Probably one of the first essays you ever had to write as a student on what you did on your summer vacation, a restaurant feedback, a book review of some kind would be evaluative essays. Evaluative essays are a way of judging someone or something as good or bad. Writing an evaluative essay involves the writer to fully examine both sides and define a debatable judgment. Students must fully search the subject and then offer views and confirmation to back the judgment. Most students are aware of the purpose behind the evaluative essay which may not be as problematic to write. Keeping a few simple steps in mind can help craft a complete evaluation essay.
What are Evaluative Essays?Back to Top
The purpose of an evaluation essay is to determine the complete quality or lack thereof of a certain business, place, product, service, or program. Evaluative essays start out to create standards or measures and then evaluate or judge the subject based on the criteria. However any evaluation comprises of introducing forms of opinion and not come across as prejudiced. The evaluation should seem contemplate and unbiased or neutral as the key to a good investigative essay, is building strong and clear criteria, judgments, and evidence.
There are three key parts to an evaluative essay:
- The judgment, or overall opinion
- The criteria, or whys and wherefores of making the opinion
- And last, evidence to support it
Criteria means demonstrating what one should believe as the ideal result for the product, place, service etc. Having clear criteria’s is what keeps an evaluative essay from feeling less like an opinion. For Example: A student can evaluate a restaurant and establish its criteria such as the quality of food, service, cleanliness, and price etc. which most restaurants adhere to; this criterion is applied to the specific restaurant evaluated.
Judgement is the formation of whether or not the criterion is met. In other words, the judgment is what actually is deciding or concluding about any place or service. From the example above the judgment states whether or not the particular restaurant offers food that meets or exceeds this stated quality.
Evidences are details presented to support the judgment. If a person’s judgment is that a certain restaurant does not constantly offer quality food, he/she needs to support it with a variety of evidence to show how the judgment was got.
The evaluative essay remains a valuable instrument in the composition patterns. The ability to say what you like about the object, item or thing whether a book or a portrait or a trance concert or a dinner at a impressive restaurant or the design of a new bike has become more understated and considerable over the years since reviews. Generally an evaluation essay focuses on one specific criterion, which must be fully clarified, trailed by the judgment and evidence presented as support.
Evaluative Essays TopicsBack to Top
Evaluative essays are like reviews they often judge whether something is good or bad, better or worse than rather similar. A good evaluative essay helps a student or writer present an opinion using criteria and evidence. We are familiar with the sort of writing if we've read a book review for instance. Probably a brief run-down of the book's foremost characters, summary of the plot or what the book was about or how delightful the book was etc. If you like to write parody, this can be a prodigious opportunity to display humor. Chances are you will have an amazing time, and so will the reader.
Topics can be something you've experienced many times. Such as:
- have a strong opinion: positive or negative about the topic
- choose something you’re knowledgeable about recently
- know a lot about the type of experience
|Vacation||Buildings||Tour Concert||Clothing Line|
|Event||Sports Stadium|| Oscar Shows||Luxury Item|
|Program||Museum||Dance Performances||Technological Innovation|
|Celebration||Country||Music|| A Piece of Art|
Evaluation Essay OutlineBack to Top
An evaluation essay is not about giving an unbiased opinion; instead it’s about coming up with an evaluative thesis and delivers evidence in its defense. The tone of the essay should be reasonable. Use quotations, personal know-hows, relationships with similar objects. The more provocative and controversial the subject is chosen for the essay, the more supportive arguments might be needed which is also useful to show the opposite standpoint. In this manner, you will show that other opinions on the topic also exist and you are aware of the same. If you have no less than three criteria, you will not be able to evaluate the object in its entireness.
The steps for writing an Evaluative Essay are:
- Choose a topic that you have enough knowledge about since you will need to make a significant judgment based on a set of criteria’s, one should know the subject well.
- Formulate the thesis. The thesis of an evaluative essay is its complete purpose and should be stated clearly, making way that will allow distinguishing between criteria and selecting, appropriate examples. The thesis should state importance, or the lack of it, in regard to what is written about.
- Think of the conditions that are going to use to make the judgment. It is challenging or even difficult to value the subject instantly, choose quite a few points of interest to make it easier.
- Find supporting evidence to prove your point of view. Since a judgment is made about an object and readers will take the viewpoint into concern, not making general statements.
- Prepare a rough draft organize the criteria and the evidence found.
- Follow the classic structure: introduction, main body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, introduce the value judgment about the selected topic. In the body paragraphs, show the supporting evidence. In the conclusion, briefly summarize and restate the final judgment.
