9+ Critical Essay Examples – PDF


A critical essay, subjectively speaking, is one of the most fun and easy essays to make because it gives you the chance to express your most honest opinions regarding a literary piece, a work of art, a film, or a piece of music. Critical essays have a high consideration for the perspective of its audience. It revolves around the importance of analysis and interpretation of the subject at hand by placing it on a much broader context.

Critical essay is a form of academic writing. It includes an argumentative thesis that summarizes the author’s main point. It would also contain textual evidences that can support the interpretation and serve as supporting information to give credibility to the assumptions. You may also see essay writing examples.

The main objective of a critical essay is to analyze, interpret, and evaluate a subject. It starts by the author expressing his claims and validating them by providing citations from primary and secondary sources.

Although the word critical or criticize denotes a negative action, criticizing an object or a text for a critical essay only means that you are taking the topic limb by limb to be able to study its many unique aspects which can only lead to thorough understanding. You may also like short essay examples & samples.

Critical essay can also open novel ways on how to approach the topic which can lead to further appreciation of it. It doesn’t seek to judge the content or the quality of the topic under study, but it assesses it instead to give way to interpreting its meaning and grasping its significance. You may also check out concept essay examples.

Critical Essay on Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”

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Poetry Analysis Essay Template

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Sample Body Paragraph of a Critical Essay

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Characteristics of a Critical Essay

Students are made to write critical essays on a variety of topics. These may include poetry, novels, films, paintings, even video games, newspaper or magazine articles, and speeches. But irregardless of the subject it handles, a critical essay shares the same characteristics.

1. A critical essay has a central claim.

A claim or an assumption is the very reason why a critical essay is born—because the author of the essay has a point he wants to make. The essay would begin with a thesis statement, which would contain the writer’s claim, and the rest of the essay’s body would be created to support and prove that general statement. Authors can also choose to present possible counterarguments in their essays and present more evidences to kill these oppositions and strengthen the point they are trying to prove to be true.

2. A critical essay has evidences, and primary and secondary sources.

This characteristic is the dominant aspect of an essay. The author would need as much evidence as he can gather to strengthen his chances of proving his claim. He can quote lines from the text he is writing about; he can specify the themes used; he can discuss imagism and metaphors used; he can objectify the structure and the dialogues; he can even use the choice of words used to back his claim. You may also see student essay examples & samples.

Critical essays may also cite outside sources if it can help him support his assumption. These citations may come from books, articles, essays, and other scholarly texts.

3. A critical essay has a conclusion.

In writing a critical essay, the author has two goals: to make a claim and to arrive at a conclusion. Making a claim would start the simple essay and a conclusion would mean that that claim has been proven. A conclusion can be two paragraphs at the most. The first of which can serve as an introduction before the final close if the author wants to discuss a few things before finishing off.

The second paragraph, often the only one in most critical essays, summarizes the discussions made in the body and highlights the most important insights.

Writing a Critical Analysis Guidelines

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Rubric for Writing a Critical Essay

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Sample Critical Essay

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Critical Essay on Tess of the d’Urbervilles

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Steps in Writing a Critical Essay

1. Read and study the topic of your essay.

If you were asked to write a critical essay about The Canterbury Tales, make sure that you are familiar with the material. It would be helpful if you have read the piece (preferably the translated version) and thoroughly understood what it was about.

A careful study of the characters and the themes while reading would also be helpful to help you understand the book better. Take notes as you go along so that you won’t have to waste time skimming the pages if you’ve forgotten a character’s name or what happened in a specific scene. You may also see essay writing examples & samples.

2. Conduct further research.

This step is important because it will help you find secondary sources that can serve as your evidence. Your research may also help you locate articles and effective essays written about your topic which can give you new insights about the material. It is also vital that you check the credibility of your sources. Make sure that the information it contains is correct, and that the author has, at least, an academic background that makes him eligible to be a source for an academic paper.

3. Create a thesis statement.

Once you have read the material and conducted additional research about it, what is it about the material that you want your essay to focus on? Perhaps you want to write about “The Miller”, or The Narrator. A critical essay would be easier and more enjoyable if you write about a character, an idea, or a concept you are most intrigued about. You may also like self-introduction essay examples & samples.

Your thesis statement should be able to effectively summarize the claim you are trying to make. It can either be one or two sentences long. Be specific in writing your thesis statement. It should not include vague descriptions such as “It was good” or “I liked it.” You should specify exactly which parts and why. The reader of your critical essay should understand exactly where you are coming from by simply reading your thesis statement.

