How to Write a Critical Response Essay With Examples and Tips

16 January 2024

last updated

A critical response essay is an important type of academic essay, which instructors employ to gauge the students’ ability to read critically and express their opinions. Firstly, this guide begins with a detailed definition of a critical essay and an extensive walkthrough of source analysis. Next, the manual on how to write a critical response essay breaks down the writing process into the pre-writing, writing, and post-writing stages and discusses each stage in extensive detail. Finally, the manual provides practical examples of an outline and a critical response essay, which implement the writing strategies and guidelines of critical response writing. After the examples, there is a brief overview of documentation styles. Hence, students need to learn how to write a perfect critical response essay to follow its criteria.

Definition of a Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay presents a reader’s reaction to the content of an article or any other piece of writing and the author’s strategy for achieving his or her intended purpose. Basically, a critical response to a piece of text demands an analysis, interpretation, and synthesis of a reading. Moreover, these operations allow readers to develop a position concerning the extent to which an author of a text creates a desired effect on the audience that an author establishes implicitly or explicitly at the beginning of a text. Mostly, students assume that a critical response revolves around the identification of flaws, but this aspect only represents one dimension of a critical response. In turn, a critical response essay should identify both the strengths and weaknesses of a text and present them without exaggeration of their significance in a text.

Source Analysis

How to write a critical response essay

1. Questions That Guide Source Analysis

Writers engage in textual analysis through critical reading. Hence, students undertake critical reading to answer three primary questions:

  • What does the author say or show unequivocally?
  • What does the author not say or show outright but implies intentionally or unintentionally in the text?
  • What do I think about responses to the previous two questions?

Readers should strive to comprehensively answer these questions with the context and scope of a critical response essay. Basically, the need for objectivity is necessary to ensure that the student’s analysis does not contain any biases through unwarranted or incorrect comparisons. Nonetheless, the author’s pre-existing knowledge concerning the topic of a critical response essay is crucial in facilitating the process of critical reading. In turn, the generation of answers to three guiding questions occurs concurrently throughout the close reading of an assigned text or other essay topics .

2. Techniques of Critical Reading

Previewing, reading, and summarizing are the main methods of critical reading. Basically, previewing a text allows readers to develop some familiarity with the content of a critical response essay, which they gain through exposure to content cues, publication facts, important statements, and authors’ backgrounds. In this case, readers may take notes of questions that emerge in their minds and possible biases related to prior knowledge. Then, reading has two distinct stages: first reading and rereading and annotating. Also, students read an assigned text at an appropriate speed for the first time with minimal notetaking. After that, learners reread a text to identify core and supporting ideas, key terms, and connections or implied links between ideas while making detailed notes. Lastly, writers summarize their readings into the main points by using their own words to extract the meaning and deconstruct critical response essays into meaningful parts.

3. Creating a Critical Response

Up to this point, source analysis is a blanket term that represents the entire process of developing a critical response. Mainly, the creation of a critical response essay involves analysis, interpretation, and synthesis, which occur as distinct activities. In this case, students analyze their readings by breaking down texts into elements with distilled meanings and obvious links to a thesis statement . During analysis, writers may develop minor guiding questions under first and second guiding questions, which are discipline-specific. Then, learners focus on interpretations of elements to determine their significance to an assigned text as a whole, possible meanings, and assumptions under which they may exist. Finally, authors of critical response essays create connections through the lens of relevant pre-existing knowledge, which represents a version of the element’s interconnection that they perceive to be an accurate depiction of a text.

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

Step 1: pre-writing, a. analysis of writing situation.

Purpose. Before a student begins writing a critical response essay, he or she must identify the main reason for communication to the audience by using a formal essay format. Basically, the primary purposes of writing a critical response essay are explanation and persuasion. In this case, it is not uncommon for two purposes to overlap while writing a critical response essay. However, one of the purposes is usually dominant, which implies that it plays a dominant role in the wording, evidence selection, and perspective on a topic. In turn, students should establish their purposes in the early stages of the writing process because the purpose has a significant effect on the essay writing approach.

Audience. Students should establish a good understanding of the audience’s expectations, characteristics, attitudes, and knowledge in anticipation of the writing process. Basically, learning the audience’s expectations enables authors to meet the organizational demands, ‘burden of proof,’ and styling requirements. In college writing, it is the norm for all essays to attain academic writing standards. Then, the interaction between characteristics and attitudes forces authors to identify a suitable voice, which is appreciative of the beliefs and values of the audience. Lastly, writers must consider the level of knowledge of the audience while writing a critical response essay because it has a direct impact on the context, clarity, and readability of a paper. Consequently, a critical response essay for classmates is quite different from a paper that an author presents to a multi-disciplinary audience.

Define a topic. Topic selection is a critical aspect of the prewriting stage. Ideally, assignment instructions play a crucial role in topic selection, especially in higher education institutions. For example, when writing a critical response essay, instructors may choose to provide students with a specific article or general instructions to guide learners in the selection of relevant reading sources. Also, students may not have opportunities for independent topic selection in former circumstances. However, by considering the latter assignment conditions, learners may need to identify a narrow topic to use in article selection. Moreover, students should take adequate time to do preliminary research, which gives them a ‘feel’ of the topic, for example, 19th-century literature. Next, writers narrow down the scope of the topic based on their knowledge and interests, for example, short stories by black female writers from the 19 th century.

B. Research and Documentation

Find sources. Once a student has a topic, he or she can start the process of identifying an appropriate article. Basically, choosing a good source for writing a critical response essay occurs is much easier when aided with search tools on the web or university repository. In this case, learners select keywords or other unique qualities of an article and develop a search filter. Moreover, authors review abstracts or forewords of credible sources to determine their suitability based on their content. Besides content, other factors constrain the article selection process: the word count for a critical response essay and a turnaround time. In turn, if an assignment has a fixed length of 500 words and a turnaround time of one week, it is not practical to select a 200-page source despite content suitability.

Content selection. The process of selecting appropriate content from academic sources relies heavily on the purpose of a critical response essay. Basically, students must select evidence that they will include in a paper to support their claims in each paragraph. However, writers tend to let a source speak through the use of extensive quotations or summaries, which dilutes a synthesis aspect of a critical response essay. Instead, learners should take a significant portion of time to identify evidence from reliable sources , which are relevant to the purpose of an essay. Also, a student who is writing a critical analysis essay to disagree with one or more arguments will select different pieces of evidence as compared to a person who is writing to analyze the overall effectiveness of the work.

Annotated bibliography. An annotated bibliography is vital to the development of a critical response essay because it enables authors to document useful information that they encounter during research. During research and documentation stages for a critical response essay, annotated bibliographies contain the main sources for a critical analysis essay and other sources that contribute to the knowledge base of an author, even though these sources will not appear in reference lists. Mostly, a critical response essay has only one source. However, an annotated bibliography contains summaries of other sources, which may inform the author’s critical response through the development of a deep understanding of a topic. In turn, an annotated bibliography is quite useful when an individual is writing a critical response to an article on an unfamiliar topic.

Step 2: Writing a Critical Response Essay

A. organization..

Thesis . A thesis statement sentence is a crucial component of a critical response essay because it presents the student’s purpose, argument, and the conclusion that he or she draws from the textual evidence. Also, the thesis statement is the response to the thesis question, which an author creates from assignment instructions. After completing the research stage, students can develop a tentative thesis statement to act as a starting point for the writing stage. Usually, tentative thesis statements undergo numerous revisions during the writing stage, which is a consequence of the refinement of the main idea during the drafting.

Weigh the evidence. Based on the tentative thesis, an author evaluates the relative importance of collected pieces of textual evidence to the central idea. Basically, students should distinguish between general and specific ideas to ascertain that there exists a logical sequence of presentation, which the audience can readily grasp. Firstly, for writing a critical response essay, learners should identify general ideas and establish specific connections that exist between each general idea and specific details, which support a central claim. Secondly, writers should consider some implications of ideas as they conduct a sorting process and remove evidence that does not fit. Moreover, students fill ‘holes’ that are present due to the lack of adequate supporting evidence to conclude this stage.

Create an outline. An essay outline is a final product of weighing the significance of the evidence in the context of the working thesis statement. In particular, a formal outline is a preferred form of essay structure for a critical response essay because it allows for detailed documentation of ideas while maintaining a clear map of connections. During the formation of an outline, students use a systematic scheme of indentation and labeling all the parts of an outline structure. In turn, this arrangement ensures that elements that play the same role are readily discernible at a glance, for example, primary essay divisions, secondary divisions, principle supporting points, and specific details.

Drafting. The drafting step involves the conversion of the one-sentence ideas in an outline format into complete paragraphs and, eventually, a critical response essay. In this case, there is no fixed approach to writing the first draft. Moreover, students should follow a technique that they find effective in overcoming the challenge of starting to write a critical response essay. Nonetheless, it is good practice to start writing paragraphs that authors believe are more straightforward to include regardless of specific positions that they hold on an outline. In turn, learners should strive to write freely and be open to new ideas despite the use of an outline. During drafting, the conveyance of meaning is much more important than the correctness of the draft.

Step 3: Post-Writing

Individual revision. An individual revision process focuses on the rethinking and rewriting of a critical response essay to improve the meaning and structure of a paper. Essentially, students try to review their papers from a perspective of readers to ensure that the level of detail, relationship and arrangement of paragraphs, and the contribution of the minor ideas to the thesis statement attain the desired effect. In this case, the use of a checklist improves the effectiveness of individual revision. Moreover, a checklist contains 12 main evaluation categories: assignment, purpose, audience and voice, genre, thesis, organization, development, unity, coherence, title, introduction, and conclusion.

Collaborative revision. Collaborative revision is a revision strategy that covers subconscious oversight that occurs during individual revision. During an individual revision of a critical response essay, authors rely on self-criticism, which is rarely 100% effective because writers hold a bias that their works are of high quality. Therefore, subjecting an individual’s work to peer review allows students to collect critique from an actual reader who may notice problems that an author may easily overlook. In turn, learners may provide peer reviewers with a checklist to simplify the revision process.

Editing . The editing step requires authors to examine the style, clarity, and correctness of a critical response essay. In particular, students review their papers to ascertain their conformance with the guidelines of formal essay writing and the English language. Moreover, sentence fragments, subject-verb agreement, dangling modifiers, incorrect use of punctuation, vague pronoun references, and parallelism are common grammar issues that learners eliminate during editing. Then, writers confirm that their critical response essays adhere to referencing style guidelines for citation and formatting, such as the inclusion of a title page, appropriate in-text citation, and proper styling of bibliographic information in the reference list. In turn, students must proofread a critical response essay repeatedly until they find all errors because such mistakes may divert the audience’s attention from the content of a paper.

Sample Outline Template for a Critical Response Essay

I. Introduction

A. Summary of an article. B. Thesis statement.

A. First body paragraph

  • The idea for the first paragraph.
  • Evidence for the first point from an article.
  • Interpretation of the evidence.

B. Second body paragraph

  • The idea for the second paragraph.
  • Evidence for the second point from an article.

C. Third body paragraph

  • The idea for the third paragraph.
  • Evidence for the third point from an article.

III. Conclusion

A. Summary of three points that form a body section. B. Closing remarks.

Uniqueness of a Critical Response Essay Outline

The presence of a summary in the introduction and an interpretation for each piece of evidence are defining features of a critical response essay. Typically, the introduction, being one of 5 parts of an essay , does not contain a succinct summary of a source that an author uses in body paragraphs. In this case, the incorporation of a summary in the introduction paragraph provides the audience with specific information concerning the target article of a critical response. Specifically, a critical response essay differs from other response papers because it emphasizes the provision of reasonable judgments of a text rather than the testing and defense of one’s judgments. In turn, authors of a critical response essay do not provide evaluation for their judgments, which implies that critical responses may be different but correct if a specific interpretation is reasonable to the audience.

Expanding an Outline Format Into a Critical Response Essay

1. introduction.

The introductory paragraph in a critical response essay consists of two primary sections: a summary of an article and a thesis statement. Firstly, a summary of an article consists of the text’s central argument and the purpose of the presentation of the argument. Basically, students should strive to distill the main idea and purpose of the text into a few sentences because the length of the introduction is approximately 10% of the essay’s word count. Then, a summary provides the audience with adequate background information concerning an article, which forms a foundation for announcing the student’s primary idea. In this case, writers may include an additional sentence between a summary and a thesis statement to establish a smooth flow in the opening paragraph. However, learners should not quote thesis and purpose statements because it results in a fragmented introduction, which is unappealing to readers and ineffective.

  • All body paragraphs have in a critical response essay four main elements: the writer’s idea, meaningful evidence from a reading text, interpretation of the evidence, and a concluding statement.

A. Writer’s Idea

The writer’s idea for a paragraph appears in the first sentence of a paragraph, which is a topic sentence. For example, if students know how to write a topic sentence , they present readers with a complete and distinct idea that proves or supports a thesis statement. In this case, authors should carefully word their topic sentences to ensure that there is no unnecessary generalization or spillovers of ideas from other paragraphs. Notably, all the topic sentences in the body of a critical response essay share a logical relationship that allows the audience to easily follow the development of the central idea of a paper.

B. Evidence

Students should provide evidence that supports the idea that they propose in the topic sentence. Basically, the evidence for all body paragraphs is the product of critical reading of an article, which allows writers to identify meaningful portions of a text. During the presentation of evidence, learners should ascertain that the contextual meaning of paraphrases or quotations is not lost because such a strategy will harm interpretations that follow after it. In turn, critical response essays must not contain lengthy or numerous quotations unless the meaning or intended effect of a quotation is not replicable upon paraphrasing.

C. Interpretation.

Interpretation segments of paragraphs allow authors to explain the significance of the evidence to the topic sentence. In a critical response essay, the interpretation is the equivalent of an author revealing the possible assumptions behind a text paraphrase and commenting on whether or not he or she finds them reasonable. Moreover, students make inferences concerning their meaning in the context of the entire narrative and its relation to the paragraph’s idea. In turn, learners should refrain from reading too much into a piece of evidence because it may result in false or unreasonable inferences.

D. Concluding Sentence

The concluding statement is the final sentence of any paragraph. In this case, the primary role of the concluding sentence is to emphasize the link between the topic sentence, evidence, interpretation, and the essay’s central idea. Also, the concluding statement should not contain an in-text citation because it does not introduce new evidence to support the topic sentence. Therefore, authors use concluding sentences to maintain the unity between body paragraphs and a critical response essay in its entirety.

3. Conclusion

The conclusion comprises of three core elements: a restatement of a thesis statement, a summary of the main points that authors present in body paragraphs, and closing remarks. In particular, the first statement of the conclusion draws the attention of the audience to the central idea, which an author proposes in a thesis statement. Then, students review the main points of a critical response essay to demonstrate that written arguments in body paragraphs adequately support a thesis statement. Moreover, writers should summarize the main points of a paper in the same order that they appear in the main part to guarantee that logical pattern in the body is readily discernible in summary. Finally, learners make their closing remarks, which creates a sense of wholesomeness in a critical response essay or ties a paper to a larger relevant discourse.

