Critical Lens Essay Outline

critical lense essay outline

Following a critical lens essay outline is fairly easy as soon as a student figures out their basic standpoint. Unlike regular essays, critical lens require more focus on the part of the writer, attention to detail, critical thinking and patience.

How it Works

Prior to discussing an outline, first focus on what exactly is a critical lens essay. Typically, this is when a teacher assigns a specific literary quote that could be the topic of an argument. The quote is typically controversial and the goal of the writer is to pick an idea and convince the reader into their side of thinking. For those who are assigned this type of task, here’s a viable critical lens essay outline.


Obviously, the introduction should start with the actually quote provided by the teacher. During the introduction, the student will offer an interpretation of the said quote using their own words. The introduction is also the part where the writer will state their stand and cite literary works as examples of the truthfulness of the quote. It should be a minimum of two books. The writer must have read these books and are familiar with the concept stated in the work; otherwise they will have a hard time making their point in the essay.

Essay Body

The essay body should contain three paragraphs or more. This is the stage where the reader will be providing supporting arguments to their stated opinion regarding the quote. Make use of the literary works mentioned, placing actual scenes, quotes and ideas from the book to make a point. Try to write one paragraph for every example given, making it easier for the student to maintain focus throughout the essay. It is advisable that students use their strongest argument for the third paragraph as this is the one that lingers most on the thought of the reader. This way, it will provide them with something to critical to think about, enhancing the possibility of swaying their opinion.


The conclusion is basically the same with introduction, restating and summarizing the argument made. Boil down the cause and effect scenario and end this by quoting the original statement provided by the teacher.

Note that when writing a critical lens essay outline, the student should write in a third person narrative. There is no “I”, “we” or “you” in the essay. Instead, writers should use the word “people” or “individuals”. Don’t forget to proofread the essay to ensure that there are no grammatical or spelling errors. Considering how critical lens require thorough knowledge of two literary works, it is never a good idea to create this type of essay overnight. Instead, allot several nights for the job and make sure to study the books as reference points.


Kathy Seelinger is a Professor of Education at Marshall University, Huntington, WV.