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Critical Analysis Essay Topics: Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

In a critical analysis essay, you need to examine a piece of literature and to establish if the ideas that are presented there are valid. These types of essays are usually written with a book or novel as a topic, but you can also talk about movies, piece of arts and similar elements. It is a short story by Joyce Carol Oates. It was published for the first time in a magazine, and it is very often analyzed by college students. Since it was inspired by murders, the topic itself is pretty sensitive. Here it is how to build a good critical analysis paper:

  • Establish what the author wanted to express. You need to know what is the purpose of the story and introduce it in the first lines of your paper. In this case, many people think that the author is arguing against freedom of young girls and the dangers that can appear when they trust strangers. Also, an important idea to consider is the fact that the personal character of the story is having a bad relation with her mother, and this was one of the reasons for the deviant behavior.

  • What was the inspiration? The author was inspired by the crimes committed by an American serial killer. Discuss, briefly, why the author felt the need to support a point.

  • Write down the principal ideas. If you take them out of the context, you can analyze them better. Here you might also discover hidden keywords, religious references, and moral principles that anyone should have. Write, in your own words, what did you understand from the ideas that the author exposed. If you don’t understand a topic, you can not analyze it in good way.

  • Read other papers on the theme and compose your own. This is the part where you will analyze parts of the story, and you will express their meaning in detail. You can also mention what would happen if the characters would react differently to particular situations. Could an unfortunate situation be avoided?

  • Discuss about how effective the work of the author is. Did she make a valid point with her story? Is she successful in expressing emotions? The purpose of this story is to present an unfortunate situation so other can avoid it. Do you think that other people could benefit from her work?

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