Example of Writing a Critical Response Essay

Topic: American Capitalism: The New Face of Slavery

I. Sample Introduction of a Critical Response Essay

Capitalism is a dominant characteristic of the American economy. In this case, Matthew Desmond’s article “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation” discusses the role of slavery in shaping contemporary business practices. Specifically, the author attempts to convince the audience that the brutality of American capitalism originates from slavery. In turn, Desmond lays a strong but simple foundation for his argument, which ensures that the audience can conceptualize the link between plantation slavery and contemporary American capitalistic practices.

II. Example of a Body in a Critical Response Essay

A. example of the first body paragraph: american capitalism.

Early in the article, Desmond informs readers of the high variability in the manifestation of capitalism in societies, which creates the impression that American capitalism is a choice. For example, Desmond (2019) argues that the brutality of American capitalism is simply one of the possible outcomes of a society built on capitalistic principles because other societies implement the same principles in a manner that is liberating, protective, and democratic. Moreover, Desmond begins his argument by eliminating a popular presumption that exploitation and oppression are unavoidable outcomes of capitalism. In turn, this strategic move to establish this fact is in the introductory section of the article because it invites the audience to rethink the meaning of capitalism. Furthermore, its plants doubt regarding the ‘true’ meaning of capitalism outside the context of American society.

B. Example of the Second Body Paragraph: American Capitalism: Slavery and American’s Economic Growth

After establishing that the perception of capitalism through the lens of American society has some bias, Desmond proceeds to provide detailed evidence to explain the attempt to camouflage the obvious link between slavery and America’s economic growth. For instance, Desmond (2019) notes the role of Alfred Chandler’s book, The Visible Hand, and Caitlin Rosenthal’s book, Accounting for Slavery, in breaking the link between management practices in plantations and modern corporations by suggesting that the current business practices are a consequence of the 19th-century railroad industry. In this case, Desmond uses this evidence to make a logical appeal to the audience, which makes his argument more convincing because he explains the reason behind the exclusion of slavery in the discourse on modern industry. As a result, Desmond dismisses one of the main counterarguments against his central argument, which increases his persuasive power.

C. Example of the Third Body Paragraph: Input vs. Output Dynamic

Desmond emphasizes the link between slavery and American capitalism to readers by using the simple input vs. output dynamic throughout the article. For example, Desmond (2019) compares the Plantation Record and Account Book to the heavy digital surveillance techniques in modern workplaces because they collect data, which the employers use to maximize productivity while minimizing inputs. In particular, the comparison reveals that employers did not stop the practice of reducing laborers into units of production with fixed productivity thresholds. Moreover, the constant repetition of the theme of low input and high output dominates the body paragraphs, which makes it nearly impossible for readers to lose sight of the link between slavery and business practices under American capitalism. In turn, the simplification of the underlying logic in Desmond’s argument ensures its clarity to the audience.

III. Sample Conclusion of a Critical Response Essay

Desmond carefully plans the presentation of his argument to the audience, which allows readers to follow the ideas easily. In particular, the author starts with a call for readers to set aside any presumptions concerning capitalism and its origin. Then, Desmond provides the audience with an alternative narrative with support from seminal texts in slavery and economics. On the whole, Desmond manages to convince the audience that the American capitalistic society is merely a replica rather than an aberration of slavery.

Citing Sources in a Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay contains specific thoughts of the article’s author and direct words of the text’s author. In this case, students must conduct proper documentation to ensure that readers of critical response essays can distinguish between these two types of ‘voices.’ Moreover, documentation prevents incidents of plagiarism. Usually, instructors mention a referencing technique that students should use in writing a critical response essay. However, if assignment instructions do not identify a specific documentation style, writers should use a referencing technique that is acceptable for scholarly writing in their disciplines.

In-text citation:

  • Parenthetical: (Desmond, 2019).
  • Narrative: Desmond (2019).
  • Desmond, M. (2019, August 12). In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation . New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html
  • Parenthetical: (Desmond par. 1).
  • Narrative: Desmond argues . . . (par. 1).

Works Cited:

  • Desmond, Matthew. “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation.” New York Times , 14 Aug. 2019, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html.

3. Harvard Referencing

  • Parenthetical: (Desmond 2019).

Reference List:

  • Desmond, M 2019, In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation . Available from: <https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html>. [27 August 2020].

4. Chicago/Turabian

In-text citation (footnote):

  • 1. Matthew Desmond, “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation,” New York Times, August 14, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html.

Bibliography:

  • Desmond, Matthew. “In Order to Understand the Brutality of American Capitalism, You Have to Start on the Plantation.” New York Times. August 14, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html.

Final Provisions on a Critical Response Essay

  • Critical reading is a precursor for writing an effective critical response essay.
  • Students must conduct adequate research on a topic to develop a proper understanding of a theme, even if only one article appears on the reference list.
  • Notetaking or annotation is a good practice that aids students in extracting meaning from an article.
  • Writers should plan for all activities in the writing process to ascertain that they have adequate time to move through all the stages.
  • An outline is an organizational tool, which learners must use to establish the sequence of ideas in a critical response essay.
  • The purpose of a critical response essay has a significant impact on the selection of evidence and the arrangement of body paragraphs.
  • Students should prioritize revision and editing, which represent opportunities to refine the content of an essay and remove mechanical issues.
  • Collaborative and individual revision are equally important because they play different roles in the writing of a critical response essay.
  • Evidence selection is dependent on the purpose and thesis statement of a critical response essay.

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How to Write a Critical Response Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

Graduating without sharpening your critical thinking skills can be detrimental to your future career goals. To spare you the trouble, college teachers assign critical response tasks to prepare learners for making rational decisions.

Critical response papers also help professors assess the knowledge of each student on a relevant topic. They expect learners to conduct an in-depth analysis of each source and present their opinions based on the information they managed to retrieve.

This article aims to help students who have no idea how to write critical response essays. It offers insight into academic structuring, formatting, and editing rules. Here is our step-by-step recipe for writing a critical response essay.

What Is a Critical Response Essay?

The critical response essay displays the writer’s reaction to a written work. By elaborating on the content of a book, article, or play, you should discuss the author’s style and strategy for achieving the intended purpose. Ideally, the paper requires you to conduct a rhetorical analysis, interpret the text, and synthesize findings.

Instead of sharing somebody else’s solution on the subject matter, here you present your argumentation. Unlike a descriptive essay, this paper should demonstrate your strong expository skills. Often, a custom writing service can prove helpful if you find your evaluation essay time-consuming. Offering a value judgment about a specific topic takes time to acquire.

Another thing you should consider is not just focusing on the flaws. Though this is not a comparison and contrast essay, you must also reveal the strengths and present them without exaggeration. What matters is to develop your perspective on the work and how it affects the readership through implicit and explicit writing means.

Besides assessing your ability to develop coherent argumentation, professors will also grade your paper composition skills. They want to ensure you can critically reflect on various literature pieces. Hence, it’s essential to learn to analyze your topic thoroughly. This way, you gain a deep understanding and can organize a meaningful text.

Critical Response Essay & Other Essay Types

Standard essays contain three main segments: introduction, main body, and conclusion. But any other aspect beyond this vague outline differs depending on the assigned type. And while your critical response resembles an opinion essay since it expresses your viewpoint, you must distinguish it from other kinds.

For example, let’s consider a classification essay or a process essay. The first only lists the features of a particular object or several concepts to group them into categories. The second explains how something happens in chronological order and lists the phases of a concrete process. Hence, these variants are purely objective and lack personal reflection.

A narrative essay is more descriptive, with a focal point to tell a story. Furthermore, there’s the definition essay, an expository writing that provides information about a specific term. The writer, while showcasing their personal interpretation, must avoid criticism of the matter. Professional personal statement writers can provide assistance in creating the best essay that reflects the writer’s individual opinion.

Finally, though you can find some resemblances with an argumentative paper, critical responses comprise two parts. First, you quickly make an analytical summary of the original work and then offer a critique of the author’s writing. When drafting, it’s advisable to refrain from an informal essay format.

What Is the Structure of a Critical Response Essay?

The critical essay will have a typical structure consisting of five paragraphs. It is the most effective and easiest to follow. Here’s a brief demonstration of what you should include in each segment.

Introduction

The introductory paragraph reveals your main argument related to the analysis. You should also briefly summarize the piece to acquaint the reader with the text. The purpose of the introduction is to give context and show how you interpreted the literary work.

These paragraphs discuss the main themes in the book or article. In them, ensure you provide comments on the context, style, and layout. Moreover, include as many quotations from the first-hand text or other sources to support your interpretation.

However, finding memorable quotes and evidence in the original book can be challenging. If you have difficulties drafting a body paragraph, write your essay online with the help of a custom writing platform. These experts will help you show how you reached your conclusions.

This paragraph restates all your earlier points and how they make sense. Hence, try to bind all your comments together in an easily digestible way for your readers. The ultimate purpose is to help the audience understand your logic and unify the essay’s central idea with your interpretations.

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

Writing Steps of a Critical Response Essay

If you wonder how to write a critical response, remember that it takes time and proper planning. You will have to address multiple data, draft ideas, and rewrite your essay fast and efficiently. Follow the methods below to organize better and get a high grade without putting too much pressure on your shoulders.

1. Pick a Topic

Professors usually choose the topic and help you grasp the focus of the research. Yet, in some cases, you might be able to select a theme you like. When deciding, ensure the book can provide several arguments, concepts, or phenomena to review. You should also consider if there’s enough available data for analysis.

2. Research and Gather Information

This assignment means you cannot base your argumentation on personal beliefs and preferences. Instead, you must be flexible and accept different opinions from acknowledged scholarly sources. Moreover, ensure you have a reliable basis for your comments.

In short, avoid questionable resources and be accurate when referencing. Finding a single article claiming the concept or idea is correct and undisputable isn’t enough. You must read and consult various sources and conduct a meticulous examination.

3. Prepare the Outline

Define your claim or thesis statement and think of a “catch” sentence that will attract the reader’s attention. You must also consider titling an essay and giving background data and facts. At this stage, it’s also recommendable to establish the number of body segments. This step will help you get a more precise writing plan you will later reinforce with examples and evidence.

4. Start Rough Drafting

When writing your first draft, consider dedicating each section to a distinct argument or supporting evidence that proves your point. Cite and give credit as appropriate and ensure your text flows seamlessly and logically. Also, anticipate objections from opponents by including statements grounding your criticism.

5. Revise and Edit

Typically, your rough draft will require polishing. The best approach is to sleep on it to reevaluate its quality in detail. Check the relevance of your thesis statement and argumentation and ensure your work is free of spelling and grammatical mistakes. Also, your sentences should be concise and straight to the point, without irrelevant facts or fillers.

The Dos and Don’ts in Critical Response Essay Writing

Check your work against the following dos and don’ts for a perfect written piece.

  • Pick an intriguing title.
  • Cite each source, including quotations and theoretical information.
  • Connect sentences by using transition words for an essay like “First,” “Second,” “Moreover,” or “Last” for a good flow.
  • Start writing in advance because last-minute works suffer from poor argumentation and grammar.
  • Each paragraph must contain an analysis of a different aspect.
  • Use active verbs and dynamic nouns.
  • Ask a friend or classmate to proofread your work and give constructive comments.
  • Check the plagiarism level to ensure it’s free of copied content.
  • Don’t exceed the specified word limit.
  • Follow professional formatting guidelines.
  • Your summary must be short and not introduce new information.
  • Avoid clichés and overusing idioms.
  • Add the cited bibliography at the end.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Critical Response Essay

colored papers anchored to the whiteboard with magnets

Students have to write different types of essays all the time. However, they face many problems when it comes to writing a critical response essay. Why is it so hard to manage? What are the main components of it? We will answer all these questions in our complete guide to help you learn how you can write this type of essays quickly and easily.

What Is a Critical Response Essay?

First things first – let’s find out what a critical response essay is and what components it includes.

It is an assignment that is based on your analytical skills. It implies the understanding of the primary source, such as literary work, movie or painting (its problematic, content, and significance), and the ability to perform critical thinking and reflect your opinion on the given subject.

The aim of critical response essay is to get familiarised with the subject, form your opinion (the agreement or disagreement with the author), reveal the problematic of the piece and support your claims with evidence from the primary source.

For example, your task might be to analyze the social structure in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

How Is It Different From Other Essay Types?

Every essay you write has a very similar structure that consists of an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. While this type is not an exception and is quite similar to an analytical essay , it still has differences. One of those is the fact that it contains two parts. The first part includes a quick summary of the analyzed work. The second part is a critique – a response to the author’s opinion, facts, examples, etc.

What Should You Pay Attention To?

Before we dive into the guide and the steps of crafting your critical essay, let’s take a look at some of the most common pitfalls that often occur during the writing process of a piece like this.

Not knowing what you are writing about.

This makes no sense, right? So, be sure to read the piece that your topic is based on and make sure you understand what it is about.

Not understanding what your task is.

Be attentive to the task and make sure you understand what is required from you. You would be surprised if you knew how many essays are written without even touching the main question or problematic.

Being in a hurry.

A lot of students start working on their essays at the very last moment and do it in haste. You can avoid a lot of mistakes if you are attentive, focused, and organized. If you have too little time to write a strong response essay yourself, you can always get the assistance of a professional writing service. This will help you to be on time with your assignment without sacrificing its quality.

And now let’s begin your journey of writing an essay.

Step 1. Examine the Primary Source

Before starting actually writing your critical essay, you need to get acquainted with the subject of your analysis. It might be an article, a book or any other type of text. Sometimes, this task is given for pieces of art, such as a painting or a movie.

So, the first step would be to gain as much information about the subject as possible. You might also search for some reviews or research papers on the subject. Be sure to examine the primary source thoroughly and read the complete text if it is a piece of writing.

Advice: make notes while you are working with your primary source. Highlight the main points that will build a basis for your analysis and which you can use to form your opinion on. Notes will also help you to structure your essay.

  • Did you read the whole text or examined your primary source thoroughly?
  • Did you find information on the topic of your assignment?
  • Did you write down the key points that you are going to use for your essay?

Step 2. Analyze the Source and Your Notes

After you finished with your primary source, try to analyze and summarize all of your findings. Identify the problematic of the piece and find the appropriate notes that you have made to structure your future essay.

Formulate your opinion – are you agree or disagree with the author? Can you support your statements with evidence?

  • Did you examine all the notes you have?
  • Did you form your opinion on the subject?
  • Did you find the arguments to support your main point?
  • Did you succeed to define the strengths and weaknesses of the work?

Step 3. Write Your Essay

After you have all of the needed materials next to you, you can start working on the text of your essay.

  • First of all, write a critical response essay rough draft.
  • Reread your draft and make your edits.
  • Proofread and edit your final version.
  • Check for plagiarism, grammatical and punctuation errors.
  • Write a Works Cited page or bibliography page (if required).

Now, we will look at each part of your essay in detail. Keep in mind that you have to follow the guidelines provided by your teacher or professor. Some critical response essay examples will come in handy at this step.

