The rectangular dielectric waveguide is the most commonly used structure in integrated optics, especially in semi-conductor diode lasers. Demands for new applications such as high-speed data backplanes in integrated electronics, waveguide filters, optical multiplexers and optical switches are driving technology toward better materials and processing techniques for planar waveguide structures. The infinite slab and circular waveguides that we know are not practical for use on a substrate because the slab waveguide has no lateral confinement and the circular fiber is not compatible with the planar processing technology being used to make planar structures. The rectangular waveguide is the natural structure. In this review, we have discussed several analytical methods for analyzing the mode structure of rectangular structures, beginning with a wave analysis based on the pioneering work of Marcatili. We study three basic techniques with examples to compare their performance levels. These are the analytical approach developed by Marcatili, the perturbation techniques, which improve on the analytical solutions and the effective index method with examples.