After completing the essay read it over. Ensure sentences and details make sense. Details should be presented evidently and the essay follows proper structure. Proofread essay for grammatical and spelling errors.
Evaluation Introduction and Conclusion IdeasBack to Top
Evaluation Introduction and Conclusion Ideas:
|Introduction ||Conclusion |
|Frame story.||Finish frame story.|
|Intense narrative of subject.||What audience should expect.|
|Explain your expectation before seeing or experiencing subject.|| |
Were expectations fulfilled or unfulfilled?
|Discuss what other people think of this subject.||Should agree with other people?|
|Give a scenario of a typical person interested in this.||Tell your audience what they should think, do, or believe about this subject.|
Describe how popular or unpopular it is.
|Is popularity a good judge for this?|
|Show a conversation of people talking about it.||Show a conversation of what people think after experiencing it.|
|Tell a personal story of your interest in the subject.||Explain your final conclusion about this subject.|
|Give history of event, piece of art, or other object.||What is the meaning of this thing over time?|
|Cite statistics or evidence about this subject.||How does this subject fit into or challenges statistics or facts?|
|Define this thing or genre and what people typically expect.|| Does this fulfill, fall short of, or reverse the conventions of the genre?|
Evaluation Essay IdeasBack to Top
To write an extra ordinary Evaluation Essayremember to:
Present the Subject in an Interesting Way
- Give the right amount of detail
- Help readers agree with your evaluation
- Write a review rather than a summary
- Make sure what you are evaluating is clear
- Thesis sentence should tell exactly what you think
- Pick at least three criteria
- Define the audience
- Be opinionated!
- Order the body paragraphs from least important to most important
- Back up your opinions
Evaluation Essay TopicsBack to Top
Some evaluation essay topics include the following:
- Sports evaluation topics
- Television program evaluation topics
- Movie evaluation topics
- Play evaluation topics
- Restaurant evaluation topics
- Technology evaluation topics
- Education evaluation topics
Choose from any of the Evaluative Essay Topics and write an Essay of your own from below:
- Evaluate the recent season of your favorite sports team. How did the team perform?
- Evaluate the experience of watching a soccer game alone vs. watching it with a group of friends.
- Evaluate the performance of a particular player on a sports team. Is this player over or undervalued?
- Evaluate a classic romantic movie and what it says about the roles of men and women during that time.
- Evaluate how well a movie which is based on a book is true to that book. Which is better (book or movie)?
- Evaluate several works by the same director and the vision that director brings to a project. What is the director trying to say with their work?
- What makes a great Italian meal? Evaluate your favorite Italian restaurant and tell what makes this dining experience unique.
- Like donuts? Which is the best donut shop in town? Evaluate why and compare with other donut shops or donuts from a grocery store.
- Evaluate the latest version of your favorite smartphone. How is it better than the previous version? What changes make the most difference?
- Evaluate the recent trend in 3D movies. Has this type of filmmaking enhanced the movie going experience?
- Evaluate the effectiveness of using media and technology in teaching. Do video clips, Twitter, blogs, PowerPoint presentations, and other media really improve learning?
- Evaluate the SAT vs. the ACT tests.
- Evaluate a tutoring program for how well it helps students or evaluate a peer mentoring program for how well it works.
To write a good essay, you firstly need to have a clear understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do. Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, 2001), which instruct you how to answer the question. Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay. This glossary provides definitions of some of the more typical words that you may come across in an essay question. Please note that these definitions are meant to provide general, rather than exact guidance, and are not a substitute for reading the question carefully. Get this wrong, and you risk the chance of writing an essay that lacks focus, or is irrelevant. You are advised to use this glossary in conjunction with the following Study Guides: Writing essays and Thought mapping written by Student Learning Development.
To write a good essay, you firstly need to have a clear understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do. Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, 2001), which instruct you how to answer the question. Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay.
This glossary provides definitions of some of the more typical words that you may come across in an essay question. Please note that these definitions are meant to provide general, rather than exact guidance, and are not a substitute for reading the question carefully. Get this wrong, and you risk the chance of writing an essay that lacks focus, or is irrelevant.
