When you are writing a critical essay for your Standard Grade folio, it is important to realise that you are writing an argument. You have been given a task. The task is usually to show that something is true, even if the word ‘discuss’ is used. If you are going to show that something is true, you are going to make an argument. And an argument, as everybody knows, are a series of linked points backed-up by reasons and evidence.
Because your critical essay is an argument it will need organised – it will need a structure. There are different ways to structure a critical essay and they can all get a top grade. However, we’ll just present a simple, straight-forward structure – here:
The mistake to avoid is telling the story of whatever text you are studying. It’s a rookie mistake. You are always trying to show something, not tell something. Think of a persuasive essay - a series of points supported by evidence – an argument – that’s what your critical essay should be like.
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