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Critical Essays– So what does that REALLY mean?

Updated on May 6, 2015

“Be more critical!” Let’s assume you have been given a project to write an essay about a part of literature. The assignment may be called an “analysis”, “critical literature essay," a critical analysis" or by one of the many annoying terms. An essay qualifies as a critical essay when it makes a unique opinion about an effort of literature answering the question, "fine, so what?" The most significant thing is that you will not review what has happened in a literary work but then analyze it. The word "critical" has both positive along with negative meanings. The notion behind critical analysis is to write an essay which explains how a work determines its subjects.

What makes a good writing?

  • Purpose: Follows completely
  • Audience: Appeals to audience
  • Content: Develops the subject
  • Thesis Sentence: Gives definite plan and approach
  • Structure: logical progress and good conclusion
  • Paragraphs: Do not contain unconnected sentences
  • Unity: ideas that flow smoothly to make writing more fascinating

Critical essay can be written entirely agreeing with the reading. As a student critical and analytical thinking skills will be important in most aspects of studies, whether it involves listening to speeches, causative to seminars, or reading about a subject. Critical analysis is the most important skills that need to be well-educated as a student, an ability to think judgmentally and factually about an issue and to show a well-created argument is a windfall.

When writing critical essays it enables you to grow critical skills including careful reading, practical enquiry, intellectual writing and proofreading. Presenting a strong instance to support an opinion using reasons and evidence, to a more complete knowledge of a given work of literature builds indulgent of another reader. The word "critical" defines your attitude when you read the article.

The first rule of an essay is to identify the focus of the assignment

A critical essay does not mean you just start writing simply but to be clear and focused. The essay title will have been written with certain anticipations in mind. From the viewpoint of critical thinking, the purpose of an argument is to influence audience of your position and conclusion. A logical argument that leads to a conclusion based on proof is to be presented convincing to support a conclusion. But are explanations well found? Identify and gauge the existing evidence to see if it really supports the point of view.

“Critical” literally carries a negative connotation of "finding fault" but nonetheless critical essays express enthusiasm about a play, poem, story, or novel.

Goals of Critical Essays

  • Describe the text
  • Evaluate the text
  • Interpret the text

Many students find it difficult to choose between contradictory philosophies, arguments and evidence, and that they don’t have a strong flawless conclusion. It might seem infuriating when there are numerous points of view based on different types of proof. As a student, one needs to consider the evidence to date – and make a decision. However, it is often relaxed to create an improved assignment when there is a chance to discourse complex topics.

You want an argument to influence the audience. The aim is to strengthen your argument, by presenting your position, reasons, evidence, in a vibrant and reasonable way, and not resorting to dynamic sensitive language. To write critically, a student must provide investigation of specific facts explaining the events, actions, quotes, examples, speech, ideas and themes etc.

Things you might not know about writing a critical essay

  • Critical Essays must be written in the present tense.
  • The author, title, themes, and thesis must be mentioned in intro statement.
  • Assume that the audiences are familiar with the work.
  • State the points and prove them. It should not go in chronological order.
  • Don't define literary terms in the essay instead explain how the methods convey ideas.
  • Don't begin paragraphs with quotes.
  • Repeat and rephrase the thesis providing fresh perception in the conclusion.
  • Don't say "I" in a critical essay, say "the reader" or "the audience" instead of "you."


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