Useful Phrases for use in Evaluative Writing
24 X takes his argument further in suggesting that ... Burrows takes his argument further in suggesting thateven when death is not mentioned directly the theme is still there in the form of imagery. 25 X argues not only that ... but also ... Panova argues not only that Holden is a loafer but also that he is a 26 One example of this is ... One example of this is when Holden envisaged himself becoming a ‘Catcher in the Rye ’. 27 In this text X is describing... In this text Panova is describing the way in which Holden’s behaviour upsets the reader. 28 X offers X offers 29 His basic argument can be summarised as ... Burrows basic argument can be summarised as even when not obvious, the theme of death is present in the novel in the form of imagery. 30 In essence what he is saying is ... In essence what he is saying is thateven when not obvious, the theme of death is present in the novel in the form of imagery. 31 X says that ... X says that ... 32 He also gives many examples of ... He also gives many examples of ways in which Holden shows how he respects women. 33 X begins by discussing ... X begins by discussing ... 34 Having discussed ... he eventually focuses on... Having discussed Holden’s faults Panova eventually focuses on the ways in which the novel stirs our emotions. 35 X levels various criticisms against ... Panova levels various criticisms against Holden’s behaviour. 36 For X ... For Panova, Holden appears to be an unlikeable character. 37 He mentions how ... He mentions how Holden thinks about Allie when he is depressed. 38 One of the purposes of X’s essay/article is to... One of the purposes of Panova’s essay/article is to explain why people like the novel so much. 39 X exemplifies his claim with/by ... Bloggs exemplifies her claim with the example of Holden telling Mrs Marrow that her son was popular. 40 X contends that X contends that 41 X attacks ... X attacks Aldride for claiming that Holden does not change during the course of the novel. 42 X objects to ... X objects to Aldridge’s claim that Holden doesn’t change. 43 X’s principle concern is with ... Burrows’ principle concern is with Holden’s dealings with death. 44 X presents his views about ... Burrows presents his views about the theme of death in the novel. 45 A lot of the points he makes are about ... A lot of the points he makes are about indirect references to death. 46 X tries to show how ... 47 X gives details of ... 48 X recounts ... 49 X presents 50 X provides 51 According to X ... 52 He achieves/doesn’t achieve Panova achieves her purpose of showing how readers come to like Holden by focussing on incidences from the novel which draw on our sympathy. 53 Looking briefly at two interrelated examples might allow us to Looking briefly at two interrelated examples might allow us to see how Holden is incapable of forming long term relationships. 54 In delimiting the ways in which... X ... In delimiting the ways in which Holden can be considered unlikable, Panova acknowledges that Holden is not perfect. 55 X lists a number of ... Panova lists a number of things that Holden does that the reader can’t approve of. 56 In reading X’s article, one may well be convinced that In reading Panova’s article, one may well be convinced that Panova doesn’t like Holden. 57 He offers no evidence to support his point Panova offers no evidence to support her point that Holden is a loafer. 58 It would seem difficult to substantiate It would seem difficult to substantiate Panova’s claim that Holden is a loafer. 59 He simply tells us that She simply tells us that Holden is a loafer without offering any evidence. 60 Arguably Arguably, Holden is the complete opposite of a loafer. 61 X would seem to indicate that ... Panova would seem to indicate that she does not approve of the use of slang. 62 X is under the impression that... Panova is under the impression that readers in general do not approve of the use of slang. 63 What X fails to consider is the fact that... What Panova fails to consider is the fact that a large number of readers of the novel use slang themselves. 64 He seems reluctant to take into consideration Panova seems reluctant to take into consideration the fact that a large number of readers of the novel are in fact teenagers, just like Holden. 65 In general I agree with X...although I think that In general I agree with Panova although I think that despite his faults, Holden is still a likeable character. 66 X is right. Panova is right when she says that Holden is the son of a rich father. 67 I agree with his claim I agree with his claim. 68 I agree with the author that I agree with the author that Holden is a loafer. 69 X’s basic assumption that .... is... X’s basic assumption that readers disapprove of the use of slang is incorrect if we remember that a large number of readers use slang themselves. 