Tips from Experts - How to Write a Critical Essay?

Tips from Experts - How to Write a Critical Essay?
Table of Contents
  1. Tips from Experts - How to Write a Critical Essay?
  2. Let’s Explain the Basics: Critical Essay Definition
  3. Steps to Follow While Writing a Critical Essay
  4. Effective Steps to Follow While Writing
  5. What About the Structure?
  6. What Aspects should You Evaluate?
  7. Tweaks on Writing a Winning Conclusion
  8. Critical essay outline
  9. Critical essay format
  10. Critical essay examples

Not all students are talented writers, able to make a detailed analysis on the basis of trusted sources and pieces of evidence, don’t you find? However, when your professor asks to compose a critical essay, you simply can’t disengage yourself from writing. You need to read a book or any text, watch a movie and present your arguments and claims on the basis of this piece of literature. Your readers must fall under the impression that you understand the topic well enough. Therefore, you need to summon up all strength and immerse yourself in writing in order to avoid problems and get an excellent grade.

In our insightful article, we’ll explain to you how to work on this important assignment, what points and ideas to include, identify the main purpose, draw an outline, create a clear and catching introduction, thesis statement, good conclusion, and informative body paragraphs. When doing the task, you need to focus your attention on even inconspicuous details. Besides, any author must keep in mind that the grade for that paper depends on the topic they select. You shouldn’t face difficulties with understanding the key information on the basis of which you are going to write your essays.

Let’s Explain the Basics: Critical Essay Definition

Before discussing the secrets of writing, it is necessary to cover the basics. The average length of a critical essay is 1000 words. Though you already know how to create a top-notch 1000 essay, you should also learn a few new rules. A critical essay is a creative academic task which shows your ability to analyze books, films, articles, reviews, TV shows or any other literary or cinematography composition. Simply put, you need to read that piece of literature, evaluate it and provide your targeted audience with an informative summary. Your overriding objective is not to persuade or entertain. You need to create a nuanced and informative analysis.

Your critical essay provides the audience with the advantages and disadvantages of that literary work. When reading it, your readers should immediately understand whether the book is worth reading or the movie is worth seeing. Therefore, your goal is to convey a story in exquisite detail.

Steps to Follow While Writing a Critical Essay

Having got the task, the first question which pops up in your mind is how to write a critical analysis essay. Our overriding purpose is to provide you with insightful instructions. Keep in mind that you won’t create an A-level critical essay until you don’t read the book or watch the movie. Firstly, you need to choose a poem, story, article or novel and start critical reading. This stage is time-sapping but you can’t skip it. Why should you do this?

  • You will understand the primary goal of the author.
  • Understand the main ideas.
  • Check whether the author is successful in conveying the key message.
  • Understand what appeals are applied.
  • Therefore, you shouldn’t just read mindlessly in order to relax after a hard working day. Your key objective is to keep the above-mentioned goals in mind while reading. When you complete this mission, you can move on to criticism.

Effective Steps to Follow While Writing

We have already discussed a few effective techniques on how to start writing, but in this case, there are some other rules which you must keep in mind. It is time to describe all of them. We’ll provide you with the most effective pieces of advice allowing you to tackle that complicated challenge and finally get an excellent grade!

To make the process of writing easier, we created a list of the main tips to follow:

  1. Create your outline where you need to list all the ideas which you will cover. When presenting your arguments, you need to support them. Besides, your essay will consist of different ideas. Therefore, an outline will help not to lose your train of thoughts in the course of writing.
  2. Consider the format of your critical essay. You should always adhere to the rules of formatting because if an essay is formatted incorrectly, your grade will be lower. The formatting guide depends on the topic of your essay. If you can’t understand what format to use, you can put the question to your professor.
  3. Create a catching title which will definitely make your audience pay heed to your critical analysis. It can be just a thought-provoking question or a shocking fact. Simply put, you can use any tool which will help grab the reader’s attention. Sometimes, this stage can take more time than writing a whole essay.
  4. Start writing. When you are sure that the preliminary work is done, you can move on to writing. Keep in mind that this form of writing requires attentiveness to details. Besides, you won’t do the task within a few hours. If the deadline is burning hot, you should subdivide it into a few stages and start writing beforehand.
  5. Proofreading. Some academicians bid defiance to this stage but it can cost them too much. You should check all the words and sentences because sometimes, you can make silly mistakes and you don’t even notice them. Today, there are lots of online tools making this stage easier and allowing you to spot these errors. Besides, if you are aimed to get the highest grade, you can hire qualified editors, who will proofread it.

