|The Write Place: Guides for Writing and Grammar .............................Home|
Characterictics of a Critical Essay
"Critical" here is not used in the sense of "to criticize"--to find the faults in. Instead, "critical" is used in the same way "Critical Thinking" is used. A synonym might be "interpretive" or "analytical."
1) It is an argument, persuasion essay that in its broadest sense MAKES A POINT and SUPPORTS IT.
2) The "point" or "thesis" of a critical essay is interpretive in nature. That means the point is debatable and open to interpretation, not a statement of the obvious. The thesis statement is a clear, declarative sentence that comes at the end of the introduction. (for more, see Introductions)
3) Since the author of a critical essay can typically assume an informed audience, plot summary is not necessary and inappropriate.
4) Organization: Like any essay, the critical essay should have a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. As the author supports his or her point in the body of the essay, the author should "divide up the proof," which means to put only one primary support per paragraph. (for more see Organization)
6) A critical essay will always "document" its sources and clarify where outside information came from (following the rules of MLA Documentation Style).
7) Whenever the author
moves from one main point (Primary Support) to the next, the author needs
to clearly signal to the reader that this movement is happening. The topic/transition
sentence must link back to the thesis as it states the topic of that paragraph.
Examples of Parts of a Critical Essay
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License | Contact Lirvin | Lirvin Home Page | Write Place Home