Analytic approach

Academic writing is analytic.

Here are some fairly typical comments from markers:

  • “Too much description, not enough analysis”
  • “Don’t just tell me what happened; tell me what it means.”
  • “Elaborate”
  • “Needs less description and more critique.”

If you have received similar feedback on your written work, you need to write more analytically.

Writing analytically

In your writing, you must acknowledge and deal with the complexity of the subject matter. In any given piece of writing, this will entail at least some of the following:

  • Explaining; giving reasons; examining or anticipating consequences
  • Comparing, contrasting and evaluating
  • Considering both sides of an issue
  • Taking a position
  • Supporting your claims with credible evidence
  • Investigating claims made by others and, if appropriate, questioning the evidence
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Making suggestions and recommendations