An analytical essay is different from other types of writing. Its name is self-explanatory though. Basically, you have to analyze something. You could analyze a film, a book, a music album, a place, or even a person – less likely though. This type of essay is not just analysis. Instead, you need to find some key elements and describe what makes the issue valid.

So, what is an analytical essay? It is quite easy, but keep in mind that you need a narrow point of view. Your approach must be straightforward. You could analyze a new music style on an album, how an author supports their arguments, and so on. Practically, you are not just reviewing something, but analyzing something specific about it.

From some points of view, an analytical essay is similar to a persuasive essay – similar to the argumentative alternative too. There are some major differences though. You do not need to convince readers. You do not want them on your side, meaning you do not have to be too persuasive. Instead, you just want your argument to be crystal clear.

In terms of structure, there are not too many differences. Most essays have the same structural components. For instance, you will need an intro and a thesis statement, a few paragraphs for the body, and a conclusion.


So, what is an analytical essay? The intro should describe its purpose. You need something that will draw attention straight away. Your audience should be hooked in straight away. Apart from the hook, you also need a bit of background info regarding the essay – maybe talk about an issue or the thing you want to analyze.

Make sure you do not miss the thesis statement. This part usually goes at the end of the intro. The statement describes the essay. It might be a good idea to leave it in the end. That way, you will know precisely what the essay is about and can come up with a better statement.


The size of your analytical essay depends on your stage in school, as well as the instructor’s requirements. A simple analytical essay for college should have three or four paragraphs. Each paragraph must describe a different idea or point of view. The first sentence of each paragraph will tell the reader about the point explained within the next few lines.

Each point must get a detailed analysis. More importantly, no matter what your analysis is about, you have to explain each point. Your claims must be supported, so you must come up with some evidence. Without the evidence, your essay will be a statement – no proof to your readers and nothing to argue about.

Every paragraph must have an introductory sentence, an analysis point, and evidence. You can then repeat these steps for each point. Moving on from one paragraph to another is relatively simple – it does help coming up with a nice transition sentence. At the end of the day, you want smooth words and easy to understand sentences.


The conclusion involves wrapping everything up. You are not adding any new points or ideas, as they would require extra analyses. You are simply remembering your audience about your key points. You can rephrase the initial thesis and come with a brief summary of your main points. Try to see it this way – if someone reads your conclusion only, they should get a basic idea about what the essay is about.

Once you get these covered, you can come up with a few final thoughts. You can connect the topic of your essay to more important issues and underline the importance of your points.

Final words

In the end, what is an analytical essay? As the name clearly suggests, you need to analyze someone or something. You do not have to be very persuasive, but you have to express a few personal points of view that make sense. Perform a bit of research on them and try to back them up with lots of evidence.

The size of your essay is irrelevant – just make sure you follow your instructor’s recommendations. Structure it accordingly and you will make a great impression.

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