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How to Write a Critical Analytical Essay 1) Things to keep in mind: a) Use the p

How to Write a Critical Analytical Essay
1) Things to keep in mind:
a) Use the present tense.
b) Formal language is required.
c) When you use quotations they must be seamless. If you have to change a word in your
quotation to make it seamless, put the change in square brackets.
d) Use indentations to begin each new paragraph. Double space.
e) Don’t use the thesaurus and then choose a word that you are not absolutely certain of
in the context in which you intend to use it. Incorrect usage of vocabulary will affect
meaning and will lower your mark.
f) Do not use personal pronouns. When you use “you”, you are including the reader. Don’t
do this!
g) Avoid beginning sentences with “This”. Instead be specific.
h) Once you have told the reader that the literature you have chosen is a short story,
memoir, film etc. don’t repeat this information, it is word filler and redundant.
i) Do not use filler phrases such as “at the beginning of the story,” “in the middle of the
story,” etc. This is empty language-in other words-useless information use to fill in white
j) Deal with significant elements of the full text, not just a single event or merely the
beginning of the text. You must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the
k) When you are ready to submit your essay edit it again. Look specifically for tense issues,
poorly constructed sentences, rambling sentences, sentence fragments, too many
sentences beginning with a subject, imprecise and incorrect use of vocabulary and
wordiness (unnecessary words that interfere with meaning rather than facilitate
The structure of the essay:
1) You can use the five paragraph essay in the beginning however, according to Alberta Learning
there is no such thing as typical length. The essay is as long as it needs to be with a minimum of
five paragraphs, one for introduction, three body and one for your conclusion.
2) Thesis Statement
Your first task is to create a thesis statement based on the topic you have been given (the
question you are given on an in-class essay and on the diploma). The thesis is like a
mathematical equation. It is what you believe that the author has said about the topic and must
be provable based on the text. Your opinions have no place in this essay. It is only what you can
demonstrate and support using the text. Do not moralize and do not tell what you think. In the
thesis you state what you believe the author has to say about the topic through plot structure,
character development, setting, point of view, tone and mood, symbolism, irony, juxtaposition,
diction etc. Link you thesis to the theme of the literature you have chosen and to the topic. A
good way to start your thesis statement is to begin as follows:
In his short story, “The Painted Door,” Sinclair Ross demonstrates that when a person is lonely,
discontent, vulnerable and isolated, he or she will make unwise decisions that have dreadful
consequences (the topic is choices and the theme is isolation). A thesis is what the writer has to
say about the human condition that could be applied in many situations. Therefore, the thesis
does not have names of characters.
3) Opening Paragraph
a) In one or two sentences, define the topic in relation to the story but don’t be too specific.
Since choices is the topic in this example, limit your definition to decisions made by
characters in the story as well as the consequences that follow. Do not use character names
etc. The introduction is general because you are commenting on the human condition.
b) Now insert your thesis statement.
c) Write a statement identifying the specific character (s) and conflict in the literature you are
4) Body Paragraphs: usually three.
Each body paragraph is one part of your evidence to prove your thesis. Each body paragraph
must have a focus which you introduce in your opening or topic sentence. Use 2-3 examples,
from the literature, as proof of what you believe the author is saying and finally, close or clinch
the paragraph by making it absolutely clear why the evidence you have supplied has proven the
thesis. An effective way to structure each paragraph is by following the SEXY pattern outlined
SEXY Pattern
S-Statement that introduces the main/controlling idea.
X-Explanation and interpretation of the evidence. Fully explain how the evidence supports your
controlling idea. This is where you present your analysis. In critical/analytical writing, you must
interpret and analyze the evidence to explain how it supports the controlling idea. Your thinking
must be insightful and at least, coherent. Incoherent writing is an indicator of incoherent
thinking. Your ability to think about literature and present a logical coherent understanding is
being evaluated. The best thinking is insightful and illuminating, causing the reader to develop a
better understanding of the literature. As well, “any old” evidence is not acceptable! Note the
word relevant. In order to achieve excellent, evidence must be “precise and astutely chosen.”
Y-From the closing sentences, it must be absolutely clear Y-why the evidence you have supplied
in the paragraph has proven the controlling idea. Do not leave it up to the reader to “read your
mind.” Create a strong link back to the controlling idea.
Form and Structure:
Your paragraphs must be connected so that the reader could not place them in a different
order. Use transition words to connect ideas. Some examples of transition words are: in
addition, moreover, another, next, specifically, currently, consequently, similarly, on the other
hand, conversely, etc. To find others search transition words in essays.
5) Conclusion
The purpose of this paragraph is to remind the reader of what you have proven. Therefore,
restate your thesis in different words, this time being more specific. Remind the reader of you
major areas of proof. This paragraph must be powerful because it is your last opportunity to
impress the reader. Do not introduce any new information. Do not offer your opinion. Do not
moralize. Do not express your opinions about the skill or lack thereof of the author. Make sure
your conclusion does not resemble your opening paragraph.
You have the rubric that will be used to mark your essay. Read it carefully. Plot summary is not
the purpose of this essay and you can’t pass by doing so.

The post How to Write a Critical Analytical Essay
1) Things to keep in mind:
a) Use the p appeared first on essaynook.com.

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