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Critical Essay - An Ultimate Guide For Students
Published on: Jan 6, 2023
Last updated on: May 26, 2023
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A critical essay is a type of essay writing assignment that expects you to examine another person’s work, critically analyze it, and present your own idea.
In order to come up with effective critical writing, you must have knowledge of source material and the basic principles of writing this type of essay.
In this article, we will discuss what is a critical essay in detail and how to write one for an A+ grade.
Follow the guide and understand the key information for writing an impressive critical analysis essay.
Critical Essay Definition
A critical essay is a form of academic writing in which a writer evaluates and analyzes a text. It can be a book, article, or movie, etc.
In this type of writing, the main objective is not to convince your audience but to create an informative analysis.
You have to come up with your interpretation and prove with facts or evidence from other sources of work.
Teachers assign this type of assignment to challenge the critical analyzing ability of students. They want to get a well-written paper with clear arguments and reliable references to support the claim.
Characteristics of a Critical Essay
All critical essays, despite the subject matter, share the following characteristics.
- Critical essays contain a central point that is usually expressed at the start of the essay.
- It includes facts and evidential information to support your thesis statement.
- All critical essays offer a brief and concise conclusion. It summarizes the main argument and emphasizes the most important points of the essay.
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How to Write a Critical Essay?
Here is a step-by-step guide that you need to go through for writing an excellent critical analysis essay.
Find and Examine a Source
Find the information you need to include in your essay to support the central claim. Books, journals, articles, encyclopedias, and news are the most common sources of information that you can use.
Start critical reading and gather the relevant information and refer to it when writing your essay.
Make Notes of Your Thoughts and Ideas
Now identify the main problem to be discussed in your essay. After the central claim, find the evidence for demonstrating that claim.
Brainstorm ideas and think about how it can relate to what you are analyzing. Think about the associated ideas and write it all on paper and figure out which ideas need further research.
Compose a Thesis Statement
All critical essays must have a one-sentence thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph.
The thesis statement should be composed based on the information that you gather from different sources.
When composing a thesis statement, answer the question, ‘What point are you trying to prove?’. If you are still not sure, read some interesting thesis statement examples and know-how to come up with a strong point.
Create an Outline
Don’t think about writing an essay without creating its outline first. An outline will help you save your time and organize your ideas more effectively. Here you need to structure all the points so the writing process is easier for you.
Write Your Essay
Once you are done with the outline, start the writing process. Begin your essay with an interesting introduction that ends with the central claim of your essay. After that, analyze and evaluate it with facts and evidence in the body paragraphs. And end it with the key points of the claim in conclusion.
Edit and Proofread
After writing your essay, leave it for a few days if the deadline is not soon. Then review your essay to find and correct mistakes. You may do it yourself or ask your friend or family member to do it for you.
Make the changes until you feel like the essay is perfect and without any mistakes. You can also hire an essay writer for professional editing and proofreading services.
Create captivating essays effortlessly!
Critical Essay Outline
The critical analysis essay outline also follows a 5 paragraph structure format. It includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The introduction of the essay should describe the topic and provide some background information of the work in a few sentences. It should end with a strong thesis statement that will help the reader determine what the essay is focusing on.
In this section, you need to cover all the ideas that have been outlined. Answer the question that you have mentioned in the introduction. Explain the significance of the work with facts, examples, and quotes. Keep in mind that your main aim is to analyze and inform your readers so pay attention to how the original work is presented.
Wrap up your essay by restating the main point of view of your essay. Summarize the main argument and emphasize the key points of the essay.
Critical Essay Format
Here is the most commonly used format that you can use for creating a detailed critical essay outline and organize your ideas.
- Introduce the topic
- Provide some background information
- Thesis statement
2. Body Paragraphs
- A summary of the whole work
- Cover your ideas and answer the main question
- Analyze and evaluate
- Restate the thesis statement
- Summarize the key pieces of evidence
- The work’s overall importance
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Critical Essay Topics
Here are some interesting critical essay topics for college students. Feel free to choose any topic and start the research process.
- The impact of violent video games on young children
- What are the negative effects of modern technology?
- Pros and cons of standardized tests
- Analyze the three types of decision making
- What is the impact of human-nature relationships on health?
- Analyze the economic development of the UK since 1950
- Critically examine the novel ‘Jane Eyre’.
- How are humans related to nature?
- What is the role of modern art in our society?
- What is the ideology of feminism?
- The most important elements in Chinese religious culture
- The future of the oil industry
Critical Essay Examples
Before you start writing your essay, get inspired with some interesting critical analysis essay examples.
Critical Essay About the Leadership of Duterte PDF
The Great Gatsby Critical Essay Example PDF
Critical Essay on my Papa’s Waltz PDF
Critical Essay of Aristotle on Tragedy PDF
These examples will definitely help you learn how to write a good critical essay no matter if you are a beginner writer.
You may also see our free essays and understand the basic principles of writing academic essays.
Critical Essay Writing Tips
Below are some expert tips to remember when writing a critical essay.
- In critical essays, your personal opinion plays an important role but avoid writing it if you don't have enough evidence to support it.
- Critically analyzing a piece of work does not mean you need to bring out the negative aspects of it. You are evaluating another person’s work, you need to be informative and that means the claims you made need to be backed up by credible evidence.
- Your critical essay should inform your audience of something new. Whether it is a new idea or new lesson or a new perspective.
- Do you know what type of language should be used in a critical analysis essay? Your tone and language in a critical analysis essay should be objective throughout. Although you can use a humorous tone if you are not writing on a serious topic.
Critical essay writing is not an easy task especially if you are writing about a topic which you don’t know anything about.
The task becomes even more difficult if you do not have enough time to research and the deadline is approaching soon. You can handle this by delegating your task to professional essay writers at FreeEssayWriter.net .
All you have to do is place your order with your initial requirements and get your critical essay done on time.
John K. (Research)
John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.
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Critical Essay Outline - Easy Guide for Students
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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.
- 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.
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Critical Essay: The Complete Guide. Essay Topics, Examples and Outlines
Whether you specialize in literature or just write an essay for a class, knowing how to write a critical essay will give you an advantage throughout your studies at a university and in your professional career. Writing critical essays allows you to develop critical thinking skills, including attentive reading, technical analysis, academic writing skills, searching for reference books, and editing. Mastering these skills will help you conduct a scientific conversation and allow you to communicate and think more productively.
What is a Critical Essay?
A critical essay is an analysis of any piece of text. It can be a book, a movie, an article or even a painting. The main point of this type of an essay is to interpret text or position it in a wider context. For instance, if you write a critical analysis of a book, you may analyze the tone of its text and find out how it influences the overall meaning of the book. If you analyze a movie, you might concentrate on a symbol that you see over and over again. Nevertheless, you have to include an argumentative thesis about the text and have a lot of evidence sources, obviously textual, to support your statements.
How to write a Critical Essay? Step-by-Step Guide
- Find out the topic as early as possible to plan your research.
- Find the information you need in a wide variety of sources, including journal articles, books, encyclopedias, and news. Gather more information than you plan to actually refer to when writing a paper, but do not collect too much, it can distract you from the main thing, and you will eventually include it in your essay simply because you found it. Do not use Wikipedia and do not copy other people’s comments; no matter from which website you take them, plagiarism will be discovered.
- Look through your sources to separate interesting information from irrelevant material. Interesting research can be found in books, literary guides, in published critical articles on your particular topic. And vice versa, do not investigate things that do not relate to your topic, what I mean is, do not engage in the study of witches, if the topic of your paper is a monarchy.
- Carefully reread the relevant materials and evaluate them critically. Highlight, underline or otherwise mark the necessary information in your personal articles and books. Use colored stickers to draw your attention to important details in library books. Make a brief summary of each source after reading it. Pay attention to important details and highlight the main point of view for further use.
- Formulate the thesis by reviewing your notes and research. You can write a more general thesis or ask an important question that your paper will answer.
- Write a preliminary introduction, knowing that you can edit or even rewrite it later.
- Develop an approximate plan based on your notes and studies.
Identify two or three main sections of the body of your essay. These sections should consist of your most important arguments. Use your notes and research to fill these sections with details. You can copy and paste the most important details or arguments into your plan.
- Identify the relationships between sections of your essay and briefly describe them on the margins of your plan.
- Use this connection to write an approximate conclusion.
- Set your paper aside for a few days before rereading the draft.
- Leave enough time to make a thorough review of all material that will clarify any illogical reasonings or arguments.
- Complete your essay by carefully checking the final version of the printed version. Use your imagination and make the introduction interesting for readers. Write a clear thesis statement and use up-to-date sources, with a lot of useful information.
Critical Essay Outline
Writing a good critical essay requires a deep analysis of a given topic, and the ability to form clear arguments in order to draw meaningful conclusions. It is important to be aware of the various elements that must be taken into consideration when ordering an essay in order to produce a well-structured, balanced and compelling piece of work. Doing so will help you understand the material better, think more critically, and come up with a more insightful analysis of the topic. Additionally, it will also help you to identify any gaps in the existing literature that can be addressed in your own research.
As with any other essay, the critical analysis consists of the introduction, body, and conclusion. The outline that you will see below is just a sample for you to understand what it can look like. Once you are comfortable, you are free to change it, add more details or arrange it differently to make it more effective. If you are really unsure what your essay is supposed to look like, you can also contact your teacher.
The introduction has three main functions. First of all, you have to introduce the reader to the topic of your paper, what are you going to analyze here but briefly? Then, describe how are you going to address the topic of your paper. And finally, grab the reader’s attention, make them want to stay here, and read the rest of your paper.
This is going to be the largest part of your essay. Here you have to write about something you said you are going to write about in the intro. In other words, support your thesis statement. You have to make a General Statement, then add some quotes to expand it or prove it. After that you have to explain how the quote relates to the thesis, here you have to ask yourself “so how does it relate to my thesis”. And do not forget about Transitions which are connecting paragraphs.
To write a paper in a relevant way, students need to add new information to their research and assess the significance of each argument. Critical essays are meant to be insightful and thought-provoking, so they should provide enough evidence and analysis to support the argument and connect it to the thesis statement. Moreover, students should pay attention to the structure of the essay and make sure they write a paper that is logically organized and easy to understand.
In other words, the conclusion is restating of your thesis. If you have written a strong and clear introduction, the conclusion will not be a problem at all.
So, you have to Restate your Thesis. But do not just repeat what you said before, put it differently. Basically, you said that you are about to prove to us something and now you have to show us that you did. And make a good ending. Make it memorable. Your reader has to have a feeling that the point has been proven.
- Briefly say what you are going to talk about
- Thesis statement
- Topic Sentence (piece of evidence that supports your opinion)
- Supporting Evidence and Details
- Concluding Sentence/Transition
- Restate the thesis statement in different words
- Summarize the main key pieces of evidence
- Final closing sentence
Critical Essay Topics
Good critical essay topics.
- Describe the way irony was used in your favorite classical book
- Feminist ideologies in a piece of literature
- Analyse how the background of the author affects his writing.
- Describe the secondary characters in your favorite book
- What makes a good and captivating drama series?
- Choose a movie/series that recently won a best picture award
- Provide one alternative to anti-poverty programs today and discuss
- What are the problems of eating healthy? Discuss
- What are the economic benefits of recycling? Discuss what makes it effective in your context
- Discuss how historical figures is portrayed in movies
Critical Essay Tips
- Try to start in advance, if possible. You will write a better essay and will not experience stress if you start writing earlier than the last night.
- Finish the draft a few days earlier to leave time for checking it.
- Ask a friend or a family member to check and comment on your essay. Professional writers write a few drafts of their work, and you, most likely, will have to do the same.
- Work according to your own needs. For example, some people need a plan, while others believe that a formal plan kills inspiration. Find out what is best for you, and act accordingly.
- Write in your own style. It is better to correctly use words that you know, than abuse words that you do not know, in an attempt to sound smarter.
- Make sure that the quotes are given as accurately as possible, including inverted commas, statistics, and theoretical concepts. If in doubt, it’s better to be wrong in quoting than to be accused of not being able to conduct your research, which can lead to accusations of plagiarism.
- Essays written at the last minute, suffer from a lack of logic and poor grammar. Remember that your teacher has read hundreds, if not thousands of student papers, and can easily understand that you wrote an essay at the last minute.
I know that you might still be lost in all these long explanations but bear with me. Here are some useful links you might like to review at Edusson :
- Essay Topic Generator. Do not know how to name your essay? Then this link is just for you. Everything is simple, enter the keywords for your essay and select the category and you’ve got yourself a great title.
- Essay Examples . I know that sometimes you just can’t start writing until you see how it is all supposed to look like. So, here you go – essay examples. Be sure not to rewrite the content, though.
- Essay Checker . One of the most important parts of writing an essay is checking it once it’s done. You might write a great essay in terms of content, but if you have grammar mistakes or your answers are not relating to the questions, say goodbye to your good grade.
- Essay Editing Service . Just to make sure you have not missed anything, use this service. Let a professional do their work.
Writing a good definition essay can be a challenging task. Students often need to pay for papers to be written for such assignments, and it is not always easy to find a reliable source for them. Fortunately, Edusson can provide quality papers and ensure that students get the best results. By using this custom essay writing service, students can be sure that their papers will meet the requirements of their professor and be of the highest quality.
So, that is it. I hope your skills will get even better now. Good luck!
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Posted: 12 June, 2017
Critical Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics
Critical essays are quite common when you reach college, but you may not know exactly how to go about writing one. This guide will help you with the entire writing process, so read on to find out more.
Table Of Contents
What is Critical Essay?
Critical essay structure, how to write critical essay, critical essay topics, critical essay examples.
