Critical Analysis Essay

Critical Analysis Essay

What: Write a paper that critically analyzes a particular aspect or part of a film, short story, or poem. Develop ideas in writing by supporting claims with specific and relevant evidence, demonstrating critical thinking skills, and applying effective writing strategies and appeals. Locate, evaluate, and integrate information purposefully using MLA citation style and compose multiple revisions aimed at focus, development and organization before editing for grammar, punctuation, and clarity of delivery.


Why: This assignment strengthens your ability to analyze materials in order to identify main ideas, supporting evidence, and conclusions, while building on writing skills needed to demonstrate form, organization, syntax, diction, style, and tone appropriate for a given audience, subject, and purpose. It will also provide practice in research, revision, and editing skills.
Writing a Critical Analysis Essay is beneficial in other ways, too.

Evaluation involves making and articulating judgments. When you write an evaluation, such as a critical analysis of a particular aspect of a film, readers expect appropriate reasons and support for your opinions and claims. Meeting this expectation causes you to deepen understanding and reflection of points you want to convey.
Critical thinking and skillful writing used in development of a Critical Analysis Essay can teach valuable skills for the workplace, too. A company might be interested in determining why a particular product sells well in some parts of the United States but not as well in others. Being able to analyze consumer needs in each region, for example, will help you explain differences and determine ways to increase sales throughout the country.
Critical analysis is also a great way for your instructor to assess your current writing skills. Your demonstration of organization and research, along with critical thinking and knowledge of grammar and punctuation, will guide the instructor in helping you attain your next level of excellence as a writer.

1) Choose a film, short story, or poem (your instructor may give you a list from which to choose) for this critical analysis project.

2) Determine a single aspect of the film, short story, or poem that you believe makes it interesting or special.

3) Develop your rough draft around ONE part or ONE component of the film, short story, or poem. Here are a few examples of things students have selected for analysis in the past:

The film’s development of a particular character
An actor’s portrayal of a particular role
The story’s use of an appeal (pathos, logos, ethos)
The poem’s use of alliteration to affect mood
The story’s use of metaphor to enhance its power of description
4) Write a thesis statement representing your ideas about the specific topic on which you’ve selected to write. The thesis must be clearly written, provide a debatable position, and offer an appropriate qualifier by the time the paper has reached its final revision.

5) Reflect upon the actions/scenes/events in the film, short story, or poem that will help develop your topic. Determine which parts will be useful to include in the essay in the form of quotation, paraphrase, or summary. Make sure you select carefully. Points will be deducted if quotations, paraphrases, or summaries appear to pad the paper instead of strengthen it.

6) As you write, assume your reader is familiar with the film, short story, or poem. There is no need to summarize the plot if you are writing about a film or short story. Instead, focus on what the reader needs to know/understand in order to see your point-of-view regarding the specific aspect of the film, short story, or poem you’ve selected for analysis.

7) Revise the essay as many times as necessary to ensure your thoughts are clearly conveyed and its paragraphs are logically developed.

8) The final version of your Critical Analysis paper must detail your opinion (using only 3rd person point-of-view) of the particular subject, explain the reasoning behind your position, and provide specific examples from the film, short story, or poem to reinforce your point. Use the course textbook as a guide in this endeavor.

9) Ensure the final draft of the essay is 5 pages in length, double spaced, with 1-inch margins. Use Times New Roman style and 11 or 12 point font.