Presentation on theme: "Critical Essay Writing Structuring an Essay. Critical Essay - Structure Although approaches to writing Critical Essays vary, they typically consist of."— Presentation transcript:
Critical Essay - Structure Although approaches to writing Critical Essays vary, they typically consist of four main sections: 1.Introduction 2.Plot Summary 3.Body 4.Conclusion
Critical Essay – Structure 1. Introduction –Explains to the reader what the essay is about. 2. Plot Summary –Provides a brief summary of the text(s) being addressed (sometimes included as part of the introduction). 3. Body –The main section of the essay. This is where the question that has been set will be addressed. 4. Conclusion –Summarises the main points the reader has made in the body of the essay.
Critical Essay - Introduction Purpose The Introduction section of a Critical Essay should explain to the reader what the Critical Essay is about. Content The Introduction section should typically include the following information: The title(s) of the text(s) you are writing about (put this inside quotation marks, e.g. “The Great Gatsby”). The author(s) of the text(s) you are writing about. The genre of the text(s) (e.g. novel / drama / poem / short story) The themes of the text(s) you are writing about (e.g. friendship, poverty, the importance of history, bullying, racism, etc) A reference to the question that the essay attempts to address.
Critical Essay Introduction – Example 1 “War Photographer” by Carol Ann Duffy is an interesting poem that explores a range of issues, such as war and social responsibility. The following essay will demonstrate how Duffy’s poem explores the theme of war.
Critical Essay Introduction – Example 2 “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” The opening sentence of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is arguably as famous as the novel itself, and is frequently referenced when illustrating Austen’s skill as a writer. However, as well being a perfect example of the writer’s ability, and of the dry humour that runs throughout the novel, that first sentence perfectly highlights what is perhaps the most prominent theme of “Pride and Prejudice” – British society’s preoccupation with marriage. Through an examination of the novel’s two central characters – Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam D’Arcy – it is possible to see how Austen reflects on the institution of marriage in her society.
Critical Essay – Plot Summary Purpose The Summary section of a Critical Essay should briefly explain to the reader what happens in the text(s). It should be assumed that the reader has not read the text(s) which are summarised. Content The plot summary should be kept very brief (five or six sentences at most). One way to approach writing a Plot Summary is as follows: 1.State the setting of the story (where and when the events occur). 2.State what happens: a)at the beginning of the text. b)during the text. c)at the end of the text. Throughout the summary you should, where appropriate, make reference to characters and locations that are central to the story.
Critical Essay Plot Summary – Example The novel is set in modern-day England and begins when the central character, Harry, is made an orphan and sent to stay with his unpleasant Aunt and Uncle. However, Harry soon discovers that he is a wizard and has been enrolled at Hogwarts’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the school, Harry has many exciting adventures with new friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, with whom he helps to defeat the evil Lord Voldemort. The novel ends with Harry returning to his Aunt and Uncle’s for the summer holidays, eagerly awaiting his next year at Hogwarts.
Critical Essay - Body Purpose The Body section of a Critical Essay should attempt to answer the essay question that has been set. Content The Body section should consist of a series of Points about the text which attempt to answer the essay question. Each of these Points needs to be supported with Evidence. –This Evidence should be a brief Quotation from the text(s) being written about. –In order for the reader to understand the Quotations (remember, they may not have read the text(s) being written about), the Context of each Quotation in the texts(s) should be provided. There should be an Explanation of how each piece of evidence supports the Point being made.
Critical Essay - PCQEs Like other sections of the Critical Essay, there are ways in which the Body section can be broken down into structural elements, or building blocks. One of these ways is called the PCQE. PCQEs are building blocks which can combine to form the body of a Critical Essay. POINT CONTEXT } EVIDENCE QUOTATION EXPLANATION
Critical Essay – PCQE Example From the start of “Valentine”, Duffy makes it clear that her poem will present love in an unsentimental manner. This is evident in the opening line of the poem, when Duffy clearly indicates what her gift to her lover will not be: “Not a red rose or a satin heart.” This rejection of typical, clichéd romantic gifts represents Duffy’s attitude towards romance as a whole. In the same way that she refuses to give her lover a traditional, clichéd gift, her perspective on love is neither clichéd or traditional, as indicated throughout the poem.
Critical Essay - Conclusion Purpose The Conclusion section of a Critical Essay should remind the reader of the main Points made in the body section. Content You should not introduce any new points or information at this stage. The Conclusion section should typically include the following information: 1.The text(s) and author(s) being written about. 2.A reference to the question that the essay has attempted to address. 3.A summary of the main Points made in the Body section. “Sum up the points” does sound vague; however these are simply the Ps of the PCQEs you have used in the body of your essay.
Critical Essay – Conclusion Example In conclusion, in “Of Mice and Men”, John Steinbeck has created a range of characters who are sympathetic but nevertheless flawed in some way. This can be seen in his treatment of George, who is seen to be kind and caring in the way he looks after Lenny, but nevertheless flawed in the way he bullies Lenny and takes advantage of his trusting nature and low intelligence. Similarly, Curly’s wife can also be seen to be a sympathetic yet flawed character…