A critical essay is one where you evaluate a subject, removing yourself from it and looking at it critically. It sounds as though you must always be negative, but in fact that's not true. Instead, you must make a judgement on the topic depending on the evidence you find. You could be positive as well as negative in your essay.
The essay structure for this type of essay is quite simple, so it's easy to follow. Most critical essays will follow this pattern:
- Introduction: Where you introduce the main topic, and present your thesis on it. You'll be expanding on this shortly.
- Main body: This is where you'll be writing about your evaluation. Dedicate each paragraph to a new topic, and link them together to create a flow that your readers can follow. Use your research to back up any points you make here.
- Conclusion: This is where you'll wrap up your main points, in order to prove your thesis.
- When you get your topic, start reading around it. Start gathering evidence that supports your evaluation of that topic. If you take notes, you'll find it easier to refer back to research later when you're writing.
- Write your outline. Now you've done the reading, start outlining your essay, using the structure given here. You can write in your topic sentences now, so it will be easier to refer back to them later.
- Now, you'll need to write your essay. If you have the outline already written, this should be simple. Just follow what you write in it and you'll be done in no time at all.
- Now you've written it, make sure you proofread and edit your essay before handing it in.
Critical essays are usually given in subjects such as English, where you may be asked to critically analyse a book or author. You can also be asked to analyse an idea or theory, depending on which subject you study. So, you could be asked to critically analyse John Steinbeck, or modern day advertising. There's a lot of scope in these essays to put your own ideas across, as long as you back them up with research.
Here are some examples of essay topics, if you want to try writing an essay yourself:
- The impact of social media on your school.
- The future of self driving cars.
- The benefits of Sudoku in the elderly.
- The health benefits of gaming.
Remember to use research to analyze these issues, and come up with your own conclusion.
There you have it. You too can write an excellent critical essay, and get the grades you need.
How to Write Critical Reviews
When you are asked to write a critical review of a book or article, you will need to identify, summarize, and evaluate the ideas and information the author has presented. In other words, you will be examining another person’s thoughts on a topic from your point of view.
Your stand must go beyond your “gut reaction” to the work and be based on your knowledge (readings, lecture, experience) of the topic as well as on factors such as criteria stated in your assignment or discussed by you and your instructor.
Make your stand clear at the beginning of your review, in your evaluations of specific parts, and in your concluding commentary.
Remember that your goal should be to make a few key points about the book or article, not to discuss everything the author writes.
Understanding the Assignment
To write a good critical review, you will have to engage in the mental processes of analyzing (taking apart) the work–deciding what its major components are and determining how these parts (i.e., paragraphs, sections, or chapters) contribute to the work as a whole.
Analyzing the work will help you focus on how and why the author makes certain points and prevent you from merely summarizing what the author says. Assuming the role of an analytical reader will also help you to determine whether or not the author fulfills the stated purpose of the book or article and enhances your understanding or knowledge of a particular topic.
Be sure to read your assignment thoroughly before you read the article or book. Your instructor may have included specific guidelines for you to follow. Keeping these guidelines in mind as you read the article or book can really help you write your paper!
Also, note where the work connects with what you’ve studied in the course. You can make the most efficient use of your reading and notetaking time if you are an active reader; that is, keep relevant questions in mind and jot down page numbers as well as your responses to ideas that appear to be significant as you read.
Please note: The length of your introduction and overview, the number of points you choose to review, and the length of your conclusion should be proportionate to the page limit stated in your assignment and should reflect the complexity of the material being reviewed as well as the expectations of your reader.
Write the introduction
Below are a few guidelines to help you write the introduction to your critical review.
Introduce your review appropriately
Begin your review with an introduction appropriate to your assignment.
If your assignment asks you to review only one book and not to use outside sources, your introduction will focus on identifying the author, the title, the main topic or issue presented in the book, and the author’s purpose in writing the book.
If your assignment asks you to review the book as it relates to issues or themes discussed in the course, or to review two or more books on the same topic, your introduction must also encompass those expectations.
For example, before you can review two books on a topic, you must explain to your reader in your introduction how they are related to one another.
Within this shared context (or under this “umbrella”) you can then review comparable aspects of both books, pointing out where the authors agree and differ.
In other words, the more complicated your assignment is, the more your introduction must accomplish.
Finally, the introduction to a book review is always the place for you to establish your position as the reviewer (your thesis about the author’s thesis).
As you write, consider the following questions:
- Is the book a memoir, a treatise, a collection of facts, an extended argument, etc.? Is the article a documentary, a write-up of primary research, a position paper, etc.?
- Who is the author? What does the preface or foreword tell you about the author’s purpose, background, and credentials? What is the author’s approach to the topic (as a journalist? a historian? a researcher?)?
- What is the main topic or problem addressed? How does the work relate to a discipline, to a profession, to a particular audience, or to other works on the topic?
- What is your critical evaluation of the work (your thesis)? Why have you taken that position? What criteria are you basing your position on?
Provide an overview
In your introduction, you will also want to provide an overview. An overview supplies your reader with certain general information not appropriate for including in the introduction but necessary to understanding the body of the review.
Generally, an overview describes your book’s division into chapters, sections, or points of discussion. An overview may also include background information about the topic, about your stand, or about the criteria you will use for evaluation.
The overview and the introduction work together to provide a comprehensive beginning for (a “springboard” into) your review.
- What are the author’s basic premises? What issues are raised, or what themes emerge? What situation (i.e., racism on college campuses) provides a basis for the author’s assertions?
- How informed is my reader? What background information is relevant to the entire book and should be placed here rather than in a body paragraph?
Write the body
The body is the center of your paper, where you draw out your main arguments. Below are some guidelines to help you write it.
Organize using a logical plan
Organize the body of your review according to a logical plan. Here are two options:
- First, summarize, in a series of paragraphs, those major points from the book that you plan to discuss; incorporating each major point into a topic sentence for a paragraph is an effective organizational strategy. Second, discuss and evaluate these points in a following group of paragraphs. (There are two dangers lurking in this pattern–you may allot too many paragraphs to summary and too few to evaluation, or you may re-summarize too many points from the book in your evaluation section.)
- Alternatively, you can summarize and evaluate the major points you have chosen from the book in a point-by-point schema. That means you will discuss and evaluate point one within the same paragraph (or in several if the point is significant and warrants extended discussion) before you summarize and evaluate point two, point three, etc., moving in a logical sequence from point to point to point. Here again, it is effective to use the topic sentence of each paragraph to identify the point from the book that you plan to summarize or evaluate.
Questions to keep in mind as you write
With either organizational pattern, consider the following questions:
- What are the author’s most important points? How do these relate to one another? (Make relationships clear by using transitions: “In contrast,” an equally strong argument,” “moreover,” “a final conclusion,” etc.).
- What types of evidence or information does the author present to support his or her points? Is this evidence convincing, controversial, factual, one-sided, etc.? (Consider the use of primary historical material, case studies, narratives, recent scientific findings, statistics.)
- Where does the author do a good job of conveying factual material as well as personal perspective? Where does the author fail to do so? If solutions to a problem are offered, are they believable, misguided, or promising?
- Which parts of the work (particular arguments, descriptions, chapters, etc.) are most effective and which parts are least effective? Why?
- Where (if at all) does the author convey personal prejudice, support illogical relationships, or present evidence out of its appropriate context?
Keep your opinions distinct and cite your sources
Remember, as you discuss the author’s major points, be sure to distinguish consistently between the author’s opinions and your own.
Keep the summary portions of your discussion concise, remembering that your task as a reviewer is to re-see the author’s work, not to re-tell it.
And, importantly, if you refer to ideas from other books and articles or from lecture and course materials, always document your sources, or else you might wander into the realm of plagiarism.
Include only that material which has relevance for your review and use direct quotations sparingly. The Writing Center has other handouts to help you paraphrase text and introduce quotations.
Write the conclusion
You will want to use the conclusion to state your overall critical evaluation.
You have already discussed the major points the author makes, examined how the author supports arguments, and evaluated the quality or effectiveness of specific aspects of the book or article.
Now you must make an evaluation of the work as a whole, determining such things as whether or not the author achieves the stated or implied purpose and if the work makes a significant contribution to an existing body of knowledge.
Consider the following questions:
- Is the work appropriately subjective or objective according to the author’s purpose?
- How well does the work maintain its stated or implied focus? Does the author present extraneous material? Does the author exclude or ignore relevant information?
- How well has the author achieved the overall purpose of the book or article? What contribution does the work make to an existing body of knowledge or to a specific group of readers? Can you justify the use of this work in a particular course?
- What is the most important final comment you wish to make about the book or article? Do you have any suggestions for the direction of future research in the area? What has reading this work done for you or demonstrated to you?
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How to Write a Critical Essay
Last Updated: April 8, 2023 References Approved
This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 13 testimonials and 89% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,156,407 times.
The goal of a critical essay is to analyze a book, film, article, painting, or event and support your argument with relevant details. When writing a paper like this, you will have to come up with an interpretation of your own and then use facts or evidence from the work or other sources to prove that your interpretation is acceptable. A critical essay on a book, for example, might focus on the tone and how that influences the meaning of the book overall and would use quotations from the book to support the thesis. This type of paper requires careful planning and writing, but is often a creative way to engage with a subject that you are interested in and can be very rewarding!
Preparing to Write a Critical Essay
- Get to know the text inside and out by reading and rereading it. If you have been asked to write about a visual text like a film or piece of art, watch the film multiple times or view the painting from various angles and distances.
- What is the text about?
- What are the main ideas?
- What is puzzling about the text?
- What is the purpose of this text?
- Does the text accomplish its purpose? If not, why not? Is so, how so?  X Research source Don't: summarize the plot — you should already be familiar with it. Do: jot down thoughts that may guide your paper: Does he mean __? Does this connect to __?
- Your solution to the problem should help you to develop a focus for your essay, but keep in mind that you do not need to have a solid argument about your text at this point. As you continue to think about the text, you will move closer to a focus and a thesis for your critical analysis essay. Don't: read the author's mind: Mary Shelley intended Frankenstein's monster to be more likable because... Do: phrase it as your own interpretation: Frankenstein's monster is more sympathetic than his creator, leading the reader to question who the true monster really is.
- Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using.
- Use your library’s databases rather than a general internet search. University libraries subscribe to many databases. These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine.
- The author and his or her credentials. Choose sources that include an author’s name and that provide credentials for that author. The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor. If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.  X Research source
- Citations. Think about whether or not this author has adequately researched the topic. Check the author’s bibliography or works cited page. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy.  X Research source
- Bias. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument? How often does the argument dismiss or disregard the opposition’s concerns or valid arguments? If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice.  X Research source (Note, however, that literary criticism often presents a very strong preference for one reading; this is not usually considered "bias" because the field of literary study is inherently subjective.) Don't: dismiss an author for favoring one point of view. Do: engage critically with their argument and make use of well-supported claims.
- Publication date. Think about whether or not this source presents the most up to date information on the subject. Noting the publication date is especially important for scientific subjects, since new technologies and techniques have made some earlier findings irrelevant.  X Research source
- Information provided in the source. If you are still questioning the trustworthiness of this source, cross check some of the information provided against a trustworthy source. If the information that this author presents contradicts one of your trustworthy sources, then it might not be a good source to use in your paper.  X Research source
- Clearly indicate when you have quoted a source word for word by putting it into quotation marks and including information about the source such as the author’s name, article or book title, and page number. Don't: highlight a phrase just because it sounds significant or meaningful. Do: highlight phrases that support or undermine your arguments.
Writing Your Essay
- Make sure your thesis provides enough detail. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective."  X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
- Place your thesis statement at the end of your first paragraph unless your instructor tells you to place it elsewhere. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay.
- For example, here is a multi-sentence thesis statement about the effectiveness and purpose of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road : "Many action films follow the same traditional pattern: a male action hero (usually white and attractive) follows his gut and barks orders at others, who must follow him or die. Mad Max: Fury Road is effective because it turns this pattern on its head. Instead of following the expected progression, the movie offers an action movie with multiple heroes, many of whom are women, thereby effectively challenging patriarchal standards in the Hollywood summer blockbuster." Don't: include obvious facts ( Mad Max was directed by George Miller ) or subjective opinions ( Mad Max is the greatest movie of 2015 ).  X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source Do: present an argument that you can back up with evidence.
- You may want to use a formal outline structure that uses Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, and letters. Or, you may want to use an informal "mind-map" type of outline, which allows you to gather your ideas before you have a complete idea of how they progress.
- Other good techniques to open an essay include using a specific, evocative detail that links to your larger idea, asking a question that your essay will answer, or providing a compelling statistic.
- If you are writing about a book, provide the name of the work, the author, and a brief summary of the plot.
- If you are writing about a film, provide a brief synopsis.
- If you are writing about a painting or other still image, provide a brief description for your readers.
- Keep in mind that your background information in the first paragraph should lead up to your thesis statement. Explain everything the reader needs to know to understand what your topic is about, then narrow it down until you reach the topic itself.
- Provide a claim at the beginning of the paragraph.
- Support your claim with at least one example from your primary source(s).
- Support your claim with at least one example from your secondary sources.
- Summarize and review your main ideas about the text.
- Explain how the topic affects the reader.
- Explain how your narrow topic applies to a broader theme or observation.
- Call the reader to action or further exploration on the topic.
- Present new questions that your essay introduced. Don't: repeat the same points you made earlier in the essay. Do: refer back to earlier points and connect them into a single argument.
Revising Your Essay
- It is important to begin writing a paper far enough ahead of time to allow yourself a few days or even a week to revise before it is due. If you do not allow yourself this extra time, you will be more prone to making simple mistakes and your grade may suffer as a result.  X Research source
- What is your main point? How might you clarify your main point?
