How to Write a Critical Lens Essay
Quite often students are faced with a problem in their school days: How to write a critical lens essay? This article is aimed at helping those students who want to know what exactly a critical lens essay is and how it should be written.
A critical lens essay is an essay that is mostly used in some U.S. schools, especially those that are affiliated with the New York State Regents Exam. In the critical lens essay you are given a quote and have to decide whether you agree with it or not by writing an essay. In writing the essay, you explore the quote as well as the books, novels or sources from which the quote has been derived and make your own critical analysis and interpretation of things and finally come to a conclusion. The aim of the critical lens essay is to measure the students ability of his or her reading, writing and critical thinking skills. One thing that must be always present in the critical lens essay is that the student should be able to make his or her own viewpoint on the subject, matter or topic, which has been written by him or her in the essay.
In writing a critical lens essay you must respond to the point of view conveyed by the quote and after that, you should try to explain the same in your own words. Any critical lens essay includes the following three steps: interpretation, analysis and explanation, which in turn test your ability to think, plan and write the essay in a cohesive manner using common literary terms. Before writing the actual critical lens essay, you should try to identify all the literary elements that are in a source book, novel, story, etc. Some typical literary elements are: tone, theme, characterization, language of numbers, symbolism, point of view, irony, plot, flashback, foreshadowing, etc. Every critical lens essay should consist of the following parts: introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. In making the essay, the student should use at least two different pieces of literature and describe all the literary terms . The following steps will guide you in writing a critical lens essay.
Steps in writing a critical lens essay:
- First, you should start with the introduction. Here you need to write the critical lens quote word for word. You can use the name of the source (author) before the actual quote. An example could be like this: According to the author XZY, Quote here.
- Once you have copied the actual quote word for word, you need to rewrite the quote in your own words. Here, the interpretation part is involved what exactly does the quote mean to you? You should not write in the first person like I, me, we, you, but use the third person instead like they, those, etc. You should try to write your own interpretation of the quote entirely in your own words. This will become your thesis statement, which you will later prove to be true from the two literary works that had been assigned to you or selected by you.
- Now, once you have written the introduction, you should start with the body paragraph, which should contain the title or source, the authors name and other details about the first source. Here you should restate your interpretation of the quotes and also the literary terms used in the sources.
- Repeat the above steps for the second literary source and use the literary terms to support your position similar to the first paragraph. Remember, you need to interpret the quote in light of the two sources that you are using. You can summarize the plot briefly in order to emphasize your stand. You should make your interpretation clear and stand out to make your claim.
- In the conclusion part you should restate the quote by summarizing the examples cited in the body paragraphs. You should write the name of the author or individual who provided the quote. Here you can highlight some evidence from the sources so that it stimulates the reader into thinking about your idea.
Although some of you might never had written a critical lens essay in your entire life, by following the above steps you will definitely find it easier to write such essays when required.Place Order Now
A critical essay contains analyses, interpretations, and evaluations of specific texts. Critical writing touches upon various mediums. Film, advertising, literature, music, scientific and academic works all go through the prism of critique. Although the name “critical essay” might suggest a negative connotation, the process is actually neutral. If the writer offers a prejudiced view, challenge it. If work is valuable and insightful, write in appraisal of their contribution.
Table Of Contents
Critical essays are traditionally intended for academic audiences. However, the roots of critical evaluation remain present in the mundane. The modern world is a product of decisions based on interpretations. People always react. Whether it's specific images we see in the media or opinions of friends we disagree with. Reactions can be manifested through violence, or ideally, discussed and dissected for better understanding of our world. These discussions are as important to ‘real life’ as the critical essay is to academia.
Plan Your Essay
It's important to consider a few things before getting down to the actual writing stage. Here are some points from our essay writer to get started with a critical essay.
Evaluate the work
When writing about the work of a different author, . This summary must make the author’s point of view clear. Authors always have a specific idea they want to carry through to the reader. The .
Know the author
After in-depth analysis and outline of the author’s work, . There are cases where authors omit essential facts for the sake of proving their argument. You may also notice some inconsistency in the author’s reasoning. As the person providing critical analysis, it is your role to explore these points. It is not for the sake of criticism - but for giving a better, and fuller understanding of the topic to the reader.
Write a tentative thesis
. Remember that you can always change the thesis later to match your findings. Just make a rough statement for reference while at the beginning stages.
