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Analysis Outline: Template For Writing An Analytical Essay

Analysis Outline: Template For Writing An Analytical Essay

What Is An Analysis Essay?

An analysis is an interpretive process that draws conclusions from a set of facts. It involves breaking down something into its various elements and asking critical thinking questions such as ‘why’ and ‘how’ in order to reach your own conclusions.

Writing an analysis starts by choosing the elements or areas of your topic that you will analyze. You will need to break down the topic, theory, issue or story that you are analyzing into its various pieces or parts.

The following are some characteristics of an analysis:

  • Makes an argument or reaches a conclusion.
  • Chooses specific elements to study.
  • Examines and interprets each element.
  • Discusses why each element is important.
  • Discusses how each element connects to the others.
  • Might discuss causes and effects.
  • Might discuss advantages and disadvantages.
  • Might discuss effectiveness and ineffectiveness.

The following is an analysis outline:

1. Introduction

Start your introduction with a hook, followed by the author, title, main characters, a short summary and finally the thesis statement.

A good introduction has the following features:

  • Summary of the study and data, as well as any relevant substantive context, background or framing issues.
  • The questions answered by your analysis and summaries of your conclusions about these questions.
  • Brief outline of the remainder of the analysis.

2. Body

The body can be organized in several ways. They include:

Traditional – divide the body into several sections at the same level as the introduction, with names like; data, methods, analysis, results. You should describe the analyses that you have performed.

Question-oriented – there is a single body section in this format called analysis and then there is a sub-section for each question raised in the introduction, usually taken in the same form as the introduction. For each sub-section statistical method, analyses and conclusions would be described.

Other organizational formats are also possible. Whatever format you choose, it is important to provide one or two well-chosen tables or graphs per question in the body because:

  • Graphical and tabular displays can convey your points more effectively as compared to words.
  • Your readers will more likely be attracted to a table or graph as compared to plain text.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion should reprise the questions in the introduction. It can also be supplemented by some additional observations and details gathered from the analysis section. Your conclusion should include the following:

  • Summarize your argument.
  • Extend the argument.
  • Show why the text is important.

4. Appendix

Include one or more appendices to place out the details and additional materials. These may include:

  • Technical descriptions of statistical procedures.
  • Detailed tables or computer output.
  • Figures that were not central to the arguments presented in the body of the analysis.
  • Computer code used to obtain results.

It is advisable to add some text sentences such as comments to make it easier for readers to follow what you are doing.

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