How to Write a Critical Response Introduction

Your introduction is the part where you have to provide your thesis statement. Once you have your opinion and your thoughts organized, it’s pretty easy to make them transform into a statement that all your essay will be built on. Express your agreement or disagreement with the author.

For example, your thesis statement might be:

“Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare is a masterpiece that raises the problem of social inequality and classes differentiation which aggravates the drama culmination.

Advice: make sure you have evidence to support your thesis statement later in the text. Make your introduction in the form of a brief summary of the text and your statement. You need to introduce your reader to the topic and express your opinion on it.

  • Did you embed your thesis statement?
  • Is your thesis statement complete and suitable for the topic?
  • Can you support your thesis statement with evidence?
  • Did you summarize the analyzed subject?
  • Did you start your introduction with a catchy sentence – a powerful statement, fact, quote or intriguing content?
  • Did you include a transition sentence at the end of your introduction?

How to Write Critical Response Paragraphs

Explain each of your main points in separate body paragraphs. Structure your text so that the most strong statement with the following supporting evidence is placed first. Afterward, explain your other points and provide examples and evidence from the original text.

Remember that each of your statements should support your main idea – your thesis statement. Provide a claim at the beginning of the paragraph and then develop your idea in the following text. Support each of your claims with at least one quote from the primary source.

For example:

To distinguish the division between classes and express the contribution of each social class Shakespeare used different literary methods. For example, when a person from a lower class speaks, Shakespeare uses prose:

NURSE I saw the wound, I saw it with mine eyes (God save the mark!) here on his manly breast— A piteous corse, a bloody piteous corse, Pale, pale as ashes, all bedaubed in blood, All in gore blood. I swoonèd at the sight. (3.2.58-62)

At the same time upper-class characters speak in rhymed verse:

MONTAGUE But I can give thee more, For I will raise her statue in pure gold, That while Verona by that name is known, There shall no figure at such rate be set As that of true and faithful Juliet. (5.3.309-313)
  • Did you support your thesis statement with claims?
  • Do your claims appeal to critical response questions?
  • Did you provide evidence for each claim?

How to Write Critical Response Conclusion

The best way to conclude your essay is to restate your thesis statement in different phrasing. Summarize all of your findings and repeat your opinion on the subject. A one- or two-paragraph conclusion is usually enough if not requested more.

We’ve also prepared some critical response essay topics for you:

  • Explain the changes of the character throughout the novel: Frodo from Lord of the Rings /Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray .
  • Examine a setting and the atmosphere in the novel Gone with the Wind/Jane Eyre .
  • Investigate the cultural or historical background in Romeo and Juliet/Macbeth .
  • Describe the impact of the supporting character: Horatio in Hamlet /Renfield in Dracula .
  • Describe the genre of the work and its influence on the mood of the piece: To Build a Fire/ For Whom the Bell Tolls.

This was our step-by-step guide to writing your perfect critical response essay. We hope our tips will be useful to you!

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Academic genres: the Critical Response

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What is a Critical Response?

  • a type of writing task, requiring different sections depending on the task requirements
  • it may be a ‘response’ to a concept, or an article, or more than one article
  • at REW, it requires only two sections: Summary and Discussion

Why is it useful?

  • It requires the highly valued academic skills of summarising and critical thought.
  • It requires the ability to develop a clear and logical ‘academic argument’, which is extremely important for university and beyond.
  • It is a relatively flexible genre, which is both challenging and useful for international students in terms of preparing them for university.

What does my summary need?

A summary can be written in different ways, but ultimately it should:

  • give the most important content from a text (whether listening or reading)
  • have different wording (i.e. no language copied from the original)
  • be significantly shorter than the original

What does my discussion section need?

In each discussion paragraph, you should:

  • give one paraphrased idea from the original article/s
  • show your 'response' (whether you agree / disagree / partially agree)
  • develop your response with more detail

Let's look at some strategies for writing both of these sections. 

How do I summarise?

There are many ways to approach this process, but here’s one of the most effective ways: 1. Find the main ideas  in your article/s.How do you do this? Look for the following:

  • ‘strong’ language, usually shown by adjectives or adverbs (e.g. the most significant / the main reason / terrible / amazing / the best / the worst )
  • powerful grammatical structures e.g. short strong simple sentences or sentences that show emphasis (‘It is for this reason that X is important.’ /  ‘What makes this significant is...’ / ‘Most importantly, this means...’)
  • questions (these sometimes introduce main points, especially if they are at the beginning of a paragraph)
  • cause / effect language

  2. Paraphrase  the main ideas.

The easiest way to do this is by annotating. This means changing the words of the original (and may also include changing word forms and word order of words from the article) and then writing your paraphrases in note form beside the text. Why is this the easiest way? Because then you can copy directly from your notes without worrying about plagiarism.

speech-bubble

That’s fine, but don’t expect to pass exams or university courses! 3.   Organise  your ideas then  start writing . Do a quick plan from your notes to make sure you:

  • include important points
  • paraphrase everything
  • have a logical order
  • can see where main points can be connected 

Here's an example of a plan:

Not so clever country?

  • higher taxes are paid
  • communities benefit because more jobs and more active economy
  • ability to think critically
  • specialist skills
  • less burden on health care system
  • less likely to commit crimes

Ideas from article 'Not so clever country?' in RMIT English Worldwide Advanced Passport book

Now you're ready to write! Remember to first put your heading: Summary.    Your first sentence should include: 

  • the author’s full name (or authors' names if you have two or more)
  • the title of the article/s
  • the year of the article/s
  • the overall topic of the article/s (or their overall position/s)

 Then, connect all of the main points together using: 

  • your own words (avoid copying anything from the original article)
  • linking words e.g. First / The author adds that / Thirdly, / Her last point is ...   *use the author's family name after the first sentence
  • referents e.g. this / it / the / which
  • a range of reporting verbs (e.g. claims / states / believes / argues / points out / thinks)
  • different sentence structures (simple, compound, complex – if you don’t know how to do this, watch  this video )
  • academic vocabulary including appropriate  collocations

Let's look at an example of a single summary. Note the reporting verbs (in yellow) are in present tense. Even if some of your main points have different verb tenses, you should always keep reporting verbs in present simple. 

Summary In the article 'Not so clever country?', Marion Jacobs (2010) argues that cuts to funding for universities have a negative impact. She believes  that universities should be supported because of the economic and societal benefits they provide. The economic advantages she explains include more taxes from graduates and extra jobs and income for local communities. Lastly, Jacobs claims that benefits for society include not only graduates' ability to think critically and their specialist skills, but also that they are less of a burden on the health care system and are less likely to commit crimes.  (95 words)

What if I need to talk about two articles?

Then you can either summarise them separately or together – use the one you prefer or the most suitable according to the number of main points in the articles. If you put the summaries together, you will have contrasting language between the different articles’ main ideas e.g. while / whereas / but / however. If you do two separate summaries, you will only need one contrast linking word in the first sentence of second article’s summary. You can see all these concepts highlighted below in the example of two summaries:

Two summaries together

In the articles ‘How much English is enough’ (2011) by Jane Cuthbert and ‘Globish? It just doesn’t make sense’ (2014) by Peter Jackson , Globish, a simplified version of English, is discussed. While Cuthbert argues that Globish is a useful development in English language teaching, Jackson thinks that it is idealistic and will not work in reality.  He believes that the lack of grammar in Globish can cause misunderstandings, whereas Cuthbert states that Globish does not focus on accuracy and is therefore easier to teach or study independently.  In addition , she claims that being independent of culture and limited in vocabulary size are benefits of Globish; however, Jackson feels that it is impossible for language to be separated from culture, as well as the fact that Globish’s limited vocabulary may not be enough for business or deeper levels of communication.

(139 words)

Two separate summaries

In the article ‘How much English is enough?’, Jane Cuthbert (2011) discusses the advantages of Globish, while in the article ‘Globish – it just doesn’t make sense” (2014), Peter Jackson considers its limitations.  Cuthbert (2011) argues that the reduction in vocabulary size and grammar promotes confidence and that 1500 words is sufficient for communicative purposes. In addition , she believes that there is no culture in Globish, which makes it more accessible for students. Finally , the author states that Globish is not only easier to teach than English, but also more useful in terms of developing learner independence.   However, Jackson (2014) argues against Globish. He believes that its simplicity does not mean it is easier to use, because it could lead to communication problems and is not suitable for certain contexts. The writer also argues that the vocabulary range is too small and that culture cannot be separated from language.

(148 words)

Summary - two ways (based on material in the RMIT English Worldwide Advanced Passport book)

What do the colours highlight? 

  • blue : author's name or referents
  • green : linking phrases expressing contrast
  • yellow : other linking phrases

It’s important that these are all varied. Why? Because this shows that you can: 

  • control a range of grammatical structures
  • create cohesion (i.e. your sentences flow – like a river!)
  • use a range of academic and less common vocabulary (including collocations) accurately and appropriately
  • follow academic convention (do things how they want you to at uni)

Note: style variations are possible. For example, if you do summaries separately, you may still like to introduce both authors and articles in the first sentence (like if you put them together) and then do them separately after the first sentence. 

What about the discussion section?

I’m glad you asked! This is where you put your own ideas in response to the author’s ideas. Depending on your task requirements, you may need two, three, or even four discussion paragraphs in this section. Each one will show your response and support for your response to an idea from the original article.

What is support?

It’s any extra information that makes your ideas more clear. For example, you might use a reason or two, an example or two, a fact or statistic, or an explanation of a situation to make your response more credible (logical and believable). In reality, you’ll probably mix a few of these together. In the end, what matters is that someone should be able to read what you’ve written and then clearly understand why you’re supporting or criticising what the author has said.

speech-bubble

Actually, you can. In fact, you should! The entire academic world in our context is based on shared knowledge, so we all have a responsibility to think carefully about anything we’re told, compare it with what we know, find out more about it, and develop an informed perspective on it  that we can support with logical reasoning and evidence . If you don’t do this, you are not meeting the expectations of the academic community. 

How can I write a discussion paragraph?

There are many ways, but here’s a good way to try. 1. Choose  an idea from the original article. ​ 2. Think  about it. What do you know about it? Do you agree or disagree? Partially agree? Why? This is your response and it needs to be very clear throughout the paragraph. 3. Plan  the explanation of your response by thinking of ways to support it. To do this, imagine someone doesn’t believe you and keeps asking you ‘Why do you think that?’  or ‘Why does that matter?’. That way you will explain your response and support it with enough detail. Try to think of one or more of the following:  

  • explanation
  • facts / statistics if you can remember them

Exactly like in your summary, use:

  • cohesive devices
  • different sentence structures 
  • academic vocabulary including appropriate collocations

There’s one more step that we haven’t looked at yet... Can you guess what it is? 5. Edit  what you’ve written! This means re-reading your writing, looking for mistakes and checking that what you said makes sense. This is vital for two main reasons:

  • to ensure that your final text is accurate (in a perfect world, with no mistakes!)
  • to improve your ability to check your own writing

What mistakes should you look for? Check:

  • subject verb agreement
  • nouns – are they countable? Should they be singular or plural? Do you need an article?
  • verb tenses – are they the right ones?
  • linking words + grammar – did you write a clause (subject + verb...) after linking words like ‘because’? Did you write nouns or verb-ing after linking propositions like ‘due to’ and ‘because of’?
  • cohesion – did you use words like ‘this’, ‘it’, ‘the’, and ‘which’ to refer to other things in the paragraph?
  • sentence structure: e.g. do you have one subject and one main verb in each clause? 

Let’s look at three already edited examples with three different responses. Find the paragraph that:

  • supports the author’s idea
  • partially agrees with the author’s idea
  • disagrees with the author’s idea

paragraph edits

Here are some questions to help check if you understand the paragraph structure:

  • What is the red section in each paragraph?
  • What’s the yellow?
  • What’s the green?
  • What are the underlined words/phrases?

See if you were right: Answers

  • the author’s idea
  • my response language
  • support for my response
  • linking devices (i.e. things that create cohesion)

When you write your discussion paragraph, you might use language like this to make your response clear. Which ones are used in the example above? 

discussion paragraph

Why is there no conclusion in these critical responses? It's because they're not a necessary requirement of a critical response task at RMIT Training, although it's ok if you want to write a conclusion once you're sure you have a clear summary and discussion section. In other places around the world, you may always need to do a conclusion. This is why we need to check every time what the task requirements are!  Because it's so important to check your own writing, try these ideas if you're not confident about editing:

  • watch the  sentence structure video  on this blog
  • try  Tense Buster  at the RMIT Learning Lab
  • download a grammar app 
  • buy a grammar or academic writing book (see your teacher or a Study Support Teacher for suggestions)
  • ask someone like a Study Support Teacher for help 

After you've tried these steps, show someone your writing and get their feedback. With a summary, someone must be able to understand the main ideas without seeing the original text, and showing another person is a good way to check this. If they ask questions about what you wrote, you might need to re-write it more clearly.  It also helps if you read other people’s writing. Everyone has their own personal writing style, and being exposed to these is helpful for you in terms of developing your style. What are you waiting for? Get started writing the best critical response you've ever written.

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7 Writing the Critical Response Essay (CRE)

The Critical Response Essay is a multi-paragraph, multi-page essay that requires you to take one of your Critical Response Paragraphs and revise it to create a more complex and stronger argument. You should choose your best CRP or the one that most interests you. Focus on making it not only a longer argument, but also a better argument, using what you’ve learned since writing the original piece to improve the argument and the writing itself (argument form, paragraph form, and grammar). Also use what you’ve learned from my feedback and from our discussions in class and individual conferences. You must include confutation.

ARGUMENT FORM

CREs require that you use classical argument form. The parts of this kind of argument are as follow:

Key Takeaways

  • Introduction Paragraph , ending with claim
  • [ Confutation as first argument paragraph ?]
  • Argument Paragraphs (two or three): Begin with a subclaim , then support it by providing textual evidence and analysis of evidence [including confutation within?]
  • [ Confutation as final argument paragraph ?]
  • Conclusion [confutation as conclusion?]
  • Works Cited

Your title may not be simply the title of the story or the assignment. It must be a title that is specific to your argument.

INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH with CLAIM

  • Introduce the story and the author about which you are writing. If you’re writing about a film, identify the director.
  • Call attention to the features of the story on which you will base your argument. This is the ONLY part of the essay in which you may summarize parts of the story.
  • END the introduction with your CLAIM.
  • If you have no claim, you have no argument, and therefore you may earn a disappointing grade.
  • Likewise, if your claim does not appear in the introduction, your reader has no way of knowing what your subclaims and evidence are attempting to prove.
  • It’s not like a joke where you save the punchline until last.
  • It’s not mystery-writing, where you don’t identify the murderer until the end.
  • It’s an argument. So for your reader to understand what is the point of all the evidence and analysis you’re working so hard to create, you must tell her, in the introduction, what you’re trying to argue and prove.

Writing an Arguable Claim

  • Think in terms of theme .
  • Theme cannot be expressed with just a word or even a short phrase, like sibling rivalry or fear of marriage. Those are interesting topics, but they are not yet themes.
  • To turn a topic into a theme, you must be able to say what the story shows us about the topic , that relates to real life beyond the story.

