How to Write an Evaluation Essay Effortlessly
If you have ever read an interesting book, eaten delicious food in a restaurant, or seen an exciting movie, you are ready to write an evaluation essay. Most of the people enjoy reading reviews on the movie experience to decide whether to go to the cinema or not. If you have a good sense of humor, you can express it in your essay and increase your chances to inspire your reader. Your essay may be humorous, serious, sarcastic, etc. An evaluation paper should include summary information and your earnest point of view on the subject.
When you need to get independent information about a movie or restaurant, you will be seeking for reviews on the internet. Usually information like “I like this film” won’t help you make a decision, while a detailed evaluation will reveal all necessary information.
An evaluation essay as any academic writing requires critical thinking skills. To write a good evaluation essay you should be able to skip your emotions and proceed to an objective overview of the topic. This will allow you to find the truth about the real worth of the subject.
What Is an Evaluation Essay
An evaluation essay is a form of writing that expresses certain judgment about a particular topic according to a list of criteria. An evaluation essay is a type of literary criticism. Modern people should be able to evaluate anything and prove a point of view. Even science needs the evaluation technique: to compare two inventions, technologies – this is the engine of scientific development.
The review is a kind of feedback, but it has a significant difference. Feedback expresses, as a rule, a personal assessment and contains a subjective view without fundamental justification. The response is “I think this film is interesting/boring/too long …” etc. The review should not just be argued, but also built according to certain rules. All of these points make an evaluative essay, firstly, longer than average feedback, and secondly – more meaningful.
It is important to think about what happens when you find a movie review where the reviewer leaves only one sentence: “It is okay.” How informative will it be? How credible will it be for you? Even if your close friend will tell you the same about the film, you will not understand whether it is worth watching or not. The main characteristic of an evaluation essay that distinguishes it from a descriptive essay is that the writer seeks to add more details and evidence to support his or her point of view. When writing an evaluation essay there is no need to discuss every word or observation. You need to support your point of view with examples that will make the reader take your side.
Steps to Write an Evaluation Essay
If you want to write an evaluation essay and get high grades, you will surely need a plan! Wise planning of time and tasks will not only increase your productivity, but also increase chances to produce a high-quality paper!
1. Read the task.
If the tutor gave you an assignment, don’t skip the opportunity to carefully examine it. A quick glance will not work, as you can miss an important moment and your essay will have a lower mark.
2. Pick the topic.
If you were not assigned with a particular topic, you will need to choose one by yourself. How to choose a good topic for an analytical essay? After all, there is an unthinkable number of interesting problems that can be evaluated in many fields. You can review almost everything: devices, accessories, computer applications and programs, music, books, photos, films, computer games and websites, artworks, recent events, incidents, political statements, etc.
One thing you should consider: the topic should be interesting to you personally. In the ideal world, you should immediately write down the last ten movies, articles, or theatrical performances that appear first in your mind. But on practice it will be better to pick something that is close to you or something that you will eagerly review for a second time. In short, anything that interests you can be subjected to a rigorous evaluation, which should determine the value of the object.
Note: Don’t pick a topic that you don’t know well enough. For example, to evaluate a new iPhone you need to buy one and already have experience with previous versions. Also, you need to have knowledge about technical characteristics and new features so your evaluation will be complete.
3. Define a list of criteria.
First, you need to think about criteria that you will be describing in the first part of the body section. But before you start writing, think about the features of an ideal movie or restaurant. What important point should there be?
For example, what criteria can be considered when evaluating and analyzing a book?
- The plot. How logical is it? Are there any moments that don’t fit together? The narrative is dynamic, unhurried, protracted, driven, torn. How do the dynamics of the narrative correspond to the genre and tasks set in the book?
- Characters. How detailed and authentic are the characters? Are their psychological portraits natural enough? Could they act the same under the given circumstances? Are these heroes sympathetic to the reader? Do they empathize or disgust?
- Psychology of relationships. Do the characters have internal motivations for actions and are they sufficient? Do they behave in a variety of ways or rigidly follow standard reactions?
- The main idea of the text. Is it ethical, clever, original? What does the book teach the reader? What does the author try to tell the readers?
You can consider anything else: style, content, ideas, etc. Compare one book to another written by the same author. Also, consider the audience and how it reacts to the subject of the topic.
4. Find information.
This step involves an important action: read the book, watch the film, or go to the restaurant even if you have already been there a couple months before, etc. You need fresh impressions and to receive more detailed information about the object of evaluation.
If during the reading of the literature or watching the movie you have taken notes, then at the end of this process you will be ready to represent the approximate scope of the future review.
Along with the facts, you will need supporting information from a variety of sources. If you think that mentioning the movie or book title will be enough, it is not enough. Review not only articles and publications on the topic, but also previous reviews – this will allow you not to waste time describing what has already been described, and will also provide food for thought.
Use this list of questions to find out answers that will help you find more important information that you can include in your writing:
- Have you found a detailed description of the subject?
- How can you evaluate the topic: is it bad or good?
- What kind of audience will be interested in your writing? What does your audience already know about the topic?
