Critical Analysis Essay 101: How to Write a Literary Analysis
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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

Almost every student in college will one day face the task to write a critical analysis essay. And often this scares them, as it may seem like a difficult issue. Well, at some point, they are right as this assignment is called to develop the student’s ability to provide a quality analysis of literature or movies. This task also helps to train your thinking in general as you learn how to see things wider.

Even if you are sure in your analytical skills, it is not always easy to write an actual essay on this topic. But we are here to help you to create the best possible essay and keep mastering your writing and analysis skills. Follow the recommendations and guidelines of WriteAnyPapers to reach greater results.

What is the critical analysis essay?

Let’s start with the definition of what a critical analysis essay is as a concept. When you work on this writing task, you have to provide a critical review of any concept, thing, event, phenomenon, personality, and so on. In most cases, this has to be done via the perspective of a piece of literature or a movie. As a rule, the task is to analyze a complicated thing that can be described from various sides. This is required for a better understanding of things in a piece of art as well as in our real life. Moreover, critical analysis is completely subjective, and you are free to express your own views and estimations.

How to start a critical analysis essay?

The first step in creating any type of essay based on literature is reading that piece of literature carefully. Moreover, during your critical reading, you have to be attentive to the details. In most cases, you should read the text more than once. Then we can move to how to write a literary analysis part:

  • Define the thesis. This is your prior task. As soon as you understand what the main thought is embodied in the book, the better your further essay writing will be. In fictional texts, it is often hard to define the main idea as everybody may see various messages. But this is the purpose of analysis: come up with your own view and guess any other possible ideas that the author could mean. Pay attention to the context and the arguments that the writer has provided in a text.
  • Separate the main ideas. This will help you to structure your essay and provide a step by step analysis. Whether it is academic or fictional writing, there will be thoughts that support the author s thesis.
  • Research unknown things. Make sure that you understand what the author says in his/her text. If you face any word or concept without understanding its meaning, do some investigation. The sources of info should be trustworthy. Keep in mind that without deep research, your review will not be completed.
  • Summarize the story. Depending on a topic and the level of complexity of the task, you should either retell the story in short or provide a brief conclusion of the described in story events. There are cases when you have to do both. Limit your thoughts with one or two paragraphs to keep your final words short but meaningful.
  • Define the appeal. The story can appeal to emotions, logic, or credibility. The choice depends on the purpose of the work. In entertaining literary works, we often feel bright emotions, while in academic writing, the value is in facts. As soon as you come up with the answer to this aspect, you will be able to continue your analysis from the right perspective.
  • Estimate the effectiveness of appeal. Do you believe in what the author says? Did he/she convey the idea? Did you get any emotional changes while reading the text? Or you were persuaded with facts and logical conclusions?

Following these guidelines, you will write a critical analysis showing your deep understanding of the content.

Critical analysis structure

You need to analyze and estimate ideas of the target text gradually. To make sure you are on the right route, and your essay displays logical proofs of your opinion, it is better to follow the basic structure of typical critical analysis essay examples. There is no need to focus mostly on bad or good points, but to reflect the general idea of the piece of literature and why it tells us this type of story.

Here’s the sample of the structure you can use as an outline:

  1. Introduction:
  • Piece of literature description (define the book or other work that you are going to analyze, mention the name, author, purpose, and issues that is raised, and other valuable info that will provide a background understanding of the text);
  • Your thesis that will show the reader your previous attitude to the book.
  1. A detailed description of the piece of literature and summarized story.
  2. Estimation of the piece of literature:
  • type of its organization;
  • the style that was used for writing it;
  • the strength of the ideas and their implementation;
  • the evaluation of the methods for disclosing the main idea of a story and their effectiveness;
  • analysis of the author’s attitude to the readers.

There are high chances that you will be assigned to write a critical analysis essay in college, even if the literature is not your major. And if you will do your best to learn how to write an analytical essay properly, you will reach a completely new level in analyzing things in real life, and your writing skills will improve drastically as well. These skills will help you not only to get high grades during studying but also any open a lot of door in your future career. Even if you decide to delegate this task to the special service with professional writers, take your time to investigate the example to see how to write a critical analysis.

How to write a perfect critical essay?

As we already mentioned, a particular structure helps you to organize your thoughts when writing an essay of any kind. And this structure consists of three basic elements of every academic analysis essay example: intro, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Now we will discuss closely what info you should include in each part to create a meaningful and coherent story.

Step 1. Write an eye-catching introduction

In this section, you should grab the attention of a reader by some catching phrase or intriguing statement. Also, in this section of your essay specify the thesis of your analysis and main ideas that the author of the target text wanted to reveal to the audience. You can also give the reader the understanding of your own attitude to the piece of literature or the particular aspects of it. Adding questions will make your reader start analyzing the received info from the start of reading your essay.

Step 2. Write a logically structured body

Here you should continue the thoughts that you have started to disclose in the intro. Develop the analysis and display your opinion with more details and arguments. Provide quotes, proofs, and explanations for your points of view. To disclose your ideas gradually, you should divide the body into smaller sections and dedicate each of them to the particular aspect under analysis. There is no limit on the number of paragraphs in this type of essay. It is up to you how to write an analysis essay, almost. The only thing to remember: specify the object at the beginning of the paragraph to direct the reader.

Step 3. Make a strong conclusion

Concluding your essay, you can restate the thesis statement of your analysis and the general opinion of the target text. It should maintain the ideas stated in the intro section. But keep in mind that you should not copy the introduction, but just summarize the ideas from the body part to prove your points stated in the very beginning.

Helpful tips for writing a critical analysis essay

Now you know the basic info that will help you to cope with writing a critical analysis essay. But we want you to get more from our article. That is why we have prepared even more information on this aspect. Follow some of the useful tips from the pros if you want to make your essay even better, more meaningful, and engaging for your audience and even for you.

  1. Divide your analysis into aspects/areas. While reading the book and taking notes, define what aspect you would like to discuss in details. Then disclose your ideas in a separate paragraph(s).
  2. Mention negative and positive aspects. “Critical” does not mean you have to criticize and judge the text. But you should not praise the piece of literature blindly. Learn how to write an analysis that will estimate the work objectively. If you see more positive aspects, mention the negative ones in the intro or in conclusions, and the same you can do in case there are only a few positive aspects.
  3. Look from various perspectives. Critical reading means you can see things from a few perspectives at once. So if there is no one standard opinion about the described aspect, make sure your essay covers all the possible views.
  4. Show the importance of the topic. Give your audience the reasons to keep reading your essay. Point out the relevance of the topic for the modern society and so on.
  5. Follow the academic style of writing. Despite the fact you reveal your own thoughts and opinions, you still write a critical essay that is an academic writing task. So do not use any slang and other words that will make your essay sound less serious. Also, you should avoid writing thoughts from the first person using phrases like “I think..”, “in my opinion,” etc.

Good luck you with your goals in writing a critical review!

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