Overview of writing an analysis paper

Before proceeding anywhere further, a student essentially needs to understand what an analysis paper is exactly and what he or she is expected to hand in. An analysis paper is a special kind of an analytical writing with an objective to examine, interpret or sometimes even criticize a certain piece of literature, cinematography, speech, someone else’s essay, etc. The structure of an analysis paper can be broken down into three conventional parts:

  • Determining an author’s idea, intentions, target audience;
  • Indicating the arguments provided by the author;
  • Presenting your personal outlook on what is said or shown by an author, along with a critical opinion of yours on whether or not you believe an author’s argumentation stands.

Evaluating an author’s reasoning

When writing an analysis paper, the key thing to keep in mind is that you need to put your best effort into reading between the lines of the text in front of you. It might not necessarily mean searching for a specific hidden meaning behind every sentence. Rather try to get a core understanding of an author’s point of view and judgement. When going through the text or watching a video, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the author’s background reflect on his or her notions presented in this particular work?
  • Are there any evident holes in the author’s line of reasoning or logic throughout the passage?
  • Is the author’s stance consistent on all accounts of his or her work?
  • Has the author considered the possible counterarguments or opposing ideas?

Note that an important part of determining an author’s idea is researching on his or her background. If the task seems way too loaded for you, our staff that holds an enormous experience and competence in researching and writing papers is always here to help you.

Outlining your paper

The structure of an analysis paper, as mentioned above, is highly focused on the three key parts that you need to explain: the author's viewpoint, his or her main assertions, and your personal argumentation or objection. Along with it, your professor still expects you to follow the basic paper structure:

  • In the introduction, present the work you are analysing, its main thesis, and a concise statement about your personal points and the methodology of how you plan on defending your argumentation.
  • In between the introduction and the main body, insert a paragraph which gives a detailed overview of the work you are focusing on. This is a crucial element which is to give the reader an opportunity to grasp onto the main concepts presented in the work which is being analysed and criticized.
  • The main part of your paper is its body. Here, indicate and discuss your arguments, support them by the facts or your personal reasoning, and link to what is presented by the original author of the work. The body should be a preponderance as opposed to the rest of your paper, as the key of writing an analysis paper is presenting your own ideas, not simply stating the existing ones.
  • Your conclusion should summarize your argumentation and persuade the reader that it is valid and important. Keep it short and sweet lest it should overload the body of your paper.

The biggest mistake the students make when working on an analysis paper is focusing excessively on summarizing the work itself and not giving enough attention to their own counter argumentations or suggestions. Such an omission often results into a professor concluding that a student had not comprehended the task.

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