How To Write A Critical Lens Essay - Topics, Outline, Examples
Critical lens essay writing require certain skills to be successful in writing them. A writer must be able to use critical thinking appropriately when analyzing a text, because in order to understand what an author is trying to say in his/her essay, one must think critically. Moreover, one has to have the ability to be open-minded and keep an eye out for new interpretations in writing. Both of these skills make it possible for a writer to write with intelligence.
A critical lens essay requires rhetorical strategies that allow writers to push their own ideas within the context of their readings.
What is a critical lens essay?
A critical lens essay is a persuasive essay used to evaluate an academic text, literary work, or historical event.
The two main purposes of the critical lens essay: to understand a text and to critique it. The purpose of understanding is used when writing a response to literature or an analysis of an historical event. On the other hand, there are three purposes for which a writer uses his/her critical lens essay to critique something:
In order for readers to comprehend the message of a critical lens essay, they must possess six crucial components that include:
- background knowledge on the topic and discipline,
- familiarity with reader-response criticism,
- awareness of rhetorical conventions specific to scholarly essays,
- an understanding of how writers use such conventions,
- familiarity with how historians consider facts and evidence from the past,
- awareness of how historians provide new interpretations.
A critical lens essay uses historical evidence and its importance in attempts to persuade readers into accepting a particular argument or viewpoint presented by the writer's own thoughts. Historical documents are used as "sources," similar to how literary works are used as sources today: quotations from experts can be used to support the writer's viewpoints, and historical documents provide critical writers with a background from which they can explore important questions about an issue.
Historical documents have the power to shape ways in which people think and feel about particular issues or events. Historical narratives allow individuals of all races and classes, genders, etc. to tell their stories through history books. These accounts present a different perspective than what mainstream historians give their audiences: they provide insiders' views on events that changed the world as we know it.
These insider perspectives include alternative points of view that would otherwise be unheard or ignored if mainstream historians presented them.
Historical documents provide us with views that we may not hear otherwise from those who lived through these times. This can apply both to literary texts and historical document s , which are similar in nature.
Historical documents allow readers to hear not only the author's voice, but also those of her/his characters and other individuals who were involved with the story or events that took place, as well as readers' own voices upon reading a document. This is similar to how we read literary works: by listening to multiple voices from different perspectives, we can construct our own views on certain issues or stories presented by authors.
Although these two genres are different in terms of content, they are both ways for a writer (or reader) to obtain an understanding of various cultures and historical periods . It is important for us to be aware of the importance of historical sources both as historians and as writers , because these sources allow us to analyze and understand the world around us.
When reading historical documents, one must remember that these sources are created by individuals who may have their own personal views of events from the past, and that there is always a chance that we will not agree with what they say. We should try to avoid making generalizations about every high school student today based on individual experiences , as these types of statements can never be true because all students' lives are different. We should also consider whether or not these texts give an accurate portrayal of history.
For example, you may think that listening to music is more popular in schools now than it was a century ago; however, if you look at the statistics presented in this article , you may change your mind about your initial statement.
In any case, it is important to remember that history can be interpreted many different ways depending on who tells the story. Although these sources are helpful in providing us with a better understanding of the past, we should always consider our own views and how they affect our perception of historical events.
How to write a critical lens essay step by step
Here is an overview of how to write a critical lens essay that will earn you a good grade. The step-by-step guide is useful for both high school, college, and university level students.
Step 1: Write an introduction
The introductory paragraph of a critical lens essay should sort out the main idea of the whole text. It is also important for students to introduce their readers to the ways of thinking and criticising which are different from those that they have been used to in mainstream education. You can ask your reader if what you're going to write doesn't make sense or has no special value. The introductory part will give them some new perspective on problems and issues, so when they finish reading it, they feel satisfied by how their thoughts were changed because of what you've written. Therefore, making an appealing introduction is vital for writing a good critical lens essay on any topic.
Critical lens essay example: "Comparing certain similarities between two very different books"
Step 2: Write using supporting examples
The most difficult task for any writer is to find the relevant evidence to support his/her idea. You can easily get confused if you look through a variety of sources and try to choose which facts or ideas are worth including in your essay. This is why it's important for you not only to understand what makes good supporting examples but also learn how to collect them (defining the purpose of your text, reading particular kinds of sources, etc.) and make an outline so that everything will be clear even before you start writing the first line. The next step is looking through all your sources, selecting some parts from each one of them and putting them into right places in your own text. As soon as this process is finished, you need to rearrange some phrases and sentences so that they would correspond to your outline.
Step 3: Write a concluding paragraph
The final paragraph of a critical lens essay is the place where the writer can sum up all his/her previous claims, anchor them and make readers think about what has been written in the essay again. You have to show how other people's opinions connect with yours, place your thoughts into a broader context and express any additional ideas you have at this point. The conclusion should be both easy-to-read (the writer shouldn't repeat himself) and surprising for the reader because he/she may look forward to reading it as soon as possible after finishing the rest of your text.
