4 reasons critical essays are hard to write

Critical essays consistently seem to be the most difficult type of essay for students to write. The reasons for this are numerous, but there are four that stand out above all the rest.

  1. Critical essays require us to be objective, where we are subjective by nature.
  2. Critical essays rely on logic and fact, whereas we typically communicate emotionally.
  3. Critical essays require us to present only relevant facts, but we are used to also discussing and exploring facts that may not be relevant
  4. Resources on your chosen topic may provide conflicting and contradictory information, making it difficult to “set the record straight.”

With these things in mind it actually becomes easier to write a critical essay than you originally thought. Let’s explore them individually.

Objective communication

Typically we communicate with others from our unique perspective. We try to take the feelings and opinions of others into consideration, but ultimately communicate subjectively. When you are writing a critical essay you must take yourself “out of yourself” and view the situation independent of your feelings and biases. This is challenging, but not impossible.

Logic and Fact

In our daily conversations we explore our thoughts, feelings, and accumulated knowledge. We come to a conclusion based on these conversations despite the possibility that we may, ultimately, be wrong. When writing a critical essay you must consider all of the facts first. From there, you can logically piece together your argument.

Only relevant facts

When we are normally communicating we may discuss information that is related to the topic at hand even though it isn’t entirely relevant. We also use metaphors, similes, and stories to make it easier to communicate our point. When writing a critical essay this is to be avoided at all costs. Only include information, stories, and anecdotes that are directly related to your thesis.

Setting the record straight

Encountering conflicting information from reputable sources is fairly common. So how do you handle this when performing your research?

You can’t simply ignore that one, rogue author that provides contradictory evidence.

You also can’t assume that information is correct.

Instead, you need to consider the source and the motive. You can often determine whether or not the author was biased based on how he or she presents the material. Authors who are, plainly and simply, stating facts are less likely to have an agenda than those who may rely on emotion or persuasive techniques while presenting their material.

You may want to eliminate resources that attempt to use persuasion or emotion when presenting the facts. But you may also want to check the dates. Sometimes contradictory evidence only seems so because it is newly discovered. After all, we once believed the world to be flat and Galileo was condemned to death for saying otherwise.

In summary, these are the four challenges that make critical essays so difficult. With these things in mind, though, you should be able to whip one together with ease.

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