How to Write Critical Essays – 3 Steps to Writing a Good Essay

If you have been struggling with how to write critical essays, then this article will give you the 3 essential elements of good essay writing.
These elements include reading, summarising the main arguments, analysing these arguments, and providing a clear summary of your conclusions.
Step 1 in How to Write Critical Essays – Read and Summarise the Main Points and Arguments
In order to make a critical assessment of any work or subject, it is necessary to first read and understand each of the main opinions of authors and experts in that field of study.
So, as a starting point in how to write critical essays, always read and learn as much as possible about the topic to be covered. You can get your information from several sources – printed books and magazines, online material, interviews, films etc.
The next step in learning how to write critical essays is to summarise in your own words the main points or arguments you have read or heard. Put all these summaries into an initial draft which will form the basis for your critical essay.
Make sure you write down all your reference sources, including page numbers, as you go along. This will make it much easy to compile your reference list when you have finished your essay.
Remember, this is not the finished work, merely the first step towards producing your essay. Following this step will ensure you go through all the arguments and criticisms one at a time. This will help to build up in your mind how best to approach the subject and how to highlight areas that are of particular importance.
Now that you have completed the ‘reading and summarising’ part of how to write a critical essay, you can move on to the ‘analysis’ stage.
Step 2 in How to Write Critical Essays – Analyse the Main Points and Arguments
Taking each main point one at a time you can then begin your critical analysis.
This means evaluating what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ about each point raised by the various authors, and the reasons why. You can also offer alternative opinions about the issues being raised, and explain why these alternatives provide a better understanding of a subject, or are more valid.
This is the core essence of how to write critical essays.
Remember that your analysis and critique must be backed up by the ‘evidence’ you have collected during Step 1.
It is essential that you convey to the reader the relative merit of each author’s statements and view points. This means having a thorough understanding of what is being written about, or shown – only then can a proper critical assessment be made.
Step 3 in How to Write Critical Essays – Summarise and State Your Conclusions
The final step in ‘how to write critical essays’ is to summarise your main points and arguments, and bring them together into a final statement that makes it clear how you ‘stand’ on the essay topic. When summarizing the points made, explain in your own words why you have reached these conclusions.
Remember to use short sentences where possible, and keep your paragraphs fairly short. This makes for easier reading and helps the reader to absorb the contents quickly.
By following these 3 steps you can easily produce a good quality essay, and in the process, enhance your research and essay writing skills.

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