Critical lens essay example "Misconceptions about fast food"
Step 4: Referencing (aided by a direct quotation)
Once you have finished writing all parts of your essay, the next important thing is to check whether you used any sources. You have to mention every source at least once and use special symbols so that readers would know who said what if they decided to look up some particular information. After finishing your text, ask your friends or teachers to check it and make sure that you wrote everything according to proper rules of academic writing. The final step is taking out all unnecessary phrases and sentences while keeping essential ones in your text so as not to ruin its structure.
Step 5: Editing (proofreading)
One of the most crucial parts in writing a critical lens essay is checking your text for spelling and grammar mistakes because it's very easy to make some small but important errors when you're writing at a high speed. It's also worth mentioning that although many modern sources are available for free on the Internet, we can't use them as our own ones because they have no references or don't have any recognizable sources at all, so if you found something interesting but didn't manage to find its origin, write it down and try to search for similar ideas later.
The whole process of writing a critical lens essay may seem complicated at first but once you get used to it, everything will easier for you.
Critical lens essay format
What is the format of a critical lens essay?
The format of a critical lens essay usually includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Introduction: The introduction of a critical lens essay is mainly used to state the significance of the topic and why it should be given attention. The credibility, purpose, and point of view of the author should also be stated in this part. This will influence the readers to gain interest in your essay.
Body paragraphs: The body is where you can give proper arguments regarding to the topic. Establishing how much support there is for each argument by providing examples or evidences can strengthen your points. Aside from presenting facts through examples, it would also help if they were supported by experts' opinions or ideas.
Conclusion: The conclusion serves as a way to sum up what was stated in the body paragraph. It summarizes everything so that people get a general idea about what you are trying to say. Reiterating what is stated in the introduction will also help you add depth in your paper.
Another idea that can be used for a critical lens essay format is to include an "alternative" method of addressing the topic. Specifying what advantages and disadvantages there would be if this method would happen or if it already occurred will give more information to those who read your essay.
Critical Lens Essay Topics Examples
To write a good essay, you need to identify interesting critical lens essay topics. A good critical lens essay should have a topic that can be discussed in a critical manner and it should also provide the reader with an alternative way of looking at the topic. Here are some topics for your critical lens essay that you can use as ideas for your own essays:
- What is the ideal size of a family?
- How many people should there in a family to make sure that the members' emotional needs will be met?
- What are some things that can affect family dynamics?
- Would you consider getting married without having children as an option? Why or why not?
- Should there be other ways to communicate aside from using words in a conversation? If so, what are they and how effective are they when compared to speaking face-to-face?
- How does technology affect our lives in different ways such as relationships, learning, health, or finance?
- Media's effect on our body image
- Social media and its influence on communication among people
- The importance of good education system
- Education should start at home
- Living with family or living alone
- Is family still important in this generation?
- What are the pros and cons of social media use among students?
- Why do people continue to participate in social media even if it is harmful to their lives?
- Why do many people choose to leave their home and stay in a dorm or an apartment instead?
- Why do students prefer living with roommates even if they are not compatible with them?
- Difference between studying online and studying offline
- Importance of early childhood education
- How to pursue your dreams without hurting the ones you love?
- It is better if children are raised at home or at school?
- Is it right for college students to be given social media accounts by their schools?
- What role does social media play on our lives today?
- What can we learn from social media?
- What should students do to excel in their lives?
- How is social media affecting our relationships with others?
- What are the reasons why people spend so much time on social media?
- Why do many people have an addiction to social media?
- Do you agree that social media has changed the way we live and what effects it will bring in the future?
- The advantages and disadvantages of using social media
- How is technology changing our lives today
- Is it really important for kids to go to school or can they study at home instead?
- What is the aim of formal education?
- The importance of college education in today's world
- Why do students need to attend school every day?
- How is technology helping us in our lives?
- Should the use of animals for entertainment purposes be prohibited?
- Is it okay to play violent games with your children?
- Does video gaming cause violence in kids?
- Is going to school important or not?
- Has technology been a good influence on students and teachers alike?
- Women's rights, pros and cons / strengths and weaknesses [gender bias] in media industry portrayals / gender roles in society (compared to men)
We're sure you have your own topics that you want to write about too! Go ahead and check out other critical lens essay topics . Whatever topic you choose, make sure that there is a need for it. If not, then don't bother writing about it because nobody will benefit from reading your paper.
If you need help choosing a critical lense paper topic, feel free to ask for help from our writers. Post your question here.
Critical lens essay example
This essay is geared towards arguing for the marginalization of cultural appropriation and uses evidence from an external source as well as personal experiences.
The purpose of this paper is to explain how I would use a critical lens essay in order to argue that cultural appropriation should not be tolerated within my classroom environment.
