how to analyze an essay

how to analyze an essay

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How to Analyze an Essay

Essays are generally short pieces of prose (not always) that revolve around an already formulated thought. Essays are written analyses by established writers and critics. In school settings, they can range from one paragraph to one page to twenty pages. Most importantly, they are non-fiction. They are not stories, novels, or poems. Rather, they are complete and formulated thoughts organized into prose. Now, it is your job to analyze someone else's analysis of an issue. It can be confusing. And sometimes it can be downright frustrating digging so deep. Nonetheless, it is a necessary force of education and can force you to think of new concepts in innovative and creative ways.

When you begin to analyze an essay, follow these steps in order to avoid confusion.

  1. Read over the essay several times

Because essays are one person's view on an issue, it will be imperative that you understand that view cold. You do not have to agree with the essay. You simply have to understand it. Generally, essays can be complex, so they will take several reads to fully understand. Analyzing an essay you only 'sort of know' will do you no good. Your analysis will be shoddy and it will come across through your writing (or presentation).

  • Discuss the essay with a teacher or peer

    Once you have read the essay sufficiently to understand it as best you can, it is helpful to discuss with another person. If this essay was assigned in school, you will probably be discussing it in class, where you will have the guidance of a teacher and opinions of several other students. More brains are always better than one; consequently, open your mouth and ask your questions. Bring your analysis into the forefront of a conversation so that you can discuss ideas. You may discover that you have found a brilliant new way to view a story. Or, you may discover that your analysis is so far off track that you will need to re-read the story to understand what is truly occurring within.

  • Tear apart the essay's structure

    Essays will more than likely cover a specific topic. You must hone in on that topic and form your own thoughts. You must look at the essay's analysis of a topic and analyze not the topic, but the analysis — the writing. You will not be writing about the "plot" of the essay. Rather, you will be writing about the formulation of the essay. How was it structured? How is it effective? How does the writer convey his/her message?

    Once you have decided how the essay is (or is not) successful, you can research it. You can find other sources that back your view and add them to your analysis. This additional step is key to a highly successful analysis. Your own thoughts are good. However, if other people have had them, as well, then your own thoughts will be excellent. Again, you are looking for ways to back up your analysis of the essay's criticism (and not necessarily the essay's theme).

    Like any analysis, essay, or research paper, an outline is vital. It is the skeleton of your analysis, the scaffolding that holds your ideas together. It is your organizational crutch. Your outline for the essay analysis should begin with an introduction (including a thesis statement), followed by at least three reasons for it in the essay, and a conclusion bringing all the examples together. This conclusion will be significant in an analysis, for you will be putting together what you have just explained into a greater context. The conclusion is the ultimate analysis of the essay and should leave the audience/readership understanding the essay in a new light.

    Now that you have all your themes and ideas written down in a nice outline, you are ready to write your analysis. While it initially seemed like a daunting task, because you have done all the work already, you can now simply place all the work together into a nice organized and complete analysis.

    If your essay analysis is meant to be an oral presentation, follow the same steps. You will still need an outline, as presentations are no different than written papers in content. The only difference is presentation. Your outline will serve as your notes. It will be your guide as you speak to your teacher and class.

    What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

    A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of writing where the author looks at the topic in greater detail and prove his standpoint, using effective and persuasive methods. In a broader sense, a rhetorical paper means 'writing about writing,' 'dreaming about a dream,' 'teaching a teacher,' and so on. It is one of the writing assignments which appears on the AP English exam.

    The main point is to create the informative text by dividing apart the words/phrases that the writer comes up with to reveal the persuasive techniques used to get feedback from the audience. Good examples involve public speeches by various authorities. An effective evaluation requires selecting a certain article to analyze and interpret how all written sections relate to each other, forming one whole.

    Student's goal is to create the top-notch paper. Following the basic questions is the key to success in rhetorical writing:

    • What is the situation described by the author of original piece?
    • Who is the writer/author/speaker?
    • What is the primary goal of the analyzed piece of text, article, or public speech based on the author's intentions?
    • Who is the author's target audience (age, nationality, gender, preferences, location, interests, and other factors)?
    • How does the content of the main message sound?
    • Do the overall form and content correspond?
    • Does the main article's or speech idea successfully complete the author's intentions and primary objectives?
    • What does the nature of communication tell about the culture that developed it?

