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Essay Critique Guidelines

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❶A useful habit to get into is to make sure that, if you describe some evidence relevant to your argument, you need then to explain to the reader why it is relevant. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument?

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Why Are Students Not Competent in Writing a Critique Essay?
What is critical writing?

In order to perform a critical analysis of any text, you need to become very familiar with the primary text. Get to know the text inside and out by reading and rereading it.

If you have been asked to write about a visual text like a film or piece of art, watch the film multiple times or view the painting from various angles and distances.

Take notes as you read your text. Taking notes as you read will help your to remember important aspects of the text, and it will also help you to think critically about the text. Keep some key questions in mind as you read and attempt to answer those questions through your notes. What are the main ideas? What is puzzling about the text? What is the purpose of this text?

Does the text accomplish its purpose? If not, why not? Is so, how so? Review your notes to identify patterns and problems. After you have finished reading and taking notes on your text, look over your notes to determine what patterns are present in the text and what problems stand out to you.

Try to identify a solution to one of the problems you have identified. For example, you may notice that Frankenstein's monster is often more likable than Doctor Frankenstein, and make an educated guess about why this is.

Your solution to the problem should help you to develop a focus for your essay, but keep in mind that you do not need to have a solid argument about your text at this point. As you continue to think about the text, you will move closer to a focus and a thesis for your critical analysis essay. Mary Shelley intended Frankenstein's monster to be more likable because Frankenstein's monster is more sympathetic than his creator, leading the reader to question who the true monster really is.

Find appropriate secondary sources if required. If you are required to use sources for your critical essay, you will need to do some research. See your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor if you have questions about what types of sources are appropriate for this assignment. Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using.

University libraries subscribe to many databases. These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility. It is important to use only trustworthy sources in an academic essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author. There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy.

The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor. If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy.

Think about whether or not this author has adequately researched the topic. If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic. How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument?

If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them. Use the same careful reading strategy that you used when you read your primary source s. Read the sources multiple times and make sure that you fully understand them. Take notes while you read your sources.

Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them. As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook. Develop your tentative thesis. Once you have developed your ideas about your primary source and read your primary sources, you should be ready to write a thesis statement. You may find it helpful to use a multi-sentence thesis statement, where the first sentence offers the general idea and the second sentence refines it to a more specific idea.

In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. For example, here is a multi-sentence thesis statement about the effectiveness and purpose of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road is effective because it turns this pattern on its head.

Instead of following the expected progression, the movie offers an action movie with multiple heroes, many of whom are women, thereby effectively challenging patriarchal standards in the Hollywood summer blockbuster. Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your essay will help you to organize your information more effectively. You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want.

Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper. Or, you may want to use an informal "mind-map" type of outline, which allows you to gather your ideas before you have a complete idea of how they progress.

Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction. Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your critical essay and act as a preview to your essay. Provide background information to help guide your readers.

Providing adequate background information or context will help to guide your readers through your essay. Think about what your readers will need to know in order to understand the rest of your essay and provide this information in your first paragraph. This information will vary depending on the type of text you have been asked to write about. A conference of English professors needs less background info than a blog readership. Use your body paragraphs to discuss specific components of your text.

Rather than trying to talk about multiple aspects of your text in a single paragraph, make sure that each body paragraph focuses on a single aspect of your text. Your discussion of each of these aspects should contribute to proving your thesis. Provide a claim at the beginning of the paragraph. Support your claim with at least one example from your primary source s. Support your claim with at least one example from your secondary sources. Develop a conclusion for your essay.

Your conclusion should emphasize what you have attempted to show your readers about your text. There are several good options for ending an academic essay that might help you decide how to format your conclusion.

For example, you might: Summarize and review your main ideas about the text. Explain how the topic affects the reader. Explain how your narrow topic applies to a broader theme or observation. Call the reader to action or further exploration on the topic. Present new questions that your essay introduced. Set aside your paper for a few days before revising your draft. By taking a break after you have finished drafting your paper, you will give your brain a rest.

When you revisit the draft, you will have a fresh perspective. It is important to begin writing a paper far enough ahead of time to allow yourself a few days or even a week to revise before it is due.

If you do not allow yourself this extra time, you will be more prone to making simple mistakes and your grade may suffer as a result. Give yourself sufficient time to do a substantive revision that clarifies any confusing logic or arguments.

As you revise your paper, you should consider multiple aspects of your writing to make sure that your readers will be able to understand what you have written. Consider the following questions as you revise: What is your main point? How might you clarify your main point? Who is your audience? Have you considered their needs and expectations? What is your purpose? Have you accomplished your purpose with this paper? How effective is your evidence? This can be crucial to determining the success of a work; for example, a movie intended for young children might work well for its intended audience but not for adult viewers.

What reactions do you have when reading or viewing this work? Does it provoke emotional responses? Do you feel confused? What questions does the work make you think of? Does it suggest other avenues of exploration or observation to you? You usually will not need to do a lot of research, but in order to talk about how the work relates to a larger issue or context, you will need to know what it is responding to, what context it was created in, etc.

As another example, if you're writing about a movie, you might want to briefly discuss the director's other films, or other important movies in this particular genre indie, action, drama, etc. Your school or university library is usually a good place to start when conducting research, as their databases provide verified, expert sources.

Google Scholar can also be a good source for research. Part 1 Quiz Why is it important to do additional research before writing your critique? So you can discuss the work in a broader context. So that you fully understand what type of critique you're writing. So that your critique stands out from those of your classmates.

