How do you write an analysis paper – study tips for college students


Analysis papers can be written in nearly every subject, the trick is to know enough about the curricular area to be able to properly analyze a topic. An analysis is done by looking at the parts of a larger work and breaking it down into those parts to make a statement about the effort that went into the larger piece. For example, when you analyze a poem, you look at the individual lines, phrases, and stanzas to try to figure out the plethora of meaning that come from the figurative language, word choice, and imagery that was created.

  • Movie Analysis Pieces
  • When you have to write an analysis, you need to know the smaller pieces that go into the large work. For example, if you have to analyze a movie, the movie is large work. The small pieces that make up that movie include things like the lighting, the camera angles, the casting decisions, and the dialogue. Analyzing a movie involves looking at those individual aspects and seeing how they all fit together to create the big film itself. You probably will not be able to talk to the director, the writer, or the actor, so you will have to base your analytical judgment on what you know about those small parts, the human condition, and the movie itself.

  • Novel Analysis Ideas
  • Novels are other large works that are often analyzed. These are more challenging simply because there are so many aspects that go into crafting a novel. When students write an analysis of a novel, they tend to focus on one aspect, rather than a series of features. You might write a character analysis where you delve into the psyche of the characters and the way the writer developed them, from the selection of their names to the reactions they have to stressful situations. You could also look at the development of the plot in a plot analysis essay. This type of essay would look at the plot structure and what occurred at different locations of the typical plot line from exposition and turning point all the way to the denouement or lack-there-of.

  • Typical Essay Structure
  • When you write your analysis paper, you will structure it just like any other essay with an introduction that includes a thesis. The body paragraphs will include the details and how those details fit with the big picture thesis you have created. The conclusion will wrap up your ideas and close the essay.



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