- Identify the author's thesis and purpose
- Analyze the structure of the passage by identifying all main ideas
- Consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand material that is unfamiliar to you
- Make an outline of the work or write a description of it
- Write a summary of the work
- Determine the purpose which could be
- To inform with factual material
- To persuade with appeal to reason or emotions
- To entertain (to affect people's emotions)
- If the purpose is to inform, has the material been presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence?
- If the purpose is to persuade, look for evidence, logical reasoning, contrary evidence
- If the purpose was to entertain, determine how emotions are affected: does it make you laugh, cry, angry? Why did it affect you?
SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR CRITICAL ESSAY
After the passage under analysis has been carefully studied, the critique can be drafted using this sample outline.
- I. Background information to help your readers understand the nature of the work
- A. Information about the work
- 1. Title
- 2. Author
- 3. Publication information
- 4. Statement of topic and purpose
- B. Thesis statement indicating writer's main reaction to the work
- II. Summary or description of the work
- III. Interpretation and/or evaluation
- A. Discussion of the work's organization
- B. Discussion of the work's style
- C. Effectiveness
- D. Discussion of the topic's treatment
- E. Discussion of appeal to a particular audience
Avoid introducing your ideas by stating "I think" or "in my opinion." Keep the focus on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself. Identifying your opinions weakens them.
Always introduce the work. Do not assume that because your reader knows what you are writing about, you do not need to mention the work's title.
Other questions to consider: Is there a controversy surrounding either the passage or the subject which it concerns?
What about the subject matter is of current interest?
What is the overall value of the passage?
What are its strengths and weaknesses?
Support your thesis with detailed evidence from the text examined. Do not forget to document quotes and paraphrases.
Remember that the purpose of a critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something.
Even though as a writer you set the standards, you should be open-minded, well informed, and fair. You can express your opinions, but you should also back them up with evidence.
Your review should provide information, interpretation, and evaluation. The information will help your reader understand the nature of the work under analysis. The interpretation will explain the meaning of the work, therefore requiring your correct understanding of it. The evaluation will discuss your opinions of the work and present valid justification for them.
Writing a Critical Essay. How to write a Critical Essay - Format, Topics, Structure, Samples, Outline
This type of essay writing is an analysis of a certain reading and basically it is a summary of the point of view presented in this reading and an evaluation of this work. The process of writing a critical essay can become a challenge for any student in case of inappropriate usage of criticism in the paper. Contemporary essay writing requires a deep understanding of the essence of criticism. Criticism does not have the aim of offending or attacking the author and his work but an objective analysis of the text.
A quality critical thinking essay is always written in a serious tone without touching the feelings and emotions of the writer and therefore respecting them. Every statement needs to be supported by quotations. Any critical essay example can either agree or disagree with the work analyzed.
Writing a new critical essay
A new critical essay needs to be written according to the following recommendations:
- Asses the work (healthy criticism)
- Criticism supported by evidence (judgments should be made on logical analysis of the work content)
- No subjectivity allowed (only objective facts)
- Refer to the evaluations given by experts
Critical essay structure
A critical essay is to have two vital parts according to following structure:
The summary of the point of view of the author of the work analyzed including:
- The delivery of the main idea of the work
- The list of the most important facts the author bases his thesis upon
- The message the author uses to appeal to the audience (for what actions the author calls)
The analysis and evaluation of the work including:
- The analysis of the leading facts presented by the author (based on the principles of correctness and relevance)
- The evaluation of the logical consistency of the author’s statements
- The comparison of the thesis of the work to the accepted standards and personal position of the writer
Critical Essay Topics
Critical essay can be written on many different topic. Here you can see some examples of critical essay topics:
- Critical essay on Woody Allen films
- Critical essay on art and culture
- Hamlet critical essay
- Critical essay on democracy promotion
- Critical essay on politics and many others
View all Critical Essay Topics