- Who is your audience? Have you considered their needs and expectations?
- What is your purpose? Have you accomplished your purpose with this paper?
- How effective is your evidence? How might your strengthen your evidence?
- Does every part of your paper relate back to your thesis? How might you enhance these connections?
- Is anything confusing about your language or organization? How might your clarify your language or organization?
- Have you made any errors with grammar, punctuation, or spelling? How can you correct these errors?
- What might someone who disagrees with you say about your paper? How can you address these opposing arguments in your paper?  X Research source
- If you are submitting your paper online or through email, check with your teacher or professor to find out what format s/he prefers. If you have used any textual formatting in your paper, you may wish to save it as a PDF file to preserve your formatting.
Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Ask a friend, family member or other acquaintance to proofread and make constructive comments on your paper. Professional writers go through several drafts of their work and you should expect to do the same. Thanks Helpful 9 Not Helpful 0
- It is often easier to write a rough introduction and proceed with the rest of the paper before returning to revise the introduction. If you're feeling lost on how to introduce your paper, write a placeholder introduction. Thanks Helpful 8 Not Helpful 1
- Write in your own voice. It is better to correctly use the words you know than to misuse the words you do not know in an attempt to sound scholarly. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 1
- Make sure to cite all of your research including quotations, statistics and theoretical concepts as accurately as possible. When in doubt, err on the side of citing more rather than less, since failing to cite your research can result in a charge of plagiarism. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 2
- Papers written at the last minute suffer from logic gaps and poor grammar. Remember that your teacher has read hundreds, if not thousands of student papers, and as such, can tell when you've written a paper at the last minute. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 2
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- ↑ https://uwc.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/UWC_handouts_readingessayprompts.pdf
- ↑ http://www.sussex.ac.uk/s3/?id=122
- ↑ http://www2.southeastern.edu/Academics/Faculty/elejeune/critique.htm
- ↑ https://guides.lib.uw.edu/research/faq/reliable
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/553/03/
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/673/1/
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/thesis-statements/
- ↑ https://www.irsc.edu/students/academicsupportcenter/researchpaper/researchpaper.aspx?id=4294967433
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/58/
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/561/05/
About This Article
To write a critical essay, develop a thesis that expresses your essay's main focus and states an arguable claim. Next, write an introduction that gives a basic overview of your paper and introduces your thesis. Then, create paragraphs that discuss your specific ideas, focusing on one main idea per paragraph. Be sure to start each paragraph with a claim and use examples from primary and secondary sources to support that claim. Finally, create a conclusion that summarizes your main points. For tips on outlining and revising your paper, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline
Critical thinking is the process of evaluating and analyzing information. People who use it in everyday life are open to different opinions. They rely on reason and logic when making conclusions about certain issues.
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A critical thinking essay shows how your thoughts change as you research your topic. This type of assignment encourages you to learn rather than prove what you already know. In this article, our custom writing team will:
- explain how to write an excellent critical essay;
- introduce 30 great essay topics;
- provide a critical thinking essay example in MLA format.
- 🤔 Critical Thinking Essay Definition
- 💡 Topics & Questions
- ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
- 📑 Essay Example & Formatting Tips
- ✍️ Bonus Tips
🤔 what is a critical thinking essay.
A critical thinking essay is a paper that analyses an issue and reflects on it in order to develop an action plan. Unlike other essay types, it starts with a question instead of a thesis. It helps you develop a broader perspective on a specific issue. Critical writing aims at improving your analytical skills and encourages asking questions.
Critical Thinking in Writing: Importance
When we talk about critical thinking and writing, the word “critical” doesn’t have any negative connotation. It simply implies thorough investigation, evaluation, and analysis of information. Critical thinking allows students to make objective conclusions and present their ideas logically. It also helps them avoid errors in reasoning.
The Basics: 8 Steps of Critical Thinking Psychology
Did you know that the critical thinking process consists of 8 steps? We’ve listed them below. You can try to implement them in your everyday life:
It’s possible that fallacies will occur during the process of critical thinking. Fallacies are errors in reasoning that fail to provide a reasonable conclusion. Here are some common types of fallacies:
- Generalization . It happens when you apply generally factual statements to a specific case.
- Ambiguity . It occurs when the arguments are not clear and are not supported by evidence.
- Appeal to authority . This mistake happens when you claim the statement is valid only because a respected person made it.
- Appeal to emotion . It occurs when you use highly emotive language to convince the audience. Try to stay sensible and rely on the evidence.
- Bifurcation . This mistake occurs when you choose only between two alternatives when more than two exist.
- False analogy . It happens when the examples are poorly connected.
If you want to avoid these mistakes, do the following:
- try not to draw conclusions too quickly,
- be attentive,
- carefully read through all the sources,
- avoid generalizations.
How to Demonstrate Your Critical Thinking in Writing
Critical thinking encourages you to go beyond what you know and study new perspectives. When it comes to demonstrating your critical thinking skills in writing, you can try these strategies:
- Read . Before you start writing an essay, read everything you can find on the subject you are about to cover. Focus on the critical points of your assignment.
- Research . Look up several scholarly sources and study the information in-depth.
- Evaluate . Analyze the sources and the information you’ve gathered. See whether you can disagree with the authors.
- Prove . Explain why you agree or disagree with the authors’ conclusions. Back it up with evidence.
According to Purdue University, logical essay writing is essential when you deal with academic essays. It helps you demonstrate and prove the arguments. Make sure that your paper reaches a logical conclusion.
There are several main concepts related to logic:
If you want your essay to be logical, it’s better to avoid syllogistic fallacies, which happen with certain invalid deductions. If syllogisms are used carelessly, they can lead to false statements and ruin the credibility of your paper.
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💡 Critical Thinking Topics & Questions
An excellent critical thinking essay starts with a question. But how do you formulate it properly? Keep reading to find out.
How to Write Critical Thinking Questions: Examples with Answers
Asking the right questions is at the core of critical thinking. They challenge our beliefs and encourage our interest to learn more.
Here are some examples of model questions that prompt critical thinking:
- What does… mean?
- What would happen if…?
- What are the principles of…?
- Why is… important?
- How does… affect…?
- What do you think causes…?
- How are… and… similar/different?
- How do you explain….?
- What are the implications of…?
- What do we already know about…?
Now, let’s look at some critical thinking questions with the answers. You can use these as a model for your own questions:
Question: What would happen if people with higher income paid more taxes?
- Answer: It would help society to prosper and function better. It would also help people out of poverty. This way, everyone can contribute to the economy.
Question: How does eating healthy benefit you?
- Answer: Healthy eating affects people’s lives in many positive ways. It reduces cancer risk, improves your mood and memory, helps with weight loss and diabetes management, and improves your night sleep.
Critical Thinking Essay Topics
Have you already decided what your essay will be about? If not, feel free to use these essay topic examples as titles for your paper or as inspiration. Make sure to choose a theme that interests you personally:
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- What are the reasons for racism in healthcare ?
- Why is accepting your appearance important?
- Concepts of critical thinking and logical reasoning .
- Nature and spirit in Ralf Waldo Emerson ’s poetry.
- How does technological development affect communication in the modern world?
- Social media effect on adolescents.
- Is the representation of children in popular fiction accurate?
- Domestic violence and its consequences.
- Why is mutual aid important in society?
- How do stereotypes affect the way people think?
- The concept of happiness in different cultures.
- The purpose of environmental art .
- Why do people have the need to be praised ?
- How did antibiotics change medicine and its development?
- Is there a way to combat inequality in sports ?
- Is gun control an effective way of crime prevention?
- How our understanding of love changes through time.
- The use of social media by the older generation.
- Graffiti as a form of modern art .
- Negative health effects of high sugar consumption.
- Why are reality TV shows so popular?
- Why should we eat healthily ?
- How effective and fair is the US judicial system ?
- Reasons of Cirque du Soleil phenomenon.
- How can police brutality be stopped?
- Freedom of speech : does it exist?
- The effects of vaccination misconceptions .
- How to eliminate New Brunswick’s demographic deficit: action plan .
- What makes a good movie ?
- Critical analysis of your favorite book.
- The connection between fashion and identity .
- Taboo topics and how they are discussed in gothic literature .
- Critical thinking essay on the problem of overpopulation .
- Does our lifestyle affect our mental health ?
- The role of self-esteem in preventing eating disorders in children .
- Drug abuse among teenagers.
- Rhetoric on assisted suicide .
- Effects of violent video games on children’s mental health.
- Analyze the effect stress has on the productivity of a team member.
- Discuss the importance of the environmental studies .
- Critical thinking and ethics of happy life.
- The effects of human dignity on the promotion of justice.
- Examine the ethics of advertising the tobacco industry.
- Reasons and possible solutions of research misconduct.
- Implication of parental deployment for children.
- Cultural impact of superheroes on the US culture.
- Examine the positive and negative impact of technology on modern society.
- Critical thinking in literature: examples.
- Analyze the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on economic transformation.
- Benefits and drawbacks of mandatory vaccination .
Haven’t found a suitable essay idea? Try using our topic generator !
✅ How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay Step by Step
Now, let’s focus on planning and writing your critical thinking essay. In this section, you will find an essay outline, examples of thesis statements, and a brief overview of each essay part.
Critical Thinking Essay Outline
In a critical thinking essay, there are two main things to consider: a premise and a conclusion :
- A premise is a statement in the argument that explains the reason or supports a conclusion.
- A conclusion indicates what the argument is trying to prove. Each argument can have only one conclusion.
When it comes to structuring, a critical thinking essay is very similar to any other type of essay. Before you start writing it, make sure you know what to include in it. An outline is very helpful when it comes to structuring a paper.
How to Start a Critical Essay Introduction
An introduction gives readers a general idea of an essay’s contents. When you work on the introduction, imagine that you are drawing a map for the reader. It not only marks the final destination but also explains the route.
An introduction usually has 4 functions:
- It catches the reader’s attention;
- It states the essay’s main argument;
- It provides some general information about the topic;
- It shows the importance of the issue in question.
Here are some strategies that can make the introduction writing easier:
- Give an overview of the essay’s topic.
- Express the main idea.
- Define the main terms.
- Outline the issues that you are going to explore or argue about.
- Explain the methodology and why you used it.
- Write a hook to attract the reader’s attention.
Critical Analysis Thesis Statement & Examples
A thesis statement is an integral part of every essay. It keeps the paper organized and guides both the reader and the writer. A good thesis:
- expresses the conclusion or position on a topic;
- justifies your position or opinion with reasoning;
- conveys one idea;
- serves as the essay’s map.
To have a clearer understanding of what a good thesis is, let’s have a look at these examples.
The statement on the left is too general and doesn’t provide any reasoning. The one on the right narrows down the group of people to office workers and specifies the benefits of exercising.
Critical Thinking Essay Body Paragraphs: How to Write
Body paragraphs are the part of the essay where you discuss all the ideas and arguments. In a critical thinking essay, arguments are especially important. When you develop them, make sure that they:
- reflect the key theme;
- are supported by the sources/citations/examples.
Using counter-arguments is also effective. It shows that you acknowledge different points of view and are not easily persuaded.
In addition to your arguments, it’s essential to present the evidence . Demonstrate your critical thinking skills by analyzing each source and stating whether the author’s position is valid.
To make your essay logically flow, you may use transitions such as:
- For instance,
- On the contrary,
- In conclusion,
- Not only… but also,
How to Write a Critical Thinking Conclusion
In a critical thinking essay, the notion of “conclusion” is tightly connected to the one used in logic. A logical conclusion is a statement that specifies the author’s point of view or what the essay argues about. Each argument can have only one logical conclusion.
Sometimes they can be confused with premises. Remember that premises serve as a support for the conclusion. Unlike the conclusion, there can be several premises in a single argument. You can learn more about these concepts from the article on a logical consequence by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Keeping this in mind, have a look at these tips for finishing your essay:
- Briefly sum up the main points.
- Provide a final thought on the issue.
- Suggest some results or consequences.
- Finish up with a call for action.
📑 Critical Thinking Essays Examples & Formatting Tips
Formatting is another crucial aspect of every formal paper. MLA and APA are two popular formats when it comes to academic writing. They share some similarities but overall are still two different styles. Here are critical essay format guidelines that you can use as a reference:
Finally, you’re welcome to check out a full critical essay sample in MLA format. Download the PDF file below:
Currently, the importance of critical thinking has grown rapidly because technological progress has led to expanded access to various content-making platforms: websites, online news agencies, and podcasts with, often, low-quality information. Fake news is used to achieve political and financial aims, targeting people with low news literacy. However, individuals can stop spreading fallacies by detecting false agendas with the help of a skeptical attitude.
✍️ Bonus Tips: Critical Thinking and Writing Exercises
Critical thinking is a process different from our regular thinking. When we think in everyday life, we do it automatically. However, when we’re thinking critically, we do it deliberately.
So how do we get better at this type of thinking and make it a habit? These useful tips will help you do it:
- Ask basic questions. Sometimes, while we are doing research, the explanation becomes too complicated. To avoid it, always go back to your topic.
- Question basic assumptions. When thinking through a problem, ask yourself whether your beliefs can be wrong. Keep an open mind while researching your question.
- Think for yourself. Avoid getting carried away in the research and buying into other people’s opinions.
- Reverse things. Sometimes it seems obvious that one thing causes another, but what if it’s the other way around?
- Evaluate existing evidence. If you work with sources, it’s crucial to evaluate and question them.
Another way to improve your reasoning skills is to do critical thinking exercises. Here are some of them:
Thanks for reading through our article! We hope that you found it helpful and learned some new information. If you liked it, feel free to share it with your friends.
