An Essay on Criticism is one of the first major poems written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688–1744). It is written in a type of rhyming verse called heroic couplets.
The poem first appeared in 1711, but was written in 1709, and it is clear from Pope's correspondence that many of the poem's ideas had existed in prose form since at least 1706. It is a verse essay written in the Horatian mode and is primarily concerned with how writers and critics behave in the new literary commerce of Pope's contemporary age. The poem covers a range of good criticism and advice, and represents many of the chief literary ideals of Pope's age.