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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay Step by Step: A Guide for You?

Have you recently been assigned a task of writing a critique on a literary text?

Or, do you need to submit a dissertation paper on some particular theory or a critical hypothesis within a few days?

Well, initially such tasks may seem easier said than done but, if you get a grip on the crux of the matter, it can be said with certainty that you would surely pass the test with flying colors without facing any difficulty.

However, it should be remembered that in such critical papers, only well-structured and properly established ideas are accepted. If your paper is stuffed full of not-so-well-founded, if not inappropriate concepts and premises, then it is very likely that you cannot bring a satisfying smile on your examiner’s face.

If you are aware of the fact that your program of study requires you to compose a well-thought-out paper on some specific topic, then it is wise to get acquainted with the basic rules and regulations of preparing such a piece of writing. Here we are going to discuss how to write a critical analysis essay step by step so that you can take help from these tips and compose your paper likewise.

The very first step: know properly what a critical analysis is

The topical school essays we are all well-acquainted with are not similar to that of a critical analysis essay. A critique always requires the reflection of the writer’s unique perceptions on the topic and the generalized views are usually advised to be avoided as much as possible.

While gathering information about how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, you need to make your ideas clear about the nature of such papers. In a few words, a critical analysis needs to carry your personal thoughts only and any kind of plagiarism, no matter how much trivial or short it is, will make your paper appear dull and you may fail to impress your paper-checkers.

Now, we are making the matter easier here so that it becomes more convenient for you to understand. Suppose you have watched a movie or read a book or a theoretical treatise or your professor has lectured on acertain topic. After that, if you are asked to compose a critical paper on that, you are not supposed to get an explanatory book from the library or access some scholarly articles on that topic from the internet and prepare a paper by simply paraphrasing them.

If so, then your paper can well be passed as a simple essay but not as a critical or analytical one. What you need to do is to think carefully about the topic and write down the random thoughts coming into your mind. This is going to be the primary stage of composing an analytical paper.

Understanding the topic is vital: the second step

Once you have got a fairly clear idea of what a critical analysis paper is, you need to come to the heart of the matter, that is, whether you have sufficient knowledge of the subject you have been asked to prepare the paper on.

While getting notes on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, put a good amount of focus on this fact at the very beginning. If you are composing the paper on a movie and it is not an easy one, keep a downloaded file so that you can get back to it whenever you feel like.

In the case of a book, keep a copy and refer to it frequently. If the source of the topic is your professor’s lectures only, it would be better for you if you can manage to take notes or get the lecture recorded. Remember, whatever you write, it should be based on the topic only.

Cross-views and references are generally accepted but they are required to be appropriately suitable and go well with the basic idea of the topic. While representing your individuality through your paper, do not go beyond the subject under discussion.

The next phase: reading, reading, and more reading

Remember, plagiarism is unwelcome but an abundant reading of similar articles is not. Rather, it will enrich your writing with some novel ideas of critical thinking. If you are getting utterly confused about how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, you can obviously refer to some well-researched articles on similar topics.

Moreover, you can quote some suitable lines from them as well, which will show your effort taken to compose the paper and your familiarity with different ideas and theories expressed in those articles by the experts. Never forget to mention the sources and name of the author(s) in the correct spelling.

All of these ideas and quotations should be neatly spread throughout your paper and make use of the apt quotations only when and where required, otherwise, your paper may seem a little bit fussy. The correct steps to be taken for adding appropriate quotations to your paper are:

  • Read as many essays/articles/journals/blogs etc as you can.
  • Try to grasp the way the authors are addressing the main issue.
  • Do not try to remember what you read line by line as this may affect your individual critical thinking ability adversely.
  • Frame your own unique paper.
  • While putting forward any particular idea or establishing the ground for any hypothesis, draw examples from the articles you have read.
  • Put apt quotations that will help you to solidify your conjectures or your way of viewing the respective topic.

Do not avoid preparing a draft: your important third step

Those who are thinking that they can finish writing an analytical paper in one go, unfortunately, they are wrong. Never ever commit the mistake of ignoring the importance of making a draft of your paper.

When you gather details about how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, do not overlook this step. An outline or a rough sketch of the essay will help you to recognize the flaws, the gaps, and the areas where you are being visibly ostentatious. The following steps are to be maintained during the journey of your paper from the rough work to the final copy:

  • Write down your version of the topic immediately after understating your topic
  • Write down another copy after you finish reading the reference articles
  • Merge the two uniformly
  • Eliminate the unnecessary portions
  • Add the missed points that you think essential
  • Frame the final copy and proofread it
  • Make the necessary editing, if required
  • Finalize it by typing it correctly and get a hard copy

Some important add-ons

While you are searching for how to write a critical analysis essay step by step, you may wish to get to know some additional tips that would make your paper completely distinct from others’. Here are a few such tips given exclusively for you that will surely make a lasting impression on the mind of your examiners:

  • If you are allowed to make a digital presentation of your paper, try to add some pertinent images, videos, statistical data in different formats like bar graphs, tables, pie charts, maps, audio files etc.
  • Follow one specific writing format like MLA or APA; get information about these in the internet.
  • Be very careful about mentioning the names of the authors and the articles that you are referring to; specific formats are there about writing these details according to the aforementioned formats, follow them properly.
  • Maintain a decent span of the essay; do not make it unnecessarily lengthy and not too short either.
  • Understand the accurate nature of the essay; make it clear whether you have been asked to write a dissertation or a term paper or a literary critique or anything else
  • Put sufficient effort in composing the introduction and the conclusion of the essay; do not let the reader feel like he/she has been taken to the main discussion abruptly; the conclusion needs to be well-founded and if it is a research work, it needs to give space to further continuation of the same line of discussion.
  • Avoid writing anything that you yourself do not understand clearly; in case it is going to be a presentation, you cannot present the paper confidently if you have vague ideas about several sections of your article
  • And last but not least, read and research as much as you can; to build a reading habit, you may get the membership of some reputable libraries and subscribe to some well-known online article publishing sites; reading newspapers on a daily basis is also a good habit that you need to develop

So, you have got sufficient ideas on how to write a critical analysis essay step by step and now you can prepare yourself with the fullest level of confidence. Apart from this, take the help of your seniors, teachers, mentors, and the experts.

Say no to plagiarism and do not think of getting your paper written by somebody else. Be self-assured and win the heart of your examiner easily with your masterly paper.

I'm from Michigan, USA and working as Tutor at My Homework Help Since 2012. The teaching job is very challenging job, but I love to do. I'm helping students with their homework. If you need homework assistance, feel free to contact me!

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