It really isn't hard to write an simple analytical essay. Here are some basic tips:

All around good thesis suggestions:
  • Make sure your thesis hits the sweet spot, the midpoint between fact and fiction.
  • Don't have a thesis that is total fact or pure fiction- fact will be too easy to proove, fiction cannot be supported.
  • Don't be afraid to make it totally contreversial.
  • Your thesis should go at the end of the introduction (unless the prof says otherwise).

Starting Off
If you have just finished reading the book, start pumping out statments. For a small book (think 1-200 pages), you should come up with 3-5 proofs without thinking. If you can't, go to the next thesis. Once you have about 4 or 5, pick one the one that has the most controversy. Flip through the book (or other books you have) to find quotes that will back it up.

The first paragraph
Your first paragraph is the introduction (obviously) . It should include the title of the book (in italics), and your thesis (underlined). Your intro will read better if you start out vague and then focus in on your thesis.

Continuing on...
The next 3-5 paragraphs should support your thesis. Remember to start each with a topic sentence that argues your thesis. A good general rule is to put your weakest points first.

Every paragraph should also include a drop quote or an internal quote. Drop quotes should be 3 to 5 lines long and are usually indented and singe spaced. Internal quotes should be 1-3 sentences long and require no special formating. Remember to always add a citation. Also, never leave out the analasys of a quote.

Ending the paper
The ending should be 4-8 sentences long (this depends on the size of the paper), and should build up to a climax in the end. Remember to restate your thesis and review all the topics you coverd earlier.

Remember, this is just a guide for writing simple analytical essays. If you're writing a 200-page paper on Ulysses, you don't need this. For more great help, see How to get an A on your English paper or purchace an MLA