How to Write an Analysis Essay
What is Analysis Per Se?
To analyze a particular topic, subject or problem means to to break it into parts small enough to handle. In analysis you are using classification and division. Classification is the arrangement of objects, people or ideas with shared characteristics into classes or groups. Classification is a way of imposing order on the hundreds of individual persons and things we have around us. We place them in general categories. Classification goes hand in hand with division, which is the act of cutting up one big group into several subgroups.
How to Write an Analysis Essay Properly?
To analyze a piece of writing is to take it apart in order to show how it works. You identify its components so that you cam explain their relation to each other and to the chief point the writer is trying to make. Effective analysis essay writing comprises several stages:
- Catching the writer’s tone.
Tone is part of what you experience while reading; it affects the way you feel about the written work and hence the way you interpret it. To analyze it, you may ask the following questions:
- What is the writer’s attitude toward the subject?
- Can the writing be taken at face value, or is it ironic?
- Finding the writer’s main point (its essence and place of statement).
The first place to look for it is the first sentence of the work. Sometimes no one single sentence states the writer’s main point. In an extended piece of writing, the main point of the whole may not be immediately apparent.
- Testing the understanding of this point by summarizing and paraphrasing the writer’s words.
How you summarize will partly depend on whether you are dealing with a narrative or an essay. The summary of a narrative is called a plot summary; it may be sequential or comprehensive. The former follows the order in which the main events are presented in the original work; the latter states the chief action of a book, and then gives the chain of events making up that action. The summary of an essay should begin by stating the main point of the essay as a whole, and then proceed to the chief supporting points. A good summary preserves the relative importance of each point mentioned, thus avoiding the overemphasis of any subordinate point. Paraphrasing is restating a short passage in your own words. When paraphrasing, be sure to acknowledge your source.
- Judging the supporting points.
To analyze an essay, you must be able to judge the relevance and strength of each supporting point. Try to answer these questions:
- Are the supporting points facts or opinions? (Be on the watch for deceptive exaggeration, questionable numbers that come out of thin air, and editorial opinion masquerading as reportorial fact)
- Are there enough supporting points; are they relevant to the main point? (Supporting points should cover a representative sample of the people or objects that the main point refers to)
- Has the writer considered opposing points of view?
- Are there any fallacies in the writer’s argument?
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