Basic Information about Writing an Analytical Essay

There are two types of analytical essays: one that analyzes an issue or topic comprehensively through various sources, and another that analyzes one source material, which is like an analytical review. An analytical essay is not a summary, but a deep look at a subject, or a piece of literature. Think of it as a comprehensive look at something, considering many different sides at once.

An analytical essay usually goes on longer than the traditional five paragraphs, as it is an extensive document that stretches usually from 1000-3000 words. It is important to write an analytical essay outline before drafting, as these essays can be hard to keep together without a plan of action.

Analytical Essay Structure

At the start of an analytical essay, have a hook, which is a sentence or two that presents something surprising or interesting to the reader. Follow this up with background information, and then go on to the analytical essay thesis. This concludes your analytical essay introduction.

In the body paragraphs, center each paragraph on an area of consideration of the subject or of the chosen piece of literature. Begin with the most important topics to discuss. Be sure to include information directly from the original source(s) in the analytical essay, because even though it is not a summary, you still need to relate your ideas to what was written in the original text(s).

Knowing how to conclude an analytical essay is no trick. It is like most essay conclusions, although you should be careful to balance all the viewpoints made in the body paragraphs. All the main ideas that were in the body should be present in the conclusion. Ending with an afterthought, or a sentence or two that makes readers think about your essay long after reading it, is common.

Style of an Analytical Essay

The writing is formal and precise. There should be no slang or contractions included in the text. Your language should not show your bias, but rather your skill to break down a subject or a piece of literature.

It is important to use plenty of transitional phrases and words in order for your ideas to flow properly in an analytical essay. You will be quoting many passages and bringing up many sides of an issue, so guarantee that you do not make a mess of your ideas by including transitions.

Popular Analytical Essay Topics

For analytical essays that center on a subject, here are some analytical essay topics grouped into classifications:


  1. Is addiction another form of habit?
  2. Is there a direct cause of substance abuse?
  3. What is more potent: nature or nurture?
  4. Does the month you are born in affect your personality?
  5. Is being susceptible to peer pressure in our genetics?

Politics and Economics

  1. Is there a plausible strategy to end poverty in the U.S.?
  2. What is the most cost-effective energy source for India?
  3. How does culture interact with economics in Australia?
  4. Are rural cultures in the U.S. changing based on urban cultures?
  5. Can North Korea send a missile to Alaska without being destroyed before its impact?


  1. Why do Russian Olympic athletes get doped up before competitions?
  2. In the UK, is it possible to maintain one’s cultural identity in such a multicultural society?
  3. How do gay-parent households compare to heterosexual-parent households?
  4. Does virtual reality games reshape users’ brains?
  5. Is addiction a choice?

For analytical essays that focus on a piece of literature, you should choose books, articles, reports, blogs, and so on that are open to interpretation and contentious in nature. Writing on culture is ripe for analytical essays, and so are novels and short stories.

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