Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Writing an Analysis Paper - The Basic Components

Analysis papers are required at many levels: secondary school, university, and in professional disciplines. Once you have selected your subject and formulated your thesis, you need to actually lay it out for others to read. For many writers, this is the most difficult part.
No matter what the topic or type, there are three basic parts of an analysis paper:
• Introduction: The introduction and the conclusion are the two most important paragraphs of an analysis paper. Make the introduction exciting or inviting to capture the readers' interest: use an interesting quotation, a surprising or impressive fact, a provocative statement that leads to a description of your subject and your clearly defined thesis.
• Body: Within the body of the analysis paper, use distinct paragraphs to make distinct points; trying to make multiple points in a single paragraph is a common mistake. Keep each paragraph focused on exploring an individual point, and state that point in the first sentence of the paragraph. Expand the paragraph by incorporating specific quotations or other examples from the subject, referencing third party sources, and anticipate and address contradicting viewpoints. Arrange the paragraphs so that the point made in each builds upon prior paragraphs, leading the reader logically to your conclusion. Above all be clear and concise.
• Conclusion: The conclusion should recap your thesis and summarize the key points made in the body of the analysis paper. It should be concise. And leave the reader thinking by closing with a thought provoking final sentence: perhaps an appropriate, supporting quotation; stating an implication or consequence, or requesting that some action be taken.
Once your paper is drafted, you want to be sure that it is formatted correctly. The most widely accepted guide to this end is the MLA Style Guide. Be sure your analysis paper adheres to MLA guidelines for citing references and sources.
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