative and analytical.

Argumentative research papers try to accomplish exactly what their name suggests — they try to persuade the reader by making an argument about some particular issue.

In contrast, analytical research papers do something a little bit different — they explain a complicated subject, presenting all sides of an issue as objectively as possible (if you skipped ahead, refer back to the last section for more thoughts on the importance of objectivity).

In an argumentative research paper you are the main authority. You compile facts and perhaps some arguments from experts in the field, but at the end of the day, you weigh in on the subject with facts and logic. So the point of an argumentative essay is to argue what you think is true.

Compare this to an analytical paper:

A strong analytical research paper presents the expert opinions specifically and only! In other words, your analysis paper (regardless of the research paper type or styles of writing papers you like to use) does shape the analysis by deciding which expert opinions to include, but you do not try to invalidate one expert opinion or another — that is the job of other experts.

Consider another way:

In an analytical essay, you should never write something like, “Kant was wrong about the basis of human perception.” However, you absolutely should write something like “Schopenhauer believed that Kant was wrong about the basis of human perception.”

And doesn’t that sound much more impressive? In both versions, your essay essentially made the same point, but in the second version, you let famous 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer tackle the ideas of famous 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant. And don’t you think that sounds like a much fairer debate? (After all, you’re not a famous 21st century German philosopher, yet.)


Whether you are writing an intricate discourse analysis on metaphysis or composing an essay on the all-time best baseball teams, an analysis paper, like all types of analytical writing, is all about objectivity, even more than other different types of research papers.

By now you’ve probably realized that both analytical and argumentative reports share a lot of similarities. In fact, most research paper types have a lot in common. And that’s why the number one flaw in most essays is a lack of structure.

The basics: starting your essay structure right

Your analytical essay is only as strong as its structure.

Think about this:

How seriously would you consider a friend who called you in the middle of night with a jumble of thoughts? One moment he is talking about the ending of some movie, and the next minute he is figuring out which movie to see. Then your friend starts filling in the plot of that movie in a random order and explain what he had for dinner. Honestly, you would think that your friend had lost his mind.

By placing your thoughts into a logical and structured order, you can avoid what has happened to your dysfunctional friend (and your analysis will be stronger).

So focus on this:

Every essay, including analytical papers or any other written discourse, has three standard parts:

  • An introduction, which introduces your essay and
  • A body that presents the facts, arguments, and insights of your essay. This section is the majority of an essay by far. (In the case of your analytical research paper, this should be where all the interesting stuff happens.)
  • A conclusion that sums up your essay.

(This format can be used for all styles of writing papers!)

Writers often consider an introduction and conclusion like the slices of bread in a sandwich for two reasons. First, the introduction and conclusion should never be the majority of your essay! (The best sandwiches are not mostly bread.) Second, the introduction and conclusion should resemble each other. (Imagine a sandwich with mismatched slices of bread; this would be another pathetic sandwich.)

In case you missed it:

The introduction and conclusion should be very, very similar. The introduction should state the main purpose of your analysis paper, while the conclusion should remind the reader of the main purpose.

This structure works for essays and all research paper types, so it is best to make a habit of using and developing a writing process for this structure. (On a related note, seek out reliable online writing resources that include writing sample and then bookmark the best ones.)

Top tips for better analysis papers

You’ve made it this far, so either you still don’t know how to write an analysis paper or you have found so many useful tidbits that you cannot stop reading. These last few essay tips are as good as gold.

  1. Write, rewrite, and rewrite some more.
    You’re not Hemmingway. You’re not Shakespeare. Heck, even Hemmingway wasn’t Shakespeare, or vice versa. Look, the point is that your writing will never be perfect on the first try. By writing down your thoughts first and then editing your thoughts repeatedly, you can get pretty darn close to these masters. Remember that the best writers have a strong revision process.
  2. Get feedback early and often.
    Are you afraid your essay is missing something important, but you’re not sure what? Then ask a friend to read your rough draft. Even professional writers rely on their friends and family to make sure that their writing is on the mark. Similarly, read your friends’ writing; your brightest friends’ essays may provide the best analytical samples, and they can even explain them to you.
  3. Never, ever, ever plagiarize!

In an analytical research paper, it is more important than ever to correctly attribute all ideas to their originators, but it is even more important to always cite quotes correctly.

