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33 Critical Analysis Examples

critical analysis examples and definition, explained below

Critical analysis refers to the ability to examine something in detail in preparation to make an evaluation or judgment.

It will involve exploring underlying assumptions, theories, arguments, evidence, logic, biases, contextual factors, and so forth, that could help shed more light on the topic.

In essay writing, a critical analysis essay will involve using a range of analytical skills to explore a topic, such as:

  • Evaluating sources
  • Exploring strengths and weaknesses
  • Exploring pros and cons
  • Questioning and challenging ideas
  • Comparing and contrasting ideas

If you’re writing an essay, you could also watch my guide on how to write a critical analysis essay below, and don’t forget to grab your worksheets and critical analysis essay plan to save yourself a ton of time:

Grab your Critical Analysis Worksheets and Essay Plan Here


Critical Analysis Examples

1. exploring strengths and weaknesses.

Perhaps the first and most straightforward method of critical analysis is to create a simple strengths-vs-weaknesses comparison.

Most things have both strengths and weaknesses – you could even do this for yourself! What are your strengths? Maybe you’re kind or good at sports or good with children. What are your weaknesses? Maybe you struggle with essay writing or concentration.

If you can analyze your own strengths and weaknesses, then you understand the concept. What might be the strengths and weaknesses of the idea you’re hoping to critically analyze?

Strengths and weaknesses could include:

  • Does it seem highly ethical (strength) or could it be more ethical (weakness)?
  • Is it clearly explained (strength) or complex and lacking logical structure (weakness)?
  • Does it seem balanced (strength) or biased (weakness)?

You may consider using a SWOT analysis for this step. I’ve provided a SWOT analysis guide here .

2. Evaluating Sources

Evaluation of sources refers to looking at whether a source is reliable or unreliable.

This is a fundamental media literacy skill .

Steps involved in evaluating sources include asking questions like:

  • Who is the author and are they trustworthy?
  • Is this written by an expert?
  • Is this sufficiently reviewed by an expert?
  • Is this published in a trustworthy publication?
  • Are the arguments sound or common sense?

For more on this topic, I’d recommend my detailed guide on digital literacy .

3. Identifying Similarities

Identifying similarities encompasses the act of drawing parallels between elements, concepts, or issues.

In critical analysis, it’s common to compare a given article, idea, or theory to another one. In this way, you can identify areas in which they are alike.

Determining similarities can be a challenge, but it’s an intellectual exercise that fosters a greater understanding of the aspects you’re studying. This step often calls for a careful reading and note-taking to highlight matching information, points of view, arguments or even suggested solutions.

Similarities might be found in:

  • The key themes or topics discussed
  • The theories or principles used
  • The demographic the work is written for or about
  • The solutions or recommendations proposed

Remember, the intention of identifying similarities is not to prove one right or wrong. Rather, it sets the foundation for understanding the larger context of your analysis, anchoring your arguments in a broader spectrum of ideas.

Your critical analysis strengthens when you can see the patterns and connections across different works or topics. It fosters a more comprehensive, insightful perspective. And importantly, it is a stepping stone in your analysis journey towards evaluating differences, which is equally imperative and insightful in any analysis.

4. Identifying Differences

Identifying differences involves pinpointing the unique aspects, viewpoints or solutions introduced by the text you’re analyzing. How does it stand out as different from other texts?

To do this, you’ll need to compare this text to another text.

Differences can be revealed in:

  • The potential applications of each idea
  • The time, context, or place in which the elements were conceived or implemented
  • The available evidence each element uses to support its ideas
  • The perspectives of authors
  • The conclusions reached

Identifying differences helps to reveal the multiplicity of perspectives and approaches on a given topic. Doing so provides a more in-depth, nuanced understanding of the field or issue you’re exploring.

This deeper understanding can greatly enhance your overall critique of the text you’re looking at. As such, learning to identify both similarities and differences is an essential skill for effective critical analysis.

My favorite tool for identifying similarities and differences is a Venn Diagram:

venn diagram

To use a venn diagram, title each circle for two different texts. Then, place similarities in the overlapping area of the circles, while unique characteristics (differences) of each text in the non-overlapping parts.

6. Identifying Oversights

Identifying oversights entails pointing out what the author missed, overlooked, or neglected in their work.

Almost every written work, no matter the expertise or meticulousness of the author, contains oversights. These omissions can be absent-minded mistakes or gaps in the argument, stemming from a lack of knowledge, foresight, or attentiveness.

Such gaps can be found in:

  • Missed opportunities to counter or address opposing views
  • Failure to consider certain relevant aspects or perspectives
  • Incomplete or insufficient data that leaves the argument weak
  • Failing to address potential criticism or counter-arguments

By shining a light on these weaknesses, you increase the depth and breadth of your critical analysis. It helps you to estimate the full worth of the text, understand its limitations, and contextualize it within the broader landscape of related work. Ultimately, noticing these oversights helps to make your analysis more balanced and considerate of the full complexity of the topic at hand.

You may notice here that identifying oversights requires you to already have a broad understanding and knowledge of the topic in the first place – so, study up!

7. Fact Checking

Fact-checking refers to the process of meticulously verifying the truth and accuracy of the data, statements, or claims put forward in a text.

Fact-checking serves as the bulwark against misinformation, bias, and unsubstantiated claims. It demands thorough research, resourcefulness, and a keen eye for detail.

Fact-checking goes beyond surface-level assertions:

  • Examining the validity of the data given
  • Cross-referencing information with other reliable sources
  • Scrutinizing references, citations, and sources utilized in the article
  • Distinguishing between opinion and objectively verifiable truths
  • Checking for outdated, biased, or unbalanced information

If you identify factual errors, it’s vital to highlight them when critically analyzing the text. But remember, you could also (after careful scrutiny) also highlight that the text appears to be factually correct – that, too, is critical analysis.

8. Exploring Counterexamples

Exploring counterexamples involves searching and presenting instances or cases which contradict the arguments or conclusions presented in a text.

Counterexamples are an effective way to challenge the generalizations, assumptions or conclusions made in an article or theory. They can reveal weaknesses or oversights in the logic or validity of the author’s perspective.

Considerations in counterexample analysis are:

  • Identifying generalizations made in the text
  • Seeking examples in academic literature or real-world instances that contradict these generalizations
  • Assessing the impact of these counterexamples on the validity of the text’s argument or conclusion

Exploring counterexamples enriches your critical analysis by injecting an extra layer of scrutiny, and even doubt, in the text.

By presenting counterexamples, you not only test the resilience and validity of the text but also open up new avenues of discussion and investigation that can further your understanding of the topic.

See Also: Counterargument Examples

9. Assessing Methodologies

Assessing methodologies entails examining the techniques, tools, or procedures employed by the author to collect, analyze and present their information.

The accuracy and validity of a text’s conclusions often depend on the credibility and appropriateness of the methodologies used.

Aspects to inspect include:

  • The appropriateness of the research method for the research question
  • The adequacy of the sample size
  • The validity and reliability of data collection instruments
  • The application of statistical tests and evaluations
  • The implementation of controls to prevent bias or mitigate its impact

One strategy you could implement here is to consider a range of other methodologies the author could have used. If the author conducted interviews, consider questioning why they didn’t use broad surveys that could have presented more quantitative findings. If they only interviewed people with one perspective, consider questioning why they didn’t interview a wider variety of people, etc.

See Also: A List of Research Methodologies

10. Exploring Alternative Explanations

Exploring alternative explanations refers to the practice of proposing differing or opposing ideas to those put forward in the text.

An underlying assumption in any analysis is that there may be multiple valid perspectives on a single topic. The text you’re analyzing might provide one perspective, but your job is to bring into the light other reasonable explanations or interpretations.

Cultivating alternative explanations often involves:

  • Formulating hypotheses or theories that differ from those presented in the text
  • Referring to other established ideas or models that offer a differing viewpoint
  • Suggesting a new or unique angle to interpret the data or phenomenon discussed in the text

Searching for alternative explanations challenges the authority of a singular narrative or perspective, fostering an environment ripe for intellectual discourse and critical thinking . It nudges you to examine the topic from multiple angles, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of the complexity inherent in the field.

A Full List of Critical Analysis Skills

  • Exploring Strengths and Weaknesses
  • Evaluating Sources
  • Identifying Similarities
  • Identifying Differences
  • Identifying Biases
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • Fact-Checking
  • Exploring Counterexamples
  • Assessing Methodologies
  • Exploring Alternative Explanations
  • Pointing Out Contradictions
  • Challenging the Significance
  • Cause-And-Effect Analysis
  • Assessing Generalizability
  • Highlighting Inconsistencies
  • Reductio ad Absurdum
  • Comparing to Expert Testimony
  • Comparing to Precedent
  • Reframing the Argument
  • Pointing Out Fallacies
  • Questioning the Ethics
  • Clarifying Definitions
  • Challenging Assumptions
  • Exposing Oversimplifications
  • Highlighting Missing Information
  • Demonstrating Irrelevance
  • Assessing Effectiveness
  • Assessing Trustworthiness
  • Recognizing Patterns
  • Differentiating Facts from Opinions
  • Analyzing Perspectives
  • Prioritization
  • Making Predictions
  • Conducting a SWOT Analysis
  • PESTLE Analysis
  • Asking the Five Whys
  • Correlating Data Points
  • Finding Anomalies Or Outliers
  • Comparing to Expert Literature
  • Drawing Inferences
  • Assessing Validity & Reliability

Analysis and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom placed analysis as the third-highest form of thinking on his ladder of cognitive skills called Bloom’s Taxonomy .

This taxonomy starts with the lowest levels of thinking – remembering and understanding. The further we go up the ladder, the more we reach higher-order thinking skills that demonstrate depth of understanding and knowledge, as outlined below:

blooms taxonomy, explained below

Here’s a full outline of the taxonomy in a table format:


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critical analysis essay words

What Is a Critical Analysis Essay: Definition

critical analysis essay words

Have you ever had to read a book or watch a movie for school and then write an essay about it? Well, a critical analysis essay is a type of essay where you do just that! So, when wondering what is a critical analysis essay, know that it's a fancy way of saying that you're going to take a closer look at something and analyze it.

So, let's say you're assigned to read a novel for your literature class. A critical analysis essay would require you to examine the characters, plot, themes, and writing style of the book. You would need to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses and provide your own thoughts and opinions on the text.

Similarly, if you're tasked with writing a critical analysis essay on a scientific article, you would need to analyze the methodology, results, and conclusions presented in the article and evaluate its significance and potential impact on the field.

The key to a successful critical analysis essay is to approach the subject matter with an open mind and a willingness to engage with it on a deeper level. By doing so, you can gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the subject matter and develop your own informed opinions and perspectives. Considering this, we bet you want to learn how to write critical analysis essay easily and efficiently, so keep on reading to find out more!

Meanwhile, if you'd rather have your own sample critical analysis essay crafted by professionals from our custom writings , contact us to buy essays online .

How to Write a Critical Analysis

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Critical Analysis Essay Topics by Category

If you're looking for an interesting and thought-provoking topic for your critical analysis essay, you've come to the right place! Critical analysis essays can cover many subjects and topics, with endless possibilities. To help you get started, we've compiled a list of critical analysis essay topics by category. We've got you covered whether you're interested in literature, science, social issues, or something else. So, grab a notebook and pen, and get ready to dive deep into your chosen topic. In the following sections, we will provide you with various good critical analysis paper topics to choose from, each with its unique angle and approach.

Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Mass Media

From television and radio to social media and advertising, mass media is everywhere, shaping our perceptions of the world around us. As a result, it's no surprise that critical analysis essays on mass media are a popular choice for students and scholars alike. To help you get started, here are ten critical essay example topics on mass media:

  • The Influence of Viral Memes on Pop Culture: An In-Depth Analysis.
  • The Portrayal of Mental Health in Television: Examining Stigmatization and Advocacy.
  • The Power of Satirical News Shows: Analyzing the Impact of Political Commentary.
  • Mass Media and Consumer Behavior: Investigating Advertising and Persuasion Techniques.
  • The Ethics of Deepfake Technology: Implications for Trust and Authenticity in Media.
  • Media Framing and Public Perception: A Critical Analysis of News Coverage.
  • The Role of Social Media in Shaping Political Discourse and Activism.
  • Fake News in the Digital Age: Identifying Disinformation and Its Effects.
  • The Representation of Gender and Diversity in Hollywood Films: A Critical Examination.
  • Media Ownership and Its Impact on Journalism and News Reporting: A Comprehensive Study.

Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Sports

Sports are a ubiquitous aspect of our culture, and they have the power to unite and inspire people from all walks of life. Whether you're an athlete, a fan, or just someone who appreciates the beauty of competition, there's no denying the significance of sports in our society. If you're looking for an engaging and thought-provoking topic for your critical analysis essay, sports offer a wealth of possibilities:

  • The Role of Sports in Diplomacy: Examining International Relations Through Athletic Events.
  • Sports and Identity: How Athletic Success Shapes National and Cultural Pride.
  • The Business of Sports: Analyzing the Economics and Commercialization of Athletics.
  • Athlete Activism: Exploring the Impact of Athletes' Social and Political Engagement.
  • Sports Fandom and Online Communities: The Impact of Social Media on Fan Engagement.
  • The Representation of Athletes in the Media: Gender, Race, and Stereotypes.
  • The Psychology of Sports: Exploring Mental Toughness, Motivation, and Peak Performance.
  • The Evolution of Sports Equipment and Technology: From Innovation to Regulation.
  • The Legacy of Sports Legends: Analyzing Their Impact Beyond Athletic Achievement.
  • Sports and Social Change: How Athletic Movements Shape Societal Attitudes and Policies.

Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Literature and Arts

Literature and arts can inspire, challenge, and transform our perceptions of the world around us. From classic novels to contemporary art, the realm of literature and arts offers many possibilities for critical analysis essays. Here are ten original critic essay example topics on literature and arts:

  • The Use of Symbolism in Contemporary Poetry: Analyzing Hidden Meanings and Significance.
  • The Intersection of Art and Identity: How Self-Expression Shapes Artists' Works.
  • The Role of Nonlinear Narrative in Postmodern Novels: Techniques and Interpretation.
  • The Influence of Jazz on African American Literature: A Comparative Study.
  • The Complexity of Visual Storytelling: Graphic Novels and Their Narrative Power.
  • The Art of Literary Translation: Challenges, Impact, and Interpretation.
  • The Evolution of Music Videos: From Promotional Tools to a Unique Art Form.
  • The Literary Techniques of Magical Realism: Exploring Reality and Fantasy.
  • The Impact of Visual Arts in Advertising: Analyzing the Connection Between Art and Commerce.
  • Art in Times of Crisis: How Artists Respond to Societal and Political Challenges.

Critical Analysis Essay Topics on Culture

Culture is a dynamic and multifaceted aspect of our society, encompassing everything from language and religion to art and music. As a result, there are countless possibilities for critical analysis essays on culture. Whether you're interested in exploring the complexities of globalization or delving into the nuances of cultural identity, there's a wealth of topics to choose from:

  • The Influence of K-Pop on Global Youth Culture: A Comparative Study.
  • Cultural Significance of Street Art in Urban Spaces: Beyond Vandalism.
  • The Role of Mythology in Shaping Indigenous Cultures and Belief Systems.
  • Nollywood: Analyzing the Cultural Impact of Nigerian Cinema on the African Diaspora.
  • The Language of Hip-Hop Lyrics: A Semiotic Analysis of Cultural Expression.
  • Digital Nomads and Cultural Adaptation: Examining the Subculture of Remote Work.
  • The Cultural Significance of Tattooing Among Indigenous Tribes in Oceania.
  • The Art of Culinary Fusion: Analyzing Cross-Cultural Food Trends and Innovation.
  • The Impact of Cultural Festivals on Local Identity and Economy.
  • The Influence of Internet Memes on Language and Cultural Evolution.

How to Write a Critical Analysis: Easy Steps

When wondering how to write a critical analysis essay, remember that it can be a challenging but rewarding process. Crafting a critical analysis example requires a careful and thoughtful examination of a text or artwork to assess its strengths and weaknesses and broader implications. The key to success is to approach the task in a systematic and organized manner, breaking it down into two distinct steps: critical reading and critical writing. Here are some tips for each step of the process to help you write a critical essay.

Step 1: Critical Reading

Here are some tips for critical reading that can help you with your critical analysis paper:

  • Read actively : Don't just read the text passively, but actively engage with it by highlighting or underlining important points, taking notes, and asking questions.
  • Identify the author's main argument: Figure out what the author is trying to say and what evidence they use to support their argument.
  • Evaluate the evidence: Determine whether the evidence is reliable, relevant, and sufficient to support the author's argument.
  • Analyze the author's tone and style: Consider the author's tone and style and how it affects the reader's interpretation of the text.
  • Identify assumptions: Identify any underlying assumptions the author makes and consider whether they are valid or questionable.
  • Consider alternative perspectives: Consider alternative perspectives or interpretations of the text and consider how they might affect the author's argument.
  • Assess the author's credibility : Evaluate the author's credibility by considering their expertise, biases, and motivations.
  • Consider the context: Consider the historical, social, cultural, and political context in which the text was written and how it affects its meaning.
  • Pay attention to language: Pay attention to the author's language, including metaphors, symbolism, and other literary devices.
  • Synthesize your analysis: Use your analysis of the text to develop a well-supported argument in your critical analysis essay.

