Critical Analysis Research Paper: General Style

A critical research paper is an important part of your academic studies but it does have some explicit requirements. These requirements are universal and your teacher or tutor will tell you about them. It therefore makes a lot of sense to attend to these specific requirements as a foundation for your critical research paper. These two basic requirements are as follows.

  • the opinion of the writer
  • your opinion of the writer's opinion

So you have read and reread the text to be analyzed and made appropriate notes. In seeking out what you believe to be the opinion of the writer, look for the writer's theme or main idea. This is of the utmost importance. Once you have this main idea in place you are then able to look for the arguments, the reasoning or the evidence which the writer uses to support their theme. This is the crux of your critical research paper. Of course this is a general approach to the matter and you will need to be more specific in your actual writing. But this is the first of the two essential requirements in writing your critical research paper.

The second requirement is your analysis or opinion of the writer's opinion. Here you become a critic hence the word critical in the heading of a critical research paper. How well, in your opinion, did the writer do? Here you need to make a judgment, you need to evaluate the way the writer went about supporting their thesis.

Think like a lawyer and not like a poet

In writing your critical research paper you need to look for the facts, for the evidence. Yes you will be assessing issues such as moral values and obviously somebody's opinion which can be subjective, but you must always base your criticism, your analysis on the facts.

Do not rely on your emotions or the emotions of the writer whose work you are analyzing. Put those to one side. Look only for the evidence and assess the work of the writer basing your opinion solely on the facts produced and how well they stack up in supporting the argument.

Finally there is always the general style or format of your critical research paper. It is easy to find descriptions of how the layout or presentation of the paper should be made. You need to pay attention to a title page, the title itself, an introduction or forward, the paragraphs in which the basic requirements are addressed and then finally a conclusion.