When you write an essay for an English course, you are usually given a rubric by which the instructor will evaluate that essay and come up with a final grade. In effect, your instructor is using the same process that you will use when you have to evaluate something and write an essay on that evaluation. So, an evaluation essay is a piece of writing that will determine the quality of something – a product, a policy, a law, a book or movie, a restaurant, etc.
Evaluation essay assignment may come in a couple of varieties.
No matter which type of evaluation essay you may be assigned, however, there is a “no-fail” process that, if used, will result in a worthy piece. Use this process and the other evaluation essay writing tips you will find here, and you should be “good to go.”
1. Identify and refine your topic. If not given, then you must find something to evaluate. Make a list of things about which you feel pretty knowledgeable – a movie or a book, a product, a law or a policy, a specific restaurant, a course you have taken, etc. Once you have decided on the topic, make a list of all of the details on that topic. You will use these later on.
2. Decide on your criteria for evaluation. If these have been given to you already, no problem. If not, then you will have to ask yourself some very specific questions:
Try to limit your criteria for evaluation to 3-4 aspects. After all, this is an essay not a major research work, and you will overwhelm yourself if you try to use more.
3. Use your criteria to evaluate the topic. As you do this, be certain that you use factual evidence as you make your judgments. If you are evaluating a specific cell phone, for example, one, of your criterion might be “coverage area.” If there are coverage area issues, then provide detail from your own experience, that of others you know, or a trusted consumer report document. If you are evaluating a documentary film, and the purpose of that film was to bring awareness to the issue of climate change, was that purpose achieved? How was that purpose achieved? What factual information was presented? Each of your criterion will be a body paragraph in your essay.
4. Come to an overall judgment. Based upon the criteria and evidence, what is you general opinion? Is this thing you evaluated serving the purpose for which it was written, produced, established? Is it effective for what it is supposed to achieve? This becomes your Thesis Statement.
5. The rest of the essay production occurs like any other essay. Prepare your body paragraphs, one on each criterion. Write your introduction, introducing you topic and providing your thesis statement – your overall judgement. Write your conclusion, providing a short summary of your evaluation and re-stating your thesis in another say.
If you must choose your own topic, here is a short list of some possibilities by subject.
Here are a few things to think about as you craft you evaluation essay.
Be reasonable at writing your essay and leave emotion out of it. That's your key to a great writing.
Some Additional Key Points
You need to keep in mind the definitions of terms as you produce an evaluation essay:
You may have to conduct some research to get the factual evidence you need. Accept that and just get it done.
Evaluation essays should not scare you. Think of it this way. You have opinions about a lot of things; you have written persuasive essays in which you have had to take a stand and back it up with factual information. The only difference in writing an evaluation essay is that you determine what factors, or criteria, you are going to use to evaluate something.
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