hi everyone this is my attempt to explain how to write an essay if you have ever struggled with essay writing then hopefully this will clarify a few things for you not everyone is fantastic at writing essays so if it’s ever been a mystery to you as to how do you write an essay what do you include and when do you say what that’s kind of what today’s lesson is all about so you’re not going to necessarily write like a super Prize winning essay based on what I tell you but hopefully this will be a good start that will set you on the right track so that you can start making better essays in the future so what we’re going to talk about today is how to write an analytical essay so let’s say you’re looking at a poem or a story and you are asked to analyze it that is what we’re going to do is so it’s an essay that is analyzing a piece of work so in an analytical essay you analyze examine and interpret such things as a book play a poem a novel any other kind of written art the point of this type of essay is to look at one or more pieces of work and analyze what is happening that makes it so interesting you’re not trying to explain what is going on but rather why it is going on and how it is going on you’re going to analyze specific examples within the text and then come up with an educational rationale as to how those ideas arguments or examples strengthen the work or reinforce the theme the analytical essay in a secondary school setting might have five body paragraphs an introduction and a conclusion and three body paragraphs in a university setting you might write 20 to 40 pages but the organization is still the same the introduction and conclusion might be a little bit longer but the three body paragraphs will definitely expand and become three main ideas which will potentially take several several paragraphs each to write I like to think about days as merely a more formal and written dialogue between two people if you met someone on the street and you wanted to ask them for coffee you wouldn’t walk up to them and start mint conversation and say hey let’s go for coffee it would be abrupt and a little bit weird instead there’s a bit of a natural flow you would introduce to the person why you were talking to them and then you’d give them two to three ideas or think something and then you would conclude so in a normal conversation with a random person on the street it would sound something like this hey I saw you sitting there reading the book The Life of Pi that’s the introduction I read it a few times already and I saw the movie I really liked the ending that was your three points perhaps would you like to join me for coffee and we can talk about Life of Pi that’s your conclusion so these are the same a little bit less romantic but they embody a similar structure you can’t just jump into your ideas or your arguments people need to be welcomed into arguments so that’s the introductions job it’s basically an invitation to keep reading the rest of the essay so in this discussion we’re going to approach the essay in a very formulaic way it may not turn out to be the most creative or inspirational essay but it will definitely give you a framework from which to spread your linguistic wings once you get the hang of the basic pattern then you can add your own Flair and your own creative style and write something which is more original and unique what I’m going to show you is how I would write an essay there are many many ways to approach writing an essay in an analytical essay so if you learn something from another source that you really like then please incorporate it into your own writing so for now here’s here’s our basic layout in your instruction you have a few jobs to do how you do them is up to you and the order of these jobs can be negotiated but you do need to do them you need to present the author of the authors and the title of the title something on what it is you’re discussing you need to tell the audience what your three body paragraphs will talk about you need to tell your audience what your thesis statement is if you forget what a thesis statement is it’s basically what is the main point that you’re making so these are the three must-haves in your introduction and there’s some other things which you really probably should have in your introduction to dress it up a bit as an analogy when you get dressed in the morning you’re legally required to put clothes on your body that’s what the three must-haves are they’re like a legal requirement so jewelry accessories purses shoes makeup those are all the extra little bits which make up the the nicer presentation so that’s what we’re going to include now the nicer bits so the first extra nice bit would be if you start with an interesting statement about your topic a second extra little bit would be to reword this statement and I have to do is find synonyms to rephrase we adjust that if you don’t you run the risk of having an introduction that’s too choppy and very staccato the third extra little bit would be if you can provide a literary reference this then helps the reader make a connection making your job later on much easier because then the reader already has point of Russians extra bit number four is to make a statement connecting your literary reference to the theme extra bit number five would be sometimes even before your introduction and even before your title you can include a quote from a person or a piece of literature to even further contextualize what you’re talking about when you look at an introduction there are three things that you have to remember and what are they so what you’re analyzing my good author and the title thesis statement so that they know what’s the point in this essay and the topics of your three body paragraphs so that way they don’t just start reading the essay may think hang on what why am I talking about this why are we going with this again if you were to ask somebody out for coffee they want to know or where are we going for coffee what time we’re going for coffee you talk just you don’t just take them there they have to know where they’re going they want to know that otherwise it’s very serious so however the extra bits or accessories are up to you but remember similar to when you get dressed in the morning you can’t have too much stuff going on otherwise it feels chaotic and in your introduction there’s so many things that you can say that becomes difficult to know what you should say so when all is said and done if you were to write an introduction like a formula here’s what I would encourage you to write in the order that it would make sense to write it in so again you don’t have to do this but this is what if you don’t know what you’re doing this is a really good place to start okay so number one is start with an interesting statement about your topic number two reword this statement thinkings act idea change the words around a little bit and give it to the reader again so you just find synonyms to rephrase we adjust said number three is you give a literary reference to help contextualize the topic and as a bit of an aside it kind of it shows the reader like I read you should