What Are Some Common Requirements for an Analysis Essay?

An analysis essay typically requires an introduction with a brief presentation of the topic and a fully formed thesis, and body paragraphs that begin with a topic sentence and include specific evidence to back up the thesis claims. An analysis essay also ends with a conclusion that synthesizes the arguments. The exact parameters vary depending on the subject.

This type of essay asks for a critical reading of a book or a topic. It does not simply summarize or report on a topic, but rather draws deeper implications about the primary text, visual or topic. There are different kinds of analysis essays. For example, a literary analysis may discuss the devices used in a novel or poem and how those devices highlight a particular issue, theme or character. A rhetorical analysis essay breaks down a speech or argument and might expose false logic or discuss the rhetorical strategies. A visual analysis discusses the components of a work of art and examines the piece's subtext.

An analysis essay often requires the use of reliable secondary sources, although not always. Writers have to cite these sources correctly with the required formatting, such as APA or MLA. These essays usually require an academic, or formal, voice with correct punctuation, grammar and spelling.