Step 2: Critical Analysis Writing

Here are some tips for critical analysis writing, with examples:

How to Write a Critical Analysis

  • Start with a strong thesis statement: A strong critical analysis thesis is the foundation of any critical analysis essay. It should clearly state your argument or interpretation of the text. You can also consult us on how to write a thesis statement . Meanwhile, here is a clear example:
  • Weak thesis statement: 'The author of this article is wrong.'
  • Strong thesis statement: 'In this article, the author's argument fails to consider the socio-economic factors that contributed to the issue, rendering their analysis incomplete.'
  • Use evidence to support your argument: Use evidence from the text to support your thesis statement, and make sure to explain how the evidence supports your argument. For example:
  • Weak argument: 'The author of this article is biased.'
  • Strong argument: 'The author's use of emotional language and selective evidence suggests a bias towards one particular viewpoint, as they fail to consider counterarguments and present a balanced analysis.'
  • Analyze the evidence : Analyze the evidence you use by considering its relevance, reliability, and sufficiency. For example:
  • Weak analysis: 'The author mentions statistics in their argument.'
  • Strong analysis: 'The author uses statistics to support their argument, but it is important to note that these statistics are outdated and do not take into account recent developments in the field.'
  • Use quotes and paraphrases effectively: Use quotes and paraphrases to support your argument and properly cite your sources. For example:
  • Weak use of quotes: 'The author said, 'This is important.'
  • Strong use of quotes: 'As the author points out, 'This issue is of utmost importance in shaping our understanding of the problem' (p. 25).'
  • Use clear and concise language: Use clear and concise language to make your argument easy to understand, and avoid jargon or overly complicated language. For example:
  • Weak language: 'The author's rhetorical devices obfuscate the issue.'
  • Strong language: 'The author's use of rhetorical devices such as metaphor and hyperbole obscures the key issues at play.'
  • Address counterarguments: Address potential counterarguments to your argument and explain why your interpretation is more convincing. For example:
  • Weak argument: 'The author is wrong because they did not consider X.'
  • Strong argument: 'While the author's analysis is thorough, it overlooks the role of X in shaping the issue. However, by considering this factor, a more nuanced understanding of the problem emerges.'
  • Consider the audience: Consider your audience during your writing process. Your language and tone should be appropriate for your audience and should reflect the level of knowledge they have about the topic. For example:
  • Weak language: 'As any knowledgeable reader can see, the author's argument is flawed.'
  • Strong language: 'Through a critical analysis of the author's argument, it becomes clear that there are gaps in their analysis that require further consideration.'

Master the art of critical analysis with EssayPro . Our team is ready to guide you in dissecting texts, theories, or artworks with depth and sophistication. Let us help you deliver a critical analysis essay that showcases your analytical prowess.

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Creating a Detailed Critical Analysis Essay Outline

Creating a detailed outline is essential when writing a critical analysis essay. It helps you organize your thoughts and arguments, ensuring your essay flows logically and coherently. Here is a detailed critical analysis outline from our dissertation writers :

I. Introduction

A. Background information about the text and its author

B. Brief summary of the text

C. Thesis statement that clearly states your argument

II. Analysis of the Text

A. Overview of the text's main themes and ideas

B. Examination of the author's writing style and techniques

C. Analysis of the text's structure and organization

III. Evaluation of the Text

A. Evaluation of the author's argument and evidence

B. Analysis of the author's use of language and rhetorical strategies

C. Assessment of the text's effectiveness and relevance to the topic

IV. Discussion of the Context

A. Exploration of the historical, cultural, and social context of the text

B. Examination of the text's influence on its audience and society

C. Analysis of the text's significance and relevance to the present day

V. Counter Arguments and Responses

A. Identification of potential counterarguments to your argument

B. Refutation of counterarguments and defense of your position

C. Acknowledgement of the limitations and weaknesses of your argument

VI. Conclusion

A. Recap of your argument and main points

B. Evaluation of the text's significance and relevance

C. Final thoughts and recommendations for further research or analysis.

This outline can be adjusted to fit the specific requirements of your essay. Still, it should give you a solid foundation for creating a detailed and well-organized critical analysis essay.

Useful Techniques Used in Literary Criticism

There are several techniques used in literary criticism to analyze and evaluate a work of literature. Here are some of the most common techniques:

How to Write a Critical Analysis

  • Close reading: This technique involves carefully analyzing a text to identify its literary devices, themes, and meanings.
  • Historical and cultural context: This technique involves examining the historical and cultural context of a work of literature to understand the social, political, and cultural influences that shaped it.
  • Structural analysis: This technique involves analyzing the structure of a text, including its plot, characters, and narrative techniques, to identify patterns and themes.
  • Formalism: This technique focuses on the literary elements of a text, such as its language, imagery, and symbolism, to analyze its meaning and significance.
  • Psychological analysis: This technique examines the psychological and emotional aspects of a text, including the motivations and desires of its characters, to understand the deeper meanings and themes.
  • Feminist and gender analysis: This technique focuses on the representation of gender and sexuality in a text, including how gender roles and stereotypes are reinforced or challenged.
  • Marxist and social analysis: This technique examines the social and economic structures portrayed in a text, including issues of class, power, and inequality.

By using these and other techniques, literary critics can offer insightful and nuanced analyses of works of literature, helping readers to understand and appreciate the complexity and richness of the texts.

Sample Critical Analysis Essay

Now that you know how to write a critical analysis, take a look at the critical analysis essay sample provided by our research paper writers and better understand this kind of paper!

Final Words

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If you need help with any of the STEPS ABOVE

Feel free to use EssayPro Outline Help

What Type Of Language Should Be Used In A Critical Analysis Essay?

How to write a critical analysis essay, what is a critical analysis essay.

Annie Lambert

Annie Lambert

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How To Write A Critical Analysis Essay With Examples

Declan Gessel

May 4, 2024

critical analysis essay words

A Critical Analysis Essay is a form of academic writing that requires students to extract information and critically analyze a specific topic. The task may seem daunting, but with the right approach, it can become an exciting task. 

Critical Analysis Essays help students improve their analytical skills and foster principles of logic. In this article, we are going to discuss how to write an essay and break it down for you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Table Of Content

What is a critical analysis essay, why the subject of your critical analysis essay is important, 5 reading strategies for critical analysis essay, building the body of your analysis, 5 things to avoid when writing your critical analysis essay, write smarter critical analysis essay with jotbot — start writing for free today.

essay written on a laptop screen - Critical Analysis Essay

When you write a critical analysis essay, you move beyond recounting the subject's main points and delve into examining it with a discerning eye. The goal? To form your own insights about the subject, based on the evidence you gather. 

This involves dissecting and contemplating the author's arguments , techniques, and themes while also developing your own critical response. While forming your own conclusions may sound intimidating, it's a key aspect of fine-tuning your critical thinking skills and organizing your thoughts into a cohesive, argumentative response. 

Key Skills in the Craft

This process consists of two key elements: understanding the core components of the subject and forming your own critical response, both supported by evidence. The first part involves grasping the subject's main arguments, techniques, and themes. The second part entails taking that knowledge and constructing your analytical and evaluative response. 

Deconstructing the Subject

In other words, roll up your sleeves and get deep into the subject matter. Start by identifying the author's main point, deconstructing their arguments, examining the structure and techniques they use, and exploring the underlying themes and messages. By engaging with the subject on this level, you'll have a thorough understanding of it and be better prepared to develop your own response. 

The Power of Evidence

Remember that evidence is your secret weapon for crafting a convincing analysis. This means going beyond summarizing the content and instead using specific examples from the subject to support your own arguments and interpretations. Evidence isn't just about facts, either; it can also be used to address the effectiveness of the subject, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses. 

The Art of Evaluation

Lastly, put your evaluation skills to work. Critically assess the subject's effectiveness, pinpointing its strengths and potential shortcomings. From there, you can offer your own interpretation, supported by evidence from the subject itself. This is where you put everything you've learned about the subject to the test, showcasing your analytical skills and proving your point.

Related Reading

• Argumentative Essay • Essay Format • Expository Essay • Essay Outline • How To Write A Conclusion For An Essay • Transition Sentences • Narrative Essay • Rhetorical Analysis Essay • Persuasive Essay

girl writing on a copy about Critical Analysis Essay

Let’s delve on the importance of understanding the Work you'll be analyzing:

Main Argument

When diving into a work, one must unravel the central point or message the author is conveying. All other analyses stem from this fundamental point. By identifying and comprehending the main argument, one can dissect the various elements that support it, revealing the author's stance or point of view.

Themes are the underlying concepts and messages explored in the subject matter. By venturing into the depths of themes, one can unravel the layers of meaning within the work. Understanding these underlying ideas not only enriches the analysis but also sheds light on the author's intentions and insights.

Structure & Techniques

Understanding how the work is built - be it a chronological story, persuasive arguments, or the use of figurative language - provides insight into the author's craft. Structure and techniques can influence the way the work is perceived, and by dissecting them, one can appreciate the intricacies of the author's style and the impact it has on the audience.

In critical analysis, understanding the context can add an extra layer of depth to the analysis. Considering the historical, social, or cultural context in which the work was created can provide valuable insights into the author's influences, intentions, and the reception of the work. While not always necessary, contextual analysis can elucidate aspects of the work that might otherwise go unnoticed.

To conduct a comprehensive critical analysis , understanding the work you'll be analyzing is the foundation on which all other interpretations rely. By identifying the main argument, themes, structure, techniques, and context, a nuanced and insightful analysis can be crafted. This step sets the stage for a thorough examination of the work, bringing to light the nuances and complexities that make critical analysis a valuable tool in literary and artistic exploration.

person holding a book on Critical Analysis Essay

1. Close Reading: Go Deeper Than Skimming

Close reading is a focused approach to reading where you don't just skim the text. Instead, you pay close attention to every word, sentence, and detail. By doing this, you can uncover hidden meanings, themes, and literary devices that you might miss if you were reading too quickly. I recommend underlining or annotating key passages, literary devices, or recurring ideas. This helps you remember these important details later on when you're writing your critical analysis essay.

2. Active Note-Taking to Capture Important Points

When reading a text for a critical analysis essay, it's important to take active notes that go beyond summarizing the plot or main points. Instead, try jotting down the author's arguments, interesting details, confusing sections, and potential evidence for your analysis. These notes will give you a solid foundation to build your essay upon and will help you keep track of all the important elements of the text.

3. Identify Recurring Ideas: Look for Patterns

In a critical analysis essay, it's crucial to recognize recurring ideas, themes, motifs, or symbols that might hold deeper meaning. By looking for patterns in the text, you can uncover hidden messages or themes that the author might be trying to convey. Ask yourself why these elements are used repeatedly and how they contribute to the overall message of the text. By identifying these patterns, you can craft a more nuanced analysis of the text.

4. Consider the Author's Purpose

Authorial intent is an essential concept to consider when writing a critical analysis essay. Think about the author's goals: are they trying to inform, persuade, entertain, or something else entirely? Understanding the author's purpose can help you interpret the text more accurately and can give you insight into the author's motivations for writing the text in the first place.

5.  Question and Analyze your Arguments

In a critical analysis essay, it's important to take a critical approach to the text. Question the author's ideas, analyze the effectiveness of their arguments, and consider different interpretations. By approaching the text with a critical eye, you can craft a more thorough and nuanced analysis that goes beyond a surface-level reading of the text.

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Let’s delve on the essentials of building the body of your analysis: 

Topic Sentence Breakdown: The Purpose of a Strong Topic Sentence

A powerful topic sentence in each paragraph of your critical analysis essay serves as a roadmap for your reader. It tells them the focus of the paragraph, introducing the main point you will explore and tying it back to your thesis. For instance, in an essay about the role of symbolism in "The Great Gatsby," a topic sentence might read, "Fitzgerald's use of the green light symbolizes Gatsby's unattainable dreams, highlighting the theme of the American Dream's illusion."

Evidence Integration: The Significance of Evidence from the Subject

To bolster your arguments, you need to use evidence from the subject you are analyzing. For example, in "To Kill a Mockingbird," when explaining Atticus Finch's moral compass, using a quote like, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it," can back up your analysis. It proves that the character values empathy and understanding.

Textual Evidence: Integrating Quotes, Paraphrases, or Specific Details

When you quote or paraphrase text, ensure it directly relates to your analysis. For example, when discussing Sylvia Plath's use of imagery in "The Bell Jar," quote, "I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story." This paints a vivid picture for readers and helps solidify your point about the protagonist's feelings of entrapment.

Visual Evidence: Analyzing Specific Elements in the Artwork

If you are analyzing a painting, you can use visual details like color, lines, or symbolism as evidence. For instance, if exploring Van Gogh's "Starry Night," you could delve into the calming effect of the swirls in the sky or the stark contrast between the bright stars and the dark village below. This visual evidence helps explain the painting's emotional impact on viewers.

Analysis & Explanation: The Importance of Going Beyond Evidence Presentation

When examining evidence, don't stop at merely presenting it. Analyze how it supports your thesis. For instance, when exploring the role of the conch in "Lord of the Flies," after showing how it represents order, explain how its loss signals the boys' descent into savagery. By unpacking the evidence's meaning, you help readers understand why it matters and how it connects to your overall argument.

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1. Avoiding Summary vs. Analysis Pitfalls

When crafting a critical analysis essay, it's crucial not to fall into the trap of merely summarizing the subject without offering your own critical analysis. A summary merely recaps the content, while an analysis breaks down and interprets the subject. If you overlook this vital distinction, your essay will lack the depth and insight that characterize a strong critical analysis. Ensure your critical analysis essay doesn't read like an extended book report.

2. Steering Clear of Weak Thesis Statements

A critical analysis essay lives and dies on the strength of its thesis statement, the central argument that guides your analysis. A weak or vague thesis statement will result in an unfocused essay devoid of direction, leaving readers unclear about your point of view. It's essential to craft a thesis statement that is specific, arguable, and concise, setting the tone for a thoughtful and illuminating analysis.

3. Using Evidence is Key

The use of evidence from the subject matter under analysis is instrumental in substantiating your critical claims. Without evidence to back up your assertions, your analysis will appear unsubstantiated and unconvincing. Be sure to provide detailed examples, quotes, or data from the text under scrutiny to support your analysis. Evidence adds credibility, depth, and weight to your critical analysis essay.

4. The Importance of Clear and Supported Analysis

A successful critical analysis essay goes beyond simply presenting evidence to analyzing its significance and connecting it to your central argument. If your essay lacks clear analysis, readers won't understand the relevance of the evidence you present. Go beyond description to interpret the evidence, explaining its implications and how it supports your thesis. Without this analysis, your essay will lack depth and will not persuade your audience.

5. Addressing Counter Arguments

In a critical analysis essay, it's vital to acknowledge and engage with potential counterarguments. Ignoring opposing viewpoints undermines the credibility of your essay, presenting a one-sided argument that lacks nuance. Addressing counter arguments demonstrates that you understand the complexity of the issue and can anticipate and respond to objections. 

By incorporating counterarguments, you strengthen your analysis and enhance the overall persuasiveness of your critical essay.

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How to write a critical analysis

How to write a critical analysis paper

Unlike the name implies a critical analysis does not necessarily mean that you are only exploring what is wrong with a piece of work. Instead, the purpose of this type of essay is to interact with and understand a text. Here’s what you need to know to create a well-written critical analysis essay.

What is a critical analysis?

A critical analysis examines and evaluates someone else’s work, such as a book, an essay, or an article. It requires two steps: a careful reading of the work and thoughtful analysis of the information presented in the work.

Although this may sound complicated, all you are doing in a critical essay is closely reading an author’s work and providing your opinion on how well the author accomplished their purpose.

Critical analyses are most frequently done in academic settings (such as a class assignment). Writing a critical analysis demonstrates that you are able to read a text and think deeply about it. However, critical thinking skills are vital outside of an educational context as well. You just don’t always have to demonstrate them in essay form.

How to outline and write a critical analysis essay

Writing a critical analysis essay involves two main chunks of work: reading the text you are going to write about and writing an analysis of that text. Both are equally important when writing a critical analysis essay.

Step one: Reading critically

The first step in writing a critical analysis is to carefully study the source you plan to analyze.

If you are writing for a class assignment, your professor may have already given you the topic to analyze in an article, short story, book, or other work. If so, you can focus your note-taking on that topic while reading.

Other times, you may have to develop your own topic to analyze within a piece of work. In this case, you should focus on a few key areas as you read:

  • What is the author’s intended purpose for the work?
  • What techniques and language does the author use to achieve this purpose?
  • How does the author support the thesis?
  • Who is the author writing for?
  • Is the author effective at achieving the intended purpose?

Once you have carefully examined the source material, then you are ready to begin planning your critical analysis essay.

Step two: Writing the critical analysis essay

Taking time to organize your ideas before you begin writing can shorten the amount of time that you spend working on your critical analysis essay. As an added bonus, the quality of your essay will likely be higher if you have a plan before writing.

