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Tips to Follow: How to Write a Critical Essay

What is the critical analysis essay?

The critical analysis essay is written to critique the work of another person like their book, essay, movie, painting, play, etc.  The critical analysis essay allows the reader to get a clearer understanding of the person’s work.  The critical analysis essay is subjective because the individual writing the critique is giving their personal viewpoint on the other person’s work.

How should the critical analysis essay be written?

Here are a few steps on how to write the critical analysis essay:

  • There are two parts to writing critical analysis essays: critical writing and critical reading.

  • Here is how you do the critical reading portion of writing the essay:

    • You should identify the thesis and purpose of the author.
    • You should know the structure for the person’s work by understanding the main ideas of the work.
    • Always use a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand terms, words, and materials that you do not understand.
    • You should always do an outline or give a brief description of the work.
    • Once complete the outline, this will assist you with doing a summary.
    • You should be able to determine the purpose of the person’s work.
    • You should examine how the author came up with the purpose for the work.

  • Here is how you do the critical writing portion of the essay:  (How the outline should look for the critical analysis essay):

    • Part I: To help your readers understand the work should provide background information on the author and the piece of work.
    • Information on the work: Name of author, title of the work, information on publication, and topic/purpose statement.
    • Thesis statement should state the writer’s (yours) reaction to the work.
    • Part II: Gives description/summary of the work.
    • Part III: Gives your evaluation or interpretation of the author’s work.
    • Part III: includes the following parts of the outline: talk about the organization of the work; talk about the style of the work; how effective is the work on your opinion; talk about the topic’s treatment; and how the work is appealing to certain people and not appealing to others.

What else should one consider when writing the critical analysis essay?

Here are some other pointers when writing the critical analysis essay:

  • Never use first-person sentences like “I feel…..” or “I believe….?
  • Should always stay focused on the subject that you are analyzing.
  • Ensure that the work is introduced in the first paragraph of your essay.
  • The critical analysis essay should provide the following information to the potential reader: evaluation, interpretation, and information on the author’s work.