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Critical Analysis Essay Writing Guidelines For College Students

Writing a critical analysis essay might be one of the toughest assignments college students will ever encounter. Even though a critical analysis essay isn’t as long as a research paper, a thesis or a dissertation, it still demands a lot of focus and energy to thoroughly analyze, evaluate, and present an original argument about the text in question. Most college students cringe when they see this on their semester assignment list, with good reason. This article brings you some essential guidelines that should help make the process of writing a critical analysis essay much easier.

  1. Read all of the material.
  2. The first step in composing a great paper is to read all of the material. Read actively: taking notes or writing down questions in a notebook. You’re going to write a better college essay if you re-read the material at least twice.

  3. Draft your analysis notes.
  4. After reading all of the necessary material, draft your critical analysis notes. These are any notes or questions you have about the material that will be used as the basis for your argument. Don’t hold back at this stage. You won’t need to use all of your ideas and can choose the best ones in the next stage of these guidelines.

  5. Create an essay outline.
  6. College students should make a habit out of creating an essay outline before they move onto the first draft of an assignment. An outline keeps one organized and helps by presenting a visual of your topic points and supporting evidence that will go into your paper.

  7. Write your first draft.
  8. Start to write your first draft as early as possible to allow yourself plenty of time in the later stages of composition to make corrections through thorough revision, editing and proofreading. When you write this draft do so without stopping to make corrections to small mistakes. Be as efficient as possible.

  9. Revise your paper.
  10. Don’t skip this step in the process. Revising is an important part of the writing process, which is why we’ve included it in these guidelines. Reread your first draft and look for ways to improve upon your argument by removing content, rearranging content or adding content.

  11. Proofread and edit.
  12. When students reach the end of their revised paper, they make the mistake of thinking they are done with the assignment. You should never do this: especially in college. Give yourself plenty of time to reread your paper with a fresh set of eyes to make sure you can proofread and edit it correctly.