Unit 2 Structure

Unit 2 Structure

Besides typical essay components like an introduction and conclusion, a good analytical essay will include:

  • A thesis that states your main argument (usually found in the introduction paragraph near the end).
    • The values/worldviews behind the positions and beliefs of the text’s author.
    • The complexity and/or nature of the issue.

Body Structure Example #1: (see footnotes)

Each Body Paragraph focuses on a major point that the central text is making. 

  • Contains a clear topic sentence that makes clear a main idea or major point that your text is making. 1-3 sentences
    • One of the claims from your text that you will analyze more closely. You can quote the text or paraphrase. 
  • Analysis of the major point that relates back to your thesis. 3-4 sentences
    • Your voice–what you are taking away from the text. This is where you make connections between the arguments the author is making and the values/worldviews. 
  • Examples to support your analysis (and/or the text example) and allow a more in-depth look at the issue. 3-4 sentences
    • This could be examples from the text you are analyzing, from your own life or pop culture, or from the additional research you have performed. You can show us here that you have performed additional research in order to try and better understand the author’s views and/or values, as well as the history of the arguments that he/she makes. 
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it. 2-4 sentences
    • Final thoughts on the main idea of the paragraph
    • Your voice–what you are taking away from the examples. This is where you make connections between the examples and the values/worldviews. Also, you’ll connect back to the thesis in an explicit way. Make it clear how all of this data contributes to the values and the goals of the paper (the importance of reading to listen and understand, rather than to argue, in order to ultimately engage in more meaningful dialogue with those we disagree with).

Body Structure Example #2:

Each paragraph focuses on a major argument in the issue being discussed. In other words, you take the various positions on the topic and then connect your central text to them by showing where they agree/disagree. Then, you elaborate on the values/worldview connections. 

  • Contains a clear topic sentence that makes clear a main idea or major point that people in general make when discussing this issue. 
  • Analysis of the major point. 
  • How does your text for analysis connect/disconnect with the major point? 
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it. 

Body Structure Example #3:

Each paragraph focuses on a particular value that informs the various positions on the topic in general:

  • Contains a clear topic sentence that makes clear a value that exists around this issue. 
  • Research support and analysis. 
  • How does your text for analysis (and author) connect/disconnect with the value? 
  • Analysis that relates back to your thesis and supports it. 

There are probably many other great ways that you could structure this essay. These are just a few examples of strategies often employed by students. Whichever way you go, just remember that each body paragraph must connect to the thesis in an explicit way. In other words, the work you are doing in each paragraph is to support the argument you make in the thesis (in this case, the values/worldviews behind the sociopolitical positions of the main text you are analyzing). Also, each body paragraph should spend the most amount of time analyzing the main text you chose–be careful not to get too distracted by the other research you’ve done. There should be a nice flow to the paper and smooth transitions between paragraphs. If we cut the body paragraphs apart, would a reader be able to put them back together (like pieces of a puzzle)? Keep this in mind as you write, but often structure and transitions are something that can be reworked during the revision stage. 

For a more detailed article about basic structure for analytical essays, you can visit the following website:

https://blog.prepscholar.com/how-to-write-an-analytical-essay

FOOTNOTES:

  1. I am elaborating on this example only because it is the strategy most often used by students. You are ultimately free to choose whichever structure works best for you. Once you have collected all your research and reviewed your notes and pre-writing, then you will determine the best strategy based upon the data you have. This document is only to help those that need additional guidance and ideas. 
  2.  These are just for frame of reference–time spent on data will be up to you. Use this only as a guide to get you started, IF NEEDED. Only you can determine the amount of time and space necessary to adequately cover each point, analysis, examples, etc. 

Copyright, 2022, Lamanda Beesley Conrad

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