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My professor says I need more analysis.

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Every writer can fall prey to summarizing instead of analyzing throughout a paper.

In fact, brief summary is often helpful in a paper; however, the goal of your writing is to break down, examine, and interpret larger ideas from your readings-- this is the process of analysis.

Here are some resources to consider as you determine the level of analysis present in your paper:

  • Swarthmore's Writing Center offers some good examples of Analysis.
  • Do you have a strong thesis? Read this handout [doc] from Evergreen's Writing Center to find examples of the different kinds of claims you can make with your writing. The heart of analysis rests on a good thesis: a provocative and disputable claim that you must prove throughout the course of your paper.
  • Consider the following Argument Checklist [doc] and see how your paper stands up to it. Do you make an insightful and contestable claim with this paper? Is it strongly and logically supported by evidence?
  • Consider these helpful transition phrases [doc] that you can use to introduce and analyze differing opinions in your paper.
  • Do you fully explain and contextualize your evidence? Have you effectively summarized and paraphrased your sources, incorporating them into your own argument? To phrase this idea another way: are you writing with and responding to your sources (thereby engaging in analysis by making your own voice heard) or are you merely writing about your sources (aka summarizing)?

Analysis is challenging. If you are still feeling a little confused, stop by the Writing Center. We can help you gain confidence in your ability to write analytically.