17 Analytical Essay Topics
Students that have received an assignment to write an analytical essay on a chosen topic may face writer’s block at the very beginning. The entire purpose of such essays is to collect information about a certain topic, and then critically think on and analyze the issue. From the analytical essay topics list that you can see below, you can find interesting topics that you can use as a basis for your own analytical essay. Also, we have written some prompts for listed topics to give you basic information about different sides of the issue.
Pick a topic that seems familiar to you. Even if you will need research, it will be easier to write an essay on a topic that you already know. You need a topic that will be focused on one specific issue that is relevant to modern times. Before you pick the topic, make sure that you will be able to support your analytical essay with strong arguments, examples, and evidence.
Literature Essay Topics
- Explain how Faust’s character changes over the tragic play “Faust” by Goethe.
Throughout the work Faust went through an amazing path, full of disappointments and pain, and also joy and unexpected discoveries. Faust’s character is contradictory at the very beginning – he is inspired, he is tormented by doubts, and later decides to commit suicide, thinking that life went in vain. Faust suffers completely different, even opposing feelings and emotions. Goethe’s hero is ready to pay any price, he suffers, experiences ups and downs – this is a strong-willed person who despite everything follows what his soul desires. How did Faust feel at the beginning of the play? How has he changed at the end?
- Analyze the historical context in “Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio.
A depiction of the plague in Florence in 1347 is interwoven into the descriptions as of an eyewitness. The author has taken ideas for the “Decameron” from medieval literature and collections of works in Latin. Having revived the forgotten images and connected them with the Renaissance, the author received a multifaceted and lively picture of Renaissance manners and Italian society of that time. Despite the realism of the description of the plague, Boccaccio gives it the status of a symbol, linking it to the disintegration of the old world, built on old ethical norms. What emotional background does the plague have? What are the main features that distinguish “Decameron” from medieval literature?
- Explain the significance of “Fahrenheit 451” in modern times.
Bradbury tells us about a hypothetical totalitarian society, based exclusively on consumer thinking and mass culture. All books that are potentially capable of making people think about life must be burned. Even the storage of literature becomes a real crime, and critically capable people are criminals. So-called “firefighters” burn all the discovered books together with the houses of their guilty owners (who are also arrested, sometimes sent to a madhouse). Bradbury depicts a world where people are losing contact not only with their ancestors’ intellectual heritage, but also with nature, and with each other. What technologies has Bradbury depicted? How can the main ideas of the book be applied nowadays?
- Explain why Edgar Allan Poe is the founder of the detective genre.
Edgar Allan Poe was the first who proposed a type of fiction that later became known as detective fiction. Poe can only be called the founder conditionally, since the writer worked as a representative of Romanticism. But still he managed to create not only the basic scheme of the genre, but also the main detective stories and techniques. Which of Poe’s novels are considered part of the detective genre? What unique tools has he used?
Culture and Society Essay Topics
- How do Buddhists view homosexuality?
Religions condemn abnormal sexual behavior. In Judaism and Christianity, it is defined by the Old Testament tradition as sodomy. The Sharia equates homosexuality with adultery, and in the case of proof of sin, the perpetrator is stoned. For Buddhism it is necessary to divide the prescriptions addressed to monks and to the laity, since there is a big difference between them. Monks are forbidden to have any sexual contact with both the opposite and their own sex, as well as with hermaphrodites, animals, and corpses. For ordinary people, there is no prohibition on homosexual activity. What position does the Dalai Lama have on this issue?
- How has the role of fathers changed in today’s society?
One hundred years ago, society had no questions about the role of the father in the family. The man is the breadwinner, the woman is homemaker. Mom cares and dad encourages or punishes. The role of mothers has changed during the world wars when many women were involved with working in plants and factories. For some families, the father’s role as the breadwinner has decreased. That’s why the role of the modern father has changed nowadays and men are more involved in care giving. How does a gay couple divide the work involved in child care? What do you think about stay-at-home fathers?
- Analyze the reasons for emigration in different countries.
Every year, a large number of people emigrate from different countries. Various circumstances contribute to a person leaving home, work, relatives, and friends. For many people, the cause of this phenomenon is the threat to their own lives and the lives of their relatives. Military operations that take place in the country create a criminal situation, and thus force a person to change the place of living. A well-known fact: Jews were persecuted. Fearing for their future, they were forced to emigrate. Some fled and others were unable to, since not all had the opportunity to get to their historical homeland. What other causes do you know? Where do migrants come from?
- How have race issues changed after electing Barack Obama?
The race problem is not that black and white (or any other groups) do not get along with each other. The racial problem is that black and other non-white groups are facing unfair treatment and are in an infringed material situation. When Obama expressed his views on the unrest in Ferguson (Missouri) and called for tolerance and understanding, the conservatives said that he only adds fuel to the fire. The appearance of Obama did not breed a split, but brought a new period of optimism, because Black Americans saw in his victory a source of faith and hope. What did Obama say about race issues? How has he overcome race conflicts?
