Critical Response Essay Writing Step-by-Step

    A critical response essay summarizes, analyzes, and comments on fiction or non-fiction. It can be an informal handwritten document or an edited work for publication. To give a full assessment, you will need to indicate the strong and weak sides of the object in question (article, book, movie, etc.) or the methods used to create it. Learning how to write a meaningful essay will improve your critical thinking as a writer and reader. For the definition of a critical response essay, writing tips, and examples, we recommend getting acquainted with the following article.

    Critical Response Essay Writing Step-by-Step

    It is better to start a critical response essay with a short description of the work, its meaning, and what the author intended to convey to the public. And then usually follows a detailed analysis of all aspects of creation with an explanation of how the author managed to achieve his or her goals. Therefore, writing such an essay type should always start with careful reading.

    1. Get a clean copy of the work from the bookstore or the author of the work. Make sure the work does not contain any other annotations. For best results, buy or ask for a copy of the piece where you can make notes.
    2. Develop an annotation system. For example, you can underline a thesis statement, circle figurative ideas, or make notes about characters and plot in the margins. If notes and annotations on the first page of the book help you, do whatever suits you best.
    3. Review the work and create an initial annotation. A cursory reading is essential for creating a first impression and understanding plot development. The abstract will help you get back to the original version after you start writing your critical analysis.
    4. Divide the work into small sections. Reading to write a critical response essay should be concentrated, so don’t do a lot at once.
    5. Write questions in the margins. They will help you shed light on whether there is an additional storyline or climax in the story.
    6. Re-read the work again. On the second reading, check the annotation for grammatical, spelling, and plot mistakes.
    7. Add positive reviews. If the image system, character, or argument is well thought out, underline it or mark it in the margins.

    How to Write a Critical Response Essay on a Scientific Work

    1. Start writing a critical response essay on a word processor. If you are asked to do a critical analysis of a scientific work, as a rule, you need to pay attention to the author’s scientific degree and the details of the essay.
    2. Draw your conclusions in the first paragraph of the essay. Specify the title of the work, the author, and the subject of the description. You can include the original publication date or changes made to the book worth paying attention to.
    3. Summarize the piece. Assume what you think the author’s thesis statement conveys. Describe the arguments given and the purpose of the article. For guidelines on how to do it best, visit
    4. Review the central part of the work. You should write at least three main paragraphs and state the following in them.

      Explain the authority of the author. Show your opinion on whether you can trust the author in terms of argumentation. For example, the author may abruptly move to another topic that does not concern his or her competence or sets himself/herself up as the foremost expert in this work. Assess the availability of arguments.

      Don’t be afraid to make a multi-paragraph assessment if the author uses different argumentation types or research.

      Write about the author’s reasoning. Answer the question: does the argumentation correspond to the logic of the work?

      Determine if the author was able to succeed in this matter. List the counterarguments that the work or article inspired you to. Specify possible recent research, changes, and argumentation gaps.

    1. Conclude the critical response essay with an overall impression of the work. Critical feedback should be based on research and reading. It must straightforwardly prove your agreement or disagreement with the author and the reasons for such an opinion. Try to avoid overly emotional conclusions. Stick to facts about writing and reasoning.

    How to Write a Critical Response Essay on a Fictional Work

    1. Decide with the author for whom you are writing your critical response essay. If you are asked to write a general analysis of the work, you can describe the most fundamental problems and text resources.
    2. Begin a critical response essay with a short description of the author and his/her work. In the case of academic criticism, in the introduction, you must define the subject of criticism.
    3. Explain the importance of the work. You can do it either in the introduction or in the conclusion paragraph (at your discretion).
    4. If you are writing a critical response essay based on a completed piece, start with positive reviews. Criticism based on work that has not been completed should start and end with positive thoughts.

      Positive reviews should start with a general description of the strong sides of the text. Then you can approve the system of images, characters, or other details.

    1. After that, do a little summary of the whole piece. In the case of a published work, you must lay the foundation for a critical article. In the case of unpublished work, you will demonstrate to the author how you interpreted his/her work.
    2. Analyze the essential elements of a literary work, including plot, setting, protagonist, antagonist, and your point of view.

      It is not necessary to analyze all these elements. It would be best if you only did it when the author or assignment indicated it. Focus on the most critical points that caught your eye during the first and second reading.

    1. Add positive and negative points of view for each part of the piece. Try not to mention the shortcomings that need improvement.
    2. Suggest possible changes to the work, but do not describe them in detail. The author, himself/herself, decides what needs to be revised.
    3. Explain in general terms why this work can be considered successful. If you are writing an academic critical response essay, add your interpretation of the work. Please indicate whether you find it compelling and complete. If you are working with a draft, please provide multiple views or topics for reflection and discussion.

    Consider presenting your critical response essay to the author himself/herself. Written criticism does not carry the same emotional load as oral criticism.


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