TLDRoff
Analysis really only requires you to look a little deeper, don't take things at face value. The chances are that you do this all the time anyway.

Describing things is pretty easy – we learn fairly early in life to ask the "what" question and quickly start to label the things we encounter in the world:

"What's that?" "It's a ball"

 "What's that?" "It's a car"

We soon discover that simple description is not enough and we start asking the "why" questions. We want to know why things are the way they, how they work and how they connect with other things in the world. This is analysis, taking something apart and seeing what makes it tick.

"Why is this a ball?"
"Because of its shape, because of what it's made of, because of what you can do with it"

Of course, the more you analyse something the more questions it raise – what sort of things can you do with a ball? What different kind of balls are there? Once you get started with analysis it is difficult to stop!

Checklist Guide

Analysis really only requires you to look a little deeper, don't take things at face value. It is often helpful to practice analysing something non-academic to get used to the process. The chances are that you do this all the time anyway. For example, imagine you are planning to upgrade your mobile phone, how would you analyse the available options?

  • Price – is the phone value for money?
  • Features – does it have all the functions I will need for now?
  • Construction – Is it well built? Will it survive the occasional drop?
  • Design – Does it look good? 
  • Social dimension - Am I going to look cool using it or will I be embarrassed to be seen with it in public?

You could analyse to an even deeper level:

  • Gender - is this phone designed specifically to attract male or female customers and do I care?
  • Economics – Is this phone made in the UK? Is it produced by a company paying tax in the UK?
  • Ethics – Is this phone made in an ethically responsible way or is it manufacture by a company that uses child labour or low paid staff?
  • Environment – How green is this phone in the way it runs and in the materials used to manufacture it?
  • Wacky – Can this phone be blended?

Final Comments

Anyone who has ever got up in the morning and got dressed knows how to analyse. None of us simply get out of bed and walk straight out of the house – well, not many of us. We very quickly and competently analyse the situation before deciding what to put on – what will I be doing today? Who is going to see me? What is the weather like? What do I have available that is still clean? Having analysed the situation we make our clothing choice – this is why we rarely see people in bathing suits at the office or people dressed in a full tuxedo crashed out on the sofa while they Neflix and chill. We analyse what we wear, what we eat, where we live, who we befriend and what we want to do at the weekend. Analysing for a university project uses exactly the same skills.

Link to article Study Skills: Analysis transcript