How to Write an Analytical Essay

posted by Andy Preisler 09 Nov 2023
Table of contents:

There is no doubt that professors explain how to write an analytical essay to their students. The problem is that these explanations could be more timely and complete or more complicated. If you listened hard, but you still find yourself at a loss, don’t worry. After reading the guide completed by the best specialists of our essay writing service online, you’ll understand how to handle this type of task from start to finish. Follow our advice, consult specific parts again as you begin to work, and discover how simple essay writing can be.


Addressing Definitions to Get a Better Picture of Your Task

What is an analytical essay? Many students have the basic idea, but they don’t know the nuances and other peculiarities that distinguish this kind of task from others. That’s why we will start with the definition of this concept. An analytical essay is a piece of writing that explores a topic, studies its context, and analyzes it, proving the chosen argument with the help of evidence and examples.

Analysis is the main purpose of this kind of paper. You probably know an analysis definition in writing: there is no need to argue against someone’s position or convince your readers to accept your point of view here. Just dissect your topic and share analysis by demonstrating your ability to connect different points through logical links, outlining implications, and drawing conclusions. Later on, we’ll provide several examples that will help you understand this task even better.

Before You Start Writing, Cover These Steps

Students are always eager to skip irrelevant stages and start working on their analysis essay immediately. But it’s not the best idea. Sure, you might save time in a short-term perspective, but you won’t be able to write a strong paper. If you want to achieve something, you must set the stage first. Follow these steps:

  1. Understand the essence of your task. Sometimes students require an admission essay writing service because they are entering the college of their dreams, and sometimes they work with analytical papers. Make certain you understand your prompt. Don’t confuse analytical essays with argumentative, persuasive, or exploratory ones. Read its definition and study its purpose again carefully; if not enough, look at practical examples.
  2. Decide on a good topic. Before writing an analytical essay, students should understand what topic they will analyze. Choose wisely. If it’s a book, read it attentively — you must know everything about it. The same goes for songs, plays, and other possible subjects. Once you have a broad idea, narrow it down a bit. For example, we chose to analyze Billy Elliot's movie, but focusing on it in its entirety would be a bad decision. Analytical papers require analysis, not retelling or summarizing the plot. That’s why we settled on the ballet being a secondary metaphor for one’s sexuality.
  3. Do a brainstorming session. Roll different ideas back and forth; write down your thoughts or discuss them with someone. For a movie we picked to write an analytical essay on, we chose to concentrate on Billy’s love for ballet, his friendship with a homosexual boy, and similarities between these two topics, such as isolation and loneliness it caused in both of them. Do something similar based on your theme.
  4. Come up with a strong thesis. The thesis is a defining part of an essay. It comes at the end of the introduction, and it must convey the main idea of your work in just one line. Make it direct: underline the parts of your analysis without relying on unnecessary phrases like “this paper will be analyzing…” How to write analysis essay thesis? Here is one for our hypothetical topic: “The love for ballet that Billy Elliot feels serves as a secondary metaphor for sexuality as seen in the example of Michael, with both boys feeling isolated because of who they are.”
  5. Find supporting evidence for your essay. Now you should decide what evidence you will use to prove your thesis. It is not enough to say something; you must prove it — more than that, you have to demonstrate how you arrived at your conclusions in a way that allows your readers to follow you. Do research, and gather sources to make arguments in your analytical paper stronger. With our theme, we’d use specific moments from the movie as evidence, such as when both Billy and Michael are shown as the only boys not interested in boxing and when they both dance to express their feelings.
  6. Develop an outline for it. Now take everything you’ve done so far and put it into an outline. We’ll review its structure below. If you are brilliant at keeping information in your head and you’re certain you won’t forget anything from your ideas, you could skip outlining. But in our experience, only professional essay writers can do it. Students need outlines because they serve as plans of action. Once you have it, you won’t take a wrong turn.

Standard Structure of an Outline for Your Analytical Essay

How to write a good analysis? As we’ve already stated, having an outline is one of the crucial steps in the right direction. Unless your professor requests it, you can have your model, but we suggest using a traditional one. It’s clear, and students can make it as detailed as they want.


  • Hook
  • Presenting background
  • Thesis

Body Paragraph 1

  • Opening sentence
  • First argument and example
  • Closing sentence

Body Paragraph 2

  • Opening sentence
  • Second argument and example
  • Closing sentence

Body Paragraph 3

  • Opening sentence
  • Third argument and example
  • Closing sentence


  • Restating thesis
  • Repeating key points


First Writing Step: How to Start an Analysis Essay

Congratulations, we’re finally getting to the writing process! You might have seen some phrases in the outline that don’t make sense to you: we’ll clarify them for you starting with an introduction and everything it entails. Writing this section might seem easy, but only if you don’t realize its full importance. Readers will see your analysis essay introduction first, so it must look amazing. Make it as interesting as you possibly can. The hook is the first sentence, the main introduction your audience will receive. Use a powerful statement that could attract their attention. Present an interesting fact or say something relevant but shocking — anything to secure interest.

