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How to write a critical essay effectively?

Very often you can get assignments to write a critical essay, review of the book or article or literary analysis paper and all of them require similar task to be completed. In fact, you have to read the original passage, understand it, analyze and evaluate its points, functions and so on. Our article will help you with organizing the writing process and essential steps to completing the critical type of paper.

Step 1. Choosing the book.

  • You should choose the book carefully. If you are interesting it will help you to complete a strong paper. Thus, spend some time for selecting the book which really interests you.
  • In case you do not have an opportunity to choose the book but have the exact assignment you should try to find a facet that will seem interesting to you.

Step 2. Active reading.

  • Remember that your task is not only to learn the author’s position and the plot.
  • You should highlight the essential points, mark passages, and make notes. 

Step 3. Focusing on analysis and summary.

  • Before you start reading you should note the points, which you already know about the topic, book and author as usually form your expectations.
  • Conduct a survey of the book: check the preface, contents and make predictions.
  • Think about the title and its meaning, organization of the book according to the table of contents and possible audience.
  • When you are writing think about each chapter separately. Identify the meaning of each title.  Also, you can test your expectations and predictions.
  • After you end with reading you should take notes summarizing the main points of the original.

Step 4. Evaluating.

  • When you have summarized the main points of the paper you should start evaluating. Write down your reactions and ideas about the particular paragraphs and the writer’s arguments.
  • You may conduct a comparative analysis if you know a book or passage similar by the topic or ideas revealed.
  • Evaluate if the writer is persuasive in his arguments, if he or she meets the predictions from the preface and introduction, if the evidence is effective. Try to determine strong and weak sides.

Step 5. Writing the critical paper.

  • Introduction. Here you should present the book and its author together with other important details.

Also, try to encompass the expectations set in your assignment, explain the main idea and topic touched upon in the paper.

Determine the genre of the book, when it was written and under which circumstances. Think about the author’s personality and explain how it influenced the book or the article.

Take a position about the book and present your critical evaluation.

  • The main body. It should follow the plan previously developed. Indicate the most important points of the author and evidence, which support them. Determine the most and the least effective parts and the offered solutions to the problem.

Make sure that you distinguish between your personal opinion and the one provided by the author. Your task is to present your own position on the book.

  • The conclusion. Here you must evaluate the work in a whole clarifying id the writer has covered the topic and achieved the desired aim.


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