An analytical essay is an essay that focuses around a central thesis and builds an argument, analysing aspects and evidence towards that thesis: “Each paragraph should contribute to the development of your argument” (Skeene). The thesis should be your unique interpretation of the text.
The University of Sydney distinguishes Analytical writing from other forms of academic writing by stating that, “you also reorganise it into categories, groups, parts, types or relationships.” Analytical writing really focuses on creating a structured, logical argument that analyses evidence or ideas and organises them into an argument, or a process of thought.
I think the most important point that Clarke presents in his “The Essay”, is the importance of analysing and understanding the assignment brief, and assuming the “implicit expectations” (Clarke 153). He also mentions that, “identifying what is not said illuminates what is said.” (Clarke 153). It’s key to understand what the expectations are to know what to look for in evidence and how to analyse the information available to you. The points you take from the brief will shape how you approach writing the final essay, and are important to be in-depth and think laterally from that point.
Skeene, Allyson. The Writing Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough. “Writing an Analytical Essay” 4.04.2016
Clarke, Michael. “The Essay.” Verbalising the Visual: Translating Art and Design into Words. Lausanne, Switzerland: AVA Publishing, 2007. 144-167. Print.