For many, the words “critical response” are associated with condemnation, identifying negative sides. It may seem to you that writing a critical response essay is about breaking all the author’s arguments and showing how weak his or her work is. But in reality, this is not at all the case.
What is a Critical Response Essay?
First of all, criticism implies analysis, during which both negative and positive aspects of the phenomenon under consideration are revealed. A critical response essay is a kind of essay that is necessary to analyze and evaluate any scientific work (dissertation, article, report) or fiction.
Students may be asked to write a critical response essay to develop their critical thinking, as in the process of work, they will learn to find errors and inaccuracies, identify contradictions in the work, see the strengths and weaknesses of the work, and also check the authenticity of specific arguments. There are two main stages when preparing and writing this essay type:
- a technique for working with the original;
- a critical response essay writing technique.
In this material, we will have a closer look at each of them. Should you seek critical response essay examples and tips, we have gathered them in this article.
Technique for working with the original
The first step is to get a copy of the original work. If the piece is short, read it first to get a general idea of it. Describe in a free form your impression of the work, and also make a short annotation. In the case of voluminous work, read the individual chapters and describe your impression of each of them. In voluminous works, it makes sense to make the necessary notes immediately. Pay attention to the details as you read it over and over again. Emphasize anything that puzzled or shocked you. Write down questions in the margins or a notebook, mark inaccuracies, weaknesses, and work strengths. All this will help you in the further writing of your essay.
Critical Response Essay Writing Technique
In the introductory part of the essay, identify the work itself and its author. Note the regalia of the scientist and the date of publication of the work. Briefly describe the problem raised in work. Be sure to indicate the purpose of the work, the leading scientific statement, and the author’s arguments. Describe the author’s experience. When considering a scientific work, be sure to find out how authoritative the scientist is in the scientific community. Pay attention to how correct and accurate the scientist is in his work. Does he or she use sources of information that are outdated or questionable from the point of view of science? Does he or she always support the statements with arguments? Does he or she consistently present the material?
After that, move on to the main body of the critical response essay, which should be longer than the introduction and conclusion. The central part should be devoted to the presence of arguments in work and the identification of counterarguments. Determine whether what is described in work is too vague and requires further clarification, what is ambiguous, whether it requires new research. Maybe you find the system or methodology introduced by the author to be too complex for implementation in a particular area. Explain your opinion and suggest solutions to the problem. At the same time, although we are talking about an essay, in its style, it should be closer to research work (diploma, coursework, dissertation) than to literature.
Proceed to the conclusion. Describe your general opinion on the analyzed work. Do you agree with the author’s arguments? Suggest your solutions, which you came to while reading the materials: what can be supplemented or improved. Do not forget to indicate the significance of the author’s work. If he or she is a scientist, then the work must have some significance for the further development of science.
Reread your critical response essay and make any necessary corrections: correct mistakes, delete insignificant phrases, strengthen weak points. At the same time, be sure that your work is written in a benevolent tone and does not contain inappropriate attacks on the author in the form of hidden or explicit insults.