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How to Write a Critical Essay

Critical essay writing is very common in school. Such form of essay writing involves analysis of strengths, weaknesses and methods of someone else’s work. Generally, these begin with a brief overview of the main points of the particular text, work of art or movie, followed by an analysis of the works meaning. Critical essay writing can be about another essay, story, book, poem, movie or work of art.

The following are steps to follow when writing a Critical Essay.

The following are the steps on How to Write a Critical Essay

STEP 1: Performing a Critical Reading and Research of your Sources

A Critical Essay requires that one gives a detailed analysis of someone else’s work. In order to come up with a complete and detailed analysis, critical reading of the particular text is required by being familiar with the primary text. Be it a book or film, go through it severally both inside and out so that you familiarize yourself completely. If required to use sources for your critical essay, you will need to do some thorough research. These could be from either primary or secondary sources. Articles from scholar journals and books are some of the sources you would consider using in your research. While on this, highlight the significant passages or take down notes so that you can get back to them while writing the essay.

STEP 2: Evaluating sources to determine credibility

When writing a critical essay, all the information you give is expected to be of credible nature and hence trustworthy. Ensure that the sources you choose qualify for credibility before using them in your essay. Ensure that the sources at least have an author’s name and are of legit publication before going ahead to use them.

STEP 3: Writing the Introduction

Your critical essay introduction should begin with an engaging sentence that gets right into the topic.  Highlight the main idea of your essay to help you show your stand.

Below is an introduction of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

The myth of Atlantis is probably the most cryptic of stories ever told since childhood. That of a whole continent lying under water having been inhabited by a purported indigenous civilization. There were however numerous hints that Atlantis was actually a real place and this made historians and archaeologists all over the world interested in at least finding remains of the same.

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist” Salman Rushdie. This quote sums up the debate about freedom of speech and hate speech.

STEP 4: Writing the Thesis

Having developed your ideas, you should be in a position to come up with a tentative thesis. Ensure that your thesis expresses the main focus of your critical essay. Your thesis statement should be as catchy as possible and should include either a globally accepted saying or anecdote and should be detailed enough. The thesis statement is effective when it appears at the end of the introduction paragraph.

Below is a thesis statement of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Hitherto, the myth of Atlantis remains controversial and reall debated about. There have been numerous theories over time regarding its exact location, the type of people that inhabited there and why the extinction of the particular civilization

STEP 5: Writing the Body Paragraphs

You are expected to use multiple paragraphs to explain the various aspects of your text. These paragraphs should however contribute in the buildup of your earlier on stated thesis. Ensure each paragraph has just a single aspect of your essay and should be different from the other paragraphs but related.

Body paragraph 1in a Critical Essay

It is at this point that you give your first point while explaining it. You begin with a topic sentence, followed by examples and reasons to support your point.

Topic Sentence:

This is the first sentence of your body paragraph. It should be the strongest of your points so that you do not lose the reader’s attention. It should introduce the reader to what your paragraph will be about. Begin by providing a claim regarding the subject of your text.

Below is a Topic Sentence for Body Paragraph 1 in a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Atlantis has over time remained the subject of a number of research studies throughout the many centuries.

Reason 1:

This entails your argument that also gives a further explanation of the topic sentence that you had earlier on stated. You should give all evidence possible to support your argument while using relevant examples from either your primary or secondary sources.

Below is how body paragraphs are structured in a research paper.

Below is Reason 1 of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Some of the research findings have not stood up to criticism. A good example is that of a Swedish scholar who claimed that Atlantis was part of ancient Sweden and that Atlantis capital was his hometown, Uppsala. Another scholar also came up insisting that Atlantis was located in South Africa. However in the 18th Century, it became popular that Atlantis was actually located within the Arctic Circle and simultaneously, somewhere in Central Asia.

Body Paragraph 2 in a Critical Essay

In this paragraph, you give your second strongest point and like paragraph one, include relevant explanations and examples to support your argument.

Below is Body Paragraph 2 of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Topic Sentence:

It is at this point that you introduce the reader to your second paragraph. It highlights what will be in the second body paragraph. Like in paragraph 1, begin your paragraph by stating your other claim regarding the text.

Below is the Topic Sentence of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Professor James Romm however gave a more realistic explanation regarding the emergence of Atlantis.

Reason 2:

This entails a further explanation of your topic sentence. It should include facts and examples that support the argument that you had already highlighted at the topic sentence. Ensure that your sources are legit for the purpose of credibility.

Below is Reason 2 of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Professor Romm believed that Atlantis was actually metaphorical as introduced by Plato while illustrating his philosophical concepts. According to Professor Romm, Atlantis was a successful and prosperous state that fell to corruption for which the gods punished its people. Romm says that Plato’s ideas about divinity versus human nature, ideal societies, and the gradual corruption of human society were ideas found in most of his works. He added that Atlantis was just another of Plato’s vehicles that he used I ferrying his themes. If analyzed from this perspective, Plato’s story about Atlantis starts making sense, because it directly corresponds with his philosophical ideals. Besides, there is more proof that Atlantis must have been a metaphor rather than an actual historic reality.

STEP 6: Writing the Conclusion in a Critical Essay

Your conclusion in a critical essay should basically aim at emphasizing on what you have discussed in the body paragraphs. You could begin by summarizing and reviewing the main ideas you pointed out in your text, after which you could call the reader to action or further exploration of the particular topic. Conclude by presenting the new questions that your essay introduced.

Below is the conclusion paragraph of a Critical Essay about

Till date, it is not really clear whether Atlantis actually existed or not. Romantics believe in its existence while clinging onto some of the unreliable theories that were introduced in the past. However, the most reliable explanation is that Atlantis must have just been Plato’s metaphor, one trying to explain some of his philosophical themes and concepts. This makes perfect sense through the legend of Atlantis where Plato described a prosperous civilization that fell victim to its own immorality, corruption and greed.

STEP 7: Writing the References

References should be included in a Critical Essay to acknowledge the work of authors who have earlier on written on the topic. References also convince the reader that you did your research and you have solid evidence.

Below are references of a Critical Essay about Atlantis Theories

Works Cited

“Explaining the Legend of Atlantis.” National Geographic. N.p., 24 May 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.

“Atlantis Theories.” OMNI Media. N.p., 19 May 2016. Web. 12 June 2017.

Pruitt, Sarah. “Top 6 Theories About Atlantis.” A&E Television Networks, 16 Oct. 2015. Web. 12 June 2017.

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