Pro Tips on How to Write an Analytical Essay Outline

An analytical essay is a required component of many high school and college projects. Analytical essays not only test your capacity for critical thought but also let you convey your ideas about a situation with the appropriate evidence. 

Unfortunately, students frequently find it extremely difficult to write analytical essays. Students have trouble determining where to start their essays in addition to being unfamiliar with the analytical essay format. 

Read on for the steps for writing an analytical essay and an analytical essay outline example to guide your writing efforts. We will also share some analytical essay ideas to inspire your topic selection and help you narrow your focus to a manageable idea. 

Analytical essay definition

An analytical research paper is an essay in which you share your thoughts on a work of literature, a scientific investigation, or a historical event. Analytical essays, like other academic essays, address a claim about an event and provide pertinent evidence to support the argument. 

How to write an analytical essay

Your method of writing an analytical essay will have a big impact on how you feel about the process. An analytical essay might be challenging and cause numerous difficulties in the later stages of writing if it is poorly tackled. 

Your writing procedure should ideally be: 

  1. Choosing a point of view

First, review the assignment prompt and decide what position you will take on the offered topic. If you are given several options, choose the one that piques your curiosity the most because it will provide you with the urge to undertake thorough research. 

When you’ve decided on a topic, you may start by brainstorming ideas to see how familiar you are with it. Also, keep an eye out for the breadth of your topic, which should be narrowed down to a workable proposal given the time and resources at our disposal. 

  1. Select a thesis

The thesis is often considered the backbone of your thesis as it states your intentions and gives the reader the focus of your arguments. Therefore, you should have your thesis in mind as you start on your essay and tackle it within the introduction of your paper.

This statement should be minimized to one sentence and gives a bearing to all the arguments within your paper. When considering your thesis statement, research various angles from which your essay can be addressed and settle for the argument that best encapsulates your arguments. 

  1. Perform secondary analysis 

After deciding on your thesis, thoroughly research the subject to identify the sources that back up your position. Additionally, keep track of any sources that disagree with your position because they will be very useful to your analysis. 

By refuting counterarguments, you can demonstrate their flaws and raise the overall strength of your argument. We advise you to start by coming up with potential topics for your argument before addressing your research. 

Research these concepts further, then eliminate any arguments that only hint at your thesis. 

  1. Outline your argument

Next, conduct further research and formulate your analytical essay outline. This outline allows you to gauge the completeness of your research and to organize your ideas for optimal flow. 

When planning for your paper, back each claim with the relevant evidence and make room for the counterarguments within your topic. Your outline will help keep your focus on the key arguments, helping keep you on track with your chain of thought. 

  1. Write your paper

Finally, write your paper and edit it to ensure that it’s in line with various guidelines provided by your tutor. 

Analytical essay outline template


  • Hook
  • Background
  • Thesis statement

Body paragraph 1:

  • Topic sentence 
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the next paragraph

Body paragraph 2:

  • Topic sentence 
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the next paragraph

Body paragraph 3:

  • Topic sentence 
  • Supporting evidence
  • Transition to the next paragraph


  • Summary of key points
  • Thesis restatement

Analytical essay topics

  1. Why do humans experience phobias and fears? 
  2. Why are seniors happier when they have emotional support animals? 
  3. How do excessive constraints cause adolescent rebellion? 
  4. What causes the shift in gender roles? 
  5. What medical benefits does music possess? 
  6. What benefits do school uniforms offer? 
  7. Why is it so important that a college education is free? 
  8. Why does the plot of every horror film look the same? 
  9. What types of addiction are there? 
  10. An examination of Ophelia’s passing in Hamlet 
  11. Why is it difficult to stop smoking? 
  12. Why are certain communities okay with mercy killing? 
  13. How are money and education related? 
  14. Why are class distracters brighter than their peers?

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