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7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)

In this ultimate guide, I will explain to you exactly how to write an evaluation essay.

1. What is an Evaluation Essay?

An evaluation essay should provide a critical analysis of something.

You’re literally ‘evaluating’ the thing you’re looking up.

Here’s a couple of quick definitions of what we mean by ‘evaluate’:

  • Merriam-Webster defines evaluation as: “to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study”
  • Collins Dictionary says: “If you evaluate something or someone, you consider them in order to make a judgment about them, for example about how good or bad they are.”

Here’s some synonyms for ‘evaluate’:

So, we could say that an evaluation essay should carefully examine the ‘thing’ and provide an overall judgement of it.

Here’s some common things you may be asked to write an evaluation essay on:

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Really, you can evaluate just about anything!

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2. How to write an Evaluation Essay

There are two secrets to writing a strong evaluation essay. The first is to aim for objective analysis before forming an opinion. The second is to use an evaluation criteria.

Aim to Appear Objective before giving an Evaluation Argument

Your evaluation will eventually need an argument.

The evaluation argument will show your reader what you have decided is the final value of the ‘thing’ you’re evaluating.

But in order to convince your reader that your evaluative argument is sound, you need to do some leg work.

The aim will be to show that you have provided a balanced and fair assessment before coming to your conclusion.

In order to appear balanced you should:

  • Discuss both the pros and cons of the thing
  • Discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of the thing
  • Look at the thing from multiple different perspectives
  • Be both positive and critical. Don’t make it look like you’re biased towards one perspective.

In other words, give every perspective a fair hearing.

You don’t want to sound like a propagandist. You want to be seen as a fair and balanced adjudicator.

Use an Evaluation Criteria

One way to appear balanced is to use an evaluation criteria.

An evaluation criteria helps to show that you have assessed the ‘thing’ based on an objective measure.

Here’s some examples of evaluation criteria:

  • Strength under pressure
  • Longevity (ability to survive for a long time)
  • Ease of use
  • Ability to get the job done
  • Friendliness
  • Punctuality
  • Ability to predict my needs
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Attentiveness

A Bed and Breakfast

  • Breakfast options
  • Taste of food
  • Comfort of bed
  • Local attractions
  • Service from owner
  • Cleanliness

We can use evaluation criteria to frame out ability to conduct the analysis fairly.

This is especially true for if you have to evaluate multiple different ‘things’. For example, if you’re evaluating three novels, you want to be able to show that you applied the same ‘test’ on all three books!

This will show that you gave each ‘thing’ a fair chance and looked at the same elements for each.

3. How to come up with an Evaluation Argument

After you have:

  • Looked at both good and bad elements of the ‘thing’, and
  • Used an evaluation criteria

You’ll then need to develop an evaluative argument. This argument shows your own overall perspective on the ‘thing’.

Remember, you will need to show your final evaluative argument is backed by objective analysis. You need to do it in order!

Analyze first. Evaluate second.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you’re evaluating the quality of a meal.

You might say:

  • A strength of the meal was its presentation. It was well presented and looked enticing to eat.
  • A weakness of the meal was that it was overcooked. This decreased its flavor.
  • The meal was given a low rating on ‘cost’ because it was more expensive than the other comparative meals on the menu.
  • The meal was given a high rating on ‘creativity’. It was a meal that involved a thoughtful and inventive mix of ingredients.

Now that you’ve looked at some pros and cons and measured the meal based on a few criteria points (like cost and creativity), you’ll be able to come up with a final argument:

  • Overall, the meal was good enough for a middle-tier restaurant but would not be considered a high-class meal. There is a lot of room for improvement if the chef wants to win any local cooking awards.

Evaluative terms that you might want to use for this final evaluation argument might include:

  • All things considered
  • With all key points in mind

4. Evaluation Essay Outline (with Examples)

Okay, so now you know what to do, let’s have a go at creating an outline for your evaluation essay!

Here’s what I recommend:

4.1 How to Write your Introduction

In the introduction, feel free to use my 5-Step INTRO method . It’ll be an introduction just like any other essay introduction .

And yes, feel free to explain what the final evaluation will be.

So, here it is laid out nice and simple.

Write one sentence for each point to make a 5-sentence introduction:

  • Interest: Make a statement about the ‘thing’ you’re evaluating that you think will be of interest to the reader. Make it a catchy, engaging point that draws the reader in!
  • Notify: Notify the reader of any background info on the thing you’re evaluating. This is your chance to show your depth of knowledge. What is a historical fact about the ‘thing’?
  • Translate: Re-state the essay question. For an evaluative essay, you can re-state it something like: “This essay evaluates the book/ product/ article/ etc. by looking at its strengths and weaknesses and compares it against a marking criteria”.
  • Report: Say what your final evaluation will be. For example you can say “While there are some weaknesses in this book, overall this evaluative essay will show that it helps progress knowledge about Dinosaurs.”
  • Outline: Simply give a clear overview of what will be discussed. For example, you can say: “Firstly, the essay will evaluate the product based on an objective criteria. This criteria will include its value for money, fit for purpose and ease of use. Next, the essay will show the main strengths and weaknesses of the product. Lastly, the essay will provide a final evaluative statement about the product’s overall value and worth.”

If you want more depth on how to use the INTRO method, you’ll need to go and check out our blog post on writing quality introductions.

4.2 Example Introduction

This example introduction is for the essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society.

“Facebook is the third most visited website in the world. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm. This essay evaluates the impact of Facebook on society and makes an objective judgement on its value. The essay will argue that Facebook has changed the world both for the better and worse. Firstly, it will give an overview of what Facebook is and its history. Then, it will examine Facebook on the criteria of: impact on social interactions, impact on the media landscape, and impact on politics.”

You’ll notice that each sentence in this introduction follows my 5-Step INTRO formula to create a clear, coherent 5-Step introduction.

4.3 How to Write your Body Paragraphs

The first body paragraph should give an overview of the ‘thing’ being evaluated.

Then, you should evaluate the pros and cons of the ‘thing’ being evaluated based upon the criteria you have developed for evaluating it.

Let’s take a look below.

4.4 First Body Paragraph: Overview of your Subject

This first paragraph should provide objective overview of your subject’s properties and history. You should not be doing any evaluating just yet.

The goal for this first paragraph is to ensure your reader knows what it is you’re evaluating. Secondarily, it should show your marker that you have developed some good knowledge about it.

If you need to use more than one paragraph to give an overview of the subject, that’s fine.

Similarly, if your essay word length needs to be quite long, feel free to spend several paragraphs exploring the subject’s background and objective details to show off your depth of knowledge for the marker.

4.5 First Body Paragraph Example

Sticking with the essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society , this might be your paragraph:

“Facebook has been one of the most successful websites of all time. It is the website that dominated the ‘Web 2.0’ revolution, which was characterized by user two-way interaction with the web. Facebook allowed users to create their own personal profiles and invite their friends to follow along. Since 2004, Facebook has attracted more than one billion people to create profiles in order to share their opinions and keep in touch with their friends.”

Notice here that I haven’t yet made any evaluations of Facebook’s merits?

This first paragraph (or, if need be, several of them) should be all about showing the reader exactly what your subject is – no more, no less.

4.6 Evaluation Paragraphs: Second, Third, Forth and Fifth Body Paragraphs

Once you’re confident your reader will know what the subject that you’re evaluating is, you’ll need to move on to the actual evaluation.

For this step, you’ll need to dig up that evaluation criteria we talked about in Point 2.

For example, let’s say you’re evaluating a President of the United States.

Your evaluation criteria might be:

  • Impact on world history
  • Ability to pass legislation
  • Popularity with voters
  • Morals and ethics
  • Ability to change lives for the better

Really, you could make up any evaluation criteria you want!

Once you’ve made up the evaluation criteria, you’ve got your evaluation paragraph ideas!

Simply turn each point in your evaluation criteria into a full paragraph.

How do you do this?

Well, start with a topic sentence.

For the criteria point ‘Impact on world history’ you can say something like: “Barack Obama’s impact on world history is mixed.”

This topic sentence will show that you’ll evaluate both pros and cons of Obama’s impact on world history in the paragraph.

Then, follow it up with explanations.

“While Obama campaigned to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, he was unable to completely achieve this objective. This is an obvious negative for his impact on the world. However, as the first black man to lead the most powerful nation on earth, he will forever be remembered as a living milestone for civil rights and progress.”

Keep going, turning each evaluation criteria into a full paragraph.

4.7 Evaluation Paragraph Example

Let’s go back to our essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society .

I’ve decided to use the evaluation criteria below:

  • impact on social interactions;
  • impact on the media landscape;
  • impact on politics

Naturally, I’m going to write one paragraph for each point.

If you’re expected to write a longer piece, you could write two paragraphs on each point (one for pros and one for cons).

Here’s what my first evaluation paragraph might look like:

“Facebook has had a profound impact on social interactions. It has helped people to stay in touch with one another from long distances and after they have left school and college. This is obviously a great positive. However, it can also be seen as having a negative impact. For example, people may be less likely to interact face-to-face because they are ‘hanging out’ online instead. This can have negative impact on genuine one-to-one relationships.”

You might notice that this paragraph has a topic sentence, explanations and examples. It follows my perfect paragraph formula which you’re more than welcome to check out!

4.8 How to write your Conclusion

To conclude, you’ll need to come up with one final evaluative argument.

This evaluation argument provides an overall assessment. You can start with “Overall, Facebook has been…” and continue by saying that (all things considered) he was a good or bad president!

Remember, you can only come up with an overall evaluation after you’ve looked at the subject’s pros and cons based upon your evaluation criteria.

In the example below, I’m going to use my 5 C’s conclusion paragraph method . This will make sure my conclusion covers all the things a good conclusion should cover!

Like the INTRO method, the 5 C’s conclusion method should have one sentence for each point to create a 5 sentence conclusion paragraph.

The 5 C’s conclusion method is:

  • Close the loop: Return to a statement you made in the introduction.
  • Conclude: Show what your final position is.
  • Clarify: Clarify how your final position is relevant to the Essay Question.
  • Concern: Explain who should be concerned by your findings.
  • Consequences: End by noting in one final, engaging sentence why this topic is of such importance. The ‘concern’ and ‘consequences’ sentences can be combined

4.9 Concluding Argument Example Paragraph

Here’s a possible concluding argument for our essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society .

“The introduction of this essay highlighted that Facebook has had a profound impact on society. This evaluation essay has shown that this impact has been both positive and negative. Thus, it is too soon to say whether Facebook has been an overall positive or negative for society. However, people should pay close attention to this issue because it is possible that Facebook is contributing to the undermining of truth in media and positive interpersonal relationships.”

Note here that I’ve followed the 5 C’s conclusion method for my concluding evaluative argument paragraph.

5. Evaluation Essay Example Template

Below is a template you can use for your evaluation essay , based upon the advice I gave in Section 4:

6. 23+ Good Evaluation Essay Topics

Okay now that you know how to write an evaluation essay, let’s look at a few examples.

For each example I’m going to give you an evaluation essay title idea, plus a list of criteria you might want to use in your evaluation essay.

6.1 Evaluation of Impact

  • Evaluate the impact of global warming on the great barrier reef. Recommended evaluation criteria: Level of bleaching; Impact on tourism; Economic impact; Impact on lifestyles; Impact on sealife
  • Evaluate the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on poverty. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on jobs; Impact on childhood poverty; Impact on mental health rates; Impact on economic growth; Impact on the wealthy; Global impact
  • Evaluate the impact of having children on your lifestyle. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on spare time; Impact on finances; Impact on happiness; Impact on sense of wellbeing
  • Evaluate the impact of the internet on the world. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on connectedness; Impact on dating; Impact on business integration; Impact on globalization; Impact on media
  • Evaluate the impact of public transportation on cities. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on cost of living; Impact on congestion; Impact on quality of life; Impact on health; Impact on economy
  • Evaluate the impact of universal healthcare on quality of life. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on reducing disease rates; Impact on the poorest in society; Impact on life expectancy; Impact on happiness
  • Evaluate the impact of getting a college degree on a person’s life. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on debt levels; Impact on career prospects; Impact on life perspectives; Impact on relationships

6.2 Evaluation of a Scholarly Text or Theory

  • Evaluate a Textbook. Recommended evaluation criteria: clarity of explanations; relevance to a course; value for money; practical advice; depth and detail; breadth of information
  • Evaluate a Lecture Series, Podcast or Guest Lecture. Recommended evaluation criteria: clarity of speaker; engagement of attendees; appropriateness of content; value for monet
  • Evaluate a journal article. Recommended evaluation criteria: length; clarity; quality of methodology; quality of literature review ; relevance of findings for real life
  • Evaluate a Famous Scientists. Recommended evaluation criteria: contribution to scientific knowledge; impact on health and prosperity of humankind; controversies and disagreements with other scientists.
  • Evaluate a Theory. Recommended evaluation criteria: contribution to knowledge; reliability or accuracy; impact on the lives of ordinary people; controversies and contradictions with other theories.

6.3 Evaluation of Art and Literature

  • Evaluate a Novel. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
  • Evaluate a Play. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; quality of acting; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
  • Evaluate a Film. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; quality of acting; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
  • Evaluate an Artwork. Recommended evaluation criteria: impact on art theory; moral or social message; complexity or quality of composition

6.4 Evaluation of a Product or Service

  • Evaluate a Hotel or Bed and Breakfast. Recommended evaluation criteria: quality of service; flexibility of check-in and check-out times; cleanliness; location; value for money; wi-fi strength; noise levels at night; quality of meals; value for money
  • Evaluate a Restaurant. Recommended evaluation criteria: quality of service; menu choices; cleanliness; atmosphere; taste; value for money.
  • Evaluate a Car. Recommended evaluation criteria: fuel efficiency; value for money; build quality; likelihood to break down; comfort.
  • Evaluate a House. Recommended evaluation criteria: value for money; build quality; roominess; location; access to public transport; quality of neighbourhood
  • Evaluate a Doctor. Recommended evaluation criteria: Quality of service; knowledge; quality of equipment; reputation; value for money.
  • Evaluate a Course. Recommended evaluation criteria: value for money; practical advice; quality of teaching; quality of resources provided.

7. Concluding Advice

how to write an evaluation essay

Evaluation essays are common in high school, college and university.

The trick for getting good marks in an evaluation essay is to show you have looked at both the pros and cons before making a final evaluation analysis statement.

You don’t want to look biased.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use an objective evaluation criteria, and to be generous in looking at both positives and negatives of your subject.

Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay

I recommend you use the evaluation template provided in this post to write your evaluation essay. However, if your teacher has given you a template, of course use theirs instead! You always want to follow your teacher’s advice because they’re the person who will be marking your work.

Good luck with your evaluation essay!


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
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2 thoughts on “7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)”

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What an amazing article. I am returning to studying after several years and was struggling with how to present an evaluative essay. This article has simplified the process and provided me with the confidence to tackle my subject (theoretical approaches to development and management of teams).

I just wanted to ask whether the evaluation criteria has to be supported by evidence or can it just be a list of criteria that you think of yourself to objectively measure?

Many many thanks for writing this!

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Usually we would want to see evidence, but ask your teacher for what they’re looking for as they may allow you, depending on the situation.

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How to Evaluate Essay Writing

Last Updated: April 25, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been viewed 37,011 times.

Essays are common assignments in high school and college. If you are a new teacher trying to evaluate student essays, then familiarizing yourself with the basic parts of an essay can also be helpful. Essays are usually broken into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In some cases, an essay may also need to include a works cited or reference page. If you also need to assign a grade to an essay, develop a rubric and deduct a set number of points for items that are missing, incomplete, or incorrect.

Evaluating the Thesis Statement and Introduction

Step 1 Look for an attempt to engage readers.

  • For example, in an essay about the first day of classes at a new school, the author might engage readers by providing a vivid description of what it was like for them to walk down the hallway for the first time.

Step 2 See if you can tell what the essay is supposed to be about.

  • For example, if the essay is supposed to be about gun control, then the introduction should provide context for readers about this subject. This may be in the form of facts and statistics, an anecdote, or some background information on the controversy.
  • On the other hand, a narrative essay on the first day of class at a new school would need to provide a scene from that experience or some kind of background information, such as why they had to start at a new school.

Step 3 Identify the “so what?”

  • For example, if the topic is declining bee populations, then the author might include something about how this will affect the food supply to get readers to care about the subject.
  • If the essay is about a memorable family vacation, then the introduction might explain how this vacation changed the author’s perspective.

Step 4 Identify the thesis...

  • For example, a paper about the benefits of recycling might include a thesis that reads, “Everyone should recycle because we have limited resources and recycling helps to conserve energy.”
  • A narrative essay does not need to have an argument, but there should be a sentence that describes the main point of the essay, such as, “My family’s trip to Turkey taught me about different cultures, cuisines, and religions, and I learned so much about myself along the way.”

Reading the Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Check that the essay includes the minimum number of body paragraphs.

  • There would only need to be 3 body paragraphs if the essay is meant to be a 5 paragraph essay. If the essay is meant to be longer, then it should have about 2 body paragraphs per page.
  • Multiply the total pages of the essay by 2 and then subtract 2 (for the intro and conclusion) to find the approximate number of body paragraphs a paper should have. For example, a 4 page essay should have about 6 body paragraphs.

Step 2 Identify the topic...

  • For example, if the topic sentence reads, “Polar bears require a large amount of food to sustain their body weight,” then the rest of the paragraph should expound upon what and how much polar bears eat.
  • For a topic sentence that reads, “The meal consisted of a hearty goat stew for the main course, and several traditional side dishes in a variety of colors, flavors, and textures,” the paragraph should provide additional details about the meal.

Step 3 Look for evidence...

  • For example, if a sentence reads, “Male polar bears weight between 775 to 1,200 pounds (352 to 544 kg),” then there should be a source for this information because this is not information that most people know. [3] X Research source
  • On the other hand, it would not be necessary to include a source for a sentence that reads, “Polar bears are large, white bears.”

Step 4 Note the use of descriptive language.

  • If a paragraph is describing a person, then the author might include details about the color of their hair, the sound of their voice, and the type of clothing they wore.
  • For example, an effective descriptive paragraph might read, “Judy stood a whole head above me, but she also had an impressive afro that added about 6 inches (15 cm) to her height. She wore black Converse, ripped white jeans, a cherry red, v-neck t-shirt, and a silver locket that contained a picture of her father. Her voice was deep and raspy, as if she had smoked for 20 years, but she had never even had a puff.”

Step 5 Watch for transitions between sentences and paragraphs.

  • Sequence: then, next, finally, first, second, third, last
  • Cause and effect: for this reason, as a result, consequently, thus, therefore, hence
  • Contrast or comparison: but, however, conversely, similarly, likewise, in the same way, also
  • Example: for example, for instance, in fact, to illustrate
  • Purpose: for this reason, to this end, for this purpose
  • Time or place: before, after, immediately, in the meantime, below, above, to the south, nearby [6] X Research source

Reviewing the End of the Essay

Step 1 Note how the author readdresses the thesis statement.

  • For example, if the essay was about the benefits of recycling and why it is important to recycle, then the conclusion might include a sentence that reads, “Despite all of the benefits of recycling and how easy it is to recycle, many people still don’t do it.”
  • For a narrative essay that begins with a description of how nervous the author was to walk down the hall on the first day at a new school, the author could make a similar return to the introduction. The conclusion might include something like, “That first day was terrifying and walking down the hall felt like walking to my doom, but I learned that I was not the only one who felt that way.”

Step 2 Consider what kind of impression the essay made on you.

  • For example, at the end of a narrative essay you might be left thinking about the vivid description of a favorite family meal.
  • An argumentative essay may leave you thinking about the moral dilemma raised by the author regarding gun control.
  • An expository essay about polar bears might leave you with a new appreciation for their size and strength.

Step 3 Make sure no new information is introduced.

  • If the conclusion does introduce new information, note this in your evaluation.

Evaluating Cited Sources

Step 1 Check for in-text citations if sources were required.

  • Make sure the citations are formatted according to the style guide listed on the assignment sheet, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.

Step 2 Verify that cited information is consistent with the original source.

  • You may not have time to do this for every single piece of evidence, especially if you have a lot of students. If this is the case, you could randomly check 1-2 pieces of evidence for each essay you grade.

Step 3 Review the works...

  • If you're in doubt about a source, use the information on the works cited page to find the original source and review it.
  • Remember that the format should match the assigned style guide, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.

Grading an Essay

Step 1 Consider how well the essay addresses the prompt or question.

  • Some teachers and professors require students to rewrite essays that do not satisfy the basic requirements of an assignment. If you come across an essay like this, then you might want to meet with the student to discuss their options.

Step 2 Use a rubric

  • Before you assign points to the criteria, rank them in order of importance for this assignment. This will help you create a points system that relates to the goal for this assignment.
  • It's best to give your students a copy of the rubric when you make the assignment. This allows the students to understand your grading process and expectations.
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Organization
  • Development of ideas

Step 3 Deduct points if an item is missing, incorrect, or incomplete.

  • For example, if you require students to include a thesis statement in the first paragraph to outline the paper’s argument, then you might deduct 15 points if it is missing, or 10 points if it is incomplete or incorrect.

