Barbara P
Barbara P

Critical Essay Writing - An Ultimate Guide

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Published on: Sep 3, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 3, 2023

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Students come across many types of essay writing assignments, and writing a critical essay is one of them. Such essays are not just a typical type of academic writing but also help students to polish their thinking and writing skills.

Critical essays particularly help a student to learn and understand how to critically and logically think over a provided subject. To write such an essay, a student must prepare well and try to look for guidance from different sources.

In this blog, you will find out how a good critical essay is written. But before we move to the writing procedure, there are some things that you should know. Many students confuse a critical essay with a simple analytical one, but you must know that these are both distinct types.

You can create an analysis when you watch a movie or read a piece of literature. However, a critical essay for students can be a little different. Let us see what a critical essay is about and how a student can write it like professionals.

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Critical Essay Definition

A critical essay is a type of analytical essay that conducts both general and literary analysis on the provided subject. To write a critical essay, the first thing that should be taken care of is the audience. This essay must be written according to the caliber of the audience and the audience must be able to understand the whole idea and purpose of the essay.

In a critical essay, the writer makes a claim about how particular ideas or a theme is conveyed in the provided piece of literature. The writer then provides solid facts and evidence to support the claim and convince the readers of their point of view.

It is very important to clear the confusion that a critical essay is a type of college essay that is not written in order to support the negative side of the provided subject.

A critical essay analyzes and evaluates the meaning and significance of the subject rather than judging its quality or theme.

Characteristics of a Critical Essay

Critical essays are written at different academic levels. Even high school and middle school students get to write such essays. This type of essay particularly helps a student to learn how a provided subject is analyzed critically. This essay can be composed on a topic related to films, novels, poetry, video games, art, and many more.

A good critical essay should have the following characteristics.

  1. Central claim

    All critical essays contain a central claim about the content that the writer will be mentioning in it. This argument or claim is expressed at the beginning of the essay. A strong thesis statement is written to support the claim of the essay.

    Body paragraphs are further written in the critical essay structure to support the claim with evidence and factual data. To make a claim even more strong, the writer sometimes also mentions counter-arguments and then provides an explanation for them.

  2. Evidence

    The central claim of a critical essay must be supported by some pieces of evidence. The evidence used in a critical essay is usually in the form of a dialogue or some kind of description. But many writers choose another approach and include evidence from secondary sources. Those secondary sources include previously done scholarly works, articles, books, etc.

  3. Analysis

    Once you have gathered all relevant evidence and facts to support your point of view, you must conduct an analysis to see if the collected information is valid enough to support your claim. In case you find some drawbacks, then you must immediately replace that information with more authentic and appropriate information.

    Remember that analysis is an essential part of a critical essay and should never be taken for granted.

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How to Write a Critical Essay?

Writing a critical essay is a technical thing to do, and a writer must have strong writing skills to write such an essay. Many students are unable to write this essay on their own as they lack some of the required skills to write this essay.

In this blog, we have tried to make things better for you by dividing the process of critical essay writing into steps.

The following are the steps that help you in writing a critical essay.

Let’s discuss them in detail.

  1. Examine Your Subject/Topic

    As soon as you decide to write a critical essay, find an interesting topic or subject for your essay. The subject matters the most in making a critical essay effective and interesting.

    Along with finding a good subject, it is highly important to understand and examine it. It will not be possible to write a good essay if you, being a writer, fail to understand your topic. Make sure that you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your topic.

    The best way to understand and examine your subject or topic of a critical essay is to do some critical reading. Read data from different sources and try to collect as much information as you can. This way, you will understand the topic, and it will be easier for you to develop the essay.

  2. Conduct Research

    Once you have decided on your topic, you must collect strong evidence and factual information to support your critical essay. In such an essay, the writer is basically putting forward their point of view and has to support it in different ways. This is why it is essential to conduct research and collect information from authentic sources. Try reading journal articles, books, and news.

    The one thing that you should keep in mind is that you must stay focused on your subject. It is common for a writer to get distracted while researching. This is why staying active and composed is important while you are collecting information through research.

  3. Create the Critical Essay Outline

    Now when you have a topic in hand and all the relevant information regarding the topic, it’s time that you create an outline for your essay. Keep in mind that you can not write an essay without a proper outline. This is why you must learn how to write a perfect essay outline.

    An outline is essential because it provides a structure to your essay and saves you time. In an outline, generally, there are three main elements that a writer has to mention. Those points are as follows:

    • Introduction

      It is the first part of an outline that introduces the topic. The introductory paragraph usually starts with a hook statement to attain the attention of the reader. Afterward, there comes the background information in which the reader is told about the purpose of the essay and the selected topic.