70 X makes a valid point when he says ... The author makes a valid point when he says that Holden was deeply affected by the death of his brother Allie. 71 It is generally assumed that ... It is generally assumed that if a boy’s father is rich then the boy doesn’t have to worry about money. 72 Thus, X’s argument is quite valid. Thus, X’s argument is quite valid. 73 X draws a parallel between ... Burrows draws a parallel between the death of Allie and Phoebe reaching for the gold ring on the Carousel. 74 His argument about ... Her argument about Holden being an unlikeable character is invalid. 75 ... leads him to believe that ... Panova’s assumption that readers don’t approve of slang leads her to believe that the reader also doesn’t approve of Holden. 76 This is so for him because... The reader disapproves of Holden. This is so for her because the reader disapproves of Holden’s behaviour. 77 X bases his argument on ... Burrows bases his argument on the belief that falling is a symbol of death. 78 It follows that ... It follows that if falling is death then flying must be life. 79 X wants to leap from ... X wants to leap from ... 80 Underlying X’s argument appears to be a belief that ... Underlying X’s argument appears to be a belief that falling is a symbol of death. 81 Whilst it would seem... this is only ... Whilst it would seem that Holden is an irresponsible student, this is only because we judge him by his exam results. If we look at his involvement in other activities ... 82 Ultimately it is the justifiability of ...that needs to be questioned . Ultimately it is the justifiability of Burrow’s belief that falling is a symbol of death that needs to be questioned. 83 His argument rests on the premise that ... His argument rests on the premise that falling represents death. 84 In order to assess X’s argument we need to... In order to assess Burrows’ argument we need to establish whether Salinger intended the sensation of falling to be taken as a symbol of death. 85 Since ... it seems reasonable for X to conclude that ... Since Holden’s father was a rich lawyer it seems reasonable for Panova to conclude that Holden never had to worry about money. 86 It is not so clear that ... It is not so clear that just because a boy’s father is rich that boy is rich too. Some people do not share their riches with others. 87 X seems to attach too much significance to ... Burrows seems to attach too much significance to the theme of death in the novel. 88 There are some points where he ... There are some points where Burrowssuggests that Holden was subconsciously thinking about death. 89 While it is true that ... this is generally ... While it is true that Holden gets on very well with females this is generally only when they expect nothing from him. 90 In fact, in many cases ... In fact, in many cases when something is expected from him the encounter ends up in disaster. 91 X’s criticism of ... seems unjustified Panova’s criticism of Holden’s behaviour seems unjustified 92 While he is certainly correct in observing that ... While Bloggs is certainly correct in observing that Holden has been dismissed from every school he has attended, he is not correct in assuming that Holden is unintelligent. 93 There is nothing inherently wrong in ... There is nothing inherently wrong in saying thatHolden came from a fairly typical family. 94 In some cases ... In some cases Holden is seen to be extremely polite. 95 Something may be ... but still not exactly ... Someone may be rich but still not exactly free from worries about money. 96 X has a tendency to exaggerate. Panova has a tendency to exaggerate Holden’s faults. (His lies are only ‘white lies’) 97 X makes many sound points Panova makes many sound points when she claims that Holden is an unlikeable character. 98 His discussion of ... Burrows’ discussion of the topic of death is thought provoking. 99 If we look at some of ... we can see that ... If we look at some of the lies that Holden actually told, we can see that he told them only in order to avoid hurting other people. 100 He also seems to ... He also seems to assume that if your father is rich, you are also rich. 101 He seems to have forgotten that ... Panova seems to have forgotten that many readers of the novel are teenagers themselves. 102 Does X expect us to ... Does X expect us to believe that she has never told a lie? 103 As for his ... argument ... As for her argument that Holden is a loafer I’m afraid I cannot agree. 104 This is a fact that X seems all too ignorant of Practically everyone uses slang of one form or another . This is a fact that Panova seems all too ignorant of. 105 X’s argument focussed very much on ... Panova’s argument focussed very much on Holden’s behaviour in the environment of school. 