Analysis Research Papers Writing Guide

Analysis research papers are common assignments for college students and other professionals. It is important, after researching a topic, to effectively analyse the data and information that was reviewed.

Unlike a typical informational research paper, an analysis paper asks the researcher to break a subject down in order to effectively understand it. The writer is then asked to recreate the information and present it from their own perspective.

The Difficulty

The most difficult part of writing an analysis is ensuring that the paper doesn't turn into a summary.

Writing a summary is not the same thing as an analysis. Summaries describe what happens - analyses make arguments. Brief descriptions that give background information are allowed in analysis papers, but it is important that emphasis on it is minimized.

Good Example (making an argument): The inclusion of cats in ancient tombs dates back to before Egypt was a super power. Because of this, it can be easily argued that the Egyptians were not the first to hold cats in high honour.

Bad Example (summarizing): Many early 20th century tomb excavations included the discovery of cats in burial chambers, but they were also found before that. In 19XX, 100 cats were exhumed from a pre-Egyptian tomb that had also been dedicated to a cat-like god. Cat like gods were worshipped for hundreds of years before Egypt grew to power.

Making Your Argument

To create a thesis for an analytical paper, you must come up with an argument that can be backed by research. The thesis is the most important part of any paper.

To brainstorm on a solid thesis, think of the points that you would like to make about your research. Start creating questions about your topic that start with "why" and "how". Answering these questions will give you possible thesis statements.

Tip: Always go with the statement you feel the most strongly about - and have the most evidence to support. Your paper writing experience will go much smoother.


Once you have established a strong thesis, begin by using an outline to plug your arguments and information into specific discussion areas within your paper. Note pages and specific citation remarks when adding quotes or specific information that you will need to directly cite within the text of your paper.

It is also important to review the requirements that your instructor or supervisor has set for paper style and formatting.

Write Your Paper

Once you have a good outline created, begin writing using the points that you have created. As you add to your paper, make sure that each topic you discuss relates back to your thesis - and proves your argument valid. Stay on-point to avoid summarizing.