Perhaps no major has to master the analytical essay more than the English and literature major because every single book is a literature review that requires in-depth reading and the appropriate analysis to follow. Why is this the case? There is no simple answer, but it almost certainly has to do with the fact that short stories, novels, and other works of literature can pack an amazing amount of meaning into a relatively small amount of pages.
There is often a major connection between how well someone fully understands a work and how in-depth they have analyzed it. There is no question that literature review and deep analysis go together, and nothing allows a person to dive more in depth into a work and to prove they have done that than an essay.
While students might not be especially fond of the heavy workload, scientific studies have actually shown that people who dive into reviewing the literature and to go underneath the surface to really analyze the themes, learn a lot more from the work, and they will remember much more of it years or even decades after the fact. There is something about that process of reading, delving, studying, and writing a completely brands that information into the long-term memory.
Analytical essays can sometimes be hard to grade because there is some degree of subjectivity to it. Not everyone is going to agree on what every theme means, what symbolism does or doesn’t exist in a work, and a variety of other issues that can really change perspective. However, with all that being said, there is no doubt that these are an intense exercise inability to comprehend text, understand the meaning that goes below the surface, and to put together new ideas and learning as a result of practicing these things.
The skills that come from writing these types of analytical papers can be cross applied to papers and classes in virtually any other profession. This unique ability to think, even more than the information gleaned from the papers themselves, will serve the person again and again long after their college days are gone.
There is no doubt a very strong connection between literature and the essay, and this really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. If you want to truly learn how to write an in-depth analytical essay then you should take an English class.