- Critical Writing: Examples & Brilliant Tips 
- How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Outline, Steps, & Examples
- How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide
- How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
- How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Step by Step
- Critical Thinking and Writing: University of Kent
- Steps to Critical Thinking: Rasmussen University
- 3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking: Harvard Business Review
- In-Class Writing Exercises: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Demonstrating Critical Thinking in Writing: University of South Australia
- 15 Questions that Teachers and Parents Can Ask Kids to Encourage Critical Thinking: The Hun School
- Questions to Provoke Critical Thinking: Brown University
- How to Write a College Critical Thinking Essay: Seattle PI
- Introductions: What They Do: Royal Literary Fund
- Thesis Statements: Arizona State University
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10+ Critical Essay Examples – PDF
Critical reflective essay template.
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Critical Essay on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”
Poetry Analysis Essay Template
Sample Body Paragraph of a Critical Essay
Characteristics of a Critical Essay
1. a critical essay has a central claim., 2. a critical essay has evidences, and primary and secondary sources., 3. a critical essay has a conclusion., writing a critical analysis guidelines.
Rubric for Writing a Critical Essay
Sample Critical Essay
Critical Essay on Tess of the d’Urbervilles
Steps in Writing a Critical Essay
1. read and study the topic of your essay., 2. conduct further research., 3. create a thesis statement., 4. draft your ideas., 5. begin your essay with an interesting line., 6. give your readers enough context about the material., 7. incorporate your evidences and supporting arguments into the body of your essay., 8. let your conclusion be unforgettable., critical essay example.
Critical Essay Citation Format
Tips in Writing Your First Critical Essay
Important Tips to Remember When Writing a Critical Essay
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How to Write a Critical Essay [Ultimate Guide]
Table of Contents:
1.How to write a critical essay 2.What Makes Essay Critical 3.Steps to Write a Critical Essay 4.Creating a critical essay plan 5.Tips for Writing a Critical Essay 6.Useful techniques used in writing a critical essay 7.Critical Essay Structure 8.Topics for writing a critical essay 9.Critical Essay Examples
How to write a critical essay:
- Examine a source: read it carefully and critically.
- Organize your thoughts: figure out the core claim and evidence, do research of secondary resources.
- State a thesis: make sure it has both a claim and details sustaining it.
- Write an outline.
- Write a draft of your critical essay.
- Edit and improve your essay .
Critical essays are among the most common types of writing assignments in college. Also known as analytical, a critical essay is about evaluating somebody’s work (a movie, a book, an article, etc.) and proving that your evaluation is correct.
The problem is, students often confuse a critical essay with a report, a critical precis , or a review.
In this article, we’ll reveal the core characteristics of a critical essay and learn the right way of writing it.
What Makes Essay Critical
A critical essay has a claim and evidence to prove that claim.
Here you need to analyze the work (a book, a movie, an article, whatever), respond to its central themes, and evaluate how its author conveyed them.
Attention! If the purpose of your paper isn’t to critique but inform or persuade readers of something, it won’t be a critical essay. Check our guides on expository essays or persuasive essays instead.
In other words, your essay is critical if:
- There is a thesis about the central themes of a discussed work in it.
- It explains what an author wanted to say about those themes.
- You describe what techniques an author used to communicate the message.
Please note that “critical” doesn’t mean “negative.” It’s about analysis and interpretation, not judging or disparaging.
When a teacher assigns a critical essay, they want to get a professionally presented and grammatically correct paper with a clear argument and consistent and accurate references to support that argument. They need a paper demonstrating that you’ve read a source, understood its theme, and evaluated the evidence relating to that theme.
Steps to Write a Critical Essay
Before you take a seat and start writing a critical essay, make sure you understand its characteristics and purpose inside out.
You need to analyze and evaluate a work.
Note: Analysis = breaking down and studying the part; evaluation = assessing strengths and weaknesses.
You need to express a central claim of your work in a thesis statement and then support it with evidence in each body paragraph.
Note: The evidence can be either the details from a source (dialogues, imagery, descriptions, text structure, etc.) or secondary resources such as scholarly articles or expert reviews that can help you support your argument.
You need to write a conclusion . Summarize a critical essay, emphasizing its most essential insights.
Long story short, here go your steps to write a critical essay.
Step 1: Examine a Source
You won’t write a critical essay if you don’t understand the subject of evaluation. Let’s say you write an essay on a book. It stands to reason that you need to read it first, right?
So, your first step to writing a critical essay will be critical reading. And while reading, make sure to take as many notes as possible. Utilizing an essay maker can help to organize your thoughts and structure your essay.
Take note of the instruments the author uses to communicate the message. What does he want to say? What words, grammar constructions, or stylistic devices does he use?
Also, think of the questions that come to your mind while reading. Write them down, too.
Step 2: Organize Your Thoughts
Now it’s time to figure out the core topic and problem of a piece. Find its central claim and the evidence demonstrating that claim. What does make it different or similar to other corresponding works?
Brainstorm to come up with what you already know, think, and feel about the topic. Think of related ideas and associations arising when you try to analyze it. Once your thoughts are on paper, start organizing them: group all the ideas and identify the areas for further research.
You might need to do research and find secondary sources such as scholarly articles or online reviews by experts to understand the original piece better. Collect all the necessary references you might later need to give credit in your critical essay.
Step 3: State a Thesis
Your critical essay should have a one-sentence thesis with two components: a claim and details sustaining it. Based on the information you’ve gathered from the subject of evaluation (a book, a movie, etc.) and secondary sources, write a thesis that will specify your essay’s direction.
Hint: When making a claim, answer the question, “What point am I trying to make?” If still in doubt, introduce your idea and evidence to a thesis statement generator : it will craft a thesis draft that you’ll modify later (if needed) to reflect your position better.
Step 4: Write a Critical Essay Outline
You can’t write an essay without outlining. At least, it will help you save time : here you’ll structurize all the points into paragraphs so it would be easier to write them later.
At this stage, you’ll have arguments and evidence to evaluate in essay paragraphs. Decide on the evidence that would support your thesis statement best.
Step 5: Write a Draft
Once the essay outline is ready, it’s time to write. (Yeap, finally!) Begin with an examination (a summary) of the work and respond to its central claim. Then, analyze and evaluate it with the evidence. And finally, conclude your critical essay with the emphasis on its most essential insights.
While writing, remember about academic style: stay formal and objective; use language precisely; remember about references; use transition words in paragraphs to guide readers and help them follow your train of thoughts.
Step 6: Edit and Improve
The best advice here would be to hold your completed draft for a short while and get some rest from writing. Then, read your essay a few times to see all the mistakes. You may do it yourself or ask a friend, a mom, or a groupmate to help you: they’ll see your essay from a different perspective, as readers, so it will be easier for them to identify weak points to edit.
Revise your essay, making all the necessary amendments until you see it’s perfect. To make sure it’s genuinely so, don’t hesitate to ask writing service for professional help .
Creating a critical essay plan
To write critical essay correctly, you will need a work plan. This will make it possible not to be confused by your information and to do the work consistently. More often than not, only three basic steps will suffice:
- The first thing to do is to write an introduction that will allow the topic to be disclosed, give the first argument, and strengthen the thesis.
- Next, you must create the central part, consisting of at least three full paragraphs. Consistently give arguments, facts, figures, and comparisons.
- Conclude with a proper conclusion. You can rephrase the thesis statement to make a circle between the end and the beginning of your paper.
Now you know how to write a critical essay introduction and can get started efficiently.
Tips for Writing a Critical Essay
Writing a critical essay is about your thinking skills. It’s an analysis- and argument-building process, and you need to practice a lot to develop essential skills of thinking. These tips will help you start and write academic papers that work, no matter if that’s a SAT essay , a dialectic essay , or any other type of college writing.
- Practice smart reading. It’s when you read a text, identifying and analyzing its specific details: an author’s claims, how he or she presents those claims, controversies surrounding the message, its strengths and weaknesses, its overall value, etc.
- Read some examples of critical essays. It will help to understand their structure and writing style. But don’t copy others’ ideas, trying to sound smarter! Develop your writing style, use the words you know, and introduce your ideas.
- Start writing a critical essay in advance. Don’t wait until the last moment: you’ll need time to read and evaluate the source, find evidence, introduce your thesis, write, and edit your essay. The more time you have, the better.
- Remember to introduce the author and the work you’re going to evaluate in your essay.
- Avoid the “I think” or “in my opinion” stuff when writing. You need to focus on the work, not yourself. When expressing your opinion, do it third-person and back it up with evidence.
- Always document quotes, paraphrases, and other references you use in essays.
- Resist the temptation of summarizing the source in general. If you start writing lengthy descriptions of all characters and the plot, stop and double-check if this information helps your analysis. Critical essays are about interpretation and evaluation, not retelling the plot.
Useful techniques used in writing a critical essay
Writing critical analysis essays can help you with a few useful tricks that even experts use during their work:
- you need to create a clear thesis statement to follow throughout the paper;
- work properly with textual evidence. Don’t leave only quotes in the paragraph and give clear examples;
- try to break paragraphs in time to create the right pauses for readers and to move from description to critique.
By doing so, your chances of succeeding in your assignment will return several times over!
Critical Essay Structure
Most essay types have a standard structure that includes an introduction (with a thesis statement), a body (paragraphs with arguments and evidence to support the thesis), and a conclusion (with a thesis restatement and essential insights). A critical essay structure is not an exception here.
But before you start writing, craft an outline, aka a roadmap for your essay to make sure you won’t miss any critical detail while writing a draft.
Critical Essay Outline
When you have an essay plan, its writing becomes much easier. Consider the format: as a rule, critical essays have a standard structure that consists of an introductory paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Use this template that will help you write a detailed outline for your critical essay :
Once you’ve completed the critical essay outline, it’s time to start writing. Do it quickly (you will have time to proofread and edit it later), paying attention to all the details from your outline.
Critical Essay Introduction
All essays have introductions, as it’s a part where you hook readers , tell about the topic and its importance, and, therefore, persuade them to continue reading. But while the purpose of most introductions is to introduce the thesis, a critical essay introduction is more complicated.
Here’s how to write a critical essay introduction:
- First, you need to introduce the author and the title of the work.
- Second, you need to state the author’s main point (of the entire work or the section you’re going to evaluate in your critical essay). Answer the question, “What does the author want readers to remember?”
- Third, you need to state (1-2 sentences) your evaluation of the work. (It will be your thesis statement.)
- And finally, add any background information the reader might need to understand the work’s context (its overall topic, the controversy it might involve, etc.). While it’s not a narrative essay , you need to set the stage: the chances are, your audience didn’t read the work so they wouldn’t understand your essay without the provided background.
Critical Essay Body
It’s the most detailed part of your critical essay, and it involves several sections. Each section addresses a particular detail and evidence to support your thesis.
The first section is the work’s summary.
Write a short, objective, and unbiased report of the work (or its abstract) you’re evaluating in your critical essay. Here you need to tell about the author’s overall point and the main supports he or she offers for that point. Make sure to avoid your personal opinion: write a summary in the third person!
The second section is the work’s interpretation and evaluation.
It’s where your report ends, but your analysis starts. Here you’ll evaluate the work’s strong and weak parts, by the following criteria:
- How accurate is the information in the work you’re criticizing?
- Does it have or lack definitions and key terms?
- Are there any controversies or hidden assumptions?
- Is the author’s language clear?
- Is the author fair? Does he or she cover both sides of the issue, without any bias?
- Is the work’s organization logical? Does the author present all the points in a meaningful way?
- Are there any gaps in his or her arguments?
- What are (if any) the author’s fallacies? (Too emotional language, over-simplification, generalization, etc.)
After that, your interpretation comes. It’s not about judging (evaluation) anymore, but your response (opinion) on this work.
- Where do I agree or disagree with the author?
- What does he or she get right or wrong?
- Would I recommend this work as a credible research source?
Your interpretation is, actually, the thesis of your essay. In this section, you’ll support the opinion you expressed in the thesis.
Critical Essay Conclusion
Yes, finally! Here comes the time to write a critical essay conclusion, and it doesn’t have to be too long. It’s like a reworded introduction, where you repeat the importance of your topic, reiterate the points you discussed, and summarize your interpretation.
- Remind readers why this topic is essential.
- Combine your evaluation and interpretation to focus on the work’s overall strengths and weaknesses.
- State what makes the work so popular and successful.
Topics for writing a critical essay
A properly assembled structure of a critical essay will allow you to work with almost any topic without any problems. However, choosing it can take a while, so here are some cool examples to help you start proactively.
Choose the topic closest to you and begin to study it in depth. This will allow you to accumulate the right argument and use it competently and quickly. Don’t forget to learn how to structure a critical essay and get to writing!
Critical Essay Examples
With tons of resources available online today, it’s not that difficult to find critical essay examples. But it’s challenging to find good ones . Here we have a couple of essay abstracts for you to get an idea of what a critical essay looks and sounds. Feel free to use them for informational and educational purposes only; don’t copy them word by word in your essays to avoid duplications and accusations of plagiarism from your educators.
Critical essay example #1 (the abstract, taken from examples.com):
Critical essay example #2 (the abstract, taken from examples.com):
More examples and explanations:
- The University of Queensland: Critical reading and analysis
- Thompson Rivers University: Critical analysis template
- Nova Southeastern University : Critical essay
FAQ about Critical Essay
And now, for the most interesting part:
To make a long story short for you, here go answers to the most frequently asked questions about critical essay writing. Read them if you want your analytical essay to be A-worthy.
- What type of language should be used in a critical analysis essay?
