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    How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay? - Guide with Examples

    Home / Blog / How To Write A Critical Thinking Essay?

    Critical Thinking Essay
     Admin  Published On Mar 5, 2019 | Updated on Aug 11, 2023  Essay

    Critical Thinking Essay

    A critical thinking essay presents an elaborate analysis of a work of art as a book, film, or painting. The objective of this kind of essay is to provide an interpretation and analysis of the text or connect the text to a broader context.

    For instance, a critical analysis of a book might emphasize the tone or theme of the text to detect how it influences the meaning of the text as a whole.

    Now, you may have difficulty carrying out this intricate process of in-depth analysis. That’s why the essay writer has presented a complete guide on how to write a stellar critical thinking essay. 

    Read the text you’ll be analyzing

    A critical essay paper essentially seeks to evaluate a book, a painting, a movie, or even an article. In order to present an analysis, you need to be perfectly acquainted with the piece of work you’ll be working with.

    Read and reread the text as many time as you want. The idea is to gain a solid clarity over the different aspects of the text, like the character, themes, tone, and style.

    For example, let’s assume you are assigned with the topic- “Critically analyze the portrayal of women in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth.” You have to read two of the plays mentioned in the topic to develop an understanding of the characters.

    Take notes while you read

    Taking notes while you read will allow you to remember significant aspects of the text. It will also enable you to think critically about the text. You need to keep the relevant questions in mind as you read the materials. Once you’re done the reading, attempt to answer the questions listed below.

    What are the primary ideas?

    What are the most confusing elements in the text?

    What is the purpose of this text?

    Does the text fulfill its purpose?


    Figure 1: Questions to focus on while taking notes

    You can check out the in-depth information on different types of questions provided in the website of the University of Washington.  

    Derive the information through the research process

    Generally, preparing a critical thinking essay will require you to explore different critical essays on the particular piece that you are evaluating. You can explore

    different types of sources that would be appropriate for the essay paper.

    Books, scholarly articles, journals, newspaper or magazine articles, and trustworthy websites are some sources that you might consider.

    You can use the online database of your university library. These online libraries contain a vast reserve of information. The databases offer you free access to articles and other valuable resources that you cannot otherwise gain access to. 

    Analyze the sources you have gathered

    While working on a critical thinking essay, it’s crucial that you pick the most relevant and reliable sources. Now, there are several factors to consider while analyzing the sources you’ve collected.

    Author’s credentials: The resources that you collect should include the name and credentials of the writer. The credentials should highlight why the author is qualified to be taken as an authority on this topic.

    Relevant citations: Check the sources that the author has used. Any reliable article would include proper citations. You can use the citations section to carry out further research.

    Bias: Check if the author has offered an objective, well-drafted account of the topic.

    Date of publication: Find out whether this source provides the most pertinent information on the subject.

     Factors to check within the sources

    Figure 2: Factors to check within the sources


    Put together an impactful thesis statement

    You must create a tentative thesis while working on your essay paper. Powerful thesis statements bring out the primary focus of a paper and elaborate on an arguable claim. Consider the following points while writing thesis statements

    Ensure that your thesis is comprehensive. Instead of stating that something is "effective”, you should focus on why it’s "effective."

    The thesis statement should feature in the introductory paragraph unless your professor advises against it.

    The following is a snapshot from Nova Southeastern University on how to write a thesis statement for a critical thinking essay.


    mage 2


    Image 1: Thesis Statement on critical thinking essay


    Develop an outline depending on your research

    Creating an outline prior to writing the essay will allow you to compile your information. Always remember that the more detail you incorporate in your outline, the more material you will have to put into your paper.

    You can use a formal structure that uses Arabic or Roman numerals and letters. You can also use an informal "mind-map" type of outline, which lets you organise your ideas before you have a concrete understanding of how they progress. 

    Introduce your essay brilliantly 

    Your introduction should immediately describe your topic. You need to consider the things you will elucidate in your paper to assist you in deciding what you should incorporate in your introduction. Remember that your introduction should focus on the main idea of your critical essay and serve as its preview.

    To start a critical thinking essay on a high note, include evocative information that connects to the larger idea. This example from Thompson Rivers University explains how to write a stellar introduction.  

    Present relevant background details

    Offering proper background information or context will allow you to guide your readers through your paper. Consider the things your readers need to know to understand the rest of your essay. Put this information in the paragraph. This information will differ depending on the type of essay you need to write.

    Always remember that your background details should connect to your thesis statement. Emphasize on everything the reader needs to know to gain an idea about your topic, then narrow it down until you can clearly define the topic itself. 

    Elaborate and analyze the main body paragraphs

    Instead of talking about multiple elements of the text you are evaluating in a single paragraph, make sure that each body paragraph focuses on a single aspect. The description of each of these aspects should contribute to solidifying your thesis. Each body paragraph should consider the following factors.

    • Present a claim at the start of the paragraph.
    • Back the claim with at least one pertinent example from your primary source(s).
    • Provide at least one example from your secondary sources to support the claim.

    The image presented below highlights how the body paragraphs should be organized.

    Prepare a hard-hitting conclusion

    The conclusion should elaborate on what you have attempted to interpret in the text you've analyzed. Before you present your conclusion, invest sufficient time reflecting on what you have presented in the paper so far. Consider the following pointers while writing this section.

    • Summarise and review the main ideas about the text you have evaluated.
    • Elucidate on how your topic relates to a broader context or observation.
    • Compel the reader to act or further explore the scope of the topic.

    Parting thoughts,

    Analyzing a piece of work is an intricate process that needs an in-depth understanding. So, it’s important that you develop that understanding before proceeding to work on the elaborate processes mentioned above. Keep the suggestions in mind if you want to prepare a brilliant essay.

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