To explain what a critical lens essay is, it is necessary to take a look at the prompt’s example. Here is what one of the college teachers offered:
“Prepare an essay, in which the author talks about a couple of literary pieces he/she has read from the certain aspect of the claim given in the Critical Lens. In this paper, include a valid interpretation of the claim. Take a position for/against the main statement, and support a personal point of view with the help of chosen retrieved during the process of literature research.”
That is when a student may wonder how to write a critical lens essay.
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By reading this article, the student will find the answers on most of the questions related to the critical lens essay, but if it seems insufficient, make an order at the academic service’s website to get the fastest and most quality help online!
What Is a Critical Lens Essay?
The initial question, which comes to mind of any student who faces such type of academic assignment sounds like, “What is a critical lens essay?”
As literary elements are an integral part of any critical lens essay, it is important to define it as well to understand how to write a critical lens essay. Literary elements refer to the means a writer applies to describe/evolve characters.
There are several things left to identify before moving to the sections that contain the detailed description of the critical lens essay structure.
- Conflict – A struggle between the rivals (Person versus Person or another object/phenomenon).
- Figurative language – Special literary devices aimed to compare & contrast or relate distinct stuff (metaphor, allegory, hyperbole, etc.)
- Flashback – An episode created to explain an event happening in the present by recalling the past event(s).
- Foreshadowing – A writer’s usage of tips to give the cue on the events that might take place later in the story.
- Imagery – A special language an author implements to express a visual image/[rovide a sensory experience by playing with 5 senses of human being.
- Irony – A conflict between the expected things and what takes place in reality (often used to describe funny moments or show someone’s stupidity).
- Plot – The range of events occurring in the particular work of literature.
- Setting – The specific period of time & location described in the plot.
The final 3 elements include symbolism (anything that reflects something), theme (the main message of the story), and tone (the way an author perceives his own story).
It is time to go under the hood of this academic assignment by taking a look at how to write a critical lens essay step-by-step.
How to Write a Critical Lens Essay: Basic Principles
If you do not know the structure of the given type of academic assignment, you don’t know how to write a critical lens essay. Some of the United States high schools have it as the regular homework task. In most cases, those schools that are affiliated with the New York State Regents Exam offer a critical lens essay to their students. The whole essay is based on a single quote from a specific literary work. A student has no right to copy-paste the quotation, so it is recommended to rewrite this sentence or few.
Try to memorize more rule associated with a critical lens essay writing:
- Never use a 1st person (“I,” “we”) – switch to the third-person voice while writing
- Specify the quote’s author, title of literary work, and year of publishing
- No hook sentence is needed – a literary quote would be enough
- Provide personal interpretation of the chosen quote – it will be the thesis statement!
How to Write a Critical Lens Essay Step by Step
The goal of this type of academic assignment is to research the chosen literary quote. A student must talk about the original sources from which the quote was retrieved. Come up with personal critical analysis and explanation. This way, high school & college teachers assess the student's ability to read & analyze things plus writing, research, formatting, and analytical skills. The final grade is based on all of these factors.
Critical Lens Essay Outline
The main purpose is to get ready with an outline. A student should follow this roadmap not to get lost during the process of writing:
A student can make it 5 paragraphs by adding one more paragraph to the body if he wants. A couple of body paragraphs is okay.
Introduction: Impress the Reader
An introduction of such essay has an unusual structure because it has to begin with a literary quote while in case of other academic assignments a student may choose which type of hook to include and whether he needs it. Example:
“We can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”
The Mill on the Floss, 1860
A student can start by writing, “George Eliot once said…” (paraphrase).
The next thing a student should do is to interpret the chosen quote. The offered quotation means people should never stop trying to achieve something greater even if they think they have everything in this life. It calls for further self-development. Then, the author of the essay should take some time to decide whether he/she supports the offered saying or no, and provide a transition to the following part. It might be enough to write, “I agree with the given statement as humans are meant to develop all the time.” Should this type of essay contain a thesis statement? Of course!
Keep in mind that both (title of the analyzed piece 1) by (writer’s name) and ( the title of the analyzed piece 2) by (writer’s name) stick to the opinion that a human being must develop and learn something new throughout the life.
Start with the topic sentence number 1. It should look like, “The story written by (author’s name) titled (name of a literary work) states that (example: it is better to erase some moments from person’s memory.”
Transition statement is what comes after. The author may implement another literary element. Example: “One of the methods the author involves to prove his/her particular opinion is by (specific literary element discussed above).
Everything left to do is:
- Identify literary element
- Relate the lens & literary element
- Provide a conclusion!
Here we go with a critical essay example of the body paragraph!
“The discussed piece of literature shows that to get something people truly want, they should give up everything they have by the specific moment of life. One of the methods to prove it is via the theme. It is a primary message the author wants to deliver in his work.”
