If you wonder what a critique essay is and how to make it perfect, you have come to the right place. Here you will find a clear definition and a quick guide to writing A+ critique essays.
Critique essay: what it is and what it is not
A critique essay is an objective and well-argued analysis of somebody’s creation. Critical writing should not be confused with:
- negative criticism (critique essays discuss both positive and negative aspects);
- review (NO PERSONAL OPINIONS or IMPRESSIONS in critique essays, please);
- summary (summaries may be present in critique essays, but they always have to be accompanied by evaluation and critical discussion).
Only having these simple principles in mind, you may proceed to writing an essay.
Critique essay: step 1 – choose a topic
If you wonder how to write a critique essay, start from choosing a good topic. Make certain that it is narrow, manageable and interesting. For example, if you are assigned a critique essay about a movie, it can be nearly impossible to evaluate all aspects, such as plot lines, implied messages, symbols, play of actors, music, light, costumes etc.
Be realistic when choosing topics for your critique essays. For instance, if you are to write a critique essay about the movie Titanic, you may want to analyze the play of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and how it contributes to making the development of their relationship believable. Or, you can make it even narrower and research the way in which face expressions of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet contribute to the development of the love story plot line in the movie.
Critique essay: step 2 – investigate what you critique
The next thing you should do when writing a critique essay is to investigate the work you are going to critique. Make sure that you have a perfect understanding of the creation you are going to analyze and evaluate. In other words, carefully, even meticulously, watch the movie, read the book, article or poem that you are going to critique. Pay special attention to the aspects you have chosen as your topic in step 1. Here are some guiding questions for your note taking:
- Are the author’s messages clear?
- Did the author choose the best methods for communicating his/her messages?
- Is the choice of techniques appropriate for the chosen genre and target audience?
Do not rely on your memory only, no matter how brilliant it may be. Take notes when watching a movie (reading a book, article or poem).
Critique essay: step 3– organize your notes
The next step is to look through your notes and logically organize them. Check this example of a critique essay outline:
- Introduction (introduce the author, his/her work, the aspects you are going to analyze and present your judgment in a clear and concise thesis statement).
- Main body
- A brief summary (make it ice-cold, no emotions and no personal impressions, please.)
- A well-argued evaluation (At last! Here you should place the meat of your essay critique. Discuss main strengths and weaknesses you have found in the creation, supporting your every claim with concrete arguments giving clear examples from the movie, text or artwork that you are analyzing.
- Conclusion (sum up your evaluation and restate your thesis sentence; do not add any new information in this part).
Critique essay: step 4 – write an essay
Use your notes and the outline and write a critique essay. If you have any doubts as to your notes, be sure to rewind certain episodes of the movie or reread some passages of the book (article, poem etc.). Use only verified information in your critique essays.
Critique essay: step 5 – proofread, proofread, proofread
After completing your critique essays, have a good rest and start proofreading your papers. Here are some niceties to consider if you want to proofread effectively:
- Print your essay instead of proofreading from a computer screen.
- Read it aloud to detect any flaws in style or inconsistencies in content.
- Finally, read it backwards if you want to see the paper from a new perspective and correct even the slightest errors.
So, now you have a clear understanding of how to write a critique essay. Use these five easy steps, make an effort and you will never have problems with your critique essays.