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How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

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Stephanie Stoyles

on 22 February 2017

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Transcript of How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay

How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay
What is a Critical Analysis Essay?
What should be included in the Introduction?
An introduction should include the following:
Method of Introduction
Identification of literary work utilized.
Example: In the (Genre), (Name of Text) by (Author)
The identification of the three supporting sub-topics used to support the thesis established
Establishment of thesis, based off of guided question. (Last Sentence)

What should be included in the Conclusion?
The following should be included in the conclusion:

Method of Conclusion
A Restatement of your thesis
A Restatement of the selection(s) used.
A Restatement of your three thesis supports
A finalization of your topics
What should be included in your Body Paragraphs?
Body Paragraphs should include the following

Topic Sentences which demonstrates the connection towards the thesis.
Details which establishes the link between the topic sentence, and the support.
Textual Support which supports your topic sentence. (Example or Quotations)
Explanation of how the support relates to your topic sentence of the paragraph, and then how it connects to the overall thesis.
Statements which explain how the support you are using relates directly back to the thesis you have established.
In a critical analysis essay you systematically evaluate a work’s effectiveness in relation to general topic.

These topics normally relate to an over arching literary term or a combination of terms:
Character Traits, or Character Development

: " Discuss the idea(s) developed by the text creator in your chosen text about the interplay between how individuals perceive themselves and are perceived by others."
- 30-1 Alberta Final Exam English 2008

During these analysis, you are able to use ANY texts studied during the term to support your ideas.

Things to Remember
NO Plot Summaries
Thesis need to be specific, and direct
Methods of Introduction
Personal Anecdote/Scenario

Perhaps the easiest and most effective introduction is to tell a brief story. (It can be true or made-up.) In a first-person essay, this story is called a personal anecdote. In a third-person essay, this story is called a scenario. In either case, you come up with a story that can be told in a few sentences. Make sure your story is relevant to your thesis and doesn't become too long and unwieldy. (Should ONLY be used in Personal Essays!)

For example, if you're writing a first-person essay about ways parents can promote good reading habits in their children, you might write an anecdote about your memories of your mother reading Peter Pan to you every night when you were six years old. If you're writing a third-person essay about the same question, you might make up a scenario about a child who wouldn't settle down to sleep without hearing Good Night, Moon at least three times.

Methods of Introduction
Direct Quote

Another effective introduction is a direct or indirect quote. A direct quote cites another person's exact words in quote marks, while an indirect quote summarizes what someone else has said. Now, you may be thinking that you don't have any quotes lying ready in your brain to use in an essay. Again, you can make them up, just like a brief story.

For example, in an essay about the causes of divorce, you might begin a first-person essay with the sentence, "My mother gave me one piece of advice about the opposite sex: 'Avoid men who carry no cash in their wallets.'" You could also create a quote for a third-person essay, such as this indirect quote: Counselors suggest that while money is often targeted as a reason for marital difficulties, the real problem stems from a couple's inability to talk about money.

Make sure you don't make up a quote, however, that is false. For example, you wouldn't write to write, "Experts tell us that ninety percent of marriages end in divorce." False statements do penalize your essay.
Method of Introduction
General-to-Narrow Focus (Funnel Method)

The time-honored general-to-narrow focus introduction can work well, of course. In such an introduction, you begin with a general statement and become more specific as you work your way through your introduction.

This method can also lead to over-obvious statements, such as this opening line from a student essay about how fast food can affect personal eating habits: "People need food to live." Be careful not to begin an essay with a vague line that everyone knows is true. In other words, don't "go global" by starting with a TOO general statement.
Method of Introduction
Rhetorical Question:
Asking a question at the beginning of an essay is a useful tool for drawing the reader in. The question can be used to intrigue the reader, or it can set the tone for the essay. The writer can ask a question in the introduction and then wrap the essay around the answer. It is best to use Information Questions rather than Yes/No Questions. Questions, whe
written correctly, are great for hooking the reader.


Who would willingly plunge into water that never gets warmer than ten degrees Celsius?
Methods of Introduction

When a difficult or unknown term is going to be used throughout the essay, defining that term can serve as an introduction to the essay. The following example explains the two acronyms, TOEFL and TOEIC, as well as giving more information about the tests. Definition paragraphs define difficult terms or ideas, which are used throughout the essay.


TOEFL and TOEIC are acronyms frequently heard in the field of English language study, but what are they? TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, is an academic test of a student's level of listening, reading and writing.
Writing a Thesis Statement
If you are stuck with writing a thesis, use the following stem.
In the (GENRE), (TITLE OF TEXT), (AUTHOR’S FULL NAME)’s, demonstrates/suggestions/alludes that TOPIC IN QUESTION+Specific reflection.

EXAMPLE: In the drama, Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller suggests the unwillingness to let go of a failing belief will cause an individual to struggle with their personal identity.
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