Here’s a rough outline of what should be in your essay. Of course, if your instructor gives you a sample essay or outline, refer to the sample first.

  • Background Information

Critical Analysis

Here is some additional information on what needs to go into each section:

Background information

In the first paragraph of your essay, include background information on the material that you are critiquing. Include context that helps the reader understand the piece you are analyzing. Be sure to include the title of the piece, the author’s name, and information about when and where it was published.

“Success is counted sweetest” is a poem by Emily Dickinson published in 1864. Dickinson was not widely known as a poet during her lifetime, and this poem is one of the first published while she was alive.

After you have provided background information, state your thesis. The thesis should be your reaction to the work. It also lets your reader know what to expect from the rest of your essay. The points you make in the critical analysis should support the thesis.

Dickinson’s use of metaphor in the poem is unexpected but works well to convey the paradoxical theme that success is most valued by those who never experience success.

The next section should include a summary of the work that you are analyzing. Do not assume that the reader is familiar with the source material. Your summary should show that you understood the text, but it should not include the arguments that you will discuss later in the essay.

Dickinson introduces the theme of success in the first line of the poem. She begins by comparing success to nectar. Then, she uses the extended metaphor of a battle in order to demonstrate that the winner has less understanding of success than the loser.

The next paragraphs will contain your critical analysis. Use as many paragraphs as necessary to support your thesis.

Discuss the areas that you took notes on as you were reading. While a critical analysis should include your opinion, it needs to have evidence from the source material in order to be credible to readers. Be sure to use textual evidence to support your claims, and remember to explain your reasoning.

Dickinson’s comparison of success to nectar seems strange at first. However the first line “success is counted sweetest” brings to mind that this nectar could be bees searching for nectar to make honey. In this first stanza, Dickinson seems to imply that success requires work because bees are usually considered to be hard-working and industrious.

In the next two stanzas, Dickinson expands on the meaning of success. This time she uses the image of a victorious army and a dying man on the vanquished side. Now the idea of success is more than something you value because you have worked hard for it. Dickinson states that the dying man values success even more than the victors because he has given everything and still has not achieved success.

This last section is where you remind the readers of your thesis and make closing remarks to wrap up your essay. Avoid summarizing the main points of your critical analysis unless your essay is so long that readers might have forgotten parts of it.

In “Success is counted sweetest” Dickinson cleverly upends the reader’s usual thoughts about success through her unexpected use of metaphors. The poem may be short, but Dickinson conveys a serious theme in just a few carefully chosen words.

What type of language should be used in a critical analysis essay?

Because critical analysis papers are written in an academic setting, you should use formal language, which means:

  • No contractions
  • Avoid first-person pronouns (I, we, me)

Do not include phrases such as “in my opinion” or “I think”. In a critical analysis, the reader already assumes that the claims are your opinions.

Your instructor may have specific guidelines for the writing style to use. If the instructor assigns a style guide for the class, be sure to use the guidelines in the style manual in your writing.

Additional t ips for writing a critical analysis essay

To conclude this article, here are some additional tips for writing a critical analysis essay:

  • Give yourself plenty of time to read the source material. If you have time, read through the text once to get the gist and a second time to take notes.
  • Outlining your essay can help you save time. You don’t have to stick exactly to the outline though. You can change it as needed once you start writing.
  • Spend the bulk of your writing time working on your thesis and critical analysis. The introduction and conclusion are important, but these sections cannot make up for a weak thesis or critical analysis.
  • Give yourself time between your first draft and your second draft. A day or two away from your essay can make it easier to see what you need to improve.

Frequently Asked Questions about critical analyses

In the introduction of a critical analysis essay, you should give background information on the source that you are analyzing. Be sure to include the author’s name and the title of the work. Your thesis normally goes in the introduction as well.

A critical analysis has four main parts.

  • Introduction

The focus of a critical analysis should be on the work being analyzed rather than on you. This means that you should avoid using first person unless your instructor tells you to do otherwise. Most formal academic writing is written in third person.

How many paragraphs your critical analysis should have depends on the assignment and will most likely be determined by your instructor. However, in general, your critical analysis paper should have three to six paragraphs, unless otherwise stated.

Your critical analysis ends with your conclusion. You should restate the thesis and make closing remarks, but avoid summarizing the main points of your critical analysis unless your essay is so long that readers might have forgotten parts of it.

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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay?

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So, you want to write a critical analysis essay, but it feels a bit overwhelming, right? No worries! We're here to guide you through the process step by step. Whether you're a pro or a newbie, we've got practical tips and insights to help you nail your critical analysis essay. Let's make this academic adventure a bit less scary and a lot more exciting.

Have you ever wondered, "How to write a critical analysis essay?" We get it. It's not as easy as just summarizing stuff. But fear not! In this article, we're going to break down the whole process for you. Whether you're a seasoned thinker or just dipping your toes into critical analysis, we've got your back. Get ready for some straightforward advice to help you tackle that critical analysis essay like a champ. Let's do this together! For additional reading, please consult our guide on how to write an essay in general.

What Is Critical Analysis Essay?

A critical analysis essay is a type of academic writing in which the writer evaluates and interprets a piece of literature, artwork, film, music, or any other work of art. The primary purpose of a critical analysis essay is to assess the effectiveness or merit of the work in question, providing insights into its strengths, weaknesses, and overall impact.

Writing critical analysis essay demands a thoughtful, informed, and evaluative approach to a work, with a focus on details, evidence, and interpretation. It's an exercise in understanding the layers and complexities within creation and expressing your informed perspective on its merits and shortcomings.

  • The primary purpose of a critical analysis essay is to assess and evaluate a specific work, such as a piece of literature, art, film, or any other cultural creation. Unlike a summary, where you merely recap the content, a critical analysis delves deeper. It aims to explore the work's meaning, effectiveness, and significance.

Depth of Research

  • To conduct a thorough critical analysis, you often need to go beyond surface-level understanding. This might involve researching the background of the author or artist, understanding the historical context, and exploring any relevant cultural influences. The depth of research ensures that your analysis is well-informed and provides a nuanced perspective.
  • Learning how to write critical analysis paper involves paying attention to subtle details and nuances within the work. This could include examining the use of literary devices, artistic techniques, symbolism, or the choices made by the creator. Identifying these nuances allows you to offer a more insightful and detailed analysis.

Evidence-Based Insights

  • A strong critical analysis is not merely an expression of personal opinion but is supported by evidence from the work itself. This might involve quoting specific lines from a text, describing particular scenes in a film, or pointing to elements within a piece of art. By using evidence, you strengthen your argument and make your analysis more persuasive.

Judgment and Evaluation

  • The analysis goes beyond observation; it includes forming a judgment about the work. This involves assessing its strengths and weaknesses. You might discuss what the creator did well and where improvements could be made. This evaluative aspect adds depth to your analysis and demonstrates your engagement with the work.

Insights and Interpretation

  • A critical analysis invites interpretation. It's an opportunity to express your unique perspective on the work and offer insights that might not be immediately apparent. This could involve exploring symbolism, thematic connections, or the impact of specific artistic choices.

Critical Analysis Essay Outline

Here's a basic outline for critical analysis essay. Remember, this is a general outline, and you may need to adjust it based on the specific requirements of your assignment or the nature of the work you are analyzing.


Introduction to the Work

  • Briefly introduce the work being analyzed.
  • Provide necessary background information about the author, artist, or creator.

Thesis Statement

  • State the main argument or perspective you will present in your analysis.
  • Provide a concise summary of the work.
  • Ensure that readers have a basic understanding of the content and context.

Introduction to Analysis

  • Briefly explain the specific elements you will analyze (e.g., themes, characters, techniques).

Element 1 Analysis

  • Discuss the first element in detail.
  • Provide evidence from the work to support your analysis.

Element 2 Analysis

  • Repeat the process for the second element.
  • Again, support your analysis with relevant evidence.

Additional Elements (if needed)

  • Include additional elements you plan to analyze.
  • Provide analysis and evidence for each.

Introduction to Evaluation

  • Briefly explain the criteria you will use to evaluate the work.

Positive Aspects

  • Discuss the strengths or positive aspects of the work.
  • Support your evaluation with evidence.

Areas for Improvement

  • Discuss weaknesses or areas where the work could be improved.
  • Again, support your evaluation with evidence.

Summary of Analysis and Evaluation

  • Summarize the main points of your analysis.
  • Recap your evaluation.

Final Thoughts

  • Offer any final insights or reflections.
  • Restate the significance of your analysis.

How to Start a Critical Analysis Essay

Writing critical analysis essay involves a systematic and thoughtful approach. Remember, the critical analysis essay is an opportunity to showcase your ability to analyze and evaluate a work thoughtfully. It's essential to provide clear reasoning and support your arguments with evidence from the work itself. 

To learn how to start a critical analysis essay, it is crucial to begin with a compelling introduction that captivates the reader's attention and sets the stage for the subsequent analysis. Start by providing contextual information about the work under scrutiny, including the author, artist, or creator, and briefly outlining the overall content. Engage your audience by posing a thought-provoking question, presenting a relevant quote, or offering a striking observation of the subject matter. 

Clearly articulate the main purpose of your analysis and introduce your thesis statement, which succinctly encapsulates the central argument you will be exploring in the essay. By establishing a solid foundation in the introduction, you invite readers to delve into your critical examination with a clear understanding of your perspective and the significance of the work at hand. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the entire writing process:

How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

Understand the Assignment

  • Read the assignment instructions carefully.
  • Identify the specific work (e.g., a book, film, artwork) you need to analyze.
  • Note any guidelines or criteria provided by your instructor.

Choose a Literary Work

  • If the work is not assigned, select one that interests you and aligns with the assignment requirements.

Read/View/Experience the Work

  • Engage with the work attentively.
  • Take notes on significant details, themes, characters, and any elements that stand out.

Research Background Information

  • Gather information about the author, artist, or creator.
  • Understand the historical and cultural context if relevant.

Develop a Thesis Statement

  • Formulate a clear thesis statement that presents the main argument or perspective you will explore in your analysis.

Create an Outline

  • Structure your essay with an introduction, body paragraphs for analysis, an evaluation section, and a conclusion.
  • Use the outline provided earlier as a template.

Write the Introduction

  • Introduce the work and provide essential background information.
  • Present your thesis statement, outlining the focus of your analysis.

Write the Summary

  • Provide a concise summary of the work, ensuring readers have a basic understanding of its content and context.

Analyze Specific Elements

  • Follow your outline to analyze specific elements of the work.
  • Discuss themes, characters, techniques, or any other relevant aspects.

Evaluate the Work

  • Introduce your criteria for evaluation.
  • Discuss the positive aspects of the work, supporting your points with evidence.
  • Address areas for improvement, again using evidence to support your evaluation.

Write the Conclusion

  • Summarize the main points of your analysis and evaluation.
  • Restate your thesis and its significance.
  • Offer final thoughts or reflections.

Revise and Edit

  • Review your essay for clarity, coherence, and consistency.
  • Check for grammatical errors, typos, and proper citation if applicable.

Seek Feedback (Optional)

  • If possible, get feedback from peers, instructors, or writing centers to refine your essay.

Finalize Your Essay

  • Make any necessary revisions based on feedback.
  • Ensure your essay meets the assignment requirements.

Cite Sources (If Required)

  • If you used external sources for background information, quotes, or references, ensure proper citation according to the specified style guide (e.g., APA, MLA).

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Critical Analysis Essay Topics

Students can explore a myriad of thought-provoking topics for critical analysis essay for their across various disciplines. For example, you might dissect the portrayal of power dynamics in dystopian novels or scrutinize the evolution of a character's identity throughout a classic work. Venturing into the cinematic landscape, students could critically analyze the symbolism and visual storytelling techniques in a renowned film or examine the cultural commentary embedded in a contemporary piece. For those inclined toward the visual arts, delving into the complexities of a particular artwork or artistic movement offers an opportunity to unravel hidden meanings. Moreover, students may consider such critical analysis essay ideas as the representation of gender roles, the impact of technology on human connections, or the exploration of mental health in literature. Consider the following topic examples:

  • Identity and self-discovery in 'The Catcher in the Rye.'
  • The impact of social media on interpersonal relationships.
  • Symbolism in Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven.'
  • Gender roles in the film 'Wonder Woman.'
  • Environmental conservation messages in Nike advertisements.
  • Historical accuracy in 'The Crown' TV series.
  • Technology's role in shaping modern higher education.
  • Cultural significance of traditional Japanese Noh theatre.
  • Portrayal of mental health in 'BoJack Horseman.'
  • Ethical implications of CRISPR gene editing.
  • Metaphor in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech.
  • Impact of Affordable Care Act on healthcare accessibility.
  • Symbolism in Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa.'
  • Influence of jazz on American society.
  • Representation of diversity in 'The Sneetches' by Dr. Seuss.
  • Role of humor in addressing social issues in Dave Chappelle's comedy special.
  • Effectiveness of anti-smoking public service announcements.
  • Portrayal of cultural clashes in 'The Joy Luck Club.'
  • Impact of artificial intelligence on daily life.
  • Role of education in addressing economic inequality.

Tips for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Thoroughly understand the work.

Before diving into a critical analysis essay, ensure a comprehensive understanding of the work. Read a literary piece multiple times, watch a film attentively, or study an artwork closely. Take notes on key elements, themes, and characters to form a solid foundation for your analysis.

Focus on Specific Elements

Instead of attempting to analyze the entire work, narrow down your focus to specific elements. This could include examining the use of symbolism, characterization, narrative structure, or visual techniques. By concentrating on specific aspects, you can provide a more in-depth and focused analysis.

Support Your Analysis with Evidence

A critical analysis is strengthened by providing evidence from the work itself. Quote specific lines from a text, reference particular scenes in a film, or describe elements in an artwork. This evidence supports your interpretation and demonstrates a deep engagement with the work.

Consider the Context

Acknowledge the context in which the work was created. Consider the historical, cultural, and social background that might influence its meaning. Understanding the context allows you to offer a more nuanced analysis, recognizing the creator's intent and the work's relevance within a broader framework.

How to Format a Critical Analysis Essay?

Critical analysis essay format follows general guidelines for academic writing. Always refer to your assignment guidelines and any specific instructions from your instructor, as formatting requirements can vary. Here's a typical structure in terms of formatting:

  • Include the title of your essay, your name, the course title, the instructor's name, and the date.
  • Follow any specific formatting instructions provided by your instructor.
  • Begin with a strong introduction that introduces the work and provides essential background information.
  • State your thesis clearly and concisely.

Body Paragraphs

  • Organize your analysis into well-structured paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph should focus on a specific element or aspect of the work.
  • Begin each paragraph with a clear topic sentence that relates to your thesis.

Analysis and Evidence

  • Analyze the chosen elements of the work thoroughly.
  • Support your analysis with evidence, such as quotes, examples, or specific scenes.
  • Ensure that your analysis is logical and well-connected.
  • Include a section where you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the work.
  • Discuss what works well and areas that could be improved.
  • Provide thoughtful judgments and support them with evidence.
  • Restate your thesis and highlight the significance of your analysis.
  • Offer any final thoughts or reflections.

References or Works Cited

  • Include a list of all the sources you cited in your essay.
  • Follow the citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) specified by your instructor.

Formatting Style

  • Use a standard font (e.g., Times New Roman, Arial) in 12-point size.
  • Double-space the entire essay.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Align text to the left; do not justify.

Page Numbers

  • Number pages consecutively, starting from the title page (if applicable).
  • Place page numbers in the header or footer.

Additional Instructions

  • Follow any additional formatting guidelines provided by your instructor.
  • Check for any specific requirements regarding headers, footers, or additional elements.

Following a clear and consistent format ensures that your critical analysis essay is well-organized and easy to read.

Critical Analysis Essay Example

We believe that a critical analysis essay sample can help students master the intricacies of a particular assignment. In this article, we’ve decided to give you two different examples that will definitely inspire you to move the needle when tackling this task.

The Symbolism of Light and Dark in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

William Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth" explores the intricate interplay of light and dark imagery as symbols throughout the play. In this critical analysis, we will delve into how Shakespeare employs these symbols to convey complex themes and character motivations. The juxtaposition of light and dark in "Macbeth" serves as a powerful metaphor for the moral and psychological transformations undergone by the characters.

Shakespeare strategically employs light and dark imagery to signify moral clarity and corruption. In the opening scenes, the protagonist – Macbeth – associates darkness with deception and evil intentions. For instance, when contemplating regicide, Macbeth implores the stars to "hide [their] fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires" (1.4.50-51). The contrast between light and dark intensifies as the narrative progresses, underscoring the characters' moral dilemmas.

As Macbeth succumbs to his ambition, the imagery of darkness deepens. The murder of King Duncan occurs under the cover of night, symbolizing the moral obscurity of Macbeth's actions. The once honorable protagonist descends into darkness both metaphorically and literally, as evidenced by Lady Macbeth's plea to "come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell" (1.5.49-50). The darkness that initially masked his ambitions becomes a pervasive element in Macbeth's psyche.

Interestingly, the play also presents a paradoxical relationship between light and darkness. While darkness represents evil, light is not always synonymous with goodness. The false sense of security in the daylight becomes apparent as Macbeth's heinous deeds unfold. Banquo's murder, planned in broad daylight, challenges the traditional association of light with virtue, revealing the deceptive nature of appearances.