      The most important element of an introduction is a thesis statement. This statement explains the whole idea of the essay in a line or two. To support your thesis statement, you provide valid evidence and facts.

    • Body Paragraphs

      Body paragraphs compose the body of an essay. These are written in order to explain the key elements of the essay one by one. In a body paragraph, a writer must include all the evidence and facts related to the key point that is being discussed.

      A body paragraph starts with a topic sentence which is an introductory sentence for the respective paragraph.

    • Conclusion

      The last part of the outline is the conclusion. In this part, the entire summary of the essay is provided. You have to restate your thesis statement and highlight all the main elements of the essay.

  4. Write the First Draft

    Once the essay outline is ready, it’s time to start writing the essay. Start writing the critical essay with a short summary of the main topic and its central claim. Afterward, analyze and evaluate it with the help of supporting evidence. In the end, draw a conclusion for your critical essay with an emphasis on the parts that support your argument.

    When you are writing the first draft, keep in mind that you have to follow a formal writing style and a pattern. Use formal language and words that are more expressive. Also, make use of some transitional sentences as it will help you to create a well-linked essay. You may also use some transition words in between the sentences.

  5. Proofread and Edit

    Once you are done with the writing process, it is time that you revise your essay carefully and look for minor mistakes. This process is called proofreading, and it plays a vital role in making an essay high-quality.

    You may proofread your essay yourself or ask a friend of yours to do it for you. However, if you consider our expert advice, then repeat this procedure more than once.

Critical Essay Examples

Examples make understanding things easy and more vivid. However, as discussed in the blog, a critical essay is not a typical type of essay and is also not easy to write. This is why looking at examples of the critical essay is important.

Look at the following examples and see how a well-written critical essay is written.

If you are a naive writer then the following example of a critical essay is perfect for your guidance.

Critical Essay Topics

One of the things that make an essay difficult for students is finding a good topic. For a critical essay, it is very important to have a good topic. Here we have made a shortlist of interesting topics that you might use and write an essay.

  • Changing gender roles
  • Impact of technology
  • Homelessness
  • Drug abuse among teenagers
  • Multicultural societies
  • Xenophobia
  • Islamophobia
  • First Nations of Canada
  • Connection of violent crimes with genes
  • Wonders of the ancient world
  • How do you answer the question about wars in the U.S?
  • The pyramids of Giza
  • Colonization of America
  • Unemployment
  • Substitutes for fossil fuels

Thoroughly look into these topics and see which topic you find to be an interesting one for your critical essay.

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Critical Essay Writing Tips

Writing a critical essay requires very careful analysis and construction of an effective argument. If you are a naive writer or writing a critical essay for the first time, the following tips will help you in writing an effective critical essay.

  • Be an Active Reader

    To write a good critical essay, the writer must be well-focused. The thing that keeps a reader-focused is the availability of authentic information. And the best way to collect authentic information is to practice active reading strategies.

    This strategy will help you to identify specific details in the text that will make strong evidence to support your main argument. Reading is essential, especially if you aim to write a critical essay.

  • Read Examples

    No matter how experienced a writer you are, examples will help you write an essay more effectively. In case you are writing a critical essay for the first time, it is going to be a challenging task for you.

    This is why before you hop on to the writing process, look into some critical essay examples online. Carefully read through the essay and pay attention to the structuring and the writing strategy of the essay.

  • Avoid Using the Summarization

    Critical essays usually consist of an analysis and your personal opinion and interpretation of the text. It is not merely about the summary of the text in a general context. This is why be careful while writing and focus more on writing more about your personal analysis regarding the argument rather than just writing summaries.

    Despite having all the guidance, skills, and knowledge, many students fail to write a good essay themselves. This is because many other assignments keep them engaged, and they can’t spare sufficient time for such assignments. If you are also one of those students, the best option for you is to opt for an essay writing service.

At, we provide you with the best essay writing services. We have a team of highly qualified writers who can help you with any kind of writing assignment. We aim to provide all our students with high-quality and impressive assignments.

In case you are running out of time, or want to save your drowning grades, hit us up right now. Our customer service is available 24/7 to facilitate you and help you get well-written essays right in time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not do in a critical essay?

Here are some important points that you don’t include in a critical essay. 

  • Not focus on yourself. 
  • Do not mention the work’s title. 
  • Do not assume that the reader knows everything. 

How long is a critical analysis essay?

It is between 1-4 pages in length. 

Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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