- Have you chosen the criteria that you will be using in your evaluation essay? Are they important enough to support your point of view (negative or positive)?
- What do you expect before you get closer with the topic?
- What aspects of the topic are good and what aspects are bad?
- Is there anything that could be compared to your topic? Is the opposing example better or worse?
The answers to the listed questions will give you building blocks for a good evaluation essay. Keep in mind that the main feature of an evaluation essay is the concentration of your evaluation around your point of view.
5. Construct an outline.
A good analytical essay is relevant, systematic, easy to read, well-structured, and critical. Analytical reviews rarely use unified structure. Instead, the author chooses a unique logic for the narrative which depends on the topic of the review. There is no single format for an evaluation essay outline. In general, the paper should be divided into several logical sections, which will be preceded by a short introduction and summarized at the end with the main conclusions.
You need to decide in what way you will organize your criteria. Choose a list of criteria that you will be describing in your essay and insert it in your outline. For example, your outline will look like this:
1.1. Attention grabber (quote, anecdote, interesting fact, etc.)
1.2. Thesis statement (the core idea of the essay)
1.3. The list of criteria (parts of the topic that will be considered in the body paragraph)
2. Body paragraph 1
2.1. Topic sentence
2.2. Criterion 1
3. Body paragraph 2
3.1. Topic sentence
3.2. Criterion 2
4. Body paragraph 3
4.1. Topic sentence
4.2. Criterion 3
5.1. Closing phrase
5.2. Thesis restatement
You can change this sample outline as you wish according to your topic. You can use summary and evaluation separately, or mix it: add evaluation to the piece of summary. Just remember that if you will create an outline before starting to write, it will save your time. You will proceed from one point to another like a tourist with a road map.
How to write an introduction for an evaluation essay? The key role of the introduction is to grab the reader’s attention and briefly tell what your essay is about, so that after reading several sentences, there will be no desire to close the essay and never to return again. By the way, two or three sentences are quite enough for the introductory part.
The thesis statement should highlight your overall judgment about the topic. If you are evaluating a movie, list the criteria for why it’s worth or not worth watching. For example, it can look like this: “The original story, fantastically beautiful battles, and unique characters make Star Wars a must see.”
When the introduction briefly describes important information about the subject, the reader can more easily move to the evaluation section and is more likely to agree with your point.
As a rule, every paragraph begins with a topic sentence that serves as a small introduction. Make sure that you have presented enough basic information and details, so the reader will be ready to agree with your evaluation.
In this paragraph, you will need to fully and logically describe the criteria of evaluation. Each criterion will serve as a puzzle piece to your opinion. To write a good evaluation essay, you will need to include your opinion, criteria, and evidence in your body paragraphs.
Add evidence to every criteria. It is important to include evidence to support your point of view with specific examples. Choose only relevant and interesting examples and avoid too general examples that don’t add additional support to the premise.
What kind of evidence should you include to prove you point?
- If your point of view about the book (for example) is negative, you need to include more evidence that highlights the negative aspects and describe what moments made you feel negative.
- Considering the opposite point of view will show that you have considered an alternative point of view and you are not biased.
- Including personal experience with the book/movie/service is a good type of evaluation as it shows information from firsthand experience.
- Taking into account reviews from other researchers or reviewers that have another experience is very important. Many people can treat the same object from different perspectives, so in other reviews you can find more points that you haven’t mentioned by yourself.
- If you are writing about a certain product or service, you also need to consider reviews from customers. Also you can interview your friends, relatives, or even strangers on whether they like the particular service and why.
- Compare elements of a chosen subject with other similar works. For example with this tool you will be able to evaluate the influence of previous works of art on modern artists. Or compare two books from one single series of books from one author.
- Analyze typical expectations about the subject. If your topic goes beyond the typical genre, this method will help you organize your examples to highlight the difference of expectations and reality.
End your essay with how your actual experience has met your expectations: tell whether it surpassed, met, or failed to meet expectations. The right conclusion will establish and reinforce your arguments in the reader’s mind. Your conclusion should do two main things: restate the main evidence that supports your point and leave the reader with a feeling of sympathy to your point of view.
As soon as you will finish your first draft, leave some time to clear up your mind. Put your work aside for a couple of hours and reread it with a fresh mind. How can you evaluate the quality? Have you presented enough criteria and evidence to prove your point? Is your writing easy to read?
Ask a friend or relative that you can trust to evaluate your writing and give comments. Write down all moments that should be corrected or rewritten, and make a final checkup: every writing should be checked for grammar, style, punctuation, and format.
Tips to Write an Evaluation Essay
- Read source material to think over your essay before writing it. In this way, you will prevent yourself from re-writing the essay several times before submitting it.
- Read each paragraph of your essay before writing the next one. It will help you to organize your thoughts and you will be sure that you haven’t omitted anything important.
- Avoid discussing aspects about your topic that are interesting only to you. Of course, you want to write about a subject you really like, but remember that your readers might not have reasons to be interested in your topic.
- When evaluating your subject, don’t omit negative aspects. Even if you think that the event, place, and other aspects are important, try to provide readers with disadvantages as well as advantages.
