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The Art of Writing Critical Analysis Papers

“All our life we have been practicing stuffs in order to get more and more efficient”.

All of our habits, whether innate or adapted in the due course of life, have been grilled to such theory.

Be it our parents’ thumb rule of no late nights, or our grand ma’s cultured theory of not speaking while chewing food, or our school’s disciplinary rules and regulations. One may say that rules are stringent for the benefit of our survival and growth. But let us hold that thought because many of us will simply growl at that, regardless of how bitter the truth is.

Schools, colleges and universities are no different if talk about it.

  • Remember the eight-ten period classes in a day?
  • The barely-there recess after half of the gruelling classes and lectures?
  • Remember the tonnes of assignments?

Okay nobody can actually forget his childhood, let alone the way the school tamed our childhood.

But now that many of us are grown adults, we se the school children, and think to ourselves that it is one of the perfect ways to straighten a kid, to set the rules and let him know the boundaries to his mischief. It is not only the mischief that needs to be straightened but the personality growth as an overall factor.

Be it talking politely in a conversation with your seniors, or prioritising your listening ability more than contributing to an unnecessary argument or simply criticising somebody. The latter, is an art if one thinks deeply about it.

Criticism is not bad, though it can be clearly divided into good or positive criticism and negative criticism. When asked as a matter of obligation, it is the former that one asks you to do, i.e. criticise positively on a particular theme or object. The latter is more prone to one’s habit, lifestyle, and of course not much appreciated in a civil and ideal society.

Talking about criticism, even our school and college tried to inculcate the very significance and art of criticism. Remember the days when you were assigned with a paper and you asked yourself, “how to write a critical analysis essay on this topic?”

Well, yes that’s it. Those were the mere lessons, the tedious assignments, the gruelling sessions and lectures when your teacher assigned you a writing assignment on a critical paper. Well now you know why the deed was done.

Still don’t get it?

When your colleague or junior hands over her report on the recent annual event of your organisation and you are expected to go through the same and return your comments, what will you do? The simple fact that you are expected to criticize on the report should not make you run for the hills. It should not make you take it lightly either. Therefore, given your position, reputation and your obligation to go through the paper, your opinion and remarks matter.

There is another instance when your fifteen year old niece shows you her recently written poetry and hopes for your sincere comments on the same. She is a grown up woman to face your criticism, even if you point out what all and where all she lacks while praising her in equal terms for her efforts and thoughts. After all, a good criticism is nothing but honest made in the purest intention of motivating the course as well as the efforts put in.

How to write a critical analysis essay?

Given the task on a professional basis makes you even more responsible to be careful how you present your opinion. Thus, on a student level, it is quite important to learn the art while we can.

In the prior example when you are expected to give your opinion on the report, your first task is to read the report thoroughly. Consider every aspect,, the content, the language, the tone, vocabulary, length and precision keeping in mind how and ideal report should actually be.

It is an art to know how to write a critical analysis essay while acknowledging your writing skills precisely and aptly. Let us talk about it in a step by step process.

First ask yourself, what is a critical paper?

It is writing or an attempt to do with an aim towards literary criticism on works of poetry, cinematography, reports, etc. The sole purpose of such paper is to remark transparently on a writer’s work while enhancing a reader’s motive to appreciate the creativity and artistry of writing. Your critical work shows a clear picture of the work and input in the writing piece, along with the writer’s ability, skill, artistry and worth of being a notable writer.

The second step is to break the terminology of Critical analysis paper before asking yourself, how to write a critical analysis essay. The term says critical analysis. Which means your analysis of the paper is critical for both the writer as well as the other readers. They maybe apprehensive and waiting expectantly for what you have to say in your paper thus, marking a big impact on the writer’s value.

Critical analysis extends to work of script writing, book reviews, poetry pieces, critical essays etc. For instance, when you have to review a novel, you go through the content quite thoroughly analysing the poet’s words, language, tone while judging the flow of the plot and imagination. As simply pursued, analysis varies from work to work, piece to piece. Your analysis cannot be made in the same approach when you analyse The Hamlet by Shakespeare and a poetry analysis essay.

Now the main question is how to write a critical analysis essay?

  • Study the topic. The task in hand begins from the very topic and not from the first line of its body. Know at first what the author has written about and think accordingly.
  • Once done, make certain points in the form of a checklist that will help you guide throughout your mission.

Points such as-

  • What is the tone of the author?
  • Is the writing argumentative or simply generalised facts?
  • Are there any instances and examples used?
  • If so, are they impactful?
  • What kind of language has the writer used, simple, poetic, complicated, or tough?
  • What kind of tools is the writer using in his piece? Any emotional tone or straight forward? Do they work in terms of effectiveness?
  • These are a few points to be considered along with judging other things such as pointing out the structure of the entire piece.

Once done, start the main job. It is high time, isn’t it?

  • The next important step is writing the thesis statement. The thesis will be like an introductory paragraph about the topic, the author and the motive of the author all written concisely and briefly. It is only to forewarn the readers what lies ahead. Try keeping it short and concise.
  • The next part is the first stanza of your body, highlighting the details of the author in his piece. It is basically a summary of the work done by the author to let the readers know what all, the author has established in his work.
  • The following step is to analyse. Here comes the main solution to how to write a critical analysis essay. Well, all you have to do is rather answer your questions from the checklist. The more the questions, the better the analysis.
  • Furthermore, analysis further includes exploring and looking for the unfamiliar territory. What fancies a reader-cum-reviewer is the strangeness of written piece thus, questioning the motive of the writer in that very stanza.

Your critical review should be solely based on your findings and your criticism should rather be presented in the form of an opinion and not a judgement. Remember, you are reviewer; a critical analyst who is ought to peruse the writer’s work. Therefore, keeping a neutral facet is a must.

Criticism doesn’t essentially mean you, as a reviewer need to point out negatively the arguments or facts mentioned by the author. Instead, you may present your opinion keeping a balance between the negative as well optimistic aspect and perspective. After all, constructive criticism is well appreciated all over, by all people, anywhere anytime and under any circumstances.

While destructive criticism can hurt the sentiments and rather, profusely devalue someone’s skills and efforts, it is thus, not considered appropriate, especially in the professional field. Moreover, to know how to write a critical analysis essay, it requires your focus, sheer passion of writing as well reviewing one’s hard spent time on a given piece. That’s critical, isn’t it?

Thus, try and develop the art so that you can learn to appreciate someone’s efforts and skills at the same time performing your duties as a reviewer quite diligently. Good luck!

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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