Literary criticism is an important component of literature. We often face such a situation, when we need to give our assessment to a particular work of art. In particular, we are talking about literature, and in order for your opinion to be influential and authoritarian, you should master the art of constructive criticism.
Typical Plan for Critical Writing
- An introductory paragraph should talk about the subject of analysis. Good introduction paragraph also includes an explanation of the relevance of the topic and ends with the thesis affirmation.
- Body paragraphs contain a general assessment of a subject under criticism. The purpose of body paragraphs is to reveal the positive and negative features of the criticized work. The most reasonable solution is to use three paragraphs in the main part of the critic, each of which will analyze the object from a certain perspective, which is the most significant for the author.
- A conclusion paragraph summarizes the author’s opinion and his main evidence that he used in the argumentation of his position.
The review is one of the main and most familiar to us genres of literary criticism. The literature review is very condensed, slender and harmonious, and at the same time, it has a special capacity and content.
There are basic principles of writing reviews:
- The polarity of your presentation. Like a critical article, a review needs from you to show not only the shortcomings of the work but also its obvious (or hidden) strengths.
- They are in every object. It all depends only on whether you are ready to see them.
- Here an abundance of emotions will be superfluous. You have the right to express your opinion, but it should be supported by sound arguments, built in a logical sequence.
- The factivity. Everything should be based on real facts; it should not be unfounded accusations and thoughts. Reinforce your thinking with scientific research, lean on the knowledge of literary criticism.
- Consider the work from different perspectives and try to look deeper into the author’s intention, put yourself in his place. Why did he write this, what did he want to express, but could not?
- Adequately assess your abilities and abilities. Do you have the right to strongly condemn or obsessive recommendations? The task of the reviewer is to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the work. Avoid straightforwardness and uniqueness and always leave room for free reflection on this or that topic. Situations, when there are only black and white tones, are very rare and any artwork is a spectrum of all kinds of shades.
What Else Can Be Taken into Account
- The overall impression of the book can be integral, fragmented, powerful, weak, and pleasant.
- The peculiarities of the plot. How logical it is reduced, are there any moments that do not work for it? The narrative can be dynamic, slow, prolonged, driven, torn. How much dynamics of narration corresponds to the genre and tasks set in the book? Does the author try to “steer the plot,” bending the logic of events in favor of the plan?
- The peculiarities of the heroes. How accurately and reliably they are described, is their psychology natural enough, could they act exactly in the given circumstances? Are these heroes sympathetic to the reader, do they empathize or disgust?
- Language and stylistics. What speech techniques the author uses, how rich his vocabulary is, whether he resorts to obscene language, is the author’s language rich, beautiful and laconic.
- Psychology of relations. Do the characters have internal motivations for actions and whether they are enough, do they behave in a variety of ways or rigidly follow standard reactions?
- The main idea of the text. Is it ethical, intelligent, original? What does the book teach the reader, what does it want to tell him?
- How banal is the idea, from where did the author borrow ideas, whom he quotes, parodies, paraphrases? If the book opens a new genre or direction, it is absolutely necessary to mention it.
- Social significance. If the text indicates moments that are useful, say, for patriotic upbringing or national self-awareness, complex ethical moments and choices are described, it is necessary to say this in criticism.
- Extra-literary merit, for example, it can be historical, ethnographic or social significance. A mediocre written book can be interesting as a source of information.
- Whether the topic is relevant; whether it is interesting to the public; what is the audience of the book.
- The place of the book in the literary process. How a concrete product correlates with others in its genre, what trend does it follow, develop or complete?
- Personal feelings. It may be a desire to re-read or see the work again, acquire it into a personal collection, or vice versa, never return to it again.