When describing something make sure you are being specific and do not give vague or timid explanations. It will annoy readers. No rhetorical questions. The body of the arguments should only contain points based on findings and factual statements. Plan the time well. It is common not to have enough time to read through all the literature.
Make a plan for how much you can learn in a day, and stick to it. You could go on and search for critical analysis essay examples if you were not given one in class. These examples should answer some of your questions. General Writing Guides.
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What is puzzling about the text? What is the purpose of this text? Does the text accomplish its purpose? If not, why not? Is so, how so? Review your notes to identify patterns and problems. After you have finished reading and taking notes on your text, look over your notes to determine what patterns are present in the text and what problems stand out to you. Try to identify a solution to one of the problems you have identified.
For example, you may notice that Frankenstein's monster is often more likable than Doctor Frankenstein, and make an educated guess about why this is. Your solution to the problem should help you to develop a focus for your essay, but keep in mind that you do not need to have a solid argument about your text at this point. As you continue to think about the text, you will move closer to a focus and a thesis for your critical analysis essay.
Don't: read the author's mind: Mary Shelley intended Frankenstein's monster to be more likable because Do: phrase it as your own interpretation: Frankenstein's monster is more sympathetic than his creator, leading the reader to question who the true monster really is.
Find appropriate secondary sources if required. If you are required to use sources for your critical essay, you will need to do some research.
See your assignment guidelines or ask your instructor if you have questions about what types of sources are appropriate for this assignment. Books, articles from scholarly journals, magazine articles, newspaper articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider using.
Literary Analysis Definition
University libraries subscribe to many databases. These databases provide you with free access to articles and other resources that you cannot usually gain access to by using a search engine. Evaluate your sources to determine their credibility. It is important to use only trustworthy sources in an academic essay, otherwise you will damage your own credibility as an author.
There are several things that you will need to consider in order to determine whether or not a source is trustworthy. The credentials should indicate something about why this person is qualified to speak as an authority on the subject. For example, an article about a medical condition will be more trustworthy if the author is a medical doctor. If you find a source where no author is listed or the author does not have any credentials, then this source may not be trustworthy. Think about whether or not this author has adequately researched the topic.
If the author has provided few or no sources, then this source may not be trustworthy. Think about whether or not this author has presented an objective, well-reasoned account of the topic.
How often does the tone indicate a strong preference for one side of the argument? If these are regular occurrences in the source, then it may not be a good choice. Don't: dismiss an author for favoring one point of view. Do: engage critically with their argument and make use of well-supported claims. Read your research. Once you have gathered all of your sources, you will need to read them. Use the same careful reading strategy that you used when you read your primary source s.
Read the sources multiple times and make sure that you fully understand them.
Take notes while you read your sources. Highlight and underline significant passages so that you can easily come back to them. As you read, you should also pull any significant information from your sources by jotting the information down in a notebook. Don't: highlight a phrase just because it sounds significant or meaningful. Do: highlight phrases that support or undermine your arguments. Develop your tentative thesis. Once you have developed your ideas about your primary source and read your primary sources, you should be ready to write a thesis statement.
You may find it helpful to use a multi-sentence thesis statement, where the first sentence offers the general idea and the second sentence refines it to a more specific idea. In other words, avoid simply saying that something is "good" or "effective" and say what specifically makes it "good" or "effective. The end of the first paragraph is the traditional place to provide your thesis in an academic essay. For example, here is a multi-sentence thesis statement about the effectiveness and purpose of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road : "Many action films follow the same traditional pattern: a male action hero usually white and attractive follows his gut and barks orders at others, who must follow him or die.
Mad Max: Fury Road is effective because it turns this pattern on its head. Instead of following the expected progression, the movie offers an action movie with multiple heroes, many of whom are women, thereby effectively challenging patriarchal standards in the Hollywood summer blockbuster. Develop a rough outline based on your research notes. Writing an outline before you begin drafting your essay will help you to organize your information more effectively. You can make your outline as detailed or as scant as you want.
Beginning the Academic Essay |
Just keep in mind that the more detail you include in your outline, the more material you will have ready to put into your paper. Or, you may want to use an informal "mind-map" type of outline, which allows you to gather your ideas before you have a complete idea of how they progress.
Begin your essay with an engaging sentence that gets right into your topic. Your introduction should immediately begin discussing your topic. Think about what you will discuss in your essay to help you determine what you should include in your introduction. Keep in mind that your introduction should identify the main idea of your critical essay and act as a preview to your essay.
Do: open on an intriguing fact, an anecdote, or another attention-grabber with relevant content.