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Critical Essay - Step by Step Guide & Examples

Critical Essay - Step by Step Guide & Examples

Looking for a critical essay guide?

Here is a complete guide to writing a great critical analysis essay and earn a good grade.

1. What is a Critical Essay?

A type of essay in which the writer analyzes, evaluates and interprets a piece of literature, an article, book, play, etc. The writer, by principle, makes claims about the themes supports them through facts, theories and other primary and secondary sources.

Difference between writing a critical essay and argumentative essays is that an argumentative essay uses the evidence to persuade the reader. On the other hand, a critical analysis essay discusses the themes and analyze and interpret them.interpret them.

A critical essay is almost similar to writing a literary essay. Since both of these types are written to analyze a piece of literature. Here is a detailed guide that will help you write a literary analysis essay.

2. Critical Essay Outline

The good critical analysis essay outline is the most important task before starting the essay. Critical essay is similar to any other essay. Although it may have some additional elements that make it different from the other types.

The critical essay structure and outline includes;

2.1 Introduction

The first part of your critical essay will be the first paragraph.

This type of essay begins by describing the main concept, theme, and key ideas with reference to your topic. You should also incorporate the background of the topic.

2.2 Thesis Statement

The thesis statement marks the possible explanation and conclusion of the entire essay. This comes after the introduction and summarizes the main point or discussion of the essay.

2.3 Body

The body of a critical essay aligns all the arguments along with the evidence to support the central claim. All the paragraphs start with a topic sentence and discuss one idea.

When writing this part, use transitional words and phrases to direct the readers from one idea to another. Make sure that all arguments and evidence presented in those paragraphs are in line with the thesis statement.

The writing process and body of a critical essay has two parts; the analysis and evaluation.


When discussing and writing critically, analysis part is essential. There should be an

objective analysis of data, facts, theory and the approaches used to study the work. You

should always use works from the same genre to discuss in the body paragraphs of the

critical essay.


Evaluate the work in the light of the claims and evidence that you have gathered in the first

steps. Evaluate each claim in relation with the chosen work. The explanation in the body

paragraphs creates a logical consistency and method.

2.4 Conclusion

The conclusion summarizes all the main points and proves the validity of the thesis statement. It comprises all the points discussed in the essay, a personal viewpoint and an objective analysis of the essay.

Critical Essay Format (PDF)

3. Critical Analysis Essay Writing

Here are some of the guidelines to help you with composing an excellent critical essay;


Before starting the essay, divide and break the topic into parts and emphasize on how these parts are related to each. Gather the ideas and evidence and analyze the subject roughly before drafting it formally. Organize different points of view also.


Once you have compiled the ideas regarding the evidence, research ideas for the support of the topic and against it. The opposing ideas will strengthen your arguments as they will show why and how your ideas are valid.

Do not Summarize only

A critical essay does not mean summarizing the subject. It involves critical reading, thinking and using facts and data to support your claims. Applying critical thinking involves the strategies used to interpret, analysis and represent the essay resources.

Authentic Information

It is important to find credible sources. Credible arguments and evidence is vital and an essential component for writing an excellent critical essay. One can support their claims by quoting facts, reports, authors and other secondary sources that are available. You can base your analysis by comparing the two sources.

Study your Argument

Before you use the evidence for your argument, study it thoroughly and see if it is supporting your claim.

Never Use First Person

Be as objective as possible and present your claims and explanations being neutral. Being subjective may cloud your judgement and make your analysis personal and biased, which is both not good for you.

Make a Strong Point

You need a strong ability to analyze the writing. Make sure your arguments align with the main topic of the subject. When presenting arguments, you should stick to the points and claims that are relevant. Irrelevant information will only add to the word count.

Wrap up the End

After completing your essay, it is important that you look at the beginning of your essay and check the details. This restores the themes of the essay. It also confirms that you have achieved what you were aiming for in the beginning of your essay.

Remove irrelevant information and keep the essay clean and crisp.


Proofread the entire document for any spelling, grammatical, structural and contextual errors. We know that you have written it very carefully, but checking it one last time will clear any doubts.

4. Critical Essay Topics

Here are some of the critical essay topics to help you choose from;

  1. Racism in Brazil
  2. Homelessness
  3. Impact of technology on youth today
  4. Analyze the factors that lead to juvenile delinquency
  5. Evaluate how elite and crimes are related.
  6. Analyze the wonders of the world
  7. British Royal Empire
  8. The statue of liberty
  9. Foreign exchange in India
  10. Solar energy

4.1 Critical Essay Examples

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