Tips for dummies: how to write an analysis paper


An analysis paper is exactly what the title says: an analysis. This can be an analysis of two competing companies. It can be an analysis of Shakespeare’s writing style. It could be an analysis of a book you read or a marketing document you review. You can be asked to write on any number of topics for an analysis paper. So here are some tips on how to improve your analysis paper writing:

Find Creative Work Space

Do not force yourself to write somewhere that you can’t focus. Find a creative workspace and use that space for writing and research. And on that note…

Conduct Great Research

Try and get sources that are not online. Conduct interviews related to the topic or call professors or authority figures in the field and ask for a quote.

Make SMART Goals

Have you heard of the acronym SMART goals? SMART goals are:

Basically this means that the goals you make for yourself, in all things but particularly in terms of writing a paper of this size, should be specific. One goal for a day or week should be something very specific such as:

Copy bibliographic notes from books A-E

Or

Write thesis sentence and submit for review

They should also be measurable. Try and include some unit of measure. “5 books” , for example, is a unit of measure. “One sentence” is another unit of measure.

Make sure you goals are attainable. You will only hurt yourself by making goals you know you cannot complete. If you tell yourself that you will finish reading twenty thousand pages in one week, you will only feel horrible about yourself when you cannot do it. Do not put that extra burden on yourself. Instead, make attainable goals such as 50 pages per night or 100 pages on the weekends. The more realistic you are about your goals, the easier you will accomplish them and the happier you will be.

Your goals need to be results-oriented. This means that while you work on each goal, you bear in mind the total results you want. You continue to think about how your single goal for the day will help you finish the entire project.

Lastly, set a timeline. Do not just say “finish reading 100 pages”. Make it specific, but also give yourself a due date. Say “finish reading 100 pages by Sunday at 8pm”. Make it specific and time-oriented as motivation.