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Critical analysis essay example

The text edited by Kappas and Krämer was published by Cambridge University Press that is run by the University of Cambridge. The book’s purpose is…

Critical Essay

5 / 5


Today, a paper written in a review genre (critical analysis essay) is a traditional task of school and university syllabus. This is not the simplest kind of academic work, because its fulfillment raises a lot of questions in the minds of young people. Assessment of critical analysis essay examples written by novice students shows that a significant part of the works can be classified as reviews only with great exaggeration. As a rule, such papers contain a very superficial analysis of an artistic work and an author's general impressions. Thoughts are not connected by logical links and are presented in a chaotic manner. Of course, an author of such a work can hardly claim a high grade. It is unquestionable that it is the task of the teachers to help schoolchildren and students to create critical papers according to the rules of a genre. However, even after being carefully instructed, young people make a lot of mistakes. In order to avoid them, it is worth familiarizing yourself with completed essays which are guaranteed to have high quality.

Features of a critical essay

A critical essay is one of the main genres of literary criticism. It provides analysis and evaluation of a work of art, its theme, ideological content, language, and style, indicating the importance of other works of a writer, etc. The critic helps a reader to comprehend the ideas and images given by the author.

The nature of literary criticism changed with time. At first, it was basically a general evaluation of a work, recommending it to other readers. Then its goals and tasks became more complicated. Today, the important criteria for evaluation are the aesthetic, social and moral significance of a work, which is viewed as a holistic artistic phenomenon in the unity of form and content.

Not only an informative direction but also a critic's aspiration to substantiate his own position is of great importance. Often, literary-critical articles are of a journalistic nature. They consider the social problems raised by a writer and propose ways to solve them.

Professional criticism is benevolent, accurate, sincere and honest in argumentation. You will never find a good critical analysis essay example which would contain a frank mockery or an insult to the author.

How to choose a suitable critical analysis paper example?

It is very important to understand what kind of critical analysis example you need. Some critics consider and evaluate works of art mainly from the standpoint of aesthetic significance, while others examine the content of a work, compare it with life itself, analyze social processes, reveal typical phenomena, pronounce the essence of life captured by a writer (real criticism).

Therefore, before you begin your search, carefully study the assignment provided by a teacher. If you'll write an excellent paper that does not meet his requirements, your work will be in vain.

Examples of critical analysis of an article or a book are the most common. School and university literary criticism considers both modern and classical books. It is closely connected with aesthetics, theory and history of literature.

Academic papers of this genre can be devoted to a character or a group of characters of one book, to a comparison of the characters of one or several works, as well as to an integral interpretation of the book or the problem posed in it, to a theoretical and literary question.

How to assess a critical analysis essay example paper?

Here are some sample questions that help to assess a literary-critical article and decide whether you can use it as an example:

  • When was the article written?
  • Who is the author (a student or an experienced specialist)?
  • For which audience is the essay intended? If you need to prepare an examination academic paper, do not borrow ideas from papers written for magazines and other media publications where a free style is allowed and even encouraged. On the contrary, if you have to create an inspiring article conveying your emotions and intended for an audience of peers, a large number of complex terms (which might impress teachers) may be superfluous.
  • What are the views of the author and the main evaluation criteria he uses? What property of the book does he bring to the fore?
  • What are the goals and objectives of the critic? Why did he write the essay under consideration?
  • What methods of interpretation of the text did he use?
  • How did he prove his own point of view using conclusions and generalizations?
  • With whom does he argue?
  • How is the author's personal attitude to the book expressed?
  • What other articles were written about this book? What is the opinion of their authors? Definitely, one critical analysis of an article example will be not enough to realize all the diversity of views on a certain work. As a rule, students have to consider complex books that cause an ambiguous reaction of critics. To understand which opinion is most in tune with your own, you should read as many reviews as possible.
  • What thoughts, feelings a critic wants to awake in the readers' hearts and minds?
  • How does the article start? This is a very important point because first phrases should attract the attention of an examiner. As a rule, there is a question or a bold and vivid statement (hook) in the introduction.
  • What are the composition, language and style? Maybe an author deviated from a standard structure or used some original expressions? Was that a good idea? Did it make the work original or frivolous and amateurish?
  • What do you think about the critic's assessment? Even if an example may be called just perfect according to the criteria listed above, but you do not like it, do not use this paper as a model. You should believe in what you do and enjoy the process of writing.

With all the usefulness of the examples, you should not solely rely on them. Most universities are extremely rigid about plagiarism. Just downloading and printing the work of another author, you risk to worsen your academic reputation.

Remember that reading of sample essays is just a way to improve analytical and writing skills, to get acquainted with the theme of the work and to consider it from different angles. After that, you will have to use your own creative abilities and compose a unique text. So you will get a quality paper worth of high mark. Good luck


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