You are advised to use this glossary in conjunction with the following Study Guides: Writing essays and Thought mapping written by Student Learning Development.
|Analyse||Break an issue into its constituent parts. Look in depth at each part using supporting arguments and evidence for and against as well as how these interrelate to one another.|
|Assess||Weigh up to what extent something is true. Persuade the reader of your argument by citing relevant research but also remember to point out any flaws and counter-arguments as well. Conclude by stating clearly how far you are in agreement with the original proposition.|
|Clarify||Literally make something clearer and, where appropriate, simplify it. This could involve, for example, explaining in simpler terms a complex process or theory, or the relationship between two variables.|
|Comment upon||Pick out the main points on a subject and give your opinion, reinforcing your point of view using logic and reference to relevant evidence, including any wider reading you have done.|
|Compare||Identify the similarities and differences between two or more phenomena. Say if any of the shared similarities or differences are more important than others. ‘Compare’ and ‘contrast’ will often feature together in an essay question.|
|Consider||Say what you think and have observed about something. Back up your comments using appropriate evidence from external sources, or your own experience. Include any views which are contrary to your own and how they relate to what you originally thought.|
|Contrast||Similar to compare but concentrate on the dissimilarities between two or more phenomena, or what sets them apart. Point out any differences which are particularly significant.|
|Critically evaluate||Give your verdict as to what extent a statement or findings within a piece of research are true, or to what extent you agree with them. Provide evidence taken from a wide range of sources which both agree with and contradict an argument. Come to a final conclusion, basing your decision on what you judge to be the most important factors and justify how you have made your choice.|
|Define||To give in precise terms the meaning of something. Bring to attention any problems posed with the definition and different interpretations that may exist.|
|Demonstrate||Show how, with examples to illustrate.|
|Describe||Provide a detailed explanation as to how and why something happens.|
|Discuss||Essentially this is a written debate where you are using your skill at reasoning, backed up by carefully selected evidence to make a case for and against an argument, or point out the advantages and disadvantages of a given context. Remember to arrive at a conclusion.|
|Elaborate||To give in more detail, provide more information on.|
|Evaluate||See the explanation for ‘critically evaluate’.|
|Examine||Look in close detail and establish the key facts and important issues surrounding a topic. This should be a critical evaluation and you should try and offer reasons as to why the facts and issues you have identified are the most important, as well as explain the different ways they could be construed.|
|Explain||Clarify a topic by giving a detailed account as to how and why it occurs, or what is meant by the use of this term in a particular context. Your writing should have clarity so that complex procedures or sequences of events can be understood, defining key terms where appropriate, and be substantiated with relevant research.|
|Explore||Adopt a questioning approach and consider a variety of different viewpoints. Where possible reconcile opposing views by presenting a final line of argument.|
|Give an account of||Means give a detailed description of something. Not to be confused with ‘account for’ which asks you not only what, but why something happened.|
|Identify||Determine what are the key points to be addressed and implications thereof.|
|Illustrate||A similar instruction to ‘explain’ whereby you are asked to show the workings of something, making use of definite examples and statistics if appropriate to add weight to your explanation.|
|Interpret||Demonstrate your understanding of an issue or topic. This can be the use of particular terminology by an author, or what the findings from a piece of research suggest to you. In the latter instance, comment on any significant patterns and causal relationships.|
|Justify||Make a case by providing a body of evidence to support your ideas and points of view. In order to present a balanced argument, consider opinions which may run contrary to your own before stating your conclusion.|
|Outline||Convey the main points placing emphasis on global structures and interrelationships rather than minute detail.|
|Review||Look thoroughly into a subject. This should be a critical assessment and not merely descriptive.|
|Show how||Present, in a logical order, and with reference to relevant evidence the stages and combination of factors that give rise to something.|
|State||To specify in clear terms the key aspects pertaining to a topic without being overly descriptive. Refer to evidence and examples where appropriate.|
|Summarise||Give a condensed version drawing out the main facts and omit superfluous information. Brief or general examples will normally suffice for this kind of answer.|
|To what extent||Evokes a similar response to questions containing 'How far...'. This type of question calls for a thorough assessment of the evidence in presenting your argument. Explore alternative explanations where they exist.|
Dhann, S., (2001) How to ... 'Answer assignment questions'. Accessed 12/09/11. http://www.education.ex.ac.uk/dll/studyskills/answering_questions.htm
The following resources have also been consulted in writing this guide:
Johnson, R., (1996) Essay instruction terms. Accessed 12/09/11. http://www.mantex.co.uk/samples/inst.htm
Student Study Support Unit Canterbury Christchurch College (no date) Common terms in essay questions. Accessed 22/02/08. http://www.wmin.ac.uk/page-2714
Taylor, A.M. and Turner, J., (2004) Key words used in examination questions and essay titles. Accessed 12/09/11 http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/studyadvice/StudyResources/Essays/sta-planningessay.aspx#answering