Cathy A.
Cathy A.

Critical Essay - A Step by Step Guide & Examples

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Published on: Sep 27, 2018

Last updated on: Dec 21, 2022

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A detailed analysis of a piece of writing requires good analyzing skills that most students lack. When writing a critical essay, critical reading and analysis of a piece of literature are vital to present the arguments.

It is important to understand that writing a critical essay is a type of analytical essay but not exactly the same. An analytical essay writing solely depends on analysis, while a critical essay interprets the literary terms.

Writing a good critical essay requires strong analysis, a clear outline, and an exceptional stance on the subject. Below is a complete guide to writing a great critical analysis essay.

Continue reading the article to earn a good grade in academics.

Critical Essay Definition

A critical is a form of analytical essay that analyzes, evaluates, and interprets a piece of literature, movie, book, play, etc. The writer signifies the meaning of the text by claiming the themes. The claims are then supported by facts using primary and secondary sources of information.

People often confuse this type of essay with an argumentative essay. It is because they both deal with claims and provide evidence on the subject matter. An argumentative essay uses evidence to persuade the reader. On the other hand, a critical analysis essay discusses the themes, analyzes, and interprets them for its audience.

Critical Essay Outline

The formation of a critical essay is based on how well you have drafted an outline. This essay uses the traditional essay outline of 5 paragraphs to be drafted. However, it may have some additional elements that make it different from the other types.

An outline is given to structure the essay and make the content readable for the audience. The organization of raw information into the outline parts helps make your point clear and understandable.

The critical essay outline has the following elements:

  • Introduction: This is the first part of your essay, where the topic is introduced.
  • Body paragraphs: It is the main body where all the claims are justified.
  • Conclusion: In this section, the whole discussion is concluded.

Critical Essay Format (PDF)

How to Write a Critical Essay?

Following is the step-by-step writing process of a critical essay that will help every student.

1. Examine the Subject in Detail

Examining and understanding the main subject of the work is the first step in drafting a critical essay. Read the original text and identify the following things:

  • Main themes of the work
  • Different features of the text
  • Observe the style used to persuade the audience. 
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the text

2. Conduct Research

Information gathered while examining the work needs supporting material to be proved right. Conduct research by consulting credible sources for your essay. Express your personal opinion and thoughts on the piece and take frequent notes. 

3. Develop Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is an arguable stance or claim of the writer about a subject. Form a strong thesis statement to make your essay impactful. All of the content in the body section will be supporting and proving this argument. 

4. Decide on the Supporting Material

While reading the text, you might come across a lot of evidence that can prove your point. Choose the best that strongly supports your opinion and thesis statement. Answering the following question can help you decide on what information to use in the content:

  • Which information best recognizes the authorities on the subject?
  • Which information has the support of other authors for supporting the same idea?
  • Which information best defines the thesis statement?

5. Include an Opposing Argument

Gather an opposing argument that contradicts your thesis statement. It is to give a detailed account of the subject to the readers. In addition to this, it addresses the writer's complete understanding and knowledge.

6. Critical Essay Introduction

Start writing your critical essay by giving an introduction. An introduction is started by providing a hook statement. It is a catchy sentence that is used in the opening of an introduction. Use a relevant quote or phrase from the text to use as a hook for an introduction.

Put forward the subject you will be discussing in the essay introduction by precisely addressing it to the audience. Without giving the details, provide background information about the topic and your main claim on it. 

The claim will be the thesis statement that will be presented at the end of your introductory paragraph. 

7. Critical Essay Body Paragraphs

The body of a critical essay aligns all the arguments with the evidence to support the thesis statement. All the paragraphs start with a topic sentence and discuss one idea.

When writing this part, use transitional words and phrases to direct the readers from one idea to another. Make sure that all arguments and evidence presented in those paragraphs are in line with the thesis statement.

The writing process and body of a critical essay have the following parts; analysis and evaluation.

  • Analysis

    When discussing and writing critically, the analysis part is essential. There should be an objective analysis of data, facts, theory, and the approaches used to study the work. You should always use works from the same genre to discuss in the body paragraphs of the critical essay.

  • Evaluation

    Evaluate the work in the light of the claims and evidence you have gathered in the first steps. The explanation in the body paragraphs creates a logical consistency and method.

8. Critical Essay Conclusion

The conclusion of a critical essay summarizes all the main points and proves the validity of the thesis statement. It comprises all the points discussed in the essay, a personal viewpoint, and an objective analysis of the essay.

9. Proofread and Editing

Make sure to find time to revise your essay. Proofread the entire document for any spelling, grammatical, structural, and contextual errors. Fix all mistakes you encounter before submitting this academic writing. 

Critical Essay Topics

Deciding on a perfect topic for your critical essay is challenging. To help our students, below are listed some good critical essay topics suggested by experts:

  • Racism in Brazil
  • Homelessness
  • Impact of technology on youth today
  • Analyze the factors that lead to juvenile delinquency
  • Evaluate how elite and crimes are related.
  • Analyze the wonders of the world
  • British Royal Empire
  • The statue of liberty
  • Foreign exchange in India
  • Solar energy

The topic of the essay is the first thing that a reader witnesses when going through your essay. The case should be interesting and engaging to motivate readers to read your essay.

Tips For Writing a Critical Essay

Students always look for guidelines to make their essays remarkable. Apart from following the writing process, following the tips can make your essay exceptional as well. Experts writers of have gathered some easy tips for you to draft your critical essay.

  • Analyze the subject or the text in detail.
  • Find a strong counter-argument
  • Do not just summarize the main text. Analyze and evaluate it by providing your opinion
  • Find only credible sources when gathering information for your essay.
  • Make sure that your evidence strongly supports your claim.
  • Use an objective approach to analyze and interpret the text.
  • Form logical reasoning by providing relevant details. 
  • A critical essay is not just written to oppose the original text. So, avoid overdoing the critique element. 
  • The conclusion of the essay should not exceed the length of the introduction.
  • Revise your essay at least thrice to make it perfect. 

If these tips are helpful, let the writers know at You can also take assistance from them in writing your critical essays and papers. 

Critical Essay Examples

It is mandatory to first go through the critical essay examples in detail before drafting your essay. The examples help you understand the critical essay structure well.

The below provided examples will give you an idea of how a perfect critical essay should look like.

This article is written to help and guide the students about critical essays and their formation. If you want to achieve better scores, take assistance from this guide or our expert online essay writers.

We are a legit essay writing service that offers 100% original and high-quality essays within the deadline!

Frequently Asked Questions

How many paragraphs is a critical essay?

Keep in mind that every sentence should communicate the point. Every paragraph must support your thesis statement either by offering a claim or presenting an argument, and these are followed up with evidence for success! Most critical essays will have three to six paragraphs unless otherwise specified on examinations so make sure you follow them closely if applicable.

Can critical essays be in the first person?

The critical essay is an informative and persuasive work that stresses the importance of your argument. You need to support any claims or observations with evidence, so in order for it to be most effective, you should avoid using first-person pronouns like I/me when writing this type of paper.

Cathy A.


Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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