Critical Essay

Critical Essay: A critical analysis examines an article or other work to determine how the piece makes an argument or point effective. These reviews are usually applied to articles or books, but you can also analyze films, paintings, and other less traditional works. While you can examine the author’s use of rhetorical appeals, your focus for a critical analysis should be on the overall ability and effectiveness of the article.

Looking for an easy way to Learning of English Grammar Exercises for Class 9 ICSE. You have to learn basic English Grammer topics like Tenses, Verbs, Nouns, etc… In this article, we will review the best English Grammer Topics and compare them against each other.

Critical Essay

The most characteristic features of critical writing are:

  1. A balanced presentation of reasons why the conclusions of other writers may be accepted or may need to be treated with caution.
  2. A clear presentation of your own evidence and argument, leading to your conclusion.
  3. A recognition of the limitations in your own evidence, argument, and conclusion.

With critical writing you are required to make sure of the following points:

  • Healthy skepticism but not cynicism.
  • Confidence but not arrogance.
  • Judgment which is critical but not dismissive.
  • Opinions without being opinionated.
  • Careful evaluation of published work not serial shooting at random targets.
  • Being ‘fair’: assessing fairly the strengths and weaknesses of other people’s ideas and writing without prejudice.
  • Making judgments on the basis of considerable thought and all the available evidence as opposed to assertions without reason.

Guidelines for writing Critical Essay

Choose a focused topic

1. Choose something in the reading that really grabs your interests (the best writing comes when the writer is most engaged with the topic). “Critical essay” need not mean you must criticize the reading as “bad” or flawed; you may offer a positive critical appreciation as well.

Title your essays

1. Choose a title that emphasizes the main topic of your essay, that is, do not simply use the formal title of the assigned reading.

A Critical Essay should almost always:

  • present an analysis and
  • Develop an argument

1. Analysis: break down a subject or an idea into parts and explain how the parts relate to each other and to the whole (establish a context, state the claims, examine the claims, relate the analysis to the whole or to an issue stemming from the whole).

2. Argument: assert a position, identify support and opposition, conclude by interpreting the significance of this evidence in relation to your position and follow its implications.

3. Do not simply summarize the readings think critically about the author’s theoretical assumptions, use of ethnographic data, strategies of analysis, interpretation, or representation, etc.

4. Push yourself to consider the implications of your own argument.

5. Write your essay using the first person pronoun or ‘I’.

6. Comment on the style of writing whether you find it philosophical, thrilling, ironical or bitter.

Sample Essays

1. The Legacy of Nehru

As the first Prime Minister of Independent India, Pandit Nehru shouldered great responsibility. His vision to stabilize a disintegrated country hit various road-blocks. Faced with daunting challenges, not all that he conceived and preached worked well.

He inherited India in its most difficult period, a time that saw the country struggle to make its historical past meet a new modern reality of independence, democracy and development.

With his unquestioned leadership ability, Nehru chose the path of a centralized economy to develop India. In his vision, it was the Soviet model that worked the best under the circumstances, even though he was hardly an admirer of the Soviet Union.

He gave India, despite it being a new nation, an international standing. He was also a great believer in democracy and social reform.

He also carried with him a lot of idealism, that in hindsight can be said to have hurt the nation. His ability to maintain a scrupulous personal honesty did not prevent him from overlooking the corruption around him. He is also sometimes believed to be almost naive: he refused, for example, to believe that China would ever attack India. The 1962 War was a humiliation that the country had to bear. Many also blame the Kashmir imbroglio on his decision not to use adequate military force to suppress Pakistan.

‘Nehruvian socialism’ has now entered the lexicon as a term that is used to define India’s inability to have grown at a pace that could have been much faster. One way or another, Nehru has become a target of hindsight: he is either adored or reviled for India’s progress or lack of it.

2. The Indian Education System

Education has been a problem in our country and lack of it has been blamed for all sorts of evil for hundreds of years. We have established IITs, IIMs, law schools and other institutions of excellence; students now routinely score 90% and more marks, even then they find it difficult to get into the colleges of their choice; but we do more of the same old stuff.

Rote learning still plagues our system, students study only to score marks in exams, and sometimes to crack exams like IIT JEE, AIIMS or CLAT. The colonial masters introduced education system in India to create clerks and civil servants, and we have not deviated much from that pattern till today.

Even if there are a few centers of educational excellence, for each of those there are thousands of mediocre and terrible schools, colleges and now even universities that do not meet even minimum standards. If things have changed a little bit somewhere, elsewhere things have sunk into further inertia, corruption and lack of ambition.

Creating a few more schools or allowing hundreds of colleges and private universities to mushroom is not going to solve the crisis of education in India. And a crisis it is – we are in a country where people are spending their parent’s life savings and borrowing money for education and even then not getting standard education, and later struggling to find employment of their choice.

In this country, millions of students are victim of an unrealistic, pointless, rat race. The mind numbing competition and rote learning do not only crush the creativity and originality of millions of Indian students every year, but in some cases drives brilliant students to commit suicide.

We also live in a country where people see education as the means of climbing social and economic ladder. If the education system is failing – then it is certainly not due to lack of demand for good education, or because a market for education does not exist.

Education system in India is failing because of more intrinsic reasons. There are systemic faults that do not let our demand for good education translate into a great marketplace with excellent educational services. The system is plagued by red tapism, the politics of reservation, lack of motivated and excellent teachers, infrastructural mess and above all the politicization of education.

Suggested Outlines of Critical Essays

What I Find Most Annoying

  • Write about the most irritating, bothersome things in your life.
  • What annoys you about these things or people?

A Good Personality Trait

  • Think of a person you really like or admire.
  • Think of a personality trait that makes them so special.
  • Write about this good trait.
  • Explain why you like it.

A Bad Personality Trait

  • Think of a person you really dislike.
  • Think of a personality trait that makes the person so unpleasant.
  • Write about this bad trait and why you dislike it.

The Best Food You’ve Ever Eaten

  • Write about the best food you ever tasted.
  • What was it and why did you like it so much?
  • Have you had the chance to have it again?

The Worst Movie you have ever seen

  • Write about the most terrible movie you have ever seen.
  • Which one was it?
  • Why did you dislike it so much?


1. Evaluate a TV series which is based on a novel (or novel series). Analyze how well the format of TV is adapted in telling this particular story.

2. Examine a remake of a classic movie. Analyze whether the remake is as good as the original. What is changed? Are some aspects better and others worse? Is the vision of the director same?

3. Critically analyze a book that you recently bought from the book fair.

You might also like

Comments are closed.