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Critical Lens Essay Conclusion
Once the student explained the chosen literary quote in the shape of a couple of sentences in each body paragraph, he should move to the conclusion. Make a summary of the body paragraphs to emphasize you stand. An interpretation must be clear & concise.
Start writing an essay’s conclusion by rewriting the selected quote; begin summarizing the examples you used to cite throughout the essay. Repeat the full name of the writer and other contributors. Point out some evidence collected from the primary sources to motivate the target readers to start thinking about your topic by going on with the independent research.
“Talk about the specific conditions that can change the author’s point of view. The mission is to come up with the general enclosing sentence, which will leave a strong, positive impact on the reader along with the intrigue and desire to learn more on the discussed topic. That is what teachers call a stellar outro!”
Professor Stephen Growl, high school teacher and expert academic writer at NerdyMates
Critical Lens Essay Format: How Does It Look?
Is critical lens essay format somehow different from the typical essay’s format? The structure is different from, let’s say, argumentative/persuasive paper, but the format is everywhere the same if we speak about the established writings styles. They include MLA, APA, Chicago, and rarer formats.
The formatting elements include:
- Title page
- Margins, fonts, page numbers, etc.
- Direct/Indirect text citations
Excellent Critical Lens Essay Example
We are smoothly moving to the closing section of the article. It contains a critical lens essay example & topic ideas. Anne Frank is a great author – let her work be our example!
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What Is a Critical Lens Essay
A critical lens essay is a type of essay where student's ability to think critically and express their ideas in the written form is estimated. Generally, it requires three major skills: reading, critical thinking, and writing. Careful preparation for essay writing is no less important than writing itself.
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This type of essay (see all types of essay) is often used during written examinations when the assignment is given in the form of a statement or a phrase, and students are asked to relate it to one or two pieces of literature.
Critical Lens Essay Structure
Critical Lens essay generally follows a fixed essay format. In the essay, a student has to discuss two literature pieces and 3 literary terms. In addition, a student needs to know capitalization rules and write them correctly. All titles are capitalized. Book titles are underlined and short stories are put in quotes. Generally, an essay consists of the following elements:
The first sentence introduces the quote itself. Next sentence one should give the student's interpretation of the quote to show how the student understands its meaning. Next, outline whether you agree or disagree with this quote, mention the books you are going to talk about in your essay and explain how your quote relates to them. Remember to spell, capitalize and punctuate all titles correctly.
It is advisable not to use personal pronouns like: “I, you, we, me, my”; in contrast, it is better to substitute them with third person pronouns or alternative words like ‘they’, ‘readers’, ‘people’ etc.
Three Body Paragraphs
Paragraph 1. In the first body paragraph, restate the quote in your interpretation.
Paragraph 2. In the second body paragraph, mention the titles of the first literature piece you are going to analyze and briefly mention how it relates to the selected quote.
Paragraph 3. In the third body paragraph, speak about the second literary piece and explain how you think it relates to the quote you have selected.
In order to back up your quote, you will need to use specific examples from each novel. Another thing: don't forget to connect the book back to the interpretation of your quote.
Your conclusion sums up the main thoughts of the essay. It is strongly recommended not to repeat your introduction verbatim. Don’t forget to end your essay with the quote that opened it.
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Steps on How to Write a Critical Lens Essay
STEP 1. Read the quote attentively.
STEP 2. Try to rewrite the quote in your own words.
STEP 3. Analyze the quote.
STEP 4. Decide whether you agree or disagree.
STEP 5. Name the two literary pieces that support your position.
STEP 6. Think of a short summary of the two texts and express how they support/don’t support the quote.
STEP 7. Try to use literary elements into your argument, but don't overdo it. Use it in the introduction and the first body paragraph.
STEP 8. In the first paragraph, focus on the book you have read and explain how the text supports your understanding of the quote.
STEP 9. If one paragraph appears to be too long, you may break it up into two smaller ones.
STEP 10. In the second paragraph, you should use the same order but now write about the other text.
STEP 11. Make a short summary of what you've written – that’s your conclusion.
STEP 12. Restate your thesis and explain how the texts you selected to support it.
Necessary Literary Elements
Keeping the structure in mind, you should not forget to use the following literary elements:
- Figurative Language: use the simile, metaphor, alliteration, personification and hyperbole correctly.
- Flashback: be able to describe the past event at present.
- Foreshadowing: use name hints or clues that suggest some events that may happen next.
- Plot: follow the correct sequence of events which took place in the literary piece.
- The point of view: give your own point of view.
- Setting: show your knowledge of the time and place of the action in literary work.
- Theme: show your understanding of the central idea of the literary work.
- Tone: use your specific attitude towards the audience or subject.
Be able to add to your interpretation of the quote the details from the books you read. If you follow all the tips you will create an intelligent critical lens essay and will easily convince the reader that you are aware of your topic to the smallest detail. The main thing you need to keep in mind while creating your critical lens essay is to persuade readers to accept your viewpoint. Place an order and our professional academic writers will help you find the right reasoning to do that!