    In short, a rhetorical analysis essay has to be

    Now, it is time to proceed to the detailed instruction of creating such paper.

    Things to Memorize about Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Preparation

    Following pre-writing stages is what every writer must keep in mind in order to create an effective introduction. One of the ways to get ready is to view several examples. Learn how to structure AP paper paragraphs to analyze the chosen article or piece of text effectively. The writer should:

    • Use SOAPS.

    • Involve rhetorical stages.
    1. Appeals (ethos, logos, & pathos) - read more information on these three important elements further in the article.
    2. Writing style (voice, tone, language, imagery, dialect, imagery, and more)
    • Understand why the speaker picked these ways to communicate with the target reading/listening audience, occasion, and goal.
    1. Here is where the analysis part of the article steps in! A summary of the text is never an analysis paper, so focus more on evaluation strategies in your text.
    2. Following a couple of primary questions helps; do not ignore them!
    • How do the rhetorical strategies/ways to interact with the readers help to achieve the main purpose of the writing?
    • Why did the author choose these ways to communicate with the target reading audience and for that certain occasion?

    How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

    Another thing to keep in mind is the organization is essential for any types of academic writing, and a rhetorical paper is not an exception. Make sure to have excellent rhetorical analysis essay example on hand. Don't worry - this essay's structure looks pretty much the same as other types of school/college academic papers on any topic.

    There are many different ways to grab the attention of your reader from the initial line of your essay. The best trick is to choose effective hook to reflect your topic. Keep in mind that a hook sentence should correspond to the tone and audience of your paper too. A joke won't be OK if you write a paper summarizing and analyzing the article on serious health issue like full disability. This type of hook is a perfect start for the paper which covers funny moments from the life of wild animals or popular books.

    It's up to the writer to decide on the powerful hook!

    • A good story
    • Anecdote
    • Interesting fact or statistics
    • Literary quote
    • Poetry line
    • Comparison
    • Contradiction
    • Question
    • Simile/Metaphor

    This part of work is essential because the way of writing is entirely contingent on it. Here, you need to define your position on the theme you should analyze; you should define a thesis statement. It is a short argument or your standpoint which you should prove in your text. For instance, if your target aim is to analyze a novel, your thesis is your personal interpretation of it. Thus, you should find and use different techniques or strategies to prove the audience that you are right. When you work on your statement, always avoid personal pronouns and try to present it objectively. Your reader should believe you.

    You need to involve the educational research on your topic to find several solutions to the existing problem. It shouldn't be too wordy or complicated. Proceed to this part after the moment you stated your thesis; having done it, you may move to the analysis of the topic. Use all possible strategies to support your idea in the best way possible.

    It is an important part of critical academic work where you should support your thesis statement. Your task is to grab the attention of the audience: the strategy will be your helping hand, allowing you to do that. If you work on a rhetorical content, you should choose a winning strategy. You know who your reader is - now, it is high time to determine the target reading audience.


    At first gaze, these terms sound like a conjuration in a magic story. Nevertheless, they are the major ingredients of persuasion created by Aristotle and know for centuries of the mankind history! Many years ago, Aristotle discussed these three terms in his well-known book Rhetoric. He considered them to be the primary persuasive strategies that authors should use in their papers.

    • The ethos appeals to ethics. The term refers to the author's credibility on the theme he wants to analyze; the writer must prove the audience why they should believe him.
    • The pathos appeals to emotions. In a similar vein, it is the emotional reaction of the target audience to the arguments provided by the author. You should create an emotional response to your essay.
    • The logos mean the using of the rational thinking. You provide different truthful facts and other logical arguments to influence your audience's ways of thinking.

    If all statements mentioned above are difficult to understand or you can't make a boast of the writing talent, you will always find the professional assistance at JustBuyEssay. It is a reputable custom agency, collaborating with professionals in the writing area. Their authors know all secrets of working with essays, case studies, course works, and other types of important but creative assignments.

    After considering all major aspects of the task, it is time to proceed to the outline.


    Browsing the web and learning the information presented on different portals, you will find out the outline is essential. There are many examples, proving such fact. Keep in mind that it is not a chaotic writing where you start working when the muse comes; when you create the outline, we guarantee, the inspiration will come faster!

