Task 4 Critical Lens Essay Sample

Looking For Great Examples Of Critical Lens Essays


As a literature student (no matter what your selected language is), you will most likely be given an assignment known as critical lens essay. That means you will study a certain piece of literature (a book, a poem etc.) and you will have to choose a quote in the work and analyse it.

In some ways, it might seem like a rather easy assignment, but in reality, in depth analysis will be needed to truly understand what the author meant when he wrote it. It doesn’t really matter what the quote is, as long as it is important and meaningful.

When you are going to look for examples for your critical lens essays, it would be a good idea to start from these places:

Read your favourite work of literature!

If you really like to read and understand the culture, then you should simply find a quote from your favourite piece of work. As stated above, it doesn’t really matter what the quote is. All you have to do is to provide an argument and a valid interpretation of the quote. You will then need to either agree of disagree with it. Obviously, you are advised to use other references to support your argument. This is how you write a great essay!

Online Search

Going online is extremely easy! All you have to do is go to your preferred search engine and start looking for quotes. There are many websites that provide that, but then it would wise to double-check the validity of the quotes (sometimes the interpretation as well).

Read essays written by others

As a student, you should always read the work of others, especially their essays. That would give you some inspiration and you could even base your argument on the quotes that they have used.

But, if you are going to do that, remember to cite the references that you’ve used!

Talk to your teacher

Your teacher will have access to tonnes of great critical lens essays. Don’t be shy and ask the question! They are here to guide you, so as long as you need help, they would be willing to do so. Just a reminder though, they will not give you the answer – you still need to analyse the topic yourself! All you need is some practice and self-confidence! It’s not that hard!

Hopefully this guide has helped you with your critical lens essay!


Presentation on theme: "Writing the Critical Lens Essay"— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing the Critical Lens Essay
New York State English Regents Exam:Session II, Part B (Task 4)

2 Your Critical Lens:“If the literature we are reading doesn't wake us, why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.”- Franz Kafka (adapted)

3 Critical Lens—Your Guidelines
Provide a valid interpretation of the quoteClearly establish criteria for analysisIndicate whether you agree or disagreeChoose one work to support your opinionAVOID PLOT SUMMARYUse Direct and Indirect Characterization for analysisOrganize your ideas clearlySpecify the title, authors and detailsFollow the conventions of English

4 Introduction Introduce and state the quote
Interpret the quote fully and in your own words—what does this quote mean?Show agreement or disagreement (no need to use the word I…avoid all personal pronouns)State thesis or stance (you will use all support to prove this statement)

5 Introduction (actual)
Franz Kafka once stated “If the literature we are reading doesn't wake us, why then do we read it? A literary work must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.” Kafka’s quote suggests that what we read should lead to some insight or new ideas about the world around us. Kafka is right. The purpose of literature is to lead the reader to some new understanding of the world. One piece of literature that awakens the reader is the myth Athene by Bernard Evslin. In the story, Evslin uses direct and indirect characterization to a create a character so interesting that she breaks the frozen sea inside of us.

6 Body ParagraphsInclude a topic sentence to introduce the text and authorTransition and include your literary element (may be multiple sentences)Connect back to the lens (may be multiple sentences)Concluding sentence.

7 Body Paragraph Part 1 (actual)
In Athene by Bernard Evslin, the reader is introduced to Athena, the Greek Goddess of intellectual activities. Evslin directly characterizes Athena as the inventor of science, the ax, ploughs, and weaving. The reader is told this information because Evslin wants us to see just how significant Athena is in Greek Mythology. This breaks the frozen sea inside of us because we start to see that the ancient Greeks came up with mythology in order to explain how things like wisdom and intelligence began. Just like modern humans, the Greeks were interested in figuring out the world around them

8 Body Paragraph Part 2 (actual)
Later in the story Bernard Evslin uses indirect characterization to demonstrate how angry a Goddess can get when a human demonstrates hubris. After her confrontation and contest with Arachne, we see Athena turn Arachne into a spider. This is a type of warning to the reader that excessive pride can be dangerous. Using direct characterization, Evslin provides the reader with a lesson that also breaks the frozen sea inside of us.

9 Conclusion Re-state an interpretation of the quote Show agreement
Briefly review main points madeTie main ideas back to the lens and your thesis

10 Conclusion (actual)The best literature breaks up the frozen sea inside of the reader. It causes the reader to think and ask questions. It interests the reader and can draw him into a different world. Evslin’s Athena is one of those pieces of literature that can wake the reader up and open his eyes to a new way of seeing the world. Athena causes the reader to wonder the same questions that Greeks wondered and to care about finding out answers to life’s questions.

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