Writing a critique essay involves describing, analyzing, interpreting and assessing a chosen subject. A critique essay usually targets a text, an object (such as a piece of art), a place or an experience. Description here refers to describing the author’s overall purpose and meaning. Analysis includes exploring the structure and considering all its elements and aspects. Interpretation is about defining the significance of each part of the writing, and assessment is a judgment of the work’s worth or value.
Summary / Overview
Whenever starting your critique essay, please remember that your audience may have never seen or read it and have never had the same experience. So, start by mentioning the author and his/her work or naming the experience you are going to critique, and provide an objective overview. This overview should look like a brief summary which invites one to look for more detail.
Then, critique the author’s presentation by sharing your opinion and your own experience of dealing with it. You can ask yourself a series of questions to complete this step, such as the following ones. Was the author creative enough? Did the author use unusual materials or literary tools? Was the author consecutive and persuasive? Did the author offer unusual interpretations? In this paragraph, you should compare the author’s presumable purpose with the resulting impression you got and answer whether the author achieved his/her purpose in his/her work.
Overall, take your time to shape your impression into qualitative assessment. So, for instance, to critique a piece of writing follow these steps:
- Read the entire piece of writing through to create a general impression. Note your first impression in a sentence or two.
- In a couple of days re-read the story. It should be a closer reading. Pay attention to details, descriptive language, dialogues, etc. Make margin notes. Try to determine the author’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Organize your first impression paragraph with your second reading notes into a short essay.
- Review and revise your writing several times. Keep the critique constructive.
Don’t confuse ‘critique’ with ‘criticize’ – a critique paper should not define the author’s mistakes but provide a thorough analysis of the subject, the author’s argument and any elements involved.
A critique should not always include an assessment and should never be based on unsupported or irrelevant personal opinion. Conclusions should be based on evidence from the text and logically follow from the analysis made.
Source: AEssay Team
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