“Beauty and the Beast” illustrates sibling rivalry.

This is an insufficient claim about theme because it doesn’t give me even a hint of what you think the story says about sibling rivalry. Unless you plan to tell me that in the next sentence, there’s a problem with your claim. By the way, a claim can be more than one sentence.

Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s “Beauty and the Beast” illustrates how sibling rivalry can be caused by unnecessary competition for mates, particularly in the case of sisters.

Now that’s an arguable claim because it includes author, title, a topic, and what the story says about the topic and how it relates to real life.

You can make this claim even stronger (and give yourself greater confidence that your argument will be persuasive) by including the main textual evidence you will cite.

Or you could revise this idea to discuss how cultural expectations play a role in this kind of rivalry and unhealthy competition. See the CRP Example for something like that.

If it helps, you can think of these components as part of a formula.

Let X be the story and some particular feature of it.

Let Y be the theme you are arguing.

Instead of an equal sign, we insert a verb that expresses the relationship between X and Y:

(=) illustrates, shows, portrays, dramatizes, suggests (etc.)

In this example:

Let X be the elder sisters’ resentment toward Beauty.

Let Y be how sibling rivalry can be caused by competition for mates.

Notice in the example below how this process creates an arguable claim.

(X) The elder sisters’ resentment toward Beauty in “Beauty and the Beast”

(Y) how sibling rivalry can be caused by competition for mates.

ARGUMENT PARAGRAPHS

  • Support the claim with argument paragraphs.
  • How many you need is up to you, but generally at least two, in some cases three or four.
  • Begin EVERY argument paragraph with a TOPIC SENTENCE
  • The topic sentence is like a mini-claim, the paragraph’s claim
  • Tells me what you’ll argue in this paragraph
  • And tells or shows how this point supports the main claim.
  • Support the topic sentence with textual evidence and analysis
  • Quotations and your analysis of them.
  • See the Quotation Sandwich document for guidance.
  • Vary the verbs you use to incorporate quotations into your sentences. DO NOT use the words “says,” “states,” or “writes” (or any forms of these verbs). See the document titled “Effective Verbs for Introducing Quotations in Canvas for many possible verbs that you may use.
  • Use transitional terms—also called “signposts”—to show the relationships from one point to the next and from one paragraph to the next. The internet is full of lists of transitional terms. Here’s one good source: Transition Words.

CONFUTATION

Confutation makes an argument stronger by dealing with opposing points and evidence.

  • Confutation includes the following parts:
  • Presenting opposition fairly (opposing claims or ideas)

Remember that the opposition must not be a “straw man.” That is, you must engage with something that a careful reader would actually argue, not a simplistic, obviously erroneous reading.

Some readers might argue that the sisters are not abusive toward Beauty.

This example is a straw man statement. No one would seriously argue this point because the sisters actually plot to get Beauty killed, and what could be more abusive than that?

  • Refuting the opposition: showing how it is incorrect or at least as correct as your reading.
  • Directly after the introduction
  • o Directly before the conclusion
  • o As part of the conclusion
  • o Within paragraphs, to deal with possible alternative interpretations of your textual evidence.

Consider a confutation involving the fairy who appears at the end of “Beauty and the Beast” and what she does to Beauty’s sisters. That is, she punishes the two sisters for their bad behavior. Some readers see this as fair because those mean girls get what’s coming to them. But others see it as a missed opportunity to promote sisterhood among all three of the girls. Here are examples of how to write these points as a complete confutation.

State the opposition, as fairly as possible: When the fairy punishes the two sisters for their bad behavior, some readers see this extreme punishment as fair because those mean girls finally get what is coming to them.

Refute the opposition: But by imposing this punishment, the fairy misses a chance to promote sisterhood among all three of the girls. But if she has such powerful magic, that she can turn young women to stone, shouldn’t she be able to teach them to love each other instead?

This refutation includes a rhetorical question; it is not meant for you to answer, but to leave the reader thinking about your ideas. You are not required to pose your refutation as a question; this is just one way to write your refutation.

What do you do with a conclusion? Do not just restate your claim, even if you change some of the wording. That’s not worth your reader’s time. So what is worth your reader’s time?

  • A kind of wrap-up: What’s the point of this argument? What has been learned here and why does it matter? What do you want you and your reader to have learned or created together?
  • And why is this important? Does it apply to real life now? How?
  • Certainly the spirit of your claim will be here. But not just your claim reworded.
  • o Because you’ve just been feeding it and exercising it,
  • o So now it’s bigger and more interesting.
  • o So you should be able to talk it about it with greater complexity and authority. Don’t go crazy and add new ideas—remember you’re wrapping things up.
  • Confutation as Conclusion: You may be able to write a conclusion that includes confutation. Why might this be a useful strategy? Why might it be problematic?

Understanding the difference between claim and conclusion

  • the conclusion is similar to the claim
  • and yet more detailed and complete in meaning.
  • Notice the relationship between the CLAIM and the Conclusion in this example:

The story of “The Frog King, or Iron Henry” illustrates and even promotes the importance of consent in relationships.

In this way, the story highlights the importance of understanding and respecting the value of consent. This tale teaches readers to stand up for themselves and refuse to give in to situations that will clearly cause discomfort or danger.

Keep this guidance and these examples handy as you draft your essay, and remember that I’m happy to answer questions and review drafts within the time constraints announced in class.

Introduction to Literature Copyright © by Judy Young is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Critical Response Essay Writing Step-by-Step

Simple tips for waking up.

New Theory Magazine

  • by New Theory February 15, 2021

A critical response essay summarizes, analyzes, and comments on fiction or non-fiction. It can be an informal handwritten document or an edited work for publication. To give a full assessment, you will need to indicate the strong and weak sides of the object in question (article, book, movie, etc.) or the methods used to create it. Learning how to write a meaningful essay will improve your critical thinking as a writer and reader. For the definition of a critical response essay, writing tips, and examples, we recommend getting acquainted with the following article .

It is better to start a critical response essay with a short description of the work, its meaning, and what the author intended to convey to the public. And then usually follows a detailed analysis of all aspects of creation with an explanation of how the author managed to achieve his or her goals. Therefore, writing such an essay type should always start with careful reading.

  • Get a clean copy of the work from the bookstore or the author of the work. Make sure the work does not contain any other annotations. For best results, buy or ask for a copy of the piece where you can make notes.
  • Develop an annotation system. For example, you can underline a thesis statement, circle figurative ideas, or make notes about characters and plot in the margins. If notes and annotations on the first page of the book help you, do whatever suits you best.
  • Review the work and create an initial annotation. A cursory reading is essential for creating a first impression and understanding plot development. The abstract will help you get back to the original version after you start writing your critical analysis.
  • Divide the work into small sections. Reading to write a critical response essay should be concentrated, so don’t do a lot at once.
  • Write questions in the margins. They will help you shed light on whether there is an additional storyline or climax in the story.
  • Re-read the work again. On the second reading, check the annotation for grammatical, spelling, and plot mistakes.
  • Add positive reviews. If the image system, character, or argument is well thought out, underline it or mark it in the margins.

How to Write a Critical Response Essay on a Scientific Work

  • Start writing a critical response essay on a word processor. If you are asked to do a critical analysis of a scientific work, as a rule, you need to pay attention to the author’s scientific degree and the details of the essay.
  • Draw your conclusions in the first paragraph of the essay. Specify the title of the work, the author, and the subject of the description. You can include the original publication date or changes made to the book worth paying attention to.
  • Summarize the piece. Assume what you think the author’s thesis statement conveys. Describe the arguments given and the purpose of the article. For guidelines on how to do it best, visit wr1ter.com.

Explain the authority of the author. Show your opinion on whether you can trust the author in terms of argumentation. For example, the author may abruptly move to another topic that does not concern his or her competence or sets himself/herself up as the foremost expert in this work. Assess the availability of arguments.

Don’t be afraid to make a multi-paragraph assessment if the author uses different argumentation types or research.

Write about the author’s reasoning. Answer the question: does the argumentation correspond to the logic of the work?

  • Conclude the critical response essay with an overall impression of the work. Critical feedback should be based on research and reading. It must straightforwardly prove your agreement or disagreement with the author and the reasons for such an opinion. Try to avoid overly emotional conclusions. Stick to facts about writing and reasoning.

How to Write a Critical Response Essay on a Fictional Work

  • Decide with the author for whom you are writing your critical response essay. If you are asked to write a general analysis of the work, you can describe the most fundamental problems and text resources.
  • Begin a critical response essay with a short description of the author and his/her work. In the case of academic criticism, in the introduction, you must define the subject of criticism.
  • Explain the importance of the work. You can do it either in the introduction or in the conclusion paragraph (at your discretion).
  • After that, do a little summary of the whole piece. In the case of a published work, you must lay the foundation for a critical article. In the case of unpublished work, you will demonstrate to the author how you interpreted his/her work.
  • Add positive and negative points of view for each part of the piece. Try not to mention the shortcomings that need improvement.
  • Suggest possible changes to the work, but do not describe them in detail. The author, himself/herself, decides what needs to be revised.
  • Explain in general terms why this work can be considered successful. If you are writing an academic critical response essay, add your interpretation of the work. Please indicate whether you find it compelling and complete. If you are working with a draft, please provide multiple views or topics for reflection and discussion.

Consider presenting your critical response essay to the author himself/herself. Written criticism does not carry the same emotional load as oral criticism.

  • Essay Writing

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  • 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking
  • 1 Unit Introduction
  • Introduction
  • 1.1 "Reading" to Understand and Respond
  • 1.2 Social Media Trailblazer: Selena Gomez
  • 1.4 Annotated Student Sample: Social Media Post and Responses on Voter Suppression
  • 1.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About a “Text”
  • 1.6 Evaluation: Intention vs. Execution
  • 1.7 Spotlight on … Academia
  • 1.8 Portfolio: Tracing Writing Development
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • 2.1 Seeds of Self
  • 2.2 Identity Trailblazer: Cathy Park Hong
  • 2.3 Glance at the Issues: Oppression and Reclamation
  • 2.4 Annotated Sample Reading from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
  • 2.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about How Identity Is Constructed Through Writing
  • 2.6 Evaluation: Antiracism and Inclusivity
  • 2.7 Spotlight on … Variations of English
  • 2.8 Portfolio: Decolonizing Self
  • 3.1 Identity and Expression
  • 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover
  • 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative
  • 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy
  • 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure
  • 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating
  • 3.8 Spotlight on … The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN)
  • 3.9 Portfolio: A Literacy Artifact
  • Works Consulted
  • 2 Unit Introduction
  • 4.1 Exploring the Past to Understand the Present
  • 4.2 Memoir Trailblazer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 4.3 Glance at Genre: Conflict, Detail, and Revelation
  • 4.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
  • 4.5 Writing Process: Making the Personal Public
  • 4.6 Editing Focus: More on Characterization and Point of View
  • 4.7 Evaluation: Structure and Organization
  • 4.8 Spotlight on … Multilingual Writers
  • 4.9 Portfolio: Filtered Memories
  • 5.1 Profiles as Inspiration
  • 5.2 Profile Trailblazer: Veronica Chambers
  • 5.3 Glance at Genre: Subject, Angle, Background, and Description
  • 5.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Remembering John Lewis” by Carla D. Hayden
  • 5.5 Writing Process: Focusing on the Angle of Your Subject
  • 5.6 Editing Focus: Verb Tense Consistency
  • 5.7 Evaluation: Text as Personal Introduction
  • 5.8 Spotlight on … Profiling a Cultural Artifact
  • 5.9 Portfolio: Subject as a Reflection of Self
  • 6.1 Proposing Change: Thinking Critically About Problems and Solutions
  • 6.2 Proposal Trailblazer: Atul Gawande
  • 6.3 Glance at Genre: Features of Proposals
  • 6.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Slowing Climate Change” by Shawn Krukowski
  • 6.5 Writing Process: Creating a Proposal
  • 6.6 Editing Focus: Subject-Verb Agreement
  • 6.7 Evaluation: Conventions, Clarity, and Coherence
  • 6.8 Spotlight on … Technical Writing as a Career
  • 6.9 Portfolio: Reflecting on Problems and Solutions
  • 7.1 Thumbs Up or Down?
  • 7.2 Review Trailblazer: Michiko Kakutani
  • 7.3 Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, Evaluation
  • 7.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Black Representation in Film" by Caelia Marshall
  • 7.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Entertainment
  • 7.6 Editing Focus: Quotations
  • 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience
  • 7.8 Spotlight on … Language and Culture
  • 7.9 Portfolio: What the Arts Say About You
  • 8.1 Information and Critical Thinking
  • 8.2 Analytical Report Trailblazer: Barbara Ehrenreich
  • 8.3 Glance at Genre: Informal and Formal Analytical Reports
  • 8.4 Annotated Student Sample: "U.S. Response to COVID-19" by Trevor Garcia
  • 8.5 Writing Process: Creating an Analytical Report
  • 8.6 Editing Focus: Commas with Nonessential and Essential Information
  • 8.7 Evaluation: Reviewing the Final Draft
  • 8.8 Spotlight on … Discipline-Specific and Technical Language
  • 8.9 Portfolio: Evidence and Objectivity
  • 9.1 Breaking the Whole into Its Parts
  • 9.2 Rhetorical Analysis Trailblazer: Jamil Smith
  • 9.3 Glance at Genre: Rhetorical Strategies
  • 9.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Rhetorical Analysis: Evicted by Matthew Desmond” by Eliana Evans
  • 9.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically about Rhetoric
  • 9.6 Editing Focus: Mixed Sentence Constructions
  • 9.7 Evaluation: Rhetorical Analysis
  • 9.8 Spotlight on … Business and Law
  • 9.9 Portfolio: How Thinking Critically about Rhetoric Affects Intellectual Growth
  • 10.1 Making a Case: Defining a Position Argument
  • 10.2 Position Argument Trailblazer: Charles Blow
  • 10.3 Glance at Genre: Thesis, Reasoning, and Evidence
  • 10.4 Annotated Sample Reading: "Remarks at the University of Michigan" by Lyndon B. Johnson
  • 10.5 Writing Process: Creating a Position Argument
  • 10.6 Editing Focus: Paragraphs and Transitions
  • 10.7 Evaluation: Varied Appeals
  • 10.8 Spotlight on … Citation
  • 10.9 Portfolio: Growth in the Development of Argument
  • 11.1 Developing Your Sense of Logic
  • 11.2 Reasoning Trailblazer: Paul D. N. Hebert
  • 11.3 Glance at Genre: Reasoning Strategies and Signal Words
  • 11.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Book VII of The Republic by Plato
  • 11.5 Writing Process: Reasoning Supported by Evidence
  • 12.1 Introducing Research and Research Evidence
  • 12.2 Argumentative Research Trailblazer: Samin Nosrat
  • 12.3 Glance at Genre: Introducing Research as Evidence
  • 12.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth" by Lily Tran
  • 12.5 Writing Process: Integrating Research
  • 12.6 Editing Focus: Integrating Sources and Quotations
  • 12.7 Evaluation: Effectiveness of Research Paper
  • 12.8 Spotlight on … Bias in Language and Research
  • 12.9 Portfolio: Why Facts Matter in Research Argumentation
  • 13.1 The Research Process: Where to Look for Existing Sources
  • 13.2 The Research Process: How to Create Sources
  • 13.3 Glance at the Research Process: Key Skills
  • 13.4 Annotated Student Sample: Research Log
  • 13.5 Research Process: Making Notes, Synthesizing Information, and Keeping a Research Log
  • 13.6 Spotlight on … Ethical Research
  • 14.1 Compiling Sources for an Annotated Bibliography
  • 14.2 Glance at Form: Citation Style, Purpose, and Formatting
  • 14.3 Annotated Student Sample: “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Sources Can Save the Earth” by Lily Tran
  • 14.4 Writing Process: Informing and Analyzing
  • 15.1 Tracing a Broad Issue in the Individual
  • 15.2 Case Study Trailblazer: Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
  • 15.3 Glance at Genre: Observation, Description, and Analysis
  • 15.4 Annotated Sample Reading: Case Study on Louis Victor "Tan" Leborgne
  • 15.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About How People and Language Interact
  • 15.6 Editing Focus: Words Often Confused
  • 15.7 Evaluation: Presentation and Analysis of Case Study
  • 15.8 Spotlight on … Applied Linguistics
  • 15.9 Portfolio: Your Own Uses of Language
  • 3 Unit Introduction
  • 16.1 An Author’s Choices: What Text Says and How It Says It
  • 16.2 Textual Analysis Trailblazer: bell hooks
  • 16.3 Glance at Genre: Print or Textual Analysis
  • 16.4 Annotated Student Sample: "Artists at Work" by Gwyn Garrison
  • 16.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically About Text
  • 16.6 Editing Focus: Literary Works Live in the Present
  • 16.7 Evaluation: Self-Directed Assessment
  • 16.8 Spotlight on … Humanities
  • 16.9 Portfolio: The Academic and the Personal
  • 17.1 “Reading” Images
  • 17.2 Image Trailblazer: Sara Ludy
  • 17.3 Glance at Genre: Relationship Between Image and Rhetoric
  • 17.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Hints of the Homoerotic” by Leo Davis
  • 17.5 Writing Process: Thinking Critically and Writing Persuasively About Images
  • 17.6 Editing Focus: Descriptive Diction
  • 17.7 Evaluation: Relationship Between Analysis and Image
  • 17.8 Spotlight on … Video and Film
  • 17.9 Portfolio: Interplay Between Text and Image
  • 18.1 Mixing Genres and Modes
  • 18.2 Multimodal Trailblazer: Torika Bolatagici
  • 18.3 Glance at Genre: Genre, Audience, Purpose, Organization
  • 18.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Celebrating a Win-Win” by Alexandra Dapolito Dunn
  • 18.5 Writing Process: Create a Multimodal Advocacy Project
  • 18.6 Evaluation: Transitions
  • 18.7 Spotlight on . . . Technology
  • 18.8 Portfolio: Multimodalism
  • 19.1 Writing, Speaking, and Activism
  • 19.2 Podcast Trailblazer: Alice Wong
  • 19.3 Glance at Genre: Language Performance and Visuals
  • 19.4 Annotated Student Sample: “Are New DOT Regulations Discriminatory?” by Zain A. Kumar
  • 19.5 Writing Process: Writing to Speak
  • 19.6 Evaluation: Bridging Writing and Speaking
  • 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking
  • 19.8 Portfolio: Everyday Rhetoric, Rhetoric Every Day
  • 20.1 Thinking Critically about Your Semester
  • 20.2 Reflection Trailblazer: Sandra Cisneros
  • 20.3 Glance at Genre: Purpose and Structure
  • 20.4 Annotated Sample Reading: “Don’t Expect Congrats” by Dale Trumbore
  • 20.5 Writing Process: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 20.6 Editing Focus: Pronouns
  • 20.7 Evaluation: Evaluating Self-Reflection
  • 20.8 Spotlight on … Pronouns in Context

