Critical Essay Writing: Easy Guide to Get You Covered

There are various types of essays. Amongst these essay types is the critical essay. Critical essay writing can be considered to be one of the most challenging academic writing assignments to do in college. Since this type of writing often requires critical thinking, it can be slightly difficult, especially for freshers who have never written a critical essay before.

This article will offer you information on how to write a critical essay and the tips to implement when structuring this essay.

What is critical essay?

The first step to writing a critical essay is to understand its definition. So, what is a critical essay? A critical essay is not a summary of a topic, nor is it a recap of a story or event. A critical essay is an examination and evaluation of a topic.

In a critical essay, the writer attempts to explore and critically examine the importance of a piece of content. Contrary to the thoughts of many, the critical essay format has less to do with making judgments and more to do with evaluation and personal perspective.

The features of a critical essay include a central claim, supporting evidence(s), and a conclusion. A central claim is your position on the topic. It makes up the content of your article, and it should be clearly stated at the start of your essay. The evidence is what backs up your central claim. It makes up your body paragraphs and could be in the form of dialogue or imagery. Your conclusion emphasizes your evidence and summarizes the details of your essay.

The structure of a critical essay

A critical essay structure should answer certain questions. Students are advised to use these questions as a guide when writing their critical essays. The questions include:

  • What is the purpose of your text?
  • What ideas and themes do you seek to present?
  • Does it have a hidden message?
  • What facts are you analyzing?
  • How comprehensive is your concluding summary?

The questions above are designed to help guide your preliminary research. Answering these questions will aid you in effectively planning and structuring your critical essay. Below is the outline of a critical essay.

A critical essay outline

Just as it is with other essays, the outline of a critical essay comprises an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, the writing style for a critical essay would differ from that of a narrative or descriptive essay. Highlighted below is the outline of a critical essay.

  1. Introduction

In your critical essay introduction, you are expected to mention the author’s work and publication details, clearly define the statement of your research, discuss the issue, state your argument, and make a strong thesis statement that states your position on the argument.

  1. Body

Your paragraph bodies should contain a concise interpretation and analysis of your topic. This, of course, would be backed up with supporting evidence. When writing your paragraph bodies, it is necessary to make an objective evaluation of the author’s work.

  1. Conclusion

Your conclusion is a restatement of your thesis and an explanation of your results. Here, you should attempt to draw closure by intelligently connecting your first and final paragraphs.

Tips for writing a critical essay

The following tips should be implemented when writing a critical essay:

  • Implement active reading techniques: active reading means reading with a determination to gain insight and understanding.
  • Study examples: studying the works of others will give you ideas for your work. When doing this, focus on the writing style and organization.
  • Do not summarize: remember that a critical essay comprises your analysis and evaluation. 


Life as a college student comes with many challenges. Usually, the amount of workload required of you automatically doubles when you get into college. With tons of academic papers to write, it is necessary for students to begin preparing themselves professionally for the various essay types they would be required to write.

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