Make sure to use a formal language in critical essays. It’s about grammatical and pronunciation norms used in intellectual and academic activities. And since your essay is analytical and requires credibility, a formal language is what you need to make it sound so.
- How to cite a critical essay?
For citing critical essays, use the MLA format. Name the author first, followed by the title. Then, specify the publication details, including the pages from where you take the quote or reference.
- How to write a critical essay on movies?
Do it in the same ways as with books or articles. Watch the movie several times, engage with it critically: identify its core focus and message, interpret and evaluate it in the essay, and come up with the essential insights this movie gives to the audience.
- How to write a self-critical essay?
Self-critical essays are about analyzing and evaluating your own writings. As a rule, educators assign them for you to reflect on your progress as a writer.
Such essays are not that difficult to craft. Follow the basic structure of a critical essay: write an introduction stating your thesis, a few body paragraphs analyzing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and a conclusion that restates your thesis and sums up what you’ve learned about yourself.
- Can a critical essay be in the first person?
Yes, if you write a self-critical essay. But if you write about others’ works, use the third person only.
In a Word…
Don’t be afraid of writing a critical essay! Yes, essays are many, and it might seem impossible to learn the differences between them and the rules of writing them. But their basic structure is the same. All you need to do is identify the purpose of your assigned work and outline it accordingly.
Critical essays are about analyzing and evaluating the work of other writers. So, just read it, figure out what the authors wanted to say, think of whether you agree or disagree with them, and write a critical essay about all this stuff. Therefore, you develop critical thinking. You learn to introduce and prove your arguments.
And you understand how to share ideas with others so they’d listen and support you.
Our Writing Guides
10 thoughts on “ how to write a critical essay [ultimate guide] ”.
Writing is not an easy task, but the way you described it seems going to be easy. Thank you so much for this article. This is really helpful.
Very helpful information. It seems to me that the best way to learn to write well and structured is to learn from an essay format. I love the format of the essay. It really develops written skills, structures thoughts and makes you think.
I liked your post, it was helpful! But it lacks real examples…
Thanks for your comment, Amy!
No real examples? Hm… But there are at least two of them in the article; plus, we shared three links to highly authoritative resources (all are universities) with tons of critical essay examples there. 🙂
If you need even more real examples, please don’t hesitate to ask our writers for help!
Good stuff, thanks for this article. my problem is writing critical essay on a topic not on a book, article or film, I guess I will just have to follow the same layout and format the essay.
This makes it feel so natural…I love this!
great guides! any other tips of such kind about other essay types? i would love to read about personal essays or informative ones
We have the guide on personal essays already 🙂 As for informative ones, I’m working on the guide right now – so, stay tuned!
For me, it always was quite difficult to build critical essays.. It seems you need to prove something, search arguments, use evidence… all that is not that simple. Narrative or personal essays are much more interesting to write.
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Critical Essay Writing
Critical Essay Outline
Critical Essay Outline - Writing Guide With Examples
Published on: Oct 5, 2018
Last updated on: Dec 21, 2022
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A critical essay is the most common form of writing for academics. In this type of essay, a writer analyzes the text and then evaluates it for the audience. In addition to this, a writer forms a claim or stance and support it with evidence from the original text.
High school and college students frequently get to write this type of essay to enhance their analyzing and writing skills.
Writing an essay is a formal task. It requires a proper structure and outline. Continue reading this blog to know how a critical essay outline is drafted.
How to Write a Critical Essay Outline?
Writing an outline is an essential part of drafting an effective essay. An outline is given to provide a sensible structure to the content through which a reader easily keeps track of the writer’s ideas and explanations.
When a writer conducts research on the topic and gathers relevant information, it needs to be represented in a readable form. An outline divides and organizes the information, making the content understandable for the readers.
A critical essay can be written using the standard structure or essay outline of five paragraphs:
- Body paragraph 1
- Body paragraph 2
- Body paragraph 3
All the researched and gathered information on the essay topic is divided into these five paragraphs. Separating the content will make the essay understandable and logical for the audience.
All essay types are written following this standard outline. To learn how a critical essay outline is drafted, follow the steps mentioned below.
Critical Essay Introduction
An introduction is the first section of a critical essay structure or outline. In this section, the essay topic or the subject matter is introduced. The chosen work, a film or piece of writing, is presented in the first section in an exciting way to attract the audience.
The purpose of writing an introduction is to make the audience aware of the topic and the primary objective of the essay.
- Hook statement - A hook statement is an opening sentence of an essay introduction. Its purpose is to encourage the audience to read the essay. A hook statement can take any form, depending on the type and topic of the essay. A hook statement for a critical essay can be a factual statement, statistics, a question, or just an opinion depending on the writer’s preference.
Also, the brief intro of the author is given in the introductory paragraph by the writer. It is to make the audience familiar with the work and its creator in the essay.
The thesis statement developed should be strong as it is the essence of the whole essay. All the content in the remaining paragraphs will be defending and backing this one major argument of the writer.
Critical Essay Body Paragraphs
The main body of the essay is the section where all the details about the topic are presented. In this part, the main thesis statement is supported using evidence from the content. The body of the critical analysis essay is written in two sections.
The first section of the body includes a summary of the work. Here the writer presents objective information about the text. In addition to this, the author’s perspective is given, along with the intended message and the devices he used to persuade the audience. Write a summary in a third-person perspective and avoid giving your personal opinions here.
The second section in the main body of the essay is a detailed evaluation of the work by the writer. In this part, the writer critically evaluates every single detail in the original text. To draft this section, consider the following points:
- Accuracy of the original work
- Effectiveness of devices and techniques used
- Implicit meanings
- Language and tone
- How objective was the author in describing both sides of an issue?
- Logical organization of the work
- Strength of the arguments and message
The information presented in this section will be the supporting explanation for the thesis statement made earlier in the introduction. Make sure to give logical and strong evidence from the text to persuade the audience.
All the paragraphs in the body section start using a topic sentence. The topic sentence carries the major idea discussed in the rest of the sentences of the paragraph. This gives a smooth flow to the content and makes it understandable for the readers.
Critical Essay Conclusion
After providing the evidence to support your thesis statement in the body paragraphs, your essay needs a conclusion. A conclusion is offered to give your discussion closure.
To write an effective conclusion, restate your thesis statement in the concluding paragraphs in paraphrased words. This is to refer back all your discussion to the major point. Pay close attention while drafting a conclusion as it is equally important as the other two sections. Also, it will remind the reader of the main topic and objective of critical writing.
Moreover, the combination of the actual work and the analysis is evaluated to present the effectiveness of the original as well as the analyzed work. This will be a summary of all the discussed major points in the critical analysis essay.
Also, state the limitations, if any, in the original content or the flaws in the author’s depiction of the ideas and concepts. At the end of the concluding paragraphs, provide a final verdict. The final verdict can be a closing statement or a ‘Call-To-Action,” depending on the topic and the work.
Critical Essay Outline Template (PDF)
Critical Essay Example
When writing a critical essay for academics, the smallest mistake can make you risk your grades and your reputation. It is advised by professionals to always go through examples before drafting any piece of work.
Going through an example will let you decide on the tone and structure to be selected for your critical paper. The example of a critical essay provided below will help you start writing an essay without any doubts.
Critical Essay Sample (PDF)
A perfect outline will guarantee a successful and effective essay. No matter how near the deadline is, never rush to write an essay without forming an outline. Make sure the critical reading of the original content is done. Moreover, carefully divide your information into the introduction, body, and conclusion sections.
If you think your writing and analyzing skills are not up to the mark, you can always take help from an expert essay writer.
MyPerfectWords.com is an essay writing service that provides guidance and assistance to all students. No matter what field or level you belong to, MyPerfectWords.com provides academic writing services for everyone. Moreover, if you are looking for free essay samples and original content, MyPerfectWords.com is the right place.
Hire our essay writer to write a critical analysis essay by placing an order today at an extremely affordable price.
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Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.
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How To Write A Critical Essay? – Top 10 Writing Tips
Being a student comes with its challenges. Exams, assignments, never-ending classes, and sleepless nights always surround you. On top of that, you might have a situation where you are requested to submit a critical essay , which is one of the most common assignments in college.
Wondering, how can you possibly do that? Well, we know that a critical essay is time demanding and needs a lot of analysis to be conducted. Also, once all the information is gathered you have to be a pro writer to write that document with efficiency. Thus, we have decided to give out some pro tips to you so that you can write a well-structured critical essay. But before we move on to the tips and tricks, let’s understand, what do you mean by a critical essay ?
- 1.1 Popular Types Of Critical Essay
- 2 Major Characteristics Of A Critical Essay
- 3.1 Critical Essay Writing Format
- 4 Step-By-Step Process To Write A Critical Essay
- 5 15 Awesome Critical Essay Topics For Students In 2022
- 6 Examples Of Critical Essay
- 7.1 Conclusion
What Is a Critical Essay?
Also known as an analytical essay, a critical essay is a piece of the academic document where you choose a topic of interest and present your claim with hard evidence and literature support. It is more like evaluating work and presenting your analysis with solid referencing.
When you say, your essay is Critical:
- It mentions that the author has a complete understanding of the topic to make a claim
- It says that the essay has a central focus on the topic and claim is based on hard reference from credential literature
Popular Types Of Critical Essay
Critical essay writing has many different types. Let’s have a look at some of the most common ones:
- Sociological Criticism
- New Historicism
- Gender Criticism
- Psychoanalytical Criticism
- Mythological Criticism
- Reader-response Criticism
- Biographical Criticism
- Formalist Criticism
Major Characteristics Of A Critical Essay
A critical essay is basically an in-depth analysis of a diverse range of subjects such as poetry, films, painting, video games, novels, etc. They are a crucial part of academics. Certain characteristics remain common in critical essay writing practices, regardless of their type. Let us explain them one by one.
- The central claim: A central claim is the core idea introduced at the beginning of a critical essay through a thesis statement. As we move forward, we share evidence in support of our claim in the body. You can further use counterarguments to strengthen your write-up and support them with reasonable evidence.
- Evidence: As we mentioned earlier, you need to support the central claim with the help of evidence. You might need to go into the details to fortify your arguments. This includes descriptions, choice of words, dialogue, images, structure. While the evidence should be gathered from credible sources, you can also use scholarly sources.
- Conclusion: The conclusion should be crisp, direct, and impactful. It must be powerful enough to leave the readers pondering over the entire write-up. It should provide the gist of the argument and highlight the crucial parts.
How To Outline A Critical Essay?
One of the most important things to keep your thoughts aligned while writing is an outline. It is a plan that simplifies the writing process. In general, an outline is divided into an introduction, main body, and conclusion.
- Introduction : The introductory paragraph focuses on explaining the topic and background details. It must have a thesis statement to provide a clear picture of the subject.
- Main Body: In the body paragraphs, discuss all the key ideas. Further, elaborate on the points you introduced in the beginning. Here, you can include facts, figures, examples, quotes, etc. You need to evaluate the information and present it to the readers. Hence, meticulously assess how the original subject is presented.
- Conclusion: Here, restate the thesis statement of the critical essay. Write a summary of the core argument and highlight the major points in the write-up.
Critical Essay Writing Format
Here is the general critical essay writing format that you can use to keep your write-up organized.
- Share the background details related to the subject
- Information about the publication
- Title and author’s details
- Topic and purpose statement
- A strong thesis statement
- Summarize the information on the subject.
- Evaluation and interpretation about the work
- Discuss the style and organization of the work
- Analyze the topic
- Assess how effective the work is. Does it appeal to the audience?
- Recall the significance of the topic
- Describe the overall weaknesses and strengths of the subject.
- Discuss what makes the work successful with a simple, concluding statement.
Step-By-Step Process To Write A Critical Essay
- Step #1: Assess The Subject
You must first understand the subject of your essay. Whether it is a book, a movie, or a play; critically analyze the subject.
- Examine what is the piece about.
- What are the features that set it apart from others?
- Analyze the style of writing. Is it modern or post-modern?
- Make a list of all the queries popping up in your mind while going through the source.
- Step #2: Conduct The Research
Go through all the information you have gathered from credible sources. Further, prepare meticulous notes through your observations. Do not hesitate from including your ideas and opinions. Try collecting as many details as you can on the subject.
- Step #3: Prepare A Strong Thesis
A thesis is the core of any piece of writing. It highlights a strong view of the point you are trying to prove. While composing a thesis, keep all the important resources in mind.
- Step #4: Choose The Evidences Carefully
While including the evidence in your essay, keep these points in mind:
- Select the evidence that supports your thesis.
- Pick evidence from popular or recognized sources.
- Look for an idea supported by more than one author.
- Step #5: Prepare An Antithesis
Acknowledging an opposing idea strengthens your essay.
- It provides readers with an in-depth view of the subject.
- It establishes you as an authority on that specific subject since you are well-versed in it.
- Step #6: Draft An Outline
An outline keeps your ideas organized and helps you deliver the message effectively. Here is how to plan the outline:
- Introductory body
- Supporting paragraphs
- Step #7: Writing The Essay
Now that you are done with planning and outlining your critical essay, it’s time to start writing. Always start with a direct and interesting introduction. It’s best to include facts and claims in the main body. Doing this makes it easy to assess the information. Then conclude everything with a central idea.
- Step #8: Editing & Proofreading
It’s always best to dedicate a significant amount of time to proofreading. This way, you can carefully evaluate the write-up and spot the errors. You must edit the grammatical and spelling mistakes, correct the sentence structuring issues, etc.
15 Awesome Critical Essay Topics For Students In 2022
If you are running out of critical essay topic ideas, check out this list!
- What are the impacts of technology on young children?
- Present the analysis of your favorite romantic comedy movie.
