How to Write an Evaluation Essay

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What is an Evaluation Essay

The overall objective of an evaluation essay is to provide validation for the quality (or lack of quality) for a particular specific item, product, business, service, program, book, movie etc. It is true that every evaluation will involve the inclusion of some sort of opinion, in order to be done correctly, the evaluation should not read as though it is opinionated. More specifically, a good evaluation will be fact based, unbiased and reasonable.

In order to write evaluations that follow this criteria, it is crucial to follow CJE guidelines. In other words, they are criteria, judgement and evidence.

Criteria references the desire to demonstrate what can be expected as a reasonable outcome for the component being evaluated. Establishing concise criteria will prevent the paper from becoming overly opinionated.

Judgement comes from establishing if the criteria is being met.

Evidence is all of the information used to support the judgement.

Specifically, every paragraph in the body of the essay will focus on one key fact. Each fact should be explained in detail, offering judgement and evidence to support the argument.

Potential topics for an evaluation essay include:

  • The most recent season of your favorite baseball team
  • How social media has impacted personal relationships
  • The latest romantic comedy and how it portrays modern relationships
  • How new and old generations approach technology
  • Self-driving cars and their impact on modern life
  • Your favorite music from high school
  • Your favorite video game
  • How video game addiction effects youth
  • The importance of the Internet in today’s business world
  • The effect of farming on the environment
  • Getting married at a church versus a destination wedding

How to Start an Evaluation Essay

Writing an evaluation essay is a fantastic way to see how a specific idea or concept measures up. This specific type of writing offers critical insight into the criteria being evaluated, and presents fair and reasonable evidence so that anyone reading the paper can form their own opinion.

Starting an evaluation essay is easy.

  1. Choose your topic. Perhaps you are writing an evaluation essay on a movie, or you are evaluating the service provided at a local restaurant. Whatever you choose to write about, you will need to provide a critical judgement based on a series of criteria so it is necessary to either choose a topic that you know well or the one that you will be able to research.
  2. Develop your thesis statement. The thesis statement of an evaluative paper should define what the overall goal or purpose of the essay is. It should provide clear direction that can be used to distinguish between criteria and relevant examples. You will need to be careful to clearly cite quality, or the lack of, with regard to the specific topic you are writing about.
  3. Consider the criteria used to make your judgement. Is it difficult or impossible to evaluate your chosen topic at first glance? If so, consider choosing multiple points of interest that might make this step easier.
  4. Gather supporting evidence or material to establish your view point. You are the one making the judgement about the topic, it is up to you to support your argument in a way that will allow others to make their own opinion.

Evaluation Essay Outline

This is the outline structure most commonly used for evaluative writing. Each point should be addressed, ideally in the order mentioned.

Introduction

  • Introduce the subject. Write a complete paragraph that introduces the subject. This can be done by providing a big picture overview of the subject, discussing the influence it has on people, and why it is worth evaluating. You should also establish the criteria that you will be calling upon to prove your thesis.
  • Create your thesis statement. Establish your thesis statement; this should include the overall judgement and the supporting reasons.

Body Paragraphs

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First Reason

  • Criterion One. Provide a topic sentence, along with your judgement of the first criterion. You will want to use transition words to help you move smoothly from your thesis to your first reason.
  • Support for the first reason. Provide valid supporting information in the form of quotes, examples, expert testimonials, statistics, comparisons, etc.
  • Address any objections and refute them. Every argument is always made stronger when the writer is able to address objections, or opposing views, and capable of providing reasons for refuting them.

Second Reason

  • Criterion Two. Provide a topic sentence, along with your judgement of the second criterion. You will want to use transition words to help you move smoothly from your thesis to your next reason.
  • Support for the second reason. Provide valid supporting information in the form of quotes, examples, expert testimonials, statistics, comparisons, etc.
  • Address any objections and refute them. Every argument is always made stronger when the writer is able to address objections, or opposing views, and capable of providing reasons for refuting them.

Third Reason

  • Criterion Three. Provide a topic sentence, along with your judgement of the third criterion. You will want to use transition words to help you move smoothly from your thesis to your third reason.
  • Support for the third reason. Provide valid supporting information in the form of quotes, examples, expert testimonials, statistics, comparisons, etc.
  • Address any objections and refute them. The reasons for this are the same as the abovementioned ones. Never underestimate the need to answer the objections, otherwise your ideas will be considered weaker and not very well founded.

Conclusion

Restate your thesis statement and the purpose of your essay. Remember to change up the verbiage used so that you are not simply copying your opening statement. This is the last section of your work when you may make an impression on your audience. You will sure want to leave your reader with a strong recommendation.

Evaluation Essay Example

Here is a compilation of examples of evaluation essays found online:

  1. http://home.ku.edu.tr/~doregan/Argumentation/SampleEvaluativeEssay.html
  2. http://web.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/wr122/handouts/essays1.htm

Conclusion Sentence Examples for Essays

Your closing statement is your final opportunity to speak to your audience. You need to be able to persuade them, or to highlight your own point of view, or to impress upon them your stance as an expert in the subject. The end of your evaluation essay should boast completeness and offer closure. However, it should also give the reader everything they need to form their own opinion or provoke them to want to learn more.

In order to create a sense of closure, you might choose to:

  • End your essay by linking the final paragraph to the opening statement. This can be done by restating the key point that was established in the beginning using other words.
  • End with a sentence made up largely of single syllable words. Simple language helps to convey the effect of understated drama.

To end a discussion, while leaving room for further thought, you might choose to:

  • End with a quote or reference from a secondary source. This should echo your primary argument, or provide a different perspective.
  • End by redefining one of the primary terms used in your argument.
  • End by considering the implications of your analysis. What are you implying with the argument that you’ve made?

How not to end your essay

  • Do not only summarize or paraphrase your essay. Yes, it is helpful to briefly summarize your argument, especially if your essay is more than ten pages in length. However, for shorter essays, it typically isn’t necessary to restate your main ideas.
  • Steer clear from phrases like ‘in closing, ‘in summation’, ‘in summary’, etc. These phrases are useful when delivering oral presentations, but when a person is reading an essay, they can typically determine when an essay is about to end, so there is no need to state the obvious.
  • Avoid the urge to apologize for knowing the things that you know. If you’ve done any amount of research, you will know much more about a topic than you can conceivably include in a five or ten page essay. Because of this, as you conclude your essay, you may feel reservations about the content that you have produced. On the other hand, if you haven’t invested much time into researching your topic, you may have reservations about your ability to conclude your paper. Try to supress the urge to succumb to your own doubts. They might only distract and irritate the reader and are not a good idea. Avoid phrases like ‘this is only one approach’ or ‘ there may be better ways’, etc.
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