WHAT IS A CRITICAL ESSAY?
The core feature of a critical essay is that you will either be analyzing, interpreting and evaluating a text, and sometimes undertaking a combination of all of these activities in writing a critical essay. Writing a critical essay thus means that you should not be focusing on describing the text that you have been assigned to work on. Instead, writing a critical essay means that you must be critically engaging with the text and using your opinion, contradictions or themes within the text, and sometimes outside sources to demonstrate that you understand the text, and are capable of engaging with it at a high level.
Writing a critical essay is about far more than criticism. While criticizing the text can be a part of writing a critical essay, criticism in the context of writing a critical essay refers to analyzing the text using critical thinking. When writing a critical essay, you must think beyond criticizing the author. In fact, writing a critical essay requires that you find themes within the text and work to analyze these in relation to each other. Interpreting the text is crucial for writing a critical essay as it allows you to use your analysis of the text in a way that will be conducive to providing you with insights regarding the elements of the text that are most appropriate for writing a critical essay.