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Critical Evaluation Essay Examples

The purpose for writing a critique is to evaluate somebody's work (a book, an essay, a movie, a painting...) in order to increase the reader's understanding of it. A critical analysis is subjective writing because it expresses the writer's opinion or evaluation of a text. Analysis means to break down and study the parts. Writing a critical paper requires two steps: critical reading and critical writing.

Critical reading:

  1. Identify the author's thesis and purpose
  2. Analyze the structure of the passage by identifying all main ideas
  3. Consult a dictionary or encyclopedia to understand material that is unfamiliar to you
  4. Make an outline of the work or write a description of it
  5. Write a summary of the work
  6. Determine the purpose which could be
    • To inform with factual material
    • To persuade with appeal to reason or emotions
    • To entertain (to affect people's emotions)
  7. Evaluate the means by which the author has accomplished his purpose
  • If the purpose is to inform, has the material been presented clearly, accurately, with order and coherence?
  • If the purpose is to persuade, look for evidence, logical reasoning, contrary evidence
  • If the purpose was to entertain, determine how emotions are affected: does it make you laugh, cry, angry? Why did it affect you?
Consider the following questions: How is the material organized? Who is the intended audience? What are the writer's assumptions about the audience? What kind of language and imagery does the author use?



After the passage under analysis has been carefully studied, the critique can be drafted using this sample outline.

  • I. Background information to help your readers understand the nature of the work
    • A. Information about the work
      • 1. Title
      • 2. Author
      • 3. Publication information
      • 4. Statement of topic and purpose
    • B. Thesis statement indicating writer's main reaction to the work
  • II. Summary or description of the work
  • III. Interpretation and/or evaluation
    • A. Discussion of the work's organization
    • B. Discussion of the work's style
    • C. Effectiveness
    • D. Discussion of the topic's treatment
    • E. Discussion of appeal to a particular audience


Avoid introducing your ideas by stating "I think" or "in my opinion." Keep the focus on the subject of your analysis, not on yourself. Identifying your opinions weakens them.

Always introduce the work. Do not assume that because your reader knows what you are writing about, you do not need to mention the work's title.

Other questions to consider: Is there a controversy surrounding either the passage or the subject which it concerns?

What about the subject matter is of current interest?

What is the overall value of the passage?

What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Support your thesis with detailed evidence from the text examined. Do not forget to document quotes and paraphrases.

Remember that the purpose of a critical analysis is not merely to inform, but also to evaluate the worth, utility, excellence, distinction, truth, validity, beauty, or goodness of something.

Even though as a writer you set the standards, you should be open-minded, well informed, and fair. You can express your opinions, but you should also back them up with evidence.

Your review should provide information, interpretation, and evaluation. The information will help your reader understand the nature of the work under analysis. The interpretation will explain the meaning of the work, therefore requiring your correct understanding of it. The evaluation will discuss your opinions of the work and present valid justification for them.

Where To Get A Good Critical Evaluation Essay Example

Critical evaluation essays are one of the most challenging academic papers students are required to write, especially for the freshmen. This is probably because not many of the students take time to research and understand what is required of them at this level of education. In case you are serious about your grades and want to write the best critical evaluation papers, here are tips that you will find very useful.

Meaning of the term critical

The first thing you need to understand is that at the tertiary level of academics, critical evaluation doesn’t mean that you have to show something is a negative light. Critically evaluating something means looking at all the information that is available on the said topic and evaluating it. After a thorough evaluation, you can then write down all your findings and judgment of the text. By evaluation, the examiner means that you have to look at the strengths and the weaknesses of information given to you and making a conclusion based on the logical weight of the two.

Following the right structure when writing the essay

So, the first step is getting and analyzing the information that has been presented to you. The second is making sure that when you are presenting your point of view, you do it in the right manner. There are five very important parts of a critical evaluation:

  • The introduction: This should be about one paragraph. You will introduce the topic you want to critique to the reader and explain the aim of your text.
  • Summary: Here, you state a summary of the main points that are going to be looked into. Explain the intention of the author when they were writing the text. This will help the reader understand your arguments later.
  • The critique: This will be a balanced argument that includes the strengths, weaknesses and main notable features of a text. This section should be as detailed and as objective as possible.
  • The conclusion and references: After you have critiqued the subject, you have to end the paper with a suitable conclusion. The conclusion should have your final judgment on the text. Make sure to include references and all other information sources you used when writing the paper.

These are the important tips to help you write a perfect critical evaluation. If the process seems hard, you can get an online sample to guide you through the main parts of the process.

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