    The point comprises the identification of the writing style, choosing the core audience and examination of appeals. Having coped with such issue, you may proceed to work on the main paragraphs.

    Introductory paragraph always sets the tone of the entire essay, so it has to include all the main ideas you're going to discuss. Here, you need to designate the goal of your work by notifying your reader in advance about what your essay is. You need to create your thesis statement. Choose a single idea you like better than others, narrow it down, and write a concise, clear sentence highlighting this idea to your readers. A thesis statement is an extremely important part which regulated the way the information is conveyed and delivered to the audience of readers. You should state the types of rhetorical techniques you use. Think about choosing the original argument and focus your writing on it; this argument must be traced throughout the body paragraphs.

    It is the leading part of any school or college academic writing assignment. Nevertheless, if you cope with the previous part, this one will not be difficult or time-consuming. During the writing process, you should pinpoint attention upon arrangements, but the process will speed up once you manage to provide effective evidence.

    There are many arguments a writer can find online/in the library while trying to support thesis statement and each argument in particular. Include information which is credible, time-tested, fresh, and supports the argument in the best way. If you're running out of ideas, include an opposing view, but try to reject it with the help of strong evidence.

    Working on body paragraphs, organize them by rhetorical appeals (divide them into sections and identify the epos, logos, and pathos). Your essay shouldn't be too wordy. Your primary aim is to give facts and fortify them with various ideas so that in the end, each body paragraph will have a single claim and supporting evidence.

    The specific goal of the conclusion is to summarize all ideas mentioned in your essay, state the specific ideas/arguments, and rewrite the thesis. Still, you should rephrase the thesis statement and mention it once again. Information alluded in conclusion should be brief. If the theme of work is too broad and requires additional research, you should also mention it in conclusion.

    It is better to end up your descriptive essay with a powerful call-to-action. Other ways include an expression, related question, or forecast to leave a positive impression on your reader.


    Below, we want to publish six important tips that you may put into your essay.

    1. Never mention new information in conclusion - summarize and paraphrase the ideas discussed in the text before.
    2. Don't argue as the overriding priority of such paper is to analyze, but not to espouse your view.
    3. Never start conclusion with the word combination "in " If your writing piece belongs to a high academic level, this expression will only clutter your work.
    4. Once you're done with your draft, check it several times with the help of various free grammar-checking tools available online. Show the draft to your educator to point out your mistakes; fix them before the deadline arrives.
    5. Revise the final papers at least two times to see whether you fixed everything. The good idea is to give your finished essay to people around to share their ideas on what can be improved.
    6. We have asked academic writing experts how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. We will share one of the most interesting tips:

    "I would recommend reviewing different rhetorical analysis examples to understand the main point. Sensory details, emotions, and examples altogether help to support thesis statement just like arguments help to support the main argument in the argumentative/persuasive paper. Thus, facts alone are not effective enough. I suggest that students utilize different literary and creative writing tools like similes, metaphors, personification, comparisons, and parallels to provide a complete description of the topic."

    Daniel Rosenberg, Dean's Assistant at Clemson University.

    Writing an example of rhetorical analysis is not your worst nightmare any longer!

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Where to Get an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Example Essay?

    We believe that our rhetorical essay example or custom article will help you create a superior academic paper. Nevertheless, if English is not your native language or you can't brag about ideal writing skills, you can always find the professional assistance at JustBuyEssay. This online service is aware of all peculiarities of working with this type of assignment. Its talented academic authors with more than 20 years of combined experience in educational services used to write such works on a timely basis. For that reason, their professionalism can comply with requirements of the most demanding people.

    How to Write an Analytical Essay

    Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if you've never done it before. Don't worry! Take a deep breath, buy yourself a caffeinated beverage, and follow these steps to create a well-crafted analytical essay.

    Prewriting for Your Essay Edit

    Do: make a specific argument such as "Beowulf explores different styles of vengeance in the Anglo-Saxon age, contrasting the dragon's honorable retribution with the response of Grendel's mother."

