academic writing help

Hints to criticizing in academic essays

A critical essay is one every student should know about and is a key tool to have in your arsenal at all times. It is an essay one will use over and over again in academics and in professional like settings.

What is a critical essay?

A critical essay helps students develop and hone in on their critical thinking skills. It also allows for students to learn careful reading strategies, research, scholarly like writing, and helps develop proofreading and referencing skills as well. All of the tools learned through writing a critical essay allows for students to enter healthy academic conversation and the ability to communicate in more profound ways.

Before you begin

Before you start your paper you must first be familiar with the topic in which you are going to write about. You can do this a number of ways to include researching the topic from sources to include scholarly journals, books, and news sources. After sources are located it is important to skim each piece and highlight important information relevant to your topic. It should be noted the use of Wikipedia as a source should not be utilized in academic works.

Thinking critically

There are a number of ways one can begin to think critically to include:

Honing your analytical skills: One should draw their argument from thinking logical and rational. This helps the author to look at the facts objectively so they can draw logical conclusions. In an attempt to present sound arguments a student must think outside of the box leaving black and white thinking alone. A student must understand that there are many ways to do things and that the world is a complex place, and likewise answers are not always clear cut.


When writing a paper, or even reading one, many people rely on expert opinions when it comes to the facts. In order to think critically this should not be the case. The author should not heavily rely on sources utilized to help construct the paper. One must question and examine opinions given by sources.

Taking personal preference off the table: We each have our own personal opinions that may get in the way of logical and critical reasoning. You cannot just take the “because I believe it” approach to writing. You have to look past subjective observations and think objectively to every point considered.