Evaluation essays are a great way to make sense of the many opinions and viewpoints we hold on a variety of issues. People pass judgment all the time. With an evaluation essay, students, consumers, and other critics are expected to go beyond mere opinions by presenting fair judgments alongside clear standards and evidential support.
In an evaluative essay, judgements or decisions are made on a particular item, unit, entity or other object based on specific criteria or set standards. The judgments or opinions must be accompanied by clear evidence to support the final verdict and should aim to be as unbiased as possible.
How do you formulate an evaluation essay?
There is a simple process to creating this critical form of writing. After you select a topic and investigate it you will then develop a precise and clear set of criteria by which you can then evaluate your topic. The amount and complexity of your standards or criteria are dependent upon your audience and the standards of that particular topic or discipline.
If you chose to evaluate a car dealership in one paper and a hair dryer in the next, the expected standards of judgment for each item will differ considerably. When examining a car dealership you may look at what is typically required of any business and specifically businesses that supply high price goods. You may want to look at (a) customer service (b) quality and reliability of cars (c) business ethics and practices (d) and track history, such as unsatisfied customers and so on.
On the other hand, for a hair dryer you may look more directly at (a) performance and effectiveness (b) additional features and ease of use and (c) cost. Other more intricate categories might be added to both subjects as well such as the car dealership being affiliated or in support of initiatives to help people or the environment and the hair dryer being energy efficient to save on electric cost and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
After you determine the conditions or judgment criteria placed on your topic you will then begin to evaluate it based on those standards and provide your final decision after carefully preparing the evidential support.
What exactly is the evidence? The evidence is simply the proof that supports your claims. If in your final judgment you deem a product to be effective and valuable to consumers you must provide evidence of this claim such as test outcomes, results from a particular study, or in some instances, the quality of ingredients involved in making the product and their benefits etc.
Tips for writing your evaluation
A few things to make your paper comprehensive and sufficiently structured:
Thoroughly read and investigate your topic before attempting to evaluate it
This step may be taken for granted with small consumer items or topics that have been extensively covered in other evaluations or reports. Often times people will review things they know little about. Try to develop your own unique experience and opinions on the topic by testing or trying it out if its is a product or possibly utilizing the services if it is a business or organization.
For example, if you are evaluating a restaurant you need to visit the restaurant as a customer to properly get a feel for several aspects of the business; from the quality of food to the professionalism of the staff.
Create your thesis last
If you're doing a true evaluation where you are uncertain of what your final judgment will be you won't really be able to convey a complete main idea for your paper until you've actually written it. If you'd like to develop a working thesis to give yourself some direction you may do so by indicating the specific topic and subtopics you will be discussing and the criteria or guidelines you will follow in conducting your evaluation.
Use the already established evaluational procedures or standards for your particular discipline or category of product
Depending on your topic its likely that a professional has already developed standards for how that particular item, concept or entity is studied.
For example, if you were to evaluate a well-known educational institution, you know that there presently exist criteria to judge the quality or effectiveness of a school, college or university. Furthermore, if you were to evaluate something that's a little more open to interpretation like a particular concept, or phenomena (for example, the effect of the media or young girls), then you may have more room to identify and set your own unique criteria to judge by.
Coming up with a topic in general is difficult to accomplish but usually the more flexible your allowed to be with selecting a topic the better (though this isn't always the case, sometimes less options are better!). Thankfully evaluation essays, though strict when it comes to evidence and criteria, offer a lot of variety with topic selection. Since there are many systems, processes, organizations, businesses, entities, services and products to choose from the door is open to many different evaluations. The easiest way to approach this is to go with something you are familiar with, know extremely well, feel strongly about, or have a great interest in exploring. This will hopefully not only make your paper more interesting to write but will also increase the quality and proficiency of the criteria you set forth (i.e. for topics that you have experience with). Some suggested topics are as follows;
- Evaluate the quality of the McDonald (or any other restaurant) Corporation's meat processing methods
- Evaluate Walmart's (or any other store) adherence to human rights laws in the past 10 years
- Evaluate the effectiveness of New York's (or any other area) policies for the homeless
- Evaluate Canada's immigration test; more people are failing , is that good or bad?
