A critical essay is one of the tasks that students have to deal with, and in order to complete it successfully, it is important to learn the basics related to writing this type of academic paper. It has certain specifiсs, which you should find out about before you start putting your ideas and point of view in writing.
Your essay has to include a thesis about the primary work, and it is essential to conduct a throughout analysis of each argument and evidence that you will find in it. Remember that as an author, you have to ensure that all of the main points are placed logically in your text, and it is important to support everything you write in your essay with reliable evidence.
Sentences that form a paragraph should be dedicated to a particular thought or idea. Like with any essays, choosing the right topic is crucial. As you can see, there is lots of work to do, and it is no wonder why many students need to know how to write a critical analysis essay in the most effective way, and our tips can help them.
Initial information about a critical essay?
In simple words, a critical essay is an analysis of work, including a book, a piece of art, film, article, etc. The main purpose of this type of academic paper is to offer an interpretation of some aspects. For example, a critical analysis of literature may focus on the tone of writing to determine how it contributes to the impression made by the work. No matter what a critical essay is about, it should include an argumentative thesis as well as enough evidence sources to support your own interpretation and your point of view of the work.
It is impossible to write a high-quality critical essay if you do not understand your assignment. You should get clear instructions from your tutor as well as other helpful information to guide you through the entire writing process. It is important to understand what the final goal of your essay is, so it is recommended to get a few examples of works of other students to have a clear idea of how your paper should look like. A review of a primary source will also help.
Writing a critical essay is similar to preparing other types of essays, but there are certain specifics that may make it difficult to complete this task. It is important to understand that “critical” does not mean “negative.”
Get a clear idea about primary work and take notes
It is important to do a critical reading of your sources because you will have to evaluate a piece of literature, such as a book, an article, or a movie, a painting, etc. In order to conduct a critical analysis of any text or visual subjects, you should have a clear understanding of what the primary work is about.
If you have been asked to write your critical essay about visual content, such as a film or piece of art, you should watch the film several times or view the painting from different distances and angles.
You should take notes as you read your text because this is how you will remember important aspects and different points of views, which will help you to think critically. Determine key questions that you want to find answers to as you keep reading, for instance:
- What is the text about?
- What are the main ideas behind it?
- What is unclear about the text?
- What is the purpose of this work?
- Does the purpose of the text is accomplished?
Conduct proper research
You will have to spend some time to find relevant secondary sources if they are required, and in this case, you will have to do some research. If it gets challenging, you can ask your tutor for recommendations because his or she will definitely know what sources you might want to use in your critical essay.
You can find something adequate in books, articles, and trustworthy websites. It would be a good idea to use the library’s databases because they provide you with free access to many articles that you would not be able to find by using search engines.
Evaluate each of the sources that you intend to use for credibility because it is important for presenting yourself as a responsible and smart author. When going through a source of information, you should make sure that the writer has presented an objective and well-reasoned account of the subject. Try to think of their argument critically in order to understand if their claims are supported well.
Writing your essay
Once you have gone through the original work that you have to write you a critical essay about, collected sources of information that you will work with, and prepare enough notes, you can start making a draft of your paper that will include the following three main parts:
Each of the sections of your paper should be written taking into account their specifics and general rules.
Make an outline
Making a proper outline is important because it will be the structure of your critical essay and this will help you to keep your work organized. You will know exactly where you should paste a certain piece of information that you have collected. It is recommended to make a detailed outline, which will allow you to save lots of time placing material into the relevant section.
Prepare an introduction
From the very first sentences of your introduction, you should immediately grab the attention of your audience. Start discussing your topic in an engaging manner. This is where you introduce your essay and let the readers know what this critical essay is about and what it ideas it supports. It will be sort of a preview of your paper. In order to make your writing interesting for reading, you can begin your introduction with an anecdote, an intriguing fact, or something similar. You can also start your critical essay with a question that your paper will answer.
Develop your thesis statement
It may be difficult to develop your thesis even though you have been through your primary source and read plenty of secondary sources, buy getting a critical analysis essay example will help you to understand what your thesis statement should be like. It should express the main focus of your paper and state a claim. It may consist of several sentences, but remember that the very first sentence should include the general idea while the others should be dedicated to a more specific idea. Your thesis should contain enough details, and you should avoid simply writing that something is "good" because you should also explain why it is so.
The end of your first paragraph is the right place for your thesis statement unless you have other instructions provided by your tutor. You should also make sure that you present an argument that can be backed up with evidence.
Write the body
The body of your critical essay is where you will actually analyze the primary source. The first paragraph should include background information. You should think of what the readers will need to know about the topic. If you are writing about a book, you can provide the name of the work, the name of its author, and a brief summary of the plot.
Then you provide your analysis of the primary work supporting your ideas by evidence. All paragraphs should be placed in the logical order so that your reader could follow the text easily.
Finish with a conclusion
A conclusion is the final part of your essay, and its purpose is to emphasize everything you have provided in the previous sections of your paper. You should ready to spend some time checking out what has been written and thinking of how your critical essay should be ended. It is important to remember that your conclusion should not include any new details, but it should be writing in the form of a brief summary of the entire work.
Check the quality of your essay
Once your draft has been prepared, it is recommended to set your paper aside for a few days because you will have to do editing and proofreading which requires a fresh eye. Check your writing carefully to make sure it is completed, comprehensive, logical, engaging and easy to read. Edit every part in your text that you find unsatisfying. When proofreading your essay, you should eliminate any grammar mistakes. If you have any problems with preparing your paper, you should be looking for professional help, which can be found here.