- What are the issues involved with healthy eating practices?
- Are humans related to nature? If yes, then how?
- What are the key causes of eating disorders and obesity?
- What is the reason behind a major decline in the word food resources?
- Share your critical analysis of single-parent families.
- Discuss the changing gender roles.
- How does the modern world pose a threat to biodiversity?
- Discuss the effects of junk food on human health.
- Describe the relationship between technology and education.
- Write about your favorite fictional character.
- How effective is America’s economic system?
- How does deep-fried food affect health?
- Write about the education system all around the globe.
Examples Of Critical Essay
Example #1: Share your views on whether or not Tess portrayed in, “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” responsible for her own demise?
As per the theory shared by Clement Scott (Scott, 1894, p 353-355) in 1894, women were born “angels”. And, the women involved in sex were termed as “perverse”. This is what led to the polarization of women in “chaste or the depraved, the virgin or the whore” (Boumelha, 1982, p 11). The moral values of chastity of the Christians were being scrutinized by the late 20 th century. This has been mentioned in the “authority of biological law” (Boumlha, 1982, p 12). The worth of a woman’s purity became a popular reason for discussion, which has also been highlighted in Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” (Hardy, 2005). As per Hardy, with this story, he attempts to explain that “everybody nowadays thinks and feels” (Hardy, 2005, p 3). The strong Christian principles condemned the protagonists and termed them as “immoral”. These arguments point towards the claim about Tess’ demise due to self failure. It indicates an indecisive and passive nature. On the other hand, Hellenists had opposite thoughts and claimed Tess’ innocent. The proposed argument suggested that the manipulative family and lovers led to Tess’ fall.
Example #2: Critical Analysis Essay Sample On “Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness”
Aesthetic philosophy has a major loophole, that is, the link between narrative style and moral judgment. This issue dates back to Plato. According to my, “Narrative Style” is the formal literary feature devised by the writers to build on a unique narrative. On the other hand, “Moral Judgment” is the message communicated through a given text while mentioning the objects that are beyond it. This aforementioned explanation deduces the relationship between moral judgment and narrative style. This analysis focuses on determining whether or not such a presupposition is justified. “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad is popular for its meticulous examination of European conduct and values. As per Ian Watt, “Heart of Darkness” comprehensively personifies the posture of doubt and uncertainty than any other previous fictional publication. However, it is important to analyze whether or not this reading is precise. If it is accurate, what are the stylistic devices utilized by Conrad to pose “uncertainty”? “Heart of Darkness” utilized a slanted narrative style. Thus, an unnamed narrator can also relate to the narrative as he has linked it back with Marlow who is the main protagonist in Conrad’s novella.
Final Tips For Writing A Critical Essay
- Indulge In Active Reading: Practicing active reading is a smart technique. This keeps you focused on the information and retaining it. These details will help you in specifying the evidence and claims while establishing the main argument. Analyze how the author has presented the claims, the controversies involved, and the value of the content.
- Check-Out The Examples: If this is your first time writing a critical essay then we highly suggest you go through a few examples. It provides you with a clear idea of formulating the essay. Hence, reducing the chances of error in structure or writing style.
- Avoid Summarizing The Information: Many students commit the mistake of converting their essay into a mere summary. Avoid doing this at all costs! Take out some time to analyze the information. Rather than drafting wordy plots or descriptions, take out a minute and think whether or not this information supports your analysis. Do not retell the story. Formulate your own interpretation.
- Start by outlining your essay: Before you put any content on the table make sure you have your essay outlined. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Start by making a list of ideas you will mention or elaborate on inside the essay. Then write down the main argument and reference surrounding it. If you will have an outline ready you will never miss out on any crucial point.
- Get to know the rules of formatting: Formatting is very crucial be it a critical essay or any other type. Every academic document has certain rules and regulation that needs to be followed. Thus, get to know the rules you have to follow strictly. Any formatting errors will lower your grades and you wouldn’t want that.
- Work on a catchy title of the essay: A catchy title will add a lot of importance to your work overall. The title can even make the users think about the analysis you are going to present. Ask a question or present a fact. This will make a user start questioning the topic and generate interest.
- Gather critical Literature: There is no essay without supporting literature. You need to find the best sources such as peer-reviewed sites or databases to collect data. It should be relevant to your claim and back 100%. Literature is informative and educates the audience on a subject matter. Thus, you should spend most of the time finding the best literature available on your given topic. If you want you can reach out to your seniors or professors to know which are the best places to look.
- Start with the writing process: This might be the toughest part for most students i.e. writing the essay . Putting everything together in the right sequence. You have the claim ready and all the supporting literature and even the outline but now you need a writing approach. Make sure you keep the paper scientific with professional lingo. The words or sentences you construct should focus on your topic. Make sure it is precise and informative. All the content should be dedicated to proving the point you wish to make. You may take from days to a week to complete the content but make sure you spend time and write only worthy content.
- Proofread the essay from tip to toe: If you think writing the paper ends your responsibility, we hate to break it to you that you have to make sure your paper is of high quality. Keep an extra day just for proofreading your work. You need to check the grammar, construction of sentences, addition or removal of literature, etc. Also cross-referencing the citations and referrals is of great importance. So, don’t rush through anything and take it slow. After all, it’s about your grades and getting an edge. So read every line and sentence and make sure everything is relevant and connected.
- Aim for 100% unique content : This is ethically important in academic writing. There can be serious consequences if your work is not 100% original. Do not dig the Internet to find patches of information only to compile it later and present it in the form of an essay. Your work is going to fetch you great results so you have to be honest in your approach and avoid any wrong ways of writing your essay or finishing it in a quick timeline. What’s the use of cut-copy-paste if your work is rejected by your institute or professors. You will have to start it over which will be even worse.
You will win your audience if your final argument has weight and is supported by credible sources. Also, doing extensive research on the subject is equally important. So go ahead and follow the tips mentioned above to nail your critical essay. In case you do not have the time or patience to pull off such an exhausting task then you might consider outsourcing it to experts like us. We have impeccable writers who know how to perfect the process of writing a critical essay . You can reach out to us on our contact page.
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Quick Guide on How to Write a Critical Analysis: Topics and Examples
What Is a Critical Analysis Essay
Have you ever had to read a book or watch a movie for school and then write an essay about it? Well, a critical analysis essay is a type of essay where you do just that! So, when wondering what is a critical analysis essay, know that it's a fancy way of saying that you're going to take a closer look at something and analyze it.
So, let's say you're assigned to read a novel for your literature class. A critical analysis essay would require you to examine the characters, plot, themes, and writing style of the book. You would need to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and provide your own thoughts and opinions on the text.
Similarly, if you're tasked with writing a critical analysis essay on a scientific article, you would need to analyze the methodology, results, and conclusions presented in the article and evaluate its significance and potential impact on the field.
The key to a successful critical analysis essay is to approach the subject matter with an open mind and a willingness to engage with it on a deeper level. By doing so, you can gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the subject matter and develop your own informed opinions and perspectives. Considering this, we bet you want to learn how to write critical analysis essay easily and efficiently, so keep on reading to find out more!
Meanwhile, if you'd rather have your own sample critical analysis essay crafted by professionals from our custom writings , contact us to buy essays online .
Critical Analysis Essay Topics by Category
If you're looking for an interesting and thought-provoking topic for your critical analysis essay, you've come to the right place! Critical analysis essays can cover many subjects and topics, with endless possibilities. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of critical analysis essay topics by category. We've got you covered whether you're interested in literature, science, social issues, or something else. So, grab a notebook and pen, and get ready to dive deep into your chosen topic. In the following sections, we will provide you with various good critical analysis paper topics to choose from, each with its unique angle and approach.
Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Mass Media
From television and radio to social media and advertising, mass media is everywhere, shaping our perceptions of the world around us. As a result, it's no surprise that critical analysis essays on mass media are a popular choice for students and scholars alike. To help you get started, here are ten critical essay example topics on mass media:
- The impact of social media influencers on consumer behavior and societal norms.
- An analysis of the portrayal of race and ethnicity in mainstream media.
- The role of media bias in shaping political opinions and public discourse.
- An examination of the effects of violent media on aggression and behavior.
- The impact of media ownership on journalistic integrity and media diversity.
- An analysis of the effects of media representations of gender on body image and self-esteem.
- The role of media literacy in encouraging media literacy and critical thinking skills.
- An examination of the ethics of targeted advertising and personal data collection.
- The impact of the 24-hour news cycle on journalism and public discourse.
- A critical analysis of media representations of mental health and illness.
Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Sports
Sports are a ubiquitous aspect of our culture, and they have the power to unite and inspire people from all walks of life. Whether you're an athlete, a fan, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of competition, there's no denying the significance of sports in our society. If you're looking for an engaging and thought-provoking topic for your critical analysis essay, sports offer a wealth of possibilities:
- An analysis of the role of sports in promoting gender equality and diversity.
- A critical examination of the commercialization of sports and its impact on athletes and fans.
- The effects of sports on mental health and well-being.
- A critical analysis of the representation of race and ethnicity in sports media.
- An examination of the relationship between sports and nationalism.
- A critical analysis of the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
- The impact of sports on social mobility and class inequality.
- A critical examination of the relationship between sports and politics.
- An analysis of the role of sports in promoting social change and activism.
- The ethics of youth sports and their impact on child development.
Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Literature and Arts
Literature and arts can inspire, challenge, and transform our perceptions of the world around us. From classic novels to contemporary art, the realm of literature and arts offers many possibilities for critical analysis essays. Here are ten original critic essay example topics on literature and arts:
- The role of art in shaping cultural identity and social change.
- A critical analysis of the representation of mental illness in contemporary literature and art.
- An examination of the relationship between literature and social justice movements.
- A critical analysis of the portrayal of gender and sexuality in literature and the arts.
- The impact of technology on contemporary literature and art.
- An analysis of the role of satire in contemporary literature and art.
- The impact of globalization on contemporary literature and art.
- A critical examination of the relationship between literature and politics.
- An analysis of the role of literature and arts in promoting environmentalism and sustainability.
- The intersection of literature and arts with social media and digital culture.
Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Culture
Culture is a dynamic and multifaceted aspect of our society, encompassing everything from language and religion to art and music. As a result, there are countless possibilities for critical analysis essays on culture. Whether you're interested in exploring the complexities of globalization or delving into the nuances of cultural identity, there's a wealth of topics to choose from:
- A critical analysis of the impact of globalization on cultural identity and diversity.
- An examination of the representation of cultural diversity in mainstream media.
- A critical analysis of the role of language in shaping cultural identity and social change.
- An examination of the relationship between culture and power structures.
- A critical analysis of the representation of race and ethnicity in popular culture.
- The impact of cultural appropriation on marginalized communities and cultural identity.
- An analysis of the role of music in promoting cultural awareness and social change.
- A critical examination of the relationship between culture and tourism.
- An analysis of the impact of cultural institutions on the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage.
- The intersection of culture and technology and its impact on cultural identity and social change.
How to Write a Critical Analysis
When wondering how to write a critical analysis essay, remember that it can be a challenging but rewarding process. Crafting a critical analysis example requires a careful and thoughtful examination of a text or artwork to assess its strengths and weaknesses and broader implications. The key to success is to approach the task in a systematic and organized manner, breaking it down into two distinct steps: critical reading and critical writing. Here are some tips for each step of the process to help you write a critical essay.
Step 1: Critical Reading
Here are some tips for critical reading that can help you with your critical analysis paper:
- Read actively : Don't just read the text passively, but actively engage with it by highlighting or underlining important points, taking notes, and asking questions.
- Identify the author's main argument: Figure out what the author is trying to say and what evidence they use to support their argument.
- Evaluate the evidence: Determine whether the evidence is reliable, relevant, and sufficient to support the author's argument.
- Analyze the author's tone and style: Consider the author's tone and style and how it affects the reader's interpretation of the text.
- Identify assumptions: Identify any underlying assumptions the author makes and consider whether they are valid or questionable.
- Consider alternative perspectives: Consider alternative perspectives or interpretations of the text and consider how they might affect the author's argument.
- Assess the author's credibility : Evaluate the author's credibility by considering their expertise, biases, and motivations.
- Consider the context: Consider the historical, social, cultural, and political context in which the text was written and how it affects its meaning.
- Pay attention to language: Pay attention to the author's language, including metaphors, symbolism, and other literary devices.
- Synthesize your analysis: Use your analysis of the text to develop a well-supported argument in your critical analysis essay.
Step 2: Critical Analysis Writing
Here are some tips for critical analysis writing, with examples:
- Start with a strong thesis statement: A strong critical analysis thesis is the foundation of any critical analysis essay. It should clearly state your argument or interpretation of the text. You can also consult us on how to write a thesis statement . Meanwhile, here is a clear example:
- Weak thesis statement: 'The author of this article is wrong.'
- Strong thesis statement: 'In this article, the author's argument fails to consider the socio-economic factors that contributed to the issue, rendering their analysis incomplete.'
- Use evidence to support your argument: Use evidence from the text to support your thesis statement, and make sure to explain how the evidence supports your argument. For example:
- Weak argument: 'The author of this article is biased.'
- Strong argument: 'The author's use of emotional language and selective evidence suggests a bias towards one particular viewpoint, as they fail to consider counterarguments and present a balanced analysis.'
- Analyze the evidence : Analyze the evidence you use by considering its relevance, reliability, and sufficiency. For example:
- Weak analysis: 'The author mentions statistics in their argument.'
- Strong analysis: 'The author uses statistics to support their argument, but it is important to note that these statistics are outdated and do not take into account recent developments in the field.'
- Use quotes and paraphrases effectively: Use quotes and paraphrases to support your argument and properly cite your sources. For example:
- Weak use of quotes: 'The author said, 'This is important.'