Expert Q&A

  • It's essential to clearly communicate your expectations to your students. Include all of the information they need to earn full credit in the assignment sheet, including your rubric. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are evaluating your own essay, use the teacher’s assignment guidelines to ensure that you have included all of the required elements of an essay. Ask your teacher if you are unsure. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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The ultimate guide to writing an evaluation essay, carla johnson.

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Evaluation essays are a common type of writing assignment in school. They ask students to evaluate and analyze the quality or value of something like a book, movie, product, or service. In this article, we’ll give you the most complete guide to writing an evaluation essay. We’ll talk about everything from an evaluation essay’s purpose and importance to the steps you need to take to write a good one.

An evaluation essay is a type of writing that tries to give an unbiased opinion about a topic based on a set of criteria. It’s not just a summary of the topic; it’s a critical analysis of what’s good and bad about it . The writer should give a fair assessment of the topic by pointing out both its strengths and weaknesses.

The point of an evaluation essay is to give a critical analysis of a topic so that the reader can form a well-informed opinion about it. For this kind of essay , the writer needs to know a lot about the subject, including its background, history, and effects. It is a good activity for students to do because it helps them learn how to think critically , do research, and write well.

Evaluation essays are also important in academic writing because they help students show that they can think critically and explain their ideas clearly. Because of this, evaluation essays are often given in many different classes, such as literature, film studies, business, and marketing. By learning how to write an evaluation essay, students can do better in school and improve their chances of getting jobs in their chosen fields.

An evaluation essay is a type of academic writing that asks students to give a critical analysis of a certain topic based on a set of criteria. The point of writing an evaluation essay is to give the reader an unbiased look at the topic so that they can form an opinion about it.

Lastly, evaluation essays are an important part of academic writing because they help students improve their critical thinking, research, and writing skills, all of which are important for academic success and moving up in a career. In the sections that follow, we’ll talk more about the steps you need to take to write a good evaluation essay.

What You'll Learn

Choosing a Topic for an Evaluation Essay

Choosing the right topic is crucial when it comes to writing an effective evaluation essay. A well-chosen topic will not only make the writing process easier but will also ensure that the essay is engaging and relevant to the reader. Here are some tips for selecting an evaluation essay topic:

– Choose a topic that you are interested in: It is essential to choose a topic that you are passionate about and have some knowledge of. This will make the writing process more enjoyable and will also result in a more engaging and informative essay .

– Select a topic that is relevant: Choose a subject that is current and relevant to the reader. This will ensure that your essay is informative and interesting to read.

– Narrow down your topic: It is important to select a topic that is specific and narrow. This will enable you to focus on a particular aspect of the subject and provide a more detailed evaluation.

– Consider both sides of the argument: Choose a topic that allows you to evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of the subject. This will ensure that your essay is balanced and provides a fair evaluation .

– Use credible sources: Ensure that your topic is backed by credible sources, such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites.

Here is a list of 50 evaluation essay topics:

1. The impact of social media on modern relationships

2. The effectiveness of online learning compared to traditional classroom learning

3. The portrayal of mental health in popular media4. The impact of technology on our daily lives

5. The effectiveness of government policies on climate change

6. The quality of customer service in the hospitality industry

7. The effectiveness of performance-enhancing drugs in sports

8. The portrayal of women in the media

9. The impact of smartphones on communication skills

10. The effectiveness of gun control laws in reducing gun violence

11. The quality of healthcare services in rural areas

12. The impact of video games on children’s behavior

13. The effectiveness of alternative medicine in treating chronic illnesses

14. The portrayal of minorities in the media

15. The impact of social media on body image and self-esteem

16. The effectiveness of online dating in finding a partner

17. The quality of fast food restaurants

18. The impact of globalization on cultural diversity

19. The effectiveness of police body cameras in reducing police brutality

20. The portrayal of mental illness in popular media

21. The impact of artificial intelligence on job opportunities

22. The effectiveness of vaccination programs in preventing diseases

23. The quality of public transportation in urban areas

24. The impact of social media on political campaigns

25. The effectiveness of rehabilitation programs for prisoners

26. The portrayal of LGBTQ+ individuals in the media

27. The impact of technology on education

28. The effectiveness of animal testing in developing new drugs

29. The quality of public schools in low-income areas

30. The impact of social media onteenagers’ mental health

31. The effectiveness of renewable energy sources in reducing carbon emissions

32. The portrayal of disability in the media

33. The impact of celebrity culture on society

34. The effectiveness of anti-bullying programs in schools

35. The quality of public parks and recreation areas

36. The impact of social media on political polarization

37. The effectiveness of online therapy in treating mental illness

38. The portrayal of aging in the media

39. The impact of automation on job security

40. The effectiveness of recycling programs in reducing waste

41. The quality of public libraries

42. The impact of social media on privacy

43. The effectiveness of parenting classes in improving child behavior

44. The portrayal of mental health in the workplace

45. The impact of technology on the music industry

46. The effectiveness of drug rehabilitation programs

47. The quality of public restrooms

48. The impact of social media on activism

49. The effectiveness of sex education programs in schools

50. The portrayal of race in the media.

Understanding the Structure of an Evaluation Essay

A basic structure for an evaluation essay is an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The purpose of the introduction is to give background information about the subject and explain how it will be judged. Based on the criteria set out in the introduction, the body paragraphs should give a detailed analysis of the topic. In the end, the conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and give a final opinion on the subject.

Here is a breakdown of each section of an evaluation essay:

1. Introduction: The introduction should begin with an attention-grabbing hook that draws the reader in and provides some background information on the subject. This should be followed by a clear thesis statement that outlines the criteria that will be used to evaluate the subject.

2. Body Paragraphs: Each of the body paragraphs should look at a different part of the topic and judge it based on the criteria set out in the introduction. Every paragraph should start with a topic sentence that makes it clear what is being evaluated and how. The evaluation should then be backed up with evidence , such as examples, statistics, and quotes from reliable sources.

3. Conclusion: The conclusion should provide a summary of the main points made in the essay and restate the thesis statement . The writer should then provide a final evaluation of the subject based on the evidence presented in the body paragraphs. This evaluation should be balanced and fair, taking into account both the strengths and weaknesses of the subject.

An evaluation essay outline can be helpful in organizing and structuring the essay. Here is an example of an evaluation essay outline:

I. Introduction

– Hook

– Background information

– Thesis statement

II. Body Paragraphs

– Aspect 1

  – Criteria

  – Evidence

– Aspect 2

– Aspect 3


III. Conclusion

– Summary of main points

– Restate thesis statement

– Final evaluation

Understanding the structure of an evaluation essay and choosing the right topic are both critical to writing an effective evaluation essay. By following the tips provided for selecting a topic and using an evaluation essay outline, you can create a well-organized and engaging essay that provides a fair assessment of the subject.

Writing an Effective Evaluation Essay

Writing an effective evaluation essay requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips to help you write a powerful evaluation essay:

1. Developing a thesis statement for an evaluation essay: A strong thesis statement should clearly state the criteria that will be used to evaluate the subject. It should also provide a clear indication of the writer’s stance on the subject, whether it is positive, negative, or neutral.

2. Tips for writing a powerful evaluation essay:

– Use specific criteria: Provide clear and specific criteria for evaluating the subject, and use evidence to support your evaluation.

– Use credible sources: Use credible sources to support your evaluation, such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites.

– Be objective: Provide a balanced evaluation of the subject, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses.

– Use clear and concise language: Use clear and concise language to make your evaluation easy to understand and engaging to read.

– Use transitions: Use transitions to connect your ideas and ensure that the essay flows smoothly.

3. Common mistakes to avoid when writing an evaluation essay:

– Being too subjective: Avoid being too subjective and provide a balanced evaluation of the subject.

– Failing to provide evidence: Use evidence to support your evaluation, and avoid making unsupported claims.

– Focusing too much on summary: Avoid simply summarizing the subject and focus on providing a critical analysis of its merits and demerits.

– Failing to use credible sources: Use credible sources to support your evaluation andavoid relying solely on personal opinions or unsupported claims.

Examples of Evaluation Essays

To help you get a better understanding of how to write an effective evaluation essay, here are 10 inspiring evaluation essay examples from different fields:

1. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy in the United States

2. Evaluation of the impact of the #MeToo movement on workplace culture

3. Evaluation of the nutritional value of plant-based diets compared to meat-based diets

4. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Paris Climate Agreement in reducing global carbon emissions

5. Evaluation of the impact of social media influencers on consumer behavior

6. Evaluation of the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in reducing stress and anxiety

7. Evaluation of the quality of customer service provided by leading airlines

8. Evaluation of the portrayal of mental illness in popular TV shows

9. Evaluation of the effectiveness of online therapy in treating depression and anxiety

10. Evaluation of the impact of video games on children’s cognitive development

Writing an effective evaluation essay involves selecting the right topic, understanding the structure of the essay, and following the tips provided to develop a powerful evaluation essay. By avoiding common mistakes and using credible sources, you can create an engaging and informative evaluation essay that provides a balanced assessment of the subject. The examples provided can also serve as a guide to help you craft a compelling evaluation essay in any field.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what is an evaluation essay.

An evaluation essay is a type of academic writing that asks students to evaluate and analyze the quality or value of something like a book, movie, product, or service. The writer should give a fair assessment of the topic by pointing out both its strengths and weaknesses.

2. What are the elements of an evaluation essay?

An evaluation essay has three parts: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the introduction, you should give some background information about the topic and explain how it will be judged. Based on the criteria set out in the introduction, the body paragraphs should give a detailed analysis of the topic. In the end, the conclusion should summarize the main points of the essay and give a final opinion on the topic .

3. How do I choose a topic for an evaluation essay?

To pick a topic for an evaluation essay, think about something you are interested in and know a little bit about. It’s also important to choose a topic that is relevant and specific. Think about both sides of the argument and back up your opinion with information from reliable sources.

4. What is the difference between an evaluation essay and a review?

The main difference between an evaluation essay and a review is that an evaluation essay has a different focus and goal. An evaluation essay tries to give a critical analysis of the subject based on a set of criteria, while a review gives a summary of the subject and often includes personal opinions.

In conclusion, writing an effective evaluation essay is an essential skill for students to master, as it helps to develop critical thinking , research, and writing abilities. To write an effective evaluation essay, it is important to choose the right topic, understand the structure of the essay, and follow the tips provided in this guide. It is also important to avoid common mistakes and use credible sources to support your evaluation.

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Evaluation Essay: Writing Guide, Outline & Free Samples

Evaluation Essay

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Are you wondering how to write an evaluation essay? We are here to inspire and let you know all the essential steps to get started. This blog post will describe what is an evaluative essay, including its purpose and elements. In addition, you will be enlightened on how to actually write evaluations - all the necessary factors and steps will be elaborated on. These steps are: deciding what to appraise, what criteria to apply, and how to develop arguments and outlines. Toward the end, you will be provided with evaluation essay samples that will enable you to put theoretical guidelines into practice. Strictly follow this blog post from our essay writer services to the end.

What Is an Evaluation Essay: Definition

The starting point of being well-versed in this from of writing is understanding its definition and purpose, as it will lay a good foundation for further work. Evaluation essay is a paper that offers evidence that helps to justify writer's opinion on different subjects by providing enough facts to convince readers. Such type of writing requires critical thinking skills when analyzing, synthesizing, and assessing given topics to avoid misleading your audience. The main purpose of this type of paper is to provide objective criticism oт various subjects and make conclusions about them. As a result, the latter helps readers to take a stance about a topic. In addition, there is an exhaustive review of fundamental characteristics, styles, and quality of subjects under discussion. The value of a particular topic is obtained through supportive and factual evidence provided. Finally, this paper helps present well-reasoned and informed judgment on particular standards, hence clearing concerning issues about a given subject.

Things You Can Write an Evaluation About

Preparing evaluative essay is a broad topic, and you need to be well-organized, or else the text will quickly lose meaning and purpose. There are various abstract categories and exact things that you can assess in writing. When you write evaluations, ensure you deeply understand your topic of discussion. Reading through an evaluation example will help you know what to do. Some evaluation essay topics and objects suitable for assessment include:

  • Experience: gaming, traveling, and shopping.
  • Music: its content, the impact, instruments played, and comparison to other works by artists.
  • Furniture: chair, desk, stool, table, etc.
  • Fruits: guava, mangoes, oranges, pineapples.
  • Trees: oak, teak, pine.
  • Sports: volleyball, table tennis, golf.
  • Clothes: casual wear, sportswear, formalwear.
  • Class: methods of teaching , challenges, type of assessments, etc.
  • Social trend: origin, overall influence, and objectives.
  • Courses: journalism, mathematics, business, and history.

Elements of an Evaluation Essay

Understanding all components of evaluation papers - three in total - is important during writing. They include:

  • Criteria In order to determine aspects you will assess about certain brands, services, or products, a proper set of standards is required. Standard helps in demonstrating expectations. During evaluative writing, it is essential to think about some good samples of similar brands, services, or products. Also, contemplate on related significant features. For instance, a house can be well-ventilated, secure, and clean, which are quite helpful benchmarks.
  • Judgment A second element in essay evaluation is judgment. This aspect helps to establish if stated standards were met. Considering the previous example of a house discussed under this criteria, you may first assess if the house is secure or not. Find out if the house meets, exceeds, or falls short of your anticipated security standards, then move on to other criteria.
  • Evidence This component focuses on providing facts supporting the judgment. For instance, in the house example, if you conclude that security level does not meet the expected standards, provide evidence to prove this judgment. When you structure an evaluation essay, ensure each paragraph discusses a different criterion. It helps you to make judgments and provide evidence under each paragraph.

What to Consider Before Writing an Evaluation

There are two factors to put into consideration before writing evaluations. One of them is ensuring that evaluation argument remains objective. Objectivity is achieved by not including personal opinions in disputes. Besides, one remains objective by supporting claims with relevant facts. Also, included references need to fully support your stand. You should know that a discourse must be balanced and fair. Secondly, deciding on evaluative standards is another important factor to consider. You need to have a deeper understanding of subjects before deciding on measures to use during this analysis. Chosen standards must adequately and appropriately represent particular subjects' features, qualities, and values. Besides, when deciding on evaluation essay criteria, ensure that you focus on defending your stated thesis. In addition, have enough evidence and details to support the chosen criterion. Finally, appropriately organize your facts and make sure you have imperative and unbiased information concerning your subjects of discussion.

Evaluation Essay Outline

A clear outline provides a map of organizing ideas when you write evaluation essay. An evaluation essay outline covers at least five structured paragraphs. The first is an introductory paragraph followed by three or more body paragraphs, and finally, an essay conclusion . Below is an evaluation paper outline example under the topic of practicing vaping.


  • An introduction presents subjects, hooks readers, and elaborates on topic of evaluation.
  • The last part of your introduction is a thesis statement, which asserts arguments, determines focus, and helps understand essays’ gist.
  • The body must contain a minimum three paragraphs.
  • Each body paragraph needs to have a criterion followed by judgment.
  • Support judgments with relevant evidence.
  • When concluding, summarize main points.
  • Give some food for thought.

Here’s how your evaluation essay outline look:

Introductory paragraph  

  • Do you know that vaping is a better alternative to smoking? How is it rated?
  • Some notable issues with vaping include its safety, cost, and utility.
  • This essay discusses vaping while focusing on safety issues, incurred costs, and utility to prove how it is preferred compared to traditional smoking.

Body part  

  • Safety: According to the British government, vaping is 95% safer when compared to cigarette smoking. Vaping is less harmful. No second-hand smoke is produced during vaping, hence the best smoking alternative.
  • Cost: Vaping is cheaper when compared to smoking. The price for a vape pen is almost $20. Coils and E-juice are inexpensive, unlike a cigarette carton, and can last twice longer.
  • Utility: From environmental health, vaping has high utility. Many places have banned cigarette smoking; thus, vaping is the best alternative. Indoors and outdoor vaping is allowed, unlike cigarette smoking, which is banned indoors.

Concluding paragraph

  • Vaping offers the best smoking alternative. It is of high quality, and people need to embrace it. Also, it is less costly, practical, and safer.

How to Start an Evaluation Essay

There are various steps that one can follow when writing an evaluation essay. These steps include:

  • Choosing a topic A topic provides credibility for opinions and gives room for a thorough analysis of essential issues. Always start an evaluation essay by choosing an appropriate subject. You must be familiar with and have in-depth knowledge of a chosen theme to avoid misleading and losing readers. Ensure it is well-engaging for both the readers and you.
  • Thesis statement development Coming up with a thesis statement is the second step, actual writing starts here. Thesis statements define main purposes of evaluative essays. Besides, they offer directions for distinguishing criteria from the examples provided. Use only relevant information when writing thesis statements.
  • Criteria determination A third step to consider when preparing evaluation is thinking about criteria. Assess if evaluating a chosen topic is difficult or easy. In case of problematic topics, subdivide them into various points to make it easier.
  • Conduct research and obtain supportive evidence You need to support your opinion with logical and physical facts, or else it will remain invalid. Your readers must make sense of your proof and have opportunities to use those facts to make their assumptions. After this step, you can start composing your essay.

How to Write an Evaluation Essay

Several steps exist that one can follow during evaluative writing. The first step in how to write an evaluation is to decide on a particular subject you wish to assess, followed by coming up with criteria you will use. Besides, develop solid arguments backed up with evidence. Also, create an outline, and start writing. Once you complete your writing, proofread your work. The steps below describe the chronological order of writing your essay.

1. Decide on What You Want to Evaluate

The first step when writing this essay is deciding on a topic you will assess. During writing to evaluate, choose a subject you understand better so that you have enough facts to support or oppose it. The chosen issue needs to be engaging to your readers, otherwise yo may lose your audience. Besides, when selecting a theme, ensure it is interesting in general to avoid boredom. Also, a chosen subject needs to be relevant to keep the readers informed about current trends and new developments. The majority of your audience must be aware of the concept. Always ensure that chosen topics are specific and not generic.

2. Find Criteria for Evaluation Essay

Once you discuss a subject, you must come up with criteria for essay evaluation. At this point, turn your opinions into assessments to help you define a chosen subject. You may use different ways to find criteria on how to do an evaluation paper. For instance, you can focus on a chosen characteristics of a topic to help you develop standards. Besides, you might assess the relevance of that topic and decide whether it is good or bad for your readers. Also, focusing on the impacts of subjects helps find standards when evaluating. Researching positive or negative impacts of the topic helps in mastering what and how to evaluate in an essay. Also, you may find criteria by focusing on the effectiveness of that subject, whether it is successful or not. Apart from that, one may focus on the morals or aesthetic standards of a particular subject to develop measures to discuss.

3. Come Up With an Evaluation Argument

Reader understands your decision by following the argument. Evaluative arguments refer to claims concerning the quality of particular subjects being assessed. This argument will always rate subjects as either negative or positive. With this rating, one can think of subjects as harmful or helpful, bad or good. An argument in evaluation essay defines and supports criteria. A judgment always elaborates and explains reasons for choosing particular standards despite controversy. Evaluation argument essay assesses subjects depending on chosen measures. Considered factors include practicability, aesthetics, and ethics. Make sure to determine which standards will convince your audience. Effective development of arguments starts by creating an evaluative thesis statement: take position, develop criteria, and find out if topic meets standards. For instance, when evaluating meal’s quality, you may say:

Meal’s strength depended on its presentation, it was enticing, and its outlook was appropriate.

Another example could be: 

Meal’s weakness was in overcooking, as its flavor became less pronounced.

Additionally, another example of a subject could be practicing vaping. In such case, an evaluation argument example will be: 

Vaping is safe, inexpensive, and highly practical when compared to cigarette smoking, and due to these reasons, it is a recommendable practice for traditional smokers who wish to break old habits.

4. Create an Evaluative Essay Outline

After choosing a discussion topic, one can create an outline for essay . Outlines start with the development of thesis statements, followed by a list of main ideas and a conclusion. For this essay type, outlines require a minimum of five paragraphs. The first paragraph of the evaluation in writing is introduction that ends with a thesis statement. An introduction is followed by at least three body paragraphs and a conclusion. Outlines are important as they form a basis for thoughtfully constructing ideas. Also, they help in organizing your points sequentially for them to remain orderly. In addition, they are useful in picking relevant information, providing steady foundation when starting to write. Thus, it is worth noting that outlines form a crucial part of these essays, and they give a sketch of writing.

5. Write an Evaluation Paper

When you write evaluative papers, ensure you follow everything stated in your outline. The sections discussed below will help you understand how to write evaluation:

  • Introduction When writing your introductory paragraph, ensure it engages you and your readers. Introduce subjects by capturing the reader’s attention. Elaborate on selected subjects, their influence, and reasons for assessing those topics. Be clear with chosen criteria you will be discussing. Generally, when writing your introductory paragraph, provide your entire subject overview.
  • Thesis statement The last sentence of an introduction is a thesis statement. It tells your readers what they should expect from evaluation essay and its purpose. Include evaluative arguments that rate subjects either positive or negative with supportive facts. A good evaluation thesis example must include all the stated parts.
  • Body A body is commonly the lengthiest part in this type of writing. You must develop a minimum of three body paragraphs in your evaluation paper. When writing body paragraphs, always use transition words while moving from a thesis statement to the first reason and other successive reasons. During evaluate writing, all body paragraphs must start with topic sentences, which inform your reader about your opinion. After stating topic sentences, write your criteria. A criterion will elaborate on the standards of a topic you are discussing. When you are done with it, provide judgments. Judgments must elaborate whether the standards of subjects were met or not. Thereafter, provide evidence supporting your argument. Following that, mention any objections about your judgment, then finalize by refuting those claims. Repeat all these steps for each body paragraph. Ensure you remain relevant in all the paragraphs to avoid losing your readers.
  • Conclusion A conclusion is the final evaluation paragraph. When concluding, start by restating your thesis statement and follow by summarizing and reflecting on major points.

