How to Write an Analytical Critique

Be very familiar with the book or film you will write your critique on.

If you will be taking a film or literature class at some point during your college career, it is likely that your professor will require you to write an analytical critique. An analytical critique is an evaluation of a film or piece of literature from a certain angle, also known as a thesis. Your thesis is often up to you and must be something that can be argued and supported by evidence from the film or literature. Your written analytical critique will have a similar structure to other college essays, but always check with your professor for specific requirements.

Write an introductory paragraph. The introduction contains background information on your topic, leads up to your thesis and contains the actual thesis statement.

Write at least three paragraphs to support your thesis. Each paragraph should contain a topic sentence and specific examples from the film or literature you are critiquing. The goal is to prove your thesis through these main body paragraphs.

Write a conclusion to your essay. The conclusion should summarize your main points and re-emphasize your thesis. You may also include any unanswered questions or other ambiguities contained in the work you are analyzing, and discuss how these ambiguities tie in to your thesis.

Include a bibliography that contains the film or literature you have critiqued along with any outside sources you used to support your argument. Format your essay in your professor's preferred style. Modern Language Association (MLA) format is typically used for most liberal arts disciplines.

  • Your thesis is the entire basis for your entire analytical critique. If you are having trouble formulating a thesis, speak with your professor or visit your school's writing center for assistance.
  • Be sure to follow your professor's instructions or rubric for the assignment to ensure the best grade possible.
  • Proofread your essay thoroughly before handing it in to your professor.

Danielle Klahr has been writing online content since 2008, covering topics such as motherhood and parenting, step-families, beauty/fashion, education and running. She has also worked as a developmental editor for an educational publishing company. Klahr holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University at Albany-SUNY, as well as a graduate certificate in leadership and management from the University of Maryland.