106 He does not support this statement ... Panova says that Holden is a loafer but she does not support this statement. 107 X takes this to be the logical conclusion of his foregoing discussion Holden is an unlikeable character . Panova takes this to be the logical conclusion of her foregoing discussion. 108 There is clearly a difference between ... and ... There is clearly a difference between being intelligent and doing well at school. 109 I would agree with X that ... I would agree with Panova that Holden isn’t doing very much with his life. 110 I would not go so far as to say that ... I would not go so far as to say that Holden is a loafer. 111 His argument suffers from serious shortcomings with regard to ... His argument suffers from serious shortcomings with regard to the lack of a variey of examples to support his claim. 112 the evidence he uses to back up his claim... The evidence she uses to back up her claim is inadequate/non-representative etc. 113 He makes a sweeping generalisation She makes a sweeping generalisation when she says that readers can’t approve of Holden’s slang. 114 based on evidence that may not be typical of... Panova’s argument is based on evidence that may not be typical of American teenager’s in the 1950s. 115 ... are exceptions rather than the rule ... The few lies that Holden told are exceptions rather than the rule. 116 A further problem is that ... A further problem is that Panova assumes all readers have the same attitude to faults as she does. 117 On what grounds does he believe that ...? On what grounds does she believe that Holden is a loafter? 118 Some kind of (proof/analysis/evidence) is needed. Some kind of (proof/analysis/evidence) is needed. 119 The evidence that is given may be incorrect. The evidence that is given may be incorrect. 120 There is sometimes no evidence given for a claim, as when he states that ... There is sometimes no evidence given for a claim, as when she states that Holden is a loafer. 121 There is not a shred of evidence given to support this claim. There is not a shred of evidence given to support this claim. 1222 The problem with X’s article is that... The problem with Panova’s article is that it does not offer sufficient evidence to support its claims. 123 I suggest that there are other and valid reasons for ... I suggest that there are other and valid reasons for Holden having a nervous breakdown. 124 Could it be that ... ? Could it be that Panova has never told a lie herself or used slang ? 125 Because of the problems with the evidence he offers, we cannot say ... Because of the problems with the evidence she offers, we cannot say whether the conclusion she reaches is in fact true. 126 X attempts to show how ... Panova attempts to show how the novel reaches the reader’s heart in secret and subtle ways. 127 The argument presented is reliant on The argument presented is reliant on the reader agreeing that Holden is a basically unlikeable character. 128 Faulty argumentation is particularly evident in Faulty argumentation is particularly evident in Panova’s claim that 129 X assumes that X assumes that 130 X fails to consider that ... X fails to consider that other readers might not find Holden’s behaviour to be objectionable. 131 X is seemingly unaware of the significance of ... Panova is seemingly unaware of the significance of the readers ability to identify with the character of Holden. 132 ...a superficial consideration of ... Panova presents a superficial consideration of Holden’s character without considering the motivation for his actions. 133 X’s argument contradicts itself ... X’s argument contradicts itself ... 134 This is an idea that most people would agree with. This is an idea that most people would agree with. 135 He rightly draws attention to ... She rightly draws attention to Holden’s past educational record. 136 Here it is difficult to check the impression that X ... Here it is difficult to check the impression that Panova is a middle class, easily offended, sensitive creature. 137 ...is something that we need to be constantly aware of The fact that Holden’s brother, Allie, died only two years earlier, is something that we need to be constantly aware of, if we are to understand Holden behaviour. 138 X’s examples of ... are ... Panova’s examples of Holden’sbehaviour are non-representative. She doesn’t mention any of his kind actions. 139 Full marks for X because ... Full marks for Panova because she succeeds in showing how the novel affects the reader. 140 Looking at the basis of X’s argument, there are some problems. Looking at the basis of Panova’s argument, there are some problems. 141 He does not really say ... She does not really say in what way Holden can be considered a loafer. 142 None of these points seem clear. None of these points seem clear. 