Writing a critical essay is a long process

Critical essays are essays where you take a look at a text and analyze it. Usually, you'll be writing a critical essay about a book, play or poem. When you start this essay, it's a good idea to read the text through even if you've already read it before. This will keep the content of it fresh in your mind and allow you to write more effectively about it. Even though it might seem like a long process to write this essay, keep in mind that you'll get a better grade if you do persevere and do what it takes to write a good critical review of the text.

How to Write a Critical Essay

This long process can be shortened and made easier if you know the right steps to take. Here are the most important parts of writing an essay in the order that you should do them. If you need to skip or add a task to this list because of your teacher's specific instructions, then make sure you do that. General essay advice like this is still a good guideline, but following what your teacher wants will really be how you get a good grade.

Start with a brief summary of the text you're analyzing. Write a few sentences that best describe as much as you can remember of the book or play.

Once you've done that, leave some space under each sentence and expand it a little. Put in a few quotes from the book, or page numbers. Other notes to remind yourself of what you want to talk about would also go here. Now you've got your outline. If there's any specific order or other structure your teacher wants to see, this is the time to implement that.

Do some more research; look through the text again, remembering important plot points, characters, literary devices and other aspects you can critique. Put each of these in its appropriate section in your outline and use direct quotes.

Time to fill everything in and write the rough draft! Do this as quickly as you can, preferably in one sitting, so the ideas are still recent in your memory.

How to Edit a Critical Essay

With the rough draft done, all that's left, is for you to do the editing and polishing. Don't be worried if your first draft wasn't that great, or had errors, because now is the time to fix that. Get another person to read over your essay and give you their opinion.