A strong response to an essay question that asks the student to discuss a topic critically needs to show some analysis or serious thought about the topic. The essay should not just be a summary of facts.
Critical discussion can take many forms, depending on the specific subject matter. Identifying and talking about opposing sides of an issue is one way to offer a critical discussion, a useful approach for questions about social issues. Another type of critical discussion involves identifying different parts of an argument and showing ways to tie them together. Still another approach is making a useful recommendation or drawing a conclusion based on the evaluation of various relevant facts and arguments.