A critical lens essay is a paper that critically analyzes a quotation and uses literary references as supporting evidence. Typically, a writer uses two or more literary works to support her claim.
A critical lens essay includes the quotation being discussed, the author and source of the quotation and the genres of the works from which supporting evidence is drawn. The opening paragraph of the essay includes the writer's interpretation of the quotation, whether she agrees with the quotation and how she intends to support her opinion. The closing paragraph restates the thesis of the opening paragraph and summarizes the supporting arguments included in the body of the essay.