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How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay Step by Step

Essay paper writing


Writing a critical thinking paper is a complicated task that requires analytical skills and the ability to process and evaluate information, providing your personal, well-justified opinion on the topic in focus. This article provides straightforward instructions and tips on how to write a high-quality critical thinking essay, what outline to choose, and how to edit such a paper.

Besides, you will see a list of interesting topics you can use to practice writing, a detailed video guide on creating a good critical thinking essay, and some samples.

What Is Critical Thinking Essay

A critical thinking essay is a type of assignment aimed at teaching students to carefully analyze information, work with concepts, develop arguments and counter-arguments, and express their ideas based on the conducted research. 

The importance of critical thinking essay is unquestionable, as people who can analyze any issue from several facets will be resistant to manipulations and stereotypes and safe from making rush decisions. There is a separate discipline called critical thinking in many educational establishments. Many teachers regard critical thinking in writing as an excellent opportunity to encourage students to be open to different opinions and come up with objective conclusions.

It is important to understand that thinking critically doesn’t mean criticizing anything or anybody. The essence of a critical thinking essay is to describe a specific concept, argument, or evidence in an unbiased manner. Thus, you don’t simply express your ideas but navigate multiple data sources, work through the information, and either support or reject the argument. Of course, the process may be time-consuming, but it will surely help students approach and evaluate different situations and facts more thoroughly.

Steps for Writing a Critical Thinking Essay

Writing a critical thinking essay, you have to manipulate multiple data assets and can get tired quickly. However, if you follow the steps presented below, you will be able to organize the entire process better and achieve the desired result without stressing out.

1. Choose a Topic for Critical Thinking Essay

When professors ask students to write a critical thinking essay, they usually reveal the topic straight away. Thus, learners already understand what the focus of their research will be. However, sometimes, teachers let students choose a topic themselves. In this case, you need to be very mindful of an argument, concept, phenomenon, or situation you will write about. It is better to select something that you are genuinely interested in.

It is important to pick a topic with at least several basic arguments you can build your critical thinking essay around. Moreover, make sure there is enough data for studying and analyzing.

2. Conduct Research and Collect Information

Critical thinking in essay writing presupposes that you cannot base the arguments on your personal preferences, religious beliefs, political ideas, etc. You should be flexible in accepting different points of view at this stage. Moreover, it is advisable to look up different scholarly sources to have a reliable basis for your essay.

You can start your search with online platforms, printed newspapers, magazines, and books. The main thing here is to avoid questionable resources; otherwise, your critical thinking essay will be undependable, and you will likely receive poor grades.

You should be very accurate when choosing scientific sources. It is not enough to find a single article where an author claims a particular concept is correct and undeniable. Instead, you need to read various materials and analyze them meticulously.  

3. Develop and Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis is a core argument you are discussing in your critical thinking essay. A good thesis statement serves as a hook to intrigue readers and touches upon the topic you are addressing. Besides, it helps you define the aim you need to achieve in body paragraphs. Usually, a thesis statement is one sentence long.

4. Prepare an Outline

The outline of a critical thinking paper is rather standard:

  • First, present the topic/issue you are considering in the form of a thesis statement. It is also recommended to include a “catch” sentence and provide some factual background data.
  • Next, define an approximate number of paragraphs. You may put down a starting sentence for each paragraph to have a more precise writing plan. Keep in mind that every paragraph should have one argument reinforced with examples and evidence. It is also necessary to indicate the source of information you used.
  • Finally, restate a thesis, overview the points you made, and come up with a conclusion where your thesis is proven.

5. Write a Rough Draft

When you have a rough outline of your critical thinking essay, you should start structuring the information in accordance with it. Every paragraph in a body section must be devoted to a distinct argument or piece of evidence in favor of your point. It is paramount to anticipate objections that may appear. Try to imagine what your opponents may think about when reading your paper. Include several logical statements that specify why their criticism is ungrounded.

 6. Revise and Edit Your Critical Thinking Essay

Writing critical thinking papers isn’t easy. Chances are high that your rough draft requires meticulous editing and revising. Leave your paper aside and return to it in several hours or even a day to evaluate its quality as accurately as possible. Sometimes, you may even need to alter an initial thesis if you think that you can make better points.

