The Main Rules of Analytical Paper Writing

In some of your courses you may be asked to write an analytical paper. This assignment is not as common as a persuasive essay but it is common.

The first thing you should do is review your assigned article or piece multiple times. When you write an analytical paper you will be given something to analyze such as a news article or a book. You should review it and look for things you find exciting or areas you find confusing. Look at the claims the author makes either directly or indirectly.

  • Your writing style needs to be concise. You should avoid pointless repetition or personal attacks on the author.
  • Express yourself in the most precise and clear terms possible.
  • Make sure your final piece of free from any structural or grammatical errors. Avoid long paragraphs that try and cover multiple topics. Remove any convoluted sentences. Break down run-on sentences. Your goal is to write a paper that is easily understood by the reader.
  • If you quote something make sure to cite it properly. Try and use quotes minimally because they do take away from the space you can use to present your personal words. Avoid inserting a quote when you could summarize in your words what the author means.
  • Make sure you write for your audience. Take into account their background or familiarity with your topic.

The paper should have the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary
  3. Critique
  4. Conclusion

The introduction is where you identify the piece you are going to analyze. You should describe what it is about in one or two sentences and state what aspects of it you are going to address.

The summary is where you summarize the article or book. If the piece is long and you are only analyzing one part then only summarize that one part. Present the view of the author in the best light and make sure you give a fair and accurate representation. Do not make any critical comments in this section. That is for the next section.

The critique is where you critique the author’s work. You can point out where they failed to consider another aspect or have mistaken reasoning. You can also agree with the author and show where their argument was strengthened by a certain tool.

The conclusion should be the place where you summarize the steps you took toward reaching your conclusion. It should never contain new information or new claims. This will prevent you from being able to make any closing comments.

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