Although it is important to note that this thesis statement may vary depending on the setting and topic at hand (e.g. culture), there are general components such as research, development, and practical application which remain constant across all scholarly texts.
Therefore, one must possess a thorough understanding of their claims before applying them to any given situation especially when it comes to issues of such a sensitive nature.
As I am an individual who has experienced cultural appropriation first hand, it is my responsibility to make sure that this type of behavior does not continue within the walls of my classroom, or any other environment for that matter. To do so, I will need to utilize multiple sources (both scholarly and anecdotal) in order to make my argument as effective as possible. I feel that an excellent place to start would be by analyzing the definition of cultural appropriation which according to Dictionary.com consists of "the act or practice of taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions or artifacts from someone else's culture without permission." This explains that cultural appropriation occurs when individuals take aspects from another culture without consulting those who are directly impacted by this behavior. In addition to the definition, it is also beneficial for me to make sure that my research of both scholarly and anecdotal texts supports what I have previously found.
To start off with my development of this paper, I will need to first establish a clear understanding of how cultural appropriation relates to my personal life experiences. As a child who grew up in Columbia, South Carolina, I spent most of my time around individuals who were very similar to me such as co-workers and classmates. However as I began school at an early age it was evident that there were many different cultures represented within our classroom environment. We had students from all over the world including India, Indonesia, Japan, China and Russia. Having grown up in a small town, I thought that everyone understood each other right from the start. However, I soon realized that this was far from reality. As my peers began to grow older it became apparent that there were some who were extremely interested in exploring and dispelling their own stereotypes of foreign cultures. This led them to habitually begin making jokes about other classmates' backgrounds such as asking them how many cows they had back home or if they could bring rice for lunch on a daily basis simply because they had never eaten the food before. Although these comments made me uncomfortable at first, I still tried not to get in the way of what I assumed was innocent fun between friends.
However, after spending numerous years others began to mimic the actions of these individuals. Eventually, we students began making fun of each other's backgrounds on a regular basis. My peers and I would often make jokes about someone's culture in front of them even if they were not present. As we continued to tease our classmates for various reasons, it became increasingly clear that although this type of behavior had been taking place since my first year of school, little progress was being made . Although some students felt empowered by their newfound knowledge about those from different cultures than themselves, it did nothing but bring us vice versa as we are both teachers and learners within society. We are all responsible for one another's' well being therefore by intentionally using harmful slurs towards others simply because they have culturally appropriated the behavior, we are making everyone's life more difficult.
In addition to the considerable amount of information I had previously collected from personal experiences and scholarly texts, it is now time for me to form an opinion based upon this data . In doing so, I believe that a fair reference would be from Dr. James Perry who writes that "the most common version of cultural appropriation involves dressing up in Native American garb at Halloween or participating in Southwestern-themed parties" (Perry 8). Although there may not be much wrong with one person wearing a single piece of traditional American Indian clothing such as moccasins or jewelry, it becomes problematic when individuals wear headdresses every day and paint their skin in order to mimic the appearance of American Indians. This is due to the fact that these seemingly innocent actions are causing more harm than good in our society.
Although I feel as if I have made a good case for my position, I still need to make sure that what I am saying is lawful according to Experts such as the United States Supreme Court and other renowned researchers or authors of literary texts. In doing so, it has become clear to me that there are many illegal aspects of this situation which have led our country to numerous cases where justice was brought upon those who were held accountable. Many people were arrested or forced into retaining professional law services because they lacked knowledge about cultural appropriation including famous actors Will Ferrell and George Lopez  (Mokhiber "George Lopez" 26). For example, comedian George Lopez was recently fined $2500 when he appeared in a GQ photo shoot while wearing an 'Indian costume' complete with face paint and feather headdress.
In the same way that people have been held accountable for their actions involving cultural appropriation, it is also important to focus on what should be done to prevent these types of occurrences from happening in the future. To start off, teachers need to learn ways of approaching this subject without recklessly placing blame on those who may not understand the problem as much as others do. Instead, they should try and make it into a lesson in which both parties can benefit by making new discoveries about cultures other than their own. By doing things in this manner, we can prevent future occurrences involving cultural appropriation from taking place. However, it is important to note that if individuals continue to hurt others by using racial slurs or wearing inappropriate clothing based on their race, they will be held strictly accountable for their actions.
In conclusion, I have come to the realization that although there are many positive aspects of cultural appropriation while simultaneously having negative outcomes as well. As long as we live within a society with diverse people who embrace different cultures than themselves and other beliefs altogether, these type of occurrences will never completely go away. It is up to us now more than ever before to shift the focus from one another's differences and instead find something in common between everyone regardless of their background. If we can do this, there will be much less of an emphasis upon our differences and more of a focus on how they can help us form relationships with one another.
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