In a Biblical study if surveying the scripture is where one asks questions and makes observations then biblical analysis is where they start answering those questions. There are three forms of analysis that we will consider for our purpose of studying scripture: contextual analysis, formal analysis, and detailed analysis.
Contextual analysis seeks to answer two main questions; what was the historical, cultural, political landscape during the time the text was written, and how does the text relate to the passage/book as a whole. This is the time where one may research the time period it was written. Again, this is not where the Bible student jumps to a commentary but rather where one jumps to a history book.
Formal analysis is concerned with the structure and flow of the text. How does the text move, and what literary genre is it written in? This is important because there are several different literary forms in the sixty-six books of the Bible. If something is written in poetic literature the student, then knows it may not be meant literally but instead figuratively.
Detailed analysis is simply concluding the main point the writer is trying to make in the text and figuring out what that means for the text as a whole. This is ultimately the heart of a study. Here is where you focus on the key words and different parts of the text. This is where the student is trying to conclude the main point from the finer details the writer has given.
Each of these steps takes time and forces the student to think independently.