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A Handbook on How to Write a Critical Essay

UserCooper Robinson time18 July,2018

A critical essay is more like an interpretation or analysis of a piece of creative work. You need an intensive and immense amount of knowledge to grasp how to write a critical essay. Contrary to convention, a critical analysis is more of an evaluation than a criticism.

This blog portrays how to write a critical essay in a compact manner. It is a well-elemental blog, where you can find the tips and tricks associated with a critical essay and a proper outline to shape its contents. Read till the end to identify and recognize the approach of an analytical piece of work.

A Handbook on How to Write a Critical Essay

Before focusing on the aspects and outline of the critical essay, understand what purpose does it accomplish.

‘What’s and ‘Why’s of a critical essay

Critical essays are that narrations where you can portray every detail of the creator’s work balancing the negative and positive aspects. It is like an open page where the writer is free to write his or her own perceptions but, without hurting anyone’s feeling.

Essentially, critical analysis weighs up the consistency of an author by evaluating their message to the audience. It is vital to be observant and keen alongside noting the different feelings conjured within the artwork while writing the critical essay.

Here are the challenging purposes a critical analysis accomplishes –

  • Offers an objective account of a creator’s work
  • Analyzes the consistency of authors in presenting their ideas
  • Assess the author’s consistency in retaining their point of view in the main argument
  • Portrays the weakness and strengths of an authors work
  • Criticizing the major aspects of the original work

To ensure your critical essay achieve these purposes, you have to comprehend the unique ways of drafting it. Subsequent pattern defines how to write a critical essay.

Step-by-step guidance for critical essay writing

  • Decode the essay title: The title of an essay is the basic clue that you need to apprehend first. Read it repeatedly and thoroughly understand what the essay expects. You can underline the keywords mind-map the intrinsic responses for clarifying them, later, from the professors. 

Sometimes, the essay question appears in two segments and there lies the actual information. Use those raw materials for primary thinking and follow those key points for further research.

  • Research on your subject: Read watch and assess the primary sources to identify the pattern of the original work. Note the important and significant points from their work and analyze those based on negative and positive aspects. Make sure, you do not overlook or skip any of the key points.

You must also read the previous researches done on the same artwork and try to note the course of those papers. Try to keep a considerable difference from the past works and create a new perception of your own.

  • Plan your structure: Framing your essay prior to writing is a clever thing to do. Through structuring, you must decide your flow of writing, introduce your arguments and develop counter-arguments. 

Here’s how your critical essay structure must look –

  • Introduction: The introduction must be very attractive in order to grab reader’s attention. Here you need to mention certain contexts like –
  • Title of the original work
  • Name of the creator
  • Date of publication

You have to project the main ideas of the book and highlight the author’s thesis after you mention these essential points. Further, you have to illustrate the concept maintaining utmost language proficiency. Once you are done with the above section, state your personal perceptions and your idea about the original content.

  • Summary: In this segment of the critical essay, a writer portrays a deeper insight into the main idea. You must break down your argument into pieces and exemplify each of the fragments. The factors to be defined in this section are –
  • Character introduction
  • Description of the main theme with complete detailing
  • Illustration of how the creator has utilized this concept to depict their argument and vision

You must remember that not every reader is aware of the original piece of work. So, it is important to show them the exact idea of the piece in order to make them realize your authenticity and let them get acquainted with the creator’s work before understanding the analysis.

Analysis: One of the most important segments of your critical essay is the analysis section and it comprises multiple body paragraphs. The purpose of this portion is to present your ideas separately in distinct paragraphs. Ensure you have entailed both the positive and negative aspects of the original work.

It is better to start with the aspect that you feel has a strong influence on the piece of work. If your personal analysis about the work is positive, start with all the positive key points and slowly divulge into the negative point of views. Otherwise, compose the analysis another way round depicting the negative aspects prior to the positive ones.

A well-composed critical analysis paper includes three different approaches with proper evidence and justifications.

  • Ethos: In a short paragraph, you have to describe the creator’s credibility in consideration of their artwork. Here, you must present solid reasons behind trusting the author or illustrate his/her failure in establishing their credibility.
  • Pathos: Emotion is the central theme of this paragraph. Here you have to explain explicitly the author’s appeal to your emotions. Put forth whether or not your consent tones with the creator’s way of showing the emotion.
  • Logos: Logical inference is the main purpose of this section. Here you must show your readers how the author has used the logic, in his or her writing, to convince his /her readers.

At the end of your analysis, your essay must have a clear statement of your opinions and thoughts regarding the creator’s work. You must refer to suitable examples from the original piece to support your justifications and also, address whether or not the author has successfully stood by his/her standpoint.

Conclusion: In the concluding paragraphs, you need to rephrase your thesis in a different way keeping a similar tone as previous in order to reaffirm it. The basic motive of writing a conclusion is to summarize the significant points from each of the body paragraphs so that you can strengthen your thesis even more.

In the inference, highlight the context of what knowledge a reader can gain from your critical analysis. You must convey either of the below messages using a clear and firm statement.

  • The author’s artwork is irrelevant and offensive to all genders so, you shouldn’t spend time cultivating it.
  • The creator’s work is informative, incredible and of high quality standard so, you must indulge some of your quality time in apprehending the work.
  • Present with relevant evidence: You must have identified the fundamental criteria of how to write a critical essay and now you have to comprehend the one last factor or drafting an analytical piece. You must include all the authentic data and evidence in your work. Readers trust only when they find definite justification and exact references. 

Input authentic references at the end of your essay. Create footnotes to cite the sources of the quotes and paraphrases you have drawn in your draft. You must leave a section for bibliography where you fill with content at the end of your writing. The bibliography part contains all the complete references of your researches.

You need to be very attentive and careful while criticizing someone’s creativity so, that you do not hurt anyone’s feelings unnecessarily. Once you apply these ideas in your work, your essay is sure to outshine other’s work.

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