What About the Structure?

As well as any essay, this one also must be structured in a proper way. Just a chaotic train of thoughts won’t let you get to the top. That’s why you simply can’t miss the discussion of the basic critical essay structure:

  • An introductory section which must always begin with a hook, engaging your audience. Your goal is to start the discussion of the topic with outlining of the key ideas. Finish your introduction with an informative thesis statement. As a result, you will gradually lead your audience to the interpretation of the book, novel, poem or film.
  • Main Sections. This is the place where you will cover your ideas and answer the main questions which you put in the introduction. To achieve the best results, you need to provide the readers with the description of examples, add some quotes and provide the evidence. Your general purpose is to analyze and inform. Therefore, you need to pay attention to the way how the main material is presented in the book (clearly, disorderly or accurately).
  • Conclusion. The key objective of this stage is to wrap up your critical essay. Its average length is 100-150 words. Besides, you are allowed to add your personal opinion in this section.

If you want to create an eye-catching critical essay, you might strictly follow this structure.

What Aspects should You Evaluate?

Considering the thing, that your principal aim is to create a critical essay, you must understand the meaning of criticism. It is the process of judging positive and negative aspects of some things. When doing the task, you need to consider the following aspects:

  • Discuss the general style of the book or movie.
  • Was it effective?
  • What goals did the author try to achieve?
  • What are the key positive features of this book?
  • What is the core audience of that literary work?

Your primary aim is to answer all these questions in your critical analysis essay. Simply put, when the reader looks through your essay, they shouldn’t have any questions seeking clarification. They must immediately understand whether the discussed thing is worth attention or not.

Tweaks on Writing a Winning Conclusion

That is your final stage but you should also consider a few aspects while writing the last paragraph. If you don’t know how to finish writing, we highly encourage you to take a look at your introduction. Your goal is to restate your point of view once again but it doesn’t mean you are allowed to copy it! Besides, if to take a look at any critical analysis essay example, you’ll see that both paragraphs are similar.

Your final argument must be strong and effective. Furthermore, it can’t be longer than your body section. Just a few sentences revealing the main idea of the whole essay and showing your attitude to the discussed problem are enough.

a girl with red hair meditating

Critical essay outline

Creating a detailed outline for the critical essay, students have the great opportunity to perform an effective mindmap of the future essay structure and content. A proper outline will give you an opportunity to gain a greater picture of the argumentation and thesis statement quality. Here is a basic outline structure, so take a look and try to remember essay parts: 

1. Introduction (Provide a general context of the essay) 

  • General statement (General information about the topic)
  • Thesis statement (Concise claim that clearly outlines the exact position regarding the topic)
  • Subtopics (Overview of the related content that will be discussed in the essay)
  • Contention about the topic

2. Body (Develop a discussion to answer the question) 

  • Topic sentence
  • Supporting sentences (Quotations, examples, statistics)
  • Clincher (Summary of the main point)
  • Link (Concluding sentence)
3. Conclusion (restate c central point) 
  • Restate the essay's main body in a few sentences
  • Restate thesis
  • Sum up key findings
  • Finish with a striking claim. 

Critical essay format

In case you've got an assignment to write a critical essay, need to follow a grading rubric, but do not know how to format it, you need to follow the basic structure of an ordinary critical essay. The basic components of the critical essays involve an introduction that states your thesis, several body paragraphs that analyze strengths and weaknesses, and a conclusion that restates a thesis statement and summarizes the whole essay content.


Critical essay examples

If you're not sure how to develop a clear thesis, how to write supporting statements properly, or what is a sample of the proper essay in the particular subject, here are some critical essay examples that will help you gain the idea of critical essay writing. 

Example One: "Harry Potter"

Example Two: "Changing Gender Roles"

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