How to Write an Analytical Review

An analytical review is typically required of students studying creative works, such as literature, plays, oratory debates, original artwork and photography. When writing an analytical review, practice being honest yet kind. Remember that anyone can criticize, but not everyone can create. Have respect for what the creator attempted whether or not you feel the attempt was successful. Whatever your opinion, make sure you use concrete examples to support your stance.
  • Observe the object of your review carefully. If you're reviewing a play, see it at least twice. If you're reviewing a fashion line, observe how the models look in the clothes and then try on the items to see how they feel. If you're reviewing a speech, listen to it and then request the transcript so you can read it over several times. Make sure your review is written with a thorough understanding of the subject matter.
  • Jot down your initial impressions. This can be on a scratch sheet of paper, on the back of a receipt or on a napkin. Don't worry about sentence structure, spelling or punctuation; simply write down exactly what you're thinking and feeling about the subject at the time. Do this several times while spending time observing your topic; note if your initial impressions change or intensify.
  • Decide on your stance. Did you like it? Did you hate it? Did you decide you can't decide? Formulate your thesis statement from your dominant opinion. For example, "The school's production of 'West Side Story' was a perfect reproduction of the original. And therein lies my disappointment; I'd hoped they would try to make it their own.
    • Write at least three paragraphs that support your thesis. If your thesis is the "what," your three supporting paragraphs are the "why." Use the topic sentence of each paragraph to support the thesis, and use the rest of the sentences in each paragraph to support the topic sentence.
    • Come to a conclusion. Your conclusion should support your thesis statement but also add a little something extra. However, don't introduce additional opinions in your conclusion that haven't been previously mentioned in the body of the paper.
    • Proofread. Read through your review for proper sentence structure, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Make sure your thesis is fully supported and explained. If your paper leads away from your thesis, either alter the statement or revise your supporting paragraphs accordingly.


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