What is a Critical Essay?
Everyone who has been to school or any kind of educational institute has experienced writing an essay. But how many types of essays are you aware of? One of the most well-known essay types goes by the name of ‘critical essays’. But what exactly is it? Those who are new to it can find it a bit confusing at first but that is why we are here to explain.
A critical essay is basically an analysis on any sort of literature piece, cinematography or anything of that nature. Keep in mind that such essays are also applicable for books, movies, paintings and even something like articles. It is supposed to be an informative piece of writing that the reader can use to form an opinion on the subject. So how to write a critical essay you ask?
Writing a Critical Essay: Guide
Writing something like a critical essay may seem very complicated, especially for those who have not done it before. After all, will you be knowledgeable enough about the subject to give an opinion to begin with? Will you be able to get that opinion across to the reader? There are plenty of things that newbies worry about.
But take it from someone who also faced the same issues, there is nothing to worry about. From my experience writing such essays, I have narrowed down the procedure to a methodical approach so that you can follow it and help yourself out. So without further ado, here are some great tips on how to write a critical essay.
- Knowing the Requirements
The first thing to ensure is that you know what it is that you are expected to write. Criticism can be conveyed in a lot of ways. As such, your critical essay can also be framed in a variety of different ways as well. If you have the freedom of choice, pick the style that you are comfortable with. Otherwise, it is always better to get it clarified from your teacher or mentor.
- Understanding the Material
The most important tip on how to write a critical essay in my personal opinion is understanding the subject matter well to begin with. It does not really matter how good you writing skills are, if your knowledge on the subject is not informed enough. As such, read through whatever you have to write on really well because that is what counts the most.
Take help from other sources from the internet. Read reviews and get opinions from friends and family members. Every single input will help you in this regard. It is as they say — the more, the better. And that is definitely true here. Greater the information you have to work with, better will be the overall quality of your essay.
- Note Down Everything
A tip on how to write a critical essay that all the pros will also tell you about is with regards to taking notes. No matter how easy it seems to remember a certain argument, take it down somewhere. Chances are, you will forget about it later on. And as far writing things down is considered, I would suggest that you take down every single bit of information no matter how trivial it seems. Also mark down the key points if necessary.
- Know How to Critique
Criticism on its own is not something you do just because you have to. You need to understand why you are criticizing something and know the best way to do it. Constructive criticism is where it’s at, from my personal experience. Do not give biased opinions on a certain subject because that is not what you are here to do.
There is a method to do everything and criticizing something or someone’s work also falls under that category. Read up other people’s work if you want to brush up your skills. Identify the patterns or challenges which exist in this aspect and you too will be able to emerge with an idea of your own. This is the essence of how to write a critical essay, in a way that is informative and non-offensive.
- Research Your Information
If there is something included in your essay which may or may not be factually correct, always remember to check it out online. After all, there are so many resources available these days; it would be a shame to not utilize every single one of them.
Fact checking your information goes a long way and it is something that can help you in finding out something new about a topic as well.
Now is also a correct time to state that not all sources of information are legit. If you want to know how to write a critical essay and write it well, double check your information source as well. If you think there is something that is even slightly fishy, try not to include it in your essay. Only go for facts that are completely accurate.
- Proofread It All
Last but not the least, please remember to proofread your essay. This is a mistake I made a lot in my younger days where I would think that whatever I had written was completely fine, only to realize after submission the countless silly errors I had made.
Whatever you do, do not make the same mistake. Not only does it make your effort unimpressive, it is also pretty embarrassing. Re-read your entire essay once you are done. Check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and also your sentence construction. Even if the quality of your essay is not that high, make sure that it is at least syntactically correct.
Putting it to Practice
Now that you have a fair idea on the overall procedure involved in writing a critical essay, you should concentrate of putting it all into practice. Knowing the theory is one thing, doing it is quite another. As far as how to write a critical essay is concerned, the abovementioned points will help you get through most topics. So keep in mind, do your research well and write a good critical essay.