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How to Write an Evaluation Essay

by Shannon Philpott, Demand Media Google

    Evaluation essays set out to create criteria and then judge or evaluate the subject based on these criteria. Writing an evaluation essay requires the writer to fully analyze both sides and determine an arguable judgment. Writers must fully explore the subject and then provide views and evidence to support that judgment.

    Step 1

    Find something to evaluate. Brainstorm possible topics to evaluate by making a list. For example, you might make a list of movies, films, books or policies to evaluate. Decide on a topic and then further your brainstorming with an expanded list of details about the topic.

    Step 2

    Draft a thesis statement. The thesis details the overall purpose of the evaluation essay and sets up the angle for your judgment. In evaluation essays, the thesis should argue the value or lack of value of your particular topic based on the criteria you will later establish.

    Step 3

    Define your subject. Provide background information about your topic or subject before you begin evaluating. For example, when evaluating a book, provide a brief summary of the plot and its characters to set up the context of the evaluation for the reader.

    Step 4

    Choose the appropriate criteria. In order to evaluate a topic or attempt to pass judgment, writers need to detail criteria in which the topic will be evaluated. For example, if you are evaluating a movie, the criteria might be cinematography, plot, action, realistic characters or visual effects.

    Step 5

    Critique the criteria. When drafting evaluation essays, the body of your essay should address the effectiveness or ineffective qualities of each set of criteria. Provide examples to support your judgment of each criteria and argue in accordance with your thesis.

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    Tip

    • Make sure that your writing is balanced and evaluates all the criteria thoroughly. Stand your ground throughout the evaluation so that your claim is convincing and persuasive.

    Warning

    • Avoid evaluating topics that are broad or overused. Narrow down the topic so that your claim is strong and well-supported with examples.

    References

    • “Writing: A Guide for College and Beyond;” Lester Faigley; 2007

    About the Author

    Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

    Photo Credits

    • James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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