6. Proofread Your Evaluation Essay

When you complete your evaluation writing, the last step is proofreading and revising your work. Reading through your work helps improve your paper's quality and remove mistakes. Besides, it enables you to locate and correct inconsistencies in your text. Also, when you edit your work, you ensure that the ideas of your paper are well-defined. Revising your work helps in assessing if the content was appropriately conveyed. Also, it guarantees that sentences are grammatically appropriate by correcting typing and spelling errors to avoid readers’ confusion. Finally, you should read through your work critically and develop better ways of improving clarity, good structure of sentences, and entire effectiveness.

Evaluative Essay Structure

There are various examples of evaluation essays format. These formats include:

  • Chronological structure It is used when describing events based on how they happened in an orderly manner, starting from the earliest to the last, like when evaluating current or historical events. Chronological essay structures are more descriptive because they are detailed.
  • Spatial structure In contrast to previous type, this one is used when presenting details of particular subjects depending on their location in space. A spatial essay form is used when describing an item like architecture or art depending on how they appear when observed. Something else that people need to understand is that it is easy to remember a spatial essay structure because physical location is used when describing subjects.
  • Compare and contrast structure Compare structure is used when exploring existing similarities between subjects, while contrast structure exists for discussing differences between items. Mostly, subjects discussed in compare and contrast papers fall under the same category; however, there may exist exceptions to this rule.
  • Point-by-point format structure This is a subtype of compare and contrast essay that provides a general view of individual items being analyzed. This essay type compares a set of subjects because paragraph arrangement depends on main points and not by topic. Each paragraph discusses the main point and include subjects as they relate to each main point.

Evaluation Essay Example

There are millions of evaluative essays samples posted online. These examples offer impressive descriptions of evaluative essays with all the key steps to follow and will help you polish your skills when writing this paper. However, not all of the examples posted online are reliable. Therefore, the only preferred evaluation essay sample that students can use must come from peer-reviewed sources. Essay types from scholarly sites are written by reputable authors who meet all required standards; moreover, you can easily find an excellent book on this subject with appropriate examples. Attached are evaluation essays samples from credible writers. 


Tips on How to Write Evaluation Essay

For one to write perfect essays, there are some helpful tips you may follow. Following these points will help you produce impressive evaluation and your readers will enjoy.  Some of those tips when writing an evaluation essay include:

  • Carefully read certain materials while making notes and analyzing content.
  • Read through each paragraph before transitioning to another section.
  • Avoid leaving out negative aspects, but try to discuss both pros and cons of your subjects.
  • When reading other’s evaluative essay, analyze each paragraph and notice the authors’ mistakes: is information helpful? what can you do better?
  • Avoid adding minor details with insufficient supportive evidence, as they will mislead you and your readers.
  • Express your thoughts concisely and clearly as you peruse the written evaluation examples.
  • Ensure that your evaluation essay thesis is anchored to your judgment.
  • Write your paper with precision and attention to details while avoiding wordiness and providing enough useful information as you keenly follow the guide.
  • Enable your readers to feel and agree with your assessment.

Bottom Line on Writing Evaluation Essays

Understanding the text’s definition and purpose is your first step toward knowing how to write a good evaluation. Thereafter, list categories and respective things you will assess during your writing. Master the three elements of an evaluative essay and use them effectively. Your argument must be objective and help clearly decide on what criteria to use. Besides, you need to understand all sections of an outline, how to start evaluative essay, and then, follow essential steps. In addition, get acquainted with the four types of essay structure. Remember that you always can increase your experience by reading some good evaluative writing examples. Keep all these tips in mind to ensure you write a proper essay.


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FAQ About Evaluation Papers

1. what are the four components of an evaluation essay.

  • Introduction is the first component of evaluation essay that hooks readers, introduces the subject, and contains thesis statement.
  • Background information is the second component; it clarifies to readers your evaluation topic.
  • Criteria is the third component, which entails standards for evaluating subjects.
  • Conclusion is the fourth component; it restates your thesis statements and summarizes main points.

2. What to write in an evaluation essay?

There are numerous things that one can consider during essay evaluations. Evaluation writing examples and their respective criteria include:

  • Movies: A plot, relationship among actors, and scenes.
  • Restaurants: Quality of food, price, and cleanliness.
  • Websites: Type of content, its design, and ease of navigating.
  • House: Overall quality, accessibility, and cost.
  • Business: Market share, its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Social trend: Origin, overall influence, and objectives.
  • Leader: Overall achievements, style of leadership, integrity.
  • University: Offered programs, number of graduates per year, online or in-person, reputation.
  • Class: Methods of teaching, challenges, type of assessments.
  • Job: Nature of work, working hours, bosses, salary, demand.
  • Advertisement: Media used when advertising, effectiveness, level of convincing, level of engagement.
  • Speech: Type of audience, main purpose, compelling.

3. What is the difference between an evaluation and review?

Despite similarities existing between an evaluation essay and a review, the two differ. An evaluative essay focuses on deeper research and analysis of certain subjects, while a review provides a general outlook of particular subjects. Evaluative essays must have criteria that judge specific subjects, and reviews do not need criteria. In addition, under certain conditions, it is mandatory to cite sources used in writing evaluative essays, while reviews do not require references.

4. What is a good evaluative thesis example?

A good evaluative thesis must inform readers what to expect and its impact and determine an essay’s focus. Also, a strong thesis must state evaluative arguments. Here is a proper evaluation essay thesis example: Vaping is highly practical, inexpensive, and safe compared to cigarette smoking, and following these reasons, it is a recommendable practice for traditional smokers wishing to leave old habits.


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Definition and Examples of Evaluation Essays

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An evaluation essay is a  composition that offers value judgments about a particular subject according to a set of criteria. Also called  evaluative writing , evaluative essay or report , and critical evaluation essay .

An evaluation essay or report is a type of argument that provides evidence to justify a writer's opinions about a subject.

"Any kind of review is essentially a piece of evaluative writing," says Allen S. Goose. "This type of writing calls for the critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation" ( 8 Kinds of Writing , 2001). 


  • "Without good reasons for liking or disliking certain things, students can never get beyond being passive receivers of marketing, fickle consumers without a basis for their opinions. Writing evaluation papers asks them to question why they feel the way they do." (Allison D. Smith, et al., Teaching in the Pop Culture Zone: Using Popular Culture in the Composition Classroom . Wadsworth, 2009)

How to Evaluate

  • "If you are evaluating a piece of writing, then you are going to need to thoroughly read the work. While you read the work, keep in mind the criteria you are using to evaluate. The evaluative aspects may be: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, content, usage of sources, style, or many other things. Other things to consider when evaluating a piece of writing is whether the writing appealed to its target audience . Was there an emotional appeal? Did the author engage the audience, or was the piece lacking something? ..."If you are evaluating anything else, use your head. You need to try, use, or test whatever thing you are evaluating. That means you should not evaluate a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette unless you have the $45,000 (or more) to buy one, or the money to rent one. You also need the know-how of driving a car of that power and a base of knowledge of other cars that you have tested to compare it to." (Joe Torres, Rhetoric and Composition Study Guide . Global Media, 2007)

Identifying Criteria for an Evaluation

  • " Make a list of prominent, widely recognized standards for judging your subject. If you do not know the standards usually used to evaluate your subject, you could do some research . For example, if you are reviewing a film, you could read a few recent film reviews online or in the library, noting the standards that reviewers typically use and the reasons that they assert for liking or disliking a film. If you are evaluating a soccer team or one winning (or losing) game, you could read a book on coaching soccer or talk to an experienced soccer coach to learn about what makes an excellent soccer team or winning game." (Rise B. Axelrod and Charles R. Cooper, Axelrod & Cooper's Concise Guide to Writing , 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006)

Ways of Organizing an Evaluation Essay

  • "One way to organize an  evaluation essay is point-by-point: describe one element of the subject and then evaluate it; present the next element and evaluate it; and so on. Comparison/contrast could be an organizing structure as well, in which you evaluate something by comparing (or contrasting) it to a known item. Culinary and music reviews often use this strategy.  Chronological organization can be used for evaluating an event (either current or historical). Sequential organization can be used when describing how something works and evaluating the effectiveness of the process, procedure, or mechanism. Spatial organization can be used for evaluating art or architecture in which you describe and evaluate one element of the artifact and then move spatially to the next major element to be described and evaluated." (David S. Hogsette,  Writing That Makes Sense: Critical Thinking in College Composition . Wipf and Stock, 2009)
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Evaluation Essay Guide

Evaluation Essay

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

An Extensive Guide on Evaluation Essay With Examples

By: Cordon J.

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Mar 15, 2022

Evaluation Essay

An evaluation essay is one of the trickiest essays. It involves evaluation, analysis, and examples from various aspects of the given topic. Usually, this type of essay is commonly used in literature and arts.

Most of the students are seen seeking help if assigned an evaluation essay. This is because it can be written in various styles. An evaluation essay is used to represent your own thoughts on a given topic.

Let’s go through the blog to know more about the evaluation essay.

Evaluation Essay

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What is an Evaluation Essay?

An evaluation essay is a kind of essay in which you offer a worthy judgment about the given topic. Here, the writer represents facts and then provides his point of view. It additionally decides the condition, worth, or importance through critical analysis of the writer.

This essay provides the writer’s viewpoint about the paper's topic, which makes an honest argument that is convincing for its readers. This type of essay is also known as controversial. They are assigned by the instructor to check your critical skills and unbiased opinions.

Elements of Evaluation Essay

There are three basic elements of an evaluation essay that must be considered before writing an essay. They are discussed below in detail.

1- Criteria

It is the ideal or the standard that needs to be defined. For example, while talking about a restaurant, we evaluate it by its ambiance, quick service, and other factors. These are the criteria for choosing a restaurant.

It may also vary according to the product we are talking about.

2- Judgment

After setting up the criteria, you talk about judgment. It is to evaluate whether the product has met the benchmark or not. For example, in the case of a restaurant, you will check:

  • Is the ambiance according to your taste?
  • Will you visit this place again or not?
  • Was the food according to your standard?

3- Evidence

When you have set up the criteria and judges about the topic under consideration. It’s time to prove your judgment with the help of strong arguments, and this is called evidence.

For example, if you say that the restaurant ambiance was not good. Then you have to justify why you do not like the ambiance, what factors cause you to think so, etc.

Purpose of Evaluation Essay

The purpose of the evaluation essay is to evaluate the provided topic and present your own thoughts against it. The writer has to explain their own viewpoint on the topic considering its conditions, worth, and significance.

A few more purposes of the evaluation essay include:

  • It helps to review or evaluate a book, thesis, or any topic.
  • It helps in the critical analysis of any book, journal, essay, or research paper.
  • It provides a critical analysis of the thesis statement .
  • It provides self-evaluation that helps in identifying strengths and loopholes.

Through an evaluation essay, a person learns to provide their own viewpoint on any topic. Along with this, it provides an opportunity to justify your objective with the help of strong arguments.

Evaluation Essay Structure

Correct structure is very important in any essay. It helps the reader to grasp the idea of the writer easily if the flow of the essay is correct. Evaluation essays have different structures. Let us explore all these structures:

  • Chronological Structure

The chronological structure is used to evaluate the effectiveness of any mechanism, process, or procedure. This evaluation can be referred to a historical context or any current event. It’s essential to use this structure while figuring out how something works.

  • Spatial Structure

In spatial structure, you do not evaluate the topic as a whole. Rather you take one stance and evaluate it with your arguments. And then, the results of this finding are used to evaluate further facts.

The spatial structure may not be easy for everyone to grasp, but it’s interesting. You start with one aspect that draws you to the next aspects on the topic.

  • Compare and Contrast Structure

This structure is used to demonstrate the similarities and differences of a topic. It is used to clarify two subjects by providing a contrast between them. The writer uses praise or critique in this structure so that readers understand how two subjects are different from each other.

  • Point by Point Structure

This structure is used when every detail is given to the reader about the topic. The writer demonstrates each quality of the subject point by point to the reader. Examples of this structure include evaluating pieces of music.

Its evaluation may include the beat used in music, instruments used, and all the other factors.

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How to Write an Evaluation Essay?

Following are the steps to draft an incredible evaluation essay:

1. Choose the Topic

Choosing an essay topic is essential. You must spend more time searching for an interesting topic. For an evaluation essay, make sure the topic must be informative as you have to evaluate some solid subject.

2. Evaluation Essay Outline

After choosing the topic, the next is to create an essay outline . Many students who miss this step and start writing directly in this way may miss many crucial points. It is advised to create an outline before writing; it will ease your writing process.

Writing an essay after creating an outline is less time taking. The outline includes all the important points of an essay. So the writer has no chance of missing out on any point.

Also, editing and proofreading become easier when you have a rough draft. You can counter-check if you have added all the information in an essay.

Let’s move to write an essay without further delay.

3. Evaluation Essay Introduction

An introductory paragraph is the first thing that a reader sees in your essay. Therefore, it should be the most interesting one. You can use different types of hooks here to grab your reader’s attention.

Some essential elements that must be included in an evaluation essay introduction example are as follows:

  • Use hook statement to grab readers attention
  • Provide brief background information about the topic. It helps the reader to understand the context better
  • Provide a strong thesis statement in the ending lines of your introduction

This information is necessary to inform your reader about the background or history of your evaluation essay title.

4. Craft the Body Section

The main section of an essay is the body section. Here it usually includes the three paragraphs that form the foundation of your essay. These three different paragraphs mean three different evaluation essay ideas on a given topic sentence of each paragraph.

In the first paragraph, you need to provide your opinion about the topic. State all the views you have about the topic and then provide strong evidence to support your viewpoint.

The second paragraph includes the comparing and contrasting of essay ideas. Here the writer has to explain the weaknesses and strengths of the subject. After this, all comparisons provide your stance on what you think about the subject.

The third paragraph also includes the arguments, evaluation criteria, and claims to support the subject.

5. Evaluation Essay Conclusion

The concluding paragraph must be strong enough so that your reader moves forward with a strong point of view. Here you have to rephrase your thesis statement from the introductory paragraph.

By quoting your thesis statement, you have to provide the most solid argument about the whole topic by summing up all the points discussed in a body paragraph. Give your opinion, and it should be very compelling that readers agree to it.

6. Proofread and Edit

The last step is to proofread and edit your essay. After writing it; takes some time and then proofread it. You have to figure out all the grammatical errors and unintentional mistakes that may become a cause to lower your grades.

Evaluation Essay Examples





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Evaluation Essay Topics

Here are some of the great essay topics to get started on your evaluative writing.

  • Evaluate the impacts of weight on the human mind
  • Evaluate your most utilized corrective item
  • Evaluate your last year scholastic execution
  • Evaluate the impacts of reusing plastic
  • Evaluate the contrast among IELTS and TOFEL
  • Evaluate the cons of utilizing cell phones to outrageous
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of teen smoking
  • Evaluate the significance of time in a people life
  • Evaluate a film you have seen last
  • Evaluate your beloved cafe

Evaluation Essay Tips

Following are some tips that you must remember while writing an evaluation essay:

  • Elaborate on every minute detail while evaluating your subject
  • Provide fact-based information
  • Strengthen your argument with a lot of supports taken from credible sources
  • Support your opinion through strong critique and concise evaluation
  • It is very important to know your audience before writing for them

Writing a perfect evaluation paper is not easy, but after reading this guide, we hope it’s been helpful. Follow these steps and craft the best evaluation essay on any of the good ideas given above.

If not, then ‘ write my essay ’ service is always here to assist. Provide us with your assignment details, become and we will do the rest!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is evaluation in essay writing.

Evaluation is to assess, and you'll require an assessment or decision concerning the degree to which it’s correct. Consequently, giving such a decision or assessment in an essay is evaluation.

How to start an evaluation essay?

Following are the steps to start an evaluation essay:

  • Start with an interesting statement
  • Introduce your subject quickly
  • Provide some background information
  • Provide the basis of your criteria
  • Write your thesis statement

Can you use I in an evaluation essay?

No, we can not use I in an evaluation essay. First-person pronouns can make the essay wordy and give it an informal tone when used inappropriately. Therefore, avoid using I.

Cordon J.

Literature, Marketing

Cordon. is a published author and writing specialist. He has worked in the publishing industry for many years, providing writing services and digital content. His own writing career began with a focus on literature and linguistics, which he continues to pursue. Cordon is an engaging and professional individual, always looking to help others achieve their goals.

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Jun 29, 2023

Evaluation Essay Examples: Master the Art of Critical Assessment with Examples and Techniques

Want to turn good evaluation essays into great ones? We've got you covered with the guidance and insights you need. Join us as we delve into the art of critical assessment!

An evaluation paper's main purpose is to assess entities like a book, movie, restaurant, or product and provide constructive criticism. This writing style can be approached with serious objectivity or with humor and sarcasm. Reviewing is a common form of academic writing that serves to assess something and is often used in various fields as a research method. For example, research papers might include literature reviews or case studies, using evaluation as an analytical tool.

Evaluation reports can also take the form of analyses and critiques. A critique of a scientific study would look at its methodology and findings, while an analysis of a novel would focus on its themes, characters, and writing style. It's essential to consider your audience and your purpose before starting an evaluation document.

Evaluation papers are a versatile and meaningful writing form that can both educate and entertain audiences. Regardless of whether the tone is serious or humorous, objective or subjective, a well-written review can engage and educate.

To understand everything about evaluation essays, from their definition and purpose to potential topics and writing tips, read on.

What are Evaluation Essays?

An evaluation essay allows the author to make a claim and offer a verdict on a topic. This essay type can be used to identify the best option among several alternatives, or to analyze a specific method, product, or situation. It is a common academic task across all levels. Evaluation essays come in different forms, from online product reviews to business cases prepared by management professionals.

In contrast to a descriptive essay, an evaluation essay aims to express the author's judgment. However, this essay type is defined by an objective tone. The author's judgment should be based on careful examination of the available evidence. This differs from a persuasive essay, which seeks to convince the reader to adopt the author's point of view. An evaluation essay starts with the facts and forms conclusions based on these facts.

How to Write an Evaluation Essay?

To write an effective evaluation essay, follow these essential writing tips:

1. Select a Topic

The essay topic is crucial. It should be both educational and interesting, providing enough information to fill an entire essay.

2. Draft an Evaluation Essay Outline

Professional writers always advise creating an evaluation essay outline before writing the essay itself. This aids in writing and ensures content coherence. An outline is also easier to modify than a complete essay. Think about what should be included and excluded when designing your essay's outline. However, skipping this step and diving straight into the essay writing can create extra work later, as it can mean editing and revising the entire piece.

The general components of an evaluation essay outline include:

a. Introduction

The introduction is vital as it forms the readers' first impression. It should engage readers and arouse their interest in the topic. The aspects to consider when writing the introduction are as follows:

Begin with a compelling hook statement to capture the reader's interest.

Provide background information on the topic for better understanding.

Formulate a clear and concise thesis statement, outlining the main objective of the evaluation.

b. Body Section

The body of the essay consists of three paragraphs. Each paragraph should deliver several related ideas and flow seamlessly from start to finish. The key ideas to cover in the body paragraphs include:

Start with a sentence that presents your view on the topic.

Provide arguments that support the topic sentence and your stance.

Present a well-rounded argument to show impartiality.

Compare the subject to a different topic to showcase its strengths and weaknesses.

Present the evaluation from various angles, applying both approving and critical thinking.

c. Conclusion

This is your final chance to convince the reader of your viewpoint. The conclusion should summarize the essay and present the overall evaluation and final assessment. When composing an evaluation essay's conclusion, keep the following points in mind:

Restate your main points and arguments from the essay body.

Present evidence to support your thesis.

Conclude your argument convincingly, ultimately persuading the reader of your assessment.

3. Review, Edit, and Proofread

The final steps after writing the essay are editing and proofreading. Carefully reading your essay will help identify and correct any unintentional errors. If necessary, review your draft multiple times to ensure no mistakes are present.

Structure of an Evaluation Essay

An evaluation essay, like any good piece of writing, follows a basic structure: an introduction, body, and conclusion. But to make your evaluation essay standout, it's crucial to distinctly outline every segment and explain the process that led you to your final verdict. Here's how to do it:


Start strong. Your introduction needs to captivate your readers and compel them to read further. To accomplish this, begin with a clear declaration of purpose. Provide a brief background of the work being evaluated to showcase your expertise on the topic.

Next, rephrase the essay prompt, stating the purpose of your piece. For example, "This essay will critically assess X, utilizing Y standards, and analyzing its pros and cons." This presents your comprehension of the task at hand.