In conclusion, Shakespeare's adept use of light and dark imagery in "Macbeth" contributes to the thematic richness of the play. The evolving symbolism underscores the moral complexities the characters face, particularly Macbeth, as they navigate the consequences of their choices. By examining the nuanced interplay of light and dark, we gain profound insights into the psychological and moral dimensions of Shakespeare's tragic narrative.

The Dystopian Mirror: A Critical Analysis of Societal Portrayal in George Orwell's "1984"

George Orwell's "1984" stands as a dystopian masterpiece, a haunting vision of a totalitarian society that raises profound questions about power, control, and individual agency. In this critical analysis, we will delve into how Orwell's portrayal of society in "1984" serves as a reflection of his concerns about government overreach and the erosion of personal freedoms.

Orwell's vision of an omnipresent surveillance state in "1984" serves as a chilling forecast of the erosion of privacy in contemporary society. The ubiquitous presence of telescreens and the Thought Police in the novel underscores the dangers of unchecked governmental power. Through the character of Winston Smith, Orwell illustrates the psychological impact of living under constant surveillance and the pervasive fear of dissent.

Orwell introduces the concept of Newspeak, a language designed to eliminate rebellious thoughts, further illustrating the manipulative power of the state. The controlled language in "1984" becomes a tool for thought control, limiting the ability of individuals to articulate dissenting ideas. This linguistic manipulation echoes Orwell's concerns about the potential distortion of truth and the stifling of independent thought in a society governed by authoritarian rule.

The portrayal of Big Brother in "1984" serves as a powerful commentary on the creation of a cult of personality to consolidate power. The Party's ability to shape and control public perception through the iconic figure of Big Brother reflects Orwell's apprehensions about manipulating truth and the dangers of blind loyalty to charismatic leaders. The relentless propaganda in the novel underscores the potential consequences of unchecked authority on societal values.

To sum up, George Orwell's "1984" remains a poignant critique of societal structures that compromise individual freedoms in the pursuit of unchecked power. Through the vivid portrayal of surveillance, linguistic manipulation, and the cult of personality, Orwell prompts readers to reflect on the fragility of democratic values. As we navigate the complexities of our own society, the warnings embedded in "1984" continue to resonate, urging us to remain vigilant against threats to individual autonomy and the integrity of truth.

Learning how to write critical analysis essays is crucial for students as it cultivates essential skills vital for academic and professional success. Firstly, it hones their analytical thinking abilities, enabling them to dissect complex ideas, texts, or artworks and discern underlying themes, motifs, and messages. This skill is invaluable in academia, where critical analysis forms the cornerstone of scholarly discourse and research. 

Secondly, critical analysis writing fosters effective communication skills as students learn to articulate their thoughts coherently, provide evidence-based arguments, and engage with diverse perspectives. Such proficiency not only enhances their academic writing but also prepares them for future endeavors in fields such as research, journalism, or policymaking. Does that sound interesting, or maybe you would like to do something different today rather than critique literary works? In that case, pay for an essay and have a wonderful evening! 

Frequently asked questions

What is a critical analysis essay structure, what type of language should be used in a critical analysis essay, what are the benefits of writing a critical analysis essay.

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Analytical Essay Guide

Critical Analysis Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Critical Analysis Essay: Expert Guide to Craft a Brilliant Essay

By: Dorothy M.

Reviewed By: Chris H.

Published on: Dec 10, 2019

Critical Essay

High school and college students are always drowned in different types of essays throughout their academic life.

A critical analysis essay is another type of academic and analytical essay that requires analysis, interpretation, and evaluation of a piece of literature.

In a critical analysis essay, the term critical refers to analysis and discerning. Here a student analyzes the deeper meaning of the text, its positive and negative points, movie, a painting or other media forms. Instead of focusing on its quality or mood, it focuses on its deeper meaning.

In this detailed guide, we will cover all the necessary aspects about presenting your personal opinion, supporting your thesis, and writing a critical analysis essay.

Critical Essay

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What is a Critical Analysis Essay?

A critical analysis essay is an analysis performed on a literary work of art such as an article, book, movie, painting, etc. The purpose of a critical analysis essay is to discuss how a particular idea or theme has been represented or conveyed in the work under analysis.

After critical reading, the writer makes a claim about these ideas and then supports this claim with the help of authentic evidence. We often associate the word “critical” with something negative, however, this isn’t the case.

Let’s say you have finished watching a movie with your friends. You just watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and you pass a comment about how Charlie got lucky when he found the golden ticket. Or, how Willy Wonka shouldn’t have let those misbehaved kids into his factory.

These two comments show a type of judgment, however, when writing a critical analysis essay, your job is to analyze various elements, not to pass judgment. If you were to write a critical analysis essay about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory then your focus should be on something like:

“In Charlie and the Chocolate factory, the director tried to portray the connection between wealth and morality. It compares the innocent and kindhearted kid like Charlie with a modest lifestyle with wealthy and wicked kids.”

Here it can be seen that we have made a claim about the theme that the movie represents. And what the director is trying to convey through this theme and the techniques used to deliver his message. Thus, you can identify the author’s thesis and defend it with evidence from the movie, making it a good thesis statement to write a critical analysis essay.

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Critical Analysis Essay Characteristics

At this stage, we hope that you are clear about the definition of a critical analysis essay and what it is all about. We discussed earlier that you can write your essays on different subject matters ranging from films, visual arts to poetry.

A critical analysis essay is somewhat similar to a literary analysis essay. Both of these essay types involve analyzing a piece of literature. A detailed literary analysis essay guide will help you write a good essay in less time.

A critical analysis essay has the following characteristics.

A Central Claim

Every critical analysis essay makes a claim about the text under analysis. It is typically stated at the start of your essay in the thesis statement. The entire essay is based on it, as you try to defend your claim or argument using evidence in each body paragraph.

In some cases, you can strengthen your argument by presenting a counterargument and use evidence to prove how it is wrong.

Supporting Evidence

Strong and authentic evidence is needed in order to prove and defend your claim. This evidence can be found within the piece you are writing about. If you are writing on a novel, then it can be a dialogue, imagery, choice of words, etc. Read the source carefully and collect relevant contextual evidence for your essay.

Another important element of a critical analysis essay is that it provides a precise summary after making a claim and supporting it.

Critical Analysis Essay Outline and Structure

Similar to other types of essays, a critical analysis essay also follows a proper structure or outline. A critical analysis essay structure comprises an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Learn how to write a critical essay with this step-by-step assistance.


The introductory paragraph is the opportunity to educate and inform your reader about your essay topic. Start with a hook sentence to attract the reader’s attention, making them want to read more. Highlight the key ideas of your topic and end it with a strong, arguable, and informative thesis statement.

Irrespective of the type of paper, the most important part of an introduction is the opening lines or the hook. Here is a complete blog on hook examples to enhance your understanding.

Body Paragraph

A good critical analysis essay body covers all the ideas and claims discussed in the introductory paragraph. Here you present your point of view about the work under analysis while using evidence such as quotes and examples, etc.

Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that will summarize the main idea being discussed. Don’t highlight more than one idea in a single paragraph. These topic sentences will highlight the main idea of the paragraph.

Remember that your goal is to analyze, evaluate and inform your audience about the topic at hand. And this is where it all must take place.

When evaluating any literary piece, keep in mind the following points:

  • The overall style.
  • Whether it was effective or not?
  • What was the author's aim?
  • What did he try to achieve?
  • The key features and author’s thesis.
  • Who was the author's target audience?

Concluding Paragraph

This is the last stage of the writing process. Use this to remove any ambiguity the reader might have by summarizing the main points and ideas. It is a separate paragraph that restates the main themes in an easy-to-understand way.

Critical Analysis Essay Template

We have discussed and explained the entire outline for a critical analysis essay in this blog. Still, for your ease and to give you something handy, we have added a downloadable essay template below.


Critical Analysis Essay Examples

Want to learn something real quick and easy? Learn from examples. Following are some critical analysis examples that will assist you in understanding the different essay sections and ways of adding the right and credible content.



Critical Analysis Essay Topics

If your professor has given you the freedom to choose your desired topic, then these topics will prove useful.

  • Analyze and discuss how a particular character evolved over time in your favorite novel.
  • Examine the setting in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
  • Write about the background of your favorite author and analyze how it affects his/her writing style.
  • Analyze the use of irony in a short play.
  • Analyze the climax of Hamlet.
  • Analyze and examine an important dialogue of a movie.
  • Critically analyze the mood of a play and how the author has created that mood.
  • Analyze the worst movie you have ever watched. And discuss what makes it this bad.
  • Evaluate a movie based on real-life or a novel.
  • Examine imagery in a poem.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a critical analysis essay.

You should begin your critical essay with a hook and an attention grabber. A hook will help you to engage your readers and make them stay with your essay till the end.

How many paragraphs is a critical essay?

Your critical essay must contain at least five paragraphs. The number of paragraphs depends on the scope of the essay and could be more than five also.

Can critical essays be in the first person?

No, critical essays could and ‘should’ not be in the first person. Since you are evaluating someone else’s work and the observations should be unbiased, using the first person is not appropriate.

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Dorothy M. is an experienced freelance writer with over five years of experience in the field. She has a wide client base, and her customers keep returning to her because of her great personalized writing. Dorothy takes care to understand her clients' needs and writes content that engages them and impresses their instructors or readers.

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Home » Critical Analysis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Critical Analysis – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis


Critical analysis is a process of examining a piece of work or an idea in a systematic, objective, and analytical way. It involves breaking down complex ideas, concepts, or arguments into smaller, more manageable parts to understand them better.

Types of Critical Analysis

Types of Critical Analysis are as follows:

Literary Analysis

This type of analysis focuses on analyzing and interpreting works of literature , such as novels, poetry, plays, etc. The analysis involves examining the literary devices used in the work, such as symbolism, imagery, and metaphor, and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the work.

Film Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting films, including their themes, cinematography, editing, and sound. Film analysis can also include evaluating the director’s style and how it contributes to the overall message of the film.

Art Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting works of art , such as paintings, sculptures, and installations. The analysis involves examining the elements of the artwork, such as color, composition, and technique, and how they contribute to the overall meaning of the work.

Cultural Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting cultural artifacts , such as advertisements, popular music, and social media posts. The analysis involves examining the cultural context of the artifact and how it reflects and shapes cultural values, beliefs, and norms.

Historical Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting historical documents , such as diaries, letters, and government records. The analysis involves examining the historical context of the document and how it reflects the social, political, and cultural attitudes of the time.

Philosophical Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting philosophical texts and ideas, such as the works of philosophers and their arguments. The analysis involves evaluating the logical consistency of the arguments and assessing the validity and soundness of the conclusions.

Scientific Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting scientific research studies and their findings. The analysis involves evaluating the methods used in the study, the data collected, and the conclusions drawn, and assessing their reliability and validity.

Critical Discourse Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting language use in social and political contexts. The analysis involves evaluating the power dynamics and social relationships conveyed through language use and how they shape discourse and social reality.

Comparative Analysis

This type of analysis involves examining and interpreting multiple texts or works of art and comparing them to each other. The analysis involves evaluating the similarities and differences between the texts and how they contribute to understanding the themes and meanings conveyed.

Critical Analysis Format

Critical Analysis Format is as follows:

I. Introduction

  • Provide a brief overview of the text, object, or event being analyzed
  • Explain the purpose of the analysis and its significance
  • Provide background information on the context and relevant historical or cultural factors

II. Description

  • Provide a detailed description of the text, object, or event being analyzed
  • Identify key themes, ideas, and arguments presented
  • Describe the author or creator’s style, tone, and use of language or visual elements

III. Analysis

  • Analyze the text, object, or event using critical thinking skills
  • Identify the main strengths and weaknesses of the argument or presentation
  • Evaluate the reliability and validity of the evidence presented
  • Assess any assumptions or biases that may be present in the text, object, or event
  • Consider the implications of the argument or presentation for different audiences and contexts

IV. Evaluation

  • Provide an overall evaluation of the text, object, or event based on the analysis
  • Assess the effectiveness of the argument or presentation in achieving its intended purpose
  • Identify any limitations or gaps in the argument or presentation
  • Consider any alternative viewpoints or interpretations that could be presented
  • Summarize the main points of the analysis and evaluation
  • Reiterate the significance of the text, object, or event and its relevance to broader issues or debates
  • Provide any recommendations for further research or future developments in the field.

VI. Example

  • Provide an example or two to support your analysis and evaluation
  • Use quotes or specific details from the text, object, or event to support your claims
  • Analyze the example(s) using critical thinking skills and explain how they relate to your overall argument

VII. Conclusion

  • Reiterate your thesis statement and summarize your main points
  • Provide a final evaluation of the text, object, or event based on your analysis
  • Offer recommendations for future research or further developments in the field
  • End with a thought-provoking statement or question that encourages the reader to think more deeply about the topic

How to Write Critical Analysis

Writing a critical analysis involves evaluating and interpreting a text, such as a book, article, or film, and expressing your opinion about its quality and significance. Here are some steps you can follow to write a critical analysis:

  • Read and re-read the text: Before you begin writing, make sure you have a good understanding of the text. Read it several times and take notes on the key points, themes, and arguments.
  • Identify the author’s purpose and audience: Consider why the author wrote the text and who the intended audience is. This can help you evaluate whether the author achieved their goals and whether the text is effective in reaching its audience.
  • Analyze the structure and style: Look at the organization of the text and the author’s writing style. Consider how these elements contribute to the overall meaning of the text.
  • Evaluate the content : Analyze the author’s arguments, evidence, and conclusions. Consider whether they are logical, convincing, and supported by the evidence presented in the text.
  • Consider the context: Think about the historical, cultural, and social context in which the text was written. This can help you understand the author’s perspective and the significance of the text.
  • Develop your thesis statement : Based on your analysis, develop a clear and concise thesis statement that summarizes your overall evaluation of the text.
  • Support your thesis: Use evidence from the text to support your thesis statement. This can include direct quotes, paraphrases, and examples from the text.
  • Write the introduction, body, and conclusion : Organize your analysis into an introduction that provides context and presents your thesis, a body that presents your evidence and analysis, and a conclusion that summarizes your main points and restates your thesis.
  • Revise and edit: After you have written your analysis, revise and edit it to ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and well-organized. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure that your analysis is logically sound and supported by evidence.

When to Write Critical Analysis

You may want to write a critical analysis in the following situations:

  • Academic Assignments: If you are a student, you may be assigned to write a critical analysis as a part of your coursework. This could include analyzing a piece of literature, a historical event, or a scientific paper.
  • Journalism and Media: As a journalist or media person, you may need to write a critical analysis of current events, political speeches, or media coverage.
  • Personal Interest: If you are interested in a particular topic, you may want to write a critical analysis to gain a deeper understanding of it. For example, you may want to analyze the themes and motifs in a novel or film that you enjoyed.
  • Professional Development : Professionals such as writers, scholars, and researchers often write critical analyses to gain insights into their field of study or work.

Critical Analysis Example

An Example of Critical Analysis Could be as follow:

Research Topic:

The Impact of Online Learning on Student Performance


The introduction of the research topic is clear and provides an overview of the issue. However, it could benefit from providing more background information on the prevalence of online learning and its potential impact on student performance.

Literature Review:

The literature review is comprehensive and well-structured. It covers a broad range of studies that have examined the relationship between online learning and student performance. However, it could benefit from including more recent studies and providing a more critical analysis of the existing literature.

Research Methods:

The research methods are clearly described and appropriate for the research question. The study uses a quasi-experimental design to compare the performance of students who took an online course with those who took the same course in a traditional classroom setting. However, the study may benefit from using a randomized controlled trial design to reduce potential confounding factors.

The results are presented in a clear and concise manner. The study finds that students who took the online course performed similarly to those who took the traditional course. However, the study only measures performance on one course and may not be generalizable to other courses or contexts.

Discussion :

The discussion section provides a thorough analysis of the study’s findings. The authors acknowledge the limitations of the study and provide suggestions for future research. However, they could benefit from discussing potential mechanisms underlying the relationship between online learning and student performance.

Conclusion :

The conclusion summarizes the main findings of the study and provides some implications for future research and practice. However, it could benefit from providing more specific recommendations for implementing online learning programs in educational settings.

Purpose of Critical Analysis

There are several purposes of critical analysis, including:

  • To identify and evaluate arguments : Critical analysis helps to identify the main arguments in a piece of writing or speech and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. This enables the reader to form their own opinion and make informed decisions.
  • To assess evidence : Critical analysis involves examining the evidence presented in a text or speech and evaluating its quality and relevance to the argument. This helps to determine the credibility of the claims being made.
  • To recognize biases and assumptions : Critical analysis helps to identify any biases or assumptions that may be present in the argument, and evaluate how these affect the credibility of the argument.
  • To develop critical thinking skills: Critical analysis helps to develop the ability to think critically, evaluate information objectively, and make reasoned judgments based on evidence.
  • To improve communication skills: Critical analysis involves carefully reading and listening to information, evaluating it, and expressing one’s own opinion in a clear and concise manner. This helps to improve communication skills and the ability to express ideas effectively.

