What is Analysis?
Ever dissected a frog? If you did that just to cut it up, you would be guilty of cruelty. One dissects a frog to learn how and why things inside the frog work as they do. Why have two arteries here, not one? Generally, all analysis gets beyond mere description and into examination and explanation.
The same principles apply to essays. Consider these examples, from a hypothetical final exam in the Core class:
Analysis does not equal description (but can use description). The second example is clearly stronger, since it "gets beneath the surface," going beyond describing ideas to examining the relationship between ideas. The writer is clearly "present" in the second example, showing the reader how Freud makes the leap from individual to society. In the first case, the writer only tells us what Freud says, not how or why Freud drew his conclusions.
There are many sorts of analysis. The ones given "stay within the text." Another possible analysis might involve applying Freud's ideas to another text or a current issue. Any analysis will consider the data in enough depth, and with enough clarity, to convince the reader, even one who disagrees with the writer's conclusions, that the analysis has been made well.