How to Write a Critical Analysis
1. Prepare by reading all material thoroughly. Understanding what you have to analyze is crucial. As you read, make notes of the following:
2. Writing the Analysis: Introduce what you are analyzing with all pertinent information about the work (don’t forget the title!) and the author. You may want to begin with a brief summary.
It can be helpful to insert somewhere early on in your analysis (probably 1st paragraph) a clear and explicit statement of the author’s position. For example, “The author argues…implies…shows through the characters that…”
In the following sentences of your introduction hit all the main points. Then, in subsequent paragraphs, describe each of the author’s main supporting points/evidence as topic sentences and evaluate them. Support your evaluation with detailed evidence from the text. Do not forget to use for quotes and paraphrases from the story to emphasize and support your point of view. Keep in mind: A critical analysis is different from a summary. It may include a summary, but should go beyond this. You are providing an informed critique of the material. Remember that the purpose of a critical analysis is to evaluate. What about this text is worthwhile, useful, important, significant, valid, or truthful?
3. Other questions you may want to consider:
Does the subject matter have contemporary relevance? Is the story relatable?
Is there a controversy surrounding the text?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the choice of topic, the storyline, the characters, and the author’s conclusions?