Analytical Essay Guide
Preparing For Analysis
Familiarize yourself with the following questions.
Your essay will be worth 100 points.
The point breakdown is as follows:
60 are for the analysis and 40 are for the quality of the written
After you have considered the questions, then read
the article. These
questions will for the basis of your analytical essay. (Worth 30 out of
50 points per each essay)
Concisely state the main argument (i.e., the
central claim, thesis) made by the author(s) in the article.
Briefly explain why you believe it is the thesis.
(Worth 4 points)
What is the full citation of the article?
(Worth 2 point)
Include the author(s), article title, the
name of the publishing journal, and original date of
publication. (This is found at the bottom of the article)
If the publication was a book, include the
name of the book, the editorís name, publishing co., place of
publication, and book publication date.
(Do not include biographical information about the author
in the paper.)
Are there any flaws in the logic or clarity of
the authorís argument? (i.e.
was the central claim understandable and explained clearly and
reasonably by the author) If they were clear, say so, and if not,
why? (Worth 4 points)
What information does the author provide to
support his/her argument? Is
the information convincingly supportive of the argument?
Why? (Worth 18 points)
Identify and explain at least four (4) concepts
or theories from the main chapter textbook,
Archaeology: A Brief
Introduction, which are pertinent to this article.
(Worth 8 points)
Clearly identify the applicable concept or
theory in each case.
Be sure to explain the concept or theory
and the textbook page(s) where they are discussed.
Consider such style elements as word choice,
sentence structure, paragraph construction, and overall organization
when reading the article. How
do any of these style elements affect the clarity of communication
of the authorís ideas? (Address each of these points) (Worth 10
What words used in the article were new to you?
What do they mean? (Worth 4 points)
What is the significance of the title of the
article? Does it fit
the article? Why?
(Answer each question) (Worth 6 points)
What did you personally like and/or dislike
about the article? (Be
honest but brief.) (Worth 4 points)
Read the article
Read the article and answer the questions posed
objective is not to summarize the article.
You are NOT describing the article, you are analyzing the
article, although a minimal amount of description may be necessary to
make your points.
Format the outline
Now that you have your answers laid out to each of
the questions, the next step is to organize your thoughts.
How do you want the body of the paper to flow?
Use logic as you structure your outline.
In other words, first your will want to identify the article,
state the thesis, and then do further analysis on either the logic or
clarity of the argument, the support of the argument, etcÖ
Write the essay
Write the essay in a computer and print it out,
double space, with the letter size at 12 points.
Your paper should be no less than three pages and no longer
than five (5) pages! With
an organized outline, the written essay will be easier to construct and
Remember, essays must have three important
(with the thesis and a brief discussion about how you will lay out
(with your arguments and observations)
(Was the hypothesis in the article supported?
It is also a good place to discuss whether you liked or
disliked the article.)
Visit the writing center (optional)
40% of your essayís grade depends on the quality
of its written expression (i.e., spelling, sentence construction,
clarity, paragraph construction, and overall organization, with each
section worth 8 points each.)
60% of the grade is on its content (i.e., how fully and
accurately you answer the questions). You may wish to use the Writing
The Writing Center (3rd floor Accokeek
Hall, PGCC) has tutors who can help you once you have written a rough
Call (301) 322-0478 to make an appointment with a
tutor for a 30-minute session. You
may need to bring proof (student id card or a current tuition payment
You should not show up for the tutorial
empty-handed and expect the tutor to tell you what to do.
Write a first draft on the computer and print
it out, double-spaced.
Bring your assignment and your rough draft to
the tutor. Your tutor
will be able to help you obtain the best grade with this information