A guide to structuring essays with a focus on critical lens essays.

These are written for a variety of reasons. One reason is to sway the reader's point of view on a particular famous quote or to offer fresh insight into the meaning of the quote. In addition to that, the critical lens essay is assigned to assess the student’s skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. They are used to narrow the scope of a specific piece of literature.


A critical lens essay is a form of narrative essay containing five paragraphs covering a certain opinion of a direct quote. The standard five-paragraph format includes an introduction, three supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each of the paragraphs examines critically the main point presented by the writer. Paragraphs in the critical lens essay are extremely structured and must adhere to certain guidelines in order to be written correctly.


Prepare your High School or Middle School students for Common-Core Aligned Critical Lens Essay Writing.

Quite often students are faced with a problem in their school days: “How to write a critical lens essay”? This article is aimed at helping those students who want to know what exactly a critical lens essay is and how it should be written.

A critical lens essay is an essay that is mostly used in some U.S. schools, especially those that are affiliated with the New York State Regents Exam. In the critical lens essay you are given a quote and have to decide whether you agree with it or not by writing an essay. In writing the essay, you explore the quote as well as the books, novels or sources from which the quote has been derived and and interpretation of things and finally come to a conclusion. The aim of the critical lens essay is to measure the student’s ability of his or her reading, writing and critical thinking skills. One thing that must be always present in the critical lens essay is that the student should be able to make his or her own viewpoint on the subject, matter or topic, which has been written by him or her in the essay.How to write the introduction for the NYS English exam, part IV - the critical lens essay.

Teachers, use this guided notes pages:
Give to your students to fill out for homework while watching the video. Includes video 1 and 3.