The idea behind writing a critical analysis essays is to evaluate somebody’s work to increase its understanding. This is a subjective form of writing because it expresses the writer’s opinion on a given piece of work. With analysis, the writer must break down the work at hand. Higher learning institutions will require students to write a critical analysis of research papers, literary piece, painting and so on. This is common in among students pursuing science and arts since they have to prove that they have mastered a specific profession and use it as the foundation for dissecting a particular work.
Writing critical analysis essays will require the writer to engage in two steps namely critical reading and critical writing.
In critical reading
- You have to identify the purpose and the thesis of the author
- Analyze the structure of the text and identify the major ideas
- Utilize a dictionary of the encyclopedia to understand anything that you are unfamiliar with.
- Formulate an outline of the work of describing it
- Summaries the work
- Determine the proposed
- This can be to inform through the factual material
- To persuade to reason and emotion using appeal
- To entertain
- Evaluate how the author has achieved his purpose
- If the purpose is to inform, was the material presented clearly, coherently orderly and accurately? It also means you have to read examples of critical analysis essays
- If he was persuading, identify the evidence, logical reasoning, and contradicting evidence
- If the writer’s purpose was to entertain, show how emotions were affected, does the piece make you laugh, cry, or are they angry? Why did the piece affect you?
You also need to consider the organisation of the material, the intended audience, and the writer’s assumptions concerning the audience. You can consider the kind of language and imagery used by the author.
Creating the outline
An outline is essential in assisting the student to organize his thoughts in a critical essay. The outline is a skeleton of how you want to structure your critical analysis essay. This underscores the fundamental importance of having an outline when writing any form of academic paper. The outline below can serve as the starting point for your writing process.
- Background information
This enables the readers to have a better understanding of the work you are evaluating. It ensures the provision of important details to the audience. This forms the foundation of your evaluation and the information contained here should be brief.
The information you provide here includes the title of the work, the author, publication information.
- Statement of purpose and topic
- Thesis statement
This indicates the writer’s main argument or reaction towards the work
For you to create a good summary, you have to read the piece of work critically. It is a fundamental part of the critical analysis
Interpretation varies from one person to the next. Make the interpretation subjective, and should revolve around your experience and honest opinions negative or positive. The way you provide this evaluation demonstrates who you are as well as your proficiency
- Discussion on the organisation of the work
- Discussion on the style used by the author
- The effectiveness of the work
- Discussion on the how the treatment of the topic
- Discussion of the work’s appeal to the target audience
It would also be better if you could make use of previously written critical analysis examples. Another important aspect worth noting is that you are not supposed to use phrases like “In my opinion” or “I think” since the focus is on the analysis and not you.
Do not assume that because the audience knows what you are writing about, you need not mention the title of the work.
When writing your analysis, you should answer the following questions:
- Is there a controversy in the passage so the subject it is talking about?
- Is the subject matter of current interest?
- The overall value of the passage
- Its strengths and weaknesses
You should understand and take note of the guide questions that are available to you because they ensure you do not miss any detail in your analysis. Your statements are supported by the text availed to you. Remember that you are not just informing, but also evaluating the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, validity, truth, goodness or beauty of something. Base your personal opinions on information and make them fair. You have to explore both sides of the analysis but remain firm on what you believe in. The review is supposed to inform, interpret, and evaluate the work. The information makes the audience understanding of why it is under analysis. As such, you must first understand the work, before you present it to the audience. The evaluation discusses your points and opinions of the work and validates its justification to them. Interpretation explains the meaning of the work and as such, you ought to have understood it well.
Five avoidable mistakes when writing your critical analysis essay
Since you are required to critically analyze another person’s work, you have to provide the reader with an accurate interpretation of a given aspect of the subject. You can also place the subject in a bigger context. Whatever the case, there are several avoidable mistakes you should be aware of when you are writing the critical analysis essays. They include:
- Inadequate preparation
Critical analysis essays require the writer to be adequately prepared the same way he would prepare for a major paper. You have to review the assignment details and ask any questions about anything that is unclear. You do not have to delve into a task whose information is unclear to you. Preparation also means that you have to read the work thoroughly and know exactly what you want to achieve with it.
- Avoid engaging in bad research
You have to critically evaluate the subject and any other source that you are going to use in your essay. To avoid bad research, you have to become intimately familiar with the work. For instance, if you are writing a critical analysis essay on a movie, you have to watch it several times to get different perspectives. If it has is about a piece of art, look at it from every angle literary and figuratively. While doing this, ensure you take some important note on the subject bearing in mind the questions you ought to answer.
- Poor organisation
If you have taken some notes, go through them and identify a specific pattern. You will not lack an idea that comes up regularly in those notes. Make it the theme of the major idea that your essay is going to deal with. You will remain organised throughout the process. The poor organisation will result in a critical analysis that is unclear and lacks direction.
- Avoid bad writing
No one wants to read a critical analysis that is badly written. You must make time to formulate a thesis statement that has adequate details. It will help organise the details of your body paragraphs. The idea is to write until you get the final draft that aligns with your idea.
- Avoid writing at the last minute
Do not try to write critical analysis essays the last minute. Rest assured that it would not flow as you expect because, in the first place, you are rushing against time. Secondly, your thought progression will not be logical, and as such, your essay will have too many flaws. You will not be able to proofread and edit your work. Always invest in time because it will be easier for you write a better critical analysis paper. Remember that you are chasing a good grade if you are a student.