Wrap up your introduction with a thesis statement that clearly outlines the topics to be discussed in the body. This way, you set the stage for the essay's content and direction, sparking curiosity for the main body of the work.

Body of the Essay

Dive deep, but not without preparation. Before delving into the assessment, offer an unbiased overview of the topic being evaluated. This reaffirms your understanding and familiarity with the subject.

Each paragraph of the body should focus on one evaluation criterion, presenting either support or criticism for the point. This structured approach ensures clarity while presenting evidence to substantiate each point. For instance, discussing the benefits of a product, you can outline each advantage and back it up with supporting evidence like customer reviews or scientific studies.

Ensure a smooth flow of thoughts by linking paragraphs with transitional phrases like "in addition," "moreover," and "furthermore." Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence, explanation, and supporting evidence or examples for easy understanding.

Your conclusion is where you make your final, compelling argument. It should focus on summarizing the points made according to your evaluation criteria. This isn't the place for new information but rather a concise summary of your work.

To conclude effectively, revisit your thesis and check whether it holds up or falls short based on your analysis. This completes the narrative arc and provides a solid stance on the topic. A thoughtful conclusion should consider the potential impact and outcomes of your evaluation, illustrating that your findings are based on the available data and recognizing the potential need for further exploration.

Evaluation Essay Examples

Now that we've covered the structure, let's take a look at some examples. Remember, an evaluation essay is just one type of essay that can be generated using tools like This AI-powered software can produce high-quality essays on any topic at impressive speeds. Here are some ideas to kickstart your assessment essay writing journey.

Evaluation Essay: Online Teaching vs. On-campus Teaching

In the face of technological evolution, education has seen a shift in teaching styles, with online learning platforms providing an alternative to traditional on-campus teaching. This essay will evaluate and compare the effectiveness of these two teaching styles, delving into various factors that contribute to their strengths and weaknesses.

The landscape of education has transformed significantly with the advent of online learning. This essay will scrutinize and juxtapose the effectiveness of online teaching against traditional on-campus teaching. The evaluation will take into account numerous factors that contribute to the success of each teaching style, focusing on their individual benefits and drawbacks.

On-campus Teaching

On-campus teaching, the time-tested method of education, has proven its effectiveness repeatedly. The physical classroom setting provides students direct access to their teachers, promoting immediate feedback and real-time interaction. Moreover, the hands-on learning, group discussions, and collaborative projects intrinsic to on-campus teaching cultivate crucial soft skills like communication and teamwork.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research reveals that students attending on-campus classes show higher academic performance and are more likely to complete their degrees compared to those in online classes (Bettinger & Loeb, 2017). However, on-campus teaching isn't without its challenges. It offers limited flexibility in scheduling and requires physical attendance, which can be inconvenient for students residing far from campus or those with mobility constraints.

Online Teaching

Online teaching, propelled by technological advancements and digital learning platforms, offers a compelling alternative. The most significant benefit of online teaching is its scheduling flexibility. Students can access classes and course materials from anywhere, at any time, providing a superior balance for work, family, and other commitments.

Online teaching democratizes education by enabling access for students in remote areas or with mobility challenges. The use of innovative teaching methods like interactive multimedia and gamification enhances engagement and enjoyment in learning.

Despite its numerous advantages, online teaching presents its own set of challenges. A major drawback is the lack of direct interaction with teachers and peers, potentially leading to delayed feedback and feelings of isolation. Furthermore, online classes demand a higher degree of self-motivation and discipline, which may be challenging for some students.

Both online teaching and on-campus teaching present their unique benefits and drawbacks. While on-campus teaching fosters direct interaction and immediate feedback, online teaching provides unmatched flexibility and accessibility. The choice between the two often depends on factors such as the course content, learning objectives, and student preferences.

A study by the University of Massachusetts reports that the academic performance of students in online classes is on par with those attending on-campus classes (Allen & Seaman, 2017). Furthermore, online classes are more cost-effective, eliminating the need for physical classrooms and related resources.

In conclusion, while both teaching styles have their merits, the effectiveness of each is heavily dependent on the subject matter, learning objectives, and the individual needs and preferences of students.

Citations: Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2017). Digital learning compass: Distance education enrollment report 2017. Babson Survey Research Group. Bettinger, E., & Loeb, S. (2017). Promises and pitfalls of online education. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Spring 2017, 347-384.

Evaluation essay: Analyze how the roles of females and males changed in recent romantic movies

Romantic movies have long been a popular genre, offering a glimpse into the complex and varied world of relationships. Over the years, the portrayal of gender roles in romantic movies has evolved significantly. This essay aims to evaluate and analyze how the roles of females and males have changed in recent romantic movies.

Historical Context of Gender Roles in Romantic Movies:

Gender roles have played a significant role in shaping the portrayal of romantic relationships in movies. In the past, traditional gender roles were often reinforced, with women playing the role of the damsel in distress, and men playing the role of the protector and provider.

However, over the years, the feminist movement and other social changes have led to a more nuanced portrayal of gender roles in romantic movies. Women are no longer just passive objects of desire, and men are not just dominant figures. Instead, both genders are portrayed as complex and multifaceted individuals with their desires, needs, and struggles.

Analysis of Recent Romantic Movies:

In recent years, romantic movies have become more diverse and inclusive, featuring a wider range of gender identities, sexual orientations, and cultural backgrounds. As a result, the portrayal of gender roles in these movies has also become more nuanced and complex.

One significant trend in recent romantic movies is the portrayal of female characters as strong, independent, and empowered. Female characters are no longer just passive objects of desire, waiting for the male lead to sweep them off their feet. Instead, they are shown to be capable of taking charge of their own lives, pursuing their goals, and making their own decisions.

For example, in the movie "Crazy Rich Asians," the female lead, Rachel, is portrayed as a strong and independent woman who stands up for herself and refuses to be intimidated by the wealthy and powerful people around her. Similarly, in the movie "The Shape of Water," the female lead, Elisa, is portrayed as a determined and resourceful woman who takes action to rescue the creature she has fallen in love with.

Another trend in recent romantic movies is the portrayal of male characters as vulnerable and emotionally expressive. Male characters are no longer just stoic and unemotional but are shown to have their insecurities, fears, and vulnerabilities.

For example, in the movie "Call Me By Your Name," the male lead, Elio, is shown to be sensitive and emotional, struggling with his feelings for another man. Similarly, in the movie "Moonlight," the male lead, Chiron, is shown to be vulnerable and emotionally expressive, struggling with his identity and his relationships with those around him.

However, while there have been significant changes in the portrayal of gender roles in recent romantic movies, there are still some aspects that remain problematic. For example, female characters are still often portrayed as objects of desire, with their value determined by their physical appearance and sexual appeal. Male characters are still often portrayed as dominant and aggressive, with their masculinity tied to their ability to assert control over others.


In conclusion, the portrayal of gender roles in recent romantic movies has evolved significantly, with female characters being portrayed as strong, independent, and empowered, and male characters being portrayed as vulnerable and emotionally expressive. These changes reflect the shifting social norms and values of our society and offer a more nuanced and complex portrayal of romantic relationships.

However, there are still some problematic aspects of the portrayal of gender roles in romantic movies, such as the objectification of female characters and the perpetuation of toxic masculinity. Filmmakers and audiences need to continue to push for greater diversity, inclusivity, and nuance in the portrayal of gender roles in romantic movies so that everyone can see themselves reflected in these stories.

"Crazy Rich Asians" Directed by Jon M. Chu, performances by Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Michelle

Final Thoughts

The step-by-step guide and examples provided should have equipped you with the skills necessary to write a successful evaluation essay. However, crafting the perfect essay isn't a simple task; it demands practice, patience, and experience.

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19 Evaluation Essays

Evaluative arguments center around the question of quality. Is something good?  Bad?  Honest?  Dishonest?  Evaluative judgments are also about values—what the writer thinks is important. Sometimes the writer’s values are not the same as his/her readers’ values, so he/she has to bridge the gap by showing respect for the audience’s opinions and clarifying the points that they do and don’t agree upon.

An important first step in writing an evaluation is to consider the appropriate standards/criteria for evaluating the subject. If a writer is evaluating a car, for example, the writer might consider standard criteria like fuel economy, price, crash ratings. But the writer also might consider style, warranty, color, special options, like sound systems. Even though all people might not base their choice of a car on these secondary criteria, they are still considered acceptable or standard criteria.

To be taken seriously, a writer must have valid reasons for his evaluation. These reasons are based on criteria. Imagine choosing your attire for a job interview at a very prestigious law firm. You look at the jeans and t-shirts in your closet and immediately decide to go shopping. Why? Because the clothes in your closet don’t meet the criteria for the interview.

The Purpose of Evaluative Writing

Writers evaluate arguments in order to present an informed and well-reasoned judgment about a subject. While the evaluation will be based on their opinion, it should not seem opinionated. Instead, it should aim to be reasonable and unbiased. This is achieved through developing a solid judgment, selecting appropriate criteria to evaluate the subject, and providing clear evidence to support the criteria.

Evaluation is a type of writing that has many real-world applications. Anything can be evaluated. For example, evaluations of movies, restaurants, books, and technology ourselves are all real-world evaluations.

Five Characteristics of an Evaluative Essay

by Dr. Karen Palmer

  1. Presenting the subject. 

Presenting the subject is an often misunderstood aspect of an evaluative essay. Either writers give too little information or too much. Presenting the subject occurs in two different places in the essay.

First, the writer should give a brief introduction of the subject in the introduction of the evaluation. This introduction occurs in the second part of the introduction–the intro to the topic. At this point, the writer should simply name the subject and give a very brief description. For example, a restaurant review should include at a minimum the name and location of the restaurant. An evaluation of a vehicle might include the make, model, and year of the vehicle and any important features.

Second, the writer should give a more detailed description of the subject following the introduction in the background section of the paper. Here the writer could give a more detailed overview of the restaurant (the type of decor, type of food, owners, history), describe the vehicle in detail, etc. Striking a balance between giving the reader the necessary information to understand the evaluation and telling readers everything is important. The amount of detail necessary depends on the topic. If you are reviewing a brand new technology or a machine, specific to your line of work, for example, you will need to give readers more information than if you are simply reviewing a restaurant or a doctor’s office.

The language used in your description can be evaluative. For example, a writer can use descriptive adjectives and adverbs to convey a certain impression of the subject, even before the claim is made.

2. Asserting an overall judgment.

The main point/thesis should be located at the end of the paper’s introduction. It should be definitive—certain, clear, and decisive. Asking a question does not pose a definitive claim. Giving several different perspectives also does not give a definitive claim. It is ok to balance your claim, though, acknowledging weaknesses (or strengths) even as you evaluate a subject positively: “While the Suburban is a gas guzzler, it is the perfect car for a large family….”

Providing a map of your reasons/criteria within the thesis is a great technique for creating organization and focus for your essay. For example, “While the Suburban is a gas guzzler, it is the perfect car for a large family because it can seat up to 9, it has a high safety rating, and it has the best in class towing capacity.” Not only does this example give a clear, balanced claim, but it also lays out the writer’s reasons upfront, creating a map in the reader’s mind that will help him follow the reasoning in the essay.

3. Giving Reasons and Support

After presenting the subject and providing readers with a clear claim, the writer must explain and justify his/her evaluation using reasons that are recognized by readers as appropriate. This occurs in the argument section of the paper and should be the most extensive part of the paper. Reasons should reflect values or standards typical for the subject. If a writer uses criteria that is not typical for the subject, he/she must be prepared to defend that decision in the essay. For example, “Buying local may not always be at the forefront of a buyer’s mind when shopping for eggs, but…” Each reason should be clearly stated as a topic sentence that both states the reason and refers back to the main claim. Going back to the suburban example, a body paragraph/section might begin with the following topic sentence: “One of the obvious reasons a suburban is great for large families is its capacity for holding that large family and all of their necessary traveling items.”

Following the topic sentence, a writer must include relevant examples, quotes, facts, statistics, or personal anecdotes to support the reason. Depending on what the subject is, the support might be different. To support a claim about a book/film, for example, a writer might include a description of a pivotal scene or quotes from the book/film. In contrast, to support a claim about gas mileage, a writer would probably simply give the information from the vehicle specifications. Support can come from a writer’s own knowledge and experience, or from published sources.

4. Counterarguing: 

Counterarguing means responding to readers’ objections and questions. In order to effectively counterargue, a writer must have a clear conception of his/her audience. What does the audience already know or believe about the subject? Effective counterarguing builds credibility in the eyes of the audience because it creates a sense that the writer is listening to the reader’s questions and concerns.

Counterarguments can occur at the end of the essay, after the writer has made his/her point, or throughout the essay as the writer anticipates questions or objections. Writers can respond to readers’ objections in two ways. First, a writer can acknowledge an objection and immediately provide a counter-argument, explaining why the objection is not valid. Second, a writer can concede the point, and allow that, the subject does have a flaw. In either case, it is important to be respectful of opposing positions, while still remaining firm to the original claim.

5. Establishing credibility and authority:   

A writer’s credibility and authority lead to readers’ confidence in your judgment and their willingness to recognize and acknowledge that credibility and authority. An author can gain credibility by showing that he/she knows a lot about the subject. In addition, the writer shows that his/her judgment is based on valid values and standards.

The writer’s authority is in large part based upon the background of the author—education, etc. Is the author qualified to make a judgment? For some subjects, like a film review, simply watching the film might be enough. In other instances, like evaluating the quality of newly constructed cabinets or the engine of a new car, more experience might be necessary.

The Structure of an Evaluation Essay

Evaluation essays are structured as follows.

First, the essay will present the  subject . What is being evaluated? Why? The essay begins with the writer giving any details needed about the subject.

Next, the essay needs to provide a  judgment  about a subject. This is the thesis of the essay, and it states whether the subject is good or bad based on how it meets the stated criteria.

The body of the essay will contain the  criteria  used to evaluate the subject. In an evaluation essay, the criteria must be appropriate for evaluating the subject under consideration. Appropriate criteria will help to keep the essay from seeming biased or unreasonable. If authors evaluated the quality of a movie based on the snacks sold at the snack bar, that would make them seem unreasonable, and their evaluation may be disregarded because of it.

The  evidence  of an evaluation essay consists of the supporting details authors provide based on their judgment of the criteria.

For example, if the subject of an evaluation is a restaurant, a judgment could be “Kay’s Bistro provides an unrivaled experience in fine dining.” Some authors evaluate fine dining restaurants by identifying appropriate criteria in order to rate the establishment’s food quality, service, and atmosphere. The examples are evidence.

Another example of evaluation is literary analysis; judgments may be made about a character in the story based on the character’s actions, characteristics, and past history within the story. The scenes in the story are evidence for why readers have a certain opinion of the character.

Job applications and interviews are more examples of evaluations. Based on certain criteria, management and hiring committees determine which applicants will be considered for an interview and which applicant will be hired.

Example Outline

Thesis: McAdoo’s is a fantastic family restaurant, offering young and old alike a great atmosphere, wonderful customer service, and a fantastic menu.

  • Introduction
  • Location–New Braunfels, TX
  • History–old post office, restored
  • Type of food
  • Walking up to the restaurant–cool exterior
  • Lobby–original post office doors, etc
  • Tables–great decor–memorabilia from NB history
  • prompt, courteous service
  • refills, bread
  • taking care of complaints–all you can eat lobster out–so price reduced
  • land lovers
  • Conclusion…If you’re ever in NB, I highly suggest stopping in at McAdoo’s and absorbing some of the great old world charm with some delicious food.

Possible “Get Started” Idea

  • Evaluate a restaurant. What do you expect in a good restaurant? What criteria determine whether a restaurant is good?
  • List three criteria that you will use to evaluate a restaurant. Then dine there. Afterward, explain whether or not the restaurant meets each criterion, and include evidence (qualities from the restaurant) that backs your evaluation.
  • Give the restaurant a star rating. (5 Stars: Excellent, 4 Stars: Very Good, 3 Stars: Good, 2 Stars: Fair, 1 Star: Poor). Explain why the restaurant earned this star rating.

Time to Write

In this essay, you will evaluate potential obstacles to learning.  Think about the health and wellness of a college student during an international pandemic.  What do you need to be successful?  Do you have access to resources?  Are the GCC resources adequate to support the community and its students during the pandemic?

You will evaluate at least three campus resources.  Your recommendation should clearly state which of the resources should be maintained, which should be improved,  and which might be eliminated, if any.

Purpose:  This assignment will demonstrate the understanding of how to do a thorough evaluation of an approved topic. Students will review the complex elements of the topic they have chosen. Evaluative essays call for the writer to assess a subject in light of specific and explicit criteria and to make a judgment based on the assessment.

Task: This assignment evaluates a campus resource.

Write an Evaluation Essay. For this essay, you will choose a clear topic, give a reason for the evaluation, use description and categorization, create evaluation criteria, use concrete evidence and demonstrate the “why” of your position.

Possible Topics

Some topics to consider are listed here:

  • Center for Learning
  • Writing Center
  • Math Solutions
  • High Tech 1
  • High Tech 2
  • GCC Counseling and Career Services
  • Fitness Center

Key Features of an Evaluation:

  • Describe the particular phenomenon or work in a way that the rhetorical audience will understand and value.
  • Present the criteria on which the phenomenon or work is to be evaluated clearly, persuasively, authoritatively, and often in an order indicating importance. Criteria can be categorized into three groups: necessary (crucial but not enough to meet your overall assessment), sufficient (meeting all of your minimum standards, including the necessary ones), and accidental (unnecessary but an added bonus to the necessary and sufficient criteria).
  • Include concrete evidence and relevant examples from your personal experience and research illustrate the ways (usually in the form of assertions) the phenomenon does or does not meet each evaluative criterion. These fair and balanced assertions support the thesis statement.
  • At least three (3) sources on the Works Cited; these could be from your personal experience, college web pages, public health information, or sources related to quality college resources.
  • Articulate a clear argument (usually in the form of a thesis statement) about whether or not the object or phenomenon meets the criteria on which it is being evaluated.
  • Demonstrate an ethical approach to the process.

Key Grading Considerations

  • A clear reason for the evaluation
  • Use of description
  • Categorizing
  • Clear evaluation criteria
  • Concrete evidence & Examples
  • A clear argument presented (Thesis)
  • The establishment of ethos  (balanced argument)
  • Secure closure to the argument (conclusion)
  • Three (3) sources minimum
  • Key Features are included
  • One inch margins
  • Typed and double-spaced
  • The heading is double-spaced on the left side of the page (includes name, my name, class, date)
  • Upper right-hand corner has last name and page number (EX: Dewey 1)
  • The font is Times New Roman, size 12
  • The title is original and is centered one line under the heading
  • Works Cited page lists outside sources in MLA format
  • Descriptive Language
  • Correct, appropriate, and varied integration of textual examples, including in-text citations
  • Limited errors in spelling, grammar, word order, word usage, sentence structure, and punctuation
  • Good use of academic English
  • Demonstrates cohesion and flow
  • Works Cited page has hanging indents and is in alphabetical order by author’s last name


  • Content Adapted from “Five Characteristics of an Evaluative Essay” from The Worry-Free Writer by Dr. Karen Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
  • Content Adapted from Susan Wood, “Evaluation Essay,” Leeward CC ENG 100 OER,  licensed under the  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
  • Original Content contributed by Christine Jones “Time to Write” licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

English 101: Journey Into Open Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Academic Evaluations

In our daily lives, we are continually evaluating objects, people, and ideas in our immediate environments. We pass judgments in conversation, while reading, while shopping, while eating, and while watching television or movies, often being unaware that we are doing so. Evaluation is an equally fundamental writing process, and writing assignments frequently ask us to make and defend value judgments.

Evaluation is an important step in almost any writing process, since we are constantly making value judgments as we write. When we write an "academic evaluation," however, this type of value judgment is the focus of our writing.

A Definition of Evaluation

Kate Kiefer, English Professor Like most specific assignments that teachers give, writing evaluations mirrors what happens so often in our day-to-day lives. Every day we decide whether the temperature is cold enough to need a light or heavy jacket; whether we're willing to spend money on a good book or a good movie; whether the prices at the grocery store tell us to keep shopping at the same place or somewhere else for a better value. Academic tasks rely on evaluation just as often. Is a source reliable? Does an argument convince? Is the article worth reading? So writing evaluation helps students make this often unconscious daily task more overt and prepares them to examine ideas, facts, arguments, and so on more critically.

To evaluate is to assess or appraise. Evaluation is the process of examining a subject and rating it based on its important features. We determine how much or how little we value something, arriving at our judgment on the basis of criteria that we can define.

We evaluate when we write primarily because it is almost impossible to avoid doing so. If right now you were asked to write for five minutes on any subject and were asked to keep your writing completely value-free, you would probably find such an assignment difficult. Readers come to evaluative writing in part because they seek the opinions of other people for one reason or another.

Uses for Evaluation

Consider a time recently when you decided to watch a movie. There were at least two kinds of evaluation available to you through the media: the rating system and critical reviews.

Newspapers and magazines, radio and TV programs all provide critical evaluations for their readers and viewers. Many movie-goers consult more than one media reviewer to adjust for bias. Most movie-goers also consider the rating system, especially if they are deciding to take children to a movie. In addition, most people will also ask for recommendations from friends who have already seen the movie.

