Have you ever filled out a survey rating something from one to five? Often these surveys are used to find out how well something is liked or disliked. When it comes to rating something the person must think about his/her feelings about something. This is true for an evaluation essay. The writer must think about the topic and take a point of view about it. Sometimes the writer must research the topic before making any type of argument. The argument is usually stated in the thesis statement.
The first steps in writing an evaluation essay is to obtain supporting evidence to support your viewpoint. It is similar to an argumentative essay in that the writer's point of view is given backed with evidence. An evaluation essay is also similar to an analysis. The steps to analyze a topic are the same for an evaluation essay. A clear point of view must be taken with supporting evidence that will show the reasons for the point of view.
If the evaluation essay is written to evaluate an article or book, then the material must be read first. How can you evaluate something without at least reading it or examining it? It is important to be able to give the audience enough information to support the thesis. The best way to do this is to read the material or do some research on the topic. It is important to be able to give a clear judgment of the topic.
In writing an evaluation it is essential to evaluate both sides of the issue. Why does the other person feel the way he/she does. For instance, take the subject of same sex marriage. If taking the viewpoint that marriage is between men and women only, it would also be important to state the reasons others are in favor of same sex marriage. It is important for the judgment to be balanced as it states by both sides of the issue. If the argument seems biased the audience will often be biased against the writer. It is important to clarify all viewpoints by giving evidence.
The first step in writing an evaluation essay is creating the thesis. The thesis should be clearly stated. Evidence is needed to support the thesis. Select the main criteria of an issue and support it with statistics, facts, anecdotes, or quotes. Evidence should present facts and the interpretation of these facts so they clearly support the thesis.
A great way to help clarify the issues of an evaluation essay is to use an outline. Start with an interesting fact, quote, or anecdote. List the supporting evidence to be used in the main points. Make a conclusion that wraps the information up yet leaving a thought for the audience to take with them.
One way of presenting an argument that will touch the heart of the audience is to use anecdotes showing why the writer has taken the point of view he/she has. Appeal to their emotions as to why your point of view is clearly right.
Ask yourself if the evidence is relevant? Is it sufficient? Is the evidence accurate? Have you stated both sides of the issue? Why is this topic important and why have you chosen your point of view?
An evaluation essay is basically an analysis of a topic, book, or article. It summarizes the material, and then it gives evidence for the argument. Transition sentences are important between the evidence provided. Each paragraph should have a main sentence that ties with the thesis.
The next step is to proofread the essay. Look for grammar or spelling mistakes. Read the essay out loud to check the flow of the sentences. Instructors often use evaluation essays to see how well the students understand a specific topic.
In order to evaluate something, you need to compare it with the best example of that particular thing. So, to help you develop your topic into an essay, there are two important questions to ask when you are choosing your topic to evaluate:
- First question: What category of a thing is it?
- Second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category?
What category is it?For the best evaluation essay, you want to compare your topic with things that are very similar, so try to narrow the category as much as possible. To get there, you want to keep on asking the question, "What kind is it?" What category does McDonald's fit into?
Answer to first question: Restaurant. (What kind of restaurant?) Fast food restaurant. (Better, but what kind of fast food?) Hamburger-serving fast food restaurant. (This is what you want!)
So if you were evaluating McDonald's, you would want to compare it to other fast food restaurants that mostly serve hamburgers.
Now the second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category? What makes that example better than others? Thinking about what you consider to be the very best example of something in the category of what you are reviewing can help you decide what criteria you will use, and also what judgement you can make. For example, here is a list of criteria my students have come up with for an ideal burger fast food restaurant:
- looks clean
- serves food fast
- makes it easy to order
- has great fries
- has options on the menu
- offers large drinks with free refills
- serves juicy burgers with lots of grease
- doesn't cost a lot of money
No two people will come up with exactly the same list, but most restaurant reviews look at the following criteria:
Answer to second question: A great fast food burger joint offers great service, atmosphere, and food at a fair cost.
Now you know what your paper is going to be about how close McDonald's comes to this ideal.