Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
A critical essay is an analysis of a text such as a book, film, article, or painting. The goal of this type of paper is to offer a text or an interpretation of some aspect of a text or to situate the text in a broader context. For example, a critical analysis of a book might focus on the tone of the text to determine how that tone influences the meaning of the text overall. Or, a critical analysis of a film might focus on the significance of a recurring symbol in the film. Regardless, a critical essay should include an argumentative thesis about the text and plenty of textual evidence sources to help support your interpretation of the text.  Keep reading to learn how to write a critical essay.
Critics have interpreted the incident as both an earthly psychological reaction to stress and a more sinister, perhaps supernatural attack. Connie attempts to use the phone and finds herself weak and dizzy. Oates writes that her breath is jerking in and out of her lungs “as if it was something Arnold Friend was stabbing her with again and again with no tenderness,” raising the specter of rape (13). The passage could be interpreted as an oblique reference to Arnold Friend sexually assaulting Connie; yet a few sentences later the man is still at the front door, outside the house. Given Arnold Friend’s apparently supernatural powers—he appears to see Connie’s family all the way across town—some critics have suggested he is using psychic abilities to attack her. Yet the scene can just as easily be interpreted as a panic attack described in vivid and violent metaphorical language.