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A critical essay is an analysis of a text such as a book, film, article, or painting. The goal of this type of paper is to offer a text or an interpretation of some aspect of a text or to situate the text in a broader context. For example, a critical analysis of a book might focus on the tone of the text to determine how that tone influences the meaning of the text overall. Or, a critical analysis of a film might focus on the significance of a recurring symbol in the film. Regardless, a critical essay should include an argumentative thesis about the text and plenty of textual evidence sources to help support your interpretation of the text.  Keep reading to learn how to write a critical essay.