Importance of Critical Analysis

Here are some specific reasons why critical analysis is important:

  • Helps to identify biases: Critical analysis helps individuals to recognize their own biases and assumptions, as well as the biases of others. By being aware of biases, individuals can better evaluate the credibility and reliability of information.
  • Enhances problem-solving skills : Critical analysis encourages individuals to question assumptions and consider multiple perspectives, which can lead to creative problem-solving and innovation.
  • Promotes better decision-making: By carefully evaluating evidence and arguments, critical analysis can help individuals make more informed and effective decisions.
  • Facilitates understanding: Critical analysis helps individuals to understand complex issues and ideas by breaking them down into smaller parts and evaluating them separately.
  • Fosters intellectual growth : Engaging in critical analysis challenges individuals to think deeply and critically, which can lead to intellectual growth and development.

Advantages of Critical Analysis

Some advantages of critical analysis include:

  • Improved decision-making: Critical analysis helps individuals make informed decisions by evaluating all available information and considering various perspectives.
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills : Critical analysis requires individuals to identify and analyze the root cause of a problem, which can help develop effective solutions.
  • Increased creativity : Critical analysis encourages individuals to think outside the box and consider alternative solutions to problems, which can lead to more creative and innovative ideas.
  • Improved communication : Critical analysis helps individuals communicate their ideas and opinions more effectively by providing logical and coherent arguments.
  • Reduced bias: Critical analysis requires individuals to evaluate information objectively, which can help reduce personal biases and subjective opinions.
  • Better understanding of complex issues : Critical analysis helps individuals to understand complex issues by breaking them down into smaller parts, examining each part and understanding how they fit together.
  • Greater self-awareness: Critical analysis helps individuals to recognize their own biases, assumptions, and limitations, which can lead to personal growth and development.

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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay With Examples

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Students in various higher learning institutions must complete critical analysis papers, which focus on evaluating the effectiveness of other sources in presenting multiple facts. In this case, the primary goal is to assess and observe objective elements. For example, a scholar may write about a wide range of topics and subjects in these papers. Moreover, these essays lead to a better understanding of subjects or sources under analysis. Then, such compositions help one to examine a controversial point of view. Besides, this guide on how to write a critical analysis essay provides steps that one must use when writing a critical analysis essay. In particular, facts revealed that critical analysis papers must contain a hook and clear thesis in the introduction. Also, writers should include a summary of a source in question. In turn, outstanding papers should have a detailed analysis of a subject. Finally, essays must end with a summative conclusion that brings the work to closure without introducing new details.

General Guidelines for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

A critical analysis paper requires one to critique and evaluate another literary work. In practice, one may need to assess a book, an essay, a movie, or a painting, among other sources. Basically, critical analysis papers help readers to develop a better understanding of the work under evaluation. Also, one engages in objective writing that expresses his or her opinion or assessment of a text. In turn, the term “analysis” means the process of breaking down and studying various parts. Hence, one must engage in critical reading and writing.

How to write a critical analysis essay

Purpose of Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Scholars write critical analysis essays when they focus on telling readers about a subject. For instance, a writer explains the purpose and meaning of a specific work. In this case, critical evaluation papers help one to express a point of view. Hence, students should communicate how they feel about a specific work. In practice, writers must analyze subjects critically to show their weaknesses and strengths. 

Important Features and Steps for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Scholars in higher learning institutions must engage in the critical writing process. Basically, this process requires them to read all the sources that they must use to support their opinions. In this case, one must ensure that the reading process helps to identify significant points and subjects related to assigned topics. For example, prudent writers ensure that they have a definite opinion on the matter of a critical analysis essay. However, one should examine an issue from multiple perspectives. Also, this aspect ensures that a person remains more objective and open-minded to the point. In turn, one must identify a thesis statement in a written piece under analysis and include supporting evidence for main arguments. Therefore, students in higher learning institutions should be prepared to take part in the critical writing process.  

1. Presenting an Opinion

Professional writers take their time to present other people’s opinions. For instance, one must think about a response and reaction toward a subject matter presented in an essay. Basically, a prudent writer must take the time to examine all the answers shown in a written piece. In turn, this process should focus on eliminating all forms of offensive responses and opinions toward literary works. Moreover, outstanding essays do not offend targeted readers. Instead, they consider different backgrounds and experiences that individuals might have into consideration.

2. Drafting

Consequently, one should draft an essay to include all the points. For instance, students should begin writing a critical analysis essay by having an overview of a subject and its major issues. In this case, writers must draw the readers’ attention toward the thesis statement created. Then, all body paragraphs must support the central argument, which helps to affirm the writer’s opinion. As a rule, each passage must focus on addressing a single point for such an analysis. Moreover, themes presented in each paragraph must give a fair judgment to a subject by avoiding an extreme bias and any irregular needs. In turn, such a strategy helps writers to prove primary arguments effectively. 

A critical analysis paper must end with a summative conclusion. For instance, writers should reiterate each point made in the essay’s body. Also, prudent students begin writing a critical analysis essay by restating their overall opinions. In this case, the process helps to bring a paper to an effective closure. Moreover, the process of writing a critical analysis involves significant steps. Basically, one must engage in essential reading and writing processes.

Step 1: Preparation

1. critical reading.

Writing a critical analysis paper means engaging in a careful and focused reading process. Basically, students must read their texts under analysis thoroughly to identify the author’s central argument and the nature of the academic support provided. In practice, one may not understand a source by reading along. Instead, scholars should consider other related sources that can help to understand various concepts. Also, this process enables one to understand different takes and opinions on the same subject. Then, a prudent writer should pay close attention to details presented by an author and recognize possible biases, assumptions, and rhetorical devices. Hence, students should keep an eye on basic guidelines when engaging in the critical reading process:

  • Scholars need to write down vocabulary words and define terms that may remain unclear. Basically, this process helps them to understand ideas presented in a source under analysis. Also, one should rely on dictionaries and thesaurus to understand the meaning of problematic terms presented in an essay.
  • One should identify the author’s intended audience. For example, good writers prepare their works in a specific way, which appeals to a particular audience. In this case, sources with statistical language tend to appeal to business people. Also, identifying this language helps one appreciate the intended purpose of the source’s author.
  • Writers should identify the author’s means of persuasion. For instance, an author may use language or rhetoric devices to persuade the targeted audience. Basically, this strategy helps to understand the source’s effectiveness in communicating the intended message.
  • Students should identify the general structure of the writing and its role in supporting the central message. In this case, significant scholarly sources utilize a unique design to communicate the main message to the intended audience. Also, authors must focus on the structure used in the reference under analysis and identify its role in communicating the intended message. In turn, this process helps to identify significant flaws in such a source.

These guidelines presented above show the purpose of the critical reading process. For instance, a good writer must identify the author’s intended audience, means of persuasion, and general structure. In turn, these three elements enhance one’s level of understanding of the intended message in the source under consideration.

2. Preparing Ideas for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Writers should prepare all the ideas identified in sources under review. In this case, students group the main ideas together during the writing process. Also, this process helps to organize thoughts before responding to an essay. Then, flow charts and flashcards are useful tools for managing important concepts considered in the text. In turn, scholars should use these tools to identify significant ideas and those that must appear when writing a critical analysis essay. Therefore, authors should consider organizing ideas to ensure that they capture intended messages.  

Step 2: Setting-Up the Stage

A prudent writer sets up the stage for developing writing a critical analysis essay. Basically, this process plays a crucial role in ensuring that students gather the necessary information and evidence for writing their papers. Hence, some activities that one must consider when preparing for the writing process are:

1. Finding Sources

Students must focus on finding credible sources to support central ideas to be presented in a paper. For example, reliable sources must contain credible information that supports all significant arguments and claims. In this case, writers must take time when identifying relevant references for their essays. Moreover, all scholarly sources must contain credible evidence that relates to assigned topics. Then, one should use journal articles, books, and reports published in the past ten years. In turn, this approach ensures that students obtain current evidence to support their arguments and claims. Besides, a prudent writer must avoid websites that may contain irrelevant information related to an issue in question. Hence, one must identify adequate and appropriate sources for supporting the main arguments when writing a critical analysis essay.  

2. Making Notes for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Writers should make notes related to a topic in question. For instance, one should engage in the critical reading process for all the sources considered. Basically, students should take relevant notes as they read through identified sources. Besides, one must determine appropriate in-text citations based on applicable formatting guidelines. In turn, the note-taking process allows one to remember and organize the relevant evidence for supporting opinions presented in the essay’s body. Hence, scholars must consider making notes from identified sources.  

3. Creating an Outline

Prudent students write outlines for their critical analysis papers. For instance, an essay outline contains all the sections of an essay. In this case, a suitable general description must have relevant evidence that writers must use to support arguments and claims made. Also, some of the parts that one must include are a brief introduction, a draft thesis statement, a body, and a summary. In turn, the body section should state the main points as opposed to containing paragraphs.

4. Writing an Annotated Bibliography for a Critical Analysis Essay

Scholars should consider preparing an annotated bibliography for sources. In particular, an annotated bibliography refers to a list of citations for scholarly articles on a specific topic. Basically, this list resembles a page with references but includes annotations for each entry. In this case, one should consist of a summary or a critical evaluation of a source. Moreover, students may consider some types of annotations when preparing for writing a critical analysis essay.

Type 1: Summary Annotation

This type of annotation should describe a source by answering:

  • Who wrote the source?
  • What does the source discuss?
  • When and where was the source published?
  • Why was the source published?
  • How was the source provided to the public?

Type 2: Evaluative Annotation

  • This annotation should include a summary of a source. However, one should consist of a critical assessment of the work. Also, the evaluation must examine the work for accuracy, relevance, and quality. In turn, evaluation annotations can help writers to learn more about a topic in question, develop a thesis statement, and decide if a specific source remains useful. Besides, this annotation allows students to determine if this source contains adequate and valid information to complete a paper. 

Prudent writers focus on preparing evaluative annotations when writing a critical analysis paper. Basically, this method helps to identify the most credible sources for supporting the main arguments in an essay. Besides, this process lays the foundation for evaluating and eliminating weaker sources.

Step 3: Start Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

1. critical analysis writing.

The essential purpose of the writing process is not to de-legitimize the author’s work. In turn, the fundamental purpose of the writing process is to help readers to explore a specific literary piece. Moreover, writers should open up to ignored or neglected aspects. Then, students have a primary duty of helping to understand a subject to a full extent. In particular, the critical analysis process begins with a summary of the considered source. For example, the overview demonstrates that students develop an adequate understanding of the main message. In practice, papers should not contain the writer’s opinion or reveal any bias toward the source under investigation. Instead, one should focus on addressing the following questions when preparing an outstanding summary:

  • How has the author organized the information in the text?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Why does the author target a specific audience?
  • What are the main assumptions about the audience made by the author?
  • What are the rhetorical, language, and imagery devices that the author uses in the text?

2. Creating a Draft

Writers should use a summary and working thesis to develop a draft of a paper. For example, credible drafts resemble actual critical analysis essays. In this case, students should organize drafts by having an introduction, body, and conclusion. Also, the primary goal of bringing the information together is to ensure that one develops a clear picture of an essay. In turn, this process ensures that one identifies the correct flow of ideas and possible gaps.

3. Putting Everything Together

Scholars must put the information together into a complete paper. Basically, writers should consider including all the evidence gathered in the previous section. In this case, this step lays the foundation for revising a paper and ensures that all the evidence presented supports the essay’s central argument.

4. Finding New Sources for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

A prudent writer must consider if sources support an essay virtually. In this case, the primary goal of reviewing the references’ applicability is to ensure that critical analysis papers have a unique level of clarity. Moreover, if some sources fail to align with the ideas presented, one should look for more sources. Then, writers must look for those scholarly articles that contain weightier evidence and support to their essays. In turn, one should add more sources where applicable. As a result, writers must delete old ones if they have weaker evidence.

5. Altering an Outline

Prudent writers consider altering an initial outline after changing sources. In this case, one should change annotated sources used to support the main points in an essay. Besides, students should alter some of the claims presented to strengthen them by considering their working topics. In turn, a reviewed essay outline ensures that writers develop an essay structure that can guide the final paper’s preparation. Hence, one should revise the general description to ensure that it captures desired changes.

6. Developing a Working Thesis Statement

One should create a working thesis after summarizing the work. Basically, this approach helps authors to capture all the main ideas presented in the scholarly work under analysis to develop a balanced opinion. In practice, the critical analysis paper’s thesis statement represents the writer’s reaction to the analyzed source. Moreover, good opinions must be subjective, which implies that one should make a debatable claim. In turn, students should expect other scholars to challenge the thesis statement. However, one should articulate a personal opinion carefully and thoroughly to achieve the reader’s trust. Hence, scholars should remember the following points when developing a thesis statement for a critical analysis essay.

  • The thesis statement must communicate the main point to be proven by using various tools, like logical or emotional reasoning. Basically, students must create a thesis that acts as a root of where a paper develops.
  • The main claim must remain relevant to the topic under discussion. In this case, one must defend the central claim by using logic, analysis, and external support.
  • Students should not confuse the thesis statement with the introduction. In practice, the introduction of a critical analysis essay should include a hook, a summary of the topic, and a clear thesis statement. Moreover, the thesis should be the last sentence in the introduction of the essay.
  • One should rely on adequate research when developing the thesis statement. In particular, writers must gather credible evidence to have sufficient background information about the topic before writing the central claim. Also, this process leads to an accurate and understandable thesis that guides the body section of the essay.
  • A good thesis must reflect organized thoughts and a narrow focus on the entire paper. For example, many students make the mistake of developing an idea that covers a broad scope of the topic. In turn, this flaw makes the essay sound vague to readers. As a rule, one should create a first draft and revise it after completing a written piece to ensure that such a composition captures the main ideas.

Step 4: Wrapping Up

Students must consider the final stage of essay writing. For instance, scholars must ensure that writing a critical analysis essay meets the necessary quality before submitting it for marking. Hence, some activities that one must consider when wrapping up a paper are:

1. Revisioning

Writers must revise the work to ensure that it meets the desired quality. Basically, the revision process involves reading written compositions several times and ensuring that these papers contain the correct format and structure. In this case, one should pay close attention to spelling and grammar mistakes. Also, the primary goal of revising an essay is to ensure that it meets the necessary quality.

Prudent writers consider the importance of the editing process in improving the quality of the paper. For example, students should consider making essential changes in their essays. Then, reading by peers plays an instrumental role in the editing process. In this case, scholars rely on peers to identify some flaws that may impact the readability of their essays. Moreover, one should depend on positive criticism to make necessary changes when writing a critical analysis essay. In turn, editing should focus on all writing mechanics.

3. Topic Sentences in Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Credible essays should have topic sentences in each paragraph. In this case, one must ensure that each section dwells on a single point. For example, the first sentence of every body paragraph should state a single issue clearly. Basically, writers must ensure that all the passages reveal their themes. Otherwise, papers may appear vague and fail to communicate the intended message. In turn, all topic sentences must relate to the thesis statement presented in the introduction paragraph.

4. Concluding and Transition Sentences

Outstanding essays contain closing and linking sentences. In particular, the last sentence in each paragraph must summarize the main ideas presented. Also, one must ensure that this sentence gives a summative closure to the passage while linking it to the next section. In turn, failure to include effective closing and relating statements disrupts the unique flow of ideas in an essay.

5. Formatting When Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Different learning institutions require writers to follow specific formatting styles. Basically, one must follow such guidelines when writing a critical analysis essay. In this case, writers must make necessary consultations with lecturers before submitting final copies. Also, one should rely on an essay rubric to format a paper and achieve higher grades.

6. Peer Review

Prudent writers share their works with peers for reviewing purposes. For example, one should identify other scholars with adequate knowledge in a subject matter. Basically, such choices support positive criticism and allow students to identify significant gaps that may undermine the essay’s readability. Moreover, one should consider the effectiveness of reviews before making final adjustments to papers. As a rule, scholars should consider various critics if they enhance the essay’s quality and readability. In turn, writers should feel free to reject some critics that may distort the meaning of the work. 

Sample Outline for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

I. introduction.

  • Identify a source under critical review.
  • Preview the main argument and state some steps taken to prove this claim.
  • Present a thesis statement as the central argument of an essay.

II. A summary of a Source

  • This summary should not be comprehensive – present what readers need to know and understand the thesis statement.

III. Analysis/Argument

Include arguments that contain several other points of view. In turn, some of the factors of analysis include:

  • Discussion of the work’s organization.
  • Discussion of the work’s style.
  • Effectiveness.
  • Discussion of the topic’s treatment.
  • Discussion of appeal to a particular audience.

IV. Conclusion

  • Reflect on the thesis statement’s support given in an essay.
  • Point out the significance of a central argument.
  • Identify potential opportunities for supplementary research or investigation.

An example template for a critical analysis essay outline presented above varies from those of other paper types. Basically, one should not assume that the design of a critical analysis essay contains a summary of a source. In turn, this summary follows the introductory paragraph and reveals one’s understanding of the main ideas presented. As a rule, students must focus on the most important concepts presented in a critical analysis essay essay.

