Essay Lab Glossary

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Analysis Essay

Definition:

If the subject of your essay is another piece of writing or film or music or art that you’re expected to analyze, then you’re writing an Analysis Essay. Like if you wanted to delve into the anachronistic symbolism in Jesus Christ Superstar. Or you wanted to analyze the various themes of Othello. Or you wanted to explore why the Friends theme song is so dang catchy.

In this type of paper, your purpose is to closely inspect this piece—the whole as well as its various itty-bitty parts—and put forth a theory about its meaning, significance, or value. Remember—it’s only a theory. It’s not like you need to claim that you suddenly cracked the code on William Faulkner’s brain. Good luck with that.

Example

That theory you’ve brewing about how the zombies in the The Walking Dead are metaphors for clingy parents? If you were to flesh it out, it would take the form of an Analysis Essay. Sorry to use the word “flesh.” Hope we didn’t offend any of our zombie readers.

Close cousins of this type of essay are the Review or Evaluation.