Critical Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Posted: June 12, 2017 - to Guide
Content how to write a critical essay

Critical essays are quite common when you reach college, but you may not know exactly how to go about writing one. This guide will help you with the entire writing process, so read on to find out more.

What is a critical essay?

A critical essay is one where you evaluate a subject, removing yourself from it and looking at it critically. It sounds as though you must always be negative, but in fact that's not true. Instead, you must make a judgement on the topic depending on the evidence you find. You could be positive as well as negative in your essay.

Structure

The essay structure for this type of essay is quite simple, so it's easy to follow. Most critical essays will follow this pattern:

  • Introduction: Where you introduce the main topic, and present your thesis on it. You'll be expanding on this shortly.
  • Main body: This is where you'll be writing about your evaluation. Dedicate each paragraph to a new topic, and link them together to create a flow that your readers can follow. Use your research to back up any points you make here.
  • Conclusion: This is where you'll wrap up your main points, in order to prove your thesis.

Steps for writing

  • When you get your topic, start reading around it. Start gathering evidence that supports your evaluation of that topic. If you take notes, you'll find it easier to refer back to research later when you're writing.
  • Write your outline. Now you've done the reading, start outlining your essay, using the structure given here. You can write in your topic sentences now, so it will be easier to refer back to them later.
  • Now, you'll need to write your essay. If you have the outline already written, this should be simple. Just follow what you write in it and you'll be done in no time at all.
  • Now you've written it, make sure you proofread and edit your essay before handing it in.

Topics

Critical essays are usually given in subjects such as English, where you may be asked to critically analyse a book or author. You can also be asked to analyse an idea or theory, depending on which subject you study. So, you could be asked to critically analyse John Steinbeck, or modern day advertising. There's a lot of scope in these essays to put your own ideas across, as long as you back them up with research.

Examples of a critical essay

Here are some examples of essay topics, if you want to try writing an essay yourself:

  • The impact of social media on your school.
  • The future of self driving cars.
  • The benefits of Sudoku in the elderly.
  • The health benefits of gaming.

Remember to use research to analyze these issues, and come up with your own conclusion.

There you have it. You too can write an excellent critical essay, and get the grades you need.

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