Writing a Critical Essay. How to write a Critical Essay - Format, Topics, Structure, Samples, Outline
This type of essay writing is an analysis of a certain reading and basically it is a summary of the point of view presented in this reading and an evaluation of this work. The process of writing a critical essay can become a challenge for any student in case of inappropriate usage of criticism in the paper. Contemporary essay writing requires a deep understanding of the essence of criticism. Criticism does not have the aim of offending or attacking the author and his work but an objective analysis of the text.
A quality critical thinking essay is always written in a serious tone without touching the feelings and emotions of the writer and therefore respecting them. Every statement needs to be supported by quotations. Any critical essay example can either agree or disagree with the work analyzed.
Writing a new critical essay
A new critical essay needs to be written according to the following recommendations:
- Asses the work (healthy criticism)
- Criticism supported by evidence (judgments should be made on logical analysis of the work content)
- No subjectivity allowed (only objective facts)
- Refer to the evaluations given by experts
Critical essay structure
A critical essay is to have two vital parts according to following structure:
The summary of the point of view of the author of the work analyzed including:
- The delivery of the main idea of the work
- The list of the most important facts the author bases his thesis upon
- The message the author uses to appeal to the audience (for what actions the author calls)
The analysis and evaluation of the work including:
- The analysis of the leading facts presented by the author (based on the principles of correctness and relevance)
- The evaluation of the logical consistency of the author’s statements
- The comparison of the thesis of the work to the accepted standards and personal position of the writer
Critical Essay Topics
Critical essay can be written on many different topic. Here you can see some examples of critical essay topics:
- Critical essay on Woody Allen films
- Critical essay on art and culture
- Hamlet critical essay
- Critical essay on democracy promotion
- Critical essay on politics and many others
View all Critical Essay Topics
Critical reviews, both short (one page) and long (four pages), usually have a similar structure. Check your assignment instructions for formatting and structural specifications. Headings are usually optional for longer reviews and can be helpful for the reader.
Summarising and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing and in particular, the critical review. To summarise means to reduce a text to its main points and its most important ideas. The length of your summary for a critical review should only be about one quarter to one third of the whole critical review.
The best way to summarise is to:
- Scan the text. Look for information that can be deduced from the introduction, conclusion and the title and headings. What do these tell you about the main points of the article?
- Locate the topic sentences and highlight the main points as you read.
- Reread the text and make separate notes of the main points. Examples and evidence do not need to be included at this stage. Usually they are used selectively in your critique.
Paraphrasing means putting it into your own words. Paraphrasing offers an alternative to using direct quotations in your summary (and the critique) and can be an efficient way to integrate your summary notes.
The best way to paraphrase is to:
- Review your summary notes
- Rewrite them in your own words and in complete sentences
- Use reporting verbs and phrases (eg; The author describes…, Smith argues that …).
- If you include unique or specialist phrases from the text, use quotation marks.