The next step in your how to write an analytical essay journey is presenting your topic’s background. If it’s a book, establish its publication date; present the main characters, this book’s author, and the plot outline. Move toward the thesis slowly. Remember that an introduction cannot be more than 10% of your entire content: if it’s getting too large, cut some ideas out. Finish this section with a strong and compelling thesis. We already explained what it is and gave you a solid example.

Second Writing Step: Composing Your Body

The body is the most significant part of analytical essay structure. It must have at least one comprehensive paragraph — in most cases, writers need as many of them as the analysis points their thesis mentioned. So, if your thesis has 3 key arguments, divide your body into three corresponding paragraphs. Start it with an opening sentence: it has to be linked to the thesis directly, demonstrating which part of it you’re about to tackle. Then, offer evidence for proving your point: direct examples from the text or movie you’re analyzing, quotes from outside research, and so on — depending on how you structured your paper.

After developing your point sufficiently, move on to the closing sentence. There are two choices here: you could either summarize your entire paragraph in it, or you could turn it into a link leading up to another paragraph. Using words like “therefore” and “thus” would be fitting for the former; phrases like “however” or “moreover” create an appropriate ground for the latter. Both options are acceptable in academic writing.

Third Step: Writing Conclusion Analytical Essay

The conclusion mainly consists of two parts. They aren’t lengthy — like the introduction, the conclusion mustn’t be longer than 10% of the total word count, but they are still important. First, paraphrase your thesis. Don’t use it word by word, but recreate it in a way that would be recognizable to readers. Then, start summarizing all the key points you’ve discussed in your body. Avoid copying sentences, as this will only result in self-plagiarism accusations. Voice the same findings in different words, and make the last sentence truly powerful: it’s better to leave your readers impressed even if other essay parts have weaknesses.

Analysis Paragraph Examples to Kickstart Your Writing

The topic you choose for your essay must be interesting, not just for readers. Liking it personally is the surest way to success. If you have the freedom of choice, consider your favorite books, movies, songs, performances, events, or anything else. What would you like to analyze? Which ideas stir your interest? If you lack options, look at the topics we devised to inspire you.

  1. How Music in the Opening Credits of [Insert Your TV Show’s Name] Reflects Its Essence
  2. Role of the USA in Assisting the USSR in the War with Germany
  3. The Use of Clothing Attributes in [Insert Book’s or Movie’s Title] and Its Meaning
  4. How Song Lyrics Reflect the Mood of a Singer/Writer
  5. Whether Gender Affects Perception of Workers at Their Workplace

An Example of Analytical Paper

Now you need to see an analytical essay example. We shared some info about our chosen topic, the Billy Elliot movie: this is how it could look if it were turned into a proper essay.

Dancing is a sense of life for some people, just as the ability to love someone is the main purpose for others. Billy Elliot was released in 2000: a British movie directed by Stephen Daldry. It tells a story about a young boy who lives in a small, poor coal miners’ town and who falls in love with ballet to the point where he cannot imagine his love without it. His best friend Michael is not interested in dancing, but he is secretly homosexual. The love for ballet that Billy Elliot feels serves as a secondary metaphor for sexuality, as seen in the example of Michael, with both boys feeling isolated because of who they are.

Billy’s love for ballet functions as a metaphor for Michael’s sexuality developing in the background. The scene where Billy goes to his first boxing lesson illustrates it best. They are the only boys who are not interested in boxing: Billy is not happy about going, while Michael is downright upset. The audience learns that Billy does not like boxing because he is more drawn to dancing, particularly to ballet; Michael’s reasons remain unclear at first. This is where one central event allows understanding of another less significant event through its prism, working as a metaphor (Baker, 2020). Billy is feeling lonely because no one can relate to his interest in ballet, while Michael has no friends because no one is willing to accept his sexuality. Both boys bond over feeling different. Therefore, Billy’s struggles on the way to dancing reflect Michael’s worries about his sexuality.   

Billy and Michael have secrets, such as interest in ballet and homosexuality alternately, and the former is a metaphor for the latter. Both boys feel isolated without each other: their shared differences allow them to be friends while the rest of the world does not understand them. They do not like boxing, and Billy’s reasoning for it subtly reflects Michael’s justifications. The movie received numerous accolades, and its ability to reveal the story of a minor character through exploring the protagonist's problems remains one of its most impressive features.

Write Excellent Analytical Essays with Your New Knowledge

We helped you understand what standard analytical essay format is, which sections it must comprise, and what to include in each of them. Follow these detailed tips, look at the examples we provided again, and you’ll be able to create outstanding work. If you still need help, though, contact us personally and tell us what you want. You won’t have to pay for cover page for research paper or work cited list; formatting is also free, just as unlimited support. Our top writers could craft a personalized version of a paper just for you, and later on, you’ll be able to use it to start your creative process. Chat with us and receive every answer to your questions.

Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

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