143 X does not support his argument clearly enough. Panova does not support her argument clearly enough. 144 There are many examples of ... such as... There are many examples of falling in the novel such as when Holden wanted to become a Catcher in the Rye and stop the children from falling over the cliff. 145 To clarify his points X chooses To clarify his points X chooses the example of Holden being afraid that he will disappear while crossing the street. 146 Is this an appropriate way to show that ...? Is this an appropriate way to show that Holden is afraid of death? Just because he doesn’t want to commit suicide doesn’t mean that he is afraid of death. 147 He does not really address the idea that ... Burrows does not really address the idea that Holden may not be afraid of death because he actually considered committing suicide. 148 The question of ... is never really addressed. The question of why Holden considered committing suicide is never really addressed. 149 The example is contrived rather than a clear piece of proof. The example is contrived rather than a clear piece of proof. 150 X argues quite well that ... Burrows argues quite well that Holden is afraid of death. 151 It is still not clear how ... It is still not clear how Holden’s mental illness can be linked to his fear of death. 152 Surely ... ? Surely Panova herself has told lies and used slang ? 153 In some ways X ... but ... In some ways Holden is afraid of death but inother ways he can be said to be courageous in confronting it. 154 While X never seems terribly convincing when ... he does make some valid observations about … While Panova never seems terribly convincing when she talks about Holden’s faults she does make some valid observations about the subtle ways in which the novel affects the reader. 155 I think ... is what X means when he says ... I think not having a purpose in life is what Panova means when she says that Holden is a loafer. 156 X falls short of fully articulating the idea that ... Panova falls short of fully articulating the idea that Holden is an unlikeable character. 157 X seems to forget that ... Panova seems to forget that a lot of the readers of the novel, are teenagers themselves. 158 X’s argument appears to be quite convincing because... Panova’s argument appears to be quite convincing because she offers a lot of support for it. 159 Given that ... then ... Given that Bloggs is correct when she says that Holden is irresponsible then it is easy to understand why he left the foils on the train. 160 Whereas X believes that ... I believe... Whereas Panova believes that Holden is an unlikable character I believe that he is charming and attractive. 161 While X believes that ... I take the opposite vew in maintaining that ... While Panova believes that Holden is unlikeable I take the opposite view in maintaining that he is charming and attractive. 162 Although I agree with X with regard to ... I would not go so far as to agree with X’s contention that ... Although I agree with Panova with regard to her claim that Holden does things that cannot be approved of I would not go so far as to agree with her contention that Holden is unlikeable. 163 Therefore, this can be seen to show ... Holden realises that he will miss people like Stradlater, Ackley and Maurice. Therefore, this can be seen to show that Holden has changed and learned something about life. 164 Although the evidence suggests ... when one looks at it more closely it is clear that ... Although the evidence suggests that Holden is an unlikeable character when one looks at it more closely it is clear that Holden has good reasons for what he does and if one understands those then one will like him. 165 The importance of ... to ... should not be overlooked. The importance of Allie’s death to Holden’s overall development should not be overlooked. 166 In claiming that ... X has failed to take into account (the fact that) ... In claiming that readers cannot approve of Holden’s slang Panova has failed to take into account the fact that a lot of readers use slang themselves. 167 If one looks at the (incidences/examples) that X has chosen to focus on, one can see that ... If one looks at the examples that Panova has chosen to focus on, one can see that they are all connected with school. 168 Because of the examples that X has chosen to use ... Because of the examples that Panova has chosen to use it would appear that Holden is irresponsible. However if one looks at examples beyond the school he can be seen to be quite a responsible person.
Like the students i teach, i am always learning., evaluation language.
Help, tips and assistance for students. This blog is part of a range specifically for students and can be found, along with others, under Student GCSE Blogs .