Breaking Down an Outline for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

The opening paragraph should begin with an interesting phrase. In this case, students should give a brief overview of a source under review. Besides, the last sentence must represent the primary argument or thesis statement. In turn, one should not use a question for the thesis statement. Instead, writers must present debatable claims.

II. Summary

Prudent writers summarize only important concepts. In particular, summaries must relate to the thesis statement. Unfortunately, many learners dwell much on this section, which makes their essays appear weak. Basically, students must remember that the summary does not contribute to supporting the thesis statement. Instead, writers should focus on presenting specific facts that promote the understanding of the main argument. 

The body of a critical analysis essay should present major arguments. Basically, prudent writers break down the thesis statement into different subsections. In this case, one must discuss each sub-thesis exhaustively. Then, students must focus on the most crucial essay concepts while providing adequate supporting details. In turn, good critical analysis papers should contain real-life examples that relate to the topic and relevant explanations.

a critical analysis essay should contain a relevant closing paragraph. In particular, students must ensure that the last paragraph summarizes all the ideas presented. As a rule, one should not introduce new evidence in this section. Instead, writers should bring the work to a unique closure by restating the thesis statement.

Example of Writing a Critical Analysis Essay

Critical Analysis Essay of “Two Principles of Justice”

I. Sample of an Introduction Section

The unjust social system undermines the effectiveness of human struggles to achieve equality. Basically, many individuals assume that they cannot access equal justice. In this case, Rawls argues that every society should ensure that all people access equal justice. Moreover, the first principle by Rawls advocates for equal liberty and equal rights for all citizens. Then, the second principle advocates for social and economic equality where individuals should access equal opportunities irrespective of their backgrounds. While societies struggle to achieve equality in justice, the article “Two Principles of Justice” by John Rawls presents hypotheses for promoting fairness that fails to lead to justifiable outcomes (thesis).

II. Example of a Summary Part

Rawls presents two principles of justice when referring to the supposed situation where societies choose standard justice. For example, the first standard focuses on equal freedom for all individuals irrespective of their social, economic, cultural, political, or religious background (Rawls, 1971). In this case, each person has fundamental rights to the most respected liberties. Moreover, Rawls holds that all members of society must enjoy similar privileges. Then, the second standard promotes social and economic justice across the country (Rawls, 1971). In this case, all citizens should benefit from public opportunities available. Also, all individuals should access equal job prospects without any form of barriers. For instance, two principles intend to allocate extensive liberties to all people equally (Rawls, 1971). Further on, these values provide practical strategies that should govern the allocation of available resources and opportunities. In turn, modern societies should embrace two principles as pillars in sharing social and economic reimbursements. Hence, Rawls presents two principles that allow all people to get equal opportunities irrespective of their backgrounds.

III. Sample of an Analysis/Argument Section

Rawls fails to clarify the level of equality that each community must achieve. Basically, the first principle states that people should access essential liberties without any possible barriers (Rawls, 1971). In turn, the statement disregards the nature of the universal trait of human rights. On the other hand, fundamental human freedoms have conflicting interests, which makes it hard for individuals to access them equally. Moreover, Rawls fails to make justifications that lead to a better understanding of the fundamental rights that societies must promote. Hence, Rawls does not explain the universal rights clearly that people must access.

Rawls makes some assumptions that disregard important factors that lead to inequality in modern society. In particular, the second principle argues that disadvantaged people should have easy access to the most significant benefits (Rawls, 1971). Basically, this argument fails to consider factors that influence leadership in modern communities. In this case, people with higher literacy attainments make more outstanding contributions to the management of various institutions. As a result, they deserve more significant advantages than those who make lesser contributions. Therefore, differences in commitment levels among multiple members of the community disapprove of Rawls’ second principle.

IV. Example of a Conclusion Part

Many civilizations strive to achieve equality in justice processes. However, achieving absolute parity remains an elusive goal. In this case, the article “Two Principles of Justice” by John Rawls presents hypotheses that people can embrace in promoting equality. Moreover, Rawls argues that all individuals must access equal liberty and social and economic opportunities. In turn, this example of writing a critical analysis essay shows that two principles appear vague since such statements may not lead to justifiable outcomes. Hence, scholars should focus on defining specific liberties that promote equality.

Citing a Source for Writing a Critical Analysis Essay in Various Formats

APA 7th edition – A reference entry should follow a sentence case rule, while in-text citations should include the author’s name and publication year. Hence, examples of a reference with an in-text citation are:

  • Rawls, J. (1971). Two principles of justice. In a theory of justice (pp. 1017–1024). Harvard University Press.
  • (Rawls, 1971).

MLA 9th edition – A Works Cited entry should follow a title case rule. Also, in-text citations should entail the author’s surname and page numbers. Hence, examples of a Works Cited entry with an in-text citation are:

  • Rawls, John. “Two Principles of Justice.” A Theory of Justice , Harvard University Press, 1971, pp. 1017–1024.
  • (Rawls 1017).

Harvard – A reference entry should follow a sentence case rule. Moreover, in-text citations should include the author’s surname, publication date, and page numbers. Hence, examples of a reference entry with an in-text citation are:

  • Rawls, J 1971, ‘Two principles of justice’, in a theory of justice , Harvard University Press, pp. 1017–1024.
  • (Rawls 1971, p. 1017).

Chicago/Turabian – A bibliographic entry should follow a capital case rule. Also, in-text citations must appear as footnotes. Hence, examples of a bibliography entry with a footnote are:

  • Rawls, John. “Two Principles of Justice.” In A Theory of Justice , 1017–1024. Harvard University Press, 1971.
  • 1. John Rawls, “Two Principles of Justice,” in A Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1971), 1017.

Summing Up on How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

Writing a critical analysis essay is common in a higher learning institution. Basically, topics for critical analysis focused on evaluating the effectiveness of other scholarly sources. In this case, students write about a wide range of topics and subjects. Moreover, the primary goal is to evaluate and observe the defined elements. Then, the process leads to a better understanding of the matter in question. Besides, these essays help one to examine a controversial point of view. Hence, some points that one must remember when writing critical analysis essays are:  

  • include a hook and a clear thesis in the introduction;
  • provide a summary of a source in question.
  • focus on a detailed analysis;
  • end with a summative conclusion.  

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Academic Phrasebank

Academic Phrasebank

Being critical.

  • Being cautious
  • Classifying and listing
  • Compare and contrast
  • Defining terms
  • Describing trends
  • Describing quantities
  • Explaining causality
  • Giving examples
  • Signalling transition
  • Writing about the past

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As an academic writer, you are expected to be critical of the sources that you use. This essentially means questioning what you read and not necessarily agreeing with it just because the information has been published. Being critical can also mean looking for reasons why we should not just accept something as being correct or true. This can require you to identify problems with a writer’s arguments or methods, or perhaps to refer to other people’s criticisms of these. Constructive criticism goes beyond this by suggesting ways in which a piece of research or writing could be improved. … being against is not enough. We also need to develop habits of constructive thinking. Edward de Bono

Highlighting inadequacies of previous studies

Previous studies of X have not dealt with … Researchers have not treated X in much detail. Such expositions are unsatisfactory because they … Most studies in the field of X have only focused on … Such approaches, however, have failed to address … Previous published studies are limited to local surveys. Half of the studies evaluated failed to specify whether … The research to date has tended to focus on X rather than published studies on the effect of X are not consistent. Smith’s analysis does not take account of …, nor does she examine …

The existing accounts fail to resolve the contradiction between X and Y. Most studies of X have only been carried out in a small number of areas. However, much of the research up to now has been descriptive in nature … The generalisability of much published research on this issue is problematic. Research on the subject has been mostly restricted to limited comparisons of … However, few writers have been able to draw on any systematic research into … Short-term studies such as these do not necessarily show subtle changes over time … Although extensive research has been carried out on X, no single study exists which … However, these results were based upon data from over 30 years ago and it is unclear if … The experimental data are rather controversial, and there is no general agreement about …

Identifying a weakness in a single study or paper

Offering constructive suggestions.

The study would have been more interesting if it had included … These studies would have been more useful if they had focused on … The study would have been more relevant if the researchers had asked … The questionnaire would have been more useful if it had asked participants about … The research would have been more relevant if a wider range of X had been explored

Introducing problems and limitations: theory or argument

Smith’s argument relies too heavily on … The main weakness with this theory is that … The key problem with this explanation is that … However, this theory does not fully explain why … One criticism of much of the literature on X is that … Critics question the ability of the X theory to provide … However, there is an inconsistency with this argument.

A serious weakness with this argument, however, is that … However, such explanations tend to overlook the fact that … One of the main difficulties with this line of reasoning is that … Smith’s interpretation overlooks much of the historical research … Many writers have challenged Smith’s claim on the grounds that … The X theory has been criticised for being based on weak evidence. A final criticism of the theory of X is that it struggles to explain some aspects of …

Introducing problems and limitations: method or practice

The limitation of this approach is that … A major problem with the X method is that … One major drawback of this approach is that … A criticism of this experimental design is that … The main limitation of this technique, however, is … Selection bias is another potential concern because …

Perhaps the most serious disadvantage of this method is that … In recent years, however, this approach has been challenged by … Non-government agencies are also very critical of the new policies. All the studies reviewed so far, however, suffer from the fact that … Critics of laboratory-based experiments contend that such studies … There are certain problems with the use of focus groups. One of these is that there is less …

Using evaluative adjectives to comment on research

Introducing general criticism.

Critics question the ability of poststructuralist theory to provide … Non-government agencies are also very critical of the new policies. Smith’s meta-analysis has been subjected to considerable criticism. The most important of these criticisms is that Smith failed to note that … The X theory has been vigorously challenged in recent years by a number of writers. These claims have been strongly contested in recent years by a number of writers. More recent arguments against X have been summarised by Smith and Jones (1982): Critics have also argued that not only do surveys provide an inaccurate measure of X, but the … Many analysts now argue that the strategy of X has not been successful. Jones (2003), for example, argues that …

Introducing the critical stance of particular writers

Smith (2014) disputes this account of … Jones (2003) has also questioned why … However, Jones (2015) points out that … The author challenges the widely held view that … Smith (1999) takes issue with the contention that … The idea that … was first challenged by Smith (1992). Smith is critical of the tendency to compartmentalise X. However, Smith (1967) questioned this hypothesis and …

Jones (2003) has challenged some of Smith’s conclusions, arguing that … Another major criticism of Smith’s study, made by Jones (2003), is that … Jones (2003) is probably the best-known critic of the X theory. He argues that … In her discussion of X, Smith further criticises the ways in which some authors … Smith’s decision to reject the classical explanation of X merits some discussion … In a recent article in Academic Journal, Smith (2014) questions the extent to which … The latter point has been devastatingly critiqued by Jones (2003), who argues that … A recently published article by Smith et al. (2011) casts doubt on Jones’ assumption that … Other authors (see Smith, 2012; Jones, 2014) question the usefulness of such an approach.

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

critical analysis essay words

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , business , medicine  and engineering .

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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Guide

A critical analysis essay is an academic paper that requires a thorough examination of theoretical concepts and ideas. It includes a comparison of facts, differentiation between evidence and argument, and identification of biases.

Crafting a good paper can be a daunting experience, but it will be much easier if you have the right approach. In this guide by our custom writing team, you will find:

  • Different types of critical analysis;
  • Best ways to structure your essay;
  • Two excellent critical analysis essay examples.
  • 📝 Critical Analysis Definition
  • ✍️ Writing Guide
  • ✅ Critical Analysis Types
  • 📑 Examples & Tips

📝 What Is a Critical Analysis?

Criticism is the process of appraising things such as works of art and literature. It comes from the word meaning “able to make judgments”. A critical analysis essay is often referred to as a critical thinking essay, critical response paper, critical evaluation essay, and summary and response essay.

When we hear the word “criticism,” we often associate it with negative judgments. However, to criticize doesn’t necessarily mean to find faults. Even though criticism involves active disagreement, it strives to understand the meaning further and evaluate its efficiency. We call it constructive criticism .

In other words, critical analysis is an evaluation of a piece of work that promotes its better understanding . Have a look at this comparison and see what critical analysis is and what it isn’t:

Aside from art and literature, critical analysis is often used in theoretical research, nursing, and social work. In any of these areas, you have an opportunity to exercise your critical faculties.

Analysis in Writing: Definition & Examples

Analysis is a step you take before writing any paper. It’s aimed at evaluating and interpreting the sources. To do it, you break them down and study them in detail. You can learn more from this article on critical analysis by Southeastern Louisiana University .

In the following table, we’ve compiled several forms of analysis in writing and illustrated each type with a topic example:

What Is the Difference between Summary and Analysis?

Students often confuse analysis with summary and get a lower grade as a result. Here is how two notions differ. A summary is a brief restatement of the text’s main points that involves paraphrasing. An analysis is a detailed examination of the evidence that uncovers something new.

Check out this comparison to understand the difference better:

✍️ How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

Now, we will show you the steps to writing a critical analysis with examples to guide you through this process. Keep in mind that the purpose of your critical analysis paper is to help readers understand a subject to a full extent.

The picture shows the 2 stages of critical analysis.

Critical analysis consists of two stages: critical reading and critical writing. Read on to learn more about them.

Critical Reading Examples & Definition

Critical reading a technique that involves discovering and evaluating the text’s meaning and incorporating it into what you already know. It’s the first stage of critical analysis.

According to Cleveland State University, critical reading occurs after you’ve skimmed the research material and decided where to focus your efforts. While you are reading, use the following techniques to stay on track:

  • Determine the central claim and identify how it is argued;
  • Look for the large patterns that give purpose, order, and meaning to arguments;
  • Contextualize the text within an original historical, political, or religious context;
  • Distinguish the kinds of reasoning and methodology the text employs;
  • Examine the evidence;
  • Recognize manipulations.

When it comes to recognizing manipulations, authors use three persuasive appeals to convince their readers of something: ethos , pathos , and logos .

Now, let’s apply the critical reading techniques to an actual text:

The death estimates during the US invasions of Tokyo were exaggerated by a factor of ten to twenty. The wartime casualty estimates were based on inaccurate assumptions. The data was not updated to exclude the civilians’ deaths and justify the strategic decision to drop off an atomic bomb.

  • What is the text saying?  US bombs killed up to two million people.
  • What is the text doing?  The death estimates were exaggerated to downplay the casualties and emphasize the importance of dropping the atomic bomb.

When you are able to recognize these persuasive modes in your reading, you can master them in writing.

What Is Critical Writing: Definition & Techniques

Critical writing is a process of commenting on another piece of work using several writing strategies. It is the second stage of critical analysis.

Want to know how to write critically? Have a look at the following tips:

  • Take a critical stance: recognize that every text comes from a perspective and is subject to interpretation.
  • Pay close attention: look not only for the facts but also for explanations.
  • Think big picture : put your sources in context with the time it was written.
  • Bring yourself in: consider the connections between several texts and add your own perspective.

When it comes to the critical writing, certain strategies can be beneficial. Yet, others are better to avoid. We’ve compiled the most important dos and don’ts in the table below:

Want to learn more? Check out our article on critical writing .

Critical Analysis Essay Topics: How to Choose

Now that you’ve learned about critical analysis, there is a big question to answer: how do you choose the topic for your essay? It might require using a specific strategy to make the right choice.

Many students find it helpful to have a list of critical thinking questions to answer while brainstorming. We’ve prepared them for you:

  • Theme : How well does the author approach the central theme? Are the arguments strong enough?
  • Organization : Is this piece of work well-structured and easy to follow?
  • Audience : Who is the audience? Are there any manipulations the author is using to persuade the reader?
  • Tone : Is there a specific tone used by the author throughout their work? How does it affect the reader?
  • Bias and informational gaps : Does the author look at their work from several angles? Are there any contradicting arguments or missing information?
  • Word choice : Does the author invent new words? Is the vocabulary serious or silly, casual or technical? How does it affect the overall writing?
  • Logos : Does the author use logic to prove their point?
  • Ethos : Does the author have any proof of their credibility? Do they claim to be an expert? In what ways is the reader’s trust gained?
  • Pathos : Does the author use emotion to connect with the reader? Does the writing appeal to common beliefs and values?

Answering these questions will help you with deciding on critical thinking essay topics. If you want some additional inspiration, feel free to use our topic generator .

Critical Analysis Template

After carefully analyzing all of your sources, you can start writing your first draft using our critical analysis template. Use this outline to structure your essay and to ensure your arguments are related to your thesis.

The picture shows the main parts of a critical analysis essay.

How to Start a Critical Analysis Essay

To create an outstanding opening paragraph, you may want to start it with a hook. It can be a quote from your source or a rhetorical question. Be sure to make it catchy so that it will grab your reader’s attention.

After you’re done with the hook, write the following:

  • the work’s title and some background information,
  • an outline of the main ideas from your sources,
  • your thesis statement.

Here are two introduction examples for your inspiration:

What happens when there is a considerable wage gap between the upper and middle classes? The unsurprising reality forces poor people to use credit cards to pay off their debt. Credit card industries collect interest from those who can’t pay off their debt right away.

A romantic novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is about overcoming social stereotypes in the name of love. Its main character, Elizabeth Bennet, has to fight against her discrimination against wealthy men like Mr. Darcy to find love and be happy.

