Play Critique: A Long Days Journey into Night By: Eugene O’Neil
The play: https://b-ok.cc/book/2376239/2e7bb1
Critical Edition: https://b-ok.cc/book/2636953/097dca
How to Write a Critique of a Play
When assigned to write a critique of a play, be sure you understand the specification of this task: writing
a critique and writing a review are far from the same:
A book review is summary aimed at telling readers about the plot and at making a
recommendation about the work.
A book (play) critique is analysis aimed at critical responding and evaluating its quality.
Most specilists agree that reading is the best way to gain knowledge. Professors assign critique writings
to students to enhance critical thinking, encourage students to read books, and help them shape an
opinion on literary works.
A critique of a play gives a critical assessment of a literary work. It is a systematic analysis discussing a
book’s validity and evaluating its worth. A critique is not about information. It is analysis and
Also known as a critical response, this writingw argues whether a play is worth reading and why. In other
words, your critique of a play should discuss the following:
a play’s thesis and major argument
a play’s style
a reviewer’s (your) comments and assumptions
How to Write a Good Critique of a Play
Just as other academic papers do, a critique has its structure. This structure should include the
Introduce the play and its author
Present its purpose
Summarize the author’s key ideas
Share your reaction to the work
Give a brief synopsis of the work
Use 3-5 points to support your thesis statement
Use evidence from the play to support your points
Develop your argument
Summarize your points
Restate your thesis
Before Writing a Critique
1.) Read the play, taking notes of its main points.
2.) While reading, write a brief summary for each section.
3.) Determine the author’s core statement.
4.) Read some reviews of the play to get a better idea of its content and message.
5.) Make notes from those reviews. (You can use them for arguments afterward.)
6.) Formulate your thesis.
7.) Make sure that you don’t plagiarize it from other reviewers.
8.) Come up with 3-5 arguments for your thesis.
9.) Search for relevant references to support your thesis and arguments.
10.) Find evidence from the play and write a detailed outline of your critique.
Once your research and outline are ready, it is time to start writing the first publish of your critique. Be
sure your outline relates to the thesis and you have analyzed each section coherently.
The easiest part of writing, an introduction contains basic information about a book (play): its author,
title, topic, and key ideas. Also, present the essay’s purpose and your reaction to the play: the latter will
be your thesis statement.
Your critique might be as follows:
Sentence 1: A work’s author + its title + the main idea. Be objective and use so-called evaluative
verbs to power your writing.
Sentence 2: A work’s summary + its aim (key argument). Keep it neutral and try avoiding specific
Sentence 3: A brief statement of your evaluation. The transitional thesis is the last sentence of
your introduction, and it can be positive-positive or positive-negative.
Depending on the play you have chosen to criticize, the essay introduction may be 1-2 sentences or 1-3
No strict rules exist for the number of paragraphs you should write in a critique’s body. It depends on
the work you are evaluating.
Points to consider while writing:
Organization. Depending on the approach, you can arrange paragraphs by points, strengths vs.
weaknesses, or theme. Remember that the aim of your work is not merely criticizing a play in a
negative way but also pointing out what its author did well.
Writing techniques and style. Evaluating a play, don’t forget to mention these points: discuss
how effectively (or not) the author used stylistic choices to promote his/her ideas.
Evidence. Describe what types of arguments the author used. Were they logical and
appropriate? Do not forget to explain why the evidence supports your point.
Usefulness. Discuss what the play adds to its topic understanding. Is it overall useful? Does the
play present ideas in original and engaging ways? How does it consider key concepts in society?
Examples. You should support each point of your critique with examples. For instance, you
cannot simply write that a play was dull or outstanding. Provide a quote as evidence and
explain why it does not appeal to you or why it is a good (perhaps great) play.
The final part of your essay: this is a paragraph where you summarize and qualify judgments, as well as
offer your recommendations on a work.
Answer the questions:
Do you agree with the author? Why, or why not?
What is the overall opinion on this work?
Be specific. Remind readers of the importance of the play you criticized, focus on its strengths and
weaknesses, and state what you believe is its ultimate success or the cause of its failure as a work of
Content and grammar are of equal importance. If a reader does not understand your sentence
structure, they will not be able to follow your argument. That is why you need to revise and proofread
your essay but do not rely much on spell-checkers, as they often miss even the most obvious spelling
Ask someone who knows how to proofread your work; and then, you revise it accordingly.