How to Write Analytical Paper and Annotated Bibliography

How to Write Analytical Paper and Annotated Bibliography


What is an Analytical Paper?

It is an essay that requires critical thinking whereby the writer offers the audience personal insights regarding their opinion about a particular topic. This means you will need to present some type of a debate or argument, or claim about what you are analyzing. The main goal is to appraise the work and provide an alternative opinion whereby the writer may agree or disagree with the existing conclusions.Writing an analytical essay can seem daunting, especially if it is your first time.

Majority of essays are in a more or less significant way are analytical. For example:

Before writing  an analytic paper there few things you need to know:

1. Decide on a Topic.
Unless you are writing this according to a given topic by your teacher or instructor. Read the topic carefully. What is it asking you to do? Most times you have to develop your own topic.
Let us imagine writing an analytical essay about a work of fiction. Focus the argument on what incites a specific character or group of characters, or you are writing about a historical event then center core on the forces that contributed to what happened.

2.Develop a Thesis or Analysis Statement: A thesis statement is a one or more sentences that summarizes the claim you will make in your paper. It tells the reader what your essay will be about. Thesis statement is what you will prove in your essay and it should come at the end of your introductory paragraph.

3. Make research and gather more evidences: Depending on what source is given to you, and provided that the analyzing topic was an assignment from an instructor or teacher. You may need to work only with your primary sources; for example, analyzing texts using primary and secondary sources such as other books or journal articles.
Good evidence supports your claim and makes your argument more compelling and conclusive. Enlist the evidence, noting where you have found it, and how it supports your claim.

4. Analytical paper format: Unless requested to use a special format by an instructor or teacher. It is important to know what format exactly to use especially when the essay is going to be presented in an academic environment. There are many Analytical paper formats that can be used: the most commonly used styles are generally the Modern Language Association (MLA) guide for humanities or the American Psychological Association (APA) guide for social sciences. Other styles that are common are Chicago or Turabian Style for publishing, Associated Press (AP) Style for publishing and Council of Science Editors (CSE) for hard sciences.

5. Outline and Plotting: Before you start writing, outline the essay paper. An outline will help structurize your essay and make writing it convenient and effortless. Be sure that you understand how long your essay is going to be. Writing up a quick list of the major plot points is a good way of making sure that all the high points are touched, it helps to limit things as much as possible. Make sure it includes an introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

How to write analytical paper

Writing An Analytical Paper

*An analytic essay structure must consist of:*

  • The Introduction.
  • The Body.
  • The Conclusion.

The Introduction:

The introduction in an analytic essay should be very catchy and intriguing: it should give the reader basic information about your topic. It should create some kind of enthralling and fascinating quotes, reflection or motives. The main sentences of the introduction should give backdrop facts so that the analysis may be explanatory and interesting. In general, always remember not use the first ‘I’ or second ‘you’ person in your essay. Mention your thesis, generally as the very last sentence in the first paragraph. Overall, an excellent introduction tells of the roadmap, the objectives and the context of the essay.

The Body:

The body of  an analytic paper should be strong and very convincing. The main body of the essay is subdivided into topical areas that highlight the author’s major and minor points. In this section, the author seeks to demonstrate the ability to reason and use evidence to support claims. Each of the body paragraph should contain

  • A topic sentence: one can write an analytical essay about almost any topic because this type of writing style is not restricted to any particular discipline or field of study.
  • An analysis of some part of the text.
  • Evidences and proof from the text that back’s-up your analysis and the thesis statement.

The topic sentence tells the reader what the body paragraph will be about. The analysis of the text is where you make your argument. The evidence you provide supports your argument. Remember that each claim you make should support your thesis.


To conclude an analytical paper one should assess all information with the goal of developing a second opinion. It should include all the major points that have been made in the aforementioned statements of your analysis. The main aim of the conclusion paragraph is to highlight gaps, coherence, logic and information links using the evidence. Your conclusion should give information to your reader on how you have supported your argument. This means mentioning how your argument affects other claims about the text, or how your argument could change the perspective of someone reading your analysis essay.

An Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a document where list to citations or quotations are made from books, articles and other documents. It is different from an analytic essay paper base on the fact that it is a document that states the referenced works and provides a short description and evaluation of the selected works which is called the annotation. It tells readers about the accuracy and the quality of the sources cited. Whereas in a bibliography, it just includes a list of sources without a short description and evaluation about the sources.

Format and style used in an  Annotated Bibliography

There are many formats used the most commonly used styles are generally

Other styles that are common are:

  • Chicago or Turabian Style for publishing
  • Associated Press (AP) Style for publishing
  • Council of Science Editors (CSE) for hard sciences

Here's a helpful video on creating an annotated bibliography:

Struggling With Your Essay?

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