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Hammering Away at a Critical Analysis Essay Outline

A critical analysis essay is an analysis of another author’s essay, poem, book, or article. This analysis contains everything you can spot in this essay that needs to be addressed, from the author’s overall thesis statement, to their major arguments, to their purpose, their major points, and their attitude toward the material (humorous, critical, informative) and the addition of how well you feel they fulfilled their thesis –if their argument is successful.

This is the only essay in which you are allowed to express your opinion on a work of scholarship.

Parts of a Critical Analysis

When you write a critical analysis, you have to analyze everything about the document you can.

Here’s list of all the things you need to address:

  1. First you need to tell the reader the author’s name, their credentials (for example, “Professor of Science and Research at Duke University”).

    Next, tell us the title of the work and who published it. For example

    The author of this article is named Rhonda Smith, who is the head of the Department of Oceanography at NASA, and the title of it is “Analysis of Coral Ecosystems in the Indian Ocean.”

  2. What is the author’s thesis and purpose—what is he or she arguing for or against?
  3. Is there a strong reason why the author is arguing this?

    For example, the author is urging for coral reef protection in the Indian Ocean because coral reef systems there are beginning to show signs of damage—chiefly bleaching and overfishing.

  4. Does the author offer a solution to this problem?

    Yes, --to turn the area into a national marine park.

  5. Is there solution a good one?
  6. What kind of evidence does he/ she use to support his/her argument? Is the evidence credible? Are their sources stated clearly? Are they reliable sources?
  7. Is the article effective?
  8. What means of persuasion does the author use?

    Emotion, hard evidence? Do they appeal to our emotions or logic.

    Answer all of these questions fully and organize them into a roman numeral numbered type of construction.


Now, organize the information you used into an essay with a clear introduction, a clear thesis, a body with evidence of the efficacy of the article, and a conclusion, in which you make some final statement about the article or work in question with finality.


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