7. Proofread and Check for Mistakes

It may be challenging to find mistakes and dubious statements yourself, so you can ask relatives or friends to read your paper. They can highlight typos and paragraphs that sound vague or barely relate to what you touch upon in your critical thinking essay. If you are lucky to have friends or relatives with a linguistics background, don’t hesitate to ask them for help, as they may notice in your paper such fallacies as generalization, ambiguity, appeal to authority or emotions, as well as a false analogy.

Video Guide on How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay

Critical thinking writing can become an exciting activity if you constantly hone your skills and work on different topics. Mastering this craft will be easier with this detailed video guide. An author shares tips on writing a critical essay that will come in handy regardless of the academic discipline. You will understand what critical thinking involves, how to present your ideas properly, what techniques to use, and how to sound objective.

Critical Thinking Essay Outline

A critical thinking paper outline is similar to the structure of any other essay type. In total, there are three distinct parts – an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.


In this part of a critical thinking essay, you need to present a general idea of a paper. Let’s imagine that an introduction is like a map, where you should draw a route for readers and direct them from one point to the other. A good introduction should:

  • Intrigue readers
  • State the main argument of an essay without going into detail
  • Include some general facts about the topic
  • Shed light on the importance of the issue

An introduction should also include a thesis statement; everything written further will stem from it.

Main Body

Body paragraphs, where you present and discuss all ideas and arguments, comprise about 90% of a critical thinking essay.

Arguments are extremely important, and you need to ensure they:

  • Represent the main topic
  • Are underpinned with sources, examples, and citations.

In addition to arguments, you have to come up with counter-arguments to show you’re aware of different points of view concerning the topic and are ready to support your ideas.

The main purpose of critical thinking essay writing is to persuade readers that your opinion about a situation, fact, concept, etc., is correct. The best way to do it is by referring to credible sources. Therefore, you will need to analyze many printed and digital media to collect facts that back up your point of view.

A unique feature of a critical essay format is that you can include an additional section or a subparagraph in a body part dedicated to your viewpoint and whether it transformed in the research process.


In the conclusion section, you need to evaluate your findings, summarize your arguments, and point out the directions for further research. In general, every argument from the main body will have a separate conclusion, and you can enumerate them all in this part. Don’t get too carried away with describing every argument in detail since you’ve already done it in the body section; make sure to stick to the point.

Topics for Critical Thinking Essay

If you want to practice writing this paper type, this rundown of critical thinking essay topics will surely come in handy. The list includes critical thinking paper topics from different academic courses.


What to Write about

  • Why do men and women change their gender?


Try to find the statistical data about such surgery operations. Check out numbers in different countries. Don’t be judgmental.


  • Should birth control be legalized for teenagers?


Search for data not only from official sources but also on blogs and even social networks. Look for information on how many teenage girls have given birth to children in the recent year. Compare the numbers with previous years.

  • Do all people live by stereotypes?


Define what a stereotype is. Name the most engrained stereotypes. Think about your relatives and friends, and whether they live by stereotypes. Google surveys on this topic.


  • Is it possible and beneficial to make education free for each citizen?


Define what educational system you will describe (in Europe, America, Asian countries, etc.) Find out how much money is allocated in those countries for an educational segment. Learn how many students drop out of college/school and why.


  • Does a person need to have principles?


What are principles? How do different people understand this term? Do principles depend on nationality, religion, gender, age, etc.?


  • Do horror movies have an impact on the psychology of children?


Think about yourself when you were a child. How often did you watch horror movies? How did you feel after watching such a film? Do you think such an experience had an impact on your personality? How? Search the net for data and compare your personal ideas with what psychologists say.


  • Is it possible to fight homeliness?


What is the main cause of homeliness? What are the countries with the highest rate of homeliness? What do governments do to cope with this problem? Is there any progress?


  • Are there any communicational differences between men and women?


Find books and articles about the communication behavior of men and women. Compare the general patterns. Include your own observations.


Critical Thinking Essay Examples

If you don’t know how to start your essay writing process, check the examples of critical thinking essay here. While reading a critical thinking essay sample, you can come up with interesting ideas for your assignment and understand how such an academic paper should be structured.

Sometimes, an example of critical essay on your chosen topic may help you grasp the other side of an argument.

If you need professional help with critical thinking essay writing, place an order with us. We offer top-notch writing services, reasonable prices, and timely delivery. Our team has rich experience in writing critical thinking papers and can present your point of view in a convincing way.



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