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Writing a Critical Analysis

What is in this guide?

This guide is meant to help you understand the basics of writing a critical analysis. A critical analysis is an argument about a particular piece of media. There are typically two parts: (1) identify and explain the argument the author is making, and (2), provide your own argument about that argument. Your instructor may have very specific requirements on how you are to write your critical analysis, so make sure you read your assignment carefully.


Critical Analysis

A deep approach to your understanding of a piece of media by relating new knowledge to what you already know.

Putting It Together

Part 1: Introduction

  1. Identify the work being criticized.
  2. Present thesis - argument about the work.
  3. Preview your argument - what are the steps you will take to prove your argument.

Part 2: Summarize

  1. Provide a short summary of the work.
  2. Present only what is needed to know to understand your argument.

Part 3: Your Argument

  1. This is the bulk of your paper.
  2. Provide "sub-arguments" to prove your main argument.
  3. Use scholarly articles to back up your argument(s).

Part 4: Conclusion

  1. Reflect on how you have proven your argument.
  2. Point out the importance of your argument.
  3. Comment on the potential for further research or analysis.

Tips and Examples of Critques