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Use words, images, and specific rhetorical terminology to understand, discuss, and analyze a variety of texts.
  • Determine how genre conventions are shaped by audience, purpose, language, culture, and expectation.
  • Distinguish among different types of rhetorical situations and communicate effectively within them.

Every day you find yourself in rhetorical situations and use rhetoric to communicate with and to persuade others, even though you might not realize you are doing it. For example, when you voice your opinion or respond to another’s opinion, you are thinking rhetorically. Your purpose is often to convince others that you have a valid opinion, and maybe even issue a call to action. Obviously, you use words to communicate and present your position. But you may communicate effectively through images as well.

Words and Images

Both words and images convey information, but each does so in significantly different ways. In English, words are written sequentially, from left to right. A look at a daily newspaper or web page reveals textual information further augmented by headlines, titles, subtitles, boldface, italics, white space, and images. By the time readers get to college, they have internalized predictive strategies to help them critically understand a variety of written texts and the images that accompany them. For example, you might be able to predict the words in a sentence as you are reading it. You also know the purpose of headers and other markers that guide you through the reading.

To be a critical reader, though, you need to be more than a good predictor. In addition to following the thread of communication, you need to evaluate its logic. To do that, you need to ask questions such as these as you consider the argument: Is it fair (i.e., unbiased)? Does it provide credible evidence? Does it make sense, or is it reasonably plausible? Then, based on what you have decided, you can accept or reject its conclusions. You may also consider alternative possibilities so that you can learn more. In this way, you read actively, searching for information and ideas that you understand and can use to further your own thinking, writing, and speaking. To move from understanding to critical awareness, plan to read a text more than once and in more than one way. One good strategy is to ask questions of a text rather than to accept the author’s ideas as fact. Another strategy is to take notes about your understanding of the passage. And another is to make connections between concepts in different parts of a reading. Maybe an idea on page 4 is reiterated on page 18. To be an active, engaged reader, you will need to build bridges that illustrate how concepts become part of a larger argument. Part of being a good reader is the act of building information bridges within a text and across all the related information you encounter, including your experiences.

With this goal in mind, beware of passive reading. If you ever have been reading and completed a page or paragraph and realized you have little idea of what you’ve just read, you have been reading passively or just moving your eyes across the page. Although you might be able to claim you “read” the material, you have not engaged with the text to learn from it, which is the point of reading. You haven’t built bridges that connect to other material. Remember, words help you make sense of the world, communicate in the world, and create a record to reflect on so that you can build bridges across the information you encounter.

Images, however, present a different set of problems for critical readers. Sometimes having little or no accompanying text, images require a different skill set. For example, in looking at a photograph or drawing, you find different information presented simultaneously. This presentation allows you to scan or stop anywhere in the image—at least theoretically. Because visual information is presented simultaneously, its general meaning may be apparent at a glance, while more nuanced or complicated meanings may take a long time to figure out. And even then, odds are these meanings will vary from one viewer to another.

In the well-known image shown in Figure 1.3 , do you see an old woman or a young woman? Although the image remains static, your interpretation of it may change depending on any number of factors, including your experience, culture, and education. Once you become aware of the two perspectives of this image, you can see the “other” easily. But if you are not told about the two ways to “see” it, you might defend a perspective without realizing that you are missing another one. Most visuals, however, are not optical illusions; less noticeable perspectives may require more analysis and may be more influenced by your cultural identity and the ways in which you are accustomed to interpreting. In any case, this image is a reminder to have an open mind and be willing to challenge your perspectives against your interpretations. As such, like written communication, images require analysis before they can be understood thoroughly and evaluation before they can be judged on a wider scale.

If you have experience with social media, you may be familiar with the way users respond to images or words by introducing another image: the meme . A meme is a photograph containing text that presents one viewer’s response. The term meme originates from the Greek root mim , meaning “mime” or “mimic,” and the English suffix -eme . In the 1970s, British evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins (b. 1941) created the term for use as “a unit of cultural transmission,” and he understood it to be “the cultural equivalent of a gene.” Today, according to the dictionary definition, memes are “amusing or interesting items that spread widely through the Internet.” For example, maybe you have seen a meme of an upset cat or of a friend turning around to look at something else while another friend is relating something important. The text that accompanies these pictures provides some expression on the part of the originator that the audience usually finds humorous, relatable, or capable of arousing any range of emotion or thought. For example, in the photograph shown in Figure 1.4 of a critter standing at attention, the author of the text conveys anxiousness. The use of the word like has been popularized in the meme genre to mean “to give an example.”

While these playful aspects of images are important, you also should recognize how images fit into the rhetorical situation. Consider the same elements, such as context and genre, when viewing images. You may find multiple perspectives to consider. In addition, where images show up in a text or for an audience might be important. These are all aspects of understanding the situation and thinking critically. Engaged readers try to connect and build bridges to information across text and images.

As you consider your reading and viewing experiences on social media and elsewhere, note that your responses involve some basic critical thinking strategies. Some of these include summary, paraphrase, analysis, and evaluation, which are defined in the next section. The remaining parts of this chapter will focus on written communication. While this chapter touches only briefly on visual discourse, Image Analysis: What You See presents an extensive discussion on visual communication.

Relation to Academics

As with all disciplines, rhetoric has its own vocabulary. What follows are key terms, definitions, and elements of rhetoric. Become familiar with them as you discuss and write responses to the various texts and images you will encounter.

  • Analysis : detailed breakdown or other explanation of some aspect or aspects of a text. Analysis helps readers understand the meaning of a text.
  • Authority : credibility; background that reflects experience, knowledge, or understanding of a situation. An authoritative voice is clear, direct, factual, and specific, leaving an impression of confidence.
  • Context : setting—time and place—of the rhetorical situation. The context affects the ways in which a particular social, political, or economic situation influences the process of communication. Depending on context, you may need to adapt your text to audience background and knowledge by supplying (or omitting) information, clarifying terminology, or using language that best reaches your readers.
  • Culture : group of people who share common beliefs and lived experiences. Each person belongs to various cultures, such as a workplace, school, sports team fan, or community.
  • Evaluation : systematic assessment and judgment based on specific and articulated criteria, with a goal to improve understanding.
  • Evidence : support or proof for a fact, opinion, or statement. Evidence can be presented as statistics, examples, expert opinions, analogies, case studies, text quotations, research in the field, videos, interviews, and other sources of credible information.
  • Media literacy : ability to create, understand, and evaluate various types of media; more specifically, the ability to apply critical thinking skills to them.
  • Meme : image (usually) with accompanying text that calls for a response or elicits a reaction.
  • Paraphrase : rewording of original text to make it clearer for readers. When they are part of your text, paraphrases require a citation of the original source.
  • Rhetoric : use of effective communication in written, visual, or other forms and understanding of its impact on audiences as well as of its organization and structure.
  • Rhetorical situation : instance of communication; the conditions of a communication and the agents of that communication.
  • Social media : all digital tools that allow individuals or groups to create, post, share, or otherwise express themselves in a public forum. Social media platforms publish instantly and can reach a wide audience.
  • Summary : condensed account of a text or other form of communication, noting its main points. Summaries are written in one’s own words and require appropriate attribution when used as part of a paper.
  • Tone : an author’s projected or perceived attitude toward the subject matter and audience. Word choice, vocal inflection, pacing, and other stylistic choices may make the author sound angry, sarcastic, apologetic, resigned, uncertain, authoritative, and so on.

As you read through these terms, you likely recognize most of them and realize you are adept in some rhetorical situations. For example, when you talk with friends about your trip to the local mall, you provide details they will understand. You might refer to previous trips or tell them what is on sale or that you expect to see someone from school there. In other words, you understand the components of the rhetorical situation. However, if you tell your grandparents about the same trip, the rhetorical situation will be different, and you will approach the interaction differently. Because the audience is different, you likely will explain the event with more detail to address the fact that they don’t go to the mall often, or you will omit specific details that your grandparents will not understand or find interesting. For instance, instead of telling them about the video game store, you might tell them about the pretzel café.

As part of your understanding of the rhetorical situation, you might summarize specific elements, again depending on the intended audience. You might speak briefly about the pretzel café to your friends but spend more time detailing the various toppings for your grandparents. If, by chance, you have previously stopped to have a pretzel, you might provide your analysis and evaluation of the service and the food. Once again, you are engaged in rhetoric by showing an understanding of and the ability to develop a strategy for approaching a particular rhetorical situation. The point is to recognize that rhetorical situations differ, depending, in this case, on the audience. Awareness of the rhetorical situation applies to academic writing as well. You change your presentation, tone, style, and other elements to fit the conditions of the situation.

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How to Write a Critical Essay

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation

Olivia Valdes was the Associate Editorial Director for ThoughtCo. She worked with Dotdash Meredith from 2017 to 2021.

critical response essay là gì

  • B.A., American Studies, Yale University

A critical essay is a form of academic writing that analyzes, interprets, and/or evaluates a text. In a critical essay, an author makes a claim about how particular ideas or themes are conveyed in a text, then supports that claim with evidence from primary and/or secondary sources.

In casual conversation, we often associate the word "critical" with a negative perspective. However, in the context of a critical essay, the word "critical" simply means discerning and analytical. Critical essays analyze and evaluate the meaning and significance of a text, rather than making a judgment about its content or quality.

What Makes an Essay "Critical"? 

Imagine you've just watched the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." If you were chatting with friends in the movie theater lobby, you might say something like, "Charlie was so lucky to find a Golden Ticket. That ticket changed his life." A friend might reply, "Yeah, but Willy Wonka shouldn't have let those raucous kids into his chocolate factory in the first place. They caused a big mess."

These comments make for an enjoyable conversation, but they do not belong in a critical essay. Why? Because they respond to (and pass judgment on) the raw content of the movie, rather than analyzing its themes or how the director conveyed those themes.

On the other hand, a critical essay about "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" might take the following topic as its thesis: "In 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,' director Mel Stuart intertwines money and morality through his depiction of children: the angelic appearance of Charlie Bucket, a good-hearted boy of modest means, is sharply contrasted against the physically grotesque portrayal of the wealthy, and thus immoral, children."

This thesis includes a claim about the themes of the film, what the director seems to be saying about those themes, and what techniques the director employs in order to communicate his message. In addition, this thesis is both supportable  and  disputable using evidence from the film itself, which means it's a strong central argument for a critical essay .

Characteristics of a Critical Essay

Critical essays are written across many academic disciplines and can have wide-ranging textual subjects: films, novels, poetry, video games, visual art, and more. However, despite their diverse subject matter, all critical essays share the following characteristics.

  • Central claim . All critical essays contain a central claim about the text. This argument is typically expressed at the beginning of the essay in a thesis statement , then supported with evidence in each body paragraph. Some critical essays bolster their argument even further by including potential counterarguments, then using evidence to dispute them.
  • Evidence . The central claim of a critical essay must be supported by evidence. In many critical essays, most of the evidence comes in the form of textual support: particular details from the text (dialogue, descriptions, word choice, structure, imagery, et cetera) that bolster the argument. Critical essays may also include evidence from secondary sources, often scholarly works that support or strengthen the main argument.
  • Conclusion . After making a claim and supporting it with evidence, critical essays offer a succinct conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the trajectory of the essay's argument and emphasizes the essays' most important insights.