Movie and TV Essay Topics
- Analyze the quality of the book adaptation in the “Harry Potter” movie.
The literary series about the young wizard Harry Potter gained its popularity almost immediately after the appearance of the author’s first book in the stores. Special effects, scenery, actors, and music were perfectly matched, but still fans of the “Harry Potter” books had a list of dissatisfactory elements about the book adaptation. What do you think about the actor that played the role of Dumbledore? What do you think about the character of Ginny Weasley? What important events were missing in the films?
- Analyze the movie “Psycho” as an example of the horror movie genre.
“Psycho” is a revolutionary film that changed not only the genre of horror but also the world of cinematography in general. Alfred Hitchcock told an amazing, unpredictable, and terrible story, being able to simultaneously confuse, shock, and frighten the audience. What can you say about suspense in the movie? What tools has Hitchcock used? Why has the director used a black and white film?
- Think of how reality TV shows influence a teenager’s psyche.
In adolescence, children are vulnerable and insecure. At the same time, they are influenced by standards which are imposed by the media. Being thin, fit, and to have a sporty physique and beautiful hair is all, as it were, an indicator of success. For example, teenagers can think that a talent show is a great way to show their potential and fulfill themselves. The truth is that talent shows pick only those who look good on the screen, while the actual talents are less important. How does our thinking change with watching TV shows? How can teenagers avoid negative consequences from watching TV shows?
- How can cartoons be helpful in a child’s development?
Now our televisions broadcast various cartoons which captivate not only children, but also adults. The Internet is fully loaded with interesting videos which are intended for the youngest audience. Modern cartoons teach children everything, from learning letters to acting in difficult situations. Good cartoons teach the concepts of what is right and what is not and the awareness of their role in the world around them. What cartoons are advisable to kids? What harm can cartoons cause to a child’s psyche?
Causal Essay Topics
- What makes people fall in love from the first sight?
True love is born at first sight. It’s like enlightenment. You see a person and immediately realize that you will be together. Scientists believe that a bright feeling occurs literally in a split second. Some experts believe that love at first sight arises at the genetic level. Allegedly, a person, for a fraction of a second, is able to determine whether the genetic set of a potential partner is suitable for reproduction and obtaining the most healthy offspring. The more successful the genetic combination of a man and a woman, the stronger will be the feeling. Do you believe in love from the first sight? What are other causes of love at first sight?
- Why do people become addicted to gambling?
Gambling has been in existence since antiquity. It is also known that some people play their whole lives, intelligently relating the costs of the game to winnings and losses, and simply enjoy it, while others become addicted and lose touch with reality. Up to five or six years, the child has a leading activity in gaming. In adulthood, a person learns the working activity and gaming takes low priority. The gambler has shifted priority, as his or her leading activity is gaming and leads to certain psychological problems. According to observations on the gambling industry, at least every tenth person is a gambler who periodically visits the casino or at least plays online in slot machines. Is gambling bad?
- Why do teenagers commit suicide?
The period of adolescence is dangerous. Under the influence of hormones, the adolescent becomes excitable and hypersensitive. Suicidal readiness can develop in easily-readable, impressionable, touchy teenagers who have heightened anxiety, obsessive fears, phobias, and a sense of guilt prone to getting stuck on negative emotions. Teenagers often reflect on life and death and have heightened interest in these topics, which is reflected in the youth subculture. Often the cause of true suicide in a teenage environment is a sense of isolation from society, a sense of self is not like everything that leads to loneliness and the feeling that no one understands it. What pushes the children to this fateful step? Why do teenagers choose suicide?
- What were the causes of the revolution in France in 1848?
The main reason for the revolution was the contradiction between the developing capitalist and dominant feudal-absolutist relations. In addition, on the eve of the revolution, the royal treasury was empty, new taxes or coercive loans were impossible, and bankers refused to lend money. The crop failure caused high costs and a shortage of food. The old feudal-absolutist relations (royal power, the absence of a single system for measuring length and weight, estates, noble privileges) hampered the development of capitalist relations like development of manufactories, trade, and the political disenfranchisement of the bourgeoisie. Make a chronicle of the overthrow of Louis-Philippe of Orleans and the establishment of the republic in 1848 in France.
- Why did the British Empire fall apart?
For the first time the British Empire was on the verge of collapse in the 70s and 80s of the 18th century, when the insurgent colonies in North America won the war for independence. In the middle of the century, the most far-sighted British politicians came to the conclusion that it is possible to retain such possessions by British influence only by concessions – to allow the unification of individual colonies into federally-organized unions and grant them autonomy within the empire. What were the consequences of this event? What are the main causes?
There are millions of analytical essay topics for college. Think about anything that seems interesting to you and you will find the best topic for your essay. As a writer, you should understand that an analytical essay is not a summary. You should go beyond information that you will find about the topic and use both your critical and analytical skills.
Use the topics that we have listed above as a starting point for your essay or as a source of ideas. We hope our list of topics has helped you and your creative juices to flow. We wish you luck with writing your analytical essay!