How to Write a Critical Analysis


Have you ever read an article and thought, “I disagree with this writer; I believe they are biased”? Perhaps you’ve even gone so far as to express your own thoughts in the comments section. Congratulations if you’ve completed this task! You have conducted a critical analysis; you have examined the author’s work and responded with your own opinion.

Writing a critical analysis necessitates extensive reading because authors always employ rhetorical techniques to gain your trust. In this article from our grade office essay writing service, we will define critical analysis, list some topics, and provide a critical analysis essay example to help you understand what to expect. We will also present a thorough step-by-step procedure for writing a critical analysis.

What Is a Critical Analysis Essay?

The writers of a critical analysis essay must write a critical evaluation of an argument. Topics can include analyzing a current or historical event, a film, a book, different types of music, and complex social and political issues. It is a type of evaluation and observation that includes subjective elements. Critical analysis aids in the understanding of a subject and allows for the examination of various opposing points of view.

The primary goal of a critical analysis essay is to inform the reader about a topic and explain its purpose and meaning. You will also be required to present your personal point of view as well as critically analyze the topic.

Because critical analysis is highly subjective, it is critical to avoid some common blunders. First and foremost, maintain a formal and academic tone. Stay away from idioms and slang. Second, critical analysis is primarily your own opinion on a subject that is supported by the work of others. Do not base the entirety of your essay on the works of other scholars. To avoid plagiarism, make sure you reference any supporting evidence you use from other sources. Next, make sure you concentrate on the subject’s analysis rather than its description. The point of interest in critical analysis essays is your opinion on the subject, not the subject itself. Finally, make certain that you adhere to a good structure and that you have sufficient evidence. Check the logical sequence of your arguments to ensure that you present them correctly to your reader.

It is very common to mix up a descriptive essay and a critical analysis essay. A descriptive essay simply states the topic or when and how an event occurred. A critical analysis essay, on the other hand, explains the significance of that subject as well as your personal perspective on it. It delves deeply into a subject and demonstrates its complexities. Instead of simply describing an issue, a critical analysis essay evaluates it in various contexts and points of view. Reasoning and argument are the most effective ways to distinguish a critical analysis essay from a descriptive one.

How to Write a Critical Analysis — The Video Guide

Let’s take a look at some common critical analysis essay topics to give you an idea of just how broad this essay format is.

25 Critical Analysis Essay Topics

Living in a time of social and political unrest has its advantages. Students frequently choose contentious statements, articles, or events because they lend themselves well to critical analysis. Finding a topic for a critical essay should not be difficult in this day and age.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a topic:

  •  Ensure that the topic lends itself easily to critical examination. Famous works of literature and contentious articles would be excellent choices.
  •  Choose a topic that is widely debated. Different points of view can help you think outside the box and develop a compelling argument.
  •  Try to keep it as narrow as possible. Some topics can be complicated, and it may take several books to fully explore them.
  • Seek advice from your professors. They’ll gladly direct you in the right direction.

Consider taking a favorite author’s work if you read books. Famous books, such as Alice in Wonderland, have been analyzed and interpreted in a variety of ways; there should be plenty of reference material available.

Here are some of the critical analysis essay topics you can use:

Culture Critical Thinking Topics

  • Select a sport with a well-known history of drug abuse. Summarize and evaluate the situation and its impact on the competition.
  • College football is extremely important in American universities. How does it affect the college’s community, spirit, and economics?
  • Learn more about homelessness in your community. What is the issue, and what resources can the city use to assist?
  • Anti-drug campaigns frequently create more problems than they solve. Examine a similar campaign and assess its effectiveness.
  • Consider how women are portrayed in a particular medium today. Take, for example, the cinematic medium. Has the sexism that plagued 1950s Hollywood been eradicated?

Mass Media Topics

  • Watch a movie. What is the director’s message, and how does he convey it?
  • Examine a graphic novel. What is the message/passage, and how does it expand the visual novel medium’s possibilities?
  • Take a look at a remake of a classic film. What has altered?
  • Investigate the impact of a popular television series on young people.
  • Consider Facebook. What was the original concept? Has it evolved in lockstep with the internet and how people use it?