Tips for Writing a Critical Essay

Writing a critical essay requires rigorous analysis and a meticulous argument-building process. If you're struggling with a critical essay assignment, these tips will help you get started.

  • Practice active reading strategies . These strategies for staying focused and retaining information will help you identify specific details in the text that will serve as evidence for your main argument. Active reading is an essential skill, especially if you're writing a critical essay for a literature class.
  • Read example essays . If you're unfamiliar with critical essays as a form, writing one is going to be extremely challenging. Before you dive into the writing process, read a variety of published critical essays, paying careful attention to their structure and writing style. (As always, remember that paraphrasing an author's ideas without proper attribution is a form of plagiarism .)
  • Resist the urge to summarize . Critical essays should consist of your own analysis and interpretation of a text, not a summary of the text in general. If you find yourself writing lengthy plot or character descriptions, pause and consider whether these summaries are in the service of your main argument or whether they are simply taking up space.
  • An Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Definition and Examples of Analysis in Composition
  • How to Write a Good Thesis Statement
  • The Ultimate Guide to the 5-Paragraph Essay
  • How To Write an Essay
  • Tips on How to Write an Argumentative Essay
  • What an Essay Is and How to Write One
  • How to Write and Format an MBA Essay
  • How To Write a Top-Scoring ACT Essay for the Enhanced Writing Test
  • How to Structure an Essay
  • How to Write a Solid Thesis Statement
  • How to Write a Response Paper
  • Writing a History Book Review
  • How to Write a Great Book Report
  • Write an Attention-Grabbing Opening Sentence for an Essay
  • The Definition of a Review in Composition

Critical Response Essay: Topics, Examples & How to Write

If you’ve ever read an exhaustive review of a movie or a book, you already know what a critical response essay looks like. This assignment requires you to reflect on a writing piece, film, play, or other art product. The point is to analyze the work and express your attitude toward its content and form.

This article will teach you how to write a critical response essay on different texts. You’ll also find some topic ideas and an example of this paper type.

🔤 What Is a Critical Response Essay?

💡 response essay topics.

  • ✍️ How to Write a Critical Response

📝 Critical Response Essay Example

📚 more critical response examples, 🔗 references.

A critical response essay is a written assignment in which you should analyze someone’s work. The subject of your analysis can be a book, a piece of poetry , a short story, a scholarly article, a film, a song, and many more.

You might wonder what the “critical” part of a critical response essay means. It doesn’t imply that you should harshly judge the writing piece. Rather, you need to evaluate a text, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. For example, you can analyze whether the author used enough convincing evidence to support the main point.

A critical response essay usually includes the following elements: an introduction, summary, analysis, response, and conclusion.

The first step in creating an essay is to decide what to write about. Below you’ll find a list of interesting topics to inspire you. However, if none of these ideas meets your demands, you can try our topic generator.

  • Is Shakespeare’s King Lear insane?
  • Is peace or success more critical in The Great Gatsby by F. S. Fitzgerald?
  • Allegory and symbolism in “ Everyday Use” by Alice Walker.
  • Women’s challenges in “The Story of an Hour.”
  • Ravenscroft’s use of irony in Careless Lovers to reveal society’s wrongs.
  • The symbolic meaning of the devil in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.”
  • How did Tim O’Brien express the theme of morality in The Things They Carried ?
  • The meaning of “hero” in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
  • The American Dream in The Death of a Salesman .
  • A caretaker’s conflict in “Daddy Issues ” by Sandra Tsing Loh.
  • Was Hamlet’s revenge the right decision?
  • Shakespeare’s Macbeth as a reference to the Christian fall of man.
  • How did Mark Twain depict racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn ?
  • Would Hucklebery Finn make a good man?
  • What is the tragedy in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex ?
  • What is the most acute issue highlighted in Nella Larsen’s Passing ?
  • The press and the government in The Making of a Quagmire by David Halberstam.
  • The Thousand and One Nights as a reflection of Middle East culture.
  • Poverty in Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
  • Gender issues raised in Othello by Shakespeare.
  • Can The Glass Menagerie be considered a classical tragedy?
  • The Chinese and American female characters in Joy Luck Club .
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh : Can the opposites be partners?
  • Egocentrism in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find. ”
  • The fragility of the family institution in Williams’ The Glass Menagerie .
  • Does the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People answer how to achieve success?
  • Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” : Does Gregor Zamza deserve pity or compassion?
  • The issue of a social outsider in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner .
  • “The Story of an Hour” : Is every marriage doomed?
  • The god complex in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

✍️ How to Write a Critical Response Essay

A critical response essay has the following format:

  • Introduction.
  • Conclusion.

This image shows the critical response essay format.

Below we will look at how to write a critical response essay step by step.

Critical Response Introduction

An introduction is your chance to make an excellent first impression on a reader. Here is a detailed breakdown of what it should include:

  • Details about the analyzed work . In the first sentence, provide the author’s name and the title of the work you will write about.
  • Relevant background information . Explain what the analyzed writing piece is about and provide the relevant context.
  • The author’s thesis statement . Mention what argument the author makes and what key points are used to support it.
  • Your thesis statement . The last sentence of your introduction should include your main argument about the analyzed work. Avoid simply agreeing or disagreeing with the author’s thesis. Instead, highlight the evaluated text’s strengths and weaknesses or focus on particular aspects, such as characters, style, literary devices, etc.

As the name implies, critical response summary part should summarize your selected work in a few paragraphs. Here are some tips for you to write this section:

  • Explain the author’s purpose — why did they create this work?
  • Summarize the author’s main points used to support the argument.
  • Do not use direct quotes ; instead, paraphrase key points from the source.
  • Do not provide your opinion — you’ll get a chance to do it in the later sections.

While the previous section looked at what the author wrote, this one will examine how the author expressed their point.

Here are some questions to guide your analysis. You should choose only those that fit your essay purpose and the analyzed piece:

  • Has the author reached their writing goal (persuading, informing, explaining, etc.)?
  • How unbiased and precise was the piece?
  • What literary devices have you noticed?
  • Were the author’s arguments strong enough?
  • Are there any logical flaws in the writing?
  • What is the author’s tone?

The analysis section should include direct quotes from the original text. They should be relevant to the point you make. After introducing a quotation, explain it and link it to your main argument.

This image shows additional advice for the analysis section of a critical response essay.

Finally, you’ve reached the point where your opinion is required .

In this section, you should present your well-thought-out evaluation of the source. For example, if you’ve been analyzing an argumentative essay , explain whether you found it convincing enough and why. When assessing an informative article, say whether it gave you a good grasp of the topic and what particular text features made it simple for you to understand.

Consider these tips when writing a personal response section:

  • Make sure you express your opinion to the fullest.
  • Reflect on particular elements rather than an entire work.
  • Use strong evidence to support your point of view.
  • Organize your ideas in logical order.
  • Tie your response to your thesis statement.

The conclusion of your critical analysis essay should include the following:

  • Restated thesis. Start your final paragraph by paraphrasing your thesis statement.
  • Summary of the points discussed. Remind the reader of your main ideas.
  • Closing statement. Suggest a prompt that will make your readers think further about your argument.

This image says to avoid adding quotes and new information in the conclusion.

Now, let’s look at a critical response essay example.

In his famous speech given at Stanford in 2005, Steeve Jobs gave valuable advice to Stanford graduates. The author’s main point is that if people want to accomplish their goals, they should be passionate. While I agree with this view, I will argue that one of the key themes permeating this speech is hope and faith.

The author shares three stories from his life. The first story is about dropping out of college. The second is about the lessons Jobs learned when he was fired from Apple. Finally, the third story deals with the author’s reflections on death.

While this talk is mainly about passion for one’s work, it also deals with the issues of hope and faith. This theme can be traced throughout the speech. For example, in the first story, Jobs says that people should “connect the dots.” It means that life is not a random sequence of events. Whatever difficulties arise, they serve some purpose, so people should never lose faith in a better future.

For me, this speech sounds hopeful and inspiring. I agree with Job’s view that passion is vital, but even more, I support his emphasis on the role of hope and faith. Jobs showed that his ability not to lose hope guided him through hard times. For example, Jobs’ dismissal was a devastating experience for him, but he realized that it was a new start for him, and he was able to move on.

In conclusion, hope and faith in a better future are one of the main themes of Jobs’ speech at Stanford. The speaker showed how being hopeful has helped him survive the darkest moments. Therefore, people should not give up whenever life throws challenges at them.

Do you want some more critical response examples? Below, we’ve included two sample responses to a non-fiction article and a fiction work. Check them out!

Critical Response to an Article Example

The following critical response example is based on an article published in Time. Check it out to learn how to respond to non-fiction.

In his article entitled "Conspiracy Theories, Class Tension, Political Intrigue," Maurice Samuels draws a parallel between the French government's mishandling of the cholera crisis in 1832 and the US government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Samuels believes that leadership failures increase societal tensions and create the way for political revolution. His analysis is a powerful reminder of the critical role that strong and united leadership plays in dealing with public health crises.

The article discusses the 1832 cholera outbreak in Paris, highlighting the government's ineffective response and the public's anger. It also examines the June Rebellion and the Duchesse de Berry's coup attempt, which failed because of public indifference. The author links the Paris cholera outbreak to the recent coronavirus pandemic in the US, arguing that leaders should prioritize transparency and openness to scientific advice.

On the one hand, the author emphasizes the importance of effective leadership and a unified response to public health crises, which makes this article relevant to the coronavirus situation in the US. On the other hand, the article could be more specific in analyzing the consequences of President Trump's actions, providing more examples of what a leader should do in a crisis.

I found the article both informative and thought-provoking. The author profoundly understands the history of epidemics and their impact on society. The article also raises important questions about leadership and public health policy. I agree with the author's conclusion that we need leaders who are willing to put the needs of their citizens first and who are not afraid to make tough decisions.

The article is a valuable contribution to discussing the pandemic and its broader societal implications. It highlights the importance of strong, united leadership in managing public health crises and preventing societal unrest. This article reminds us that even in an emergency, we must learn from our past mistakes to ensure a bright and healthy future.

Critical Response Paper Example for Fiction

Here, we have prepared a critical response essay to Fahrenheit 451 written by Ray Bradbury.

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury outlines a dystopian future in which books are prohibited, and firemen are responsible for burning them. The novel warns about the dangers of censorship and the importance of freedom of speech. It raises questions about the role of government and the nature of knowledge and explores issues that are still relevant today.

The novel is about Guy Montag, a fireman who burns books for a living. Montag is a kind and polite man, but at the same time, he is unsatisfied with his job. He begins to doubt the government's policy of burning books and finally begins stealing and reading books secretly. He joins a group of rebels who teach him about the importance of books and the dangers of censorship. Eventually, Montag and the rebels defeat the government, establishing a society where books are allowed and people can think freely.

The novel effectively uses vivid imagery, symbols, and strong characters to create a suspenseful story. Bradbury's setting creates a familiar and strange world, with characters like Montag and others. However, the text still needs more depth and complexity in some characters, particularly the protagonist, Guy Montag.

I found Fahrenheit 451 an exciting and insightful novel since it allows the reader to rediscover the significance of reading through Montag's journey. I was particularly struck by the novel's depiction of censorship and the rebels' victory, which shows that it is possible to fight against censorship and preserve freedom of speech.

To summarize, Fahrenheit 451 is a well-written work that sends a message to humans about the value of knowledge and identity in a society that is easily corrupted by ignorance and censorship. The novel is still relevant in today’s world because it reminds us that the fight for free thought is an eternal one, waged not just on battlefields but in the quiet corners of every mind.

Other Critical Response Essay Examples

Find out other examples of critical responses below:

  • Analysis of “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King Jr. Essay Example
  • “Why We Need Violent Video Games” by Gilsdorf Essay Example
  • Mukherjee’s “Two Ways to Belong in America” Response Essay Example
  • A Critical Appraisal of Two Qualitative Research Studies | Healthcare Paper Example

Now you know the secrets of writing an excellent critical response essay. So, feel free to start writing! Once you have done the assignment, listen to how your essay sounds with our text-to-speech tool. It will help you spot where your paper needs improvements.

  • Guidelines for the Process for Critical Response | University of Michigan
  • Writing a Response or Reaction Paper | Hunter College
  • Writing Critical Analysis Papers | JSIS Writing Center
  • Writing a Critical Response | University of Richmond
  • Advice on Writing and Revising Critical Essays | Williams College

Film Analysis: Example, Format, and Outline + Topics & Prompts

Demoessays review: free political science essay samples.

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Tiếng Việt

Tin tức , Hướng dẫn làm bài

Viết critical essay đơn giản trong 8 bước.

Table of Contents

Critical Essay là một dạng bài luận phổ biến tại các trường cao đẳng và đại học có các môn học liên quan đến nghệ thuật, phim ảnh hoặc văn học. Với dạng bài luận này, người viết sẽ phải phân tích những ưu và nhược điểm của một tác phẩm sau đó truyền tải chúng một cách tinh tế đế độc giả: Tại sao nên xem bộ phim này? Tại sao nên đọc ngay cuốn sách này? 

1. Viết Critical Essay có khó không? 

Tuy nhiên để truyền cảm hứng, sự yêu thích hay phê bình một tác phẩm đến với đọc giả lại không phải là một điều đơn giản. 

Trước tiên bạn cần phải lựa chọn bài thơ, câu chuyện, bài báo, bộ phim… mà mình cảm thấy yêu thích, hứng thú, phù hợp với chủ đề được giao. Chưa dừng lại ở đó, khi đã có tác phẩm cần nghiên cứu, phân tích bạn còn cần phải thực hiện nhiều giai đoạn để viết, tìm hiểu, để đặt vấn đề và diễn đạt các ý cần truyền đạt.  VD như: Tác giả muốn truyền tải thông điệp nào? Ý chính của tác phẩm là gì? Tác phẩm đem lại giá trị gì? Có áp dụng trong thực tiễn được không?

Viết Critical Essay đòi hỏi bạn cần nhiều thời gian để nghiên cứu và đào sâu vấn đề

Chính vì vậy có thể nói hoàn thiện một bài luận Critical Essay bạn sẽ tiêu tốn rất nhiều thời gian và công sức trong việc đọc và nghiên cứu. 

Vậy làm thế nào để đạt GPA cao trong bài luận Critical Essay? Bạn hãy thử khám phá 8 bước dưới đây nhé! 

