What is a Critical Essay?

A critical essay is a writing in which the author freely expresses his or her thinking about a particular topic. The critical essay should be a text that presents well-structured and argued personal reflections about a topic; the objective is not that the reader agrees with what the author says (for example about a book) but that he can read in the text the care and mental skill with which he elaborated his ideas and approaches.

Reflection, coherence, and dexterity with words are some characteristics of the way in which criticism is presented.

The critical essay or argumentative essay helps the writer learn to think in a reasoned way, according to a system and an order. Hence, these types of essays are an important part of academic instruction in all areas. The critical essay is not a text where opinions are presented as “I like” or “I do not like” but elaborate reflections that argue the personal position on the subject.

Critical Essay Characteristics:

The critical essay has, in general:

  • A free and personal style; what is essential to this type of essay is the writer’s mark; his thinking about the subject he deals with.
  • A series of elaborate arguments and not simply opinions.
  • A series of bibliographic citations if the author considers it pertinent to demonstrate his point of view using what others have already said about it. These are used to complement the approach but are not always necessary.
  • A free theme; Critical essays deal with social, cultural, economic, etc.
  • A free form and extension, but coherent.
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Parts of the critical essay:

Although it should be noted that the essence of the essay is its freestyle both in the language and in the structure of the essay, one can resort to the classical form of the essay (introduction, development, and conclusion) to write it.

The Introduction:

In this, you must captivate the reader immediately. A dynamic and easy-to-read language that quickly raises what the essay is about (thesis) will attract more attention than a slow and confusing paragraph that circumscribes the central idea. So the introduction should be, ideally, brief and direct. Writing a specific introduction and not a general one guarantees that the reader will not lose the thread of the reading and will be able to understand the arguments in the development as a logical derivation of the introduction that he has just read. Brief school essays require a brief introduction, and the longer ones can afford to elaborate on the initial ideas a little more. In any of the cases, you can do a quick review of the arguments that will be discussed and the structure that the trial will have.

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The Development:

In this section, as the name implies, the arguments that appeared briefly described in the introduction are developed one by one. Each segment (paragraph) should deal with a single theme/idea. According to the total length of the essay, one paragraph may be sufficient to develop an idea, as may several pages for longer essays.

In a short essay on abortion one of the paragraphs can deal with the global statistics of the deaths of women in clandestine clinics, and in a longer essay on the same subject several paragraphs, or pages, can be used, talking about clandestine clinics in the first world and those in developing countries, the doctors who decide to collaborate in the termination of pregnancies, the state of health services offered by governments, etc. While ideas connected by a common theme are part of the same segment. If they are different ideas they should go in different paragraphs or sections that the reader should be able to easily identify. For less experienced writers it is a good idea to start the paragraph with the central idea and then develop it.

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In the development, examples should be offered, anticipate the reactions of the retractors of the position of the writer and give them an argument against, cite experts in the topic that support the idea of ​​the paragraph, and endorse the thesis with evidence. No unfounded opinions should be given.

The Conclusion:

The conclusions are not only a summary or a synthesis of what has already been said, but should at the same time be a fertile ground for reflection for the readers. The thesis that the author developed in the body of the essay must, at this point, have been clear and have been tested and supported by the information that was offered. For a short essay the conclusion should be brief; For a longer and more elaborate essay, it is worthwhile to pick up the arguments that have been presented point by point, being careful not to be repetitive or without removing the dynamic of the text.

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