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Critical Essay vs. Essay Critique

Critical Essay vs. Essay Critique: What is What

Nov 07, 2012 - Posted to  Essay Writing
There are many types of essays and one of them is the critical essay which is very objective and usually expresses either a positive or a negative point of view on a particular topic or subject. On the other hand, an essay critique evaluates an essay after reading it and is a sort of a feedback to the author of the essay. Though the critical essay and essay critique have few similarities, both are different. Below are few points that will help us understand the similarities and differences between a critical essay and an essay critique:
  • While writing a critical essay one has to research to find facts and examples associated with the subject to form an opinion on the subject, and thereby have a strong point of view (either positive or negative) on that subject. Conversely, while critiquing an essay one's main source of information is the essay itself, and hence you have to read it repeatedly, with great attention to detail, to form an opinion and provide feedback to the author of the essay.
  • While writing a critical essay, you might have the flexibility to choose a topic of your interest. But in case you have to critique an essay, there is no or limited scope of choosing any topic of your choice.
  • A critical essay uses facts and examples to support the author's point of view, whereas a critique essay allows direct commenting on the essay that is being critiqued.

These guidelines will help you with writing

  • When writing a critical essay, you have to make sure that the essay's thesis statement is clear and is mentioned in the introduction of the essay. However, critique goal is to check if the author is clear and concise in expressing the main thesis of the essay.
  • Writing a critical essay requires you to be more generous while analyzing the essay and demands that you focus on the point of view that the author expressed throughout the essay.
  • Critical essays as well as essay critiques evaluate the subject and discuss the positive and negative aspects of the subject.
  • In order to critique an essay, it is imperative that you develop your reading and comprehending skills as you have to objectively and critically evaluate the essay and also have to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the author in terms of essay writing.

Don't stick to one idea, always look for alternative opinions and relevant sources.

To write an essay critique, you should also have good knowledge of the subject that is being discussed or being elaborated in the essay. This would also help in spotting any epistemological errors made by the author, if any. However, when writing a critical essay it would be an advantage to have an in depth knowledge of the subject matter on which you write, else use the facts and examples that you get after doing the research on the same.

Pay attention to the following

  • In an essay critique, the style of the essay in question has to be analyzed and factors such as the sentence flow, variety in the structure used, the format etc., should be explained in detail. In addition, the essay critique writer should also discuss the scope of improvement, if any.
  • Since essay critique is also a specific type of essay, the structure of the essay critique is more or less the same as a critical essay.
  • When writing an essay critique, you have to consider the length of the essay and check if it is appropriate for the topic depending on how narrow the topic is. You also have to tell about how well or incorrectly the paragraphs are connected within the essay. You have to mention if there are any specific paragraphs that need revising. One must also not miss to mention the aspects of the paragraph that are to be revised to make the paragraph more effective.
  • An essay critique can sometimes involve an argument, contradicting the author's thesis in cases where the essay lacks strength in its own argument.
  • Both critical essay and essay critique require an objective analysis of the subject, however in case of the essay critique, the subject is the essay in question and hence the objective analysis of the style, structure, language of the essay is carried out.
  • It is important to define the key terms used in the critical essay, as the essay critique checks the usage of keywords and also tries to find relevant information and throw light on the definitions.
  • An essay critique is written after considering many aspects of the essay in question, such as its argument, definitions of key words and their relevance, author, evidences used in the essay, audience, and the purpose of the essay.

Take each task with full responsibility and for final touches do

  • It is highly recommended that one writes an essay critique in third person and not in the first person, especially as this is an objective piece of writing. The same can be applied in case of critical essays, and an objective tone should be employed in the essay.
  • Conclusion of a critical essay summarizes the point of view of the author and is very similar to the introduction of the essay where the purpose and the argument of the essay are outlined. In case of an essay critique, the conclusion is very important as it influences the thinking of the reader by presenting him/her with a thorough analysis of the essay, with a special emphasis on the outline and the writing style of the author.
  • It is important that you know the difference between writing a critical essay and critiquing an essay in order to write either, as it helps you in adapting the style and also in choosing appropriate words to use in case of providing feedback or reviewing a subject.
  • It is recommended that one read an essay critically, applying logic to understand the picture behind the essay and then begin to critique the essay. In the same way, it is highly recommended that one proofreads the critical essay thoroughly after writing it; this is especially crucial as it helps the writer with an opportunity to avoid errors and make modifications to improve the quality of your work.
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