How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay Step By Step
A critical analysis essay is an essay that entails text reading critically and stating your opinion or evaluation based on an author’s meaning. To write such an essay, it is imperative that you keep in mind all the guidelines on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step. There are two major steps in this kind of essay writing and they include critical reading and critical writing.
When writing a critical analysis essay, you are expected to read the short piece of assigned work which can be a short story or a poem critically. Reading the authors work critically offers a clear understanding of your assignment and enables you to craft your essay with ease.
Tips for reading a critical analysis essay
In critical reading, there are a number of things you should keep in mind. They will enhance your reading and clarify anything that is unfamiliar to you. The first step is to
- Identify the purpose of the author’s work
- Analyze the structure carefully by identifying main ideas in the work
- Carry out extensive research on anything that you do not understand
- Outline your work or work on a description of the same
- Write a clear summary and
- Analyze how the author achieved the purpose of the work which in most cases could be to inform target audience with factual content, to persuade the reader to some emotions or to reason and to entertain among other purposes
After determining the author’s purpose, evaluate the means which the author used to accomplish the purpose. For example, if
The drive is to inform, determine whether the content has been clearly presented, accurately and is it with order and coherence?
If the purpose is to persuade, consider getting evidence, contrary evidence as well as logical reasoning
If the purpose of the author was to entertain, try to determine how the emotions are affected. Ask yourself does it make you cry or laugh and why did it affect you the way it did
For effective critical reading, consider the following questions on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step
- How is the content organized?
- Who is the target audience?
- What are the assumptions of the reader of the target audience and
- What kind of imagery or language has the author used?
How to write a critical analysis essay step by step with an outline
An outline is always imperative when getting into the second part of critical essay writing. It helps you to focus on the topic of the essay while writing and allows you to collect all your thoughts as fresh as they are in your mind. Therefore, you critique can be drafted in this sample outline
- Background details to help target audience to understand the nature of the work. In this case,
- Provide detailed information of the work including
- The title
- The author
- Publication details and
- Statement of the topic and purpose
- Work on a thesis statement while indicating the main reaction of the author in regards to his or her work.
- Write a summary or a description of the work
- Offer an interpretation and an evaluation of the work by
- Discussion the organization of the work
- Describing the style of the work
- Writing about its effectiveness
- Discussing the treatment of the topic and
- Discussing the audiences appeal
The layout of a critical analysis essay
Just like in other types of essays, an outline is essential for a critical analysis paper. Have a layout that includes the introduction or a starter, body and conclusion. The length of the essay often determines the number of body paragraphs to have in your writing.
When writing the introduction, it is imperative to include all relevant background information therein. This will not only introduce your work to readers but it also your thesis statement. It will also attract the attention of your target audience.
The summary of your critical analysis paper will be included in the body. The way to go about writing excellent summary is keeping it short, straight to the point and concise.
With a summary, you should start to write a critical analysis essay step by step. Your analysis will mainly be based on how you responded to the work but, avoid statements such as in my opinion or I think. Such statements lessen the strength of your paper.
For the thesis statement, ensure it is strong and relevant. Back up the thesis by using the right recommended sources. You can use the text alone as your source as it backs up the thesis while enhancing your critical reading of the work you are analyzing.
When writing the conclusion, ensure to summarize every detail discussed in the paper. In this relevance, it is imperative that you
- Restate the thesis statement
- Make a summary of your analysis
- Provide any recommendation on enhancing the piece
Most importantly, always keep in mind that the conclusion should be short, a paragraph or two. It should also leave a lasting impression in the minds of target audience. You should also cite paraphrases and any quotes in your critical analysis essay writing.
How to write a critical analysis essay that is well cited
There are different citing formats for critical analysis essays. For this reason, you should follow all the guidelines on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step and employ the right or recommended format for your paper. The commonly used formats for paraphrases and quotations include APA and MLA formats.
The MLA format is done by stating the name of the author
Using a slash to show a line break especially in poems and
Including the page number
For the APA format, you need to name the author
State the year of publication and
Include the pages which should be preceded by a ‘’p’’ for reference.
How to write a critical analysis essay step by step and what to always remember
With the above tips on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, there are things that you should always remember for a paper that stands out. You should
- Avoid introducing ideas with words such as in my opinion or I think. Instead, focus on your analysis subject, not yourself.
- Do not make assumptions that your reader understands what you are talking about. Therefore, always introduce your work
- You should also consider whether there are any controversies surrounding the subject of your analysis or any of the passage
- Determine whether the subject is of any present interest, the overall value of the passage
- Find any strengths or weaknesses of your work
- Always use text examined to support your thesis, include paraphrases and quotes
- Ensure your essay informs, evaluates the significance, excellence, utility, truth, distinction, beauty, goodness or validity of something
- Be open minded, knowledgeable and fair in your analysis
Lastly, ensure your analysis offers information, an interpretation and evaluation of the information. This helps the reader to have a better understanding of your analysis.
Examples of critical analysis essays
Essay Topic: Sir Isaac Newton
The article, ‘Sir Isaac Newton,’’ is a strong historical biographical exposition book on famous scientist, a philosopher, and a mathematician at the University of Florida, Dr. Robert A. Hatch. Dr. Hatch offers a very brilliant insight into the influences, struggles, triumphs and successes of Sir. Newton. He covers his children and his rise in the world of academics. He also talks of his contributions in modern science… wikihow.com.
Critical Analysis essay on Social Work
Many people will consider social work career based on the fact that they are basically interested in helping people. This notion however is not straightforward as it may sound. There are people who may be motivated into the career by a mission of working against child issues for example child abuse. As a result, they choose the path of social work directly as it teaches on strategies on how to handle such issues including case management, counseling and emergency assistance dispensing while others still hold on to the ideals of ‘changing the world’’… studymode.com
Topic: Painting: Rembrandt’s Self Portrait in the National Gallery
Rembrandt’s Self Portrait in the National Gallery’s East Wing is undoubtedly a startling painting. Rembrandt placed his face in the upper two thirds of the canvas that is 331/4’’ by 26’’ and it was painted in 1656.
Many artists usually paint themselves happy, well dressed and seated at an easel, However, Rembrandt in this painting looks timeworn, sad and defeated. While everything else is in shadow, his face is illuminated as if it attracts all the light… Click here for the full essay analysis on Rembrandt’s Self Portrait in the National Gallery.
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