- Strong use of quotes: 'As the author points out, 'This issue is of utmost importance in shaping our understanding of the problem' (p. 25).'
- Use clear and concise language: Use clear and concise language to make your argument easy to understand, and avoid jargon or overly complicated language. For example:
- Weak language: 'The author's rhetorical devices obfuscate the issue.'
- Strong language: 'The author's use of rhetorical devices such as metaphor and hyperbole obscures the key issues at play.'
- Address counterarguments: Address potential counterarguments to your argument and explain why your interpretation is more convincing. For example:
- Weak argument: 'The author is wrong because they did not consider X.'
- Strong argument: 'While the author's analysis is thorough, it overlooks the role of X in shaping the issue. However, by considering this factor, a more nuanced understanding of the problem emerges.'
- Consider the audience: Consider your audience during your writing process. Your language and tone should be appropriate for your audience and should reflect the level of knowledge they have about the topic. For example:
- Weak language: 'As any knowledgeable reader can see, the author's argument is flawed.'
- Strong language: 'Through a critical analysis of the author's argument, it becomes clear that there are gaps in their analysis that require further consideration.'
Get more info about HOW TO WRITE A THESIS STATEMENT
Creating a Critical Analysis Essay Outline
Creating a detailed outline is essential when writing a critical analysis essay. It helps you organize your thoughts and arguments, ensuring your essay flows logically and coherently. Here is a detailed critical analysis outline from our dissertation writers :
A. Background information about the text and its author
B. Brief summary of the text
C. Thesis statement that clearly states your argument
II. Analysis of the Text
A. Overview of the text's main themes and ideas
B. Examination of the author's writing style and techniques
C. Analysis of the text's structure and organization
III. Evaluation of the Text
A. Evaluation of the author's argument and evidence
B. Analysis of the author's use of language and rhetorical strategies
C. Assessment of the text's effectiveness and relevance to the topic
IV. Discussion of the Context
A. Exploration of the historical, cultural, and social context of the text
B. Examination of the text's influence on its audience and society
C. Analysis of the text's significance and relevance to the present day
V. Counter Arguments and Responses
A. Identification of potential counterarguments to your argument
B. Refutation of counterarguments and defense of your position
C. Acknowledgement of the limitations and weaknesses of your argument
A. Recap of your argument and main points
B. Evaluation of the text's significance and relevance
C. Final thoughts and recommendations for further research or analysis.
This outline can be adjusted to fit the specific requirements of your essay. Still, it should give you a solid foundation for creating a detailed and well-organized critical analysis essay.
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Useful Techniques Used in Literary Criticism
There are several techniques used in literary criticism to analyze and evaluate a work of literature. Here are some of the most common techniques:
- Close reading: This technique involves carefully analyzing a text to identify its literary devices, themes, and meanings.
- Historical and cultural context: This technique involves examining the historical and cultural context of a work of literature to understand the social, political, and cultural influences that shaped it.
- Structural analysis: This technique involves analyzing the structure of a text, including its plot, characters, and narrative techniques, to identify patterns and themes.
- Formalism: This technique focuses on the literary elements of a text, such as its language, imagery, and symbolism, to analyze its meaning and significance.
- Psychological analysis: This technique examines the psychological and emotional aspects of a text, including the motivations and desires of its characters, to understand the deeper meanings and themes.
- Feminist and gender analysis: This technique focuses on the representation of gender and sexuality in a text, including how gender roles and stereotypes are reinforced or challenged.
- Marxist and social analysis: This technique examines the social and economic structures portrayed in a text, including issues of class, power, and inequality.
By using these and other techniques, literary critics can offer insightful and nuanced analyses of works of literature, helping readers to understand and appreciate the complexity and richness of the texts.
- An Objective Analysis — Evaluation based only on facts; without using feeling or emotion in the study.
- Traditional Critique — Critique based on a collective agreement of sources that literate and educated people should know.
- New Critique — Critique that is concentrated on just the text itself. Areas of irony, metaphor, ambiguity, and paradox are under close evaluation.
- Marxist Criticism — Analogy through class conflicts and identification, coming to conclusions of a political or social nature. Marxist criticism has had a profound effect on the understanding of literature.
- Metaphorical Critique — Close attention to metaphors to form a deeper understanding of the work and its author.
- New Historicism — The study of literature based on its historical value.
- Psychological Critique — Freudian critique, where the author's unconscious wishes, just like dreams, can be evaluated as a pathway to their mind.
- Sociological Criticism — Mainly focuses on how the literature represents social functions but also where the work fits into society in general.
- Moral or Ethical Criticism — Judging the work or literary piece by the morals learned from the text.
Sample Critical Analysis Essay
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How to Write a Critical Response Essay With Examples and Tips
13 August 2023
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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].
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.
- 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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- A Research Guide
- Writing Guide
- Essay Writing
How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay
- What is a critical essay
- Critical essay structure
- How to start a critical essay
Types of critical essays
Step-by-step critical essay writing guide.
- Critical essay formatting tips
- Critical essay examples
What is a critical essay?
- To offer an objective vision of the original author.
- To provide a complete analysis of the consistency offered by the original author.
- To thoroughly evaluate original work and discuss the capability to maintain and support primary arguments and concepts.
- To critically analyze in an essay by presenting strengths and weaknesses discovered in an article, a movie, or an academic journal entry.
- To criticize the original author’s work by providing actual examples and explanations.
Critical essay structure and outline rules
How to start a critical essay?
- Take notes about information related to the author and include it in your introduction paragraph.
- Determine the author’s opinion and take on the subject by analyzing available data.
- Seek out examples of evidence as to whether the author proves why it is the right way of thinking.
- Create a strong thesis statement representing 50% of the author’s opinion and 50% of your vision.
- Determine both the strong and weak sides of the author’s style, grammar, accuracy, and structure. Use evaluation and analysis.
- Sociological critique.
- Sociocultural analysis.
- Reader-response criticism.
- Gender-based critical writing.
- Mythological critique.
- Biographical writing.
- History writing analysis.
- Psychoanalytical criticism.
- Formalist criticism and analysis.
Step 1: Know what is expected!
Step 2: take your time to analyze the source material, step 3: taking notes technique, step 4: primary challenges and working in patterns, step 5: author’s solutions, step 6: editing and proofreading, important critical essay formatting tips.
- Keep up with the specified writing style for your citations and the written content.
- Provide basic biography information about the author.
- Include only 1-3 citations per page.
- Provide information in “introduction – quote – analysis” template format.
- Your tone must be formal and analytical unless specified otherwise.
- The bias matters must be clarified with your academic advisor before writing.
- When seeking out the weak points for your critical analysis essay, explain why you think so with a piece of evidence that may include the author’s limitation or evidence taken from an external source.
Helpful critical essay examples
- Critical Reading and Analysis by the University of Queensland.
- Critical Analysis Template by Thompson Rivers University.
- Critical Essay Examples by EduBirdie (Our academic writing partner).
- Critical Essay Samples by Students by James Cook University.
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- Writing Guides
How To Write A Critical Essay
Table of Contents
Content of this article
- Purposes of writing
- Preparation process
- Finalizing an essay
- How to choose topic for a critical writing
1. How To Write A Critical Essay
A critical essay seeks to provide an analysis or interpretation of either a book, a piece of art, or a film . A critical essay is not the same as a review because, unlike a review, it encompasses an academic purpose or goal. Students should not just aim at reviewing a book or a film but should have an argument and include scholarly observations within their essays. Contrary to popular belief by a significant portion of students, critical essay writing is not about criticizing or focusing on the negative aspect of analysis. It is possible to have a critical essay that supports an idea or an author’s or director’s view regarding a particular theme. A critical essay is thus an objective analysis of a particular subject whose aim is to analyze the strengths or weaknesses of text, art , or film. The above is of great importance, especially to students who think that critical essays are supposed to focus on the negative aspects of a subject.
The goal or purpose of a critical essay is to provide readers with an explanation or an interpretation of a specific idea or concept that an author, painter, or director included in their work. Additionally, writers can be asked to situate a certain theme in a book or film within a broader context. Essentially, critical essay writing involves weighing up the consistency of an author or director is trying to convey a particular message to their audience. It is thus vital to be keen and observant and note the different feelings as well as emotions conjured within a text, a film, or a painting. Writing a critical paper or criticizing might seem easy at first, but it can also be challenging.
Some of the purposes of a critical essay writing are as shown below:
- Provide an objective account of an author’s, director’s, or painter’s work.
- Analyze the consistency of an author’s work in presenting their ideas.
- Assess the consistency of an author’s work in maintaining and supporting their main argument or idea.
- Present the strengths as well as weaknesses of an article.
- Criticize the work of an author or a painter.
2. Preparation For Writing
Step 1: understand the requirements.
Students are often at fault for starting their essays without clearly understanding the instructor’s requirements. Instead of starting an essay immediately after reading the requirements, it is wise to seek any clarification from the teacher.
Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the primary source
The primary source is the book, film, or painting a student has been asked to write a critical essay about. Here, students are always advised to be careful and note everything within the source for purpose of making their essays better. If asked to write a particular book, film, or painting, students should read the book more than once, watch the film more than once, or look at the painting from different perspectives to understand the underlying themes.
Step 3: Take notes when reading/watching/assessing the primary source
Note-taking is also vital to identifying the different patterns and problems within a text, film, or painting. While reading the text, or watching the movie, it is important to note the important concepts and ideas that an author or director, or painter decided to incorporate into their work. The important points or aspects can indeed be overwhelming, and it is thus essential to ensure none will skip or escape the writer’s mind.
Step 4: Identify the main problems or patterns within a text, movie, or art
After reviewing a text, watching a movie, or keenly analyzing a piece of art and taking notes, the next step is to identify the main problems or patterns that emerge from the notes. While noting the important aspects, certain issues or points are bound to emerge and stand out. Students thus need to be keen and identify these patterns and problems.
Step 5: Find solutions to the identified problems and patterns
The next thing after this is to try and find solutions for the identified problems and patterns. At this point, the writer should be developing their thesis statement and have their perspective clearly outlined .
3. Performing Research
Critical Essay writing is heavily dependent on how much research an individual does. In some instances, students make the mistake of depending on their primary source to write their critical essays. Unless otherwise specified by the instructor, it is always advisable to find other sources to help expand and increase the essay’s depth in content. Secondary sources help to increase an essay’s credibility and thus if needed should always be included.
Finding the right sources can be a problem and students often find themselves at fault for using unreliable sources. It is important to find genuine sources which offer reliable and accurate information lest one’s essay is filled with lies and inaccurate information. Just like how one is advised to take notes while reading or watching the primary source, it is also essential to take notes while going through the secondary sources. The notes help to determine or find patterns and points of correlation between the primary and secondary sources. Understanding the relationship or the connection between the primary and secondary sources is key to writing a decent critical essay. Below are some criteria for choosing the right secondary source:
- Assess the timeliness of the source, that is, how current is the material.
- Accuracy of the information. How reliable is the information within the source?
- Coverage or relevance to the topic under study. Assess whether the material is of any importance or adds any value to the topic.
- Evaluate the source of the information, that is, the author, painter, or director’s credibility.
- Examine the objectivity or purpose of the information presented within a source. Here one assesses the possible bias within a text.
4. Critical Essay Structure
All essays follow a particular standard or format which includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. These parts must be included in an essay to be termed as complete. However, before tackling these sections, it is important first to develop an outline for a critical essay. Critical essay outlining is essential because it provides students with a step-by-step guide to developing their essays.
If, for example, the topic under study is “ the use of ethnic music by mainstream musicians ” the outline should be as shown below:
The Use of Ethnic Music by Mainstream Musicians
– Explain how music keeps changing.
– Provide a brief description of the use of ethnic music in mainstream music.
– Pick an artist and explain why their music is of interest in this paper.
– Assess the change in music production of the artist.
– Provide an analysis of how the artist has managed to use ethnic music.
– Include the reception of the music of the above artist and how fans find his music.
– Restate the argument or thesis statement while also mentioning why the focus was narrowed to the specified artist and their music.
– Provide a summary of the main points.
Writing a Critical Essay Introduction
An introduction provides a description of the topic under study. While some students like providing a lot of information in the introduction, it is advisable to be brief and direct. An introduction should be specific and short but usher the readers into the topic under study. Readers should be able to determine the writer’s focus or perspective without much fuss or without the need of reading deep into a text. Background information is true of the essence, and it is thus important to include some information that will help readers to understand the entire essay.
Writing a Thesis Statement for a Critical Essay
A thesis statement reveals the main focus of the essay. Readers need to know the writer’s focus and hence the importance of a thesis statement. On many occasions, students often have flat and simple thesis statements which even though are not against any rules only help to reveal the lack of imagination or research involved. A thesis statement should be argumentative and provide readers with an assurance that they will indeed enjoy what they are reading.
Below are some tips for writing a good thesis statement:
- Always include it in the introduction. A thesis statement should be provided early in the essay.
- Avoid ambiguity and be as clear as possible.
- Cliché sentence structures should be avoided. For example, “The main point of this paper is…” or “The focus of this article will be…”
- Be specific and narrow down the statement’s scope.
- Be original.
Writing a Critical Essay Body
While writing an essay, each sentence in the body should communicate its point. The above is almost a cliché, but it is indeed crucial to being a good critical essay writer. Each paragraph should support the thesis statement by including a claim or an argument and following it up with supporting evidence or sentences. Unless otherwise stated, critical essays should have three to six paragraphs and each of these is supposed to have five to six sentences.
