In essay writing, analysis includes developing an argument or thesis to examine, researching competing theories and points of view, and then explaining these using definitions, comparison and contrast, and other analytical strategies. To support his thesis, the writer chooses the point of view that best explains his own theory from examples drawn from his research. His conclusions explain why his theory is better for examining the argument.
When done well, analysis invites readers into public discourse by introducing them to a focused body of information and examples. Analysis has two elements. The first is to break an argument or thesis down into its parts. The second is to describe and discuss the parts.
In order for readers to understand the writer’s stance, he summarizes prevailing opinions to provide context for the issues surrounding his thesis. To establish his intellectual honesty, the writer treats competing opinions fairly, using representative examples to explain them. After establishing this background for his readers, the writer chooses a theory that explains his stance and then supports his claims with direct evidence from research. To persuade readers that his stance is valid, the writer must arrange his analysis to the best effect to make his point.