Grade 9-12 Informative (Analytical) Essay
Instructions based on Collections Analytical Essay Performance Task, grade 9, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, pp. 41-43, but may be used with any curriculum.
Write an Analytical Essay. Choose three essays or stories with a common theme. Look for symbols each author uses to convey this theme and synthesize your ideas about them by writing an analytical essay.
An effective essay
· Makes a claim and develops the claim with valid reasons and relevant evidence from the texts.
· Clearly and accurately analyzes the content of the texts
· Provides quotations or examples from the texts to illustrate main points
· Includes an introduction, a logically structured body (see tools below) including transitions (see tools below), and a conclusion
· Follows the conventions of written English
· Is written in present tense
How do I get started?
Analyze the Texts
Choose three texts with a common theme (such as those found in Collection 1 of the Grade 9 Collections text), and identify a powerful symbol or image used in each to convey an idea about the overall theme.
· Make notes about the symbol or image used in each text.
· Think about how each writer uses the symbol or image to develop the theme or central idea of the text.
· Compare the author’s views. Do the authors share a common view about the theme, or do they differ? Explain
Organize your notes in an outline
Your introduction should
· begin with an engaging question or comment to help the audience connect to the topic
· Identify the authors and titles of each text
· Include a controlling idea that identifies the symbols or images each author uses to develop the theme or central idea
The body of the essay should
· Present and support a main idea about the topic
· Show important connections between your chosen symbol or image and the theme or central idea of each text
· Provide (and cite) evidence from each text to illustrate the main idea
· Explain how the quotations or examples support the main idea. Using a tool such as the Analytical Paragraph Template can help with this.
The conclusion should
· Make a concluding statement that follows from or supports my main idea
· State a more general or universal conclusion about the topic
Write a draft
Use your outline to write an analytical essay comparing the use of symbols to convey a theme in three different texts. Remember to include:
· A clear and cohesive introduction, body, and conclusion
· Support your main ideas with evidence from the text
· Use language appropriate for your audience
· Include transitions to link the major sections of your text
· Remember that this kind of writing requires formal language and a respectful tone. Essays that analyze texts are supposed to be appropriate for an academic context.
· Make sure that you avoid plagiarism by citing all your sources appropriately.
Revise to make it easier for your readers to understand your essay:
This is the step that...