How to Write a Social Criticism Essay

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A social criticism essay is an essay in which the author comments on an element of society that he feel is ineffective or corrupt. Topics such as bureaucracy, voyeurism and big government often take center stage in social criticism essays. When composing an essay of this type, the author needs to take care to effectively and convincingly explain the problem that he sees in society and demonstrate solutions to the problem. The practice of composing a social criticism essay can be effective not only in explaining societal problem to others but also in helping the author explore his own beliefs and refine his feelings about the society in which he lives.

Freewrite about the topic “If I could change anything...” for five minutes. A great way to narrow your focus when trying to select a societal problem on which to comment in a social criticism essay is to start with a free-write. When freewriting, be sure to follow the basic freewriting rules, which include not stopping writing during the time, writing about anything that comes into your mind and not worrying about spelling or grammar. Following these rules ensures that you effectively empty your thoughts onto a piece of paper while freewriting.

Select a societal problem. Look back at your freewriting and try to find a dominant theme. You likely unconsciously focused your freewriting on a particular problem or set of problems within society. Select one of these problems to be the focus on your social criticism essay and explain the basics of the problem in the introduction to your essay.

Elaborate on the problem with specific examples. It is not enough to simply state something that you see as a problem. You also need to elaborate on the problem and provide examples so that your readers can understand your stance on the issue. Spend several paragraphs providing examples of how the problem you have identified adversely affects members of society. This allows readers to understand why the issue is actually a problem and how that problem is affecting individuals within society. Allow the elaboration and example section of your essay to make up the body of your paper.

Provide solutions to the problem discussed. All effective social criticism essays don't just point out a problem, but they also offer solutions. Conclude your essay by stating what you think should be done to correct the problem that you have so eloquently outlined in the body of your essay. Clearly explain your suggestion and provide examples of how implementing the changes you suggest would result in the correction of the societal ill.

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.