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Analytical Essay Ideas: The Best Way To Write A Paper From A Professor's Point Of View

When there is an essay due, there is nothing more intimidating than an empty screen. It stares you down, even mocks you in its blankness. Some papers are easy peasy, where you are given a topic and it is pretty cut and dry. The analytical essay asks you to do more than that. It begs you to delve into topics that are often times blurred and open to interpretation. It sounds intimidating at first, but it really isn’t. Here are some tips on how to write an analytical essay, which will help you avoid the dreaded white screen and headaches over what to write and how.

Choose a Topic that Interests You

Sometimes you will get a list of different essay topics that the teacher wants to explore. Read over the list carefully. If one of the topics jumps out at you, then take it. Most instructors can see if a student is passionate about the topic just by reading the essay.

Prewriting: An Author’s Best Friend

After you have selected your topic, it is time to dissect it. Take a notebook and start writing ideas on the topic. Just throw anything you think of down. Also - think of the five Ws and one H when it comes to writing:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • How

This way you will get more angles on a given topic. Once you can’t think of anything more, it is time to select the angles that you would like to explore. Remember to choose the angles similarly to the method you used to select the overall topic; by gravitation towards the more interesting topics.

Outlining Your Essay with a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is usually placed at the end of the introductory paragraph. It states what the topic of the essay is as well as providing a smooth transition from the introduction to the body of the essay. Usually a thesis statement incorporates the phrases “not only” and “but also”. For example:

Peanut butter and jelly is not only a quick meal to prepare but also is nutritious and uses only a few ingredients.

By doing this, you provide a perfect set up for the rest of your essay. Using the example above, you can see the angles that were chosen; quick meal to prepare, nutritious, utilization of ingredients.

Prove Your Points

Imagine that you are debating with your friend over a topic. Usually you want to back your evidence up with proof so there is no way your friend could question what you are saying. This is very similar in the case of writing the analytical essay. Taking the peanut butter and jelly topic above, you could incorporate the five Ws and one H into proving the point as well. Using the first angle (quick meal to prepare) as an example, here are a few questions that you could use to prove your point:

  • How do you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
  • What is the preparation time for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Depending on the depth of the angles, each angle could be one paragraph or several paragraphs.


Sometimes it is hard to find a way to finish your essay. One of the best ways to finish your essay is to restate your thesis, which will tie everything together. It will also remind the reader what you were trying to prove in the first place. Also add some of the aspects of the introduction into the conclusion, which will refer the reader to the beginning of the essay.

By incorporating these tips, you will be more successful in writing your essays and avoiding the white document screen.


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