Monday, February 22, 2016

How To Write An Analytical Essay

Nick Ranieri
It’s important when writing an essay to not focus too much on providing background, especially when introducing quotes. Expect that the reader has read the book being discussed (if they didn’t why would they read the essay?). And that is the ONLY time you should be thinking about the reader. You’re not trying to show anything or tell the audience something. If you already know the purpose of what you’re looking at (which you shouldn’t), you have no purpose in writing the essay. The analysis and following of the ideas you noticed are meant to guide you to a conclusion. It’s through the writing of the essay that you discover something. That’s also why the introduction should be the last thing edited. Once your quotes are analyzed, your sentences complexed, your conclusion written, you go back to your introduction to focus it back on the conclusion you came to. Your first draft of an introduction is NEVER the final draft. When you write an introduction, you may have a set idea of what you’re going to follow, but more often than not you’ll find you’ve come to a completely different conclusion by the end of your essay. And, while on the topic of conclusions, it shouldn’t be too long. True, it’s a space to gather all your thoughts and pin them to one singular discovery. But no one wants to read a whole other essay just summarizing thoughts. It should tie back to your initial (edited) idea, and provide a sort of happy ending in terms of a discovery. It’s perfectly fine to not reach a full conclusion, but you should leave off on some final point. This isn’t the last Harry Potter movie, or the last Hobbit movie, or the Last Hunger Games movie or… you get the point. We don’t want a cliffhanger in an analytical essay, we don’t want to wait for “Analytical Essay Part 2” to come out. And remember, conclusion always comes after the body paragraphs.
Speaking of body paragraphs (best segway ever), they are crucial to an analytical essay (duh). Always start with a complex sentence. These help to center the quotes to come on a specific idea, connecting them before even writing them. And make sure mention the author’s name at least six or seven times, it really Nick Ranieri doesn’t matter Nick Ranieri where. And the purpose of quotes isn’t to make your essay long, they should convey something or further a point. That way your analysis of them actually makes sense. And as for the analysis, this isn’t 5th grade. You don’t need to copy and paste every line of the quote talking about what it means. If a reader wants to reread a line, they’ll reread it. They don’t need your help. The point of the analysis is to show how the author uses the language they use to further a point. Use words like: show, suggest, imply, detail, and hint to describe what the author’s purpose behind the language is.
Besides that, have fun. You’re only gonna write these essays once (as long as they’re good), so make the most of it, enjoy it. And be confident in what you’re writing about. If you come to a conclusion, stand by that conclusion. If you aren’t, your essay will just be a jumbled mess. Happy writing!

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