How to write an analysis
Many subjects require our students to write analytically. Frequently, however, our students do not realise that the writing techniques needed are largely the same, no matter what the subject. It is a style of writing that uses language and conventions that can feel unfamiliar to our students.
Analysis is a rigorous form of writing. It is less about the ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ and more about the ‘why’ and ‘how’ which means students must avoid simply re-telling the story of what has happened. Analysis is not a summary or a description.
Key features of writing an analysis:
- Informs the reader (purpose)
- Examines/investigates the main aspects of an issue/idea
- Makes points about the findings
- Provides evidence to support these points
- Reaches a fair conclusion
When writing, students should:
- Remain objective, detached, balanced and fair.
- Be impersonal (and do not show personal opinions). To do this students need to write in the third person and avoid ‘I’ or ‘we’.
‘Potassium was added…’
- Break down the issue/idea into its parts and provide evidence that supports any claims made.
- Start each structured paragraph with a short topic sentence to give it clarity. This will help the reader know what the paragraph is about.
‘Secondary effects usually occur as a result of primary effects.’
- Use connectives for comparison and contrast:
on the other hand