Craig Stroupe | Associate Professor of Information Design | Department of Wring Studies | 1201 Ordean Court # 420 | University of Minnesota Duluth | Duluth, MN 55812 | 218-726-6249 | fax 218-726-6882 |


The modern word critical derives from the word "critic," meaning one who makes judgment.

In the arts and humanities, a "critical reading" or a "critical analysis" of a text does not necessarily mean making negative judgments, or even giving a thumbs-up or thumbs-down kind of evaluation (which is more characteristic of a "review").

Instead, a critical analysis attempts to understand a work (like a novel or film) not simply as an imitation of life or a commercial product, but as a representation that has been constructed.

A critical analysis tries to explain in detail how that construction works (or not):