How To Write An Evaluation Essay

Essay paper writing

Academic writing

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What is an Evaluation Essay

Evaluation essays represent a special type of writing, and you should not mix it up with any other kind of paper. Its purpose is to evaluate the quality of something important or something the reader might not be informed about good enough. It can be written about some particular item, for instance, a type of food, a car brand, a cultural event, a specific kind of entertainment, a service, or a business. Practically, everything can be evaluated or even needs an evaluation.

As a rule, the writer should not present a biased opinion but provide solid reasoning and argumentation in the paper. The reader should be able to form his or her own point of view based on the evidence the writer gives. Therefore, an evaluation essay requires certain skills, a well-weighed approach to the topic, and knowledge of a particular type of writing called evaluative.

Evaluative writing definition is quite simple. This type of writing is used to present a judgment according to certain criteria that the writer applies. The whole paper is built and styled on specific criteria for an evaluation essay. For example, before the insurance company issues your health coverage, it should evaluate your claims and check your medical records. For this purpose, a set of reliable and workable evaluation criteria is used. In this way, the insurance company needs an evaluation paper on your health state, and it must be written in the respective evaluative style: formal, logical, and argumentative. However, you need to keep in mind that writing an evaluation essay on other subjects can be somewhat different, and the style could vary, but this aspect will be discussed a bit later.

How to Start an Evaluation Essay

Searching the Web, you may find a lot of information on the topic of how to write an evaluation paper. Some experienced authors claim that it is quite easy to start such an essay. However, if you are writing such type of work for the first time, it may be challenging for you. The beginning is always difficult, especially if you miss an important part of your preparations. That is why here is a brief description of what you should take care of before you start writing your text.

Choosing Your Topic

Sometimes you can get a specific topic suggested by your professor. However, in most cases, if you are a student, your professor would give you a choice of what to write about. Before you start working on your essay, you need to evaluate the topics and pick up the right one. The questions you should ask yourself are: am I able to provide a critical judgment? Can I come up with a strong set of criteria for this appraisal?

It goes without saying that the topic you choose should be, first of all, interesting for you, as in this case, the task will be easier to complete, and your reader will be pleased to see your involvement in the subject. However, you should remember that writing an evaluation essay is not similar to telling an entertaining story. Coming up with critical judgment and using the respective criteria make the whole difference.

Developing your thesis statement

It is exactly what you should do once you have your topic selected. It is strongly advised to define the main idea of your essay prior to writing the body. Therefore, the evaluation essay thesis should come first. Make sure that the entire text of your paper works for this very statement. It should contain the evaluation and some explanations of why this particular point is important.

For example, if you evaluate the food quality offered by a local restaurant that serves ethnic cuisine, your thesis might be that this particular place is a nice attempt to present a variety of the national dishes.

Considering Your Criteria

After your thesis statement is formulated, mind the criteria for evaluation because they are your useful tool. It is highly recommended not to start writing the main body without stating the requirements. Regarding the restaurant, we just mentioned you could choose such criteria: How tasty and healthy is the food? Is it reasonably priced? Does it really represent the ‘ethnic’ aspect of the cuisine offered? Is the restaurant conveniently located?

However, mind that there should not be too many different criteria because the more complex your evaluation object is, the more criteria are involved. In case you need to limit your appraisal to several points, or maybe even to one, you should state it separately in your introduction, or possibly in the title: “Food quality in the new ethnic restaurant.”

Collecting Your Evidence

This is the last thing you need to do before writing. Remember that you need your evidence only to support your judgment and not to force your reader to accept your viewpoint. It’s a good idea to set yourself a goal to evaluate the things just in order to consult your readers, offering them to develop their own judgment based on the quality evidence you’ve collected.

Okay, now it is time to go in more detail. Let us present the main types of evaluation essays.

Critical Evaluation Essay

Practically every evaluation essay is somewhat critical as it is supposed to contain a certain portion of criticism. Otherwise, it is not an evaluation, but rather an advertising essay, which is a genre you would hardly be assigned to write unless you write for product promotion or political propaganda. You should try not to be overly judgmental in your paper and find a bright side just to maintain some balance in order not to leave the impression that your writing is prejudiced.

