How to Write a Critical Essay

Critical essays test a conglomerate of skills ranging from analytical reading, critical thinking, and writing. In this kind of academic writing, you must consider a piece of literature and analyze the author’s point of view and thought process. The other aspect that this essay evaluates is the author’s standpoint and how it compares to logical reasoning by providing supporting evidence.

how to write a critical essay
A student jotting down the key points of a critical essay

How Should a Critical Essay Be Written?

The process of writing a critical essay involves two main steps. First is the reading process. The main purpose of the reading process is to demonstrate your understanding of the subject. Secondly, this writing requires you to prove that you can comprehend the source text analytically and separates facts from opinions.

What Are the 3 Steps in Writing a Critical Paper?

Like any essay, a critical essay comprises three main parts:

  • The introduction
  • Body paragraphs
  • The conclusion

Now that you are caught up on the key elements of this kind of writing, how about taking a deep dive to learn more about the tips required for writing a critical essay?

1. Thorough Reading

You can only understand the author’s thought process and the message they are conveying if you carefully read their script. Go through the piece more than once, with an open mind, paying attention to the message they are communicating. Accurately doing so will help you establish key points, facts, opinions and standpoints on specific matters.

2. Choose a Thesis Statement

The essence of this kind of writing is to review the author’s point of view and claims. Therefore, developing a strong thesis statement is critical. It forms the basis of your essay, arguments and analysis. The thesis statement also serves as the foundation for the rest of the article.

You can only develop a strong thesis statement after evaluating the author’s thoughts and claims and providing evidence to counter them.

3. Introductory Paragraph

How do you start a critical thinking essay? Like any essay, your introduction should be eye-striking enough to prompt the reader to go through the rest of the writing. Therefore, take your time to come up with a strong hook statement.

Your hook statement could be a bold statement or a rhetorical question. The introduction should also include the piece of writing your essay intends to tackle. It could be a book, publication or work of art. When mentioning this bit, ensure to include the author’s name and all the publication details, like the date.

Include the thesis statement after your introduction paragraph. The thesis statement will serve as the north star for the rest of the essay.

4. Organise the Body of Your Essay

The body of your essay carries the most weight of your writing. Therefore, this calls for you to organise your ideas and communicate them effectively. Remember, the purpose of the body paragraphs is to serve as supporting claims for your thesis statement. They do so by providing detailed information about the claims.

The number of body paragraphs will depend on how long you want your essay to be. They will also depend on the essay’s scope. So, take as much time as possible to plan your ideas and ensure each idea is weighty enough to form a body paragraph. Gather as much evidence and facts as possible when planning. This is a crucial step in the outline of how to write a critical essay example.

5. Come Up With Clear Topic Sentences

Every body paragraph should start with a topic sentence. A strong topic sentence gives the reader a glimpse of what your argument will be about. It also determines how weighty your argument will be in your critical essay example.

6. Provide Evidence for Every Claim and Counterclaim You Make

The main aim of this kind of writing is to evaluate the author’s thought process by countering it with factual information. You can only do that by providing weighty evidence. Ensure your evidence and counterclaims are textual and are obtained from source materials. If need be, use endnotes and footnotes.

A man going over documents before writing an essay

7. Summarize Your Analysis in a Concluding Paragraph

The final section of your writing is the conclusion. A conclusion should provide a summary of your analysis and evaluation. Wrap up your writing by recapping your argument by paraphrasing your thesis statement to remind the reader what the essay was about. Remember, you cannot introduce a new argument or point in the conclusion. Rather, remind your reader of your key points and the call for action.

If you have gotten this far, you can answer the question, what does a critical essay look like?

8. Revise as Necessary

It is befitting for flawless any good quality critical analysis essay example. You can only be sure of this element if you cross-check your work to ensure you communicate effectively. Ask yourself, “Am I effectively reflecting the author’s perspective of the matter in question? Have I provided enough evidence to back up my assertions? Are the arguments representative of my point of view? Do I have any grammatical issues? Have I provided enough references and citations?”

9. Compile the Final Draft

Regardless of the example of a critical analysis essay and the outline provided above, you have all the tools required to write a quality essay. You can ask your friend to go through it and critique it. Alternatively, you can reach out to an academic service provider for insight. This is the simplest and most reliable way of accessing an example of a critical essay.

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What is a critical essay example? If you were tasked with this writing, you could confidently say you are equipped with the steps and know-how to come up with this writing.

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