critical analysis thesis statement
Here is what an outline for a critical analysis essay might look like:
From “Employers Violate Civil Liberties Over Online Videos and Posts” by Lionel Burnett; Opinion Section, New York Weekly Post
For example, music critics like Robert Christgau or Anthony Fantano are examples of professionals who do critical analysis for a living. They explore every layer of meaning (or lack of it) that artists put into their music and offer a final subjective opinion.
Living in an era of social and political unrest certainly has its benefits. Students often pick controversial statements, articles, or events, because they lend themselves easily to critical analysis. Finding a topic for critical essay in this day and age shouldn’t be hard.
Note how the thesis statement classifies the form of the work (writings by immigrants) and identifies the characteristics of that form of writing (tradition, adaptation, and identity) that the essay will discuss.
Before writing the essay, you should brainstorm on the topic to get ideas for the content. Methods of brainstorming include free writing, cluster maps and lists. The value of brainstorming lies in having a judgment-free space to put down everything that comes to mind in relation to the essay’s prompt. If you don’t yet have a thesis statement, this process can help you formulate your thesis, and if you already have a focus, brainstorming can give you ideas for the reasons and analysis you will provide.
A key element of a critical essay is critical thinking: analysis, reflection and explanation of the issue. John Carroll University states that a critical essay involves “evaluating information, theories or situations” and “analyzing information, posing questions and challenging information.” Since the thesis is driving the essay, the analysis should directly support the essay’s single main idea. Forms of analysis include explaining how things happen, why they happen, who they affect and why they matter.
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.