Whether professional or personal, judgments like these are based on the process of evaluation. The terminology associated with the elements of this process--criteria, evidence, and judgment--might seem alien to you, but you have undoubtedly used these elements almost every time you have expressed an opinion on something.

Types of Written Evaluation

Quite a few of the assignments writers are given at the university and in the workplace involve the process of evaluation.

One type of written evaluation that most people are familiar with is the review. Reviewers will attend performances, events, or places (like restaurants, movies, or concerts), basing their evaluations on their observations. Reviewers typically use a particular set of criteria they establish for themselves, and their reviews most often appear in newspapers and magazines.

Critical Writing

Reviews are a type of critical writing, but there are other types of critical writing which focus on objects (like works of art or literature) rather than on events and performances. Literary criticism, for instance, is a way of establishing the worth or literary merit of a text on the basis of certain established criteria. When we write about literary texts, we do so using one of many critical "lenses," viewing the text as it addresses matters like form, culture, historical context, gender, and class (to name a few). Deciding whether a text is "good" or "bad" is a matter of establishing which "lens" you are viewing that text through, and using the appropriate set of criteria to do so. For example, we might say that a poem by an obscure Nineteenth Century African American poet is not "good" or "useful" in terms of formal characteristics like rhyme, meter, or diction, but we might judge that same text as "good" or "useful" in terms of the way it addresses cultural and political issues historically.

Response Essays

One very common type of academic writing is the response essay. In many different disciplines, we are asked to respond to something that we read or observe. Some types of response, like the interpretive response, simply ask us to explain a text. However, there are other types of response (like agree/disagree and analytical response) which demand that we make some sort of judgment based on careful consideration of the text, object, or event in question.

Problem Solving Essays

In writing assignments which focus on issues, policies, or phenomena, we are often asked to propose possible solutions for identifiable problems. This type of essay requires evaluation on two levels. First of all, it demands that we use evaluation in order to determine that there is a legitimate problem. And secondly, it demands that we take more than one policy or solution into consideration to determine which will be the most feasible, viable, or effective one, given that problem.

Arguing Essays

Written argument is a type of evaluative writing, particularly when it focuses on a claim of value (like "The death penalty is cruel and ineffective") or policy claim (like "Oakland's Ebonics program is an effective way of addressing standard English deficiencies among African American students in public schools"). In written argument, we advance a claim like one of the above, then support this claim with solid reasons and evidence.

Process Analysis

In scientific or investigative writing, in which experiments are conducted and processes or phenomena are observed or studied, evaluation plays a part in the writer's discussion of findings. Often, these findings need to be both interpreted and analyzed by way of criteria established by the writer.

Source Evaluation

Although not a form of written evaluation in and of itself, source evaluation is a process that is involved in many other types of academic writing, like argument, investigative and scientific writing, and research papers. When we conduct research, we quickly learn that not every source is a good source and that we need to be selective about the quality of the evidence we transplant into our own writing.

Relevance to the Topic

When you conduct research, you naturally look for sources that are relevant to your topic. However, writers also often fall prey to the tendency to accept sources that are just relevant enough . For example, if you were writing an essay on Internet censorship, you might find that your research yielded quite a few sources on music censorship, art censorship, or censorship in general. Though these sources could possibly be marginally useful in an essay on Internet censorship, you will probably want to find more directly relevant sources to serve a more central role in your essay.

Perspective on the Topic

Another point to consider is that even though you want sources relevant to your topic, you might not necessarily want an exclusive collection of sources which agree with your own perspective on that topic. For example, if you are writing an essay on Internet censorship from an anti-censorship perspective, you will want to include in your research sources which also address the pro-censorship side. In this way, your essay will be able to fully address perspectives other than (and sometimes in opposition to) your own.


One of the questions you want to ask yourself when you consider using a source is "How credible will my audience consider this source to be?" You will want to ask this question not only of the source itself (the book, journal, magazine, newspaper, home page, etc.) but also of the author. To use an extreme example, for most academic writing assignments you would probably want to steer clear of using a source like the National Enquirer or like your eight year old brother, even though we could imagine certain writing situations in which such sources would be entirely appropriate. The key to determining the credibility of a source/author is to decide not only whether you think the source is reliable, but also whether your audience will find it so, given the purpose of your writing.

Currency of Publication

Unless you are doing research with an historical emphasis, you will generally want to choose sources which have been published recently. Sometimes research and statistics maintain their authority for a very long time, but the more common trend in most fields is that the more recent a study is, the more comprehensive and accurate it is.


When sorting through research, it is best to select sources that are readable and accessible both for you and for your intended audience. If a piece of writing is laden with incomprehensible jargon and incoherent structure or style, you will want to think twice about directing it toward an audience unfamiliar with that type of jargon, structure, or style. In short, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid using any source which you yourself do not understand and are not able to interpret for your audience.

Quality of Writing

When choosing sources, consider the quality of writing in the texts themselves. It is possible to paraphrase from sources that are sloppily written, but quoting from such a source would serve only to diminish your own credibility in the eyes of your audience.

Understanding of Biases

Few are sources are truly objective or unbiased . Trying to eliminate bias from your sources will be nearly impossible, but all writers can try to understand and recognize the biases of their sources. For instance, if you were doing a comparative study of 1/2-ton pickup trucks on the market, you might consult the Ford home page. However, you would also need to be aware that this source would have some very definite biases. Likewise, it would not be unreasonable to use an article from Catholic World in an anti-abortion argument, but you would want to understand how your audience would be likely to view that source. Although there is no fail-proof way to determine the bias of a particular journal or newspaper, you can normally sleuth this out by looking at the language in the article itself or in the surrounding articles.

Use of Research

In evaluating a source, you will need to examine the sources that it in turn uses. Looking at the research used by the author of your source, what biases can you recognize? What are the quantity and quality of evidence and statistics included? How reliable and readable do the excerpts cited seem to be?

Considering Purpose and Audience

We typically think of "values" as being personal matters. But in our writing, as in other areas of our lives, values often become matters of public and political concern. Therefore, it is important when we evaluate to consider why we are making judgments on a subject (purpose) and who we hope to affect with our judgments (audience).

Purposes of Evaluation

Your purpose in written evaluation is not only to express your opinion or judgment about a subject, but also to convince, persuade, or otherwise influence an audience by way of that judgment. In this way, evaluation is a type of argument, in which you as a writer are attempting consciously to have an effect on your readers' ways of thinking or acting. If, for example, you are writing an evaluation in which you make a judgment that Mountain Bike A is a better buy than Mountain Bike B, you are doing more than expressing your approval of the merits of Bike A; you are attempting to convince your audience that Bike A is the better buy and, ultimately, to persuade them to buy Bike A rather than Bike B.

Effects of Audience

Kate Kiefer, English Professor When we evaluate for ourselves, we don't usually take the time to articulate criteria and detail evidence. Our thought processes work fast enough that we often seem to make split-second decisions. Even when we spend time thinking over a decision--like which expensive toy (car, stereo, skis) to buy--we don't often lay out the criteria explicitly. We can't take that shortcut when we write to other folks, though. If we want readers to accept our judgment, then we need to be clear about the criteria we use and the evidence that helps us determine value for each criterion. After all, why should I agree with you to eat at the Outback Steak House if you care only about cost but I care about taste and safe food handling? To write an effective evaluation, you need to figure out what your readers care about and then match your criteria to their concerns. Similarly, you can overwhelm readers with too much detail when they don't have the background knowledge to care about that level of detail. Or you can ignore the expertise of your readers (at your peril) and not give enough detail. Then, as a writer, you come across as condescending, or worse. So targeting an audience is really key to successful evaluation.

In written evaluation, it is important to keep in mind not only your own system of value, but also that of your audience. Writers do not evaluate in a vacuum. Giving some thought to the audience you are attempting to influence will help you to determine what criteria are important to them and what evidence they will require in order to be convinced or persuaded by your evaluative argument. In order to evaluate effectively, it is important that you consider what motivates and concerns your audience.

Criteria and Audience Considerations

The first step in deciding which criteria will be effective in your evaluation is determining which criteria your audience considers important. For example, if you are writing a review of a Mexican restaurant to an audience comprised mainly of senior citizens from the midwest, it is unlikely that "large portions" and "fiery green chile" will be the criteria most important to them. They might be more concerned, rather, with "quality of service" or "availability of heart smart menu items." Trying to anticipate and address your audience's values is an indispensable step in writing a persuasive evaluative argument. Your next step in suiting your criteria to your audience is to determine how you will explain and/or defend not only your judgments, but the criteria supporting them as well. For example, if you are arguing that a Mexican restaurant is excellent because, among other reasons, the texture of the food is appealing, you might need to explain to your audience why texture is a significant criterion in evaluating Mexican food.

Evidence and Audience Considerations

The amount and type of evidence you use to support your judgments will depend largely on the demands of your audience. Common sense tells us that the more oppositional an audience is, the more evidence will be needed to convince them of the validity a judgment. For instance, if you were writing a favorable review of La Cocina on the basis of their fiery green chile, you might not need to use a great deal of evidence for an audience of people who like spicy food but have not tried any of the Mexican restaurants in town. However, if you are addressing an audience who is deeply devoted to the green chile at Manuel's, you will need to provide a fair amount of solid evidence in order to persuade them to try another restaurant.

Parts of an Evaluation

When we evaluate, we make an overall value claim about a subject, using criteria to make judgments based on evidence. Often, we also make use of comparison and contrast as strategies for determining the relative worth of the subject we are considering. This section examines these parts of an evaluation and shows how each functions in a successful evaluation.

Overall Claim

An overall claim or judgment is an evaluator's final decision about worth. When we evaluate, we make a general statement about the worth of objects, goods, services, or solutions to problems.

An overall claim or judgment in an evaluation can be as simple as "See this movie!" or "Brand X is a better buy than the name brand." It can also be complex, particularly when the evaluator recognizes certain conditions that affect the judgment: If citizens of our community want to improve air and water quality and are willing to forego 300 additional jobs, then we should not approve the new plant Acme is hoping to build here.


An overall claim or judgment usually requires qualification so that it seems balanced. If judgments are weighted too much to one side, they will sometimes mar the credibility of your argument. If your overall judgment is wholly positive, your evaluation will wind up sounding like propaganda or advertisement. If it is wholly negative, you might present yourself as overly critical, unfair, or undiplomatic. An example of a qualified claim or judgment might be the following: Although La Cocina is not without its faults, it is the best Mexican restaurant in town. Qualifications are almost always positive additions to evaluative arguments, but writers must learn not to overuse them. If you make too many qualifications, your audience will be unable to determine your final position on your subject, and you will appear to be "waffling."

Example Text

Creating more parking lots is a possible solution to the horrendous traffic congestion in Taiwan's major cities. When a new building permit is issued, each building must include a certain number of spaces for parking. However, new construction takes time, and results will be seen only as new buildings are erected. This solution alone is inadequate for most of Taiwan's problem areas, which need a solution whose results will be noticed immediately.

Comment Notice how this sentence at the end of the paragraph seems to be a formal "thesis" or "claim" which might drive the rest of the essay. Based on this claim, we would assume that the remainder of the essay will deal with the reasons why the proposed policy along is "inadequate," and will address other possible solutions.

Supporting Judgments

In academic evaluations, the overall claim or judgment is backed up by smaller, more detailed judgments about aspects of a subject being evaluated. Supporting judgments function in the same way that "reasons" function in most arguments. They provide structure and justification for a more general claim. For example, if your overall claim or judgment in your evaluation is

"Although La Cocina is not without its faults, it is the best Mexican restaurant in town,"

one supporting judgment might be

"La Cocina's green chile is superb."

This judgment would be based on criteria you have established, and it would be supported by evidence.

Providing more parking spaces near buildings is not the only act necessary to solve Taiwan's parking problems. A combination of more parking spaces, increased fines, and lowered traffic volume may be necessary to eliminate the nightmare of driving in the cities. In fact, until laws are enforced and fines increased, no number of new parking spaces will impact the congestion seen in downtown areas.

Comment There are arguably three supporting judgments being made here, as three possible solutions are being suggested to rectify this problem of parking in Taiwan. If we were reading these supporting judgments at the beginning of an essay, we would expect the essay to discuss them in depth, pointing out evidence that these proposed solutions would be effective.

When we write evaluations, we consciously adopt certain standards of measurement, or criteria .

Criteria can be concrete standards, like size or speed, or can be abstract, like practicality. When we write evaluations in an academic context, we typically avoid using criteria that are wholly personal, and rely instead on those that are less "subjective" and more likely to be shared by the majority of the audience we are addressing. Choosing appropriate criteria often involves careful consideration of audience demands, values, and concerns.

As an evaluator, you will sometimes discover that you will need to explain and/or defend not only your judgments, but also the criteria informing those judgments. For example, if you are arguing that a Mexican restaurant is excellent because (among other reasons) the texture of the food is appealing, you might need to explain to your audience why texture is a significant criterion in evaluating Mexican food.

Types of Criteria

If you are evaluating a concrete canoe for an engineering class, you will use concrete criteria such as float time, cost of materials, hydrodynamic design, and so on. If you are evaluating the suitability of a textbook for a history class, you will probably rely on more abstract criteria such as readability, length, and controversial vs. mainstream interpretation of history.

In evaluation, we often rely on concrete , measurable standards according to which subjects (usually objects) may be evaluated. For example, cars may be evaluated according to the criteria of size, speed, or cost.

Many academic evaluations, however, don't focus on objects that we can measure in terms of size, speed, or cost. Rather, they look at somewhat more abstract concepts (problems and solutions often), which we might measure in terms of "effectiveness," "feasibility," or other abstract criteria. When writing this kind of evaluation, it is vital to be as clear as possible when articulating, defining, and using your criteria, since not all readers are likely to understand and agree with these criteria as readily as they would understand and agree with concrete criteria.

Related Information: Abstract Criteria

Abstract criteria are not easily measurable, and they are usually less self-evident, more in need of definition, than concrete criteria. Even though criteria may be abstract, they should not be imprecise. Always state your criteria as clearly and precisely as possible. "Feasibility" is one example of an abstract criterion that a writer might use to evaluate a solution to a problem. Feasibility is the degree of likelihood of success of something like a plan of action or a solution to a problem. "Capability of being implemented" is a way to look at feasibility in terms of solutions to problems. The relative ease with which a solution would be adopted is sometimes a way to look at feasibility. The following example mentions directly the criteria it is using (the words in italics). Fire prevention should be the major consideration of a family building a home. By using concrete, the risk of fire is significantly decreased. But that is not all that concrete provides. It is affordable , suitable for all climates , and helps reduce deforestation . Since all of these factors are important, concrete should be demanded more than it is, and it should certainly be used more than wood for homebuilding.

Related Information: Concrete Criteria

Concrete criteria are measurable standards which most people are likely to understand and (usually) to agree with. For example, a person might make use of criteria like "size," "speed," and "cost" when buying a car.

If size is your main criterion, and something with a larger size will receive a more favorable evaluation.

Perhaps the only quality that you desire in a car is low initial cost. You don't need to take into account anything else. In this case, you can put judgments on these three cars in the local used car lot:

Because the Nissan has the lowest initial price, it receives the most favorable judgment. The evidence is found on the price tag. Each car is compared by way of a single criterion: cost.

Using Clear and Well-defined Criteria

When we evaluate informally (passing judgments during the course of conversation, for instance), we typically assume that our criteria are self-evident and require no explanation. However, in written evaluation, it is often necessary that we clarify and define our criteria in order to make a persuasive evaluative argument.

Criteria That Are Too Vague or Personal

Although we frequently find ourselves needing to use abstract criteria like "feasibility" or "effectiveness," we also must avoid using criteria that are overly vague or personal and difficult to support with evidence. As evaluators, we must steer clear of criteria that are matters of taste, belief, or personal preference. For example, the "best" lamp might simply be the one that you think looks prettiest in your home. If you depend on a criterion like "pretty in my home," and neglect to use more common, shared criteria like "brightness," "cost," and "weight," you are probably relying on a criterion that is too specific to your own personal preferences. To make "pretty in my home" an effective criterion, you would need to explain what "pretty in my home" means and how it might relate to other people's value systems. (For example: "Lamp A is attractive because it is an unoffensive style and color that would be appropriate for many people's decorating tastes.")

Using Criteria Based on the Appropriate "Class" of Subjects

When you make judgments, it is important that you use criteria that are appropriate to the type of object, person, policy, etc. that you are examining. If you are evaluating Steven Spielburg's film, Schindler's List , for instance, it is unfair to criticize it because it isn't a knee-slapper. Because "Schindler's List" is a drama and not a comedy, using the criterion of "humor" is inappropriate.

Weighing Criteria

Once you have established criteria for your evaluation of a subject, it is necessary to decide which of these criteria are most important. For example, if you are evaluating a Mexican restaurant and you have arrived at several criteria (variety of items on the menu, spiciness of the food, size of the portions, decor, and service), you need to decide which of these criteria are most critical to your evaluation. If the size of the portions is good, but the service is bad, can you give the restaurant a good rating? What about if the decor is attractive, but the food is bland? Once you have placed your criteria in a hierarchy of importance, it is much easier to make decisions like these.

When we evaluate, we must consider the audience we hope to influence with our judgments. This is particularly true when we decide which criteria are informing (and should inform) these judgments.

After establishing some criteria for your evaluation, it is important to ask yourself whether or not your audience is likely to accept those criteria. It is crucial that they do accept the criteria if, in turn, you expect them to accept the supporting judgments and overall claim or judgment built on them.

Related Information: Explaining and Defending Criteria

In deciding which criteria will be effective in your evaluation is determining which criteria your audience considers important. For example, if you are writing a review of a Mexican restaurant to an audience comprised mainly of senior citizens from the midwest, it is unlikely that "large portions" and "fiery green chile" will be the criteria most important to them. They might be more concerned, rather, with "quality of service" or "availability of heart smart menu items." Trying to anticipate and address your audience's values is an indispensable step in writing a persuasive evaluative argument.

Related Information: Understanding Audience Criteria

How Background Experience Influences Criteria

Laura Thomas - Composition Lecturer Your background experience influences the criteria that you use in evaluation. If you know a lot about something, you will have a good idea of what criteria should govern your judgments. On the other hand, it's hard if you don't know enough about what you're judging. Sometimes you have to research first in order to come up with useful criteria. For example, I recently went shopping for a new pair of skis for the first time in fifteen years. When I began shopping, I realized that I didn't even know what questions to ask anymore. The last time I had bought skis, you judged them according to whether they had a foam core or a wood core. But I had no idea what the important considerations were anymore.

Evidence consists of the specifics you use to reach your conclusion or judgment. For example, if you judge that "La Cocina's green chile is superb" on the basis of the criterion, "Good green chile is so fiery that you can barely eat it," you might offer evidence like the following:

"I drank an entire pitcher of water on my own during the course of the meal."
"Though my friend wouldn't admit that the chile was challenging for him, I saw beads of sweat form on his brow."

Related Information: Example Text

In the following paragraph, evidence appears in italics. Note that the reference to the New York Times backs up the evidence offered in the previous sentence:

Since killer whales have small lymphatic systems, they catch infections more easily when held captive ( Obee 23 ). The orca from the movie "Free Willy," Keiko, developed a skin disorder because the water he was living in was not cold enough. This infection was a result of the combination of tank conditions and the animal's immune system, according to a New York Times article .

Types of Evidence

Evidence for academic evaluations is usually of two types: concrete detail and analytic detail. Analytic detail comes from critical thinking about abstract elements of the thing being evaluated. It will also include quotations from experts. Concrete detail comes from sense perceptions and measurements--facts about color, speed, size, texture, smell, taste, and so on. Concrete details are more likely to support concrete criteria (as opposed to abstract criteria) used in judging objects. Analytic detail will more often support abstract criteria (as opposed to concrete criteria), like the criterion "feasibility," discussed in the section on criteria. Analytic detail also appears most often in academic evaluations of solutions to problems, although such solutions can also sometimes be evaluated according to concrete criteria.

What Kinds of Evidence Work

Good evidence ranges from personal experience to interviews with experts to published sources. The kind of evidence that works best for you will depend on your audience and often on the writing assignment you have been given.

Evidence and the Writing Assignment

When you choose evidence to support the judgments you are making in an evaluation, it will be important to consider what type of evaluation you are being asked to do. If, for instance, you are being asked to review a play you have attended, your evidence will most likely consist primarily of your own observations. However, if your assignment asks you to compare and contrast two potential national health care policies (toward deciding which is the better one), your evidence will need to be more statistical, more dependent on reputable sources, and more directed toward possible effects or outcomes of your judgment.

Comparison and Contrast

Comparison and contrast is the process of positioning an item or concept being evaluated among other like items or concepts. We are all familiar with this technique as it's used in the marketing of products: soft drink "taste tests," comparisons of laundry detergent effectiveness, and the like. It is a way of determining the value of something in relation to comparable things. For example, if you have made the judgment that "La Cocina's green chile is superb" and you have offered evidence of the spiciness and the flavor of the chile, you might also use comparison by giving your audience a scale on which to base judgment: "La Cocina's chile is even more fiery and flavorful than Manuel's, which is by no means a walk in the park."