trust me I read books you kind of not really showing off but you’re saying like I’m knowledgeable so it’s a good little thing to put introduction number four you’re gonna tell the reader what you’re analyzing and who wrote what you’re analyzing you can’t just say you know the poem of the Raven like you have to say this by Edgar Allan Poe I mean some people may not know – it’s fine you couldn’t tell him just in case they don’t know number five you tell the reader your thesis statement again this is a very clear direction this is where you want to go in your essay this is the main point of your essay you don’t think guessing you want to say this is what it is where you’re gonna tell them what it is okay number six you’re gonna tell the reader how you’re gonna present your thesis statement by telling the reader the three body paragraphs that you’re going to discuss number seven you’re gonna make a general statement about your topic which can connect easily to the body paragraph number one is that’s the very next thing that they’re going to read about so again it’s it’s kind of making this a nice little transition from your introduction right after there then you have your first body paragraph if your very last line in your introduction kind of introduces the first body paragraph that’s really smooth so kind of a nice little thing to put in there in your body paragraphs to approach it more form formulaic ly there are several steps you can take and remember if it takes you one sentence to accomplish step one then so be it if it takes you three sentences to accomplish step one that’s also very okay so you have to do what feels right if you think you get your point across then you get to move on to the next step if it takes you a little bit more time take your time write what you need to write and then move on so if you feel like you haven’t totally said what you need to say then just simply reword what it is that you’re trying to say until it’s understood by the reader each paragraph will have different topics depending on what you’re analyzing but for a generic foolproof layout here the three body paragraphs that would work well in the first body paragraph analyze a literary device and you’re going to tell the reader how this literary device reinforces the theme or your thesis statement and why it’s important to the overall success of the text that you’re analyzing you can use anything from symbolism to repetition took a company to illusion in the second body paragraph look at the form of the text the way that it’s writing out the physical shape of the text and tell the reader why this reinforces the theme of your thesis even just to explain that a little bit let’s say you’re reading a poem and it and it’s physically written where the first lines are really long and then towards the end it gets really short if let’s say it’s a poem about somebody’s life symbolically the form has to represent the context I mean if the form is going like this you can only assume that that the person’s life is slowly coming to an end at the end of the poem so in this way the form really does truly embody the meaning of the poem such a big deal in a lot of cases especially with poetry in the third body paragraph examine character development how do the characters grow does this reinforce the theme what is symbolic about their growth if let’s say the theme is happiness and let’s say the character grew in a happy way then that again reinforces a theme when you choose your three body paragraphs it’s similar to getting dressed in the morning you open up your closet door and you see choices and you might see a whole bunch of pants and you have to wear pants but you get to choose which pants and you get to see all these shirts and you have to wear shirt but you choose what shirt if to wear socks so you choose the socks but you need socks on that’s what body paragraphs are their options so you have so many different options to choose from so here’s just a really tiny list so just some generic options that you can choose from so number one would be literary devices and even within that there’s so many options maybe you wanted to use repetition maybe you wanted to symbolism maybe you want to chew like euphony or cacophony your illusion the second one would be character development that’s another great choice look at how the character develops does that mirror what the theme is the next would be point of view if let’s say the point of view is certain from person first-person point of view you’re going to connect more with the text because it’s written in a way that you’re supposed to connect with them it’s written from I so that again is getting out of an effect on how the reader perceives what it is that they’re reading next thing is look at how the form influences the content again like we were talking about earlier if the poem goes like this that’s going to shape your your perception of of what you’ve just read so is there anything interesting physically like if you make your eyes go blurry you just look at the text to kind of stand back is there anything physically but the way the the piece of work has been written that you think wow that’s really interesting that actually think subconsciously makes me think x y&z; that’s another thing you can talk about number five would be word choice so the words that are chosen is there reason why they’re chosen and how does that influence the way that that you understand the theme let’s say for example if you look at letters like lines on a ledger you know how like the letter act on the letter T in the letter L and J they all go above and beyond the lines of The Legend learner whereas like oh then even em s all kind of stay within the ledger let’s say what it is that you’re reading has a lot of letters that go above and beyond well maybe if the theme of the poem is like crossing boundaries or pushing boundaries well you could say even the letters themselves physically cross boundaries the letters themselves go above and beyond the lines of the ledger so even just simply word choice in terms of even just how the letters look let alone like maybe do they have a Germanic origin or an Arabic origin all of these different things when it comes to word choice really impacts how we interpret and perceive either a poem or short story the next thing number six look at direct speech what are the people thing is what they’re saying different from what is happening something interesting down line and the number seven the historical or social significance so perhaps what you’re analyzing would have been really important for the time that it was written perhaps it said something about the society in which it was written so you can examine the historical significance or the historical context of the text an example of this would be the poem in Flanders Fields we read this poem every Remembrance Day in Canada the poem would not be as inspirational meaningful without the reader having an appreciation for the context in which it was written if it was written by just somebody in a foreign country that wasn’t involved in the war in Europe you would have thought well why are we