Pro Tips on How to Write an Analytical Research Paper

An analytical research paper is a common paper for college students. Like all research papers, an analytical paper requires proper thesis selection, in-depth research, and proofreading to ensure a quality paper. 

Unfortunately, many students struggle with various components of an analytical research paper. This article will cover the tips for an analytical research essay, helping you manage your paper with ease and score a decent grade. We will also highlight some analytical research paper topics to guide your topic selection. 

What is an analytical research paper?

An analytical research paper is a paper geared toward analyzing various perspectives from which a topic may be analyzed. Here, you don’t have to persuade a reader toward a specific argument. 

Instead, you are tasked with gauging the data available on a topic and making logical conclusions based on the existing research. The research paper thus calls for extensive research to cover all bases of an argument, making a solid conclusion. 

How to write an analytical research paper

Like other academic tasks, the analytical research paper requires a well-structured approach to ensure a quality paper. Some of the steps to follow when writing an analytical research paper include:

  1. Select a topic

If the topic has not been selected, brainstorm some of the trending issues in your field. Next, narrow down on these ideas and select those that have not been exhausted. When your tutor has provided you with a topic, select a specific idea within the general topic. This idea should be manageable within the provided word count and interesting for your reader. 

  1. Gather relevant resources

After selecting your topic, scour various platforms for sources that could be used to support your arguments. Be keen to ensure that your sources are up to date and free of any bias. It is best for you to select published work and journals. 

You may however use Wikipedia as a platform to guide you on the necessary sources for your topic. We recommend that you keep a record of these resources to easily retrieve the sources at any point in your writing process.

  1. Make an outline

Failure to plan is a plan for failure. A common mantra in fields ranging from sports to life goals. An outline helps you plan your ideas and to gauge the completeness of your arguments, ensuring a smooth flow and solid arguments. 

Analytical research paper outline

The outline of an analytical paper varies depending on the tutor’s instructions and the recommendations from your faculty. We thus recommend that you consult your tutor if you are uncertain of the chapters to cater for in your analytical paper.

The standard analytical paper comprises the: 

  1. Title page

This page contains your administrative details and the title of your paper. The key focus in your title page should be to prepare an attention-grabbing title comprising your paper’s key phrases. 

  1. Abstract

The abstract is a crucial chapter of your research paper. This chapter highlights the key points of your paper, helping the reader deduce what your research entails and the methodology used to establish your findings. 

  1. Introduction

The introduction should highlight the relevance of your research, the background information, and the problem statement. Here, show your readers the pain points necessitating research, and how your methods are suited to addressing your research problems. 

  1. Literature review

This portion of your research paper shows your reader that your work is based on solid sources as opposed to unfounded claims. The literature review enlists various sources you gathered to prepare your research and an analysis of how well they cover your idea. 

Be keen to properly reference each idea, preventing unintentional plagiarism within your work. 

  1. Research design 

This section highlights the research objectives, the methodology, and the results gained from your investigation of these facts. This chapter should guide your readers on the procedure used to establish your claims, helping them gauge your paper’s relevance to their research problems.

  1. Conclusion

This chapter could be covered as a whole or divided into a summary, discussion, and recommendations. This chapter thus highlights the findings of your research, the implication of your findings, and suggestions to improve future research.

Analytical paper rubric






10 pts

7 pts

4 pts

1 pts

Introduction/Thesis Statement

Introduction and thesis statement are well-developed.

These respond to the prompt by presenting a clear, logical argument.

The introduction and thesis statement pique the reader’s interest and are well-written.

However, while they address one of the essay prompts and make a case, the case is a little hazy.

Although the introduction and thesis statement explain the paper’s topic and address one of the essay questions, they either do not provide accurate and complete information or do not clearly emphasize the major point/argument.

The topic of the paper is not introduced in the introduction or thesis statement, and it is unclear which essay prompt will be addressed, or they may not be a whole sentence.

There is no obvious governing point about the subject/main argument.

Body Paragraphs

Topic Sentences & Supporting Details

There are enough focused textual examples to completely support and defend the paper’s core point, and the details in the paragraphs are clear and explicit.

Anecdotal evidence is non-existent..

There is a topic sentence in each paragraph that pertains to the thesis statement.

Details are clear and explicit, however they do not fully support the paper’s core point and should be expanded out further.

At least one topic sentence is unclear, and it has nothing to do with the thesis statement.

There are specifics, but they aren’t explicit, complete, or clear enough to support the main point.

For each paragraph, there are no obvious topic sentences.

Details are either inaccurate or absent.

Textual support could be replaced by anecdotal evidence.


The final paragraph successfully ties the essay together around the main point.

It includes an entertaining and intriguing aspect of the analysis.

The concluding paragraph brings the essay together around the paper’s main point, but it isn’t particularly engaging or interesting

The final paragraph makes a point about the paper’s main argument, but it fails to effectively wrap-up the essay.

The essay does not have a conclusion, or the conclusion is unrelated to the rest of the essay.

Overall Organization

Unity & Coherence

The information is presented in a logical and effective order, and the author puts related concepts together and adheres to the structure set in the introduction.

Arguments are thoroughly explored and given nearly the same amount of time.

The details are in a logical arrangement, and the author follows a predetermined plan.

Arguments are allotted roughly the same amount of room.

The information are in a logical arrangement, but the author does not follow a consistent pattern throughout the essay, or the details do not fully support the author’s main thesis.

There is no recognizable structure.

There are either no details or they weren’t in any apparent sequence.


Punctuation, spelling, grammar, and capitalization are all correct.

There are a few small punctuation, spelling, grammar, and capitalization problems, but they do not detract from the essay’s overall meaning and effectiveness.

A few punctuation, grammatical, spelling, and capitalization problems that, while annoying, still convey the essay’s meaning and aim.

Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization problems are distracting.

Topics for an analytical paper

  • Examine the main reasons why athletes utilize drugs.
  • The negative consequences of animal testing and how to avoid them.
  • Investigate the causes of adolescent alcoholism. 
  • Is it possible to achieve gender parity and equality?
  • In today’s world, what is more important?
  • The primary reasons for rapid climate change. 
  • What can be done to raise educational standards? 
  • What can you do to boost your academic performance? 
  • Describe the importance of art in schooling. 

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