- The whole essay must be written in one tone. It can be: cheerful, persuasive, or informative.
- In the book or article review it is necessary to highlight all the mistakes the author made in the work.
- It is desirable to have expressed all the feelings experienced by the reviewer when reading or viewing the work.
- Avoid too many descriptions of minor details, a lack of reasoning, and a simple retelling of the work.
- Read the reviews published in the media and on specialized sites. Note: they all differ from typical evaluation essays in style of presentation and tone. Try also to make your review fascinating and do not limit yourself with vocabulary. Be ready to show a sense of humor, use imaginative expressions, relevant jokes, etc.
- Express your thoughts in an accessible and concise manner, and avoid unnecessary repetition. Look for evidence of your words in objective reality.
Evaluation Essay Sample
No matter if it’s a performance evaluation sample or another type, you will find essential information to consider in your writing. The writing process will be easy if you will have an example before your eyes. From a good example you can pick the standards that the author has used in his or her writing. We don’t recommend to copy the text of the evaluation sample to your paper – it may be considered plagiarism. In extreme cases, you can rewrite finished essays. But, and if you will write everything by yourself, then your essay will certainly be unique, for which you will get a high grade. But do not forget to check the written essay for plagiarism.
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How to Evaluate a Movie for Essay
There are several points that you need to consider while evaluating a movie. As a basis you can use the instructions that you have already read above, but don’t forget to mention these points:
- The evaluation of a movie should be written right after watching it. The more time passes after watching, the less you will be able to recall and write. That’s why you need to take a pen and notebook and go to the cinema (or turn on your TV).
- We advise you to go to the cinema, as the experience will help to give you focus and a full range of emotions.
- All examples and information that you will be giving your audience should help them make a decision and agree with your point of view.
- Don’t write too large a summary. The evaluation part of your essay should be much more than half of your paper.
When composing reviews for films, the main emphasis should be on the plot of the picture with all its lines. It is necessary to note:
- The genre of movie.
- The overall mood.
- The name of the director, producer, script writer, and other authors if their names are well known or have a great importance.
- The names of the main characters.
- Indication of the title of the literary work and the author, if it is a film adaptation.
- A brief annotation or a brief outline of the plot.
- Additional information that may be useful for a better understanding of the film and story lines.
- The actors’ performances.
- The idea of the picture.
- The level of special effects and graphics.
And also, don’t forget about the sound, because music is very important in the film. Just share your thoughts about the idea of the director and the conclusion from the picture. Don’t be afraid to write about the conclusions you took from the picture; perhaps it will be interesting. Share your thoughts on the essence of the picture as a whole, and all the elements of its story separately. How do you think the film is complete in general? And don’t forget to share emotions, experiences, and impressions.
The outline for a movie evaluation essay can look like this:
Imagine that you want to share the impression from the movie with friends who are too busy to watch it. Your task is to switch their attention and share your passion, ideally so that they want to see the movie themselves.
2. A short story.
Briefly outline the plot of the film, choosing one of two styles. On the one hand, you can limit yourself to the plot, because you have already seen the film to the end and are familiar with the story. On the other hand, you can write an intriguing announcement based on the plot of the screen events. Choose the first or second path, depending on the genre of the film and your author’s style. But in any case, do not retell the story and try to avoid spoilers.
3. Analysis of the film.
Here you need to describe the work of the actors, how they coped with the task, and what, in fact, the task before them was. Analyze the plot, identify the presence of weak and strong points, how much it is fully disclosed, and its interest and originality. Evaluate the director’s work: the production and submission of material, and whether he or she managed to convey the main idea. If possible, describe the operator’s work, scenery, special effects, etc.
4. Your own impression of the film.
Your personal opinion about the film must match the above text. Be as objective and adequate as possible.
In the conclusion, you need to draw conclusions and summarize the assessment of the film. Finally, you can give advice to readers on whether it is worth watching the movie. If not, you need to briefly explain why. Then, explain who will be particularly interested in it.
Questions that can help you with creating your evaluation essay about the movie:
- Has the film met your expectations? For this type of essay it will be easy to write about this. Describe what you expected before you had seen the movie and whether it has fulfilled your expectations or not. Place it in your introduction.
- Can this movie be compared to another from the same genre or director? You can pick a movie that you think is the ideal movie of a particular genre, or compare movies that were filmed by one director. That doesn’t mean that you need to make a 1000-word comparison; you can use this comparison to highlight negative or positive aspects of the film.
- Can this film be categorized in a typical genre? You can describe all typical expectations from the audience about the movie and use it to refute or meet those expectations.
Each of us from time to time feels the desire to express a point of view or simply discuss this or that event. The more important and interesting it is, the more it causes emotions and the desire to voice your thoughts as soon as possible.
It is impossible to become an experienced writer by reading tips on how to become a writer. It is impossible to become an artist by viewing a drawing course on TV. It is impossible to write a good analytical essay without practice. And while you are just a young student, and journals do not bombard you with “orders” for analytical reviews, you can write them by yourself.