Instead, you’re using literature as a way to deepen your analysis of a particular quote.
Don’t worry—by the time you finish reading through this post, you’ll be able to better focus that critical lens so that you can write a stellar essay.
THE THEORETICIAN AND THE PRACTITIONER: When comparing a secondary source to a primary source, you can imagine discovering a cure in the lab and then testing it on real patients. What real-life variables not present in the lab might affect it?
Did the lab report anticipate its success rate, and if not, why?
TWO COOKS IN THE KITCHEN: Have you ever watched one of those TV cooking challenges, where both chefs get the same ingredients to create their dishes?
They each start out with similar combinations of milk, eggs, and flour, but one bakes a pound cake and the other a puff pastry.
As Malcolm X once said, “If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success.”While critics often get a bad rap, they have the important task of taking information from movies and literature, analyzing the information, and breaking it down for their readers, viewers, or listeners.
When you write your critical lens essay, you have to put on your critic hat—except you won’t be analyzing a specific piece of literature in the same way you would for an analytical essay.
Here is an illustration of what an effective lens essay will look like: In my experience, a successful lens essay implies a certain kind of thought-process that has at least four parts: (1) I read Text A (2) I read Text B (my lens) (3) I re-read Text A and noticed something I didn’t notice before (4) That something turns out to carry consequences for my overall reading of Text A (thesis/argument) (And if you really want to wow your reader, you’d add a final part:) (5) Applying Text B (my lens) in this way also reveals something significant about Text B When I say significance or consequences, I don’t mean that it has to alter the meaning of a text radically; it can be something small but important.
For example, you might find that one element is a lot more important (or a lot less important) to the overall text than you had previously thought.