How to write a critical essay


A critical essay is the analysis of a work, which can be a book, a film, an article or a painting. The purpose of this type of article is to offer a text or interpretation of some aspect of another work or to situate it in a wider context. For example, a book’s critical analysis can focus on the tone of writing to determine how it influences the meaning of the text in general. Critical analysis of a film can focus on the meaning of a recurring symbol in the film, for example. Regardless of this, a critical essay should always include an argumentative thesis about what is being criticized and many textual evidences drawn from other sources to support the interpretation obtained. Continue reading to learn how to write a critical essay.

  • Understand the task well. As soon as the teacher or tutor asks for the essay, read the instructions and highlight everything you do not understand. Talk to the teacher if you have not understood the task itself or need to clarify any instruction that seems confusing
  • Make a critical reading of the defined fonts. Writing a critical essay requires you to evaluate a book, an article, a film, a painting, or some other type of text. To perform the critical analysis of any article, you must first familiarize yourself with the primary text.
  • Know the text well by reading it and rereading it several times. If you need to write an article about a visual text, such as a movie or a work of art, watch the movie several times or observe the painting from various angles and distances.
  • Take notes while reading the text. This will help you memorize important aspects of the article, as well as help you think critically about what is written. Keep some key questions in mind when reading the text and try to answer them through notes made.
  • What is the text about?
  • What are his main ideas?
  • What is intriguing in the text?
  • What is the purpose of the text?
  • Does the text serve the purpose? If it does not comply, why? If it complies, how does he do it?
  • Review annotations to identify patterns and problems. After you finish reading and taking notes, review them to determine patterns in the text and problems that stand out. Try to identify a solution to one of the problems encountered.
  • For example, if you noticed that the Frankenstein monster is often a more charismatic character than Frankenstein himself, you can come up with a conjecture as to why.
  • Remember that it is not necessary to speculate the author’s intentions. In fact, many teachers do not like this type of argument, after all, you do not read minds and cannot know the author’s intention. Limit the analysis to the perspective you have gained on what makes an element functional and provide evidence to support it.
  • For example, this passage depends heavily on reading minds: “Mary Shelley intended the Frankenstein monster to be more charismatic than Dr. Frankenstein because he wanted people to think of the problems caused by limitless scientific experimentation.” You cannot know what Mary Shelley wanted.

Finish the article by reviewing a printed version of the final draft. Read the text aloud to identify typos, grammar, long or incomplete sentences, and other minor errors that may negatively affect the job evaluation. After identifying all these issues, review the article and print a new copy for delivery.
If you send the work over the internet, ask your supervisor for his preferred format. If you have used any special formatting in the article, consider saving it in PDF to preserve the structure.


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