Like any other academic essay, the Evaluation Essay requires a great deal of organization to be a success and earn the student a high grade. And an outline most always helps accomplish this goal.
But first a little background on an Evaluation Essay. And here is an free sample of an evaluation essay.
When faced with an Evaluation Essay writing assignment, the student-writer has to quite literally evaluate a subject – a work of literature, like a play, for example – based on a set of criteria, while also offering their judgment about this subject.
In writing this essay, the student-writer objectively analyzes all sides, aspects and elements of that subject in order to share an arguable, fair evaluation. Ultimately, they are to fully explore the subject and provide points and evidence to illustrate and support their judgment, their evaluation.
Evaluation Essays are written in a format similar to the five-paragraph essay, with an introduction paragraph that has a Thesis Statement (in this case, the student-writer’s evaluation of the subject, followed by the criteria they’re using to make their evaluation); it should have several body paragraphs for illustrating the Thesis (how the writer came up with their evaluation, as well as their criterion they used to come to this conclusion), and lastly a conclusion paragraph tying it all together, indicating the essay is concluding.
While evaluation involves subjectivity and, therefore, opinion, an Evaluation Essay is done properly, effectively and academically when it does not come off as an opinionated piece but rather a reasonable and objective evaluation. The key to producing this kind of essay that earns a high grade is simple: establishing (and then sharing with the reader) clear and fair criteria, judgments and evidence.
Evaluation Essay Writing
Evaluation Essay Topics
Evaluation Essay Sample
Outline for an Evaluation Essay
I. Introduction Paragraph
A. Topic Sentence – organizes the essay’s first paragraph and introduces the essay’s Thesis, acting as a signpost for the essay’s overall argument.
B. Thesis Statement – the paper’s premise that is to be argued or maintained in the essay, generally a sentence or two explaining the meaning of a certain subject, text, etc., which then leads to them listing the criteria (see C.) they are using to evaluate and defend it.
C. The list of the set of criteria the student will use to evaluate the subject.
The Evaluation Essay’s Body Paragraphs directly follow the Introduction Paragraph and defend the Thesis Statement.
For this particular essay, each of the three main points – the criteria in which something is being evaluated – that will defend the essay’s argument are illustrated in each body paragraph one at a time; each body paragraph addresses the various criteria that the student-writer will utilize to logically evidence their case for evaluating the subject.
Each body paragraph should begin with a Transitional Phrase (Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, Lastly, Next, Subsequently, Furthermore, In conclusion, Finally, etc.) indicating to the reader that a new point is being examined or put forth. Examples are appropriately demonstrated below.
Also, before each body paragraph expounds on the criteria, the student must remember to restate their Evaluation Essay’s Thesis – but not verbatim as it was stated originally in the Introduction Paragraph – in order to keep the reader focused and reminded of the essay’s original argument.
II. Body Paragraph No. 2
A. Transitional Phrase – First of all, Firstly, To start off with, To begin with
B. Restate Thesis
C. First bit of criteria (The first reason why the student’s Thesis is true)
III. Body Paragraph No. 3
A. Transitional Phrase – Secondly, Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover
B. Restate Thesis
C. Second bit of criteria (The second reason why the student’s Thesis is true)
IV. Body Paragraph No. 4
A. Transitional Phrase – Next, Then, Furthermore, Also, Moreover, Thirdly, Lastly
B. Restate Thesis
C. Third and last bit of criteria (The third and final reason why the student’s Thesis is true)
(More paragraphs can be added to the Body-Paragraph section if another point needs or warrants further illustrating.)
V. Conclusion Paragraph – which ties the essay together to better the reader’s understanding of its argument.
A. Transitional Phrase – Lastly, In conclusion, To sum it up, Ultimately, Finally
B. A Summary of the Essay, from the original Thesis Statement to its three main points of support (the criteria) that are illustrated in the body paragraphs.
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The Evaluation Essay
The purpose of an evaluation essay is to demonstrate the overall quality (or lack thereof) of a particular product, business, place, service or program. While any evaluation involves injecting some form of opinion, if an evaluation is done properly it should not come across as opinionated. Instead, the evaluation should seem reasoned and unbiased.
The key to making this happen, and therefore the key to a good investigative essay, is establishing clear and fair criteria, judgments and evidence.
Criteria (the plural of criterion) means establishing what the ideal for the product, place or service should be. It means demonstrating what one should expect as the ideal outcome, Having clear criteria keeps an evaluation from seeming like an opinion. For example, if you are evaluating a restaurant, you want to establish the criteria (quality of food, service, price, cleanliness, etc.) that any good restaurant will adhere to; this criteria can then be applied to the specific restaurant you are evaluating.
The judgment is the establishment of whether or not the criterion is met. In other words, the judgment is what actually is. Using the example from above, if the first criterion for evaluating a restaurant is the quality of the food, the judgment states whether or not the particular restaurant offers food that meets or exceeds this stated quality.
The evidence is the details offered to support the judgment. If your judgment is that a particular restaurant does not consistently offer quality food, you need to support this with a variety of evidence to show how the judgment was reached.
Generally, each body paragraph of an evaluation essay is going to focus on one specific criterion, which should be fully explained, followed by the judgment and a variety of evidence offered as support. Because of this, it is important that any evaluation contains several different criteria, judgments and evidence.
An overall thesis should also be offered. For an evaluation essay, this thesis is the overall evaluation of whatever is being evaluated. Once again, if the criteria, judgments and evidence are clear, the overall thesis should be, as well. For example, if the restaurant meets most of the criteria laid out in the essay, the overall evaluation should be mostly positive, whereas if the most of the criteria is not met, the evaluation will be mostly negative.
When selecting a topic for an evaluation essay, it is important to focus on a specific business, service, product or policy. In other words, evaluate a specific class (English 121 at Aims) rather than evaluating a range of similar classes (all Aims' writing classes). Writing about a topic that you know about is also helpful. That makes it easier to establish the appropriate criteria, judgments and evidence.