Evaluation Essay

As we prepare to write a formal film evaluation/critique, I would like you to practice some evaluation by evaluating something in your world.  There are many possibilities for this task: your car, your favorite video game (or least favorite), one of your friendships, a local restaurant, the treehouse you built for the kids, your job performance (though don't show the boss!), a television program, your new camper/tent, the possibilities are endless . . . . (I do ask that you don't evaluate a film yet--we'll do that as our formal assignment).

Pick a subject that you can write about for a few pages (let's say 4 or more pages, double spaced) and that you know well enough to evaluate.

Begin your write-up (the introductory paragraph) by identifying the subject (what your reader needs to know about the thing you are writing about) before the actual evaluation begins.  (one paragraph?)  Notice that some kinds of evaluation require more background info, others less. 

Evaluation Essay

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In the second part of your evaluation (the body paragraphs of your essay) begin to discuss the strengths/weaknesses of your subject.  This is a kind of argument/persuasive writing, so do try to give plenty of evidence to convince your reader that the position you are taking (strength or weakness) is correct/true.  Use at least two examples to prove each of your main points to your reader.  So if you say that the staff at your local restaurant is not doing a good job, give examples to prove/support your contention.  Or if the TV program you are evaluating uses lame/childish humor, give a couple of examples in support.  Discuss at least three strengths/weaknesses related to your topic.  (three or more paragraphs)

Consider the other sides view of your position/evaluation.  What objections might they raise to your position/views and what is your answer to their side?  (one or two paragraphs)

In the final paragraph of your essay make sure your overall opinion/judgment is clear to your audience (your thesis!), and offer recommendations based on the strengths and weaknesses you've discussed.  Should they go to the restaurant? Should they watch the show? Buy that kind of car? etc.


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