How to write a critical essay?
I’ve been sitting here for about two hours solid. And that is not an exaggeration. It’s due in two days, and I’m worried I won’t have it finished by then and the teacher will think I’ve simply not bothered.
I am just stumped. I am so f****** p***** off, purely because of this essay. I’m in the top English class, I’ve written plenty of them before, but for some reason I just cannot write it. I am trying! No matter how much I think, nothing enters my brain.
So what do you do? I’ve written the introduction, that’s fine. I know it goes: Intro, 3-4 main body paragraphs, and then conclusion.
What is the structure of a paragraph again?
What are the ‘?’s?
I am on the verge of tears. I want actual help. Not loads of crap about sorting out your ideas and good grammar because I know all that. I just want to know what the structure of the main body paragraphs are, and how to write a conclusion.
Formatting Your Critical Essay
Title: An essay is an examination of a single topic. Because critical essays must back each point with solid evidence, it’s much easier to focus on a single aspect of a work rather than an entire work. Remember this when choosing your essay title.
For instance, rather than trying to examine the movie “Star Wars”, examine “The Use of Dialogue in Star Wars”. In a critical essay, even this topic may be too broad. Narrow it further to a topic like how Yoda’s odd dialogue contributes to the movie or how the voice of James Earl Jones adds to the character of Darth Vader.
Introduction: The introduction of a critical essay introduces the topic, including the name of the work that you’re analyzing and the author or artist of the work. It also states your position on the work and briefly outlines the questions that led you to develop the arguments you’ll detail in the body of your essay.
Tip: Use relevant background or historical information to show the importance of the work and the reason for your evaluation.
Body: The body of a critical essay contains information that supports your position on the topic.
Develop your arguments through using facts that explain your position, compare it to the opinions of experts, and evaluate the work. Directly follow each statement of opinion with supporting evidence.
The critical essay should briefly examine other opinions of the work, using them to strengthen your position. Use both the views of experts that are contrary to your viewpoint as well as those in agreement with your position.
Use your evidence to show why your conclusion is stronger than opposing views, examining the strength of others’ reasoning and the quality of their conclusions in contrast to yours.
As well as comparisons, include examples, statistics, and anecdotes.
Find supporting evidence within the work itself, in other critical discussions of the work, and through external sources such as a biography of the author or artist.
Using paragraphs for each point you analyze and including transitions from point to point improves the flow of your essay.
As well as from paragraph to paragraph, check to see that the entire essay is well organized and that the information within each paragraph is well ordered.
Conclusion: The conclusion of your critical essay restates your position and summarizes how your evidence supports your point of view. Remember to restate the title and author of the work in the conclusion.
Final Touches for the Critical Essay
The critical essay is an informative review based on authoritative and expert evidence. Completing the essay with the appropriate final touches adds an authoritative look to your composition.
Since much of the information in a critical essay is based on the opinions and viewpoints of others, it is crucial to properly cite your sources within the body of the essay and include a list of sources at the end of the paper. The critical essay normally uses the MLA format of citation.
Remember to proofread your essay. Mechanical errors (spelling, grammar, punctuation) erase your credibility as an expert on your topic.