Critical Thinking Essay


Negotiating a topic for your critical essay writing should prompt you to ask your lecturer the following question: 'Do you think this topic is worth writing about or should I try something else?' As typical, the mistake made by many students is the choice of the critical essay topic that is far too wide, or to choose one which lends itself to too long description instead of analysis. You will be more than likely steered towards a focused and specific critical thinking essay topic.

If you're looking at historical documents or sorting out your reading, you need to look for issues and things you can question while writing an essay. There has to be something worthy of writing about in the college critical essay and you won't get that by describing a document. You have to look at your evidence and try to understand what it means. For instance, we're looking at the 'Music Hall' as evidence of imperialism - so we'll look at the songs and try to find out what values are embedded in the verses. Then we'll relate those values to other types of evidence from the period.

You should write critical essays because they teach you something, not just as an exercise to prove your ability to write. Besides gaining a coursework grade or mark, English essay writing clarifies your thinking, gives you some idea of how well you understand the subject critically, and helps you to develop your own thoughts and to present them logically. The process of writing critical essay is as important as the end product:

Critical Essay Format

Devising questions can help you to find an essay focus to write about. You might begin by finding essay problem, a puzzle, or an issue that intrigues you. Studying History you might wonder, for example, what some Edwardian values such as patriotism meant to people at different times. If you are studying a foreign language you might be interested in difference between your native language and the foreign one. In Politics you might consider how power had shifted between local councils and central government. English Literature might prompt an essay about the portrayal of Shakespeare's King Lear. Questions similar to the following ones might help you generate some of your critical essay material:

Critical essay questions:

  • What did Edwardian values like patriotism mean to people at different times (compared with our understanding of patriotism today)?
  • Are some everyday objects more useful than others for the learning of French?
  • How has power shifted from local councils to central government?
  • Should Shakespeare's character Lear be played as a fool or a madman?


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