Critical Analysis Essay: Thesis

A thesis statement is what you are aiming to prove. Ideally, it should be the first thing you write because every other part of your critical analysis paper will be connected to it.

To create a strong thesis statement, you want to start with a broader idea of what you would like to critique. Then, you narrow it down. Choose a debatable thesis so you can back it up with evidence from your sources and anchor your entire paper around it.

The examples below will help you write your essay’s thesis:

People in positions of power are less likely to recognize the social injustice than marginalized groups of the civilian population.

In a 1989 American superhero film Batman, Tim Burton subverts the concept of heroism by refraining Batman from murder and making him morally ambiguous.

Critical Analysis Essays: Summary and Response

The body paragraphs of a critical essay consist of your source’s summary and a response with arguments.

The picture shows the 2 stages of analyzing sources for a critical essay.

A summary should present specific facts from your source to help your reader understand your arguments better. You can use these sentence starters to structure a summary:

  • The book is about…
  • The theme of the article is…
  • The author argues that…
  • The author concludes…
  • The main character is…
  • The main points are…

The main plot of Elizabeth Bennet’s plan to save her family from poverty intersects with stereotypes that romantic love and marriage don’t go together. She does not accept a marriage proposal from Mr. Darcy because she does not want to be walking proof that women marry for money. The rejected proposal leads Darcy to open up and change Elizabeth’s perception of him.

A response should present your main arguments that support your thesis statement. Each argument is a sub-thesis that connects to your central thesis. It’s crucial to discuss each point in detail and prove it with strong evidence.

Your arguments should be:

  • clear, informative, and persuasive;
  • well-researched and backed up with solid evidence;
  • connected to your thesis.

At first, Elizabeth Bennet sees Mr. Darcy only as a powerful man with wealth and high social status. For her, he represents a marriage of convenience that she is so desperately trying to fight against. After Mr. Darcy attempts to separate Jane and Bingley, Elizabeth gets proof for her ideas about powerful men who do everything in their power to destroy a loving relationship for a better financial suit.

Critical Essay Outline: Conclusion

The final stage of essay writing is to ensure you have proven your arguments. The goal of your conclusion is to remind the reader of your thesis and the essay’s main points. You may also want to leave them with some final statements for consideration.

Keep in mind that the concluding paragraph is not a place to introduce new evidence. Instead, you can do the following:

  • Restate your thesis;
  • Summarize your main ideas;
  • Talk about the work’s overall performance or outcome;
  • Identify potential opportunities for further research or investigation.

Elizabeth Bennet struggles with the societal association of marriage with financial stability. Eventually, she marries a rich man, Mr. Darcy, but she marries him for love rather than his money and social status. Her pride and prejudice towards him were destroyed by his acts of kindness and true love. Their relationship had a rough start, but both of them could get their happy ending by breaking out of old beliefs and habits.

✅ Types of Critical Analysis

Choosing the correct type of analysis will help you stay on track with your research objectives. It will give you the anchor to develop your essay around in a systematic manner.

Critical analysis can be categorized into 4 main types:

  • Literary analysis gives a critical evaluation of a literary text.
  • Article analysis reflects upon arguments presented in an article.
  • Media analysis essay interprets messages conveyed through visual media, music, or radio.
  • Cultural analysis interprets cultural phenomena and practices.

Literary Analysis: Definition & Characteristics

Literary analysis is an argument that expresses one’s critical evaluation of a poem, novel, short story, or play. A critique of literature has the same characteristics as other types of critical essays. The difference is the kind of information you can include in this type of essay.

Here’s how to analyze literature:

You will find more interesting info in our article on literary analysis essays .

How to Write an Analysis of an Article

Critical analysis of an article aims to analyze the writing strategies and techniques an author uses to develop their argument. The process is a little different than persuading the reader to accept a particular point of view. Here is a sample outline:

Critical Film Analysis: Types & How to Write

Film analysis goes beyond the plot structure and includes composition elements such as camera work, lighting, costume choices, etc. After watching the film at least twice, you can select what type of film analysis you will be performing. Check out the types and see what they’re about:

  • Semiotic analysis involves interpretation of signs and symbols within a film.
  • Narrative analysis examines the story the film seeks to tell.
  • Historical analysis is an examination of a film’s relationship to a cultural or historical context.
  • Mise-en-scène analysis is an analysis of compositional elements used in a scene or a single shot.

Once you’ve chosen a topic, use this outline to guide you through the writing process:

You can learn more from our article on film analysis .

How to Write a Cultural Analysis Essay

Critical analysis essay refers to your comment upon one specific cultural aspect that works or doesn’t work in a society. After you’ve chosen a topic for your cultural analysis paper, you can start drafting your outline. Here is how the structure of this kind of paper differs from others:

Critical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Critical analysis of qualitative research article.
  • Rhetorical analysis of articles on qualitative studies in healthcare.
  • American Exodus by James N. Gregory: Rhetorical Analysis.
  • Critical analysis of religion and faith .
  • Analyze the sonnet My Mistress’ Eyes by W. Shakespeare .
  • Critical essay on issues of cognitive neuroscience.
  • A Doll House as an example of feminist literature: rhetorical analysis.
  • Conduct a comparative critical analysis of Judaism and Christianity.
  • Rhetorical analysis of an Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf .
  • Semantic meaning of The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath .
  • Critical evaluation of Seligman articles.
  • Analyze psychological literature based on A Clean, Well-Lighted Place by E. Hemingway.
  • Rhetorical analysis of literary devices and expressive means in A Good Man Is Hard to Find .
  • Analyze the characteristic features of drama using the example of Death of a Salesman .
  • Critical analysis of the most popular business strategies .
  • Discuss the problem of childhood obesity in Active Living by Van Kann.
  • Analyze IT strategies and planning.
  • Critical analysis of a controversial art using the example of Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
  • Emotional impact of comedy films.
  • Rhetorical analysis of Sophocles’ Antigone as an example of Greek drama.
  • Influence of Socrate’s philosophy on the ancient Greek playwrights.
  • Critical analysis of Sophocles’ plays.
  • Different sets of values in Everyday Use by A. Walker .
  • Analysis of corporate crimes using the example of Lehman Brothers’ scandal.
  • Critical analysis of a scientific article based on Nursing Pain Management .
  • Different interpretations of A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.
  • Critical analysis of Longinus’ idea of sublime .
  • The importance of a teacher’s role in Freedom Writers .
  • Critical analysis of the efficiency of CBT.
  • Rhetorical analysis of an article on a proactive care program.
  • The concept of emotional intelligence : critical analysis.
  • Evaluate implementation of Windsome’s risk management strategy to enhance the company’s response to stress.
  • The importance of symbolism in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s .
  • Critical analysis of Thomas Paine’s pamphlets.
  • Rhetorical techniques used in Hamlet by W. Shakespeare .
  • In-depth analysis of the modern world’s social issues in The Handmaid’s Tale .
  • Social messages in Robinson’s and Kincaid’s stories.
  • Analysis of rhetorical strategies used in Dwellings by Linda Hogan.
  • Critical analysis of issues elucidated in A Loss for Words by J. Thurman.
  • Discuss the problems of alienation and perception in The Things They Carried .

📑 Critical Analysis Essay Examples & Bonus Tips

The following writing tips will help you understand how to apply your critical thinking skills in practice and write an excellent critical essay on your own.

Critical Essay Format & Free Samples

Looking for some tips on how to format your paper? This section reflects the latest guidelines for citing your sources with the latest APA 7th and MLA 9th publication manuals.

Before you dive into writing your critical analysis paper, get inspired with some compelling essay examples. The first is a film analysis example. You can download the PDF file below:

The Birds  by Alfred Hitchcock is a thriller that derives its suspense from the violence which stands on the borderline with divine retribution. The birds of the film are the symbol of the said violence and primary actors that contribute to the semiotic revelations of the film.

The following critical analysis essay is concerned with a literary work. You can download it below:

Feminism has been influential in various aspects of society for many decades. With the beginning of women’s emancipation, humanity has progressed not only in political and social life but also in science, culture, and literary studies. A feminist standpoint in literature research points to the limited portrayal of the characters in literary works, which showed the world mainly from a patriarchal perspective.

Here’s the list of critical analysis essay examples. You can check them out to get a better understanding of critical analysis and to gain some inspiration.

  • Managing Business Risks: A Critical Analysis
  • Nursing Skills for Palliative Care: A Critical Analysis
  • Critical Analysis of Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research
  • Nighthawks by Edward Hopper: Critical Analysis
  • Roosevelt and Obama: Critical Analysis of Two Speeches
  • “The Love of My Life” by T. C. Boyle Critical Analysis
  • Nursing Education-Practice Gap: Critical Analysis
  • Affordable Care Act: A Critical Analysis
  • Mother Tongue by Amy Tan: Critical Analysis

Bonus Tips: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is the process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information. It is about careful reasoning directed to a goal. The main components of this process include observing, wondering, imagining, experimenting, judging, and deciding.

This type of thinking is instrumental in conducting a critical analysis. To succeed at it, you need to be attentive, confident, and open-minded. Below are some questions that you can ask yourself while thinking critically:

  • Why are you being told this?
  • What are you not being told?
  • Who is telling you this?
  • How reliable is this information?
  • Are there any manipulations involved?
  • How else can you analyze the same material?

Critical thinking is a skill that develops with time and effort. However, you may encounter barriers that can prevent you from making accurate judgments. The following tips will help you overcome them:

  • Step back from your personal feelings and biases
  • Look for different ways to examine the data
  • Check your sources for reliability
  • Do your best to detect manipulations in arguments
  • Always conceptualize what you are reading
  • Challenge your worldview

Want to learn more? Feel free to check out our article on critical thinking essays .

Now you know everything necessary to write a perfect critical analysis essay. Feel free to share this article or leave a comment!

Further reading

  • How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
  • How to Write an Art Critique: Examples & Strategies
  • How to Write an Analysis Essay: Examples + Writing Guide
  • How to Write a Book Review: Format, Outline, & Example
  • How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Outline, Steps, & Examples

❓ Critical Analysis Essay FAQs

When analyzing any literary text, it is essential to evaluate the work and use the theme to support your opinion. The response’s goal is to show the reader what the selection of the source and the theme means to you personally.

The purpose of a response to a literature essay is to inform your reader about something interesting and insightful you found in a literary work. It may focus on the characters, plot, or theme of the story.

In a critical essay, choose the formal language and avoid using “I” statements. Focus on the piece you are analyzing, its strengths, and weaknesses. Using the first-person singular will take away the reader’s attention from your argument to you.

A critical source is a source that interprets, analyzes, critiques, and adds to the discussion of the primary source. It is then integrated into critical writing. The best critical sources can be found through library catalogs and scholarly databases.

🔍 References

  • Critical Analysis: University of Wollongong
  • Some Suggestions on Critically Evaluating Your Reading in History: Carleton College
  • Criticism and Critical Analysis: Kansas State University
  • Resources for Writers: Analytical Writing: Drew University
  • Critical Thinking and Writing: University of Kent
  • Writing Critical Essays about Literature: Gallaudet University
  • Film Analysis: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Cultural Critique: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Writing a Critical or Rhetorical Analysis: Bellevue College
  • Writing Critical Analysis Papers: University of Washington
  • Critical Analysis Template: Thompson Rivers University
  • Writing Effective Summary and Response Essays: Colorado State University
  • Rhetorical/Critical Analysis: Houston Community College
  • Writing Critical Reviews: Queen’s University
  • General APA Guidelines: Purdue University
  • Using MLA Format:
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Critical Analysis Essay: Guide & Examples

How to write a critical analysis essay

Table of contents


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Critical analysis is a thorough assessment of someone else's ideas or work. When writiing a critical analysis essay, students are required to express their interpretation and evaluation of the work. You can analyze the quality of different components, including content, structure, and style.  Critical analysis can be used to judge literary works, movies, articles and more.

In this blog post, we will shed more light on how to write a critical analysis essay and structure it properly. We will provide an outline and examples to help you undestand all the intricacies. By following tips prepared by our essay writers service , you will write a great essay and improve your critical analysis skills! 

What Is Critical Analysis: Definition

In  critical analysis essays , you should process and evaluate academic works. It can be one statement of text or entire story as a whole. In the latter case, it is customary to divide text into separate components. This type of essay combines skills of critical reading, thinking, and writing. So, in other words, you make a statement about how particular ideas are conveyed. Then you back up this statement with evidence from sources.  

How to Write a Critical Analysis: Step-By-Step

Let's figure out how to write a critical analysis essay. You may be asked for this type of essay to improve your knowledge since its writing process will help you identify contradictions, errors, and statements in work. In this type of paper, you should be fully engaged in the reading process.

Step 2. Make a Critical Analysis Essay Outline

Basis of your critical analysis paper outline is a provable thesis. Develop and confirm your point of view so that your readers immediately understand what will be discussed. In addition, there should be a brief overview of criticized work. Devote parts of a body paragraph to substantiating the central idea. If you find it difficult, try thinking out loud, fixing your thoughts on a draft. At this stage of work, you can use the opinions of various literary critics. But do not forget that it is your point of view that is most important. Demonstrate connections between central ideas and all your thoughts on this matter. In conclusion, sum up the thesis and evidence around it. Shortly describe body content. And finish up with the most vital thought.  

Step 3. Create an Introduction to a Critical Analysis Essay

In critical analysis introduction, identify an author and work itself. We recommend you start with a hook to draw attention. Briefly describe problems raised in work. In case of scientific work, be sure that you indicated purpose, statement, and arguments.

Step 4. Write Body Paragraphs for Your Critical Analysis

Move on to the main body of your critical analysis. It should be longer than introduction and conclusion. This part should be devoted to the presence of arguments, counter arguments, and goals. Determine key questions and what requires further clarification. Explain your point of view and suggest problems’ solutions. Focus on ideas revealed by the author. Describe the most successful and unfortunate moments. It should be more creative writing essays than scientific ones so that your paper will hook readers with something and make them read the original.

Step 5. Conclude Your Critical Analysis

Let's move to the conclusion for critical analysis essay. To make a strong final, describe your particular points and arguments on analyzed work. Do you agree with the author's arguments? Suggest your solutions, which you discovered while reading materials. What can be improved or supplemented? Also, indicate the author's significance and work done. Wrap up with your final thought. Can't write a critical analysis ending? Remeber to use our concluding paragraph generator .

Step 6. Proofread Your Critical Analysis Essay

Reread your critical analysis essay and make any necessary corrections. Correct mistakes, delete insignificant details, add missing points. At the same time, make sure that your work is written in a warm tone. It should not contain inappropriate attacks on the author.

Tips for Writing Your Critical Analysis

We prepared three helpful tips for writing a critical analysis essay .

  • Think clearly! You can provide any argument, but strive for accuracy. Before pointing out a fact, check it carefully. Ask yourself questions: how do I know this?
  • Be concise! Cause and effect relationships should be correctly established. You should only find information that is relevant to the problem. In order not to be mistaken, use the question: "Why did this happen?" At this time, focus on building a symbolic system. Describe characters' features. Use original literary techniques.
  • Write locally! Conclude whether the author's argument corresponds to logic of work. After that, indicate your own judgments. Personal opinion also needs to be linked to the topic of the essay. So your readers should understand what you want to say. At the same time, try to think broadly, be open to alternative ideas.

Critical Analysis Essay Example

Below we provide you with some critical analysis paper examples. As you can see, content should be specific. Follow our template and compare your and the author's opinions.

Critical Analysis Essay: Final Thoughts

A critical analysis essay will help you master writing and necessary thinking skills. Keep in mind that it should not contain a retelling of the entire book. Your task is to share your experience and thoughts, not present plot. State thesis and provide your readers with strong arguments throughout the paper. We believe that with our guide, you will manage to succeed! Still, we understand that critical analysis is quite complex. It takes time to master. And, thus, we are more than happy to offer our helping hand in creating your critical analysis.


Let us know the details and we will find the most fitting academic writer to help you pass this task quickly and without effort!  


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


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How to Write a Literary Analysis

Frequently Asked Questions About Critical Analysis

1. how long should a critical analytical essay be.

Critical analysis essay does not have an unambiguous uniform volume. You need to make sure your teacher specifies this in instructions. Because volume varies enormously depending on subject and study level. In general, keep in mind that introductions should be 2-3 paragraphs. Same goes with the conclusion. And body paragraphs should be larger.

2. What is the difference between critical analysis and critical thinking?

Critical thinking and analysis are 2 different things. The first one is a way of processing information. It is defined by various aspects, abilities, and competencies. An analysis is assessing something so that others can understand it better. It is an academic writing that helps students get more knowledge in the discussed field. This essay type does not require interpretive thinking. It needs understanding and ability to describe it.

3. What is a critical analysis format?

Critical analysis format can be the same as any other essay type. Your teacher can ask you to write it in APA, MLA, or Chicago formatting style. So we recommend you to follow our guides on these formats.

4. Why is critical analysis important?

Critical analysis helps process questions and information that is being discussed. Because this type of essay helps to constantly reflect, describe and interpret ideas. Thus, this type of essay helps to better understand the subject and analyze facts.

CISL English Language Schools, California

50 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Note: this list is for advanced English learners (CEFR level B2 or above). All definitions are from the Cambridge Dictionary online . 