Be ready that your reader may not agree with your critical evaluation. That is the reason why in this type of paper, it is essential to be accurate in your judgment and convincing in your evidence. Try to provide a wider scope of facts supporting your viewpoint. Even if your reader eventually disagrees with your reasoning, he or she should appreciate your justification, interest, and understanding of the topic.

Self-Evaluation Essay

The task of writing a self-evaluation essay is very challenging. It can be given to the student at the end of the semester if your professor wants you to reflect on and describe your own learning experience. But mind that you are not supposed to dive into lengthy digressions. Remember that your writing is still evaluative, which means that you are still expected to deliver a clear thesis and support it with convincing evidence.

In a self-evaluation essay, it is recommended to recall your learning objectives as they were set at the beginning of the semester and perhaps changed over that period, and then to check whether you were able to achieve your goals or not. Don’t claim you were utterly successful, even if you really were. However, an excessive concentration on your failures is also not welcomed. Pay more attention to your thesis and the evidence you provide in order to show your well-balanced critical approach.

Evaluation Essay on a Movie

A movie evaluation essay is a challenging and exciting task, even if you are not going to become a professional film critic. Cinematographic industry became a major factor influencing culture, trends, and social conscience. This essay will show how deep and critical your thinking is and how skillfully you work with the evaluation criteria you have selected.

Writing an evaluation essay about a movie can be a valid reason and a good motive to enrich this quite restricted and somehow dry evaluative style with fancier rhetorical twists. First thing first, keep in mind that it is necessary to avoid retelling the whole movie plot and coming up with a spoiler. Remember to stick to your thesis statement and your supporting arguments.

It can be a good idea to refrain from writing about the whole movie. Instead, narrow your writing, and concentrate, for example, on only one film’s character or the acting of a certain actor or actress. Alternatively, you could evaluate the screenplay with the appropriate criteria: the overall quality of the dialogues or whether the events develop too slow or too fast.

Restaurant Evaluation Essay

We have already touched upon the issue and the basic rules of writing restaurant evaluation essays. As you could see, this task is not very complicated. But there are some pitfalls you should be aware of. One of them is a common mistake that even good students can make. When they are given the task to write a restaurant evaluation essay, they write a restaurant review. Although these two types of writing have certain similarities, they are different. Here are some head-ups for you on this:

  • Your restaurant evaluation essay requires in-depth analysis, while a review often superficially informs on a particular topic.
  • Even though your evaluative writing represents your own viewpoint, everything you claim to be true should be supported by evidence. But the review is just a subjective opinion of the author and requires no proof statements.
  • The set of criteria you apply and the evidence you provide to support your thesis should be robust in your essay, while the review does not require it.

Evaluation Argument Essay

This task is a bit more complicated as it is similar to scientific paper writing. You still have to present your thesis, use your well-weighed criteria, and provide your evidence. However, you will also have to support your point with a good argument as well. As you apply a scientific approach and demonstrate the respective skills, it is necessary to follow the evaluation essay format and not turn the paper into a scientific article. In general, the structure of this essay is the same as for other papers of this kind. However, your evaluation essay introduction should also contain a challenging problem to which your thesis statement is a possible answer.

No matter whether you have a simple topic or a difficult one, you should always take it seriously and show a considered opinion on that matter. In the introduction paragraph, appeal to your reader straight from the first hook sentence, as usual. Briefly talk about the importance of the topic, and explain why there is a need to pay some more attention to it. State the problem and then present your thesis statement as a possible answer to the question. Further, you need to proceed with your criteria and all the evidence you have found suitable to use and then go ahead with the argument to support your thesis.

The Conclusion

Evaluation essays represent an exciting and quite challenging type of assignment. Even more, writing such essays is useful as it helps you to develop some crucial skills which you may need to perform a wide variety of tasks in the future. By the way, if you enjoy writing evaluation essays, you may be interested in starting your own blog. Once you master this kind of writing, you are definitely going to have many followers, and you will surely be glad to see that there are many people interested in your evaluations and opinions on different topics.

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