2. Hướng dẫn viết Critical Essay 

Muốn đạt điểm GPA cao “ngất ngưởng” của bài luận   Critical Essay, chắc chắn bạn  không thể bỏ qua 8 bước dưới đây.

a. Lựa chọn chủ đề  Critical Essa y 

Bạn viết   Critical Essay  về một cuốn sách, một bộ phim? Bạn hãy thử đọc và xem qua nội dung của chúng, khám phá thử qua một số review từng viết về chúng, để từ đó trả lời một số câu hỏi dưới đây, như:

  • Tác phẩm có nằm trong chủ đề chính mà bạn cần phân tích
  • Điểm khác biệt, thú vị so với các tác phẩm khác là gì?
  • Phong cách của tác phẩm này là gì? 
  • Tại sao bạn nên lựa chọn phân tích tác phẩm này? 

b. Nghiên cứu tác phẩm từ nguồn uy tín 

Một trong những sai lầm phổ biến nhất khi viết   Critical Essay  thường gặp đó chính là bạn lựa chọn và thu thập dữ liệu viết luận từ những nguồn không đáng tin cậy. Chính vì vậy khi viết   Critical Essay, bạn cần chú ý đến vấn đề này để có thể tổng hợp dữ liệu chính xác, có giá trị.

critical response essay là gì

Hãy lựa chọn những nguồn thông tin từ những tạp chí, sách báo uy tín, các trang mạng có kiểm chứng, bên cạnh đó bạn cũng cần lựa chọn những thông tin được cập nhật mới nhất gần với thời điểm viết bài, tránh những thông tin lỗi lời. 

c. Câu luận điểm thuyết phục của  Critical Essay  

Một câu luận điểm   Critical Essay  sẽ là một “đòn chí mạng” giúp bạn chinh phục ngay người đọc. Mọi người sẽ không thể phủ nhận hay bác bỏ chính kiến xác đáng và thuyết phục của bạn trong câu luận điểm được viết hấp dẫn, với những từ ngữ tinh tế, khôn ngoan.

d. Dẫn chứng  Critical Essay  thuyết phục 

Không nhất thiết bạn phải đưa tất cả dẫn chứng thu thập và tổng hợp được vào bài. Tuy nhiên ở mỗi luận điểm được đề cập trong bài luận   Critical Essay, bạn cần phải có sự lồng ghép dẫn chứng cho chúng. Dẫn chứng này sẽ giúp cho bài viết của bạn được hấp dẫn, sinh động hơn, bên cạnh đó nó còn bổ trợ tính logic của bài.

e. Nên có một phản biện trong bài viết 

Critical Essay sẽ trở nên hấp dẫn và thuyết phục hơn nữa nếu bạn biết cách vận dụng một vấn đề phản biện trong bài. Với góc nhìn này, bạn sẽ cho người đọc thấy bài   Critical Essay  đang được viết với tính khách quan cao. Cách làm này đòi hỏi bạn cần phải lập luận theo hướng ngược lại với định hướng ban đầu, từ đó bạn sẽ cho người đọc thấy cái nhìn đa chiều hơn về chủ đề. Điều này sẽ giúp bài Critical Essay của bạn logic hơn rất nhiều.

f. Lập đề cương cho Critical Essay

Để bài viết được viết theo cấu trúc và trình tự cụ thể, tránh khỏi những thiếu sót luận điểm không đáng có, bạn nên lập phác thảo đề cương cho bài Critical Essay. Cách làm này bạn có thể chia thành từng phần như: 

– Giới thiệu – Bạn muốn giới thiệu chủ đề của mình như thế nào? Với một trích dẫn, một giai thoại, một thống kê hoặc một số kỹ thuật khác? Hãy nhớ rằng câu cuối cùng của đoạn giới thiệu thường là câu luận điểm – thesis statement.

– Các đoạn văn hỗ trợ – Bạn đã chọn những chủ đề nào để hỗ trợ luận điểm của mình?

– Phản bác luận điểm – Bạn sẽ trình bày vấn đề nào để phản bác lại luận điểm của mình?

– Kết luận – Bạn sẽ kết luận bằng cách tóm tắt những điểm chính của mình. Hoặc đề cập đến các tác phẩm khác mà đối tượng bạn nhắc đến có ảnh hưởng.

Dựa vào những trích dẫn, tài liệu thu thập hãy bắt tay lên đề cương cho bài Critical Essay

g. Bắt tay vào viết Critical Essay

Sau khi đã lên đề cương Critical Essay hoàn chỉnh, bạn có thể bắt tay vào việc viết bài.

Đầu tiên, bạn hãy làm quen với các thuật ngữ liên quan đến chủ đề bạn sẽ viết. Trong quá trình viết Essay, bạn sẽ lựa chọn và cho vào bài những thuật ngữ thích hợp với hoàn cảnh, ý nghĩa…Đối với một số thuật ngữ quá phức tạp, gây khó hiểu cho người đọc bạn cũng nên cân nhắc trước khi đưa vào bài. 

Bên cạnh mặt nội dung của Critical Essay, bạn cũng cần chú ý đến cách trình bày bài dễ đọc và có sự điều hướng người xem. Đừng quên các từ ngữ chuyển tiếp giữa các đoạn văn giúp dẫn dắt người đọc theo dòng lập luận của bạn như “However”, “Therefore”, “Moreover”…

h.  Chỉnh sửa bài Critical Essay

Đừng vội vàng nộp bài ngay sau khi viết xong mà không chỉnh sửa, bởi vì rất có thể bạn đã bỏ qua rất nhiều lỗi sai chính tả, dấu câu gây mất điểm trong bài. 

Hãy đọc toàn bộ nội dung Critical Essay sau đó chỉnh sửa lại, bạn có thể sử dụng các phần mềm, công cụ bổ trợ để phát hiện lỗi sai trong bài nhanh chóng và dễ dàng hơn. 

Ngoài ra nếu bạn có nhiều thời gian để chỉnh sửa và hoàn thiện bài, bạn có thể in bài ra thành giấy đọc và sửa dễ dàng hơn, hoặc nhờ những người bạn và người có chuyên môn đọc và tìm lỗi sai cùng bạn. Điều này sẽ giúp bạn hoàn thiện bài luận một cách hoàn hảo nhất mà không bỏ sót những lỗi sai cơ bản.

Tuy nhiên, trong nhiều trường hợp, bạn không thể viết được bài luận Critical Essay vì lý do cá nhân bận rộn, hay áp lực bài tập và điểm số, căng thẳng stress, không hứng thú với chủ đề được giao, bạn hoàn toàn có thể nhờ đến đội ngũ viết luận và biên tập chuyên nghiệp tại Dr Nhanh để có được dịch vụ hoàn hảo nhất và có bài luận Critical Essay chuẩn package mong muốn. 

Trên đây là những chia sẻ cách viết luận Critical Essay mà Dr Nhanh đã tổng hợp, rất mong nó sẽ đem lại nhiều thông tin hữu ích cho bạn đọc. Nếu bạn vẫn còn nhiều thắc mắc cần giải đáp, bạn cần hỗ trợ trong quá trình hoàn thành bài học thuật nghiên cứu của mình và vượt qua nỗi ám ảnh áp lực điểm số và thời hạn, hãy liên hệ ngay với Dr Nhanh. Chúng tôi sẽ giúp bạn giải quyết vấn đề này nhanh chóng, đơn giản nhất, đem lại kết quả tốt đẹp như mong đợi! 

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Tip viết assignment HD: Sử dụng critical thinking hiệu quả trong essay và assignment.

Đã cập nhật: 8 thg 2, 2020

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Critical thinking là gì?

Critical thinking là một kĩ năng mà bất cứ sinh viên nào cũng nên có và trau dồi trong suốt quá trình học đại học. Critical thinking có thể được định nghĩa là "suy nghĩ một cách thấu đáo, luôn hỏi các câu hỏi để hiểu rõ hơn vấn đề, không đơn giản chấp nhận những vấn đề mà bạn nghe và đọc".

Nói một cách đơn giản hơn là khi bạn áp dụng critical thinking trong học tập, lúc viết assignment, viết essay và kể cả trong cuộc sống, bạn luôn cố gắng phân tích và đánh giá để hiểu rõ vấn đề hơn. Điểm cốt lõi của critical thinking là đặt ra những câu hỏi hiệu quả nhằm phân tích vấn đề. Càng nhiều câu hỏi được đặt ra, bạn càng hiểu vấn đề hơn. Từ đó, bạn cũng sẽ cảm thấy dễ dàng hơn trong việc tìm giải pháp cho vấn đề đó.

Tại sao critical thinking quan trọng trong khi viết bài assigments và essays?

Mục đích của việc viết assignment và essay là để giáo viên đánh giá sự hiểu biết của sinh viên về các kiến thức đã được học. Vì thế, để đạt được điểm cao trong lúc viết assignment, bạn cần thể hiện được mức độ hiểu biết của mình về lý thuyết trong đề bài. Mức độ hiểu biết ở đây không chỉ đơn giản là nêu ra định nghĩa của lý thuyết đó, mà còn phải biết cách áp dụng lý thuyết đó vào môi trường hay vấn đề thực tế. Vì hơn hết, mục đích cuối cùng của việc học chính là để vận dụng các kiến thức đó vào môi trường làm việc sau này. Như vậy thinking critically, bạn thường nên đặt ra nhưng câu hỏi cơ bản sau:

Mục đích của lý thuyết đó dùng để làm gì?

Lý thuyết áp dụng vào những trường hợp nào?

Điểm mạnh, điểm yếu của lý thuyết đó là gì?

Khi sử dụng, áp dụng lý thuyết đó cần chú ý những điều gì?

Ở phần tiếp theo, mình sẽ ví dụ cách sử dụng critical thiking trong một bài marketing assignment.

Sử dụng critical thinking trong một bài assignment như thế nào?

Ở phần này, mình sẽ sử dụng model 4Ps trong marketing và ví dụ sử dụng critical thinking phân tích Product của công ty Giao Hang Tiet Kiem (GHTK).

Như vậy trước hết để áp dụng critical thinking vào Product trong 4Ps. Bạn cần hiểu được ý nghĩa của Product trong lý thuyết này là gì, mục đích dùng và kết quả mong đợi sau khi phân tích về Product. Ở đây, mình sẽ giả định rằng bạn đã hiểu về 4Ps và đi thẳng vào phần phân tích. Chi tiết về 4Ps hay 7Ps các bạn có thể tham khảo ở bài khác của mình.

Sản phẩm cơ bản của Giao Hàng Tiết Kiệm là dịch vụ chuyển phát hàng hóa. Như vậy, nếu không áp dụng critical thinking, về cơ bản phần phân tích Product của các bạn coi như đã kết thúc, và chắc chắn bạn sẽ không đạt được điểm Pass cho một câu trả lời thiếu chiều sâu như ví dụ ở trên. Khi áp dụng critical thinking vào phân tích dịch vụ của GHTK, mình sẽ tìm kiếm các thông tin liên quan để lấy dữ liệu phân tích. Ví dụ, khi mình search các công ty giao hàng khác thì phần product cơ bản của các công ty này không khác mấy so với GHTK nên mình chỉ miêu tả sơ qua. Mình tập trung vào điểm khác biệt giữa GHTK và đối thủ. Điển hình như việc GHTK có dịch vụ đi kèm cho phép khách gửi nhiều options cho một món hàng để người nhận lựa chọn, sau đó GHTK sẽ gửi trả lại các options không được chọn chỉ với chi phí =1/2 chi phí chiều đi. Như vậy khi đọc về thông tin này mình suy nghĩ rằng tại sao lại phải cho khách gửi nhiều options, mục đích của công ty khi đưa ra dịch vụ này là gì, lợi ích công ty muốn đạt được là gì. Và thông tin này mình có thể phân tích rằng GHTK cung cấp dịch vụ này nhằm nhắm tới các shop bán đồ online vừa và nhỏ ở thị trường Việt Nam. Thông tin này còn giúp định hình hướng phân tích ở các mục sau của bài, như việc phân tích Process trong 4Ps hay target market.

Do không thể nào đưa ra hết các ví dụ về việc áp dụng critical thinking vào việc viết assignment hay viết cái bài essay nên chắc chắn bạn sẽ còn nhiều vướng mắc về việc áp dụng này. Nhưng bạn cứ yên tâm nhé, hãy thoải mái trao đổi với chúng tôi thông qua comment, hoặc email mình với tại [email protected] để có thể áp dụng Critical Thinking vào việc học nói chung và viết bài assignment nói riêng nhé. Tin chắc rằng, sau một thời gian thực hành, áp dụng nó, việc viết bài assignment, viết bài essay sẽ không còn là nỗi ám ảnh với bạn nữa!

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I Have So Many Thoughts on the New Yeat Album

Some delirious first-listen thoughts on a beautifully unhinged album: Yeat’s ‘2093.’

via Field Trip Recordings

critical response essay là gì

Yeat’s new album 2093 is a head trip. 

Full of sludgy beats and outlandish lyrics, it’s a delirious-ass project, and after consuming all 78 minutes of it, it’s impossible not to feel at least a little disoriented (and I mean that in the best way possible). Any good Yeat album is kind of like a sci-fi movie, offering a brief escape to a strange world where everyday norms are flipped upside down, and 2093 is the epitome of that.

Yeat’s whole shtick is that he’s some kind of an alien who came to Earth from another world (the Twizz planet, as he’ll proudly tell you ), and we all know that’s a marketing gimmick, but 2093 really does sound different from anything else happening on the charts right now. He’s moved on from the typical “rage” sound of his early albums and is now experimenting with something far heavier and even more dystopian.

Over the weekend, I put the album on loop, and (by design) it put me in a strange headspace. Instead of composing myself and overthinking anything, I jumped in right away and wrote down all my thoughts in the order they came to me, meeting the music on Yeat’s own wavelength. Here are some unfiltered first thoughts on a beautifully unhinged album.

critical response essay là gì

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If yeat's vision of life in 2093 comes true, we’re doomed.

Yeat doesn't have an optimistic view of the future.

In his vision of life in 2093, something has gone terribly wrong and the world is on the verge of collapse. Committing to a post-apolocyptic theme, the album is full of apathetic lyrics and decaying beats, and the whole thing sounds like a glitching dispatch from the future, complete with off-kilter, metallic sound effects and fuzzy vocoders. It's all very ominous.

Yeat describes living in a “dystopian society” and says he longs to “feel like a real human” on “Nothing Changë,” which could either be a cry for help from a self-medicating drug addict or the urgent plea of a superintelligent AI who just wants to feel something, depending on how you look at it. Either way, 2093 is “hell on Earth.” (If his predictions of the future come true, we're honestly better off dead.)

He’s always made escapist rap music, and it’s tempting to describe 2093 as a work of pure science fiction, but he also toys with real-world reference points, repeatedly bringing up things like Elon Musk and SpaceX. The album just dropped at a weird point in history when innovations like ChatGPT and the Apple Vision Pro are threatening to upend the human experience (or at least dramatically change the mechanics of our daily lives). So from that perspective, 2093 might not feel so out-there when we look back on it in a few years. 

Maybe it’s just a dark fantasy. Or maybe Yeat is making unsettling, dystopian music to reflect a world that’s hurtling in that direction, one technological “advancement” at a time. If so, let’s just hope the real 2093 isn’t as hellacious as Yeat thinks it’ll be.

