This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to write a critical analysis essay. Learning in the university comes with new challenges. Unlike in high school, where pupils receive easy tasks requiring them to read a passage and answer a few questions, institutions of higher learning provide a complex environment. A critical analysis essay is one of the assignments that a college or university student has to write. So, what is a critical analysis essay? Well, when defined simply, a critical analysis essay refers to the type of work involving your subject assessment of someone else’s ideas or thoughts. Often, the process requires you to interpret a piece of writing or artwork and break down your ideas. This explanation may imply that writing a critical analysis essay is simple. Trust me, it is not!
Now that you know what a critical analysis essay is, let us focus on how to go about it.
If you are going to do a critical analysis essay, chances are you will be given a text or piece of work to study. Take a pen and book, and note down the main ideas starting with the thesis statement. As you read the given work, you will deduce the primary argument that the author tries to make. Naturally, this premise will be in the introduction. Besides the thesis, learn the main points that the author uses to validate the argument. You need to realize the difference between a thesis statement and topical sentences. In a typical essay, a thesis statement appears in the first paragraph, but topical paragraphs or sentences occur in the body, and they are meant to prove the validity of the primary argument (thesis statement). Pay special attention to the strengths and weaknesses of the author’s arguments. To do all this, you may need a book and pen to jot down the ideas.
Assuming you are done reading, go to the next phase of writing an outline for your critical analysis essay. On this one, start with the introduction and have two parts within it. First, state the background or introductory information that you are going to share. Second, write down your thesis statement as informed by the arguments in the article. Most students err by writing their ideas without basing them on the evidence or claims made by the author. If you do this, you will struggle to prove your assertions.
After the introduction, your outline should also have the body part, which will involve topical sentences. Determine even before writing where you will position your arguments. Topical sentences appear on the very first sentence of a paragraph and determine the statements you will make in the rest of the section. However, you do not need to expound in your outline; such emphases come during the actual writing.
Now you are ready to write your critical analysis essay. Start with the introduction, expanding on the ideas you created earlier. A good introduction should be around five to seven sentences and should not exceed 140 words. Make sure your thesis statement is brief, direct, and clear. Go on and write your body section, which will have several paragraphs depending on the length of your paper. Each paragraph starts with a topical sentence. Please note that you should not have two ideas in one paragraph. When done with the body, conclude your critical analysis essay by summarizing your work and restating the thesis statement. Do not forget to leave a positive impression on your last sentence in the concluding paragraph.
Do not forget that you are writing a critical analysis essay, meaning your construction of sentences must portray this capability. Your professor expects to see you are arguing from the point of logic, which is informed by evidence in an article. Anything less than this approach and your instructor will penalize you. The best way to analyze critically is by asking yourself this question: Is the author’s argument the only way this idea could be presented? Also, you may ask this: Is the writer really accurate? Such questions will elicit creative thinking.
Remember that you are not writing a summary of the paper but an opinion-like column. Therefore, you offer new perspectives based on the evidence presented in the article you are analyzing and external sources. Avoid making statements that you cannot prove or those that do not connect with the article. Also, note that a critical analysis does not infer that you must criticize everything the writer has said. In some instances, you should agree with the author to show a balanced approach to your work. Even where you extend criticism, make sure it is based on evidence, not personal feelings. Providing an analysis based on evidence does not invalidate or weaken the original article you are reviewing. On the contrary, it strengthens it before other readers.
Always proofread your critical analysis essay because instructors hate submissions that contain careless mistakes. Even though some tools, such as Grammarly and Safe Assign, may help, always proofread your tasks instead of trusting some algorithms. Failure to do this may deny many grades. In some colleges, professors deduct ten marks for any essay that contains avoidable mistakes. If you have corrected all errors, you are now ready to submit your critical analysis essay.