Source Analysis Essay Writing Guide

Source Analysis Essay

Sources can be classified into two groups. These are the primary sources and the secondary sources. Primary sources are the materials that involves history like original documents which were created at the time under study. On the contrary, secondary sources are the interpretations of events created by another person without direct experience.
Students who analyze sources can give them a powerful sense of history as well as the intricacy of the past. This will also strengthen their higher-order intellect and have better critical thinking and analysis skills.
Before reading the document, questions that are going to be addressed in the paper must be written down. The material that will be used for source analysis should be thoroughly read first and further research must be done from the list of references or citations. These sources are further identified and group if these are either primary or secondary sources.
There are different kinds of questions encountered in analyzing a source. Questions regarding the evidences of the author in relation to his or her argument are called the Evidence questions. This is about how the evidences support the arguments and is it valid to the said statement. Another example of an evidence question is asking about the credibility of an evidence. One can already recognize bias in an evidence.
Just like in a critical analysis paper, a source analysis paper has its structure or parts. Prior to starting your paper, you should have already prepared a guide. A good guide is an outline of what your argument is about and how your evidences will be introduced throughout the essay.
The source analysis essay is started with a brief introduction and or summary of the literary work or material that will be used in the paper. These should be concise since this is not the main purpose of your paper. The introduction should also clearly define your argument or opinion with regards towards the sources being used by the material and a brief summary of what is expected in the paper. This will prepare your readers as well as make them truly understand what your work is all about. An example of an introduction would be:

“Before the colonizers from the European continent came to the western hemisphere, they used a land that they believe it will benefit their lifestyle and mission on a long-term basis. Europeans thought that this theoretical application is effective due to the scarce population of Native American settlers in the area. As an assumption, the Europeans conducted a survey, which later transformed several lands as their new property after settling in the western hemisphere.”

For the other part of essay is the body. This comprises your argument. This would also include the sub-arguments. These sub-arguments are the mini-theses which will help the larger argument true. The author’s intent, historical context as well as the content of the source is further compared and criticized in the part of the paper. The relevance of the source used is also further expounded. A great example is:

“It has been observed that both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson held different point of ideas regarding their belief of America’s economic system, they still agreed that commerce should be always utilized when expanding lands made by the United States through international jurisdictions.”

Lastly, to make a lasting impression of your paper, it should have a prodigious conclusion. A simple conclusion could already have a lasting effect. It should reflect your argument and cite again its importance. The writer could also suggest ways of improving his essay or analysis. A conclusion ought to be like this:

“Both Hamilton and Jefferson supported the desire to initiate economic system development in North America that has resulted into a broadening perception that is applicable with the new settlements across the US. The people of the United States were encouraged by their beliefs as well as the laws in order to expand settlement areas that were not being settled by the Europeans. This is for the purpose of making intensive harvest new raw materials that will generate profits and surplus to the market. The creation of high-intensity improvement and utilization are necessary that generates a sustainable capitalist system that results into the process of degrading the land. If the land becomes unusable, it will encourage citizens to expand their land.”

An example of an outline for character analysis essay:

History of American Environmental Thought


  1. Right before the colonizers from Europe came, North American indigenous residents and groups also utilized their lands to have a long-term benefit.


  1. There are significant number of Europeans who traveled to both West and South to occupy and improve unsettled areas during the 18th century.
  2. Expanding unimproved lands by the European settlers has been influenced by a certain belief and practice that seeks to expand an existing market economy of a certain area.


“The issue of development desire of existing economic systems of a certain target market in North American continent has been supported by legislators such as Hamilton and Jefferson that encouraged an attitude to expand to other unsettled areas in the US.”

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1.What is a source analysis essay?
A source analysis essay demonstrates your comprehension of the elements that contributed to the inception of a historical source.
2.How to make a source page for a critical analysis essay?
When critically analyzing a historical source or anything, make sure you support your analyses with evidence. These shreds of evidence must be included on a source page with a full reference.
3.How to write a source analysis thesis?
When writing a source analysis thesis, makes sure you follow the 5 W’s (who, what, where, why, when) rule. This is a foolproof way of making sure you don’t miss any information about the source you are analyzing.
4.What is the structure in the source analysis essay?
The source analysis essay also has a basic structure that comprises an introduction, body, and conclusion. In the body of your essay, you must answer the 5 W’s:
· Who created or wrote the source?
· What was their profession?
· What is it about?
· Where was it written?
· Why was it written?
· Who is the target audience?

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