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I have noticed a number of references to critical essay writing. From what I understand there are two elements to writing excellent critical essays. Note that it is easier to state that - than to actually to practice the skill. That takes time and practice, practice, practice.

First you are advised to utilise a formal critical essay structure. I use SQUAE, but you will find on this forum various alternative techniques. Utilising such a formal technique makes life easier for the examiner to follow what it is you want to say. No bad idea to keep the examiner happy! However it has a further advantage, it demonstrates that you are serious about the subject. Students who write in large blocks of text with multiple issues within a single block makes life very difficult for the examiner. Not a good idea to make the examiner have to work hard to find out what it is you want to say!

Second is the criteria that the examiner look for within your written essay. There are basically four areas that are looked for within essay answer. Though I work for the Scottish system, I believe that GCSE and A Level also consider these areas to be important.

The Four Areas are:-
i. Knowledge of the Text
ii. Quality of the students Analysis of the Text
iii. Quality of the students Evaluation
iv. The absence - or not - of basic skills errors. Spelling, Punctuation etc.

It is important to note that the examiners evaluation of these four areas are demonstrated by what you have written. I cannot overestimate that this evidence must be in what yiu write. The evidence must be visible to the examiner. In what you write you must make it clear to the examiner that you:
a) Really know the text
b) That your analysis of the text is not general assertion
c) That you make clear - in an honest way - that you have been affected by the text
d) That your writing is free from errors. The top essay of all time - if full of errors - could actually faill!!!.

I have attached a file to this post. I need to point out that I wrote this document and I hold the copyright. I have acquired permission to use the images that I use on the file. So downloading my file will incur no copyright conflict. For a period of time I have gifted this file to students on this forum.

In the document I go into considerable detail about the areas I have described above.

I am happy to share this file with fellow students and assist them in improving their skill at critical essay writing but I cannot allow continued access. The link will disappear on Monday 7th.

Good luck on improving your skill on Critical Essays.

Link to File:-

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