Preparing a write-up on some particular topic is actually easier said than done. Writing a critique on something is in no way comparable to the composition of an essay or a précis. The basic difference lies in the fact that a critical essay always reflects the individual thoughts of the writer in it, which is absolutely not an essential quality of a simple essay or summary. To sum up, it may be said that the major characteristic feature of a critical essay is that it bears the marks of both the originality and the individuality of the author, reflection of his/her personal thoughts and views regarding the topic, and a detailed analysis of the topic itself.
Critical or analytical essay writing might be a part of some academic courses or for some media publishing purpose or for research work etc. Whatever the reason for writing it is, you need to possess a good deal of knowledge about how to write a critical analysis paper properly and in a way that impresses your readers or examiners without fail. You may refer to some relevant and helpful journals for that, ask for the help of the experts, visit pertinent Web pages to get useful tips, or you may have a look at the pieces of information given below exclusively for you:
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 1
The initial step of writing a critical analysis paper is to know what it is all about. As we have stated earlier, the composition of a “critical analysis” essay is in no way similar to that of a normal essay or write-up. When you are seeking a guide for how to write a critical analysis paper, you need to have a clear idea of the fact that the phrase “critical analysis” means approaching the topic in the discussion from a different and completely individual perspective. For example, if you are writing a critique on some literary text like fictional/non-fictional prose, poetry, play etc, you are expected to compose the essay by analyzing the crux of the matter as elaborated in your text. You need to produce your own thoughts regarding the topic, i.e. what is your idea of how the text raises certain critical questions or how it alludes to other texts or some specific literary theory.
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 2
Understanding the genre of your text is very important. As you are collecting tips on how to write a critical analysis paper accurately, you are required to remember that a critique or treatise on drama cannot be similar to that one on poetry or novel. Your familiarity with the genre and relevant texts ensures the quality and uniqueness of your paper. For example, if you are writing a critique on a play by Shakespeare, you are expected to possess a clear idea of the Shakespearean drama and the features of Elizabethan drama itself. When you are asked to compose a critical essay on James Joyce’s Ulysses, your familiarity with the terms like stream-of-consciousness, modernism etc is naturally expected. Similarly, when you are going to analyze Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks, it will be expected that you know what is meant by the term “cultural hegemony”. You should possess sufficient knowledge of the terms like realism in cinema, objective reality etc while you are going to prepare a critique on the film theories of André Bazin.
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 3
It is true that you need to maintain your originality or individuality in your paper. But, in order to build up a strong analysis and to strengthen your arguments with the use of relevant allusions and quotations (as and when required), you are required to read different types of essays and books related to your topic as much as you can. One of the most essential points of how to write a critical analysis paper properly is increasing your knowledge by reading. You may take the help of a resourceful library, you may buy suitable books if you can afford, or you may subscribe to the online portals of digitized copies of books and essays and read them either online or offline by downloading them to your device (if the option is available). Several universities are there that publish the research articles completed by the scholars working there on the official websites of the institutes. If you are willing to add a touch of elegance and erudition to your paper, you may refer to these scholarly papers as well.
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 4
Plagiarism is always a big no in any type of critical analysis paper. While you are taking notes on how to write a critical analysis paper step by step, you need to keep it in your mind that you should avoid any type of copy-pasting from any source, no matter how little or trivial the source is.You are only allowed to take the hints from certain texts that you have read but copying a portion is strictly prohibited, irrespective of how small the portion is. Remember, if any type of breach of copyright is identified in your paper, it is very likely that your paper might get canceled or rejected by the authority concerned. If you must take a chunk of lines from any of your sources, you are required to modify them in your own language and for better reception, you may add a footnote stating clearly from where you have taken this particular idea. Adding quotations is another safe way of alluding to the relevant texts you have read in an attempt to get familiarized with the topic of the text.
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 5
Once you are prepared with all the previously mentioned steps like sufficient reading and getting a grip on the subject matter, you need to develop your thinking ability so that your paper would be credited with the quality of novelty. Any reader of a critical analysis paper would expect something new and innovative in your paper. That is why it is essential that you give some time in thinking about the main topic and analyze the matter from a new viewpoint, dissimilar to those of the treatises you have already read. If you are willing to know how to write a critical analysis paper innovatively, this point is going to be of great importance. In any circumstances, do not give yourself the chance of skipping this step as it can lift up the standard or level of your essay to a great extent and make it distinct from others’.
Writing Critical Analysis Paper: Step 6
After everything is done, a summation of the entire matter is required. In this step of how to write a critical analysis paper efficiently, you are required to write down the whole matter in the form of a rough work. In order to do that in a neat and well-arranged way, you may follow the steps mentioned below:
- Write the name of the text and the author.
- Write the source of the text, if any.
- Write an introduction based on your general assumption.
- Summarize the text in a manner that in no way reads like a school-book.
- Try to find out the allusions or similarities with other texts.
- Write about the different authors’ opinions about the text.
- Frame a completely new idea about the text stemming from the ongoing discussion.
- Try to analyze the text from the perspective of some established theory, if applicable.
- Try to develop a hypothesis on the subject of why the text can be regarded as being important in its genre.
- Draw a conclusion that invites further speculations on the topic.
The basic notion of how to write a critical analysis paper perfectly lies in this step. Take as much time as possible in this step as your dedication to it will guarantee your success in the final stage. Read and reread the things you have written and continue editing until you reach the desired standard. Strike out all the unnecessary things you have added and insert as many innovative ideas as you can. Last but not least, keep the following things in your mind while composing your essay finally:
- Follow the formatting correctly as directed by your guide/professor/senior
- There is no alternative to immense reading; read as much as you can
- Collect as many thematic or topical details as you can; they will definitely enrich your writing
- Develop a writing habit to acquire the flow of language
- Develop your critical thinking ability
- The use of apt quotations will surely grab attention but do not stuff your paper with them as it can make your paper look clumsy
So, this is how you can prepare a scholarly article on any random topic. Be aware of the deadline for submitting the paper so that you do not need to make haste while preparing the paper as it may cause major miss-outs and several mistakes. Follow the instructions or the guidelines provided by your instructor or the concerned authority.