How to Write a Critique Essay: 2024 Guide

What is a Critique Essay? Defining The Purpose

When you are asked to compose a critique essay by your college professor, do not start by seeking some weak parts or saying why you have disliked the movie or suggested course reading. Basically, it is a formal analysis where you have to use evaluation. In terms of content, it can be a paragraph even, theater production, a musical performance, or a philosophical concept. Learning how to write a critical essay, take your time to learn more about the source and the concept you are processing. Depending on your discipline and subject, it can vary from two page to ten pages essay writing in length. Always take time to read through your grading rubric twice to see what additional requirements may be necessary. If you have any questions, talk to your academic advisor first and request additional materials to learn more about the author or the school of thought you have to work with. 

The most important is to understand the purpose of a critique essay before you start! Sometimes defined as the response paper, this type of writing should explain what emotions and thoughts have been born in your mind as you have processed specific information. You might also encounter critique writing when working with peer-reviewed sources, which also represent critique essay writing as the experts exchange their opinions. As a college student, you may have to work with this type of writing by offering your thoughts and analysis. The purpose here is to explain the strengths and the weaknesses that you have encountered, talk about the bias (if relevant) and mention the limitations that you have found when reading the text, watching the movie, or listening to a piece of music. 

Critique Essay Format and Structure Requirements 

The general critique essay format does not have strict guidelines. It will always depend on the writing style that has been chosen. For example, MLA and APA styles do not have anything specific for a piece of critical writing, except for the use of citations and references to support the most important points. Speaking of structure, critique guidelines will require the following parts: 

  • Introduction with a thesis statement. This is where you introduce a problem and discuss what you are planning to evaluate. 
  • Setting your methodology. In this paragraph, you have to choose how exactly you are planning to criticise the content. You may approach an argumentative essay writing service to work on your arguments or consider other methods by seeking similarities. You may choose a hierarchy if you are discussing more than one publication. It will help you to state what kind of information became available and how it has changed our knowledge regarding the subject. 
  • Discussion of the key elements by seeking similar and opposing elements. In this part (body paragraphs), it is recommended to talk about what makes the content valuable. It’s always possible to buy cause and effect essay if the piece of writing must provide information regarding “before” and “after” with the causes. 
  • Summing things up by offering a brief discussion. Don’t forget to talk about what you could find by discussing various limitations or the best parts that have helped you to understand a concept. When you provide an article critique, you may use citations to support your points.  
  • Call to action and analysis of the main findings. The last paragraph should either make a call to action or sum up the main discoveries by discussing what kind of further recommendations could be made. Do not introduce any new ideas here! 

When you are trying to finish or start a critical paper, it is necessary to narrow things down by discussing only the most important. The main purpose is to offer a critical analysis and explain the value of the content you are dealing with. Keep your writing inspiring and readable by focusing on the importance, the good, and the bad sides. 

How to Write a Critique Essay

As you critique an article, remember that your writing process must be descriptive to provide your target audience with the writer's general purpose or a scientific intention, depending on the case. Provide analysis and examine how the original content has been structured and what language has been used to deliver the key concepts and the meaning. Before you start writing, think about interpretation and ask yourself about the significance of the content you are dealing with. Finally, make a justification of the content and judge the value, pros, and cons. Assuming that we may be working with fiction and non-fiction writing, critical analysis and related structure may differ a little bit: 

Non-Fiction Critical Writing


  1. Add the name of the author and work with a brief description and publishing info. 
  2. Provide an overview and make a summary of the main key points. 
  3. Compose a thesis where you show what you have learned. 

Body Paragraphs 

  1. Provide a description and mention all the major points. 
  2. Offer analytical bits to support some concepts. 
  3. Provide your interpretation of the idea. 
  4. If you have several concepts, mention them all. 


  1. Sum things up about what has been interpreted. 
  2. Discuss the strengths and the weaknesses. 
  3. Make a critique assessment and talk about the value by focusing on the good and the bad sides. 

When you have to work with fiction and literary critique: 


  1. Provide the name of the author of the original content for your critique paper. 
  2. Add information about the book. 
  3. Discuss what you are planning to examine and how. 
  4. Talk about the significance of the published content. 

Body Paragraphs: 

  1. Provide a description of the important elements of the content you are discussing 
  2. Offer detailed analytical writing. 
  3. Interpret the concepts. 
  4. Focus on all the other important elements. 


  1. Provide a summary of all the elements that you've studied. 
  2. Consider talking about the pros and cons. 
  3. Make a critical evaluation by talking about the values. 

Remember that critical evaluation should not be unsupported even when you are dealing with a response paper or an opinion essay. Take your time to study the subject and explore more than one source. 

Critique Essay Example 

Learning how to critique is much easier when you have an example. Let us take one of the famous books that college students encounter these days. 

Critique Essay Example

As you can see from the critique essay example above, the main purpose is to discuss and evaluate by turning to examples and explaining the value of the written or audio/visual content. 

Useful Phrases to Improve Your Critique Essay 

Learning how to write a critique paper, remember to implement the following phrases to improve the readability: 

  • The author claims that the presence of the X factor helps to determine the value of Z… 
  • The main strengths are represented by the use of…
  • The limitations encountered include a lack of research in the field of…
  • The claims that have been made by Dr. Smith are supported by his frequent travels and research at the XYZ university. 
  • There is a lack of information regarding the social state of the characters that have been described… 
  • Speaking of suggestions, a similar publication by the X author has provided more information, which makes Y's research a bit limited. 

If you are writing a response paper, you may write a reflective essay by focusing on your personal opinion and analysis. It will be more challenging, yet you can make things even more unique and will avoid plagiarism risks as you balance the references, citations, and your personal opinion. 

Critique Shouldn't Be All Negative! 

Before you start with a critique essay, remember that an application of critique should not be all about finding the negative sides in a review or that piece of writing that you need to evaluate. The purpose is to provide an opinion and seek both strengths and weaknesses as writing a critique this way will make your critique essay justified! 

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