Writing an Evaluation Essay

evaluation
Writing an evaluation essay is a great way to size up a particular object or idea. This type of critical writing sets precise criteria for evaluation, providing fair and solid supporting evidence so that readers can form their opinions about a subject.

Steps for Writing an Evaluation Essay

  1. Choose a topic you would like to write about. Since you will need to make a value judgment based on a set of criterion, you should know your subject well.
  2. Formulate your thesis statement. The thesis statement of an evaluation essay is its overall purpose and should be stated clearly, giving you the direction that will allow you to distinguish between criteria and select appropriate examples. It should state value, or the lack of it, in regard to what you are writing about.
  3. Think of the criteria you are going to use to make your judgment. It is difficult or even impossible to evaluate your subject immediately—choose several points of interest to make this process easier.
  4. Find supporting evidence to prove your point of view. Since you are making a judgment about an object and presume that your readers will take your viewpoint into consideration, you should not make general statements.
  5. Make a rough draft of your paper. In this draft, organize the criteria and the evidence you find.
  6. Write the paper, following the classic structure: introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, introduce your value judgment about the chosen topic. In the main body paragraphs, present your supporting evidence to back up your judgment. In the conclusion, briefly summarize your material and restate your final judgment. Also, include a synthesis of your evidence.
  7. Proofread your paper a few times.

Evaluation Essay Topics

Since there are many objects and phenomena we are able to assess, an evaluation essay can be written on a range of topics. To evaluate an object, you will need to compare it with an example within a subject you have chosen; therefore, searching for a conventional standard as a model is a sound idea. Some possible topics of an evaluation essay are listed below:

  • Evaluate the recent season of your favorite sports team. How did the team perform based upon expectations at the start of the season?
  • Examine the difference between watching a game live versus watching it on T.V.
  • Evaluate how a recent romantic movie portrays modern romance.
  • Evaluate a classic romantic movie and what it says about the roles of men and women during that time.
  • Evaluate your favorite hamburger restaurant or compare two popular fast food burger joints.
  • Evaluate a steakhouse for how they make the customer feel after they’ve had a special dinner.
  • Evaluate the latest version of your favorite smartphone. How is it better than the previous version? What changes make the most difference?
  • Evaluate several similar apps, such as several photo editing or dieting program apps. Which one is the best? Which features are the most helpful? Which is easiest to use?
  • Evaluate a charter, military, boarding, private, Christian, or classical school. Compare the learning that happens there with that in public schools.
  • Evaluate the SAT versus the ACT tests.
  • A vacation spot.
  • A new restaurant.
  • An educational website.
  • Foreign policy of a certain state or province.
  • Deeds of a famous historical figure.
  • Service quality.
  • A museum.
  • A piece of art.

Key Points to Consider

  1. No matter how enthusiastic or negative your attitude is towards the chosen topic, the general tone of your essay should be reasonable.
  2. You can use quotations, personal experiences, descriptions, or comparisons with similar objects as evidence.
  3. An evaluation essay is not about giving an unbiased point of view—you come up with an evaluative thesis and provide evidence in its defense.
  4. The more controversial your subject is, the more supporting arguments you might need.
  5. It is also useful to present the opposite point of view. In this way, you will show you are aware that other opinions on the topic also exist.

Do and Don’t

Do

  • Do take your audience you are addressing into consideration. When choosing your topic, remember that some subjects are maybe interesting for one group of people, but could be completely uninteresting for another one.
  • Do pick at least 4-5 criteria to make an assessment. The more criteria you come up with, the more exact and clear your viewpoint becomes for your readers.
  • Do make sure your evidence is balanced between the criteria. Your essay will look much better if you find credible arguments for each of your criterion. Avoid situations when you use one strong piece of evidence for one criterion and none for others.
  • Do find the conventional standard within the topic you have chosen to use as a model for distinguishing your own points and writing an essay.
  • Do use proper grammar and punctuation, and proofread your essay carefully.
Don’t

  • Don’t forget to state your value judgment clearly, otherwise it will be difficult to understand what your paper is about.
  • Don’t be afraid to be concrete in your assessments. Use catching verbs and vivacious nouns in your arguments. Avoid being too general or stating the obvious.
  • Don’t be informal.
  • Don’t be afraid to give both positive and negative assessments to the same object in one paper. For example, when describing a restaurant, you might write that the cuisine was delicious and the atmosphere was sophisticated, but at the same time the service quality could be better and the location of the restaurant was chosen poorly.
  • Don’t use topics that are overused.

Common Mistakes When Writing an Evaluation Essay

– Confusing an evaluation essay with a review. A review is a brief summary and commentary of a book, a movie, or a play, while an evaluation paper provides readers with your personal and detailed assessment about a certain object or idea.

– Choosing too broad of a topic. If you go too wide, you will have to deal with a large amount of possible criteria and supporting evidence, not to mention that it will be more difficult to make an evaluation.

– Writing about an insufficient number of criterion. If you have less than at least three criteria, you will not be able to assess your object in its entirety.

– By any means, avoid using arguments like: “This restaurant is the best in the city because it is great.”

Now that you have acquainted yourself with the basic evaluation essay writing tips and rules, you can check out our evaluation essay samples to link theory with practice.

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Samples for Writing an Evaluation Essay

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