Critical Evaluation Topics on History

  • Contrast Ancient Greece with today. Are the Ancient Greeks’ practices, teachings, and rituals still relevant today?
  • The colonization of America was a bloody period in history. Could we have done it without killing America’s indigenous peoples, looking back?
  • Egypt, ancient. Examine the controversies surrounding the Giza pyramids. Were they built by slaves or by foreigners?
  • Second World War Some argue that the modern world was shaped by a necessary tragedy. Present and analyze this divisive viewpoint.
  • Ancient Rome drew heavily on Greek and Egyptian culture and art. Mussolini, on the other hand, wanted to preserve the classic Italian aesthetic of Ancient Rome. In light of these facts, examine the irony of the ultra-right Fascist movement.

Culture Critical Thinking Topics in Literature

  • Examine Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and its impact on American racism.
  • Compare a dystopian novel like 1984 or Brave New World to today’s society.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin is a profoundly subversive series in its genre. In comparison to Lord of the Rings, how does Martin accomplish this?
  • Compare and contrast Orwell’s Animal Farm with the real history of the Soviet Union.
  • Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is purposefully misnamed because the true protagonist is Brutus. Examine how this relates to the play’s plot and theme.

Culture Critical Thinking Topics in Sports

  • Money has destroyed sports. Analyze the argument to see if it is true or false.
  • Examine the impact of sports betting on the sporting community.
  • On the field, Cristiano Ronaldo is known to be a bit of an actor. Examine the veracity of this claim.
  • Should cybersports be classified as sports?
  • Some argue that FIFA releases the same game every year in order to take advantage of the sports gaming community. This claim’s veracity is called into question.

We hope you found an interesting topic that you can use as a reference. Let’s get right to work on the writing.

How to Write a Critical Analysis

First and foremost, carefully read all of the sources you will use to back up your claims. Most likely, you already have a strong opinion on the subject of your critical analysis essay; however, in order to be more objective and open-minded, examine the issue from multiple angles. When reading other people’s works on the subject, identify their thesis and include it as supporting evidence for your main point.

Presenting other people’s points of view demonstrates that you are a thoughtful writer. Consider your response and reaction to the topic of your essay carefully. Make certain that your opinions are not offensive to anyone who may read your essay, and that you consider the various backgrounds and experiences that people may have.

After that, write your essay. Begin by providing an overview of your topic and its key points, then direct your reader to your thesis statement. Each of your body paragraphs must contain a new point of analysis. The point of each paragraph must be fair; avoid extreme bias, and any irregularities must be used to effectively prove your arguments.

Finally, in your conclusion, you must reiterate each point you have made as well as restate your overall opinion. Without further ado, let’s take a step-by-step look at how to write a critical analysis essay.

Step 1: Critical Reading

The first step in critical thinking is to read carefully and thoroughly in order to identify the author’s thesis. The majority of your information will come from reading various sources and understanding various perspectives and opinions on the same issue. Pay attention to details and identify the author’s rhetorical devices, biases, and assumptions.

Always remember to write down vocabulary words and define terms you don’t understand.

Whenever reading a source, always look out for:

  • The author’s intended audience. Good writers write in a specific style to appeal to a specific audience; for example, playful language appeals to children, while statistics appeal to business people.
  • The author’s means of persuasion (Rhetoric and language.) Good writers will not directly state that Burger King is unhealthy; instead, they will present BK’s sick list of ingredients and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions.
  • The general structure of the writing and how it supports the author’s statements. A blog post about the importance of punctuation, such as commas, may demonstrate how many people, infuriatingly, overuse commas, such as this.

It is your responsibility as a critical reader to identify the author’s motivations and dissect the text for meaning. The whole point of critical reading is to understand how the author attempts to achieve their goals and gain your trust.

Step 2: Critical Analysis Writing

The first thing to remember is that it is not your job to delegitimize this author’s work. Your post serves the reader by delving into the work with them and bringing to light aspects that were previously overlooked or ignored. It is your responsibility to help the rest of the world fully comprehend the subject.


The first step is to provide a summary of your source (event, article, work of art, etc.). This is done to demonstrate that you fully comprehend what you’re saying. Summaries should not include your argument or demonstrate any bias toward the source you’re about to discuss.

