Writing An Excellent Critical Analysis Essay For College Students

When writing a critical analysis essay you are supposed to make an argument about an article, book, etc. Critical analysis has two goals: the first one is to determine and clarify the author’s argument, the second is to make your own argument concerning that argument. This kind of essay is usually composed without summarizing the material being analyzed, because the aim is to assess the argument of the author, not to write a book report. If you want to include a summary, make it brief. Here are some questions that might help evaluate the author’s arguments:

  1. 1. Conceptual and descriptive questions.
  2. This is crucial to understand what you have to analyze. Determine the author’s point of view about the situation. What are their theoretical fundamentals? How might this influence their understanding of the situation? Are there any unclear concepts in the text? Find these concepts and determine their weaknesses.

  3. 2. Evidence and argument questions.
  4. What is the author’s evidence? What is their argument? How is the argument supported? How does the author persuade readers? He or she might appeal to emotions, logic, or credibility. Note if the author’s evidence is contrary to his or her argument. Is the evidence trustworthy? Can you see a prejudice in the evidence?

  5. 3. Implication questions.
  6. Identify the implications of the author’s argument. Note if they are positive or negative. Does the author suggest a solution to the raised problem(s)? Does this solution seem reasonable? Determine if the author’s background has substantial implications for his or her argument. Do you consider the analyzed material useful?

Once you have the answers to these questions, begin writing the analysis. You may start your essay with a precise statement of the author’s leading argument. Describe all the main points in several sentences. Devote the next paragraphs to the author’s major evidence/supporting points, and assess them. Support your analysis with the proofs from the text. Use the correct citation format. Don’t forget that there is a difference between critical analysis and summary. The main objective of a critical analysis is to evaluate and provide readers with a supported critique of the examined material.

Write an outline of the essay to stay focused on your argument. A sample outline might be as follows:

  • - Introduction: includes information about the work, the author’s argument, and a short description of your argument;
  • - Brief summary;
  • - Your argument: this point might consist of several sub-arguments which prove your general statement;
  • - Conclusion: describe the way you have proven the argument.