AQA Paper 1 – Question 4 requires you to evaluate an extract. This means at the top band/level your exam board wants you to:
Shows perceptive and detailed evaluation:
- Evaluates critically and in detail the effect(s) on the reader
- Shows perceptive understanding of writer’s methods
- Selects a judicious range of textual detail
- Develops a convincing and critical response to the focus of the statement
This means you will need to use the following language:
Evaluative words and phrases
e.g. “The poet’s skilful use of metaphor…”
e.g. “The author clearly illustrates that…”
- Makes it clear.
- Makes it apparent.
- Allows the reader/audience to understand…
e.g. “The playwright’s effective use of dialogue successfully demonstrates how…
Further evaluative language:
Eg “The author challenges ….”
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Essays: task words
Explore what different task words mean and how they apply to your assignments, you'll need to understand what your assignments are asking you to do throughout your studies. your assessments use 'task words' that explain what you need to do in your work. .
Task words are the words or phrases in a brief that tell you what to do. Common examples of task words are 'discuss', 'evaluate', 'compare and contrast', and 'critically analyse'. These words are used in assessment marking criteria and will showcase how well you've answered the question.
None of these words have a fixed meaning. Your lecturers may have specific definitions for your subject or task so you should make sure you have a good idea of what these terms mean in your field. You can check this by speaking to your lecturer, checking your course handbook and reading your marking criteria carefully.
Task words and descriptions
- Account for : Similar to ‘explain’ but with a heavier focus on reasons why something is or is not the way it is.
- Analyse : This term has the widest range of meanings according to the subject. Make a justified selection of some of the essential features of an artefact, idea or issue. Examine how these relate to each other and to other ideas, in order to help better understand the topic. See ideas and problems in different ways, and provide evidence for those ways of seeing them.
- Assess : This has very different meanings in different disciplines. Measure or evaluate one or more aspect of something (for example, the effectiveness, significance or 'truth' of something). Show in detail the outcomes of these evaluations.
- Compare : Show how two or more things are similar.
- Compare and contrast : Show similarities and differences between two or more things.
- Contrast : Show how two or more things are different.
- Critically analyse : As with analysis, but questioning and testing the strength of your and others’ analyses from different perspectives. This often means using the process of analysis to make the whole essay an objective, reasoned argument for your overall case or position.
- Critically assess : As with “assess”, but emphasising your judgments made about arguments by others, and about what you are assessing from different perspectives. This often means making the whole essay a reasoned argument for your overall case, based on your judgments.
- Critically evaluate : As with 'evaluate', but showing how judgments vary from different perspectives and how some judgments are stronger than others. This often means creating an objective, reasoned argument for your overall case, based on the evaluation from different perspectives.
- Define : Present a precise meaning.
- Describe : Say what something is like. Give its relevant qualities. Depending on the nature of the task, descriptions may need to be brief or the may need to be very detailed.
- Discuss : Provide details about and evidence for or against two or more different views or ideas, often with reference to a statement in the title. Discussion often includes explaining which views or ideas seem stronger.
- Examine : Look closely at something. Think and write about the detail, and question it where appropriate.
- Explain : Give enough description or information to make something clear or easy to understand.
- Explore : Consider an idea or topic broadly, searching out related and/or particularly relevant, interesting or debatable points.
- Evaluate : Similar to “assess”, this often has more emphasis on an overall judgement of something, explaining the extent to which it is, for example, effective, useful, or true. Evaluation is therefore sometimes more subjective and contestable than some kinds of pure assessment.
- Identify : Show that you have recognised one or more key or significant piece of evidence, thing, idea, problem, fact, theory, or example.
- Illustrate : Give selected examples of something to help describe or explain it, or use diagrams or other visual aids to help describe or explain something.
- Justify : Explain the reasons, usually “good” reasons, for something being done or believed, considering different possible views and ideas.
- Outline : Provide the main points or ideas, normally without going into detail.
- Summarise : This is similar to 'outline'. State, or re-state, the most important parts of something so that it is represented 'in miniature'. It should be concise and precise.
- State : Express briefly and clearly.
