An essay on criticism is an important literary work by Alexander Pope, published in 1711. The poem is divided into three parts and explores the concept of how one should write and critique works of literature. In the first part, Pope examines the rules of poetic composition and suggests that the writing should be shaped by the rules of the ancients. He suggests that writing should be without any sentimentality and should adhere to notions of truth and usefulness. In the second part, Pope provides a number of general rules for writing and also touches upon the concept of proper judgment. He emphasizes that good judgment is essential when critiquing a work. In the final part, Pope provides a number of specific examples to illustrate his point.

Pope's essay on criticism is important because it provides a set of guidelines for writers to consider when composing their works. It is also a reminder that one should remain aware of the context in which a work of literature is created and that one should not be too quick to judge it without understanding the underlying meaning. Pope's essay also serves as an example of neoclassical literature, as it follows the conventions of traditional poetry and follows the strictures of form and structure.

Pope's essay on criticism is a classic example of how one should approach writing and critiquing works of literature. It emphasizes the importance of considering a variety of criteria when evaluating a work and provides numerous examples to illustrate its point. By following Pope's advice, writers can ensure that their work is judged fairly and that it stands up to the scrutiny of careful examination. The essay is an important reminder that writing is a creative process and that it should not be taken lightly.