4. Draft your ideas.

By this time, you should have enough information to work with since you have already read the material and conducted research about it. Before writing your critical essay, or any essay at all, create a rough outline of the details you think can prove your claim.

Is there a certain line in the text that you can use as your evidence? Or have you discovered another published academic writer that has the same opinions about the material as you? These information can serve as your claim’s support, so it is important that you arrange them in a way that they can compliment and continue each other’s message at the same time. You may also like analytical essay examples.

5. Begin your essay with an interesting line.

The beginning of your paper is your only chance to create a first impression and to grab the attention of your audiences. It should be engaging enough that your readers wouldn’t want to stop reading until they finished listening to what you have to say. Don’t start with cliches that have long ago lost their luster. Begin with an anecdote perhaps, or a particularly emotional line from the material you are writing about. You may also check out personal essay examples.

6. Give your readers enough context about the material.

In writing an effective critical essay, you need to assume that your readers know nothing or, at least, close to nothing about the material. So you should establish enough context for them to start with. After you have introduced your thesis statement, discuss a little about the material you are criticizing. Include only the pivotal details. Otherwise, your critical essay will look more like a general summary than anything else.

7. Incorporate your evidences and supporting arguments into the body of your essay.

Once you have introduced your readers to your thesis statement and given them a short review of the material, it is now your chance to prove your point. Lay down your evidences as organized as you can, and expound on them. Searching for evidences that can support your claim and assimilating them into your essay’s body is easy. But actually convincing people of their truth? There lies the challenge. You might be interested in high school essay examples.

The key to making your evidences and arguments believable and persuasive is to combine logic and emotion at the same time.

Your evidences should be as tangible as possible. They should be seen and read by your audience themselves, otherwise, they may not believe it. You can persuade your audience by presenting data and statistics and analogies. But they will be moved by you if you incorporate sentiments into your arguments. You may also see literary essay examples.

Create vivid scenarios and descriptive sentences, and let your reader’s feelings convince him of the truth in your words.

8. Let your conclusion be unforgettable.

Once you have finished your paper’s body, all you are left to do is to finish it up with a conclusion. Give a short summary of the important things you have discussed. You may also choose to explain the relevance of your claim to your reader, or present new questions that your reader can ruminate on. You may also like informative essay examples.

Let your conclusion ring in the minds of your audience by presenting it in a way that they will not forget. This is how you will know that your paper actually accomplished something.

Critical Essay Example

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Critical Essay Citation Format

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Tips in Writing Your First Critical Essay

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Important Tips to Remember When Writing a Critical Essay

1. Although your opinions and feelings about your topic is a big factor to be considered, you should avoid expressing it if you do not have any evidence to support it. A critical essay is meant to be informative, which means that all claims should be backed up by a credible evidence and not simply stated because it strikes the author’s fancy. You may also see academic essay examples.

2. Criticizing a piece of work does not mean that you are personally attacking its creator. It is only that you are being evaluative toward his work, and this may not always produce opinions that are flattering, but at least they are products of a careful study and not just subjectivity. You may also like sample essay outlines.

3. Your critical essay should teach your audience something new. Whether it is a new perspective, or a fresh idea, or a life lesson, they should have something useful to take from your paper.

4. Your tone in writing your critical essay should be objective and serious. Although you can use a lighter, more humorous tone, this may not always be acceptable for certain topics. You may also check out scholarship essay examples.

5. Be specific about the points you are making. This can make supporting it easier. If you give vague claims, you can also only provide vague evidences, and this will not make a well-structured and effective critical essay.

6. Quote and cite lines from the text itself. This is often the easiest and strongest support you can have for your arguments. For example, you are trying to make a point about a character’s main flaw. You can quote a scene or a line from the text to prove it. You might be interested in travel essay examples.

7. Focus on a particular aspect of the subject, like its theme or its plot, instead of looking at it as a whole. This can make criticizing it difficult since there are many angles you should consider. Emphasize only one or two main points so you can focus on it. You may also see descriptive essay examples.

Writing a critical essay gives us the chance to look at things from a different point of view. Often, we get caught up in looking at things through everybody’s eyes. Critical essays are a fresh break from that. It helps us realize that there truly is more than meets the eye, and we can only discover that if we do more than look.

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