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7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)
In this ultimate guide, I will explain to you exactly how to write an evaluation essay.
1. What is an Evaluation Essay?
An evaluation essay should provide a critical analysis of something.
You’re literally ‘evaluating’ the thing you’re looking up.
Here’s a couple of quick definitions of what we mean by ‘evaluate’:
- Merriam-Webster defines evaluation as: “to determine the significance, worth, or condition of usually by careful appraisal and study”
- Collins Dictionary says: “If you evaluate something or someone, you consider them in order to make a judgment about them, for example about how good or bad they are.”
Here’s some synonyms for ‘evaluate’:
So, we could say that an evaluation essay should carefully examine the ‘thing’ and provide an overall judgement of it.
Here’s some common things you may be asked to write an evaluation essay on:
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Really, you can evaluate just about anything!
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2. How to write an Evaluation Essay
There are two secrets to writing a strong evaluation essay. The first is to aim for objective analysis before forming an opinion. The second is to use an evaluation criteria.
Aim to Appear Objective before giving an Evaluation Argument
Your evaluation will eventually need an argument.
The evaluation argument will show your reader what you have decided is the final value of the ‘thing’ you’re evaluating.
But in order to convince your reader that your evaluative argument is sound, you need to do some leg work.
The aim will be to show that you have provided a balanced and fair assessment before coming to your conclusion.
In order to appear balanced you should:
- Discuss both the pros and cons of the thing
- Discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of the thing
- Look at the thing from multiple different perspectives
- Be both positive and critical. Don’t make it look like you’re biased towards one perspective.
In other words, give every perspective a fair hearing.
You don’t want to sound like a propagandist. You want to be seen as a fair and balanced adjudicator.
Use an Evaluation Criteria
One way to appear balanced is to use an evaluation criteria.
An evaluation criteria helps to show that you have assessed the ‘thing’ based on an objective measure.
Here’s some examples of evaluation criteria:
- Strength under pressure
- Longevity (ability to survive for a long time)
- Ease of use
- Ability to get the job done
- Ability to predict my needs
- Calmness under pressure
A Bed and Breakfast
- Breakfast options
- Taste of food
- Comfort of bed
- Local attractions
- Service from owner
We can use evaluation criteria to frame out ability to conduct the analysis fairly.
This is especially true for if you have to evaluate multiple different ‘things’. For example, if you’re evaluating three novels, you want to be able to show that you applied the same ‘test’ on all three books!
This will show that you gave each ‘thing’ a fair chance and looked at the same elements for each.
3. How to come up with an Evaluation Argument
After you have:
- Looked at both good and bad elements of the ‘thing’, and
- Used an evaluation criteria
You’ll then need to develop an evaluative argument. This argument shows your own overall perspective on the ‘thing’.
Remember, you will need to show your final evaluative argument is backed by objective analysis. You need to do it in order!
Analyze first. Evaluate second.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you’re evaluating the quality of a meal.
You might say:
- A strength of the meal was its presentation. It was well presented and looked enticing to eat.
- A weakness of the meal was that it was overcooked. This decreased its flavor.
- The meal was given a low rating on ‘cost’ because it was more expensive than the other comparative meals on the menu.
- The meal was given a high rating on ‘creativity’. It was a meal that involved a thoughtful and inventive mix of ingredients.
Now that you’ve looked at some pros and cons and measured the meal based on a few criteria points (like cost and creativity), you’ll be able to come up with a final argument:
- Overall, the meal was good enough for a middle-tier restaurant but would not be considered a high-class meal. There is a lot of room for improvement if the chef wants to win any local cooking awards.
Evaluative terms that you might want to use for this final evaluation argument might include:
- All things considered
- With all key points in mind
4. Evaluation Essay Outline (with Examples)
Okay, so now you know what to do, let’s have a go at creating an outline for your evaluation essay!
Here’s what I recommend:
4.1 How to Write your Introduction
In the introduction, feel free to use my 5-Step INTRO method . It’ll be an introduction just like any other essay introduction .
