An analytical writing prompt is just what it sounds like: a type of question that expects you to analyse and evaluate the given information in order to answer it. You’ll often be asked to do this in business school, but many other places can also use them, such as for government jobs or university courses. They’re a great way to really test your knowledge of a subject, and they often give you the chance to apply what you’ve learned to real-world situations.
While it’s not necessarily difficult to learn to answer these types of questions, it can be challenging. The good news is that, like all things in life, it’s possible to get better at it with practice. In this post, we will discuss three tips for learning to answer analysis writing prompts effectively and efficiently.
Use Your Analytical Skills In An Actual Task
When you’re learning how to answer analytical writing prompts, it’s important to not just look at the questions themselves but to also consider what you might do with the information given. This is especially important if you’re not used to applying your analytical skills in a real-world setting – after all, there’s no point learning how to answer questions if you’re not going to use what you’ve learned in a meaningful way.
For example, let’s say you’re given the following question: “What are the challenges that Uber drivers face in order to provide the best customer experience?” In an ideal world, you would walk through the following steps:
- Consider the question and its implications
- Research the relevant literature
- Plan and organise your thoughts
- Develop a thesis statement
- Choose effective keywords
- Develop an outline
- Write your paper
- Revise it
- Format it correctly
- Proofread it
- Build your own vocabulary
- Learn how to use Oxford comma
- Practice making references
- Learn how to use APA style
- Practice citing sources
- Get a professional looking
- Get it ready to submit
Depending on your school’s tutorial system, this may all be done in a single session. However, in a real-world setting, this may take much longer. In that case, being able to consider what you might do with the information provided can really help you get the most out of the session. Similarly, going through these steps in an ordered manner can also help you establish a pattern that will serve you well as you continue to work on your skills.
When learning how to answer questions about literature, it’s important to not just focus on the question but also understand what the instructor is trying to achieve. In other words, what does the instructor want to know, and how are you supposed to know it? To answer this question, you may have to dig into the following:
- The aim of the assignment
- The learning objectives
- The context of the assignment
- The assignment information (including what has been asked so far)
When you understand what is wanted, it becomes much easier to approach the task. Moreover, doing so can allow you to work effectively with what you’ve been given rather than against it – this is important because you’ll run out of things to say if you try to oppose the prompts rather than conforming to them. If you understand the overall objective, it should also be much easier to select relevant and useful materials to support your argument. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all the materials will be easy to find or use, but it certainly makes the process easier and more predictable. Lastly, when you do understand the overall objective, it is possible to tailor your responses to be more effective. For example, if the assignment is to choose the most suitable book for a certain topic, and you know that the author of “A Brief History of Time” is highly relevant to the assignment, you may decide to cite and refer to that book in your response. Doing so effectively and efficiently takes some practice, but following these steps will certainly help get you there.
Consult with A Peer
As a final tip on how to learn to answer analytical writing prompts, it’s important to not just rely on the information provided but to also seek out additional sources. In particular, when you’re learning how to answer questions about literature, it’s beneficial to seek out sources that are on the same topic as your work. This will not only allow you to confirm your conclusions but will also make it much easier to find additional materials if you need them. Moreover, when you’re looking for additional sources, it’s beneficial to contact previous professors or instructors of the course – they can often point you in the right direction and even give you some additional pointers on how to approach the task. Additionally, if there isn’t an established pattern for how to answer the questions, it can be helpful to look at how other students have handled similar situations in the past – previous students normally have the best idea of how the course is structured and what is required of you, and so on. This can allow you to plan your approach and ultimately get the most out of the sessions. It also prevents you from wasting time by reinventing the wheel – if you check with others, you’ll be sure that what you’re doing is the right thing, and you won’t have to worry about doing the same thing incorrectly. In short, seeking out a peer is important because it allows you to get an idea of what others think versus what you think, and it can also help you get the most out of your studies. Moreover, it can also help you find the gaps in your knowledge, which is important because it allows you to learn more effectively. In the example above, you may not have thought of “The Hunger Games” as a possible source, but by doing so, you’ve now doubled your knowledge base and made your answer more credible. Lastly, having a sounding board is important because it allows you to get a different perspective on the materials and what you’ve learned so far – in other words, it allows you to see things from a different point of view. This can, in turn, help you find the answer that you’ve been looking for all along but have not yet recognised.
In summary, the information provided in this article will help you learn how to answer analytical writing prompts effectively and efficiently. However, this does not mean that answering these types of questions is an easy task by any means – in fact, it can be quite the opposite. To get the best possible results, it takes a lot of practice, commitment and, above all, a good attitude. In other words, it takes a professional.