If the source is a text (as it will most likely be), address the following aspects:

  • How did the author arrange the text?
  • Determine the intended audience and why the author chose them.
  • Determine the author’s assumptions about the target audience.
  • List and explain the author’s rhetorical devices, language, and imagery in the text.

Write a Thesis

It is now time to write a thesis statement after you have summarized the work. The thesis statement in a critical analysis essay is typically your reaction to the source that you have analyzed. As previously stated, your viewpoint is subjective; expect it to be challenged in the future. The reader will trust you if you can articulate your personal opinion carefully and thoroughly.

Making an analysis essay outline is the best way to ensure that your message is clear and consistent.

Creating a Critical Analysis Essay Outline

An outline can assist you in organizing your arguments. Creating a good overview will allow you to write a critical analysis essay quickly while remaining consistent with your message. To assist you in writing a well-organized analysis paper, most instructors will provide a sample of a critical analysis essay outline. Before beginning to write a critical analysis essay, make an outline that organizes your thoughts into a coherent critical essay structure.

Here is a sample critical essay outline you may use for reference:

  • Background Information: Give the reader some context; help them understand the nature of the work.
  • Information
  • Title
  • Author
  • Publication information
  • Statement of topic and purpose
  • Thesis statement: After giving the reader some context, provide your reaction to the work in a thesis statement.
  • Summary: Demonstrate your understanding of the source, as described in the Summary section above.
  • Critical Analysis (Interpretation and Evaluation): Here is where you finally present your analysis of the work based on your reading and critical evaluation.
  • Talk about how the source is organized;
  • Discuss the style and rhetoric of the source;
  • How Effective was the source and the message;
  • How was the topic treated was the writer biased or did he do it justice?
  • Discuss how the source appealed to its target audience.

Finish the essay with a traditional essay conclusion that restates the thesis and offers some closing thoughts. Summarize your reactions and analysis outtakes.

Techniques Used in Literary Critiques

  • An Objective Analysis — The study was evaluated solely on the basis of facts, with no regard for feelings or emotions.
  • Traditional Critique — Critique based on a consensus of sources that literate and educated people should be aware of.
  • New Critique — Critique that focuses solely on the text itself. Irony, metaphor, ambiguity, and paradox are all being scrutinized.
  • Marxist Criticism — Analogy through class conflicts and identification leads to political or social conclusions. Marxist criticism has had a significant impact on literary understanding.
  • Metaphorical Critique — Pay special attention to metaphors in order to gain a better understanding of the work and its author.
  • New Historicism — The study of literature based on its historical value.
  • Psychological Critique — The author’s unconscious wishes, like dreams, can be evaluated as a pathway to their mind in a Freudian critique.
  • Sociological Criticism — The emphasis is primarily on how the literature represents social functions, but it also considers how the work fits into society as a whole.
  • Moral or Ethical Criticism — Using the morals learned from the text to evaluate the work or literary piece.

Top Tips to Save You Time

Come back to the draft later. After finishing the first draft, set it aside for a few days and then go over it again. When proofreading your work, having a clear mind is always advantageous.

Explain everything. Don’t assume the reader is aware of a specific detail or fact. Completely describe technical terms and abbreviations.

The introduction and the thesis statement can be produced later. This way, you’ll know exactly what background you’ll need to provide your readers.

The second pair of eyes can help. Allow a family member or professional colleague to review your work for a second opinion.

Develop your style of writing. Don’t try to write in someone else’s style; instead, try to get comfortable with your own. It may take some time and may require more than one essay. It will be much more rewarding once mastered and will save you time in the long run.

Do not be scared of an issue. When describing something, be specific and avoid giving vague or timid explanations. It will irritate readers.

No rhetorical questions. Only points based on findings and factual statements should be included in the body of the arguments.

Plan the time well. It is common to lack sufficient time to read through all of the literature. Make a plan for how much you can learn in a day and follow through on it.

Now that we’ve covered all of the writing techniques and components of a critical analysis essay, let’s take a look at an example that demonstrates how all of these rules can be applied in practice.