  1. Be concise.
    Many authors live by this rule. MacArthur Foundation “genius” award-winning writer Colson Whitehead lists “Never use three words when one will do” as Rule 4 in his brilliant How to Write. Similarly, sci-fi writer Kurt Vonnegut’s first rule of writing is often paraphrased as, “Don’t waste the reader’s time.” (And for very obvious reasons, there is no need to elaborate on this point, which is a great rule for all written discourse.)

Now put these tips to work in your essay!

If you get stuck of or if you’re in over your head on your assignment, don’t forget the professional writing services offered by Custom Writing. You can get research and writing help from a top-notch team of writing experts (with PhDs, MBAs, and other advanced degrees) that offer first-class assistance on every subject imaginable.

Analytical Essay Example

An analytical essay is a type of essay that analyzes, examines, and interprets things such as an event, a book, poem, play or other work of art. Analytical essay outline is usually structured according to the five paragraph essay with an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.


Here is a great analytical essay example. Feel free to use it while writing your own analytical essay.

Analytical Essay Example:
Is It Worth Giving up Freedom to Defeat Terrorism?

Terrorism is one of the biggest problems we face in the 21st Century. It has adverse effects on all areas of our lives. However, have we ceded too much of our freedom to be safe? Laws have been created to deal with terrorism that impedes privacy to levels unheard of before. Some laws on the treatment of terrorism suspects are inhumane and brutal at best. Whatever the cost of terrorism, freedom seems like too high a price to pay does it not? The debate will continue well into the future, but if there is ever a definitive answer, we will have to wait and see.

Freedom of Free Movement

In most developed countries, if an individual is suspected of conducting criminal terror activity, their property can be searched and the person detained without explanation. The amount of physical restrictions that can be enforced on a suspect, not a proven terrorist is astounding. Many countries including the USA, Australia, and the UK have recently reduced the age at which a citizen suspected of terrorism can be detained to fourteen years old. A child of this age can be severely traumatized by such treatment. Moreover, a suspected terrorist can be subjected to house arrest extending up to a period of one year based on secret evidence that can be disclosed to the public. The above statement shows that your physical movement can be severely limited based on the suspicion of terrorism and, furthermore, without substantial proof.

Freedom to Privacy

The individual freedom to privacy is one of the basic rights a human being deserves, but this too is being intruded upon with fear of terrorism being the primary cause. Ever since the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11th, 2001, the amount of surveillance has been increased to obscene levels. The monitoring by cameras on the streets is already suffocating but the National Security Agency (NSA), for example, can access private security cameras. The reach of surveillance by the NSA goes beyond its borders and can use satellite images anywhere on the globe. Given that a lot of people offer their private lives for scrutiny on social media, surveillance on an individual’s private information including video chats, phone calls, and text messages is monitored. Many a criminal has been convicted due to incriminating surveillance evidence, but it goes beyond that. The NSA has more data than any organization on earth. All that data cannot be on criminals, and it means innocent citizens can also be watched.

Freedom of Speech

A lot of people who have been taken into custody over their words is surprising, to say the least. Such speech will often be termed propagandist or hate speech implying that the speaker or writer is supporting the terrorist’s agenda. When the authorities started to convict individuals based on their speech rather than their actions, they went too far. The amount of sensitivity a person needs when speaking publicly or utterly writing something on the internet is too much. The freedom of speech goes so much as to affect the media. There are many cases of locking the media out of meetings that would reveal vital information to the public such as the 9/11 report hearing. If you cannot say much without being suspected of terrorism and the press cannot report the actual news, what is left to say or hear?

Though I have mentioned only three types of civil rights being violated, there are many others. To give up freedom for security is not a fair trade. There are surely better ways to fight and prevent terrorism. It is not worth it to cede your liberty in the fight against terrorism.

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A Brilliant Logical Thinker Will Write Your Analytical Essay

Ever written an analytical essay? Well, don’t feel bad if you’ve never because the information about this kind of essay has been summarized here for you, and you will be the new expert in writing this kind of essay as you practice writing one; practice making it perfect.

To begin with, crafting an analytical essay means making a thorough analysis of ideas existing in various fields of study. This kind of essay provides information on how something was done, how specific aspects come out in a story or bring meaning to it. It thus entails one shedding light on the larger picture by looking at the small bits of the entire work. As a result, University professors prefer giving this writing task as they expect their students to develop two of their most important skills: the ability to think critically and the skill of conducting an overwhelming research.

