DDD Evaluative Essay


What is an Evaluative Essay?

Evaluation essays are all about thinking and evaluating the topic, forming a point of view about it, presenting your point to the readers and maybe to make them agree with your view point.


Why Write an evaluation paper?

It's the duty of your teachers and profs to get you to think, and there's nothing like explanatory writing to help you organize and examine your own beliefs. You may know how you feel about a certain subject, but you may not understand why until you chronicle your reasoning on paper. The act of marshaling your defenses for or against a particular topic teaches you more about the subject, and may even sway your opinion in one direction or another.


An evaluation essay or report (also called an evaluative paper) is a type of argument that includes evidence to justify a writer’s opinions about a subject. Such an essay seems to be subjective in nature, but only superficially. In fact it is said to combine the characteristics of an argumentative essay, a comparative essay and an analysis.


Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Find something to evaluate (your short story MUST BE from our reading list). Decide on a short story/ topic and then further your brainstorming with an expanded list of details about the topic.
  • Draft a thesis statement. The thesis details the overall purpose of the evaluation essay and sets up the angle for your judgment. In evaluation essays, the thesis should argue the value or lack of value of your particular topic based on the criteria you will later establish.
  • Define your subject. Provide background information about your topic or subject before you begin evaluating. For example, when evaluating a book, provide a brief summary of the plot and its characters to set up the context of the evaluation for the reader.
  • Choose the appropriate criteria. In order to evaluate a topic or attempt to pass judgment, writers need to detail criteria in which the topic will be evaluated. For example, if you are evaluating a movie, the criteria might be national cinematography affiliation, plot, action, realistic characters or visual effects.
  • Critique the criteria. When drafting evaluation essays, the body of your essay should address the effectiveness or ineffective qualities of each set of criteria. Provide examples to support  your judgment of each criteria and argue in accordance with your thesis.


Key features

1. Describe the subject of the essay in detail.

2. A judgement should be made. The writer needs to make some assertion, a definitive judgement about the topic.

3. A convincing argument needs to be presented. After the writer states their judgement, a clear, concise argument needs to be presented. For example, evidence should include description, examples, facts, statistics, and testimony of others. A writer can make comparisons when writing evaluations to other writers this may help to clarify their idea/argument.

4. They should have an impartial, reasonable tone.

5. A clear pattern of organization should be evident.


Writing Assignment:

This paper is a type of argument paper, which would include evidence to justify a writer's opinion about a subject. The characteristics of an evaluative essay has the characteristics of an argumentative essay, a comparative essay and an analysis. You have read several short stories that are similar and yet different in many ways. You are to pick one of these stories and evaluate the story. You may look at the characters, the plot, the story, the message, setting, conflict, dialogue, and theme. It is up to you to decide exactly what you want to evaluate and which story you want to write about. You may choose one element or a combination of elements.


Use specific examples from the story to support your evaluations. Remember to question everything, and look at outside sources and opinions to help you in your decision making process. But make sure your sources are reliable. Check out the class website for help, under helpful handouts for a quick reference.  (This means you are to pick a story from this module.)


Format Details

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) format. Please see class main page for handouts with details.
  • heading
  • 4.5 to 5 pages double spaced and a Works Cited page
  • 3  credible sources not including the text itself so four total (1 print source required).
  • 12 pt font Times New Roman
  • Standard MLA heading.
  • normal page margins (no newspaper columns accepted)
  • A paper with no in-text citations and/or a Works Cited page evaluation will start out at a 60.  
  • The paper must have consistent in-text citations, for every source used within the paper it must be represented on the Work Cited page. 


Suggested sources:

  • reviews
  • essays
  • articles
  • television sources
  • literary critiques
  • biographical materials
  • historical materials

Be inventive - find other sources too.

Find your sources before you start to write your essay.






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