In this case, the writer compares limestone with wood to show that limestone is a better building material. Although this comparison could be developed much more, it still begins to point out the relative merits of limestone. Concrete is a feasible substitute for wood as a building material. Concrete comes from a rock called limestone. Limestone is found all over the United States. By using limestone instead of wood, the dependence on dwindling forest reserves would decrease. There are more sedimentary rocks than there are forests left in this country, and they are more evenly distributed. For this reason, it is quite possible to switch from wood to concrete as the primary building material for residential construction.

Determining Relative Worth

Comparing and contrasting rarely means placing the item or concept being evaluated in relation to another item or concept that is obviously grossly inferior. For instance, if you are attempting to demonstrate the value of a Cannondale mountain bike, it would be foolish to compare it with a Huffy. However, it would be useful to compare it with a Klein, arguably a similar bicycle. In this type of maneuver, you are not comparing good with bad; rather, you are deciding which bike is better and which bike is worse. In order to determine relative worth in this way, you will need to be very careful in defining the criteria you are using to make the comparison.

Using Comparison and Contrast Effectively

In order to make comparison and contrast function well in evaluation, it is necessary to be attentive to: 1) focusing on the item or concept under consideration and 2) the use of evidence in comparison and contrast. When using comparison and contrast, writers must remember that they are using comparable items or concepts only as a way of demonstrating the worth of the main item or concept under consideration. It is easy to lose focus when using this technique, because of the temptation to evaluate two (or more) items or concepts rather than just the one under consideration. It is important to remember that judgments made on the basis of comparison and contrast need to be supported with evidence. It is not enough to assert that "La Cocina's chile is even more fiery and flavorful than Manuel's." It will be necessary to support this judgment with evidence, showing in what ways La Cocina's chile is more flavorful: "Manuel's chile relies heavily on a tomato base, giving it an Italian flavor. La Cocina follows a more traditional recipe which uses little tomato and instead flavors the chile with shredded pork, a dash of vinegar, and a bit of red chile to give it a piquant taste."

The Process of Writing an Evaluation

A variety of writing assignments call for evaluation. Bearing in mind the various approaches that might be demanded by those particular assignments, this section offers some general strategies for formulating a written evaluation.

Choosing a Topic for Evaluation

Sometimes your topic for evaluation will be dictated by the writing assignment you have been given. Other times, though, you will be required to choose your own topic. Common sense tells you that it is best to choose something about which you already have a base knowledge. For instance, if you are a skier, you might want to evaluate a particular model of skis. In addition, it is best to choose something that is tangible, observable, and/or researchable. For example, if you chose a topic like "methods of sustainable management of forests," you would know that there would be research to support your evaluation. Likewise, if you chose to evaluate a film like Pulp Fiction , you could rent the video and watch it several times in order to get the evidence you needed. However, you would have fewer options if you were to choose an abstract concept like "loyalty" or "faith." When evaluating, it is usually best to steer clear of abstractions like these as much as possible.

Brainstorming Possible Judgments

Once you have chosen a topic, you might begin your evaluation by thinking about what you already know about the topic. In doing this, you will be coming up with possible judgments to include in your evaluation. Begin with a tentative overall judgment or claim. Then decide what supporting judgments you might make to back that claim. Keep in mind that your judgments will likely change as you collect evidence for your evaluation.

Determining a Tentative Overall Judgment

Start by making an overall judgment on the topic in question, based on what you already know. For instance, if you were writing an evaluation of sustainable management practices in forestry, your tentative overall judgment might be: "Sustainable management is a viable way of dealing with deforestation in old growth forests."

Brainstorming Possible Supporting Judgments

With a tentative overall judgment in mind, you can begin to brainstorm judgments (or reasons) that could support your overall judgment by asking the question, "Why?" For example, asking "Why?" of the tentative overall judgment "Sustainable management is a viable way of dealing with deforestation in old growth forests" might yield the following supporting judgments:

  • Sustainable management allows for continued support of the logging industry.
  • It eliminates much unnecessary waste.
  • It is much better for the environment than unrestricted, traditional forestry methods.
  • It is less expensive than these traditional methods.

Anticipating Changes to Your Judgments After Collecting Evidence

When brainstorming possible judgments this early in the writing process, it is necessary to keep an open mind as you enter into the stage in which you collect evidence. Once you have done observations, analysis, or research, you might find that you are unable to advance your tentative overall judgment. Or you might find that some of the supporting judgments you came up with are not true or are not supportable. Your findings might also point you toward other judgments you can make in addition to the ones you are already making.

Defining Criteria

To prepare to organize and write your evaluation, it is important to clearly define the criteria you are using to make your judgments. These criteria govern the direction of the evaluation and provide structure and justification for the judgments you make.

Looking at the Criteria Informing Your Judgments (Working Backwards)

We often work backwards from the judgments we make, discovering what criteria we are using on the basis of what our judgments look like. For instance, our tentative judgments about sustainable management practices are as follows:

If we were to analyze these judgments, asking ourselves why we made them, we would see that we used the following criteria: wellbeing of the logging industry, conservation of resources, wellbeing of the environment, and cost.

Thinking of Additional Criteria

Once you have identified the criteria informing your initial judgments, you will want to determine what other criteria should be included in your evaluation. For example, in addition to the criteria you've already come up with (wellbeing of the logging industry, conservation of resources, wellbeing of the environment, and cost), you might include the criterion of preservation of the old growth forests.

Comparing Your Criteria with Those of Your Audience

In deciding which criteria are most important to include in your evaluation, it is necessary to consider the criteria your audience is likely to find important. Let's say we are directing our evaluation of sustainable management methods toward an audience of loggers. If we look at our list of criteria--wellbeing of the logging industry, conservation of resources, wellbeing of the environment, cost, and preservation of the old growth forests--we might decide that wellbeing of the logging industry and cost are the criteria most important to loggers. At this point, we would also want to identify additional criteria the audience might expect us to address: perhaps feasibility, labor requirements, and efficiency.

Deciding Which Criteria Are Most Important

Once you have developed a long list of possible criteria for judging your subject (in this case, sustainable management methods), you will need to narrow the list, since it is impractical and ineffective to use of all possible criteria in your essay. To decide which criteria to address, determine which are least dispensable, both to you and to your audience. Your own criteria were: wellbeing of the logging industry, conservation of resources, wellbeing of the environment, cost, and preservation of the old growth forests. Those you anticipated for your audience were: feasibility, labor requirements, and efficiency. In the written evaluation, you might choose to address those criteria most important to your audience, with a couple of your own included. For example, your list of indispensable criteria might look like this: wellbeing of the logging industry, cost, labor requirements, efficiency, conservation of resources, and preservation of the old growth forests.

Criteria and Assumptions

Stephen Reid, English Professor Warrants (to use a term from argumentation) come on the scene when we ask why a given criterion should be used or should be acceptable in evaluating the particular text, product, or performance in question. When we ask WHY a particular criterion should be important (let's say, strong performance in an automobile engine, quickly moving plot in a murder mystery, outgoing personality in a teacher), we are getting at the assumptions (i.e., the warrant) behind why the data is relevant to the claim of value we are about to make. Strong performance in an automobile engine might be a positive criterion in an urban, industrialized environment, where traveling at highway speeds on American interstates is important. But we might disagree about whether strong performance (accompanied by lower mileage) might be important in a rural European environment where gas costs are several dollars a litre. Similarly, an outgoing personality for a teacher might be an important standard of judgment or criterion in a teacher-centered classroom, but we could imagine another kind of decentered class where interpersonal skills are more important than teacher personality. By QUESTIONING the validity and appropriateness of a given criterion in a particular situation, we are probing for the ASSUMPTIONS or WARRANTS we are making in using that criterion in that particular situation. Thus, criteria are important, but it is often equally important for writers to discuss the assumptions that they are making in choosing the major criteria in their evaluations.

Collecting Evidence

Once you have established the central criteria you will use in our evaluation, you will investigate your subject in terms of these criteria. In order to investigate the subject of sustainable management methods, you would more than likely have to research whether these methods stand up to the criteria you have established: wellbeing of the logging industry, cost, labor requirements, time efficiency, conservation of resources, and preservation of the old growth forests. However, library research is only one of the techniques evaluators use. Depending on the type of evaluation being made, the evaluator might use such methods as observation, field research, and analysis.

Thinking About What You Already Know

The best place to start looking for evidence is with the knowledge you already possess. To do this, you might try brainstorming, clustering, or freewriting ideas.

Library Research

When you are evaluating policies, issues, or products, you will usually need to conduct library research to find the evidence your evaluation requires. It is always a good idea to check journals, databases, and bibliographies relevant to your subject when you begin research. It is also helpful to speak with a reference librarian about how to get started.


When you are asked to evaluate a performance, event, place, object, or person, one of the best methods available is simple observation. What makes observation not so simple is the need to focus on criteria you have developed ahead of time. If, for instance, you are reviewing a student production of Hamlet , you will want to review your list of criteria (perhaps quality of acting, costumes, faithfulness to the text, set design, lighting, and length of time before intermission) before attending the play. During or after the play, you will want to take as many notes as possible, keeping these criteria in mind.

Field Research

To expand your evaluation beyond your personal perspective or the perspective of your sources, you might conduct your own field research . Typical field research techniques include interviewing, taking a survey, administering a questionnaire, and conducting an experiment. These methods can help you support your judgment and can sometimes help you determine whether or not your judgment is valid.

When you are asked to evaluate a text, analysis is often the technique you will use in collecting evidence. If you are analyzing an argument, you might use the Toulmin Method. Other texts might not require such a structured analysis but might be better addressed by more general critical reading strategies.

Applying Criteria

After developing a list of indispensable criteria, you will need to "test" the subject according to these criteria. At this point, it will probably be necessary to collect evidence (through research, analysis, or observation) to determine, for example, whether sustainable management methods would hold up to the criteria you have established: wellbeing of the logging industry, cost, labor requirements, efficiency, conservation of resources, and preservation of the old growth forests. One way of recording the results of this "test" is by putting your notes in a three-column log.

Organizing the Evaluation

One of the best ways to organize your information in preparation for writing is to construct an informal outline of sorts. Outlines might be arranged according to criteria, comparison and contrast, chronological order, or causal analysis. They also might follow what Robert K. Miller and Suzanne S. Webb refer to in their book, Motives for Writing (2nd ed.) as "the pattern of classical oration for evaluations" (286). In addition to deciding on a general structure for your evaluation, it will be necessary to determine the most appropriate placement for your overall claim or judgment.

Placement of the Overall Claim or Judgment

Writers can state their final position at the beginning or the end of an essay. The same is true of the overall claim or judgment in a written evaluation.

When you place your overall claim or judgment at the end of your written evaluation, you are able to build up to it and to demonstrate how your evaluative argument (evidence, explanation of criteria, etc.) has led to that judgment.

Writers of academic evaluations normally don't need to keep readers in suspense about their judgments. By stating the overall claim or judgment early in the paper, writers help readers both to see the structure of the essay and to accept the evidence as convincing proof of the judgment. (Writers of evaluations should remember, of course, that there is no rule against stating the overall claim or judgment at both the beginning and the end of the essay.)

Organization by Criteria

The following is an example from Stephen Reid's The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (4th ed.), showing how a writer might arrange an evaluation according to criteria:

Introductory paragraphs: information about the restaurant (location, hours, prices), general description of Chinese restaurants today, and overall claim : The Hunan Dynasty is reliable, a good value, and versatile.
Criterion # 1/Judgment: Good restaurants should have an attractive setting and atmosphere/Hunan Dynasty is attractive.
Criterion # 2/Judgment: Good restaurants should give strong priority to service/ Hunan Dynasty has, despite an occasional glitch, expert service.
Criterion # 3/Judgment: Restaurants that serve modestly priced food should have quality main dishes/ Main dishes at Hunan Dynasty are generally good but not often memorable. (Note: The most important criterion--the quality of the main dishes--is saved for last.)
Concluding paragraphs: Hunan Dynasty is a top-flight neighborhood restaurant (338).

Organization by Comparison and Contrast

Sometimes comparison and contrast is not merely a strategy used in part [italics] of an evaluation, but is the strategy governing the organization of the entire essay. The following are examples from Stephen Reid's The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (4th ed.), showing two ways that a writer might organize an evaluation according to comparison and contrast.

Introductory paragraph(s)

Thesis [or overall claim/judgment]: Although several friends recommended the Yakitori, we preferred the Unicorn for its more authentic atmosphere, courteous service, and well-prepared food. [Notice that the criteria are stated in this thesis.]

Authentic atmosphere: Yakitori vs. Unicorn

Courteous service: Yakitori vs. Unicorn

Well-prepared food: Yakitori vs. Unicorn

Concluding paragraph(s) (Reid 339)

The Yakitori : atmosphere, service, and food

The Unicorn : atmosphere, service, and food as compared to the Yakitori

Concluding paragraph(s) (Reid 339).

Organization by Chronological Order

Writers often follow chronological order when evaluating or reviewing events or performances. This method of organization allows the writer to evaluate portions of the event or performance in the order in which it happens.

Organization by Causal Analysis

When using analysis to evaluate places, objects, events, or policies, writers often focus on causes or effects. The following is an example from Stephen Reid's The Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers (4th ed.), showing how one writer organizes an evaluation of a Goya painting by discussing its effects on the viewer.

Criterion #1/Judgment: The iconography, or use of symbols, contributes to the powerful effect of this picture on the viewer.

Evidence : The church as a symbol of hopefulness contrasts with the cruelty of the execution. The spire on the church emphasizes for the viewer how powerless the Church is to save the victims.

Criterion #2/Judgment: The use of light contributes to the powerful effect of the picture on the viewer.

Evidence : The light casts an intense glow on the scene, and its glaring, lurid, and artificial qualities create the same effect on the viewer that modern art sometimes does.

Criterion #3/Judgment: The composition or use of formal devices contributes to the powerful effect of the picture on the viewer.

Evidence : The diagonal lines scissors the picture into spaces that give the viewer a claustrophobic feeling. The corpse is foreshortened, so that it looks as though the dead man is bidding the viewer welcome (Reid 340).

Pattern of Classical Oration for Evaluations

Robert K. Miller and Suzanne S. Webb, in their book, Motives for Writing (2nd ed.) discuss what they call "the pattern of classical oration for evaluations," which incorporates opposing evaluations as well as supporting reasons and judgments. This pattern is as follows:

Present your subject. (This discussion includes any background information, description, acknowledgement of weaknesses, and so forth.)

State your criteria. (If your criteria are controversial, be sure to justify them.)

Make your judgment. (State it as clearly and emphatically as possible.)

Give your reasons. (Be sure to present good evidence for each reason.)

Refute opposing evaluations. (Let your reader know you have given thoughtful consideration to opposing views, since such views exist.)

State your conclusion. (You may restate or summarize your judgment.) (Miller and Webb 286-7)

Example: Part of an Outline for an Evaluation

The following is a portion of an outline for an evaluation, organized by way of supporting judgments or reasons. Notice that this pattern would need to be repeated (using criteria other than the fieriness of the green chile) in order to constitute a complete evaluation proving that "Although La Cocina is not without its faults, it is the best Mexican restaurant in town."

Evaluation of La Cocina, a Mexican Restaurant

Intro Paragraph Leading to Overall Judgment: "Although La Cocina is not without its faults, it is the best Mexican restaurant in town."

Supporting Judgment: "La Cocina's green chile is superb."

Criterion used to make this judgment: "Good green chile is so fiery that you can barely eat it."

Evidence in support of this judgment: "I drank an entire pitcher of water on my own during the course of the meal" or "Though my friend wouldn't admit that the chile was challenging for him, I saw beads of sweat form on his brow."

Supporting Judgment made by way of Comparison and Contrast: "La Cocina's chile is even more fiery and flavorful than Manuel's, which is by no means a walk in the park itself."

Evidence in support of this judgment: "Manuel's chile relies heavily on a tomato base, giving it an Italian flavor. La Cocina follows a more traditional recipe which uses little tomato, and instead flavors the chile with shredded pork, a dash of vinegar, and a bit of red chile to give it a piquant taste."

Writing the Draft

If you have an outline to follow, writing a draft of a written evaluation is simple. Stephen Reid, in his Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers , recommends that writers maintain focus on both the audience they are addressing and the central criteria they want to include. Such a focus will help writers remember what their audience expects and values and what is most important in constructing an effective and persuasive evaluation.

Guidelines for Revision

In his Prentice Hall Guide for College Writers , 4th ed., Stephen Reid offers some helpful tips for revising written evaluations. These guidelines are reproduced here and grouped as follows:

Examining Criteria

Criteria are standards of value . They contain categories and judgments, as in "good fuel economy," "good reliability," or "powerful use of light and shade in painting." Some categories, such as "price," have clearly implied judgments ("low price"), but make sure that your criteria refer implicitly or explicitly to a standard of value.

Examine your criteria from your audience's point of view. Which criteria are most important in evaluating your subject? Will your readers agree that the criteria you select are indeed the most important ones? Will changing the order in which you present your criteria make your evaluation more convincing? (Reid 342)

Balancing the Evaluation

Include both positive and negative evaluations of your subject. If all of your judgments are positive, your evaluation will sound like an advertisement. If all of your judgments are negative, your readers may think you are too critical (Reid 342).

Using Evidence

Be sure to include supporting evidence for each criterion. Without any data or support, your evaluation will be just an opinion that will not persuade your reader.

If you need additional evidence to persuade your readers, [go back to the "Collecting" stage of this process] (Reid 343).

Avoiding Overgeneralization

Avoid overgeneralizing your claims. If you are evaluating only three software programs, you cannot say that Lotus 1-2-3 is the best business program around. You can say only that it is the best among the group or the best in the particular class that you measured (Reid 343).

Making Appropriate Comparisons

Unless your goal is humor or irony, compare subjects that belong in the same class. Comparing a Yugo to a BMW is absurd because they are not similar cars in terms of cost, design, or purpose (Reid 343).

Checking for Accuracy

If you are citing other people's data or quoting sources, check to make sure your summaries and data are accurate (Reid 343).

Working on Transitions, Clarity, and Style

Signal the major divisions in your evaluation to your reader using clear transitions, key words, and paragraph hooks. At the beginning of new paragraphs or sections of your essay, let your reader know where you are going.

Revise sentences for directness and clarity.

Edit your evaluation for correct spelling, appropriate word choice, punctuation, usage, and grammar (343).

Nesbitt, Laurel, Kathy Northcut, & Kate Kiefer. (1997). Academic Evaluations. Writing@CSU . Colorado State University.

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How to Write an Evaluation Essay in a Few Easy Steps

Are you ready to master the art of writing evaluation essays? This comprehensive guide on how to write an evaluation essay will provide you with the knowledge and techniques required to craft an exceptional evaluation essay. From understanding the purpose and components of evaluation essays to selecting the perfect topic and crafting a strong thesis statement, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and learn how to create a well-structured, engaging, and effective evaluation essay.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Somewhat similar to analytical essays , evaluation essays are compositions that present an opinion or judgement based on criteria and evidence.
  • Crafting a successful evaluation essay requires selecting the right topic, developing a strong thesis statement, creating an outline, introducing the topic effectively in the introduction and providing relevant examples to support your assessment.
  • Examining samples for guidance as well as avoiding common pitfalls can help you create effective evaluation essays on suggested topics such as marketing campaigns or college education.

Evaluation Essays: What are Those?

An evaluation essay, also known as an evaluation essay or an evaluation argument essay, is a unique type of composition that assesses a particular concept, item, or service, presenting an opinion or judgment concerning the subject. The purpose of such essays is to provide an educated and judicious assessment of the subject, using criteria and evidence to support the judgment. Evaluation essays consist of three essential components: judgment, criteria, and evidence.

To write an evaluation essay, you need to follow these steps.

  • Introduce the topic in an engaging manner.
  • Express a definite, authoritative judgment that occupies two-thirds of the evaluation paper.
  • Support your judgment with appropriate criteria and gather supporting evidence.

Maintaining a balance between providing the reader with the requisite information to comprehend the evaluation and informing them of all details is crucial for a successful evaluation essay.

The criteria for evaluation essays are the parts of the topic that are judged as good or bad, better or worse than something else. Appropriate criteria in an evaluation essay serve to evaluate the subject in an impartial and judicious manner, ensuring that the evaluation is based on relevant and objective standards.

For example, a restaurant review may use criteria such as:

  • Presentation

To evaluate the dining experience.

Each paragraph in the body of an evaluation essay should be dedicated to one key fact or aspect of the subject being evaluated, thoroughly elucidated, with judgment and evidence to back the argument. By following these guidelines and incorporating relevant criteria and evidence, you can create an engaging and well-structured evaluation essay that effectively assesses its subject.

Choosing the Right Topic for Your Evaluation Essay

Selecting an appropriate topic for your evaluation essay is essential, as it will determine the extent of the essay and the criteria applied for evaluation. To brainstorm ideas for an evaluation essay topic, consider categories such as movies, technological devices, restaurants, museums, plays, websites, stores, sports stadiums, concerts, books, events, and more. The two essential questions to ask when selecting a topic to evaluate are: “What category does it belong to?What is the ideal way of representing something in that category? Can you provide an example?

