Ideas for Evaluation Essays

Choose an evaluative essay topic that you feel strongly about.
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If you’ve ever read a movie review or a restaurant critique, you’ve read an evaluation essay. Evaluation essays offer an opinion about the quality and value of something, such as a movie, book, restaurant or product. When writing an evaluation essay, choose a topic that you feel strongly about, so you can present a clear opinion and build a coherent argument. That will help convince the reader to agree with your assessment.

1 Books

Books are great sources of evaluation essay topics. You could evaluate the quality of the author's writing, the believability of the plot, or how well the author developed his or her characters. There are also lots of opportunities for comparison --- you could compare several short stories or novels by the same author to evaluate the author's style, or compare two works of literature in the same genre and discuss similarities or differences.

2 Review a Restaurant

Restaurants aren’t just about having a meal. They’re also about the experience an establishment has, and that makes them a great topic to write about in an evaluation. An evaluative essay could focus on the menu: the taste of food, the variety of choices or how healthy the food options are. The essay could also focus on the service, atmosphere, price or the restaurant’s ability to accommodate special dietary restrictions. Your evaluation could also compare one restaurant to another -- for example, your favorite pizza parlor to two other pizza places. You could also evaluate a high-end restaurant, considering whether the food and experience is worth the price.

3 Technology Evaluations

The technology products you use every day can be ideal subjects for an evaluation essay. Because you’re so familiar with them, you’ll automatically have an opinion on their quality and worth. Consider writing about your smart phone; whether the features are useful, if it’s worth the price or if the latest version is better or worse than previous versions. You could also compare similar apps, such as photo editing apps or versions of a game, and assess which one is the easiest to use or the most helpful. Websites and social media sites are also great subjects for evaluative essays. You could compare similar websites, write about whether a site is well designed or helpful, assess the privacy controls and customization options or discuss how useful the site is.

4 Evaluate a Movie

Movies can be great subjects for an evaluation essay, providing a wide variety of topics to write about. For example, you could evaluate a summer blockbuster, or compare a favorite actor’s latest movie to his past performances. You can consider the quality of the special effects in a science fiction movie, or compare a remake to the original, such as the 2001 version of “Ocean’s Eleven” with the original from 1960. Even writing about a movie you don’t like can be fun – consider writing about what made the movie bad, such as the actors' performances or why the plot was unbelievable.

Amy Mahoney has been a writer for more than 15 years. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines including “The Boston Globe,” “Reader’s Digest” and the “Miami Herald.” She holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.