Evaluation Essay Writing
In an Evaluation Essay, the student-writer literally evaluates a subject, a work of literature, for example, based on a set of criteria, and offers their judgment about this subject.
Through writing these kinds of essays, the student-writer must fully and objectively analyze all sides, aspects and elements of that subject in order share an arguable, fair evaluation. In turn, they are to fully explore the subject and provide points and evidence to illustrate and support that judgment, that evaluation.
Evaluation Essays are written in a format similar to the five-paragraph essay, with an introduction paragraph that has a Thesis Statement (in this case, the student-writer’s evaluation of the subject), several body paragraphs for illustrating the Thesis (how the writer came up with their evaluation, as well as their criterion they used to come to this conclusion), and a conclusion paragraph tying it all together, indicating the essay is concluding.
While evaluation involves subjectivity and, therefore, opinion, an Evaluation Essay is done properly, effectively and academically when it does not come off as an opinionated piece but is rather a reasonable and objective evaluation. The key in producing this kind of essay in an effective manner is establishing (and then sharing with the reader) clear and fair criteria, judgments and evidence.
Steps to Writing the Evaluation Essay
1) Find something personally interesting to evaluate.
The student-writer may want to make a list of subjects (specific pieces of literature, art, film, a performance, policies, services, etc.) they feel is worth evaluating. After they understand the scope of the assignment (and once they decide on a subject to evaluate), the student-writer should further the brainstorming process by creating an expanded list of details about this subject.
2) Draft a Thesis Statement.
Like most academic essays, the Evaluation Essay requires one to make an argument (which in this case is ultimately their evaluation of the subject) in the form of a Thesis Statement in the first paragraph, which details the overall purpose of the essay and sets up the angle the student-writer is taking, evaluating and judging. The Thesis Statement, in this case, should argue the value or lack of value of the examined subject based on their criteria.
3) Define the Subject.
Before the student begins the evaluation process, they must first, in the introduction paragraph, provide background information about the subject. For example, if the student-writer evaluates a book, which may be the case with most of the essay assignments, they should provide a brief summary of its plot and characters and perhaps even major themes, conflicts, etc. This helps establish the context of the evaluation, to better prepare the reader for what will follow in the rest of the essay.
4) Choose the appropriate criteria by which to evaluate the subject.
For the student-writer to make a solid, unbiased argument in their Evaluation Essay they must be able to present a sound basis of criteria to their reader; for a more objective evaluation, the student-writer must be fair in their judgment. If they are going to make a case for something, they must be able to present their argument in an objective manner. This stated criteria makes it an equal playing ground. If the student-writer is evaluating a movie, for instance, their criteria for evaluation may be its cinematography, plot, action, realistic characters or visual effects, or other elements worth nothing and evaluating.
5) Write the essay – critique and evaluate using this criteria – then proof, make corrections and submit.
In the drafting stage, the body of the Evaluation Essay should address either the subject’s effectiveness or its ineffective qualities based on the student-writer’s own set of criteria first stated in the essay’s introduction paragraph. Then they must provide examples to support their judgment of the subject based on their original criteria. Lastly, once the student has completed the first draft of their essay, they should reread it make sure it’s free of errors, like spelling, punctuation or grammar and that it makes a solid argument and offers an objective evaluation of a subject. Once they do this and make appropriate corrections, they should then have a fellow peer review it before submitting it to their professor for grading.
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