How To Write an Analysis (With Examples and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 25, 2022 | Published April 14, 2020

Updated May 25, 2022

Published April 14, 2020

An effective analysis can be valuable for making informed decisions based on data and research. Writing an analysis can help you build support around a particular idea, cause or project. Knowing how to write one is a valuable skill for any career.

In this article, you will learn what an analysis is, why it's an important tool to use in persuasive communications and tips on how to write one.

What is an analysis?

An analysis is a detailed examination of a topic. It involves performing research and separating results into smaller, logical topics to form reasonable conclusions. It presents a specific argument about the topic and supports that argument with evidence. You can perform an analysis to find different solutions to a challenge in a variety of situations.

Why is analysis important?

An analysis is important because it organizes and interprets data, then structures that data into presentable information useful for real-world applications. For example, a marketing analysis interprets buying patterns, market size, demographics and other variables to develop a specific marketing plan.

Related: How Analyzing Data Can Improve Decision-Making

How to write an analysis

Writing an analysis requires a particular structure and key components to create a compelling argument. The following steps can help you format and write your analysis:

  1. Choose your argument.

  2. Define your thesis.

  3. Write the introduction.

  4. Write the body paragraphs.

  5. Add a conclusion.

1. Choose your argument

The first step is to determine the argument you are making. The topic you analyze should be specific so you can present a clear, focused argument. This argument should take a strong stance so readers understand exactly what your claim is.

Example: "Corporations should provide more work-from-home opportunities."

This statement specifically refers to work-from-home opportunities and takes a strong stance on the topic.

2. Define your thesis

Once you have your argument, you can begin crafting your thesis statement. A thesis statement is normally one sentence that summarizes the claims you make in your analysis. The claims should be narrow enough to fit the scope of your argument. The thesis builds on the argument by providing specific claims which you can back up with evidence in the body paragraphs of the analysis.

Example: "Corporations should provide more work-from-home opportunities because it creates better work-life balance, increases productivity and improves staff retention."

3. Write the introduction

Your introduction is a guide for your reader to understand what information you will discuss in the analysis and in what order. Introduce the topic in broader terms in the first few sentences, then state your thesis.

Example: "Every year, more companies are adopting work-from-home days and seeing incredible benefits. Studies have shown that this is one of the most desired job perks for employees and one of the most advantageous for employers. Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities because it creates better work-life balance, increases productivity and improves staff retention."

4. Write the body paragraphs

Once you have your introduction, you now have a guide for the rest of your analysis. Each component of your thesis statement should have its own body paragraph and include evidence to validate each claim. Discuss one argument per paragraph. Each paragraph will begin with a topic sentence that clearly presents the specific argument you will discuss. Make sure you back up each claim with evidence from a trustworthy source. You can use a journal, book or statistics from a reputable online source. Cite your resources to give the proper credit.

5. Add a conclusion

The conclusion should include a rephrased version of your thesis statement and reiterate your main arguments. Explain the larger implications of your findings and answer any remaining questions your reader might have.

Example: "Working from home is shown to decrease employee stress, increase their productivity and boost job satisfaction. Many employers understand these benefits and have adopted more flexible working schedules. With satisfaction rates at their lowest in the last two decades and job-related stress at its peak, it's important for more companies to start considering the benefits of work-from-home days."

Analysis vs. summary

An analysis and a summary both discuss ideas and provide easier ways to understand data, but they have very distinct ways of using and presenting information. Here are the main differences:

Summary

  • Presents existing information more concisely

  • Identifies main points

  • States facts of what was said/done

  • States what was included

  • Reiterates thoughts or contributions of others

Analysis

  • Chooses a specific element/area to study

  • Examines and interprets data

  • Reaches conclusions based on evidence

  • Discusses the significance of elements

  • Discusses how elements connect

  • May discuss advantages and disadvantages

Related: Analytical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Tips for writing an analysis

The following tips will help you write a reasonable and critical analysis:

Be explicit

There are many ways to interpret evidence, so it's crucial all evidence explicitly connects to your argument. With every piece of evidence, follow up with one to two sentences giving your own interpretation of how the information links to your argument. Provide more insight if the evidence is particularly significant.

Be balanced

An analysis should take into account all facts and present reasonable judgments. If you find information that disputes your stance, analyze it, then use strong evidence to show your argument is still credible. Use phrases such as "This evidence suggests..." or "Many are in agreement that..." to maintain a critical and credible analysis.

Related: 5 Critical Thinking Skills To Use at Work (and How To Improve Them)

Analyze all evidence

All evidence provides some level of relevance. Always analyze each piece of evidence you present in your analysis, even if the evidence contradicts your argument. Acknowledging data that may not fully support your thesis can help you make an effective argument against it.

Make a mind map

It's helpful to brainstorm and create an outline before writing to collect and connect your thoughts. Try drawing a mind map, beginning with a central topic bubble. Write smaller ideas related to the topic around the outside, then connect the smaller bubbles if there are clear patterns or related ideas. As you connect ideas, themes will emerge. This can help you narrow down your topic and create a thesis.

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