Argument Development for Critical Essay – How to Do it Effectively?

Writing an essay is a daunting task. It is one of the hardest forms of academic writing. It is a creative exercise. However, writing a critical essay is even more difficult as it is creative to the core. It requires originality of thought and opinions. A piece of writing becomes critical only when the author elaborates his own perspectives on the topic. Analysis and interpretation are the key requirements of a critical essay. Thus, the writer must be able to draw a complete analysis of the topic. A simple essay in itself requires a highly creative mindset. Owing to the creative nature of essays, an author must develop sound arguments for them. Critical essays require an even more comprehensive analysis of the topic.

A critical essay requires an explanation of both the positive and negative aspects of a topic. Therefore, argument development is a big issue for writers. It is quite a hectic task and requires critical faculties. We know that developing arguments for critical essays is cumbersome at times. That is why this article is your guide to developing weighty arguments for critical essays. However, before delving into argument development, let us explain briefly what a critical essay is and why writers face difficulty developing arguments for it.

What is a Critical Essay?

A critical essay is something that focuses on the analysis and interpretation of a text. A writer builds an argument and then provides supporting evidence. In our everyday life, the word ‘critical’ has a negative connotation. However, in academic language, critical means analytical. A critical essay analyses the significance of an idea, perspective or text. It does not summarise the text or idea. It rather evaluates different aspects of that idea. You need to evaluate both the strong and weak points of a topic in a critical essay. In this way, a comprehensive analysis is required.

Let us consider an example of a critical essay. Suppose you are writing a critical essay on a movie you recently watched. Rather than describing the events that took place in the movie, you need to analyse the central theme of that movie in your critical essay. Also, you need to examine various aspects of the movie and give your own opinion. This is why argument development is important for a critical essay.

Why is Argument Development Difficult?

Argument development is something humans deal with all the time. Still, forming arguments is a difficult task. It requires brainstorming and prolonged brain activity to develop solid arguments in support of your stance. It is a complex brain activity, and most people avoid this hectic task. Another reason for the difficulty in argument development is the lack of knowledge. To write a good critical essay, comprehensive knowledge is required to analyse a topic’s positive and negative aspects. However, many students lack the knowledge to do so. This absence of knowledge does not allow them to critically analyse the subject in its length and breadth.

Ways to Effective Argument Development

If you have found yourself stuck in argument development while writing a critical essay, you need to consider the following points. They will help you tremendously in developing arguments for your essay, even when you do not have sufficient knowledge of the topic.

Active Reading

  • Critical essays require comprehensive knowledge. Reading is one great strategy to supplement your knowledge. All you need to do is actively read about the topic and retain as much information as possible. The importance of reading cannot be emphasised enough. The more you read, the more ideas you acquire. It helps you analyse the topics in greater detail.

Divide the Question into Various Parts

  • You need to deconstruct the question and focus on individual parts. Sometimes, a comprehensive question is difficult to analyse in its entirety. The writer may miss certain aspects of the question. Hence, it is important to compartmentalise the question into smaller parts.

Active Brainstorming

  • For effective argument development, you need to brainstorm the research question. After compartmentalising the question, think about its individual aspects. This activity facilitates argument development. Brainstorming is the best activity to develop effective arguments for your critical essay.

Analyse Different Dimensions of the Topic

  • If you are stuck while developing arguments, consider thinking about various dimensions of the topic. It will help you in making further progress in argument development. For example, think about the question’s social, religious, economic, political and cultural aspects.

Note down Passing Thoughts

  • After a brainstorming session and noting down the arguments, look at the written arguments. You will have other passing thoughts related to the topic. Quickly note them down. They also act as supporting arguments. These thoughts can be of immense help in writing critical essays.

Formulate Counter Arguments

  • Effective argument development for critical essays is incomplete unless you think about the opposite side of the spectrum. Note down counter arguments after writing your main arguments. They can help you in all-around argumentation for essays.

Search Preliminary Evidence and Read Similar Essays

  • Prior to argument development, it is important to note what others say about the matter. Others’ opinions help you generate your own. You can get various cues from what others are saying.

Note down Your Biases

  • Critical essays require analysis. A person can form arguments out of his own opinion. In this context, it is important to note down the biases about a topic in your opinion. These biases also have a positive effect. They can mould your opinion and modify it. In this way, you can develop a novel opinion altogether. You can also take note of another author’s biases. In this way, you can differentiate between the opinions of various authors and form effective arguments for your critical essay.


 Writing a critical essay is one of the toughest and most creative academic activities. Writers face many difficulties in argument development for a creative essay. This article has explained those difficulties and provides effective ways to develop arguments for critical essays. You can give it a read if you are facing the same difficulties.

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