How to write a critical analysis essay
While writing a critical analysis essay, you are expected to take a subject and make a critical assessment of it. This subject can be a historical event, an artistic work such as a book, movie, song, social problem, or even a political issue.
Why do we write critical analysis essays?
The main reason why we write these types of essays is to examine different points of view on a controversial subject.
Now let’s have a look at steps to write a great one.
Common mistakes to avoid
You first need to improve your argumentation skills. Most college papers require creating and defending arguments, which is also very common in argumentative essays.
Now that we know what critical analysis is and what to avoid, let’s continue with the other steps of the writing process.
Step 1: Choose a subject and research
If your subject is pre-assigned by your teacher or instructor, you can pass this step. If not, there are a few tips you should consider when choosing your topic.
Keeping these tips in mind, choose yourself a subject that you are interested in.
For this guide, let’s choose the subject “Kate Chopin’s ‘The Story of an Hour’ as a work of women’s liberation.” (sample essay)
ReminderWhether your subject is a book, a movie, or a cultural phenomenon, examining it once is not enough for writing a critical analysis essay.
For example, suppose you are analyzing a book. You need to read scholarly articles in addition to the actual book. While reading, your main aim is to detect the author’s thesis statement.
There are three main points to consider when you are reading the text.
The tone and language of the essay (US or UK English) can be a clue for you. For example, if the author uses advanced vocabulary and technical theories, the text is intended for knowledgeable audiences.
By reading into the persuasion methods such as language and rhetoric, you can understand the messages the author intends to give in the text.
By examining the text’s structure, you can recognize the main points the author wants to emphasize.
Step 2: Build your thesis statement
After the reading part is done, start writing your essay. If possible, give yourself some time to reflect upon your readings.
Your thesis statement should summarize the claim you want to make in your essay, and it should indicate a particular idea. Avoid using words and phrases that predicate uncertainty, such as arguably, possibly, or conceivably.
Critical analysis essasy thesis statement example
About thesis statementsIn a critical analysis essay, it is essential that your thesis statement is a strong claim that is open to opposition and discussion.
Step 3: Create an outline
As with all essays, once you build your thesis statement, creating an outline will help you organize your thoughts and be coherent in your writing process.
Step 4: Introduction
Step 5: The summary paragraphs
To make a critical analysis of a subject, you first need to summarize it effectively. Especially if your subject is a literary work or a movie. Therefore, making a summary of the work in your first supporting paragraph would be a smart choice.
Below, you’ll see an example of a summary paragraph for critical analysis. Carefully examine it and then have a look at the checklist.
Checklist for the summary paragraphs
Step 6: The analysis paragraphs
This section is also essential for your academic essay as this part is where you present your analysis. In these paragraphs, there are several factors you should be looking out for.
First, analyze the given example below.
Checklist for analysis paragraphs
Check your analysis paragraph based on these questions.