What is a Critical Essay?
A critical essay can be defined as,
“A form of essay writing which provides an analysis, interpretation, or evaluation of a text, book or literary work of another author”.
“A composition which elucidates a critique, review and an objective analysis of another work (book, play, painting, music, movie etc.)”
A critical essay can either be summary of the contents of the reviewed material or a personal opinion and analysis of the writer about the content The usual format of a critical essay is in the form of argumentative analysis and it is primarily targeted for academic audiences.
Critical Lens Essay
A critical lens essay can be defined as,
“A critical lens essay is a frequently used term in schools and on New York State Regents Examinations where the essay evaluates the validity of a quote along with its explanation by making use of standard literary techniques and devices.”
Format (Outline) of a Critical Essay
Abstract: Summary of the Writer’s Approach
- Main idea of the work.
- Brief analysis of thesis topic/thesis statement/hypothesis or the main concept.
- Important ideas and facts on which the thesis is based.
- Evaluation of the message which the work’s author has conveyed to his/her audience.
- A brief description of the main theme/concept/idea.
- Background analysis /information on the subject of thesis.
- Presentation of the thesis statement or main topic.
Body: Analysis and Evaluation
- Objective analysis of the facts, data, theory and the angle of approach used in the work under study.
- Evaluation of the logical consistency, imaginative techniques and the manner of presentation.
- Comparative analysis of the work under study with contemporary or standard works in the same genre.
- Evaluation of the scope of the main concept.
- Summary of the main points of evaluation discussed in the introduction and body paragraphs.
- Re-statement for the thesis topic/thesis statement/main concept.
- Personal viewpoint and objective analysis.
Various Techniques of Literary Criticism
While writing a critical essay, you will be required to use either of the following types of literary criticism techniques for evaluating the main concept, thesis topic or problem statement:
- Objective Analysis
- Traditional Criticism
- New Criticism
- Sociological Criticism
- Rhetorical Criticism
- Stylistic Criticism
- Metaphorical Criticism
- Psychological (Freudian) Criticism
- Moral Criticism
- Biographical Criticism
- Feminist Criticism
- Historical Criticism
- Marxist Criticism
- Mythological (Archetypal) Criticism
Developing the Structure of a Critical Essay
The structure of a critical essay essentially follows the following standard structural outline. For a more elaborative point of view, you can build up more elements depending on the requirement of your essay paper.
- Statement of Position
- Defense of Position
- statement of Alternate/Contemporary Viewpoints
- Analysis & Evaluation
Style & Grammar Guide for Critical Essay Writing
Writing Style & Transitional Words
The writing style for a critical essay is essentially objective and analytical. some of the phrases that can help you in formatting transitional sentences for your paragraph writing and sentence making are listed below:
after all, all in all, all things considered, briefly, by and large, in any case, in any event,
in short, in summary, in the final analysis,
Grammar & Punctuation
The voice for writing critical papers is passive voice with the a tone that stresses on factual presentation of data, facts and information.
What Is a Critical Lens Essay
A critical lens essay is a type of essay where student's ability to think critically and express their ideas in the written form is estimated. Generally, it requires three major skills: reading, critical thinking, and writing. Careful preparation for essay writing is no less important than writing itself.
ESSAY WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS
This type of essay (see all types of essay) is often used during written examinations when the assignment is given in the form of a statement or a phrase, and students are asked to relate it to one or two pieces of literature.
Critical Lens Essay Structure
Critical Lens essay generally follows a fixed essay format. In the essay, a student has to discuss two literature pieces and 3 literary terms. In addition, a student needs to know capitalization rules and write them correctly. All titles are capitalized. Book titles are underlined and short stories are put in quotes. Generally, an essay consists of the following elements:
The first sentence introduces the quote itself. Next sentence one should give the student's interpretation of the quote to show how the student understands its meaning. Next, outline whether you agree or disagree with this quote, mention the books you are going to talk about in your essay and explain how your quote relates to them. Remember to spell, capitalize and punctuate all titles correctly.
It is advisable not to use personal pronouns like: “I, you, we, me, my”; in contrast, it is better to substitute them with third person pronouns or alternative words like ‘they’, ‘readers’, ‘people’ etc.
Three Body Paragraphs
Paragraph 1. In the first body paragraph, restate the quote in your interpretation.
Paragraph 2. In the second body paragraph, mention the titles of the first literature piece you are going to analyze and briefly mention how it relates to the selected quote.
Paragraph 3. In the third body paragraph, speak about the second literary piece and explain how you think it relates to the quote you have selected.
In order to back up your quote, you will need to use specific examples from each novel. Another thing: don't forget to connect the book back to the interpretation of your quote.
Your conclusion sums up the main thoughts of the essay. It is strongly recommended not to repeat your introduction verbatim. Don’t forget to end your essay with the quote that opened it.
CRITICAL ESSAY FROM A TO Z
Steps on How to Write a Critical Lens Essay
STEP 1. Read the quote attentively.
STEP 2. Try to rewrite the quote in your own words.
STEP 3. Analyze the quote.
STEP 4. Decide whether you agree or disagree.
STEP 5. Name the two literary pieces that support your position.
STEP 6. Think of a short summary of the two texts and express how they support/don’t support the quote.
STEP 7. Try to use literary elements into your argument, but don't overdo it. Use it in the introduction and the first body paragraph.
STEP 8. In the first paragraph, focus on the book you have read and explain how the text supports your understanding of the quote.
STEP 9. If one paragraph appears to be too long, you may break it up into two smaller ones.
STEP 10. In the second paragraph, you should use the same order but now write about the other text.
STEP 11. Make a short summary of what you've written – that’s your conclusion.
STEP 12. Restate your thesis and explain how the texts you selected to support it.
Necessary Literary Elements
Keeping the structure in mind, you should not forget to use the following literary elements:
- Figurative Language: use the simile, metaphor, alliteration, personification and hyperbole correctly.
- Flashback: be able to describe the past event at present.
- Foreshadowing: use name hints or clues that suggest some events that may happen next.
- Plot: follow the correct sequence of events which took place in the literary piece.
- The point of view: give your own point of view.
- Setting: show your knowledge of the time and place of the action in literary work.
- Theme: show your understanding of the central idea of the literary work.
- Tone: use your specific attitude towards the audience or subject.
Be able to add to your interpretation of the quote the details from the books you read. If you follow all the tips you will create an intelligent critical lens essay and will easily convince the reader that you are aware of your topic to the smallest detail. The main thing you need to keep in mind while creating your critical lens essay is to persuade readers to accept your viewpoint. Place an order and our professional academic writers will help you find the right reasoning to do that!