How to Write A Critical Essay?

June 15, 2021 support

Essay writing is a challenge for students at every academic level. An essay requires an ample amount of time to compose. Unfortunately, students lack this time as they are busy balancing their social life, part-time job, and classes. Every essay is difficult to write, but critical essays have their league of difficulty at the college level.

What is a critical essay?

Like any other essay, critical essays are also a type of academic writing assignment. A student will read a particular text or analyze someone’s work, then write an essay on its analysis and its interpretation. Furthermore, any interpretation or stance the author makes needs to be supported with facts and evidence. 

When students think “what is a critical essay,” they may associate it with the negative connotation associated with the word critical. The document just requires a student’s in-depth analysis and understanding of the text. Many students start to doubt themselves and wonder who can write my essay for me because of how challenging it can be.

Why is it important to know how to write a critical essay?

Students often overlook writing a critical essay as nothing more than homework or a graded assignment. This paper aims to groom and teach them a few lessons that will help them in their professional lives. Some of these are;

  • In high school, you learn how to write a critical essay to help in college assignments.
  • This type of essay requires you to analyze and understand the author’s perspective, which is a skill you will need to understand different viewpoints when working in teams. 
  • You learn how to write the interpretations of the text that helps in writing meeting reports in the corporate world. 
  • Writing this essay requires research for facts and figures that support your argument, which is a valuable skill needed in the workplace for project proposals.
How to Write A Critical Essay

Another purpose of these papers is to identify what the authors are trying to communicate and elaborate upon that. In addition to this, you learn how to formulate and state opinions to form an argument and support it. 

Critical Essay Structure and Format

Every academic document follows a particular structure and format. The critical essay structure is similar to the traditional essay structure, which involves five paragraphs. It starts with an introduction and merges into three paragraphs of the body. The body will house all the analysis factors and ends with a conclusion. The format is the last step of editing your paper.

How to write an outline

An outline is an essential part of the academic writing process. The outline acts as a guide and gives structure to your paper. It helps the information flow naturally and prevents the unnecessary repetition of facts and figures. With an outline written next to you, you will not have to take a break from writing to think of what to write next but instead can just follow it.

A sample critical essay outline is as follows to help you better understand:

  1. Introduction;
    1. Introduce the text or work you are critically analyzing,
    2. Thesis statement.
  2. Body;
    1. The first paragraph (about the author’s point of view),
    2. Second paragraph (your argument and supporting evidence),
    3. Third paragraph (your argument and supporting evidence).
  3. Conclusion

How to start a critical essay

If you look at any examples of a critical essay, you will see that they all begin with an introduction. It is the first paragraph and lays the foundation for the rest of the paper. It should not exceed 6 to 7 lines. First of all, you can try to write about the text you are trying to analyze or the author. 

The introduction should include a thesis statement, which illustrates the basic essence of the essay. It is a summary of the essay. It is recommended that you write it after you have written the body, as it is more convenient to summarize something after you have written it.

How to write body paragraphs

The body of the critical analysis paper typically has three paragraphs, although you can add more if you need to add more key points. The first paragraph includes the author’s viewpoint and what he was trying to communicate. You can state if you think that the writer delivered his message successfully or not. 

In the second and third paragraphs, you will start writing about your argument. Your argument should include at least two themes, but you can have more than two. In each paragraph, you will start with a sentence or two that explains the theme. You can use personal opinions, real-life examples, quote from famous people, or scientific theories to support your stance.

How to write a conclusion for a critical essay

The last part of any essay is the conclusion. Try to avoid introducing any new themes or arguments in this paragraph. Although, you can reiterate your point and briefly describe its similarity or difference from the author’s opinion. 

You may write about the importance of your argument as well. If you look at critical essay examples, you will realize that the conclusions are always brief. It is because no one wants to read a lengthy conclusion after an in-depth essay, so try to keep your conclusion limited to 8 sentences or less.

Tips for a great critical essay

To help you write the best essay, we have compiled the best tips for you. They are as follows:

  1. Practice active and smart reading;
  2. Remember to introduce the author and their work;
  3. Create an outline;
  4. Read example papers;
  5. Avoid words like “I think”;
  6. Use quotations;
  7. Do not summarize the work;
  8. Makes notes while researching.

Short example of a critical essay

Short example of A Critical Essay

“Percy Shelley wrote “Ozymandias” in the first half of the nineteenth century. The poem features the depictions of a traveler of vast barren lands and his findings. The poet manages to portray his idea ever so subtly through the traveler’s words. He does not directly say anything but hides subliminal messages of how even kings are forgotten over time and makes people question the impact they leave. Even after centuries, the concept of how brief human life is will grasp a reader’s attention and force them to think about it.

Percy Shelley expertly elaborates how humans often forget their mortality. It is not uncommon for someone with power and influence to forget that the universe is bigger than them. He portrays that humans are so easily caught in their own façade of their importance. They seem to overlook how their statues could be reduced to nothing but random lumps in the sand one day. The arrogance of man can be seen in the words of Ozymandias when he says, “King of Kings; Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”. King Ozymandias was so sure of himself, but there are barely any traces of him left. If the traveler had chosen another route, then even this would not exist.

The poem features how little our lives are in the grand scheme of things. If we even compare our lifetimes to that of our Earth alone, we cannot even cover 1% of the timeline. Even together, human lives barely scratch the surface; our 200,000-year history is nothing compared to the 4.5 billion years. There is a misconception that humans are on top of everything, but humanity has not been around long enough to achieve that. Humanity is just fleeting moments as compared to our planet, galaxy, and even universe. We can move closer, men of power have come and conquered all, but they too have passed after 60 to 70 years. 

Men of influence and power can still fight for a spot to be highly regarded in our history, but what about the unsung heroes. No one man can achieve all without any help. So, the question is who these helpers were? Their actions may have changed the entire course of the world, built or torn down empires, but where are they? Buried in unmarked graves and long forgotten, because that is what people do. People move on, and even if they remember you, sooner or later, your name will not pass from generation to generation. After some time, we forget even the contributions of Kings, so how would those of normal unextraordinary men and women not be.

Percy Shelley may have existed decades before us, but he was able to capture one aspect of human nature: our arrogance and narcissism. Often, we forget we are just men bounded by a number. The number of our age is overlooked alongside our rationality.”

Q&A

When it comes to writing an essay, students have questions like what is critical essay definition and so on. So to make the essay writing process easier for you, we have compiled answers from experts to the two most asked questions. These are;

What is a critical essay format?

The professor decides the critical essay format. A few academic formats like APA or MLA have different editions, which even apply to the referencing and citation styles. The formatting is not limited to the sources and their references but extends even to the font, size, margins, and spacing. You need to keep all these uniforms throughout the document and match them with your professors’ requirements. 

What are the steps to write a critical essay?

Critical essay writing is not easy, so to help with this issue, you can follow the following steps;

  1. Understand the topic and critical reading of the work,
  2. Creating a thesis statement and main arguments,
  3. Drafting an outline,
  4. Research facts and figures to support your argument and jotting them next to the outline,
  5. Writing the first draft,
  6. Proofreading and formatting,
  7. The final edit and then submission. 

Although, if all these steps are too much for you, then you can use Write My Essay. It is an essay writing service that can write a high-quality critical essay that will guarantee a good grade.