Writing a Critical Essay Conclusion
A critical essay conclusion is not any different from other essay conclusions. When writing a conclusion for a critical essay, one should reiterate their stance or main argument followed by the main supporting arguments or points. Only a summary is needed here, and hence writers are asked to be brief and only include what is necessary. Readers should feel directly linked or impacted by the topic under study. An essay should leave the readers with the need or urge of finding out more about a topic.
5. Finalizing Essay
Once the paper is complete, it is essential to revise, proofread, choose a captivating title, and make appropriate citations. Revising an assignment is important because it helps to clarify the main point as well as ensures the readers’ needs are met. Having a purpose is indeed essential to writing a decent critical essay and it is important to outline it clearly. Proofreading helps one to correct grammatical errors and maintain their stance throughout their essay.
A reader’s interest is always enticed by the title and developing one is indeed an important aspect of an essay. Citations are also of the essence and help to avoid issues of plagiarism. Paraphrasing and in-text citations should hence be taken seriously, lest a student’s work is graded poorly.
6. How to choose a topic for a critical analysis
Choosing a topic can be a challenge. Writers are, however, often advised to select a topic that they are familiar with and that will gift them with enough information to write the entire essay .
Below are some examples of critical essay topics:
- Examine the literary and cultural context of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.
- Examine the use of satire in John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight Show.
- How accurate is the assertion that satirical news shows offer people more credible news than some news channels?
- How is the movie 21 Jump Street accurate in its depiction of high school life?
- How does the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre horror film use the aspect of suspense to create horror?
- What makes/made comedy series such as The Big Bang Theory, Friends, and How I met Your Mother popular?
- What unique features did the directors of The Big Bang Theory, Friends, and How I met Your Mother include that made their shows stand out?
- Video games contribute to a significant reduction in the attention span of both children and adults.
- Adoption of children by gay couples.
- How does exposure to violent videos impact the temperament of young children?
- How is fashion a central part of a person’s identity?
- Analyze the role of women characters in the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
- Examine the cultural and historical accuracy of the TV series Merlin.
- How do the director and producer of Merlin make use of humor throughout the TV series?
- Examine how well the Game of Thrones books have been adapted into the TV series Game of Thrones.
7.1 First sample
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7.2 Second sample
7.3 third sample.
Definition of critical essay.
Contrary to the literal name of “critical,” this type of essay is not only an interpretation, but also an evaluation of a literary piece. It is written for a specific audience , who are academically mature enough to understand the points raised in such essays. A literary essay could revolve around major motifs, themes , literary devices and terms, directions, meanings, and above all – structure of a literary piece.
Evolution of the Critical Essay
Critical essays in English started with Samuel Johnson. He kept the critical essays limited to his personal opinion, comprising praise, admiration, and censure of the merits and demerits of literary pieces discussed in them. It was, however, Matthew Arnold, who laid down the canons of literary critical essays. He claimed that critical essays should be interpretative, and that there should not be any bias or sympathy in criticism.
Examples of Critical Essay in Literature
Example #1: jack and gill: a mock criticism (by joseph dennie).
“The personages being now seen, their situation is next to be discovered. Of this we are immediately informed in the subsequent line, when we are told, Jack and Gill Went up a hill. Here the imagery is distinct, yet the description concise. We instantly figure to ourselves the two persons traveling up an ascent, which we may accommodate to our own ideas of declivity, barrenness, rockiness, sandiness, etc. all which, as they exercise the imagination, are beauties of a high order. The reader will pardon my presumption, if I here attempt to broach a new principle which no critic, with whom I am acquainted, has ever mentioned. It is this, that poetic beauties may be divided into negative and positive, the former consisting of mere absence of fault, the latter in the presence of excellence; the first of an inferior order, but requiring considerable critical acumen to discover them, the latter of a higher rank, but obvious to the meanest capacity.”
This is an excerpt from the critical essay of Joseph Dennie. It is an interpretative type of essay in which Dennie has interpreted the structure and content of Jack and Jill .
Example #2: On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth (by Thomas De Quincey)
“But to return from this digression , my understanding could furnish no reason why the knocking at the gate in Macbeth should produce any effect, direct or reflected. In fact, my understanding said positively that it could not produce any effect. But I knew better; I felt that it did; and I waited and clung to the problem until further knowledge should enable me to solve it. At length, in 1812, Mr. Williams made his debut on the stage of Ratcliffe Highway, and executed those unparalleled murders which have procured for him such a brilliant and undying reputation. On which murders, by the way, I must observe, that in one respect they have had an ill effect, by making the connoisseur in murder very fastidious in his taste, and dissatisfied by anything that has been since done in that line.”
This is an excerpt from Thomas De Quincey about his criticism of Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare . This essay sheds light on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and their thinking. This is an interpretative type of essay.
Example #3: A Sample Critical Essay on Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (by Richard Nordquist)
“To keep Jake Barnes drunk, fed, clean, mobile, and distracted in The Sun Also Rises , Ernest Hemingway employs a large retinue of minor functionaries: maids, cab drivers, bartenders, porters, tailors, bootblacks, barbers, policemen, and one village idiot. But of all the retainers seen working quietly in the background of the novel , the most familiar figure by far is the waiter. In cafés from Paris to Madrid, from one sunrise to the next, over two dozen waiters deliver drinks and relay messages to Barnes and his compatriots. As frequently in attendance and as indistinguishable from one another as they are, these various waiters seem to merge into a single emblematic figure as the novel progresses. A detached observer of human vanity, this figure does more than serve food and drink: he serves to illuminate the character of Jake Barnes.”
This is an excerpt from an essay written about Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises . This paragraph mentions all the characters of the novel in an interpretative way. It also highlights the major motif of the essay.
Functions of a Critical Essay
A critical essay intends to convey specific meanings of a literary text to specific audiences. These specific audiences are knowledgeable people. They not only learn the merits and demerits of the literary texts, but also learn different shades and nuances of meanings. The major function of a literary essay is to convince people to read a literary text for reasons described.
- Elements of an Essay
- Narrative Essay
- Definition Essay
- Descriptive Essay
- Types of Essay
- Analytical Essay
- Argumentative Essay
- Cause and Effect Essay
- Expository Essay
- Persuasive Essay
- Process Essay
- Explicatory Essay
- An Essay on Man: Epistle I
- Comparison and Contrast Essay
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Critical Essay Examples, Samples
This is one of the more serious types of essays, which requires additional research and effort to make your content rich. See our samples of critical essays to gain a better understanding of how to write an essay on your own.
Barriers to women’s higher education and the reasons for them Essay Sample, Example
Education is a vital tool for personal and societal development, and it is a fundamental human right. It allows individuals to acquire knowledge, skills, and…
The Lack of Prenatal Care and Preeclampsia in African American Women Essay Sample, Example
Prenatal care is essential for the health and well-being of both the mother and the child. However, there is a lack of access to prenatal…
Atlantis Theories Essay Sample, Example
Among the cryptic stories everyone knows since childhood, the myth of Atlantis is probably one of the most thrilling and mysterious ones. The idea of…
Changing Gender Roles Essay Sample, Example
There is an infamous old German expression: “Kinder, Kuche, Kirche,” supposedly coined by emperor Wilhelm II and referring to a woman’s place in German society,…
Juvenile Delinquency Essay Sample, Example
Where there is a rule, there is also a violation of this rule. In a society regulated by laws, such a violation is called a…
Harry Potter Essay Sample, Example
If you research the question about which books were the most significant for the generation born in early 1990s, the answer would probably be predictable:…
Twilight Saga Essay Sample, Example
Among the literary products that become popular in the media and with consumers, one can point out two main categories. The first category consists of…
Prison Labor and Private Sector Profits Essay Sample, Example
The recent scandal in the Montblare prison has, once again, brought to the surface an issue that has long been vigorously debated across the country.…
Is It Ever Too Late to Study? Essay Sample, Example
Ninety seven years old—this is the age of the oldest student in the world that graduated from a university, who has recently received a Masters…
The Theme of Deviance in “Borderlands/La Frontera” by Gloria Anzaldua Essay Sample, Example
AcademicHelp Learning Hub Use the most powerful academic tools to write better with AI, check for plagiarism and detect AI content!Free Essay Writer In the…
Rene Descartes and the Question of How to Treat Reality Essay Sample, Example
Rene Descartes was particularly famous for attempting to arrive at certain fundamental principles that could be undoubtedly considered as true. The method Descartes chose to…
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CEOs say AI is about to trigger a boom in productivity after years of stagnation: ‘It’s going to be explosive’
Is the economy on the verge of a productivity boom? From a macroeconomic perspective, growth in productivity has been well below historical averages for the past decade, putting downward pressure on growth and wages and upward pressure on inflation. But could that be about to change? Fortune discussed the issue this week in a virtual session with a diverse group of CEOs, held in partnership with McKinsey . All said they see signs of a new, technology-driven unlock in business productivity. Some excerpts:
“ From our clients, we are starting to see a much sharper focus and a higher degree of ambition in the last six months than we may have seen before. All of this requires a lot of change…to people, processes, tools, capabilities. But the catalytic moment has really been triggered by generative AI.”
— Asutosh Padhi, managing partner, McKinsey North America
“ We have a small content team and sell 0- to 10-year-old cars—hundreds of makes and models. We wanted reviews on all those cars. Its thousands of reviews and would have taken years for our content team to do. With generative AI, we got all those reviews done in about 90 days.”
— Bill Nash, CEO, CarMax
“ The consumer world and the enterprise world are colliding. In your personal life, AI is all over everything we do. Things that we never did in the enterprise world are becoming more and more acceptable. Video, augmented virtual reality, AI….That’s becoming very comfortable for the end consumer as well as for employees and clients in the business space.”
— Steve Bandrowczak, CEO, Xerox
“ We’re integrating investment management tools, financial planning tools and practice management tools in such a way that it unlocks the efficiency and effectiveness of the f inancial advisor to spend more time relationship-building with the client. What it will enable us to do is become not just a data-informed organization, but a knowledge-enabled organization…That productivity unlock is about two years away. And it’s going to be explosive.”
— Penny Pennington, managing partner, Edward Jones
“We are embarking on a huge business transformation project…which will touch every single aspect of our business. Our objective is to grow maybe another 30% with no net additions to headcount. It’s really not about eliminating jobs. It’s about freeing our people up from tasks that should be automated or in some cases eliminated in the supply chain.”
— Kathy Mazzarella, CEO, Graybar Electric
“ The biggest kind of transformative change we’re really seeing is in the supply chain and in product placement…actually making sure that that item winds up in the right place, whether that’s the right store, the right distribution center, to get it fastest to the customer…The biggest benefit is going to be reducing markdowns, which will really impact profitability and gross profit.”
— Marc Rosen, CEO, JCPenney
“ The last decade was the free money decade with zero interest rates…When that happens, people get lazy. The world is obviously changed. Interest rates are much higher today, and that has all sorts of different impacts, in terms of…cost of leverage, cost of capital, and what that means for the future. So I think people are focusing on this because they have to.”
— DJ Deb, CEO, Francisco Partners
Our young workers are productive today, but I worry about the longer term. I worry this virtual workforce, this hybrid workforce will have an impact on productivity and, of course, [on] values and culture. ”
— Stan Bergman, CEO, Henry Schein
On that last point, it looks like Labor Day may have been an inflection point in the return-to-office saga. Read more here .
Alan Murray @alansmurray [email protected]
Fresh recession concern
Bank of America strategists have said investors are fleeing stocks at the fastest pace since the end of last year, amid concerns that higher-for-longer interest rates will raise the risk of a recession. In the week to Wednesday, U.S. stocks saw the biggest investor exodus, BofA said, warning that 2024 could bring a hard economic landing and “pops and busts” in financial markets. Bloomberg
Microsoft-Activision deal set to clear last hurdle
Britain’s competition regulator said Friday that Microsoft’s restructured bid to buy Activision Blizzard “opens the door” to the deal's approval. The $69 billion acquisition—potentially the biggest deal in gaming history—was announced in early 2022 but has been beleaguered by regulatory obstacles. Authorities, including the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority, raised concerns about Microsoft gaining too much control of the cloud gaming market. Reuters
Murdoch’s successor steps up
Lachlan Murdoch, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son and successor, has been appointed chairman of Fox and News Corp. At one point, it appeared Lachlan had stepped away from his father’s empire for good, leaving News Corp in 2005 following a feud with then-Fox News boss Roger Ailes. He returned to the business in 2014. BBC
‘Game of Thrones’ author sues OpenAI
George R. R. Martin, writer of the hit fantasy novels that were adapted into HBO’s Game of Thrones , is among 17 top authors suing ChatGPT developer OpenAI. Martin and several peers, including Jodi Picoult, George Saunders, and John Grisham, are seeking monetary damages and an injunction to stop OpenAI from using their works to train ChatGPT. OpenAI said it was “working co-operatively” with the Authors Guild and other creators to “discuss their concerns about AI.” Variety
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
Nearly half of workers regret taking a job within a week of starting it. Many of them have cried about it by Chloe Berger
A millionaire CEO just cut his salary to make sure his staff could all get raises this year (the ones who weren’t laid off) by Chris Morris
Pets are getting fewer treats because of return-to-office mandates, says General Mills by Steve Mollman
Bombshell report claims the 39-year-old Harvard Law prodigy with a historic $110 million CEO pay package quit amid horrific sexual abuse allegations by Orianna Rosa Royle
Commentary: This generation of politicians has killed fiscal responsibility–but millennials and Gen Zers will be the ones who pay the price by Robert Hormats
Ron DeSantis—going against CDC guidelines—advises Florida residents under 65 to avoid getting the COVID booster by Alexa Mikhail
This edition of CEO Daily was curated by Chloe Taylor.
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