    • This is an analytical thesis because it examines a text and makes a particular claim.
    • The claim is "arguable," meaning it's not a statement of pure fact that nobody could contest. An analytical essay takes a side and makes an argument.
    • Make sure your thesis is narrow enough to fit the scope of your assignment. "Revenge in Beowulf could be a PhD dissertation, it's so broad. It's probably much too big for a student essay. However, arguing that one character's revenge is more honorable than another's is manageable within a shorter student essay. [4]
    • Unless instructed to write one, avoid the "three-prong" thesis that presents three points to be discussed later. These thesis statements usually limit your analysis too much and give your argument a formulaic feel. It's okay to state generally what your argument will be.

    Do: adjust your thesis to a more nuanced position as you learn more about the topic.

    How to Analyze an Essay Efficiently

    An essay is generally a piece of writing that revolves around a formulated idea or thought. Effort, creativity and adhering to instructions are integral to good writing. The credibility of any written work can only be tested through analysis. It is therefore important to learn how to analyze an essay.

    Tips to Effectively Analyze an Essay

    There are few critical steps to be followed when analyzing an essay.

    The first step is to read and reread. You have to fully understand whatever you want to analyze. Remember, an essay is someone’s ideas and opinions on paper. In as much as you do not agree with them, you have to get their point of argument clearly so as to make an informed decision. At times essays can be very complex and it might take more than one head to handle it appropriately. You could introduce another party in the analysis. It could be a friend or a peer, just someone with good reading and writing skills and is capable of helping out. If the paper is part of school work, you could share your point of view with your classmates and ask questions. With the assured guidance from your teacher and a few thoughts from the class, your perspective of the story could be changed or even made better. You could also gain new ideas on how to handle your work.

    Secondly, dig into the text structure. Find out how the essay has been drafted. Your analysis is not based on your ideas about the topic but on how the writer presents his or her own thoughts. You might have your own plot on the theme but it is not necessary. You must indicate how the writer structured his/her work, how he/she presented his thoughts, and what you think about it, was it effective, vague or shoddy?

    Look for Additional Information that can Backup your Thoughts

    After getting to note if the essay serves its purpose or not, look for additional information that can backup your thoughts. They could be articles or books dealing with the same topic and having a point of argument similar to yours. Your perspective might be good enough but backing information would make it much better and effective.

    Just like any other form of writing, an essay analysis too must have an outline. It is vital because it gives your work a flowing direction. It holds all your thoughts in a simplified manner. If the analysis presentation must be done orally, the outline serves as reference point. An analysis outline is not different in any way. It encompasses the introduction, which hosts a thesis statement, the body (includes reasons backing up your thesis), and a conclusion, that summarizes all your points and gives the audience a better perspective of the story.

    Finally, if your presentation should be in writing, draft your final analysis keeping in mind all instructions and sticking to your outline. Make sure your analysis report is detailed, straight to the point, organized and complete. It is much easier because you already have all the information you need.

    In order for an essay to be referred to as successful or good, it must comply with some standards and rules. The most important of them all is the form or structure. A good essay has its ideas spread in three different parts: the introduction (first paragraph), detailed body (subsequent paragraphs) and conclusion (final paragraph). A good essay also respects stated word volume. Do not underestimate the required volume of your essay. Less words show the reader that you lack words to write (this can be a real turn off). If it is part of your school work you end up losing a lot of marks just because you could not hit the word count. Going past the required amount of words too can be risky as well. You might end up veering off the topic.

    The presence of logic makes a paper relevant and effective. Someone has to see sense in your work so as to read and even appreciate it. Your general ideas have to come first before you get to specific details of a given topic. Not only does this give an essay volume, but also significance. Ideas in a successful essay connect from paragraph to paragraph. Even the conclusion must have an element of the introduction. Written work free of grammatical errors is also pleasing read. All these can only be made possible by having an outline to guide your writing and proofreading your work before submission.

    A bad essay, in short, does not comply with the rules set for essay writing. It is full of grammatical errors; the text structure and the word count are not considered at all and even the whole writing is not in line with the question or the topic given. Bad essays take readers round in circles. One cannot get the main point being discussed by the writer. They do not hook the reader’s attention but just invoke boredom from the first line.

    Writing a perfect essay is very simple. It mainly involves following very simple instructions and constant practice, nothing much. Moreover, with all these information, why would writing an essay be difficult?

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