Analytical Essay

Analytical Essay , Dance of Language textbook Writing an essay that analyzes a piece of literature requires many sophisticated skills that, having acquired the tools to do so, will allow students the freedom to read, think, and evaluate critically and creatively as well as write in a clear, expressive way. It is helpful to remember that writing is a process, and therefore gathering the tools for analysis, writing a draft, and finishing the writing process with several editing attempts and proofreading will take time.

The first step in writing a critical analysis of literature asks the writer to focus. A student can examine a piece of literature from many angles, so which area of the piece will take center stage? The answer will determine the direction of the essay. For example, several possible approaches include:

Once the writer determines the focus of the analysis, she must write a thesis, the sentence that communicates the exact purpose to be elaborated on in the writing. An interesting approach is to have a concrete image illustrate an abstract idea:

The concrete images are the items Boo places in the knothole of the tree; the abstract idea is the symbolism of Boo’s life.

The organization of any piece of writing must contribute to the fluency that enables clarity. For beginning writers, fluency and clarity can be accomplished through a structured way called point-example-commentary. The writer establishes a point about the thesis, explains it with an example, and, to insure understanding, adds commentary that elaborates on or explains the example. This task can be done in three sentences, but good writing shows, not just tells. The more light the writer can shed on the topic, the better the chances of communicating clearly. For example: