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Critical Analysis Sample Outline For An Essay

The purpose for writing a critique is to evaluate somebody's work (a book, an essay, a movie, a painting...) in order to increase the reader's understanding of it. A critical analysis is subjective writing because it expresses the writer's opinion or evaluation of a text. Analysis means to break down and study the parts. Writing a critical paper requires two steps: critical reading and critical writing.

Critical reading:

  1. Identify the author's thesis and purpose
  2. Analyze the structure of the passage by identifying all main ideas
  3. Consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand material that is unfamiliar to you
  4. Make an outline of the work or write a description of it
  5. Write a summary of the work
  6. Determine the purpose which could be
    • To inform with factual material
    • To persuade with appeal to reason or emotions
    • To entertain (to affect people's emotions)
  7. Evaluate the means by which the author has accomplished his purpose
  • If the purpose is to inform, has the material been presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence?
  • If the purpose is to persuade, look for evidence, logical reasoning, contrary evidence
  • If the purpose was to entertain, determine how emotions are affected: does it make you laugh, cry, angry? Why did it affect you?
Consider the following questions: How is the material organized? Who is the intended audience? What are the writer's assumptions about the audience? What kind of language and imagery does the author use?

 
 

SAMPLE OUTLINE FOR CRITICAL ESSAY

After the passage under analysis has been carefully studied, the critique can be drafted using this sample outline.

  • I. Background information to help your readers understand the nature of the work
    • A. Information about the work
      • 1. Title
      • 2. Author
      • 3. Publication information
      • 4. Statement of topic and purpose
    • B. Thesis statement indicating writer's main reaction to the work
  • II. Summary or description of the work
  • III. Interpretation and/or evaluation
    • A. Discussion of the work's organization
    • B. Discussion of the work's style
    • C. Effectiveness
    • D. Discussion of the topic's treatment
    • E. Discussion of appeal to a particular audience

Remember:

Avoid introducing your ideas by stating "I think" or "in my opinion." Keep the focus on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself. Identifying your opinions weakens them.

Always introduce the work. Do not assume that because your reader knows what you are writing about, you do not need to mention the work's title.

Other questions to consider: Is there a controversy surrounding either the passage or the subject which it concerns?

What about the subject matter is of current interest?

What is the overall value of the passage?

What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Support your thesis with detailed evidence from the text examined. Do not forget to document quotes and paraphrases.

Remember that the purpose of a critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something.

Even though as a writer you set the standards, you should be open-minded, well informed, and fair. You can express your opinions, but you should also back them up with evidence.

Your review should provide information, interpretation, and evaluation. The information will help your reader understand the nature of the work under analysis. The interpretation will explain the meaning of the work, therefore requiring your correct understanding of it. The evaluation will discuss your opinions of the work and present valid justification for them.


What is a Critical Analysis Essay?

Imagine that you receive an assignment to write a critical analysis essay in a quick period of time. Does it cause panic in you? If YES, you are on the way to the best solution to this issue. A critical analysis essay is a type of an academic paper which demonstrates a student’s ability to analyze a piece of literature or cinematograph. That is why college and high school lecturers assign this type of written task quite often. It may be confused with a report as a critical essay also deals with books, articles, movies, or even paintings. A good critical analysis provides the reader with profound evaluation of the piece and reflects its positive and negative aspects. Want to learn how to write successful critical analysis essay quickly? Follow our special guide created with the help of several professional writers and lecturers of different scientific fields and be at the top!

Writing a critical analysis essay is a captivating process if you know the right structure of it and use experience of the qualified experts who know all the intricacies of essay creation.

How to Start Writing a Critical Analysis Essay?

Beginning: read first then write! If you have to evaluate a piece of writing such as a novel, a play, or a poem, you should first read it carefully. Arm yourself with stickers, notebook, and pen or pencil. Concentrate on the given topic of your essay and make notes of the essential parts of the book. Pay attention to the unfamiliar terms and concepts. Follow the assignment instructions as right formatting and successful completing of the specific requirements will bring you the highest grade.

Creation of Title: formulate a “working” title which is able to help you to focus your ideas. This will help your reader or another researcher to have a clear vision of the essay problematic. For instance, critical analysis in literature may deal with the following books:

  1. On Hamlet written by William Shakespeare;
  2. On Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley;
  3. On Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby;
  4. On the Lord of the Rings written by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Steps to Writing an Excellent Critical Analysis Essay    

As your aim is to criticize the work done by another writer, your essay has to be well-structured, reasoned, and clear. You describes your attitude towards the text, but it is not necessary to give only something negative. Agree or disagree with the author by supporting your point of view with strong arguments and evidence on what the author did right or wrong. This type of essay has Intro – Body Paragraphs – Conclusion format.

INTRO. Note that introduction act as a preview to your critical analysis essay. It starts with an engaging sentence that catches the reader’s attention. Outline the main ideas of the piece along with the author’s thesis and present your own thesis statement. Begin discussion of your topic.

BODY. Develop a discussion. Paragraphs of the body answer the questions stated in the introduction and give evidence, examples, and quotes in order to support your position. The body of the essay should be structured into separate sections. Follow the classical formula for the separate paragraph: TOPIC sentence – SUPPORTING sentences – CONCLUDING sentence.

How to Conclude a Critical Analysis Essay?

CONCLUSION. Restate your point of view. The conclusion should match the intro but not repeat it! As you attempt to show the readers the particular points about the text, create a strong final argument on the basis of the previous explanations. Now you are ready to submit your excellent critical analysis essay!

Main Tips for the Whole Writing Process:

  • Make time for writing you critical analysis in order to be concentrated on the work;
  • Follow the needed instruction and structure;
  • Make sure that you evaluate the authors work adequately.