How To Write a Critique Essay Guide
If you are in an institution of higher learning, then it is probable that you’ve come across a critique essay. We know how intimidating it could be especially if you don’t have the know-how of writing the essay
. But that is not a cause for worry. We have been through the same system, thus, you got to believe us. Writing a critique essay is not an uphill task. In fact, you will later realize that it is more of giving a critical analysis of a certain subject. If you take a good approach, you are bound to write it smoothly. You’ll even look back and laugh off the period you panicked at the thought of writing a critical essay.
Before we give you the tips and guidelines to a perfect critique essay, let’s start off by examining the history surrounding it.
Background and History
Critique essays date back to the Renaissance period. The arts had become more prominent and they became critical of the mainstream church. Dramatic works had continued to offer some strong criticism to the church. The trend was soon noticed by the church and which quickly labeled them as anti-Christian. However, some hardliners such as Jean Baptiste Moliere continued with their stance. It was not until he wrote the Tartuffe that tables turned. The Tartuffe was also known as the ‘hypocrite’. On it, Moliere went full throttle with his criticism of the Church. The priests thought that enough was enough. It was so grave that the King couldn’t protect him from the aftermath of the comedy.
But this was just the start. Later on, critiques continued to manifest themselves over time in various fields. Immanuel Kant came up with a critique as regards theory. He was a German Philosopher who openly criticized the logic behind specific judgments that were made ‘in taste.’ He challenged their viability and their efficacy. He was a proponent of the aesthetic theory which was largely known as the Critique of Judgment. Many other critiques surfaced in pursuance of the critical underpinnings of the aesthetic theory.
The Modern Face of Critiques
At this point, we know that you’re worried about how to write the critique essay. But we don’t want to rush over and leave out the important aspects. To start, we should define what a critique essay is. If your intention is to copy someone’s creative work, then you’ve got a long way to go.
A critique in the simplest light is a thorough analysis. It doesn’t necessarily have to bear a negative connotation. An analysis could simply be an undertaking to understand a phenomenon. It is purely that. After you’ve gained an understanding of the phenomenon, an evaluation should follow. In another light, a critical essay could be an objective evaluation of an author’s critical response on a certain issue. Thus, they could be written in a positive or negative tone, variant on the context of the work.
Essential Tips for Writing a Critique Essay
We have compiled a list of essential tips that you’d have to take into consideration when writing a critique:
- A critical analysis is often written to criticize works of literature such as essay, poems, narratives, etc. In contemporary time, works of art and film are also of interest to writers. These include movies and painting masterpieces.
- Individual opinions can also provide great content for a critical essay. Incorporate them and craft your own judgments. You stand out to give an epic critique since you will be able to articulate yourself well.
- Ensure that you provide an argument that is backed by sound reasoning. Make your arguments compelling and convincing. Give supporting evidence for every point that you assert.
- Don’t takes sides. Be impartial. Even if you hold strong beliefs about something or some school of thought, ensure that you give an impartial analysis of the subject. Take a neutral stance when analyzing all arguments and present them with no bias.
Steps to Critical Writing
- Describe the key elements and subjects Critical essays that analyze the works and texts of other people are considered as descriptive. They usually focus on set features of the work or text. Thereafter, a compare and contrast analysis is done with reference to one of the classic works in the genre or sector.
- Evaluate the Skills and Techniques An evaluation is normally done to match the expected value versus the actual value of the text or work at hand. Comment on whether it met your expectations or if it was rather a waste of time.
- Interpret the Content and Meaning A form of critical essay is an interpretive essay. It gives your readers answers that are based on the meaning of the subject at hand. Thus, this means that you would have to understand and grasp the content in order to draw the meaning. You can do this by reading, observing and watching. Thereafter, develop an argument that reflects this interpretation.
Always Link the Critique to Your Thesis
It should never veer off the limits of your thesis statement. If you have some weakness in this, seek some help from your instructor or peers. You can even choose a different topic for your analysis if it proves difficult to link your analysis to your thesis statement.
Have a Sense of Decorum
We know that at times, we may analyze some topics and subjects that are distasteful. They may be unappealing, boring or diametrically opposed to your beliefs. However, remember that your objective is to provide an unbiased analysis. Be polite and choose words that bring the audience to a sophisticated view.
The Do’s and the Don’ts
Your critique should leave no stone unturned when analyzing some work or text. Whatever you have been assigned to examine, be it a form of artwork, a film, a book, or an article, strive to put your best foot forward. Address the following when writing your critique:
Is the topic well fitting? Has the author gathered sufficient evidence to back his/her claims?
Which techniques have been used to bring out the primary message in the critique? Was the author successful in the use of these techniques?
Does the style used by the author adequately cover the central subject?
Don’t dwell too much on the author’s topic. Remember that this is your time to shine. It is your essay and thus, your central ideas should be key. The ideas fronted by the author should be secondary. The premise of the paper is for you to analyze how the author has presented his/her subject.
Even if it’s your paper, don’t express your personal opinion all through. You ought to entertain as many ideas as possible for you to have an objective paper. Remember your own opinion should only provide a critical analysis. Thus, there ought to be other opinions expressed for you to criticize them. Don’t also get marred by bias.
Don’t fabricate ideas or present untrue information. We know that your main mandate is to present a criticism, but this criticism should be accurate, factual and consistent. Don’t get carried away by the fact that you have to give an opposing view to the extent of giving false evidence. Whatever suits you, a positive or negative criticism that’s factual is welcomed. Desist from crafting inadmissible evidence as your criticism.
Writing the Critique Essay
At this point, we know that you’re ready to get to the real writing of the critique. At the very basic, critiques are just like any write-ups that you would write in your English class. Instructors may choose to give you the topic. Others may choose to give the thesis, while others will leave everything to you to decide. Whatever the case, we know that you can tackle it. The various instances where a critique can be tested include:
- Article critiques
- Literature critiques
- Journal critiques
- Research paper critiques
- Movie/film critiques
- Play critiques
- Quantitative research critiques, or any other form of critique
In all the above instances, the same rules apply. So don’t get frightened when the topic is not the usual English class topics. The guidelines discussed below will help you write the best critique.
Preparation to Write a Critique
Ensure that you’ve read the literature given be it a book, play, etc. If it is a film, take some time to watch it fully. Don’t fret, if you don’t get the plot in the first consideration. You can even read or watch them a second time if you need to clarify on some points that were presented. Study the material well and even take some notes.
Note the areas that you would like to dwell on in your critique. You can use the old school way of putting bookmarks, sticky notes or just make a mental note.