Yeat has a very complicated relationship with capitalism

When I interviewed Yeat in 2022, he told me he was indifferent about his financial success. “I’m not really that greedy person. I don’t spend much money. I’m chilling,” he said at the time. But on 2093 , Yeat’s relationship with money is a lot more complicated. 

On some songs, he sounds as unimpressed by his growing bank account as he did in the interview, like on “Shade,” where he raps about getting stacks of cash that he “never even asked for.” Or on “Keep Pushin,” where he repeatedly claims that he “don't need no money.” But throughout the rest of the album, money is all Yeat wants to rap about. In fact, if there’s one prevailing lyrical theme on 2093, it’s that Yeat is a rich CEO with a bottomless bank account. 

His flexes include: buying a jet because he got bored (“Breathe”), literally pissing diamonds (“More”), and purchasing the entire contents of the Earth (“Bought The Earth”). On "Nothing Changë," Yeat even manages to burn through a million dollars in four quick purchases: a $250,000 chain, a $250,000 plane, a $500,000 Cullinan, and a $250,000 butler. And on “Team CEO,” he claims, “I got billion dollar money, live inside a turtle.” (Honestly, I have no idea what that last one means, but having enough money to live inside a turtle sounds pretty rich to me.) 

So, is Yeat a money-hungry capitalist fiend or not? Honestly, it depends on when you ask him. Sure, he contradicts himself constantly, but what’s more relatable than realizing the concept of money is flawed, only to get bored and blow a bunch of cash on things you don’t actually need?

Lil Wayne blessed his alien grandson

Lil Wayne has a lot of children in the rap game. And his children have children. And now his children’s children are starting to have children of their own. Not to get too deep into the Lil Wayne family tree, but rap’s original self-described alien has inspired a whole generation of eccentric rappers like Young Thug, who have in turn influenced another generation of artists, with Yeat chief among them. (There might actually be another generation or two in between, but who’s counting?) 

One of the coolest things about Wayne is that he isn’t above collaborating with the generations that he birthed, which he does here on “Lyfestylë,” the best song on the album after “Breathe.” First, Yeat sets things up with a catchy verse, rapping about (what else?) diamonds and demons. Then Wayne grabs the baton in full stride, sliding in with an appropriately unhinged verse about spitting acid alongside his “sick and twisted evil bastard” protegé. He even makes sure to fit in a diamonds and demons bar of his own. Yeah, he’s still got it.

This should be playing in European warehouse raves 

Yeat spends a lot of time talking about quitting drugs on 2093 , but why does it sound like he’s been spending all his time at raves? Pushing himself far outside the comfort zone of rage beats that dominated his early projects, he chooses dark, industrial beats that sound like they should be playing in a grimy warehouse rave at 4:00 a.m. somewhere in Europe. On “ILUV,” Yeat raps “I love when you rage with me,” but in this context, I picture him saying it in the corner of a swampy club full of molly-popping kids, rather than the “rage” setting that he’s typically associated with (Rolling Loud crowds). Honestly, it’s a compelling pivot, and he pulls it off well. I just hope club DJs pick up on it and start throwing some of these songs into their sets.

… or in sci-fi movie soundtracks

Back in 2021, Vince Staples told the hosts of Drink Champs that he made his self-titled album with the goal of getting as many songs as possible synced in movies. I don’t know if that was Yeat’s intention for 2093 , but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had Blade Runner playing in the studio as he recorded it, as these songs sound like they should end up on every sci-fi movie soundtrack for the next 10 years. I need to hear this music playing while Keanu Reeves slices up robots on a hoverboard or some shit. Music supervisors, are you listening? Get on the phones, Zack Bia. Make it happen.

Drake is Drake-ing

Drake did it again. And by “it,” I mean: that thing where he jumps into a new sound or subgenre with a popular young rapper and makes it his own. This isn’t his first time working with Yeat (their first collab “IDGAF” is the most-streamed song on For All The Dogs ) and he sounds very comfortable on the album’s most sweeping, cinematic song “As We Speak,” rapping a braggadocious verse over dramatic strings. I have no idea why Drake started his verse by shouting out Lil Yachty (did he lift these vocals from an unused Yachty collab?) but it still sounds great.

Donald Glover must have more than 24 hours in a day

How does Donald Glover find the time for side quests like this? Somewhere between making Mr. & Mrs. Smith , helping produce Malia Obama’s first short film, raising cows , and building a whole ass company, he squeezed in a studio session with Yeat and recorded vocals for the outro of “Power Trip.” When I interviewed Glover late last year, he perked up and seemed extra curious when I randomly brought up Yeat’s name (he wanted to know what Yeat’s view of “the meaning of life” was) and now it all makes sense. He was already tapped in.

What about the bars, though?

It's no secret that lyricism is never the most important part of a Yeat album. He’s built in the mold of a rapper like Travis Scott, where production, ad-libs, and melodies take precedence, and he’s generally more interested in figuring out crazy new ways to layer his vocals into beats, rather than coming up with intricate wordplay. (Just listen to all the weird little alien sounds in the background of a song like "Breathe." That's not a part of the beat; it's Yeat's own voice.) Shit, if he can’t find the right word for a given situation, he’ll just make one up. ( Shmadonka , anyone?)

On 2093 , lyrics once again take a backseat, but there are moments where Yeat proves to be surprisingly clever, rattling off lines like, “If I'm not making money, then I got me some withdrawals” on “Stand On It.” Even when the lyrics look plain on paper, Yeat’s way of viewing the world is so peculiar that he can deliver bars on regular-ass topics in a way that feels weirdly poetic, like, “A cut across your eyes will leave you blind for life.” He's rapping in a low register on this album, more clearly enunciating words, and the lyrics are a little more front-and-center this time. Listen, his lyrics can still use some work overall, and they still don't seem to be something he’s prioritizing first on 2093, but there are glimpses of potential here that might surprise people. He's becoming more well-rounded.

2093 is a lot of things, but “boring” isn’t one of them

2093 isn’t a perfect album. It’s a little too long and the home stretch drags on a bit with some redundant songs. And, yes, Yeat’s songwriting could always improve to better match the ingenuity of his eccentric flows and production (although it is getting better over time). But overall, 2093 is a big success. Instead of sticking to the same stylistic pocket that made him successful (rage), he’s taking big swings at a high-pressure point in his career and pushing his sound in delightfully strange new directions. Full of synthetic, booming sounds, 2093 really does feel like it’s from the future.

Yeat caught fire in the first place because of his unorthodox style, and rather than run that sound into the ground until it becomes stale, he continues to reinvent himself. Because of that, you’ll see comments begging for “the old Yeat,” but that kind of thing happens to anyone on the cutting edge. Instead, he made an album that doesn’t sound like anything else in the mainstream right now, and that’s exciting. By nature, 2093 is a rebellious, outside-the-box album, and it’s refreshing to see a project like this heading to the top of the charts in a sea of formulaic bullshit.

There will always be a need for risk-taking artists who polarize fans and get people to think differently, and Yeat is filling that role right now. Even if 2093 isn’t your cup of tea, you have to admit it’s not boring. And at a time when mainstream rap is in need of a jolt of fresh energy, albums like this are a welcome change of pace. Plus, there are some legitimate hits on here, like “Breathe” and “As We Speak,” which stand on their own. Yeat is showing growth, shedding old habits and picking up new skills. Sobering up, he's more clear and intelligible than he's ever been, without losing any of the off-the-wall charm that brought him a cult fanbase in the first place. This was a pivotal album for him, signaling whether or not he'd be able to turn all of the early-career hype into something with longevity. And by the sounds of it? Yeat isn’t going anywhere.

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  1. How to Write a Critical Response Essay With Examples and Tips

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  3. 013 Response Paper Outline Critical Essay ~ Thatsnotus

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  1. The Critical Response Essay

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  1. How to Write a Critical Response Essay With Examples and Tips

    1. Introduction. The introductory paragraph in a critical response essay consists of two primary sections: a summary of an article and a thesis statement. Firstly, a summary of an article consists of the text's central argument and the purpose of the presentation of the argument.

  2. Hướng dẫn viết Critical Essay trong 8 bước

    Critical Essay là gì? Critical Essay là một bài luận nói về một cuốn sách; một tác phẩm nghệ thuật; một bộ phim hoặc một chủ đề nào đó. Mục đích của các bài Critical Essay là thử thách khả năng phân tích của bạn; cách bạn trình bày các bằng chứng đã được nghiên cứu kỹ lưỡng trong khoảng thời gian làm ...

  3. Critical Response Essay

    A critical response essay is an essay that evaluates or analyzes an author's writing in terms of his or her writing technique as well as the content of his or her writing. For a fiction text, the ...

  4. How to Write a Critical Response Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    The critical response essay displays the writer's reaction to a written work. By elaborating on the content of a book, article, or play, you should discuss the author's style and strategy for achieving the intended purpose. Ideally, the paper requires you to conduct a rhetorical analysis, interpret the text, and synthesize findings.

  5. PDF How to Write a Critical Response

    Sample: Effective Response #1. The article could have been much more convincing if the author didn't begin most of his back-up arguments with "I", it gave the article a complaining and ranting tone, when an argument is explained like "a real course creates intellectual joy, at least in some.

  6. A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Critical Response Essay

    Step 1. Examine the Primary Source. Before starting actually writing your critical essay, you need to get acquainted with the subject of your analysis. It might be an article, a book or any other type of text. Sometimes, this task is given for pieces of art, such as a painting or a movie. So, the first step would be to gain as much information ...

  7. Writing the Critical Response Paragraph

    6. Writing the Critical Response Paragraph. The Critical Response Paragraph (CRP) is a short, one-paragraph mini-essay that requires you to write an argument about one aspect of the assigned reading. Often, book club discussions will help generate ideas for these essays, but you may also choose to write an individually generated response, with ...

  8. Academic genres: the Critical Response

    It requires the highly valued academic skills of summarising and critical thought. It requires the ability to develop a clear and logical 'academic argument', which is extremely important for university and beyond. It is a relatively flexible genre, which is both challenging and useful for international students in terms of preparing them ...

  9. Writing the Critical Response Essay (CRE)

    The Critical Response Essay is a multi-paragraph, multi-page essay that requires you to take one of your Critical Response Paragraphs and revise it to create a more complex and stronger argument. You should choose your best CRP or the one that most interests you. Focus on making it not only a longer argument, but also a better argument, using ...

  10. A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Critical Response Essay

    Early things first - let's find out whatever a critical response essay has and what components computers includes. It is an assignments that your based upon your analytical skills. It implies the insight of the primary source, such as literary work, movie or painting (its problematic, content, and significance), and the ability to play ...

  11. Critical Response Essay Writing Step-by-Step

    A critical response essay summarizes, analyzes, and comments on fiction or non-fiction. It can be an informal handwritten document or an edited work for publication. To give a full assessment, you will need to indicate the strong and weak sides of the object in question (article, book, movie, etc.) or the methods used to create it.

  12. 1.3 Glance at Critical Response: Rhetoric and Critical Thinking

    Introduction; 3.1 Identity and Expression; 3.2 Literacy Narrative Trailblazer: Tara Westover; 3.3 Glance at Genre: The Literacy Narrative; 3.4 Annotated Sample Reading: from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass; 3.5 Writing Process: Tracing the Beginnings of Literacy; 3.6 Editing Focus: Sentence Structure; 3.7 Evaluation: Self-Evaluating; 3.8 Spotlight on …

  13. PDF Critical Response Process

    Critical Response Process . The object of a critical response is to provide a thorough explanation of your understanding of an essay or story. You do not necessarily have to find fault with an author's opinion, style, method, or expression, but you will likely find one or more aspects of a paper that are less to your liking than others. 1.

  14. Writing a Critical Response

    A critical response is a serious examination of a topic or literary work for its own sake, without reference to personal views, biases, values or beliefs. A critical response does not use first person pronouns and aims to be objective and neutral in its presentation of ideas and supporting evidence. 1 A critical response does NOT explain ...

  15. Critical Response Essay Template

    CRITICAL RESPONSE ESSAY TEMPLATE (400-500 WORDS) 7 paragraphs. I. Introduction. Background / general information to introduce the topic area. Introduce the article: Title, Author, Date. Briefly summarize the main overall view of the author (one sentence) Thesis statement (e. This essay will respond to + main idea of the article /This essay is a ...

  16. How to Write a Critical Essay

    Resist the urge to summarize. Critical essays should consist of your own analysis and interpretation of a text, not a summary of the text in general. If you find yourself writing lengthy plot or character descriptions, pause and consider whether these summaries are in the service of your main argument or whether they are simply taking up space ...

  17. Respond Essay là gì? Cách để viết một bài Respond Essay đúng chuẩn

    Nói những gì bạn tin hoặc những thứ người đọc nên tin. 5. Cách để có một bài Respond Essay đúng chuẩn. Một bài respond essay tốt nên đảm bảo rằng bài viết của bạn phản ánh những ý kiến mà bạn đồng ý hoặc không đồng ý. Hơn nữa, phải chắc chắn rằng nó phân ...

  18. Critical Response Essay: Example, Topics, & How to Write

    A critical response essay usually includes the following elements: an introduction, summary, analysis, response, and conclusion. Introduction. Grabs readers' attention, introduces the text you will respond to, and includes a thesis statement with your main argument. Summary. Briefly retells the main ideas of the analyzed work.

  19. 5.7: Sample Response Essays

    Sample response paper "Typography and Identity" in PDF with margin notes. Sample response paper "Typography and Identity" accessible version with notes in parentheses. This page titled 5.7: Sample Response Essays is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Anna Mills ( ASCCC Open Educational Resources ...

  20. How to Write a Critical Analysis essay (Hướng dẫn viết Critical

    Chọn Critical Analysis essay topic hay. Mẹo đầu tiên mà bạn có thể áp dụng là chọn một Critical Analysis essay topic hay (ví dụ: phân tích một bộ phim, một cuốn sách nổi tiếng mà bạn yêu thích). Vì topic ảnh hưởng rất lớn đến hướng viết bài. Nếu chọn topic hay, thuộc nhóm ...

  21. Viết Critical Essay đơn giản trong 8 bước

    b. Nghiên cứu tác phẩm từ nguồn uy tín. Một trong những sai lầm phổ biến nhất khi viết Critical Essay thường gặp đó chính là bạn lựa chọn và thu thập dữ liệu viết luận từ những nguồn không đáng tin cậy. Chính vì vậy khi viết Critical Essay, bạn cần chú ý đến vấn ...

  22. Example of an Effective Critical Response Essay

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  23. Tip viết assignment HD: Sử dụng critical thinking hiệu quả trong essay

    Nói một cách đơn giản hơn là khi bạn áp dụng critical thinking trong học tập, lúc viết assignment, viết essay và kể cả trong cuộc sống, bạn luôn cố gắng phân tích và đánh giá để hiểu rõ vấn đề hơn. Điểm cốt lõi của critical thinking là đặt ra những câu hỏi hiệu quả ...

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    Yeat's new album 2093 is a head trip. Full of sludgy beats and outlandish lyrics, it's a delirious-ass project, and after consuming all 78 minutes of it, it's impossible not to feel at least ...