Here's an example of the kind of assignment that would prompt you to write an analytical paper: Analyze the relationship between the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.
An would demand a thesis that answered the question of what the relationship between the witch and her monkeys was - a breakdown of that relationship's psychological complexities, what the symbolism is as it relates to the story, whether she cuddles them at night, et cetera.
Remember how I said not all essays need a thesis statement?
Narrative essays are the primary example of an essay that may not require a thesis statement.
The essay is called 'The Pleasure of Writing,' and it's a pleasant, rambling narrative full of little anecdotes and stories about what makes writing a happy experience for the writer that ends with his conclusion about what the true pleasure of writing is (the act of writing is its own pleasure, he believes). Remember that a thesis: An analytical essay has a thesis that promises to analyze parts of a subject for the reader.
But you'll understand more about the 'thesis' of the essay from the title than by looking for a simple thesis statement. Argumentative or expository essays have a thesis that takes a position on an issue or issues. After watching this lesson, you should be able to: Did you know…
Explain why or why not', then the thesis, in the first paragraph, should answer this directly. Seriously, though, an essay is a just a short-form piece of writing, and not every piece of writing is designed to lay out a specific argument.
For example, 'I believe in the Loch Ness Monster based on supporting historical evidence, but largely because I watched it eat my grandfather's hat.' That's a thesis statement. But most are, and therefore most require thesis statements.
Both usually have a strong, defining thesis up front, probably in the first paragraph.
Here's an example of an expository essay prompt: 'Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else,' actor Will Rogers is often quoted as having said. Using specific examples, write an essay explaining your position, drawing on your personal experience, observations or books you might have read for support.