An analytical essay takes a special place in the academic curriculum of the student. This essay type has a lot of characteristic features that should be familiar to any student, who wants to succeed in academic writing. If you do not know how to write an analytical essay because you have never written it before, then our guide will become your useful source of knowledge. By following our handy suggestions, you will be able to create a flawless paper that will bring you the best outcome.
What Is an Analytical Essay?
Before you figure out how to write an analytical essay, you will need to understand the nature of this paper. In its essence, an analytical essay aims to evaluate some issue, event, person, or policy from different perspectives in a maximally objective way. Such an essay is often given to students in colleges and universities to check their critical thinking and interpretive skills, as well as their ability to think analytically. An analytical essay can be written on any subject including art, nursing, literature, management, politics, business, history, and many others. No matter what topic you will explore in your analytical essay, you will need to follow the highest quality standards providing a solid rationale for contextualizing your subject. By polishing your analytical skills, you will be able to succeed in any career chosen because the analytical thinking ability is highly appreciated by all employers. If you are not sure how to write an analytical essay, we strongly recommend you have a look at some well-written analytical essays available in online databases. However, you should keep in mind that submitting these essays as your creative work is forbidden.
Common Types of Analytical Essays
You should know that there are several different types of analytical essays. Each of the analytical essays provided below requires applying a professional approach. If you want to be a successful student, you need to be aware of all the characteristic features of the essays introduced below:
- Cause and effect essay. In such an essay, you are supposed to analyze the essential causes of some event or problem, as well as to evaluate its possible effects. Such an essay should follow a traditional structure. Following this structure, you will need to inform your target audience about some problems and their importance. Then, you will need to inform them about the consequences that will occur if the problem remains unsolved;
- Compare and contrast essay. As it is obvious from its title, in such an essay, you will need to compare two or more subjects, events, figures, etc. based on their similarities and differences;
- Process essay. In such an essay, you will need to describe the main stages of a certain process. The main goal of such a paper is to enable the reader to reproduce the process following your guidelines;
- Classification essay. With the help of the classification essay, one can classify the subjects, characters, events, places, etc. into groups based on their similar features;
- Definition essay. This essay aims to define some particular concept or idea at the core of some subject or event. The main goal of such an essay is to present all the characteristic peculiarities of the issue, event, fact, etc. to enable the target audience to have a whole picture of it.
Analytical Paper Sample
I am going to talk about the problem of smoking in this paper. This problem has always been actual, that is why it deserves our attention. A few visuals that deal with quitting smoking have been chosen for analysis. The task of the paper is to analyze the messages, which are sent via images. We have to answer the question of whether the images are able to reach their goal, using visual vocabulary, visual rhetoric and elements of visual culture.
The problem of smoking as an element of the modern society and its possible elimination is very complicated. Hence it is not surprising that it has always caused a lot of discussions. On the one hand, smoking leads to significant problems with health. There is no country, which is interested in bad health of its citizens. On the other hand, smoking brings a lot of profits for companies and taxes for governments. That is why the number of smokers is not decreasing significantly. However, special institutions conduct social and marketing campaigns, targeted on changing of attitude of society to smoking. In fact, this attitude has already changed a bit. Visual objects and visual campaigns have played a significant role in this process. This opinion can be proved by the following statement.
The past decade has seen a remarkable shift in the way Americans view cigarette smoking. Since the massive tobacco litigation settlements began in 1997, the federal government has phased out support for tobacco farming, states and cities have enacted public smoking restrictions, and the number of smokers has steadily declined.
Therefore, we can say that visual campaigns may be quite effective in the fight against smoking. There have been chosen five pictures for analysis. They have been taken from the different advertisements and articles. The references are provided at the end of the paper.
The first picture claims that the number of deaths from terrorist attacks is lower than the number of deaths from tobacco. It means that this problem is much more dangerous than terrorism. As a result, it should get the same attention of society. Also, it sounds strange, when more money is spent on the less dangerous problem.
This visual object has a goal to attract attention to the opinion that more dangerous problem is getting less financing. It happens despite the fact that smoking brings more damages for society, than terrorism.
The advertisement uses quite strong visual object. It is an analogy between smoking and terrorist attack 9/11. Two smoking cigarettes are presented as the towers of the World Trade Center. The idea is that the tragedy of smoking is the same. However, it is long-term and quite difficult to notice. The target audience of the advertisement is society in general. However, the final recipient is the government. The object should stimulate people to lobby the antismoking interests and influence their government.
The following two pictures pay attention to potential health problems that can be caused by smoking. The main message is that smoking may lead to such serious diseases as lung cancer, coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, etc. Visual objects are used to carry this message. For example, a scary picture of lung fulfilled with cigarettes should force a person to think about such potential outcome for his/her health.
The target audience of these pictures are common people. This overall target audience can be divided into two groups – people who smoke and people who do not. These advertisements are going to have bigger influence on people, who do not smoke. Statistics shows that it is quite difficult to scare people, who smoke, with eerie pictures.
The next picture describes battery as a cigarette. It is an analogy, which states that smoking deprives a person of strength. Once again, the main accent is made on the fact that smoking usually causes serious health problems. Such visual object is really easy to remember, and the analogy will be always in mind of a person. A disadvantage of the visual object is that the smoking cigarette is described. Smokers treat smoking cigarettes as a temptation. It is proved by statistics. This object can be called as an instrument of the so-called visual semiotic. It is the so-called sign. It consists of two elements: the signifier (a design in the form of a battery) and the signified (the message that is sent). This form of a sign is called an icon.
The last picture is simply an apogee of the previous pictures. The message in this picture is ultimate. Smoking is related to death. The authors manipulate with an idea that there is no death, where is no smoking. A person has to choose between two areas in the picture. Generally, the main message of these four pictures is that smoking causes serious diseases and even death. The goal is not to intimidate people, but rather to stimulate them to think about the future.
All the chosen pictures may be successful in reaching their final goal. As it has been already mentioned, the final goal of the campaign is to convince people to quit smoking or not to start smoking. All the visual objects are really easy to remember. They create strong associations that must keep people from smoking. All the messages are clear. Generally, they strengthen an opinion that smoking is really dangerous for ones health.
The first picture has the different target audience, in contrast to the rest of them. The first picture is targeted on government, while the other ones should convince simple people. It can be said, that the strongest pictures in the rhetorical context are the first, third and the fifth picture. The fourth picture has a disadvantage, which reduces its efficiency.
All the pictures use the instruments of visual semiotics. Visual semiotics is a set of instruments of visual communication. The most common is the sign, which sends some particular message via an image. The message is quite simple – smoking is bad – and it is sent via quite strong visual objects. The types of all the signs used are icons.
Also, all the images are based on the following principle – amplification through simplification. The principle claims that simple icons or other signs help to concentrate attention on the key elements and messages. The signs, used in the images, are really simple and easy to remember. Additionally, they create strong and clear associations. It is very important, since they do not provoke any dialogues or discussions. It is a one-sided opinion that sends a clear message.
Finally, all the objects have been taken from printed media. I believe that video objects may be even more effective. However, it should be a task of another term paper, related to this particular problem.