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Writing A Good Critical Analysis Essay: The Essential Tips


When studying in school, college or university, students will often be required to write a variety of different academic papers. Whilst some academic papers are commonly set by teachers, such as argumentative essays and compare and contrast essays, others will be less frequently written.

For example, a critical analysis essay is the kind of paper that some students may never write; as a result of the frequency with which this kind of paper is often set, some students will not necessarily understand the requirements if and when they have been asked to write one. To give you a better understanding of what you should do, the following outlines some essential tips.

Deciding what to write about

A critical analysis paper will often be used to discuss a particular piece of literature. Essentially, you will be analysing what has been written and providing various criticisms about what you read. In fact, there will be various different things that you will be trying to discuss when writing such a piece of work, including the aims of the piece of work, any themes that were used, the style of writing, and anything else that you think is relevant.

In order to choose a good topic to write about, it is quite important to have an appropriate piece of literature to discuss. Therefore, you don’t want something that is too small, and will not provide you with enough content to analyse. Also, you may wish to look at something that has various themes running throughout it, as you can then discuss these themes, and how successful they were.

Be prepared to identify any successes and failures as part of your criticisms

When some people think of a critical analysis essay, they immediately assume that they should be criticising what has been written by identifying any failures or negative aspects of the literature. However, whilst it is perfectly acceptable to identify any areas that you think are not as good as they should be, you should also provide details of any positive aspects of the literature as part of your analysis.

In fact, it can be a good idea to try and essentially look at the pros and cons, or the advantages and disadvantages relating to the way in which the work has been written. Then, when it comes to your conclusion, you can refer back to any points that you have made, in order to evaluate whether not the overall piece of literature was a success or failure.