For example, if you choose to evaluate a romantic comedy movie, consider what the exemplar of a romantic comedy is and what criteria you would use to assess the quality of the movie. Criteria for evaluating a romantic comedy might include humor, unexpected plot developments, and relatable characters. By selecting a topic that can be evaluated objectively and possess enough criteria to validate the evaluation, you can create a more engaging and successful evaluation essay.

Once you have chosen your topic, it’s important to offer the subject and provide any pertinent information regarding it. This will set the stage for your evaluation and help the reader understand the context of your essay. For instance, when evaluating a car, you might provide information about:

  • fuel economy
  • crash rating
  • special options

Keep in mind that your evaluation essay should maintain a balance between providing the reader with the requisite information to comprehend the evaluation and informing them of all details. By selecting a topic that can be evaluated objectively and using appropriate criteria, your evaluation essay will be more engaging and effective.

Developing a Strong Thesis Statement

A strong thesis statement is crucial for an evaluation essay, as it sets the tone and focus for the entire paper. The thesis statement in an evaluation essay offers a judgment regarding the subject in accordance with the specified criteria. To create a strong thesis statement, first, contemplate the pertinent criteria or standards for evaluating the subject.

A beneficial technique for generating order and concentration in an evaluation essay is to furnish a map of your reasons/criteria within the thesis. This will help guide the reader through the essay and make your argument more coherent and organized. A well-constructed thesis statement not only provides a definite direction for your essay, but it also assists the reader in understanding the primary purpose of the essay.

For example, if you’re evaluating a restaurant, your thesis statement could be: “The XYZ restaurant impresses with its flavorful dishes, elegant ambiance, and attentive service, making it the ideal dining experience.” By incorporating the pertinent criteria within your thesis statement, you provide a clear and concise roadmap for the reader to follow throughout your evaluation essay.

Crafting the Evaluation Essay Outline

The evaluation essay outline is an essential aspect of the writing process, as it helps to organize your thoughts and create a coherent structure for your essay. The outline consists of the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion, with each section playing a vital role in the overall structure.

In the following subsections, we will discuss the importance of each part of the evaluation essay outline, and how to effectively develop and utilize these sections to create a well-structured and engaging evaluation essay.


The introduction of your evaluation essay should grab the reader’s attention and present the subject and thesis statement. To hook the reader, consider using:

  • A vivid description of the subject
  • Evaluating what other people think of the subject
  • Incorporating a quote from someone about the subject
  • Narrating a personal story of your interest in the subject

For instance, if you’re evaluating a new restaurant, you could start by describing the ambiance and the aroma of the dishes being served. This will engage the reader and encourage them to read on.

Be sure to present the thesis statement clearly, as it sets the stage for the rest of your evaluation essay, including the topic sentence that will guide each paragraph.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your evaluation essay play a crucial role in providing an objective overview of the subject, followed by an assessment based on standards and substantiation. The initial evaluation paragraph should introduce the topic and provide a neutral overview. Subsequent body paragraphs should evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the item being evaluated, in accordance with the criteria established for its evaluation.

For example, when evaluating a car, the first paragraph might provide a brief overview of the car’s features and specifications. The following paragraphs would then assess the car based on criteria such as:

Be sure to thoroughly elucidate each key fact or aspect of the subject being evaluated, with judgment and evidence to back the argument.

When writing the body paragraphs, it’s essential to maintain a balance between providing the reader with the requisite information to comprehend the evaluation and informing them of all details. By offering a balanced and objective assessment of the subject, your evaluation essay will be more engaging and effective.

The conclusion of your evaluation essay should include the following elements:

  • Restate the thesis statement to remind the reader of the main argument.
  • Recapitulate the main points discussed in the essay.
  • Provide a final assessment or suggestion based on the final evaluation.
  • Avoid introducing new information in the conclusion.
  • Leave the reader with a lasting impression of your evaluation.

For example, if you evaluated a restaurant, your conclusion might be:

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the positive aspects (flavorful dishes, elegant ambiance, and attentive service)
  • Provide a final suggestion for readers to give the restaurant a try

By providing a well-rounded conclusion, you allow the reader to form their own opinion about the subject, while reinforcing the key points of your evaluation essay.

Writing Techniques for Successful Evaluation Essays

Effective writing techniques for evaluation essays include using objective criteria, presenting a balanced view, and engaging the reader. One of the primary steps in composing an evaluation essay is to strive for impartial analysis prior to forming an opinion and to employ evaluation criteria. This ensures that your evaluation is based on relevant and objective standards, making your essay more credible and persuasive.

Presenting a balanced perspective is essential for maintaining credibility in the eyes of your audience. By demonstrating respect for opposing positions and elucidating points you concur with and diverge from, you create a more engaging and effective evaluation essay. This approach also allows you to address potential objections or queries from your readers, further strengthening your argument.

Lastly, engaging the reader is crucial for the success of your evaluation essay. Utilize vivid descriptions, compelling examples, and a clear and concise writing style to maintain the reader’s interest throughout your essay. By employing these writing techniques, you can create a well-structured, engaging, and effective evaluation essay that effectively assesses its subject.

Utilizing Relevant Examples in Your Evaluation Essay

Incorporating relevant examples in your evaluation essay is crucial for supporting the judgment and providing evidence for the criteria used in your evaluation. These examples can bolster your assessment and furnish proof for the standards employed, making your evaluation essay more persuasive and convincing.

For instance, when evaluating a car, you might provide examples of how the car’s fuel economy compares to similar models or cite an expert’s review of the car’s performance and safety features. In the case of a restaurant review, you could describe specific dishes you tasted and how they met or fell short of your expectations based on the criteria you established for evaluating the quality of a meal.

By incorporating pertinent examples, you not only make your evaluation essay more engaging and relatable, but also provide the evidence necessary to support your judgment and validate the criteria used in your assessment. This will make your evaluation essay more credible and convincing to your readers.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Evaluation Essay Writing

There are several common pitfalls in evaluation essay writing that can hinder the effectiveness of your essay. These include poor organization, lack of focus, and excessive use of quotations. To avoid these issues, it’s essential to maintain a clear and logical structure for your evaluation essay, ensuring that your argument is coherent and well-supported by evidence.

Another common pitfall is the lack of focus on the evaluation criteria. It’s essential to establish appropriate criteria for your evaluation and consistently refer to these criteria throughout your essay. This will help to maintain a clear focus and ensure that your evaluation is based on objective and relevant standards.

Lastly, be cautious when using quotations in your evaluation essay. While it’s important to provide evidence to support your judgment, excessive use of quotations can detract from your own analysis and opinion. Instead, use quotations sparingly and ensure that they are directly relevant to the criteria you’re using to evaluate the subject.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can create a more effective and engaging evaluation essay that will resonate with your readers.

Examining Evaluation Essay Samples

Examining evaluation essay samples can provide valuable insights into the structure, content, and style of successful evaluation essays. By analysing these samples, you can gain a better understanding of how to craft your own evaluation essay, incorporating the most effective techniques and strategies for presenting a persuasive and engaging argument.

You can find evaluation essay samples on academic writing websites, which can serve as an excellent starting point for your own evaluation essay. These samples can help you identify the most effective ways to present your subject, establish criteria for evaluation, and provide evidence to support your judgment. Additionally, examining evaluation essay samples can help you understand how to maintain a logical structure and clear thesis statement, which are essential for the success of your essay.

By studying a good evaluation essay sample and applying the insights gained to your own writing, you can create a well-structured, engaging, and effective evaluation essay that effectively assesses its subject.

Suggested Evaluation Essay Topics

To help inspire and guide your writing process, here is a list of suggested evaluation essay topics.

  • Evaluate the latest blockbuster movie based on its plot, character development, and special effects.
  • Assess the effectiveness of a social media campaign in promoting a new product or service.
  • Analyze the performance of a sports team during a specific season, considering the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Evaluate a new restaurant in your area based on its menu, service, and ambiance.
  • Assess the impact of a specific parenting approach on children’s development and well-being.

These are just a few examples of topics that can be explored in an evaluation essay.

  • The effectiveness of a new marketing campaign
  • The quality of a restaurant’s customer service
  • The impact of a government policy on the economy
  • The value of a college education

Remember, the key to a successful evaluation essay is selecting a topic that can be evaluated objectively, using appropriate criteria and evidence to support your judgment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an evaluation essay.

An evaluation essay is a type of argumentative writing in which a writer presents an opinion or viewpoint with supporting evidence. It involves the writer’s judgment of a subject or body of work based on criteria and evidence, while providing a summary of the article in question.

How do you start writing an evaluation?

To start writing an evaluation essay, begin by providing background information on the subject and outline the purpose of the evaluation. Next, list the criteria you will use to evaluate the product and include relevant evidence to support your judgment.

Finally, draft your essay and review, revise, and rewrite it to produce a well-structured evaluation.

How do you start an evaluation paragraph example?

Beginning an evaluation paragraph requires providing a big picture overview of the subject, discussing its influence on people and why it is worth evaluating. Establishing the criteria that will be used to support the thesis should also be included. Written in a formal tone, this introduction should contain a clear conclusion right away.

How do I choose the right topic for my evaluation essay?

When selecting a topic for an evaluation essay, consider a range of options such as movies, technological devices, restaurants, museums, plays, websites, stores, sports stadiums, concerts, books, events, and more.

Make sure the topic is objective and has enough criteria to allow for valid evaluation.

How can I create a strong thesis statement for my evaluation essay?

A strong thesis statement for an evaluation essay should identify the criteria used to assess the subject, and provide a definitive judgment based on those criteria.

This statement should be clear and concise, and should provide the reader with a clear understanding of the essay’s purpose. It should also be specific enough to provide a framework for the essay’s argument.

In conclusion, mastering the art of writing evaluation essays requires understanding the purpose and components of such essays, selecting an appropriate topic, crafting a strong thesis statement, and developing a well-structured outline.

By employing effective writing techniques, incorporating relevant examples, and avoiding common pitfalls, you can create an engaging and persuasive evaluation essay that effectively assesses its subject.

With the knowledge and strategies provided in this comprehensive guide, you are well-equipped to tackle any evaluation essay topic and create a lasting impression on your readers.

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The Evaluation Essay

Key features of a well-written paper about an evaluative essay about a film, a concise description of the subject.

You should include just enough information to let readers who may not be familiar with your subject understand what it is. Remember, the goal is to evaluate, not summarize.

For instance, if writing about a movie, you’d want to describe the main plot points, only providing what readers need to understand the context of your evaluation. While you are evaluating the movie, you want to try to avoid retelling the story of it.

One other thing to keep in mind, depending on your topic and medium, some of this descriptive information may be in visual or audio form.

Clearly Defined Criteria

Since you are evaluating the subject, you will need to determine clear criteria as the basis for your judgment. In reviews or other evaluations written for a broad audience, you can integrate the criteria into the discussion as reasons for your assessment. In more formal evaluations, you may need to announce your criteria explicitly.

For instance, you could evaluate a film based on the stars’ performances, the complexity of their characters, and the film’s coherence. There are lots of other criteria to choose from, depending on your film choice.

A few things to keep in mind when coming up with your criteria:

  • Don’t try to have too many things to evaluate. Using three to four elements to evaluate should be enough criteria to support an overall evaluation of the subject.
  • Pick things relevant to the evaluation of your subject. For instance, if you are specifically reviewing a movie, you don’t want to include criteria evaluating the popcorn at the movie theater.
  • Remember, you’re going to have to define the criteria for your evaluation, so make sure you pick things you either know about or that you can learn about.

A Knowledgeable Discussion of the Subject

To evaluate something credibly, you need to show that you know it yourself and that you understand its context. Cite many examples showing your knowledge of the film. Some evaluations require that you research what other authoritative sources have said about your subject. You are welcome to refer to other film reviews to show you have researched other views, but your evaluation should be your own.

A Balanced and Fair Assessment

An evaluation is centered on a judgment. You can point out both its weaknesses and strengths. It is important that any judgment be balanced and fair. This is why it’s important to select your criteria before starting your evaluation. Seldom is something all good or all bad, and your audience knows this. If only presenting the positive or negative, your audience may feel you aren’t that credible of a source. While it may feel weird to include less-than-positive comments about something you enjoy, a fair evaluation acknowledges both strengths and weaknesses.

Well-Supported Reasons

You need to argue for your judgment, providing reasons and evidence that might include visual and audio as well as verbal material. Support your reasons with several specific examples from the film. This is also a good place to use knowledge of other movies, movie terminology, and other references to not only support your argument (aka: your evaluation) but show your ethos of the subject.

Step 1: Choosing a Topic

For this assignment, you will choose a film you have watched that was meaningful enough to evaluate. It can be one that was meaningful because it changed your perspective, for instance. You are also welcome to choose a film that was critically acclaimed, but you have objections to. Choose something that strikes you as a film worth analyzing and discussing.

Things to consider while making this selection:

  • What is the purpose of your evaluation? Are you writing to affect your audience’s opinion of a film?
  • Who is your audience? To whom are you writing? What will your audience already know about the film? What will they expect to learn from your evaluation of it? Are they likely to agree with you or not?
  • What is your stance? What is your attitude toward the subject, and how will you show that you have evaluated it fairly and appropriately? Think about the tone you want to use should it be reasonable? Passionate? Critical?

What film are you going to evaluate in this essay? Make sure it is one that is accessible to you (accessible as in you own it, you have checked it out from the library, or it’s available through a subscription you have like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, etc.) You will need to watch it and take detailed notes so that you have specifics, dialogue, etc. to include. So, what film will you evaluate?

Step 2: Generating Ideas and Text

Now that you know the film you want to evaluate, it’s time to watch it. Make sure you take extensive notes as it needs to be clear that you have taken the time to watch and study your film and that you have thought through not only the criteria that you want to talk about but also specific examples of those criteria.

Explore what you already know. Freewrite to answer the following questions:

  • What do you know about this subject?
  • What are your initial or gut feelings, and why do you feel as you do?
  • How does this film reflect or affect your basic values or beliefs?
  • How have others evaluated subjects like this?

Now it’s time to identify criteria. Make a list of criteria you think should be used to evaluate your film. Think about which criteria will likely be important to your audience.

Here are ideas for specific criteria:

  • Evaluate your subject. Study your film closely to determine to what extent it meets each of your criteria.
  • You may want to list your criteria and take notes related to each one as you watch the film.
  • You may develop a rating scale for each criterion to help stay focused on it.
  • Come up with a tentative judgment. Choose 3-4 criteria to discuss in your essay.
  • Compare your subject with others. Often, evaluating something involves comparing and contrasting it with similar things. We judge movies in comparison with other movies we’ve seen in a similar genre.
  • State your judgment as a tentative thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be one that addresses both pros and cons. “Hawaii Five-O is fun to watch despite its stilted dialogue” “Of the five sport utility vehicles tested, the Toyota 4 Runner emerged as the best in comfort, power, and durability, though not in styling or cargo capacity.” Both of these examples offer a judgment but qualify it according to the writer’s criteria. Experiment with thesis statements and highlight one you want to use.
  • Anticipate other opinions. I think Will Ferrell is a comic genius whose movies are first-rate. You think Will Ferrell is a terrible actor who makes awful movies. How can I write a review of his latest film that you will at least consider? One way is by acknowledging other opinions–and refuting those opinions as best I can. I may not persuade you to see Ferrell’s next film, but I can at least demonstrate that by certain criteria he should be appreciated. You may need to research how others have evaluated your subject.
  • Identify and support your reasons. Write out all the reasons you can think of that will convince your audience to accept your judgment. Review your list to identify the most convincing or important reasons. Then review how well your subject meets your criteria and decide how best to support your reasons; through examples, authoritative opinions, statistics, visual or audio evidence, or something else.

Step 3: Organization of the Evaluation Essay

The following provides two ways to organize your document:

Black text "start with your subject" above five light blue boxes in a line connected with black arrows pointing to the next box in the line. Each box includes writing. First box, "describe what you are evaluating"; second box "state your judgement"; third box "provide reasons and evidence, discussing criteria as you apply them"; fourth box "acknowledge objections or other opinions"; "restate your overall judgement"

Step 4: Drafting

Now that you’ve watched the thing, written the notes, and collected your thoughts, it’s time to draft. Use the organizational scheme you created in Step 3 to help you create your evaluation.

Step 5: Get Feedback

Step 6: revising.

Once you’ve received feedback, if possible, read through it and then walk away from the work for a little while. This will allow your brain time to process the feedback you received making it much easier to sit back down to make adjustments. While revising, try to avoid messing with punctuation or fixing any grammatical issues. Revision is when you focus on your ideas and making sure they are presented properly, so make sure you’ve set aside plenty of time or scheduled multiple times to go through your project.

Once you’re finished with revision–everything is well defined, claims justified, conclusions given–it’s time to edit. This is when you correct punctuation and adjust grammatical issues. During this stage, try to only focus on one or two issues at a time. Work all the way through your project looking for these couple of things and then start again with the next couple of issues you may need to smooth.

Hopefully you’ve finished all of these steps before the deadline. If you are running behind, make sure you reach out to your instructor to let them know; they may have some tips to help get you through the final push.


Creative Commons License

“ The Evaluation Essay ” by Rachael Reynolds is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License  and adapted work from the source below:

Adapted from “ Writing the Evaluation Essay ” by Sara Layton and is used according to CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

UNM Core Writing OER Collection Copyright © 2023 by University of New Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience

Learning outcomes.

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how your writing uses common elements of the review genre.
  • Evaluate reviews for thesis, evidence, rhetorical choices, clarity, and language awareness by using a rubric.

Essays follow a structure that includes the introduction and thesis, body paragraphs with main points supported by relevant evidence, and a conclusion. In addition, academic essays are generally written with a formal tone, use precise wording, and are carefully edited. Essays should be written with a specific audience and purpose in mind and adhere to the conventions of the discipline’s formatting guide (MLA in this case). However, as you have worked to develop your writing voice during this course, you may have elected to challenge some of these conventions for rhetorical purposes. Beyond following the typical structure of an academic essay, a good review essay will demonstrate knowledge of the elements of the review genre, as discussed in Glance at Genre: Criteria, Evidence, and Evaluation clear evaluation, specific criteria, and understanding of genre and context. The following rubric reflects the characteristics of an effective evaluation essay.

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how to evaluate something for an essay

How to Write a Policy Analysis Paper in 6 Easy Steps (+Examples)

how to evaluate something for an essay

Working on a policy analysis paper is both challenging and fulfilling. In this article, we'll guide you through the process, whether you're new to the field or experienced. Understanding how policies are made, evaluated, and recommended is crucial for making a difference in public discussions and decisions. We'll cover everything from defining your goals to researching thoroughly, analyzing data, and presenting persuasive arguments. By following these steps, you'll be able to communicate your ideas effectively, shape procedure debates, and contribute to positive changes in society. Should you need more hands-on aid with the assignment, hire a college essay writer for the maximum result.

What Is a Policy Analysis Paper

A policy analysis essay definition is a comprehensive examination and evaluation of a particular policy or set of policies within a given context. It involves analyzing the rationale behind the system, its objectives, implementation strategies, and its intended and unintended consequences. This type of paper aims to provide insights into the effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and feasibility of the approach, often considering various perspectives, stakeholders, and alternatives. Through rigorous research, data analysis, and critical reasoning, procedure analysis papers aim to inform decision-makers, scholars, and the public about the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies and propose recommendations for improvement or alternative courses of action.

Haven’t Written a Policy Analysis Paper Before?

Let expert writers guide you through the process!

Policy Analysis Paper Purpose

The purpose of a policy analysis paper is to critically assess a specific procedure or set of policies in order to provide valuable insights into its effectiveness, implications, and potential areas for improvement. By examining the underlying rationale, objectives, and outcomes of the implementation, this type of paper aims to inform decision-makers, stakeholders, and the public about its strengths, weaknesses, and impacts on society. 

Students are writing a policy analysis paper in college for several reasons. Firstly, it allows them to develop critical thinking and analytical skills by evaluating real-world policies and their implications. Additionally, it helps students understand the complexities of policy-making processes and how policies impact various stakeholders. Writing analysis papers also enhances research and writing skills, as students must gather and synthesize information from diverse sources to support their arguments effectively. Furthermore, engaging with procedure analysis fosters civic engagement and social responsibility, encouraging students to contribute to public discourse and advocate for evidence-based solutions. Are you dealing with multiple assignments all at the same time? If you’re about to address the audience, say, ‘ write a speech for me ,’ so our experts can relieve your workload.

Topic Ideas for Policy Analysis Paper

Here’s a collection of 50 thought-provoking policy analysis paper topics for your inspiration. In addition, we’d like to offer you informative essay topics for the purpose of learning and self-education.