Reference everything used in correct format
It is no surprise that plagiarism is taken very seriously. . Regardless of the essay you are writing or the professor's preferred style. Here is a guide on possible citation formats.
How to structure a critical essay
There are various formats of critical writing. From book reports, critical analyses of academic works, to the critique of poetry, writing, cinema, etc. By the time you write critical essays in college, you should have already mastered the 5-paragraph-essay format. This goes to say that . In fact, .
The reader will only trust you after you’ve shown that you know the work inside out and backward. Offering critical analysis on the author’s terms is a helpful tip to preserve continuity. It will make your essay read like a natural progression of the argument at hand, rather than some radical, destructive criticism.
This being said, every essay follows a pattern which makes it academic. Whatever format you choose for your critical essay, take care to include these core structural principles.
- Title, hook, background information and introduction to topic, thesis statement
- State an idea or opinion;
- Provide evidence, use quotes;
- Relate to thesis.
- Summarize the most important findings;
- Restate thesis, opinions and reflections;
- Further questions and concluding sentence.
After writing your title, . This can consist of a question or an interesting fact. Then some background information on what you will be finding out and the basis for the essay. Try to keep it intriguing and not switch off the reader. After this, state the thesis for the analysis, make this concise but informative as this will be the whole point of the critical essay.
This is the main findings and bulk of the work, so . Start a paragraph with the opinion or idea that you are discussing. Then it is essential to back up everything with actual evidence in the form of quotations or examples. With every aspect try to relate it to the thesis in some way. Make sure paragraphs interlink nicely and flow well to the next by using transition words and phrases. A good flow keeps it from being just a long list of statements.
A good flow keeps your writing from being just a long list of statements.
. First, summarize the most important findings that have been explored in the work. Then restate the thesis, showing the reader what the paper has shown. It is likely that you will include personal thoughts and opinions related to the findings. Make sure they are in line with the style of the work. The concluding sentence can be the most noted. Make sure it is memorable and thought-provoking. This can take the shape of asking the reader a question or doing further research of their own. Even humor can be used but be careful with this as not everybody has the same taste.
Techniques Used In Literary Critiques
An objective analysis - The evaluation will be based only on facts and not using feeling or emotion in the study.
Traditional Critique - The main feature is the collective agreement of what literature educated people should read and what are the aims and purposes of such works.
New Critique - This was meant to be a diversion from previous methods and concentrated on just the text itself. Areas of irony, metaphor, ambiguity, and paradox were under close evaluation.
Marxist Criticism - As the name suggests it closely based its analogy through class conflicts and identification but coming to conclusions of a political or social nature. Marxist criticism has had a profound effect on the understanding of literature.
Metaphorical Critique - This is no surprise and as expected the close identification of metaphors to greater understand a specific work and its author.
New Historicism - In essence, this is the study of literature through its historical value without evaluating it through previous literary studies and analogies.
Psychological Critique - This can be interpreted as a deep understanding of the text through Freud as an example of a theorist which is stating the author's unconscious wishes just like dreams can be evaluated as a pathway to their mind.
Sociological Criticism - Mainly focuses on how the literature represents social functions but also where the work fits into society in general.
Moral or Ethical Criticism - To judge work or literary piece by the morals learned or moral lessons within the text.
Top Tips To Save You Time
- Come back to the draft later - After completing you first, complete draft put it to one side then review it after a few days. A clear mind is always an advantage in proofreading your work.
- Explain everything - Do not assume the reader knows a particular detail or fact. Carefully guide the audience through each step of the way. Describe technical terms and abbreviations fully.
- Thesis and Introduction can be completed later - The thesis statement or introduction can be achieved in full after a large proportion of the critical essay has been done to save time and write something better.
- A second pair of eyes can be better - Let a family friend or professional colleague review your work and get a second opinion but be prepared for criticism.
- Develop your style of writing - Do not write in the style of someone else but try to get comfortable with your style. It can take a while and possibly more than one essay. Once mastered it will be much more rewarding and save you time in the long run.
- Do not be scared of an issue - When describing something make sure you are being specific and do not give vague or timid explanations that will annoy the reader.
- Rhetorical questions should not be used - The body of the arguments should only contain points based on findings and factual statements.
- Plan the time well - It is common not to have enough time to read through all the literature. Make a plan for how much can be read and anything else will rely on a search using the index while embarking on the essay.
Reading books taking your precious time?
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