Give the basic information about the work. The first paragraph is your introduction to the work, and you should give the basic information about it in this paragraph. For a film, you may wish to refer to a source such as IMDb to get the information you need. If you're critiquing a famous artwork, an encyclopedia of art would be a good place to find information on the creator, the title, and important dates date of creation, date of exhibition, etc. Provide a context for the work. Just give your reader enough information to be able to understand the rest of your critique.

If you are assessing a novel, it could be good to talk about what genre or literary tradition the novel is written within e. This element should consider what the thesis or purpose of the work is. Sometimes, this may be clearly stated, such as in a research article. The authors of research articles will often state very clearly in the abstract and in the introduction to their work what they are investigating, often with sentences that say something like this: For example, if you were examining the movie The Shining, you might argue that the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's goal is to call attention to the poor treatment of Native Americans because of the strong Native American themes present in the movie.

You could then present the reasons why you think that in the rest of the essay. Summarize the main points of the work. Describe, briefly, how the main points are made. For example, you might talk about a work's use of characters or symbolism to depict its point about society, or you could talk about the research questions and hypotheses in a journal article.

For example, if you were writing about The Shining, you could summarize the main points this way: Present your initial assessment. Is your evaluation going to be principally positive, negative, or mixed? You may also wish to critique the research methodology, if there are obvious flaws present. For creative works, consider what you believe the author or creator's goal was in making the work, and then present your assessment of whether or not they achieved that goal. Part 2 Quiz Why should you provide the reader with context for the work?

So that the reader knows the full history of the work. So that your introductory paragraph is as long as your other paragraphs. So the reader has enough information to understand the rest of your critique. Organize your critical evaluations. These should form the bulk of your critique and should be a minimum of three paragraphs.

You can choose to organize your critique differently depending on how you want to approach your critique. However, you should devote a paragraph to each main topic, using the rest of the steps in this section to develop each paragraph's discussion.

If you have more than three points about your work, you can organize each paragraph thematically. Discuss the techniques or styles used in the work. This is particularly important when evaluating creative works, such as literature, art, and music. For example, if you are critiquing a song, you could consider how the beat or tone of the music supports or detracts from the lyrics. For a research article or a media item, you may want to consider questions such as how the data was gathered in an experiment, or what method a journalist used to discover information.

Explain what types of evidence or argument are used. This may be more useful in a critique of a media item or research article. Are these sources appropriate for the argument? Has evidence been presented fairly, without distortion or selectivity? Does the argument proceed logically from the evidence used? Determine what the work adds to the understanding of its topic.

There are a couple of ways to approach this. Your goal in this section should be an assessment of the overall usefulness of the work. If the work is a creative work, consider whether it presents its ideas in an original or interesting way.

You can also consider whether it engages with key concepts or ideas in popular culture or society. If the work is a research article, you can consider whether the work enhances your understanding of a particular theory or idea in its discipline. Use examples for each point. Back up your assertions with evidence from your text or work that support your claim about each point.

For example, if you were critiquing a novel and found the writing dull, you might provide a particularly boring quotation as evidence, and then explain why the writing did not appeal to you.

Part 3 Quiz If you have more than 3 points about your work, you can organize each paragraph: By point Not quite! By technique Try again! State your overall assessment of the work. This should be a statement about the overall success of the work. Summarize your key reasons for this assessment. While you should have already presented evidence for your claims in the body paragraphs, you should provide a short restatement of your key reasons here.

Recommend any areas for improvement, if appropriate. Your assignment or prompt will usually say if recommendations are appropriate for the critique.

This element seems to be more common when critiquing a research article or media item, but it could also apply to critiques of creative works as well. Provide a list of references. However you format this list, you should always include all the sources you used in your critique. Part 4 Quiz What major question should your conclusion address? If you are critiquing something, that means it is already done and you're just advising how to fix it.

Not Helpful 3 Helpful Not Helpful 5 Helpful Does a critique include checking grammatical errors, punctuation and formatting? The critique should be about content and the writer's analysis and conclusions to the analysis. The report or document should not have been submitted for critiquing until spelling, grammar and formatting are all correct.

Not Helpful 2 Helpful The purpose of a critique paper is to develop critical reading skills. It helps to read in a way that allows us to evaluate the overall intended meaning.

It's a useful skill for today's information saturated society. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 2. A critique is a detailed analysis, whilst criticism points towards the disapproval of something based on faults or mistakes. No, it doesn't matter as long as you have the evidence to back up what you're saying. Not Helpful 4 Helpful 5.

Critical essay writing

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Content of this article How to write a critical essay Purposes of writing Preparation process Research Structure Finalizing an essay How to choose topic for a critical writing Samples 1. How To Write A Critical Essay A critical essay seeks to provide an analysis or interpretation of either a book, a piece of art or a film. How to choose.

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Consider this while writing: The critical essay is informative; it emphasizes the literary work being studied rather than the feelings and opinions of the person writing about the literary work; in this kind of writing, all claims made about the work need to be backed up with evidence.

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When writing a critique essay, your readers need to understand how and why you arrived at your conclusion. A thorough and analytic critique provides them with an understanding of the critic’s values. Jun 11,  · Critical Essay Topics Critical essays are written to offer an evaluation, analysis or interpretation of a particular topic or subject. The word ‘critical’ refers to your attitude towards a particular subject when writing the article.

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Buy a critical essay of superior quality from our critical analysis writing service. Our custom critical essays are written from scratch by professional writers. Place a Free Inquiry 24/7. A critical essay provides interpretation and analysis of a set text, piece of music, a painting, or play. It must be written with an academic purpose; it often proposes a sound argument.