In a critical lens essay you write upon a quote and express your critical opinion about it. The quote can be from a book or can be a universally known one.
Examples of universally known quotes are: “Be yourself everyone is taken”, “Two things are infinitive: the universe and the human stupidity; and I am not sure about the universe”, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”, “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans”, etc. Writing a critical essay is easy as long as you pick the right quote on that you can write best or research well the ones you cannot.
It is called a critical lens essay because you are supposed to view the quote you have chosen as if through critical lens; analyze and defend it. Basically, those kinds of essays are literature analysis papers and analyses requiring extensive research.
How to write a critical lens essay
In the final paragraph of the introduction you should state the quote you have chosen and its author, title and genre. The thesis statement must connect the quote with your work.
Your whole essay will be determined by what you state in the introduction. It is important to write whether you agree or disagree with the quotation you have chosen or given to you. In order to form the right opinion on the quote, you should research facts and examples that either prove it or not. It will be good if you draft your conclusions before starting to write the actual essay. Prioritize your evidence by its convincing strength and reliability to the quotation. Brainstorm. The interpretation of the quotation is vital to making a good critical evaluation. You can try to conflict it, reason with it, even humor it but whatever the critical opinion on it will be, it has to be strong, well researched and with correctly developed examples and ideas. It is essential to interpret your quote and explain what it means to you. If necessary you can restate it and write it in your own words.
Body of a critical lens essay
In order to have a well-developed critical lens essay your body should consist of at least three paragraphs. It is precisely in the body of the essay where you state what you have researched so far and drafted. In that part of the essay you must convince the audience that your interpretation of the quote is logical, reasonable and acceptable. In the introduction you introduce the reader to the quote you are going to examine in a clear and short manner, you also introduce to the reader your critical opinion and attitude towards it, but it is in the body of the essay that you have to prove your point. A well-written body will make your work sound reliable and trustworthy; if it is not done well from the research to putting it down in written form, your whole essay will lack sense of completeness and trustworthiness. So, once again, research and draft not only parts of your critical lens essay but as a whole.
In the first paragraph you should write about the fact, idea or character that illustrates your critical opinion on the quote best. If you are writing on a quote from a specific book you may pick up a character that best suits it and examine how he or she relates to the quote. Do not forget to connect the fact, idea or character to the critical opinion and attitude you have up to the quote.
In the second paragraph focus on what the author of the quote has meant. If it comes from a book, what is its purpose and meaning in the book? For example, let’s say you have to write a critical lens essay on the quote “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” from the book “To Kill A Mockingbird”. The message is simple: you can never understand what the person next to you is experiencing until something similar does not happen to you. And here you can examine how this quote relates to the book itself.
In the third paragraph you can write about a personal story that proves your critical attitude towards the quote or state another fact or idea you have researched. If you have more than three facts or ideas that prove your theory, keep writing as each of them is stated in a different paragraph.
Conclusion of a critical lens essay
In the conclusion you restate your critical opinion about the quote and the information you have given in the introduction. Make it sound strong and convincing. Always proofread your essay at least once.