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How to Write a Good Critical Analysis Essay (steps)
Before we understand how to write a critical analysis we have to know a critical analysis definition. A critical analysis evaluates work to discover its effectiveness from such sources as articles, films, books, or any other types of work. So are there any rules on how to write a critical review?
- The first step is conducting a critical reading which includes 4 main parts:
- Read and make notes. Make sure to read all the material carefully selecting valuable and relevant information.
- Pinpoint the author’s thesis statement. To write a high-class critical review it’s essential to understand the author’s thesis statement or, in other words, argument (usually it appears in the first 2 paragraphs).
- Make notes while you read. Not to miss any crucial topic sentences, underline or highlight them while you read. These might include the author’s ideas to support the argument throughout the text. Thanks to them you will be able to understand the structure of the work. If you write a critical analysis on an academic paper, highlight the main sentences of each section. If it’s about painting or movie, look for scenes that support the thesis.
- Sum up the article in your own words. To conclude the ideas you have read about, write a 1 paragraph summary of it.
- The second step is an analysis of the text which has also 4 parts:
- Describe your feelings after reading. No matter what are your emotions – good or bad – just reflect on what you have recently read and describe what did the text made you think of.
- Read the article and check if the argument had enough supporting information. If an author didn’t provide enough evidence to prove his concepts, that will make your critical analysis writing much easier. For example, if the author intended to write about women’s rights, but the majority of the article speaks about history or civil rights in general, this is the point that you can use in your critical analysis essay.
- Consider the background of the author, as the argument that was made could be the result of his/her background. For example, if the author is a humanitarian or the one who fights for civil rights, then you might understand any prejudice about women’s rights in some Middle Eastern countries.
- Pinpoint if the evidence provided by the author is effective and relevant. Any author while writing an article uses some sources that are necessary for their opinion. Check the credibility of these resources and their relevance to the topic.
- When you finish your text analysis, it’s time for drafting critical analysis and here you should:
- Create an outline of your essay. Write down all the important information you should mention in your essay, including the author, the article with a brief overview of the work. Don’t forget to mention the purpose of your analysis as well as create a thesis statement that will be the main part of your work.
- Start the main body with 1 paragraph summary of the article. Remember that it’s the only place where you include a summary, as the rest of the paper is your critical analysis.
- While writing the main part of the body, make sure to dedicate 1 paragraph to each of the author’s ideas organizing them logically.
- Use the text as support to your statements. When you want to prove your point use the author’s quotes and ideas from the text (but don’t forget to cite properly).
- A strong conclusion is a key to success as this is the part where you state your opinion about the article. Don’t repeat the information you mentioned above, just make the statement about the implication of your essay.
So as you see many rules should be followed while writing a critical essay, but how to write a critical essay on a book? What is the structure? We will answer all these and other questions in our next sections.
How to structure a critical essay: Introduction, the Main Body and Conclusion
It is known that a critical essay is an essay where you critically evaluate the subject by removing yourself from it. Depending on what evidence you have, you make a positive or negative judgment. You should be aware of a critical evaluation essay structure if you want your paper to be memorable and receive appreciation. So, how should you analyze an essay?
- First of all is Introduction, where you present the topic, explain the reasons for choosing it and introduce your thesis. However, the most important task is to grab readers’ attention and make them want to read your essay until the end. There are various critical essay introduction examples that you can use in your work, but remember that every essay should be unique and not plagiarized.
- The main body is the largest part of your essay where you support your thesis statement with a general statement that includes some quotes and their explanation from the source. It consists of a 1 paragraph summary of the author’s point and its analysis. There are 6 main topics that you may use for writing a critical analysis essay summary:
- Style: What was the author’s style of writing and representing his points?
- Effectiveness: How was the text effective in the sense of explaining the main idea?
- Structure: How did the author organize his paper? Was it logical or chaotic?
- Language: Could you understand the way the author presented information?
- The objectivity of the paper: Was the author fair in his points or unjust?
- Audience: Did the reader understand the author’s idea? Is the paper for any or a specific reader?
- The last part is a conclusion of an analysis essay where you restate your main thesis without repeating it and show that you proved your thesis.
Critical Essay Tips
Writing any paper is not an easy task. We have already explained what steps should be done to write a good critical essay, but are there any critical essay writing tips that will help to prepare a top-class paper? Of course, there are!
- Try to start as early as possible so in this case, you will have enough time to proofread and edit.
- Take your time to think and prepare a plan for the future essay. Sometimes, it is easier to write an outline that can be expanded with time. For example, when you don’t know how to write a critical commentary or how to write an analysis, brainstorm what exactly you want your reader to know, write down the main points that should be covered and use them as a guideline.
- Try not to introduce your ideas with “I think” or “in my opinion.” Remember that the most important is the subject of your analysis, but not you.
- Don’t use words and expressions that you don’t know or have a poor understanding of.
- Ask for the second opinion from your family members or friends, as they can help to improve your paper or spot some mistakes.
- Proofread your paper; make sure that all the quotes are cited accordingly, and all the parts are structured logically.
Critical Analysis Template
Analysis in essay writing is needed to evaluate and provide your opinion on a book, film, or article effectiveness. To be able to do that you should read the work carefully, brainstorm what will be your thesis statement, what arguments you have to support it. As an example of critical essay writing, we prepared a template that can guide you through the process and answer a question about how to write a critical summary.
|Introduction||v Present the information about the work: the title, the author’s name, and the publication information;|
v Describe the author’s thesis;
v Present your thesis statement.
The tragedy, Hamlet, written by William Shakespeare is among the top 10 must-read books in the world because …
|The main body||Summary|
v Describe the main idea by answering who, what, when, why, how and why
v If you want, you can choose and discuss 1 out of 6 topics we presented above (style, effectiveness, structure, language, audience, the objectivity of the paper)
The book is about …
The writer argues about/that…
The article portrays …
The main points of the book/article/film are …
v Explain what you liked/didn’t like about the article/book/film;
v Support your ideas with examples;
v Analyze if the author achieved his/her goals;
Remember that analysis should consist of several paragraphs
|Conclusion||v Restate your main thesis in other words;|
v Sum up your ideas;
v Show that you proved your thesis;
v Create a call to action for your readers.
Because of the foregoing, this book is (not) worth reading because…
Always remember that any critical analysis is your viewing of the book. You can find various examples of critical essays, critical evaluation essay examples, film analysis essay examples, but the most important is to be yourself and not to copy someone else’s ideas.