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Critical Analysis Essay Guidelines
Explanation of Critical Analysis Essays
You are to write four formal (either APA or MLA) critical analysis essays of an assigned article, approximately 650 words
each, applying principles of critical thinking to your analyses. In addition, you are to apply one Core
Value to the assignment. Core Values are listed in the syllabus.
These essays must be submitted to the Dropbox, which is linked to Turnitin. Please see the syllabus for more information
about Turnitin.
Critical analysis involves going into the depths of the subject or material to be reviewed and discussing it objectively so
that the readers get to know the subject better and in details. A format for critical analysis should not only be a review and
contain a summary of what other critics say about the work. The major purpose of it is to voice your concerns, views and
opinions based on correct and logical evidences.
You should be reflective (think deeply and engage in multiple rewrites) not reflexive (inserting the first ideas that come to
mind.) When you find one assumption, always ask whether anything deeper has to be taken for granted for that
assumption to be true. You may find a more profound assumption.
Be thorough and precise and especially, be convincing. Feel free to use “if” clauses, “it is possible” clauses, “for his
reason X to be true” clauses, and “for the reason to support his conclusion” clauses, or any other creative device you
choose to show the impact of any ambiguity or assumption that you have identified.
Since the required word count is only 650 words, (please abide by that within 50 words in either direction) it is important
to be concise in all parts of your analysis. Writing and following an outline is crucial to remain focused on your argument
and avoid summary or irrelevant description.
Refer to the Grading Rubric for more information about requirements and criteria for grading.
Format of critical analysis:
A. Introduction Your introductory paragraph should set the stage for what is to follow. Use a catchy first line to grab
the readers attention. In this paragraph you should present the central theme, the thesis statement, and facts
surrounding the main theme. Any important definitions and terms that will have relevance in the body can be defined and
explained here if necessary.
B. Short summary – Provide a very brief summary of the work being reviewed. Then preview your argument, briefly
stating what you will attempt to prove your argument. Never present any more than the minimum that the reader needs
to know to understand your argument.
C. Body C. Body This should be the bulk of your paper. It is where the scope of the thesis should be explored and
where the facts and data presented in the article are analyzed and checked for their logic and accuracy. It is where you
will present details of the reviewed material and where you ask the critical thinking questions we have covered so far in
the course. You should identify and discuss any and all ambiguous terms and phrases, value and descriptive
assumptions, fallacies, sources of evidence or lack of sufficient evidence, credentials of authorities, and appropriate
citations, etc. It should clearly demonstrate how your analysis and evaluation influences how you reacted to the
reasoning. Most importantly, it should be your argument about the article and not a summary. Even though you are
potentially only referring to one source, you still need to cite your information using parenthetical citation or footnotes /
endnotes. In this section you will also apply the relevance of your chosen core value as it relates to the critical analysis.
D. Conclusion This final paragraph should sum up your overall conclusions. It should not contain any new or additional
information. It should very briefly restate the ideas or arguments that have already been presented in the paper and more
so point out the importance of your argument. Provide an interesting closing – a striking statement or a dramatic example
with reference back to the thesis statement, making an impact and signaling the end of your essay.Grading Rubric Critical Analysis Essay
Assignment Value: 100 points
I. Introduction (10 points)
Introduces the title and author of the article
Presents a clear central theme / thesis
Defines necessary terms
II. Short summary (10 points)
Gives a very brief summary of the article
Previews your argument
III. Body (50 points)
Accurately communicates the purpose and intent
Arguments are clearly identified
Evaluation of ambiguities, fallacies, etc are thoroughly analyzed and discussed
Arguments are presented logically
Similar issues are organized and grouped together
Focus is on your argument and is not a summary
Transitions are smooth and appropriate and move the reader through the paper
Direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries are correctly documented in MLA or APA format
Includes Core Value
IV. Conclusion (10 points)
Restates the ideas and theme presented
Does not introduce new ideas
Does not summarize the paper
Closes with striking reference to your argument
V. Grammar and Style (10 points)
Written entirely in present tense
Contains no sentence fragments or run-on sentences
Avoids contractions
Avoids use of first person
Is properly punctuated
Contains no misspelled words
Well-written sentences vary in length
Language is appropriate to subject and course
VI. Mechanics (10 points)
Word count requirements are met
Bibliography is completed correctly


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