Analytical Essay

Last week we had a fairly informal 500-word essay based on your own experiences, and the class did very well on it. This week the paper is a bit longer, 750 words, and it can include some of your own experiences like the first paper did.

The good thing is that you have probably already completed most of this paper from the Mapping, Directed Summary, Decoding an Analysis, and from your own experiences or by looking up some additional information. All of these activities and this essay are responses to author Tracy López’s article on non-Spanish-fluent Latinas, which starts on p. 182 in Intersections.

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This essay requires collecting those items you already wrote, adding more information if necessary, and forming them into one smoothly-written paper with an introduction, transitions, a minimum of repetition, and a conclusion.

Be sure to follow the directions carefully so that you will get the maximum amount of points.


First, open a new file, either Microsoft Word or any file that you can save as a PDF file, including formatting.


1. Write your name in the top left-hand corner, first name then family name with no commas and no period.

2. Write the assignment name directly below your name: First Analytical Essay (with no period).

3. Three or so lines below the assignment name, plan to write a title for your paper. You can come back and do this after you write the paper if you like.

4. Set your paper to automatically double space.

5. Use 12-point Times New Roman or a similar font.


1. Save the introduction for later–come back and write it after you finish the rest of the paper. (This strategy works well for many students, but if you prefer to come up with a topic sentence, or thesis, first, that’s fine too.)

2. Now copy and paste the directed summary that you wrote into your paper. This will be the first paragraph of the body of your paper. Make sure that you identify the reading, either here or in the introduction.

3. Below that, copy and paste the answers to the Mapping activity on p. 185.

4. Then copy and paste the answers to the Decoding Analyses questions that you answered.

5. After that, you have two choices: If you have personal or family experiences with this topic, write about that experience here. If you do not have experience with this topic, paste in the information that you researched on p. 186, “Navigating the Intersections,” #2, but make sure that it’s your own wording and not directly copied or closely patterned after the information you found online.

6. Check how many words you have. You might already have 750 words–that’s great!–but whether you do or not, there are still a few more required steps.

7. Now write an introduction. A traditional introduction tells about the topic and why it’s important, maybe previews (mentions) the main points that are coming in your essay, or in some way makes the topic seem interesting to the reader. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect because we have not worked with introductions yet.

8. The last part of your paper is the conclusion. You can choose to use one or more of the following strategies, or you can come up with your own conclusion. Some strategies:

–tell why this topic is important

–make a recommendation, give advice

–predict the future of this issue (look to the future)

–restate the main idea from the introduction using different wording

–tell a lesson that can be learned from this topic

–Or whatever makes the paper feel finished.

9. Now go back and make sure that each section flows smoothly to the next section. You might have to use some transition words or transition sentences, delete repeated information, adjust the style, etc., but the important thing is to make it feel like one complete essay, not a bunch of separate answers, which is how it started out.

10. When you finish that, check again to see if you have at least 750 words, and if not, add more information, maybe add a quote and talk about it, or write more about your personal experience, etc.

11. After you have written the paper, check it as best you can and correct any errors you find. Pay special attention to the word “you,” which always refers to the reader, not to yourself or to people in general. Instead, you can say “people, they,” etc. Also check that you are not connecting sentences with just a comma alone.

12. The last step is to run the readability statistics and paste them at the end. Make sure that you include the line that tells how many words are in your paper, and make sure that you have at least 750 words, and at least a 7.0 readability level. This step is required in order to get credit.

When you have met the requirements and done the best job you can, submit your assignment as an attached file.

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