Critical Essay, What Is It, How To Write

What is a critical writing?

The basis of critical writing is understanding how other writers came to certain conclusions with regards to some topics. Critical essays are thus based on other people’s works but regardless of this fact, objectivity needs to be enhanced throughout the essay. It is different from other forms of writing because it does not just consider the plot or the themes used in a book but seeks to understand the stand an author takes on a particular topic or subject. Once the author’s stance is established, the next step is to consider how best the author exploits language tricks and the different styles of writing to make their point. It is crucial also to mention that one needs to consider several writers when writing a critical essay. Amateur or Novice writers are often at fault because most of them use only one source when writing a critical essay. For such writers, their work is often shallow and also falls short of being categorized as a critical essay.

Definition of a critical essay

Before writing a critical essay, it is important first to understand the definition of it. Having a clear comprehension of what a critical essay is indeed the first step to understanding how best to approach an assignment.

A critique should encompass more than just what other writings have as well as more than just a simple review of a book. It is an account that takes into consideration several accounts and then makes an informed conclusion based on these accounts. Reading both exhaustively and extensively is thus a very crucial step in critical writing because it is only after one has read and understood a book or an article that they will be able to communicate their thoughts. The steps of writing a critical essay need to be followed instinctively because missing one step is can prove costly after grading.

The sources that one discusses differ and depend on the particulars of an assignment. One can be asked to assess a book an article or a movie. Objectivity is indeed of great significance in critical writing, and one needs to ensure that they are giving an honest and unbiased account. If one is providing a critical writing article based on a book or an article, it is important that they read the book or at least have credible information. One needs to have their work based on facts and provide relevant citations that support or elevate their work. Reading a book’s blurb or synopsis is not enough because one could miss some of the basic facts or principles that an author bases their work on. Reading reviews on the book is also essential because it gives one the different perspectives that the book induced. Book and article review experts are often objective and their pieces can hence act as genuine sources for critical essay writers. When writing a critical essay that is based on a movie, it is also important to watch the movie first. Reading the reviews is important, but one might miss important themes and motifs that were incorporated into the movie. Regardless of the particulars of an assignment, it is necessary for one to take their time and thoroughly read the book or watch the movie.

critical essay tips

Tips on critical essay writing

Preparation is of the essence for critical essay writers, and it mainly entails research. Research needs to be thorough and goal-oriented. This aspect helps the writer to maintain relevance and only look for sources that will help them when they start writing their essay. However, it is essential to also mention that understanding the instructor’s task is the first step to writing a good piece. In some occasions, students make the mistake of commencing their essays without having a good comprehension of the task at hand. The result is either misconstrued arguments or a good critical writing but on the wrong topic or subject. It is thus essential to first of all understand the question before one decides to read the text or watch the movie that is under review.

As already stated, reading and at times watching is vital to critical writing. It is the starting point of all work and thus needs to be embraced first. While reading or watching a movie or any video, it is important to take notes because these help one to identify and remember some of the most important aspects of a text. Once one has understood their question, the next step is to read while taking notes. The notes are crucial to forming an argument as well as answering some of the questions that one might have. Questions are important and help in forming arguments as well as having a specific trajectory or perspective of things or a particular topic. While some people might prefer reading and keeping their ideas in mind, it is always advisable to write down all the ideas that come to mind when reading a book or watching a movie.

Once the reading and taking notes part is complete, a review of one’s notes follows. Reviewing one’s notes is vital to identifying some of the patterns and problems that might have skipped one’s attention while they were reading or watching. The patterns are of course pieces of information that help writers to identify the director’s or author’s stance on a topic. While writing the notes, the above might not be clear but once one starts to review them and drawing the links, the different connections become apparent. Once these patterns and problems have been identified, the next step is to find solutions or arguments that support the patterns or solve the problems. Here is where one’s focus or perspective or trajectory is determined and outlined. It is indeed necessary to have a stance before one begins writing their essay. Identifying patterns and solutions and then developing solutions to these patterns and problems gives one a focus that is specific to their task or assignment.

Having already found one’s focus, the next step is to develop a thesis that will be used for the essay. Introductions need to be short and to the point but also long enough to disclose the writer’s stance on the topic. Of great significance, however, is the fact that the primary source is not enough to write a critical essay. A critical essay encompasses the ideas of several people, and it is important to understand how each came to their respective conclusion. In the thesis statement, one’s focus and perspective need to be clearly determined and shown. Readers need to understand the approach that one is taking, and it is thus important to state it clearly in the first paragraph’s sentence.

A rough outline that has the essay’s main points is also needed. The points that will make up the essay need to be listed and researched upon. Each point needs to stand out and be sufficiently referenced. The body paragraphs need to be clear to avoid any cases of ambiguity. Each point needs to stand out. The conclusion needs to restate the writer’s perspective or focus. A summary of the main points is also important in the conclusion. The writer needs to ensure that the readers are left with a lasting memory of what they read and thus a conclusion needs to have a summary of everything that has discussed within the essay. Once the essay is complete, it is always important to seek the opinion of others and hence a revision with either friends or parents is suggested. Revisions help to identify some of the mistakes made within the text. It is thus an important consideration and writers need always to seek the opinion of others before posting or presenting their work for review.