A simple analytical model for the lateral channel electric field in the drain region of MOSFET's with graded-drain or lightly doped drain structures is presented. The model's results agree well with two-dimensional simulations of the electric field in the drain region. Due to its simplicity, this model gives a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in reducing the electric field in the lightly doped region. Results show the impact of the length and doping concentration, assumed to be Gaussian, of the lightly doped region on the electric field. Effects of the oxide thickness and junction depth are also accounted for. In each case, there is an optimum doping concentration that minimizes the peak electric field.