Critical Essay: Understanding the Forms and the Basics

In the academe, a lot of writings are being required to test the understanding of the scholars. It is one way of diagnosing whether a person has deep or shallow knowledge about a particular topic or theme. In this kind of writing, you interpret, analyze, and evaluates text using your own words.

However, writing a critical essay is a daunting task for most people. Once people read the word “critical” in the phrase critical piece, their impression becomes unpleasant. They find critical essays a burden because analyzing text and evaluating it is just too dull. That could be the case if people were not adequately oriented in understanding what critical essay is.

So, what is a critical essay?

A critical essay is a piece of academic writing where the target text is analyzed and evaluated to explore and expand the underlying themes and concepts for better understanding. For instance, you were asked to write a critical essay about Alice in Wonderland. Your teacher intends you to read Alice and describe your experience while reading it, your realizations when specific themes were compared to real-life situations, and how it has affected you.

Critical essays are a writing tool for teachers to see where their students are in the course of learning. Through these essays, it helps teachers identify students’ strengths and weaknesses and draw a way to remediate what is lacking.

What set critical essays apart from other academic writings?

Critical essays are usually written to expand the meanings of themes and concepts hidden in films, poetry, short stories, novels, video games, and other visual arts. But to be exact, critical essays have:
Central claims that are usually expressed at the beginning of the text. It is commonly found in the thesis statement of the article.

Evidence that supports the claim to make your claims valid and reliable. If you cannot give your claim solid support, your idea might be an opinion with weak validations.

Conclusions that wrap the general idea, your claim, and the evidence that supports it. In this part, your arguments are summarized in a way where essential insights were given much emphasis.

How can you write a critical essay the proper way?

Realistically, critical essays have no format, but they should display a train of thought. Writing a critical article requires extensive and intensive analysis and careful weaving of sound arguments to make your claim valid and credible. You can do this by:

Employing active reading strategies enables the retention of information that you have read across different texts.
Reading sample essays exhibits topics that interest you. You must start reading sample essays in the area you love because this will make learning much delightful rather than forcing yourself to do something you don’t like.

Resist the temptation to summarize what you have read because there’s no real meaning in it.
To better improve your writing, it is best to make reading a habit, as this will help you build a more valid argument to support your claims.