Skip Nav

What is critical writing

Essay Guides

❶Get someone else to read the essay and to try and extract the main points.

Knowledge and Understanding

What is critical writing?
Critical essay writing
What Is a Descriptive Essay?

Can you show originality and flair in the way that you write your essay? Do I just say what my opinion is about the subject matter? Originality in an academic essay is all about the way that you interrogate the material in front of you and the way that you put the material together. Regarding the second point -- about how you put ideas together and how you put your points and evidence together in your essay -- that's a really important opportunity to show your originality.

But it's about how you put the argument together. That's where you can really show your originality. Have you taken these theories, these different bits of evidence, the different readings that you've done, have you put them together in an interesting and innovative way to answer the question? That's how a student shows originality in an essay!

One mistake students often make with an essay is to start writing too soon. There is research and thinking to do first and putting words on the page comes later. Another big mistake is to write an essay at the last minute.

You will lose marks if it doesn't flow well, words are spelled wrong or your punctuation is sloppy because you didn't allow time for editing and proofreading.

The word 'critical' can seem negative — it is associated with condemning, disparaging, judging or finding fault. Home Presenting and participating in class Preparing for university Teaching and learning at Sussex Assessment and grades at university Communication at Sussex Budgeting for study A-Z university jargon and terms Getting the most from your learning Academic skills for taught postgraduate students Academic skills for international students Seminars What is flipped learning?

How do I reference quotes and ideas? Come up with a clear line of argument Well, my first guideline for writing an essay is to make sure that you have a clear line of argument. Make it clear where you are going All right, so my second major guideline for writing an essay is to make it clear where you are going. Plan your essay Express your key points in complete sentences My third guideline for writing an essay is to use a plan.

Select your evidence Once you've decided on your sequence of key points, then you can start to flesh out your plan by listing the evidence that you're going to include for each key point. Review your choice of key points and evidence One final point about the plans. Ask someone else to read your essay My next guideline for writing an essay is to make sure that you give it to someone else to read.

Show originality in your essay OK, my final guideline for writing an essay concerns originality. Checklist Your tutor wants an essay that: But a critical essay is positive: Personal tools Web Editor Log in. Search Site only in current section. For a printer-friendly PDF version of this guide, click here. Navigation Succeed in your studies. Take our essay writing tour. Break an issue into its constituent parts. Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these interrelate to one another.

Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter-arguments as well.

Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition. Literally make something clearer and, where appropriate, simplify it. This could involve, for example, explaining in simpler terms a complex process or theory, or the relationship between two variables.

Pick out the main points on a subject and give your opinion, reinforcing your point of view using logic and reference to relevant evidence, including any wider reading you have done.

Identify the similarities and differences between two or more phenomena. Say if any of the shared similarities or differences are more important than others. Say what you think and have observed about something. Back up your comments using appropriate evidence from external sources, or your own experience. Include any views which are contrary to your own and how they relate to what you originally thought. Similar to compare but concentrate on the dissimilarities between two or more phenomena, or what sets them apart.

Sometimes, they may simply require a descriptive answer. Some question words require a critical answer and there are varying degrees of how critical your answers must be according to the requirements of the question. When answering this essay question word, the key is to provide your opinion or verdict concerning the extent to which an argument or set of research findings is accurate.

You may also be required to demonstrate the extent to which you agree with a particular argument or hypothesis. In such answers, you need to present your evidence in a convincing way, demonstrating good reasons for adopting your position. This should be done in as critical a manner as possible.

Provide your opinion on the extent to which a statement or research finding is true. A critical evaluation of a subject will warrant an assertive essay response that details the extent to which you agree with a set of findings, a theory, or an argument. This is done by recapping or summarising the major themes or points in question, and critically discussing them while giving your opinion. A close examination of a research topic or argument requires that you establish the key facts and important issues concerning the topic or argument by looking at them in close detail.

This means that you must adopt a very critical approach with 'examine' question words. In essence, this asks how far you agree with a proposition put forward in the question. This requires a very in-depth assessment of the topic, and especially of the evidence used to present your argument.

In some instances, question words require mostly a descriptive response as is the case with the words below:. Here, you must outline the precise meaning of the subject of the question. If the definition you provide is a contested one then make sure you mention this. How do other scholars define the subject? Why is its meaning contested and why have you chosen to use one meaning instead of the other if this is the case? Essentially, you are required to show how a particular research topic or argument is valid by using evidence and arguments to support your claim.

When describing something, you must provide thorough insight into the main characteristics of a research subject in an objective manner. As answers to such questions will be inherently descriptive, it is important that you recount or characterise in narrative form. Here, you are required to provide a lot of detail and information on a research topic or argument. When answering such questions, it helps to imagine you are writing for someone who knows absolutely nothing of the subject.

And remember two things. To provide as much detail as possible, and to give definitions for any jargon or key terms when used. Needless to say, your answer must be exploratory and thus it is imperative that you adopt a questioning approach when answering such questions. Because of the exploratory nature of such essays, objectivity is key.

That is, you should give an overview of all viewpoints before providing any of your own arguments. A little like this paragraph. Such an answer will generally involve the use of many examples, such as tables, figures, graphs, or concrete research statistics and evidence. The aim is to use these examples to demonstrate knowledge of the subject of the question and to further explain or clarify your answer.

It is imperative that you provide the main points only and any important supplementary information as opposed to focusing on the minor details. Remember to present your answer in a systematic and coherent way. Summarise When you are asked to summarise or present a summary of a research topic, you should give a condensed form of its main points or facts. You must omit all minor details and focus mainly on the key facts.

As a result, summaries are typically brief and straight to the point. The key is to get all the main facts across to the reader in as punchy and succinct a manner as possible.

This means to provide insight into a subject, and quite literally, provide clarification. For example, this could be done by making an argument or topic more clear by explaining it in simpler terms. You can go beyond making a basic comparison by trying to understand the roots of the similarities you identify, as well as their significance. What are the main dissimilarities between two or more subjects? What sets them apart? Hopefully, by examining and explaining essay question words, we have helped clarify their meanings and how you should approach them in your own essay writing.

Here are a few more handy tips to bear in mind when addressing your essay questions:

Report Abuse

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

29 rows · Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, ), which instruct you how to answer the question. Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay.

Privacy FAQs

I: Purpose of the Essay. This lecture will guide you toward the draft of your Critical Evaluation Essay, and along the way, ask you to complete two assignments. In the "Critical Evaluation" essay, you will be writing a review -- supporting a judgment -- on the fiction stories in Blues Vision.

About Our Ads

A critical evaluation of a subject will warrant an assertive essay response that details the extent to which you agree with a set of findings, a theory, or an argument. The key to tackling these question words is providing ample evidence to support your claims. Critical Evaluation Essay Writing Help Critical evaluation essay is a type of an academic paper in which students must present their opinion about the value and quality of movies, books, sporting events, restaurants and etc.

Cookie Info

A critical evaluation essay involves writing about the quality and value of something, such as a book, movie, sporting event, restaurant or product. But starting a critical evaluation essay isn’t just about presenting your opinion. It’s also about drawing the reader in so he will want to read. Critically evaluating something requires that the person be able to exercise their sense of reason, employing multiple skills for arguing and demonstrating various points. Critical thinking is often synonymous to active learning. Active learning contrasts with passive learning in that it requires.