  • The viability of a universal healthcare system: An analysis.
  • Plastic bag bans: Environmental implications examined.
  • Tax credits for renewable energy adoption: Assessing effectiveness.
  • Social security and raising the retirement age: Exploring implications.
  • Implementing a four-day workweek: Feasibility assessment.
  • Community policing strategies: Effectiveness in crime reduction.
  • Increasing the minimum wage: Consequences evaluated.
  • School voucher programs: Impact on educational equity.
  • Congestion pricing for urban areas: Benefits and drawbacks analyzed.
  • Government subsidies for electric vehicles: Effectiveness assessed.
  • Zoning laws and affordable housing availability: An investigation.
  • National carbon tax: Feasibility and impact explored.
  • Mandatory voting laws: Consequences for political participation.
  • Drug rehabilitation programs: Effectiveness in reducing recidivism.
  • Legalizing marijuana: Public health implications examined.
  • Immigration policies and cultural diversity: Assessing impact.
  • Privatizing water utilities: Consequences analyzed.
  • Anti-bullying policies in schools: Effectiveness evaluated.
  • Free college tuition programs: Benefits and drawbacks assessed.
  • Wealth tax implementation: Feasibility analysis.
  • Ride-sharing services and traditional taxi industries: Impact assessment.
  • Gender quotas in corporate leadership: Effectiveness examined.
  • National gun registry: Implications and feasibility explored.
  • Expanding nuclear energy production: Consequences evaluated.
  • Mandatory parental leave policies: Effectiveness assessment.
  • Charter school expansion: Impact on public education explored.
  • Basic income implementation: Viability and consequences assessed.
  • Affordable housing initiatives: Success factors examined.
  • Internet privacy regulations: Impact on data security analyzed.
  • Corporate tax breaks: Economic implications assessed.
  • Universal preschool programs: Long-term benefits explored.
  • Climate change adaptation policies: Effectiveness in resilience building.
  • Universal voting by mail: Implications for voter turnout examined.
  • Reducing military spending: Consequences and feasibility analyzed.
  • Workplace diversity training: Effectiveness in promoting inclusivity.
  • Renewable energy subsidies: Impact on energy independence assessed.
  • Telecommuting incentives: Feasibility and impact on traffic analyzed.
  • Carbon capture and storage initiatives: Viability and effectiveness.
  • Local food sourcing policies: Benefits for communities examined.
  • Police body camera mandates: Impact on accountability assessed.
  • Community land trust programs: Success factors and limitations.
  • Mental health parity laws: Effectiveness in improving access.
  • Corporate social responsibility regulations: Impact on sustainability.
  • Universal pre-kindergarten education: Social and economic benefits.
  • Land value tax implementation: Impact on property markets assessed.
  • Affordable childcare initiatives: Impact on workforce participation.
  • Smart city technology investments: Benefits for urban development.
  • Flexible work hour policies: Impact on productivity and well-being.
  • Prescription drug pricing regulations: Consequences for affordability.
  • Public-private partnerships for infrastructure development: Effectiveness and risks assessed.

If you need more ideas, you may want to consult our guide on argumentative essay topics , which will definitely help kickstart your creativity. 

How to Structure a Policy Analysis Paper

A policy analysis paper format demands organizing your content coherently and logically to effectively communicate your analysis and findings. Here's a typical structure you can follow:

How to Structure a Policy Analysis Paper


  • Provide an overview of the issue or problem you're analyzing.
  • Clearly state the purpose of your analysis.
  • Introduce the policy or policies under review.
  • Provide background information to contextualize the issue.
  • State your thesis or research question.

Policy Context and Background

  • Provide more in-depth background information on the issue.
  • Describe the historical development of the policies.
  • Discuss the context in which the procedure was implemented.
  • Identify key stakeholders and their interests in the strategy.

Policy Analysis Framework

  • Explain the framework or methodology you're using to analyze the policy.
  • Define key concepts and terms relevant to your analysis.
  • Discuss any theoretical frameworks or models guiding your analysis.
  • Outline the criteria or criteria you will use to evaluate the procedure's effectiveness.

Policy Goals and Objectives

  • Identify and discuss the stated goals and objectives of the policy.
  • Evaluate the clarity and coherence of these goals.
  • Discuss any potential conflicts or contradictions among the goals.

Policy Implementation

  • Describe how the policy has been implemented in practice.
  • Discuss any challenges or barriers to implementation.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of implementation strategies.

Policy Outcomes and Impacts

  • Assess the outcomes and impacts of the policy.
  • Evaluate the extent to which the procedure has achieved its intended goals.
  • Discuss any unintended consequences or side effects of the approach.

Policy Alternatives

  • Identify and discuss alternative policy options or approaches.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative.
  • Discuss the potential trade-offs associated with each alternative.


  • Based on your analysis, provide recommendations for policymakers.
  • Discuss specific actions or changes that could improve the process.
  • Justify your recommendations with evidence from your analysis.
  • Summarize the main findings of your analysis.
  • Restate your thesis or research question.
  • Reflect on the broader implications of your analysis.
  • Discuss any limitations or areas for further research.
  • Provide a list of sources cited in your paper.
  • Follow the appropriate citation style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago).

Need help with the assignment at this stage? Use our political science essay assistance to save time and secure optimal academic results.

How to Write a Policy Analysis Paper

In this section, we'll cover the basics of writing a policy analysis paper. This type of paper involves breaking down complicated policy issues, figuring out how well they're working, and suggesting ways to make them better. We'll walk you through the steps, like defining the goals of the implementation, looking at how it's being put into action, and checking what effects it's having. By the end, you'll have the skills to write a clear, well-reasoned paper that can help shape policies for the better. 

How to Write a Policy Analysis Paper

Understanding the Policy Issue

Start by thoroughly understanding the policy issue or problem you're analyzing. Research its background, context, and significance. Identify key stakeholders, relevant laws or regulations, and any existing policies addressing the issue.

Defining the Scope and Purpose

Clearly define the scope and purpose of your analysis. Determine what specific aspect of the approach you'll focus on and why it's important. Clarify the goals of your analysis and what you hope to achieve with your paper. Use an expert essay writing service to streamline your effort in producing a first-class paper. 

Gathering Data and Evidence

Collect relevant data and evidence to support your analysis. This may include statistical information, case studies, expert opinions, and academic research. Use credible sources and ensure your data is accurate and up-to-date.

Analyzing the Policy

A policy analysis paper evaluates the legislative program’s effectiveness, strengths, weaknesses, and implications. Use a structured approach, such as a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) or cost-benefit analysis, to assess the procedure from multiple perspectives. Consider its intended goals, implementation strategies, outcomes, and unintended consequences. If you need help with SWOT analysis, using our analytical essay writing service is highly recommended. 

Developing Recommendations

Based on your analysis, develop clear and actionable recommendations for policymakers or stakeholders. Identify specific changes or improvements that could enhance the system’s effectiveness or address its shortcomings. Support your recommendations with evidence and reasoning.

Writing and Communicating Your Analysis

Organize your analysis into a coherent and persuasive paper. Structure your paper with an introduction, background information, analysis, recommendations, and conclusion. Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms unless necessary. Provide citations for your sources and evidence. Finally, ensure your paper is well-written, logically organized, and effectively communicates your insights and recommendations.

Policy Analysis Paper Example

A policy analysis paper example serves as a valuable learning tool for students by providing a concrete model to follow and reference when undertaking their own analysis assignments. By studying an example paper, students can gain insights into the structure, content, and methodology of analysis, helping them understand how to effectively frame their analysis, support their arguments with evidence, and formulate actionable recommendations.

Example 1: “Implementing Universal Basic Income”

This policy analysis paper examines the feasibility and potential impacts of implementing a Universal Basic Income (UBI) program in the United States. It explores various options for UBI design, including cost and financing considerations, labor market effects, poverty reduction potential, and administrative feasibility. By reviewing existing evidence and debates surrounding UBI, the paper aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the opportunities and challenges associated with adopting such a program, ultimately highlighting the need for careful analysis, experimentation, and stakeholder engagement in shaping effective UBI policies.

Example 2: “Addressing Climate Change through Carbon Pricing”

This policy analysis paper examines the role of carbon pricing policies in addressing climate change, evaluating their efficacy, implementation challenges, and potential impacts. Carbon pricing mechanisms, including carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems, aim to internalize the external costs of carbon emissions and incentivize emission reductions. The paper discusses the economic efficiency of carbon pricing in promoting innovation and investment in clean technologies while also addressing equity considerations regarding its distributional impacts on low-income households and vulnerable communities.

Writing a policy analysis paper is super important for students because it helps them learn how to tackle tough societal problems and make smart decisions. You get to sharpen your thinking skills, learn how to research thoroughly and become better at expressing yourself clearly. Plus, writing these papers helps students practice effectively communicating their ideas, which is a skill they'll need in their future careers, whether they work in government, nonprofits, or elsewhere. By digging into real-world issues, students also get a better grip on how politics, economics, and society all fit together. If you’re not committed to handling this task yourself, instruct our experts, saying, ‘ write my essay ,’ and receive the most competent help within hours. 

How Short Is Your Deadline?

Use our writing service to submit an A-grade policy analysis paper on time.

What Is a Policy Analysis Paper Outline?

How to write a policy analysis paper, what is a policy analysis paper, related articles.

Family Essay: How to Write, Topics and Examples

How To Write A Research Paper

Find Sources For A Research Paper

Cathy A.

How to Find Sources For a Research Paper | A Guide

10 min read

Published on: Mar 26, 2024

Last updated on: Mar 25, 2024

How to find sources for a research paper

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Research papers are an essential part of academic life, but one of the most challenging aspects can be finding credible sources to support your arguments. 

With the vast amount of information available online, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. However, by following some simple steps, you can streamline the process of finding reliable sources for your research paper . 

In this guide, we'll break down the process into easy-to-follow steps to help you find the best sources for your paper.

On This Page On This Page -->

Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions

Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

Step 2: Utilize Academic Databases

Academic databases are treasure troves of scholarly articles, research papers, and academic journals covering a wide range of subjects. Institutions often provide access to these databases through their libraries. Some popular academic databases include:

  • IEEE Xplore
  • Google Scholar

These databases allow you to search for peer-reviewed articles and academic papers related to your topic. 

Use advanced search features to narrow down your results based on publication date, author, and keywords .

Academic Resources Classified by Discipline

Here's a breakdown of prominent databases categorized by academic discipline:

Step 3: Explore Library Catalogs

Your university or local library's catalog is another valuable resource for finding sources. Library catalogs contain books, periodicals, and other materials that may not be available online. 

Use the catalog's search function to locate relevant books, journals, and other materials that can contribute to your research.

Step 4: Consult Bibliographies and References

When you find a relevant source, take note of its bibliography or make a list of sources for the research paper. These lists often contain citations to other works that may be useful for your research. 

By exploring the references cited in a particular source, you can uncover additional resources and expand your understanding of the topic.

Step 5: Boolean Operators for Effective Searches

Boolean operators are words or symbols used to refine search queries by defining the relationships between search terms. The three primary operators include "AND," which narrows searches by requiring all terms to be present; "OR," which broadens searches by including either term or both; and "NOT," which excludes specific terms to refine results further. 

Most databases provide advanced search features for seamless application of Boolean logic.

Step 6: Consider Primary Sources 

Depending on your research topic, primary sources such as interviews, surveys, archival documents, and original data sets can provide valuable insights and support for your arguments. 

Primary sources offer firsthand accounts and original perspectives on historical events, social phenomena, and scientific discoveries.

Step 7: Evaluate the Credibility of Sources

Not all sources are created equal, and it's crucial to evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you encounter. 

Consider the author's credentials, the publication venue, and whether the source is peer-reviewed. Look for evidence of bias or conflicts of interest that may undermine the source's credibility.

Step 8: Keep Track of Your Sources

As you gather sources for your research paper, maintain a systematic record of the materials you consult.  Keep track of bibliographic information, including author names, publication dates, titles, and page numbers . This information will be invaluable when citing your sources and creating a bibliography or works cited page.

Other Online Sources

In addition to academic databases and library catalogs, exploring popular online sources can provide valuable insights and perspectives on your research topic.  Here are some types of online sources you can consider:

Websites hosted by reputable organizations, institutions, and experts (such as the New York Times) can offer valuable information and analysis on a wide range of topics. Look for websites belonging to universities, research institutions, government agencies, and established non-profit organizations.

Crowdsourced Encyclopedias like Wikipedia

While Wikipedia can provide a broad overview of a topic and lead you to other sources, it's essential to verify the information found there with more authoritative sources. 

Use Wikipedia as a starting point for your research, but rely on peer-reviewed journal articles and academic sources for in-depth analysis and evidence.

Tips for Assessing the Credibility of Online Sources

When using online sources, it's important to exercise caution and critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of the information you find. Here are some tips for assessing the credibility of online sources:

  • Check the Domain Extension: Look for websites with domain extensions that indicate credibility. URLs ending in .edu are educational resources, while URLs ending in .gov are government-related resources. These sites often provide reliable and authoritative information.
  • Look for DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers): DOIs are unique alphanumeric strings assigned to scholarly articles and indicate that the article has been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. Finding a DOI can help you assess the scholarly rigor of the source.
  • Evaluate the Authorship and Credentials: Consider the qualifications and expertise of the author or organization behind the website or blog. Look for information about the author's credentials, affiliations, and expertise in the subject matter.
  • Consider the Currency and Relevance: Assess how up-to-date the information is and whether it aligns with the scope and focus of your research. Look for recent publications and timely analyses that reflect current trends and developments in the field.

Wrapping it up!

Finding sources for your research paper may seem like a challenge, but by following these steps, you can locate credible sources to support your arguments and enhance the quality of your paper. 

By approaching the research process systematically and critically evaluating the information you encounter, you can produce a well-researched and compelling research paper.

If you are struggling with finding credible sources or have time constraints, do not hesitate to seek writing help for your research papers . has professional writers ready to assist you. 

Connect with our essay writing service now and receive expert guidance and support to elevate your research paper to the next level.

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how to evaluate something for an essay


  1. Expert Tips on How To Write a Thoughtful Evaluation Essay

    how to evaluate something for an essay

  2. PPT

    how to evaluate something for an essay

  3. Expert Advice on How to Write a Successful Evaluative Essay

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  4. What Is an Evaluation Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

    how to evaluate something for an essay

  5. What Is an Evaluation Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

    how to evaluate something for an essay

  6. How to Write an Evaluation Essay

    how to evaluate something for an essay


  1. 7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)

    How to write an Evaluation Essay. There are two secrets to writing a strong evaluation essay. The first is to aim for objective analysis before forming an opinion. The second is to use an evaluation criteria. Aim to Appear Objective before giving an Evaluation Argument. Your evaluation will eventually need an argument.

  2. Analyse, Explain, Identify… 22 essay question words

    Words such as 'explain', 'evaluate' or 'analyse' - typical question words used in essay titles - provide a useful indication of how your essay should be structured. They often require varying degrees of critical responses. Sometimes, they may simply require a descriptive answer. No matter their nature, question words are key and ...

  3. How to Evaluate Essay Writing (with Pictures)

    Multiply the total pages of the essay by 2 and then subtract 2 (for the intro and conclusion) to find the approximate number of body paragraphs a paper should have. For example, a 4 page essay should have about 6 body paragraphs. 2. Identify the topic sentence to evaluate a paragraph's cohesiveness.

  4. Evaluation Essay

    Here is a step-by-step guide for you to write an evaluation essay. Step 1. Write the Introduction. The introduction is the first impression your readers will have of you, so it's crucial to make a good one. It should capture attention and excite readers, drawing them into what you have to say about this topic.

  5. How to Write an Evaluation Paper With Sample Essays

    Have a strong opinion—positive or negative—about this topic. Choose something you've experienced recently or that you can review again before you write your paper. Know a lot about this type of experience. Use the following list of categories to brainstorm ideas for what you might want to evaluate. Use this list of categories to brainstorm ...

  6. The Ultimate Guide to Writing an Evaluation Essay

    An evaluation essay is a type of academic writing that asks students to evaluate and analyze the quality or value of something like a book, movie, product, or service. The writer should give a fair assessment of the topic by pointing out both its strengths and weaknesses.

  7. Evaluation Essay: Tips, Guide, and 100 Top Ideas

    Evaluate the experience of watching a sporting event on your own and with other people. Evaluate how a recent drama movie portrays the tragedies of real life. Evaluate a classic criminal movie and what it states about the real crime rates in the modern society. Evaluate your favorite Chinese restaurant.

  8. How to Write an Evaluation Essay: Easy Guide & Examples

    The first step in how to write an evaluation is to decide on a particular subject you wish to assess, followed by coming up with criteria you will use. Besides, develop solid arguments backed up with evidence. Also, create an outline, and start writing. Once you complete your writing, proofread your work.

  9. How to Write an Evaluation Essay

    Purpose of an Evaluation Essay. The purpose of an evaluation essay is to present an opinion or viewpoint on a subject. The subject can be a specific topic or a broader topic. In fact, for evaluation essays, the topic is often a collection of work. Goals for an Evaluation Essay. 1. State a clear position on the topic. 2. Create clearly defined ...

  10. Definition and Examples of Evaluation Essays

    Ways of Organizing an Evaluation Essay "One way to organize an evaluation essay is point-by-point: describe one element of the subject and then evaluate it; present the next element and evaluate it; and so on.Comparison/contrast could be an organizing structure as well, in which you evaluate something by comparing (or contrasting) it to a known item.

  11. How to Write an Evaluation Essay

    Choosing an essay topic is essential. You must spend more time searching for an interesting topic. For an evaluation essay, make sure the topic must be informative as you have to evaluate some solid subject. 2. Evaluation Essay Outline. After choosing the topic, the next is to create an essay outline.

  12. Evaluation Essay Examples: Master the Art of Critical Assessment with

    Provide arguments that support the topic sentence and your stance. Present a well-rounded argument to show impartiality. Compare the subject to a different topic to showcase its strengths and weaknesses. Present the evaluation from various angles, applying both approving and critical thinking. c. Conclusion.

  13. Evaluation Essays

    3. Giving Reasons and Support. After presenting the subject and providing readers with a clear claim, the writer must explain and justify his/her evaluation using reasons that are recognized by readers as appropriate. This occurs in the argument section of the paper and should be the most extensive part of the paper.

  14. Guide: Academic Evaluations

    To evaluate is to assess or appraise. Evaluation is the process of examining a subject and rating it based on its important features. We determine how much or how little we value something, arriving at our judgment on the basis of criteria that we can define. We evaluate when we write primarily because it is almost impossible to avoid doing so.

  15. How to Write an Evaluation Essay in a Few Easy Steps

    Evaluation essays consist of three essential components: judgment, criteria, and evidence. To write an evaluation essay, you need to follow these steps. Introduce the topic in an engaging manner. Express a definite, authoritative judgment that occupies two-thirds of the evaluation paper. Support your judgment with appropriate criteria and ...

  16. The Evaluation Essay

    An evaluation is centered on a judgment. You can point out both its weaknesses and strengths. It is important that any judgment be balanced and fair. This is why it's important to select your criteria before starting your evaluation. Seldom is something all good or all bad, and your audience knows this.

  17. What Is an Evaluation Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

    An evaluation essay is a type of essay that requires you to judge the quality of a subject based on some ideal criteria that act as a point of comparison. We guide you through writing one with examples. ... They're both a look at whether something is "good" or "bad." ...

  18. How to Start an Evaluation Essay: Tips & Steps

    Step 2. Crafting a thesis statement. When you think about how to start an evaluation essay, begin with completing a thesis statement. It serves as the backbone of your text, articulating the overarching purpose of the analysis. Within this statement, clearly outline the criteria used to assess the item and establish its value.

  19. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Write an Evaluation Essay

    The first step in choosing a topic for your evaluation essay is to identify something that you want to evaluate. It could be a book, a movie, a product, a restaurant, or any other item or concept that you find interesting. It is important to pick something that you are passionate about or have prior knowledge of, as this will make the ...

  20. Evaluation Essay

    1. Create an Outline of the Essay. After choosing the topic and researching it, make an outline for your essay. Follow the outline given above and create an outline for your evaluation essay. Make it detailed and add everything you want to discuss in your essay for a more helpful outline. 2.

  21. 7.7 Evaluation: Effect on Audience

    The writer consistently shows concern for audience knowledge and beliefs about the topic and shows appreciation for multiple perspectives. The writer demonstrates an understanding of the cultural context and genre of the subject of the review. The writing throughout demonstrates a sophisticated command of language. 4. Accomplished.

  22. How to Write an Evaluation Essay

    To write an appealing evaluation paragraph, keep the paragraphs short and factual. Ensure that they introduce something new to the reader. While at it, make sure that you explain each point that you present to the reader. Remember that a good evaluation is objective.

  23. How to Evaluate in an Essay

    To correctly answer the evaluation question, you have to explain all sides of the argument. For example, you want to evaluate the usage of a popular essay writing service by a student community. And to correctly answer the evaluation question, you will need to provide every side of the argument. In evaluation, there is no correct or wrong ...

  24. How to Write a Policy Analysis Paper Step-by-Step

    Organize your analysis into a coherent and persuasive paper. Structure your paper with an introduction, background information, analysis, recommendations, and conclusion. Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or technical terms unless necessary. Provide citations for your sources and evidence.

  25. How to Find Sources For a Research Paper

    Step 1: Define Your Topic and Research Questions. Before you venture into your quest for sources, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your research topic and the specific questions you aim to address. Define the scope of your paper and identify keywords and key concepts that will guide your search for relevant sources.

  26. How teachers started using ChatGPT to grade assignments

    A new tool called Writable, which uses ChatGPT to help grade student writing assignments, is being offered widely to teachers in grades 3-12. Why it matters: Teachers have quietly used ChatGPT to grade papers since it first came out — but now schools are sanctioning and encouraging its use. Driving the news: Writable, which is billed as a ...