5 Ways to Compose a Critical Essay
There’s a reason why so many students dread writing essays, and it has nothing to do with college courses or professors. Each time you sit down to write an essay, you are faced with the same dreaded prospect: you must analyze a topic, synthesize your thoughts on that topic, and then express them in something close to a cohesive manner. In other words, you must write an essay. The good news is there are many ways to make composing an essay less agonizing—and even more fun! When it comes to how to compose a critical essay, there are two main components: analysis and synthesis. To analyze means to break down a piece of text into its component parts—identifying the author’s thesis, for instance, and analyzing how the author supports it. To synthesis means taking those parts and re-assembling them into something new. The process is circular: breaking down the source text and analyzing what was said until you have identified the essential elements of that source that support your own original thesis—and then restating these ideas in your own words as well as others’.
Break down your topic into its component parts
When you sit down to write an essay, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. In order to prevent this, break down your topic into its component parts. This article won’t go into every detail, but you should be able to break down your topic into the following parts: – Author’s purpose – Author’s thesis – Author’s argument – Author’s strengths and weaknesses
Use a critical lens to analyze
This is where you break down your topic and analyze the article or piece of text you’re writing about. This will allow you to synthesize your ideas and turn them into something new—something that’s your own. This critical lens allows you to break down your topic, identify the author’s thesis and supporting arguments, and use your own words to explain why you agree or disagree with the author’s ideas. This is a critical analysis because you will examine the author’s words and ideas from multiple perspectives, and explain your thoughts.
Then synthesize your ideas
Now that you’re armed with your critical lens, it’s time to take those words and ideas and re-assemble them in your own words as well as others’. Creating a thesis statement is the first step. Your thesis should be the main idea you want to convey about your topic. Be brief and to the point; you don’t have much room for flowery prose. You can also propose a counterargument or two if you want to elaborate on your thoughts.
Practice writing your essay before you turn it in
This is a somewhat obvious tip, but it’s important to actually write your essay before you turn it in. While it’s more important to write well than to write first, you’re going to be doing a lot of re-writing and revising—and it’s best to do this before you press “Send” rather than after. The biggest reason this tip is so important is because it will save you a ton of time. When you write and re-write, you’re going to notice a lot of “aha!” moments where you’re going to realize that you’re on the correct track. You’re not going to have these moments when you’re trying to type out your essay as you’re writing it and you’re not going to have them if you don’t have time to sit and reflect on what you’ve written.
Conclusion: Wrapping up
When you’re struggling to write an essay, remember that there is hope. You can use these tips to improve your essay-writing skills, and you will have much more success when you learn how to break down your essay topic and analyze the source text you are writing about. Once you’ve analyzed the text and identified the author’s thesis and arguments, you can synthesize your ideas into something new by re-writing your essay in your own words as well as those of others. This will allow you to express your ideas in a more comprehensive manner, and you will also have a better chance of successfully expressing your thoughts in an essay-writing class.