How to Write Online Critical Essay in MLA Format

In a critical essay you are supposed to give a critical analysis of something, most often of a text. It is not necessary to be negative evaluation – you just as well can read, analyze and agree with what you have read. The best way to characterize this kind of writing will be to call it objective evaluation – you write about the level of coherence of the text, how well-put is the idea and so on rather than agree or disagree with the idea as itself. The fact that it is a MLA critical essay simply means that you have to organize along the lines of MLA formatting style, which is mainly concerned about citing. In a critical essay of MLA format the sources should be mentioned in-text parenthetically, so that the reader will be able to find them easily in the Works Cited list. Here are some examples:

  • Author’s name in-text: Jones has mentioned this (91-93).
  • Author’s name in reference: This has been mentioned before (Jones 91-93).
  • Work with more than one author: This idea has been expressed before (Jones, Smith, and Brown 143-146).
  • Reference two several places in the text: Jones has been writing about this (194, 215-217).
  • If two sources are quoted in an MLA critical essay: We are not the first to write about it (Jones 178, Smith 49).

The most common ways of writing books in the Works Cited list are as follows:

  • Single author: Jones, Jack. The Ways of Using MLA Style. New York: Academica, 1995.
  • Two authors: Jones, Jack, and James Smith: New Ways of Using MLA Style. New York: Academica, 1997.

We hope that this short account will be of use for you to write online critical essay in MLA.

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