In knowing the ropes of analysis essay better, there exist various types of analytical essays. Examples include rhetorical, process, character, poetry, causal and literary essays.

Tips to Write Your Stellar Paper

Fortune will favor the bold you in your thirst for being an excellent academic writer from the guidelines provided below:

  • Decide after brainstorming a topic then come up with a strong thesis. With supporting evidence, create an outline to guide you into writing an excellent analytical essay
  • For the best outline, use the three sections of a good essay; the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. In your introduction, use a surprising or interesting hook. Your thesis statement should be a spotlight and argumentation. Topic sentences of body paragraphs should possess strong topic sentences, claims and evidence to backing the claims
  • In analytical essays requiring citations, do not dominate the essay with the secondary sources
  • Fully develop the paragraphs in your essay and use transitions. The essay should be responding and addressing the assignment in description
  • Overgeneralization and oversimplification should be avoided. ‘lab talks’ are to be avoided such as ‘I shall prove in the paper…’ or ‘it is my opinion.’

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Top 45 Analytical Essay Topics

The most popular 45 analytical essay topics are grouped by the subject to make the process of finding the best one for your essay as easy as possible.

What Is an Analytical Essay?

An analytical essay is a type of essay that analyzes, examines, and interprets things such as an event, a book, poem, play or other work of art. An analytical essay means you will need to present some type of argument, or claim, about what you are analyzing.


Keep in mind that analytical essay is not a summary. Analytical essay outline is usually structured according to the five paragraph essay with an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

 Top 45 Analytical Essay Topics

  1. Drug use in sports. Analyze the reasons why top-ranked sportsmen use drugs. 
  2. Street art and graffiti. Why is it so popular nowadays? 
  3. Multicultural societies. Define the notion of the multicultural society. 
  4. Body size and modeling. How does body size influence the quality of one’s life? 
  5. Changing gender roles. Do you believe in gender roles? Why are they changing? 
  6. Single parent families. Does it affect child psychology?
  7. Differences in communication between men and women.
  8. Double-career families. Is it possible to balance career and family life?
  9. Multicultural families. Is it possible to avoid cultural dominance?
  10. Influence of music on the health condition. Does music really have a therapeutic effect?
  1. Analyze the main character of the book/poem. (e.g. Romeo)
  2. Analyze one of the key events in a book/poem. (e.g. Romeo drinking poison)
  3. Analyze cultural and historical context of the book.
  4. Analyze how the author’s background influenced his books/poems.
  5. Describe the mood of a literary work.
  1. Describe the way horror movies and TV-shows influence child psychology.
  2. Analyze in what way shows for children can be helpful/harmful?
  3. Look at a TV series that is based on true events.
  4. Evaluate a movie that is based on a novel.
  5. What makes a moving Christmas movie?
  1. Why do people have phobias?
  2. Why do people have different hair color?
  3. Why do people have different tastes in music, food, clothing etc.?
  4. Why some people appear to be homosexual?
  5. What makes some people introverts and other extroverts?
  6. Why do people begin smoking and drinking alcohol?
  7. What causes love?
  8. Why do teenagers so rebellious?
  9. Why do teenage girls idolize male celebrities?
  10. Why do first-born children tend to be achievers?

  1. Why do people use animal testing? Are there any ways to avoid it?
  2. Is it true that cats hate dogs?
  3. Why is nature so therapeutic?
  4. Why do ants and bees live in colonies?
  5. Why do pets good for kids?
  6. Can only people create music?
  7. Why are butterflies attracted to fire?
  8. Why are dogs so faithful?
  9. Why do cats love boxes?
  10. Are microbes useful or harmful for human beings?
  11. Describe the nature of the allergy. Why do some living beings have it while others don’t?
  12. Do parrots really speak?
  13. Why some breeds of animals succumb to training (dogs, bears) and others are not (hens, snakes)?
  14. Why is poaching so common? How can people stop it?
  15. Do trees and plants have a kind of consciousness?

It does not matter whether you ‘ve chosen one of the topics listed above or have your own topic, our custom essays service are ready to assist you! Just place an order right now and get a well-written analytical essay in time!

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