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How to Write a Critical Essay

How to Write a Critical Essay

University instructors require students to write a critical analysis of a research paper, painting, literary piece, etc. Why is critical thinking an important skill? Students in the fields of Science & Arts have to make an expert analysis of previous works because these analyses will prove how well they have mastered a certain profession and use it as a basis to dissect work. What is a critical analysis essay? EssayPro as legitimate essay writing service is here to help you answer all the essential academic questions!

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What is Critical Analysis Essay?

A critical analysis essay is best defined as an academic paper designed to understand a certain written work. What is critical thinking? It is an ability to think rationally and logically about various actions or beliefs. This kind of writing is subjective because a writer has to express personal opinions and share an experience as evaluation. Two major steps you have to make in this kind of essay are Critical Reading & Writing. How to write a critical analysis paper? You should be able to express personal opinions based on experience.
A critical thinking definition is basically the same as a critical essay meaning - it is a part of the process required to carry out an analysis paper. The tips below will help the students to understand the main idea of this type of academic writing with the help of vivid examples and guides.

How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay?

The initial step mentioned earlier in a critical path analysis is thorough reading. To read critically, identify the author’s purpose and analysis. Take note of the passage’s main ideas and the paragraphs supporting the main idea. Consult proper reference materials (both primary like books and secondary like interviews) for things that you do not comprehend. Write a description, outline, and a summary of the work. It’s important to consider the written work’s purpose (whether it is factual and if it is written to entertain). Is it written to express an opinion? Asking these questions will help you write and synthesize and evaluate if the author has achieved the purpose of his or her written work.

Critical Analysis Essay Outline

Most instructors will provide a sample outline to help students write a well-organized critical analysis. These outlines serve as a skeleton of how you want your written work to be structured. Before writing an academic paper, make sure you have an outline which organizes your thoughts into a coherent essay structure. If you are not provided with an outline, you can follow this outline below:

  • A hook sentence (optional). This one is to grab your reader’s attention.
  • Background Information: This is to make readers have an understanding or an overview of the work you’re going to evaluate. This is to ensure that important details are provided. This is an important part of the critical analysis essay because this will be your basis for evaluation.
  • Information about the work:
  • Title
  • Author
  • Publication information
  • Statement of topic and purpose
  • Thesis statement indicating writer's main reaction to the work
  • Summary: This is another fundamental part of the critical analysis because to create a summary, you have to read critically.
  • Interpretation: Writing this part will vary from person to person. This interpretation should be subjective meaning it should be based on writer’s experiences and honest opinions based on the primary sources be it negative or positive. The way you will evaluate in this part of the essay will reflect who you are and your proficiency.
  • Discussion of the work's organization
  • Discussion of the work's style
  • Effectiveness
  • Discussion of the topic's treatment
  • Discussion of appeal to a particular audience
  • Conclusion: After the body of your work, restate the thesis statement to remind the readers about the main point, summarize the arguments (topic sentences of each body paragraph), provide some implementations or forecast for the future, and finish with a hook sentence. It is best to end up with a rhetorical question.

Your project should answer the following questions:

  • Is there a controversy surrounding either the passage or the subject which it concerns?
  • What about the subject matter is of current interest?
  • What is the overall value of the passage and what are the strengths and weaknesses of the assessed piece of literature or another work of art?

Take note of the rubrics or guide questions given to you. These are meant to make sure you will not miss details in your analysis. Support your statements with the text given to you; remember that the purpose of the critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something. Although, you will be expressing your opinions, make sure that you will be fair and well informed. Explore different sides of the analysis yet stand firm on what you believe in. Express your opinions honestly. Your review should provide information, interpretation, and evaluation so that the offered information will help your reader understand the nature of the work under analysis. The interpretation will explain the meaning of the work, therefore requiring your correct understanding of it. The evaluation will discuss your opinions of the work and present valid justification for them.

Critical Analysis Essay Introduction Example

You need more than critical thinking skills alone to come up with the successful paper. It is important to stay creative. The best place in the text to show your creativity is an introduction. Start with a powerful hook sentence to catch an eye of the reader from the initial line:

  • A fact
  • Statistics
  • An allegory
  • A literary quote
  • A metaphor
  • A simile
  • A quotation of a famous person
  • A joke
  • An anecdote
  • A rhetorical question

The main idea is to make the readers understand why the research question matters. The goal is to make them WANT to read the full paper. This way, the teachers will be able to assess the work objectively. Here is a critical analysis essay introduction example to give you a hint:

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because the reality is finally better than your dreams.” These words by Dr. Seuss describe this eternal feeling the best. Love is an emotion which all people have a concept of. At the same time, the majority of people may insist they have experienced the feeling of true love despite the accepted definition of this chemical reaction. Does a pure love exist? How can an average citizen of any country identify this contradictory feeling best of all? This paper examines the concept of love based on Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116.”

25 Cool Critical Analysis Essay Topics

Except for the advanced critical thinking skills, one has to possess great research skills to find some interesting topics to evaluate. Decide which topic suits critical thinking process the best. Make sure there are enough sources available in free access to provide evidence for your arguments. Consult the teacher to make sure the idea is relevant. The issue should be trendy and related to the studied subject.
Here are some of the top critical analysis essay topics to consider:

Culture Critical Thinking Topics

  1. Drug use in sports
  2. The role of college football in student’s academic performance
  3. Homelessness among young people in the US
  4. Anti-meth campaign and its consequences
  5. The difference in communication between males & females

Mass Media Topics

  1. Analyzing a film on a comic book
  2. Evaluating the best wedding dress TV show
  3. Observing the remake of a classic motion picture
  4. Examining the influence of the popular TV series on youth
  5. Selecting a favorite cooking program

Critical Evaluation Topics on History

  1. Secrets of the Ancient Greeks
  2. Colonization of the modern US territory
  3. Studying the pyramids of Giza
  4. Assessment of the Vikings trip to American in IX century
  5. The true origins of the Liberty Statue

Culture Critical Thinking Topics in Literature

  1. The way irony is used in Mark Twain’s stories
  2. The conventions of a specific genre (example: anti-utopia)
  3. Studying a setting in “The Lord of the Rings”
  4. The mood of Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
  5. The use of allegory in Shakespeare’s art

Culture Critical Thinking Topics in Sports

  1. Sports as they are shown by mass media
  2. Raising and Olympian
  3. The effectiveness of betting on sports
  4. Video gaming in the XXI century
  5. The significance of indoor games for children


You could go on and search for critical analysis examples if you were not given one in class. These examples should answer some of your questions. Avoid opening statements like “I think…” and “In my opinion…” Your essay should focus on the assessment itself and not on you.

Critical Analysis Essay Examples

EssayPro Help

Once you define critical thinking, you may still have some questions left or understand that your critical thinking skills are insufficient to write an A+ paper. Do you need some help from experts? If after following the steps and taking note of the tips and tricks, you find it hard to write a critical analysis, don’t hesitate to send us your "write my essay" request or ask any essay help from EssayPro. Our writers will help turn your ideas into quality writing.

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