reading use that remembrance date it means something to us as Canadians because we were involved in the war so looking at the historical significance means it makes it important in terms of just understanding what the poem is about so so ultimately the the topics of the three body paragraphs are up to you so some might be more effective discuss others but there really are no three that you have to discuss however discussing literary devices one of your three is always a really good idea because it’s really upper-level thinking so can connecting like a very abstract idea to something that’s very concrete like how do you connect the idea of repetition to the idea let’s say the theme is eternity well repetition goes on forever doesn’t stop that’s eternity you just if you can find an example of repetition in a poem you’ve just proven that the theme is about eternity what a great little connection so again you decide what your three body paragraphs are about you’re basically looking at the poem when you just have to say there’s three things going on here I need to find at least I need to find at least three things like really a million going on this is interesting this is interesting this is interesting those are your body paragraphs okay within your three body paragraphs how you discuss what you discuss will inevitably change the format however if you’re stuck and you’re having a hard time coming up with what to stay here’s a formula which might work for you so here are the steps number one make a general statement about the topic of the body paragraph number two directly tell the reader what the topic of the body paragraph is number three provide an example number four explain the example number five analyze the example number six where you read number five basically just do number five again analyze it again but in different words number seven explain why the example reinforcing the theme or the thesis statement number eight explain how the text what you are reading would be different without the example number nine examine how the example changes the tone of the text what does the example do to the piece of writing to make it really effective or interesting number ten make an observation about the example number eleven remind the reader how this relates back to the theme or the thesis statement number twelve make a final statement which acknowledges the topic of the body paragraph which are working on which hints or leads to the next body paragraph this really helps transition things along so these twelve things are the basis of a body paragraph if you are writing a lengthier say that you might need to repeat this sort of patterns three or four times one of the biggest traps though that people fall into is that they have this grocery list of examples but then they don’t really examine or analyze or interpret any of them they just list them so so as an analogy imagine if you were really upset with something your girlfriend or your boyfriend had done you would really want them to understand why it bothered you you wouldn’t just say you know I know you didn’t call me and then just awkwardly stop there you you put a note you both like that bothers you like I was waiting for you to call and this bothered me because I gave up my day and I wasn’t doing anything that hung around I let my phone go on roaming waiting for you to call you have to let people know why that bothered you so that’s what you’re doing with the essay is you’re explaining it you’re analyzing you’re interpreting it you’re really going into just why it’s important you’re not just simply saying you didn’t call me and then leave it there and say NER there has to be a little bit more to it so an essay is no different you’re just simply trying to explain all the angles of whatever literary complication or point of interest is that you’re discussing finally after you’ve written your three body paragraphs you need to write a conclusion this can be quite tricky because although your concluding you don’t really want to sound as though you’re something repeating one of the tricks that I use though is that I basically take my introduction and I kind of transfer it to the bottom of my essay and I rework it and I reword it until it sounds different enough for my introduction but it still feels like I’m concluding I’m basically taking the same ideas and rewarding them because the whole point of the introduction is you’re like here’s what I’m gonna do and then you go down to the end the conclusion you’re like here’s what I did and it’s basically the same stuff you’re just writing it a little bit differently so if you want a formula though for how to approach this here’s what we’ve got so number one is you’re gonna make a general statement about the topic number two you’re gonna make the statement along the lines of although this poem may have at first seemed dark depressing and dismal after careful analysis and examination one can conclude that in fact this poem was rather incur playful and hopeful the point of this point is to remind the reader that you’ve examined the thing that you’re examining so much that you’re actually found a deeper meaning and really that you were just that smart so this is not the time to put in new information so make sure to pull out ideas that you’ve already written in your essay number three remind the reader about the three main body paragraphs which you discussed by stating three and then making an observation or statement so for example the poems use of euphony directly reinforces the message of beauty and acceptance the main character develops in a safe and comfortable way mirroring the theme of love finally the poem written in first person enables the reader to connect with a speaker on a deeper level allowing the reader to experience the love which the poet is expressing number four many people like to conclude with question this is a decently safe tactic you could ask a question such as with this poem have been as successful without central reliance upon repetition perhaps we’ll never know the point of the question is to show that you are aware of the implications of word choice and/or content don’t just ask a random questions such as we have to ask ourselves would this have been a better play or a better home or just like is Edgar Allan Poe really the poet make sure that your question is on topic safe way to make sure is turning your thesis statement into a question and then asking whether or not it achieved success for example if this is your thesis statement the road not taken’ by Robert Frost presents a man who experiences inner conflict and struggles to accept decisions in his life then you could maybe kind of rework it a little bit so that you take that exact idea and turn it into a questions so now it looks like while the narrator in this poem experiences inner conflict regarding the decisions in his life what his journey had been shadowed with a similar degree of nostalgia and inner conflict had he chosen the path not taking see basically making a statement maybe substituting a few words putting in a question mark and now there’s our our finale there’s our final question