Who doesn't love to watch a movie? It may seem like a dream assignment when you are asked to watch a movie and then critique it. It always seems like an easy task, to simply watch something and then tell someone what you think about it, but in the world of academics, critiquing any work is anything but simple. There are certain rules that must be adhered to, things that must be included, and ways that the critique must be constructed, for it to be considered reasonable and valid.
What is a critique?
A critique is a paper which is based upon breaking down and either criticizing, or praising, someone's work. It is a way to tell someone how you feel about a certain work, and then try to persuade them to agree with you. It is not enough to merely state what you thought about any work, paper, or movie, you must lend to it concrete evidence about why you feel the way that you do, and form a valid argument outlining the steps you took to come to the conclusion that you did.
What is the structure of a critique?
Although each critique is based on something different, when written, they are all constructed in the same manner. The structure of a critique is:
- Introduction - this is the place where you add your thesis statement. The thesis statement is a sentence which tells the reader your opinion, and the argument for or against, that you are about to form and conclude. The thesis statement is quite arguably the most important component to any critique, as it guides the reader through the paper
- Body - the body is where you will make your argument. By making assertions, then providing proof, you will validly form your argument, for or against the work
- Conclusion - the conclusion is where you take the points made in the body and form a coherent conclusion to it. The point of the conclusion is the restate the points made, and then tie them all together to prove your thesis statement. The conclusion is also where you persuade the reader to your opinion of the work
What are the five most important tips to writing a critique?
Choose a side either for or against
When writing a critique
about a work, whatever it is, it is crucial to be clear about what your opinion is. There is no room for wishy washy opinions, or statements about the work. A critique is where you either present your case for or against the goodness of what you are critiquing.
Make an outline
Before you begin writing your paper it is always best to form an outline. If you want your argument to flow coherently, and to make sure that you have substantiated it appropriately, laying it out in the form of an outline, is the best way to achieve that goal. Start with the thesis statement, make your points, add concrete examples to them and then form the conclusion.
Have a clear and concise thesis statement
The thesis statement is where you will form your argument. Make sure that you include the statement in your introduction. The thesis statement is a sentence about how you feel about the article, either for or against it. It is the basis for why you are writing the paper
at all. Making sure that it is clear and concise is crucial to the paper itself. It guides the reader as to the intention of your paper, why it is being written and what they are supposed to take away with it.
Back your assertions with proof
When writing your paper make sure that if you make an assertion, or state an opinion, you give proof to back it up, concrete proof. Although a critique is highly subjective, it does need to contain objective proof as to how, and why, you formed the opinion that you did. Giving examples is the best way to lend credence to your assertions and overall opinion of the work.
Have a valid conclusion
If you have a thesis statement which is made, it is very important to back it up with a conclusion. The conclusion is where you take all the component of your argument and tie them together. If you don't have a conclusion that concludes the points made throughout the paper, the entirety of your critique will not be strong, or valid. It is also the place where you tell the reader why they should feel the way that you do about it and what they should take away from your critique. Without a coherent conclusion, there is no need to write, or to read, a critique at all.
A critique is an assignment that professors will often assign to students for two reasons. The first being that they have a command of the subject matter and that they were paying attention. The second reason is to see that they have an opinion about the subject and can form an argument about it either for or against. If you are writing a critique it is crucial for you to have an argument about it. Every critique must follow the same structure: Introduction, body and conclusion, with the cornerstone of it being the thesis statement. Without a clear thesis statement
, your reader will not know why they are reading your critique or what to expect from it.
By following the five tips that have been outlined, you will insure that you not only have formed a valid argument but that you have provided the proof to that argument. Each step is important to the entire validity and coherency of the paper that you are writing. The strength of your argument is going to be guided by the effectiveness of your writing and your adherence to the rules of how a critique is supposed to be formed.