Composing A Critical Analysis Essay – A Complete Tutorial

A critical analysis is essentially an essay on a given piece of literature which evaluates and analyzes the work from a critic’s point of view detecting the subtle implications and much about the context and background of the literary piece. Usually a critical analysis is written on poetry as poetry pose immense scope of multi-faceted analysis compared to prose. However, under certain circumstances the modern prose often poses as much challenge as any poetry ever does.

A critical analysis essentially comprises of the introduction, the analytical body that can be further sub-categorized as historical significance, symbolism used, literary device used and other miscellaneous observations that can be made on the given text followed by a conclusion. Here we attempt a tutorial where we will explain the various points to be kept in mid while writing a quality critical analysis:

  • - Introduction: This is where we give an overview of the historical context of the given piece of literature. Apart from that we can put forward our overall understanding undisputedly which we will later substantiate with relative critical reasoning.
  • For example, if you are assigned to attempt a critical analysis of “Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth, in the introduction we get a chance to reflect on the poet’s state of mind when he composed the poem and the sequence of events that led to his sublime mind-state. Though the poem never directly refers to the French Revolution, it is obvious that the poet is referring to the destruction of the revolution hence it is also worth mentioning.

  • - The Body: The main body comprises of several parts. Beginning with a summary of the apparent meaning of the given piece slowly move into the deeper implied meaning of the poem.
    • - Substantiate your observations with comments of renowned critics but be careful not to overload your essay with quotations only. Your observations are the ones that the professor or examiner will take into account. Use quotations to back up your argument when you are making an exceptionally unusual observation.
    • - Dedicate a separate paragraph to the style of writing and any significance that can deduced from the overall stylistics.
  • - Conclusion: On the concluding note, express your overall opinion of the poem and anything else that you feel is worth mentioning about it but remember never to get judgmental anywhere or make direct negative comments on the port or the poem.

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