Writing the Analytical Essay - Marion County Public Schools
Writing the Analytical Essay What does it mean to analyze? Analyze means to separate a subject into its parts (analyze), or the act or result of doing so (Kennedy, Kennedy, and Aaron 692). The process of analyzing involves breaking an object into its parts and
examining those parts. Analyzing for Essay Writing When analyzing a piece of writing, first examine your response to the elements of the work. Brainstorm your ideas about the work you are analyzing. Create a working thesis (statement of purpose) about the piece you are
analyzing. Analyzing a Piece of Literature Whether your assignment is to analyze an essay, short story, or novel, there are certain steps you can follow in the process of analytical writing. Summarizing the original piece of writing will result in interpreting the work in your own original way.
Analyzing a Piece of Literature, Continued Works of fiction are often complicated and open to interpretation. Likewise, articles and other types of nonfiction are often biased. In the process of analyzing a work of fiction or nonfiction, it is the writers job to find unsubstantiated claims or to search for hidden meaning and messages.
Analyzing a Work of Fiction If you are analyzing a short story or novel, look for the authors use of symbolism. For example, colors often stand for broad ideas. Green can convey envy, money, or fertility. Also, look for allusions to historic or cultural events. Understanding and explaining such indirect references will help you get at the deeper meaning of the
story. Analyzing a Work of Fiction, Continued In the process of analysis, consider the basic plot (your summary), the characters (protagonist, antagonist, and all others), and the setting of the story (time and location). Consider the point of view from which the
story is related (first person, third person omniscient, or third person objective). Focus on an interesting or complex character or problem in the plot. Analyzing a Work of Nonfiction Analyze the claim the author is making. What is the authors main point? How does the author support that point? Is the support sufficient? Is that support
valid? Base your thesis on agreeing or disagreeing with the authors point of view on the topic of the work. Constructing Your Essay Like any type of essay, an analytical essay consists of an introductory paragraph ending with a thesis statement, supporting body paragraphs, and a strong concluding paragraph.
Make sure that all the supporting evidence in your body paragraphs directly support your thesis. Conclusion An analytical essay involves a great deal of critical think on the part of the writer. The reward at the end of the process is an original creation.
References Kennedy, Kennedy, and Aaron. The Bedford Reader. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins,
2009. Kies, Daniel. Writing an Analysis. The Hypertext Books. 2009. http://papyr.com/ Hypertet books/comp2/analysis. htm. Literature (Fiction). The Writing Center. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb.
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