- Evaluate the performance, quality and usability of the Kindle Fire by Amazon
- Evaluate the actual productivity of Blackberry applications such as "eOffice" and "eSpell"
The above examples show a variety of topics formulated by evaluating things already in place such as government policies, business practices, and popular consumer goods. Other things not included in this selection are things that are ordinarily reviewed such as books, essays, or papers. For these items, evaluations are much easier to complete because they are routinely reviewed for academic or literary purposes and their standards are well-known (for example, does the book have a structured plot, developing details, engaging voice etc.?). Finding an evaluation template for these things is a simple as a search on the Internet.
Lastly, the keys to creating a successful evaluation essay are to (a) select something that you can easily identify a set of judgment criteria for (don't choose a topic that you have no idea how it can be evaluated) and (b) something that you have the means of properly evaluating first hand (for example, if it is a product, choose something you can buy or already own and if it is a policy or law ensure that you have access to all of the necessary documentation).
Presentation on theme: "Evaluation Essay."— Presentation transcript:
1 Evaluation Essay
2 Three column logThe three column log is a note-taking technique that will help you remember what you saw and what you want to write about in your essay.You need to prepare this before you watch the movie so that you aren’t scrambling to do it as the movie is playing.
3 You are to (obviously) make three columns on a sheet of paper
You are to (obviously) make three columns on a sheet of paper. They should be titled criteria, judgment, and evidence. An outline is available under the course documents tab if you’d just like to print it off.You should write the criteria you are referring to in the far left column, a simple yes or no in the middle column, and describe the scene in as much detail as possible in the far right column.Make at least four of these before watching the movie because you will need to write on as many of the criteria as possible.When you write “no” it does not mean that there is no evidence, but that the movie does not do it well. You need to explain this in the far right column.An example of a good three-column log can be found under the Evaluating essay link (under assignments) on the class website.
4 Evaluation Essay Format
This format MUST be followed for you to pass. It’s the only essay that has such specific criteria that I give you the outline. Since it’s spelled out for you here, this essay is graded hardest in many ways. Be sure to compare your final product with this outline to be sure you’ve done it correctly.
5 The purposeRemember that the goal of this essay is to persuade someone who disagrees with you that your opinion is correct.Concessions to the other side are important. This prevents the reader from being offended. When a person you are trying to persuade disagrees with you and you do not ever admit that there is something valid in their beliefs then they will automatically shut you out. These are the people you are trying to convince so it is important to keep them listening.Think of it as if you are talking about a certain music group you like and I walk up to you and tell you that they suck and have no talent. You aren’t going to listen to anything I have to say after that since it’s clear that I am close-minded and rude.
6 To write this essay you will have to come up with ways that people judge horror movies (acting, plot, music, cinematic techniques.). These are called criteria. Think of why you may have criticized a movie before now (think of the most horrible movie you’ve ever seen and everything you grip about in that movie is most likely a criterion). If you want post them under the help discussion board to know if they are good or not that would be fine.
7 At least one of your criteria must be positive if you are claiming the movie is bad, and if you are claiming the movie is good at least one criterion must be negative. This shows that you are not narrow minded and you can see the other persons viewpoint, but you still feel yours is the best view to hold.Whichever criterion negates your point must be the first body paragraph; you don’t want the last thing your readers see to be the opposite of what you are trying to get them to remember.
8 AudienceYou audience is someone who has never seen the movie you are evaluating; therefore you must have a basic plot summary in the essay introduction. This can be NO MORE than ¾ of a page.Not only do you have to summarize the information, but your evidence (scene descriptions) must be detailed enough so that a person who has never seen the movie will be able to visualize the scene and see your point.The detailed evidence is by far the hardest part of this essay because you know what you are talking about.
9 Essay FormatPara 1 – the introduction will give a plot summary of no more than half a page and then give a solid thesis that states the name of the movie, your evaluation of the movie (good or bad), and the criteria you will use to prove your view.Paras 2-4 – these are your body paragraphs; their form will follow.Para 5 – your conclusion will have to be a basic summary conclusion for this essay as there is no where else to lead the reader.
10 Paragraph formatSentence 1 – the topic sentence will contain your criterion, your judgment, and why that criterion is important to make a good scary movie. This sentence can be broken into two, but you must get all this info in before you can give evidence to support it.The rest of the para will give detailed scenes to support your judgment. This means that only about two scenes per criterion will be evaluated. If you’ve covered two scenes and you still haven't reached about a half page, you probably aren’t being detailed enough.
11 TransitionsIt is very easy on this essay to slip into basic transitions (first, second, third). Try not to do this. It makes for a monotonous essay! Try using “another thing the movie does well is . . .”