Definition: to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause a change in someone or something.

Example: Experts agree that coffee affects the body in ways we have not yet studied.

Definition: to increase the size or effect of something.

Example: It has been shown that this drug amplifies the side effects that were experienced by patients in previous trials.

Definition: to say that something is certainly true .

Example: Smith asserts that his findings are valid, despite criticism by colleagues.


Definition: Something that characterizes another thing is typical of it.

Example: His early paintings are characterized by a distinctive pattern of blue and yellow.

Definition: to say that something is true or is a fact , although you cannot prove it and other people might not believe it.

Example: Smith claims that the study is the first of its kind, and very different from the 2015 study he conducted.

Definition: to make something clear or easier to understand by giving more details or a simpler explanation .

Example: The professor clarified her statement with a later, more detailed, statement.

Definition: t o collect information from different places and arrange it in a book , report , or list .

Example: After compiling the data, the scientists authored a ten-page paper on their study and its findings.

Definition: to judge or decide something after thinking carefully about it.

Example: Doctor Jensen concluded that the drug wasn’t working, so he switched his patient to a new medicine.

Definition: to prove that a belief or an opinion that was previously not completely certain is true .

Example: This new data confirms the hypothesis many researchers had.

Definition: to join or be joined with something else .

Example: By including the criticisms of two researchers, Smith connects two seemingly different theories and illustrates a trend with writers of the Romanticism period.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays


Definition: to show or find the difference between things that are compared .

Example: Smith differentiates between the two theories in paragraph 4 of the second part of the study.

Definition: to reduce or be reduced in s i ze or importance .

Example: The new findings do not diminish the findings of previous research; rather, it builds on it to present a more complicated theory about the effects of global warming.

Definition: to cause people to stop respecting someone or believing in an idea or person .

Example: The details about the improper research done by the institution discredits the institution’s newest research.

Definition: to show.

Example: Smith’s findings display the effects of global warming that have not yet been considered by other scientists.

Definition: to prove that something is not true .

Example: Scientists hope that this new research will disprove the myth that vaccines are harmful to children.


Definition: to notice or understand the difference between two things, or to make one person or thing seem different from another.

Example: Our study seems similar to another one by Duke University: how can we distinguish ourselves and our research from this study?

Definition: to add more information to or explain something that you have said.

Example: In this new paper, Smith elaborates on theories she discussed in her 2012 book.

Definition:  to represent a quality or an idea exactly .

Example: Shakespeare embodies English theater, but few can understand the antiquated (old) form of English that is used in the plays.

Definition: to copy something achieved by someone else and try to do it as well as they have.

Example: Although the study emulates some of the scientific methods used in previous research, it also offers some inventive new research methods.

Definition: to improve the quality , amount , or strength of something.

Example: The pharmaceutical company is looking for ways to enhance the effectiveness of its current drug for depression.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Definition: to make something necessary , or to involve something.

Example: The scientist’s study entails several different stages, which are detailed in the report.

Definition: to consider one thing to be the same as or equal to another thing.

Example: Findings from both studies equate; therefore, we can conclude that they are both accurate.


Definition: to discover or get proof of something.

Example: The award establishes the main causes of global warming.

Definition: to make someone remember something or feel an emotion .

Example: The artist’s painting evokes the work of some of the painters from the early 1800s.

Definition: to show something.

Example: Some of the research study participants exhibit similar symptoms while taking the medicine.


Definition: to make something possible or easier .

Example: The equipment that facilitates the study is expensive and of high-quality.

Definition: the main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest .

Example: The author focuses on World War II, which is an era she hasn’t written about before.


Definition: to act as a warning or sign of a future event .

Example: The sick bird at the beginning of the novel foreshadows the illness the main character develops later in the book.

Definition: to develop all the details of a plan for doing something.

Example: Two teams of scientists formulated the research methods for the study.

Definition: to cause something to exist .

Example: The study’s findings have generated many questions about this new species of frog in South America.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Definition:   to attract attention to or emphasize something important .

Example: The author, Dr. Smith, highlights the need for further studies on the possible causes of cancer among farm workers.

Definition: to recognize a problem , need, fact , etc. and to show that it exists .

Example: Through this study, scientists were able to identify three of the main factors causing global warming.


Definition:   to show the meaning or truth of something more clearly , especially by giving examples .

Example: Dr. Robin’s study illustrates the need for more research on the effects of this experimental drug.

Definition: to communicate an idea or feeling without saying it directly .

Example: The study implies that there are many outside factors (other than diet and exercise) which determine a person’s tendency to gain weight.


Definition: to include something as part of something larger .

Example: Dr. Smith incorporates research findings from 15 other studies in her well-researched paper.

Definition: to show, point , or make clear in another way.

Example: Overall, the study indicates that there is no real danger (other than a lack of sleep) to drinking three cups of coffee per day.

Definition: to form an opinion or guess that something is true because of the information that you have.

Example: From this study about a new medicine, we can infer that it will work similarly to other drugs that are currently being sold.

Definition: to tell someone about parti c ular facts .

Example: Dr. Smith informs the reader that there are some issues with this study: the oddly rainy weather in 2017 made it difficult for them to record the movements of the birds they were studying.

Definition: to suggest , without being direct , that something unpleasant is true .

Example: In addition to the reported conclusions, the study insinuates that there are many hidden dangers to driving while texting.

Definition: to combine two or more things in order to become more effective .

Example: The study about the popularity of social media integrates Facebook and Instagram hashtag use.

 Verbs of Analysis for English Academic Essays

Definition: to not have or not have enough of something that is needed or wanted .

Example: What the study lacks, I believe, is a clear outline of the future research that is needed.


Definition: to make something legal or acceptable .

Example: Although the study legitimizes the existence of global warming, some will continue to think it is a hoax.

Definition: to make a problem bigger or more important .

Example: In conclusion, the scientists determined that the new pharmaceutical actually magnifies some of the symptoms of anxiety.

Definition: something that a copy can be based on because it is an extremely good example of its type .

Example: The study models a similar one from 1973, which needed to be redone with modern equipment.

Definition: to cause something to have no effect .

Example: This negates previous findings that say that sulphur in wine gives people headaches.

Definition: to not give enough c a re or attention to people or things that are your responsibility .

Example: The study neglects to mention another study in 2015 that had very different findings.

Definition: to make something difficult to discover and understand .

Example: The problems with the equipment obscures the study.

Definition: a description of the main facts about something.

Example: Before describing the research methods, the researchers outline the need for a study on the effects of anti-anxiety medication on children.

Definition:   to fail to notice or consider something or someone.

Example: I personally feel that the study overlooks something very important: the participants might have answered some of the questions incorrectly.

Definition: to happen at the same time as something else , or be similar or equal to something else .

Example: Although the study parallels the procedures of a 2010 study, it has very different findings.

Converse International School of Languages offers an English for Academic Purposes course for students interested in improving their academic English skills. Students may take this course, which is offered in the afternoon for 12 weeks, at both CISL San Diego and CISL San Francisco . EAP course graduates can go on to CISL’s Aca demic Year Abroad program, where students attend one semester at a California Community College. Through CISL’s University Pathway program, EAP graduates may also attend college or university at one of CISL’s Pathway Partners. See the list of 25+ partners on the CISL website . Contact CISL for more information.  

Critical writing: Signposting

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“Do not expect your reader to make the connections in your ideas ... make those connections explicit” Andy Gillet, Angela Hammond and Mary Martala, Successful Academic Writing

Signposting words and phrases are essential elements of academic writing - they make your writing flow. By making explicit how points are connected to each other you make it easier for your reader to follow your arguments . The reader is, after all, your marker and you don't want to make their job too hard. This page gives you a selection of common phrases that you can use to link together your paragraphs and so make logical connections between your ideas.

Student holding sign saying "Here's a new idea"

Signposts to introduce something new

One aspect which illustrates … can be identified as …

The current debate about … illustrates/identifies/highlights …

With regard to…/ with respect to…

Initially/secondly/finally, …

student holding sign saying "...and there's more"

Continuing an argument with a related point

Furthermore, …

To further understand the role of …

In addition, …

Similarly, …

Likewise, …

What is more, …

Moreover, …

Another issue regarding … is …

Another line of thought on … is …

Student holding magnifying glass thinking "focus"

Going into more detail on a point/rephrasing

In particular, …

Specifically, …

Concentrating on …

By focusing on … in more detail, it is possible to …

To be more precise, …

In other words, …

To put simply … /To simplify, ...

Stident holding two signs saying "Here's a good point" and "& here's another"

Linking to a different point 

Having established …, it is possible to consider …

… is one key issue; another of equal/ similar importance/significance is …

Also of importance is the issue of …

Student holding sign saying "I want to look at this some more"

Reintroducing a topic

As discussed/explained earlier, …

The earlier discussion on … can be developed further here, …

As stated previously, …

As noted above, …

Student holding two signs saying "Some think this" and "Others disagree"

Introducing an opposing/alternative view

However, …

Conversely, …

In contrast, …

Alternatively, …

Nevertheless/Nonetheless, …

An alternative perspective is given by … who suggests/argues that …

Despite this, …

This conflicts with the view held by …

Student holding a sign saying "Am I persuading you?"

Reasoning/summarising the point

Consequently/As a consequence, …

Accordingly, …

Therefore, …

What this means/suggests is...

It could be concluded that …

The strength of such an approach is that …

For this reason …

Evidently*, …

Clearly/It is clear that, …*

Naturally*, …

It is clear that* …

In short, …

From this, it can be concluded/inferred/suggested that …

The evidence highlights that …

------ *Only use such phrases if you really are sure that your arguments cannot be challenged.

These are just a selection of the phrases you can you to make your writing flow and to keep the reader with you and following your line of argument. Academics often complain about a lack of this in assignments they mark so make sure you use them in your writing.

Don't overdo it . Only use signposts when they add clarity to your work. Some students try to put a signposting word into every sentence which can actually obscure meaning.

Be precise . The signposting words have very specific meanings. Only use a word like 'consequently' if you really mean that the following sentence is a true consequence of the previous one!

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The Story of an Hour Critical Analysis Essay

Looking for a critical analysis of The Story of an Hour ? The essay on this page contains a summary of Kate Chopin’s short story, its interpretation, and feminist criticism. Find below The Story of an Hour critique together with the analysis of its characters, themes, symbolism, and irony.


Works cited.

The Story of an Hour was written by Kate Chopin in 1984. It describes a woman, Mrs. Mallard, who lost her husband in an accident, but later the truth came out, and the husband was alive. This essay will discuss The Story of an Hour with emphasis on the plot and development of the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, who goes through contrasting emotions and feelings that finally kill her on meeting her husband at the door, yet he had been said to be dead.

The Story of an Hour Summary

Kate Chopin narrated the story of a woman named Mrs. Mallard who had a heart health problem. One day the husband was mistaken to have died in an accident that occurred. Due to her heart condition, her sister had to take care while breaking the bad news to her. She was afraid that such news of her husband’s death would cost her a heart attack. She strategized on how to break the news to her sister bit by bit, which worked perfectly well. Mrs. Mallard did not react as expected; instead, she started weeping just once.

She did not hear the story as many women have had the same with a paralyzed inability to accept its significance. She wept once, with sudden, wild abandonment, in her sister’s arms (Woodlief 2).

Mrs. Mallard wondered how she would survive without a husband. She went to one room and locked herself alone to ponder what the death of her husband brought to her life. She was sorrowful that her husband had died, like it is human to be sad at such times. This is someone very close to her, but only in a short span of time was no more. This sudden death shocked her. Her sister Josephine and friends Mr. Richard and Louise are also sorry for the loss (Taibah 1).

As she was in that room alone, she thought genuinely about the future. Unexpectedly, she meditated on her life without her husband. Apart from sorrow, she started counting the better part of her life without her husband. She saw many opportunities and freedom to do what she wanted with her life. She believed that the coming years would be perfect for her as she only had herself to worry about. She even prayed that life would be long.

After some time, she opened the door for Josephine, her sister, who had a joyous face. They went down the stairs of the house, and Mr. Mallard appeared as he opened the gate. Mr. Mallard had not been involved in the accident and could not understand why Josephine was crying. At the sight of her husband, Mr. Mallard, his wife, Mrs. Mallard, collapsed to death. The doctors said that she died because of heart disease.

The Story of an Hour Analysis

Mrs. Mallard was known to have a heart problem. Richard, who is Mr. Mallard’s friend, was the one who learned of Mr. Mallard’s death while in the office and about the railroad accident that killed him. They are with Josephine, Mrs. Mallard’s sister, as she breaks the news concerning the sudden death of her husband. The imagery clearly describes the situation.

The writer brought out the suspense in the way he described how the news was to be broken to a person with a heart problem. There is a conflict that then follows in Mrs. Mallard’s response which becomes more complicated. The death saddens Mrs. Mallard, but, on the other hand, she counts beyond the bitter moments and sees freedom laid down for her for the rest of her life. The description of the room and the environment symbolize a desire for freedom.

This story mostly focuses on this woman and a marriage institution. Sad and happy moments alternate in the protagonist, Mrs. Mallard. She is initially sad about the loss of her husband, then in a moment, ponders on the effects of his death and regains strength.

Within a short period, she is shocked by the sight of her husband being alive and even goes to the extreme of destroying her life. She then dies of a heart attack, whereas she was supposed to be happy to see her husband alive. This is an excellent contrast of events, but it makes the story very interesting.

She could see in the open square before her house the tops of trees that were all aquiver with the new spring life. The delicious breath of rain was in the air. In the street below, a peddler was crying his wares. The notes of a distant song that someone was singing reached her faintly, and countless sparrows were twittering in the eaves. There were patches of blue sky showing here and there through the clouds that had met and piled one above the other in the west facing her window (Woodlief 1).

Therefore, an open window is symbolic. It represents new opportunities and possibilities that she now had in her hands without anyone to stop her, and she refers to it as a new spring of life.

She knew that she was not in a position to bring her husband back to life.

Her feelings were mixed up. Deep inside her, she felt that she had been freed from living for another person.

She did not stop to ask if it were or were not a monstrous joy that held her… She knew that she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death, the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead (Sparknotes 1).

The author captured a marriage institution that was dominated by a man. This man, Mr. Mallard, did not treat his wife as she would like (the wife) at all times, only sometimes. This Cleary showed that she was peaceful even if her husband was dead. Only some sorrow because of the loss of his life but not of living without him. It seemed that she never felt the love for her husband.

And yet she had loved him sometimes. Often she had not. What did it matter! What could love the unsolved mystery, count for in the face of this procession of self-assertion which she suddenly recognized as the strongest impulse of her being! (Woodlief 1).

How could a wife be peaceful at the death of her husband? Though people thought that she treasured her husband, Mr. Mallard, so much and was afraid that she would be stressed, she did not see much of the bitterness like she found her freedom. This reveals how women are oppressed in silence but never exposed due to other factors such as wealth, money, and probably outfits.

As much as wealth is essential, the characters Mr. and Mrs. Mallard despise the inner being. Their hearts were crying amid a physical smile: “Free! Body and soul free!”…Go away. I am not making myself ill.” No; she was drinking in a very elixir of life through that open window” (Woodlief 1).

In this excerpt, Mrs. Mallard knows what she is doing and believes that she is not harming herself. Instead, she knew that though the husband was important to her, marriage had made her a subject to him. This was not in a positive manner but was against her will. It seems she had done many things against her will, against herself, but to please her husband.

Mrs. Mallard’s character is therefore developed throughout this story in a short time and reveals many values that made her what she was. She is a woman with a big desire for freedom that was deprived by a man in marriage. She is very emotional because after seeing her freedom denied for the second time by her husband, who was mistaken to have died, she collapses and dies. The contrast is when the writer says, “She had died of heart disease…of the joy that kills” (Woodlief 1).

Mrs. Mallard was not able to handle the swings in her emotions, and this cost her life. Mr. Mallard was left probably mourning for his wife, whom he never treasured. He took her for granted and had to face the consequences. Oppressing a wife or another person causes a more significant loss to the oppressor. It is quite ironic that Mr. Mallard never knew that his presence killed his wife.

Sparknotes. The Story of an Hour. Sparknotes, 2011. Web.

Taibah. The Story of an Hour. Taibah English Forum, 2011. Web.

Woodlief. The story of an hour . VCU, 2011. Web.

Further Study: FAQ

📌 who is the protagonist in the story of an hour, 📌 when was the story of an hour written, 📌 what is the story of an hour about, 📌 what is the conclusion the story of an hour.

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IvyPanda. (2018, October 12). The Story of an Hour Critical Analysis Essay.

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Critical Reading Analysis

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Words: 468 |

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Words: 468 | Page: 1 | 3 min read

Table of contents

Importance of critical reading analysis, benefits of critical reading analysis, effective application of critical reading analysis.

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critical analysis essay words


  1. How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Critical Writing Guide

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    Step two: Writing the critical analysis essay. Taking time to organize your ideas before you begin writing can shorten the amount of time that you spend working on your critical analysis essay. As an added bonus, the quality of your essay will likely be higher if you have a plan before writing.

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  21. The Story of an Hour Critical Analysis Essay

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