What Is An Analytical Essay ?

What Is An Analytical Essay ?

Assignment Objectives

Students will complete this assignment by writing an essay that responds to an assigned text. Students will use what they have read to support or illustrate their own position (agreement, disagreement, extension) rather than writing an essay focused on describing the work of another writer. Successful completion of this assignment will require students to (1) develop their own position, (2) express that position clearly and persuasively, and (3) demonstrate a connection—with quotation, paraphrase, or summary—between their position and that of the author(s) whose writing they are analyzing.


Unlike the first essay, where you wrote an exposition of another’s ideas, here you will analyze the ideas of another author and then engage that author with some of your own ideas.


Write a persuasive essay that presents your argument for your solution to the problem or issue presented in the text you choose to write about. Your essay may use personal experiences for support, but at least PART of support or elaboration in this essay must be drawn from one of the following texts:

Will UC Schools Drop Their SAT Scores Requirement?” by Teresa Watanabe

Opinion: Death Penalty Lacks Value, Should Be Abolished,” by Maya Stevenson

U.S. Abortion Rate Continues Long-Term Decline In Most States,” by Sarah McCammon

“Antonio Brown Asks for ‘Prof Reader’ for English Paper, Gets Schooled,” by Brandon Champion
Opinion: Transgender Athletes Deserve Compassion, But Not the Right to Transform Women’s Sports,” by Anita Y. Milanovich
The Stone Age People of North Sentinel Island” by Ransom Riggs
Modern Life Has Made It Easier For Serial Killers to Thrive,” by Rene Chun
The Evidence That Video Games Lead to Violence Is Weak,” by Art Markman
The Black Americans Suing to Reclaim Their Native American Identity” by Caleb Gayle
“Kill ‘Em All” by Andy Mills

Suggestion for Process

Start by choosing a text with an issue you have something to say about. From there, develop a thesis. When it comes to what the author is saying, you can agree, disagree, or agree with a twist. Make sure you build into the thesis some reasons or points that you can develop into body paragraphs, and then lay them out accordingly. Close it out with a conclusion that refocuses the argument, and don’t forget to attach your works cited page.

Do I need a work cited page?

Yes. You will be citing from at least one of the texts listed above and will need to list each essay that you quote from, paraphrase, or summarize in your works cited page. Make appropriate use of the full array of devices for MLA citation: attributive lead-in phrases, quotation marks, in-text parenthetical references, and a listing of every source on the work cited page. Please ask if you have any questions about citation and remember that all essays will go through the Turnitin Originality Check in the D2L (eLearning) Dropbox.

Rhetorical Situation

Just like last time, the audience for this assignment is academic—your professor and classmates.

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