And yes, feel free to explain what the final evaluation will be.
So, here it is laid out nice and simple.
Write one sentence for each point to make a 5-sentence introduction:
- Interest: Make a statement about the ‘thing’ you’re evaluating that you think will be of interest to the reader. Make it a catchy, engaging point that draws the reader in!
- Notify: Notify the reader of any background info on the thing you’re evaluating. This is your chance to show your depth of knowledge. What is a historical fact about the ‘thing’?
- Translate: Re-state the essay question. For an evaluative essay, you can re-state it something like: “This essay evaluates the book/ product/ article/ etc. by looking at its strengths and weaknesses and compares it against a marking criteria”.
- Report: Say what your final evaluation will be. For example you can say “While there are some weaknesses in this book, overall this evaluative essay will show that it helps progress knowledge about Dinosaurs.”
- Outline: Simply give a clear overview of what will be discussed. For example, you can say: “Firstly, the essay will evaluate the product based on an objective criteria. This criteria will include its value for money, fit for purpose and ease of use. Next, the essay will show the main strengths and weaknesses of the product. Lastly, the essay will provide a final evaluative statement about the product’s overall value and worth.”
If you want more depth on how to use the INTRO method, you’ll need to go and check out our blog post on writing quality introductions.
4.2 Example Introduction
This example introduction is for the essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society.
“Facebook is the third most visited website in the world. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg in his college dorm. This essay evaluates the impact of Facebook on society and makes an objective judgement on its value. The essay will argue that Facebook has changed the world both for the better and worse. Firstly, it will give an overview of what Facebook is and its history. Then, it will examine Facebook on the criteria of: impact on social interactions, impact on the media landscape, and impact on politics.”
You’ll notice that each sentence in this introduction follows my 5-Step INTRO formula to create a clear, coherent 5-Step introduction.
4.3 How to Write your Body Paragraphs
The first body paragraph should give an overview of the ‘thing’ being evaluated.
Then, you should evaluate the pros and cons of the ‘thing’ being evaluated based upon the criteria you have developed for evaluating it.
Let’s take a look below.
4.4 First Body Paragraph: Overview of your Subject
This first paragraph should provide objective overview of your subject’s properties and history. You should not be doing any evaluating just yet.
The goal for this first paragraph is to ensure your reader knows what it is you’re evaluating. Secondarily, it should show your marker that you have developed some good knowledge about it.
If you need to use more than one paragraph to give an overview of the subject, that’s fine.
Similarly, if your essay word length needs to be quite long, feel free to spend several paragraphs exploring the subject’s background and objective details to show off your depth of knowledge for the marker.
4.5 First Body Paragraph Example
Sticking with the essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society , this might be your paragraph:
“Facebook has been one of the most successful websites of all time. It is the website that dominated the ‘Web 2.0’ revolution, which was characterized by user two-way interaction with the web. Facebook allowed users to create their own personal profiles and invite their friends to follow along. Since 2004, Facebook has attracted more than one billion people to create profiles in order to share their opinions and keep in touch with their friends.”
Notice here that I haven’t yet made any evaluations of Facebook’s merits?
This first paragraph (or, if need be, several of them) should be all about showing the reader exactly what your subject is – no more, no less.
4.6 Evaluation Paragraphs: Second, Third, Forth and Fifth Body Paragraphs
Once you’re confident your reader will know what the subject that you’re evaluating is, you’ll need to move on to the actual evaluation.
For this step, you’ll need to dig up that evaluation criteria we talked about in Point 2.
For example, let’s say you’re evaluating a President of the United States.
Your evaluation criteria might be:
- Impact on world history
- Ability to pass legislation
- Popularity with voters
- Morals and ethics
- Ability to change lives for the better
Really, you could make up any evaluation criteria you want!
Once you’ve made up the evaluation criteria, you’ve got your evaluation paragraph ideas!
Simply turn each point in your evaluation criteria into a full paragraph.
How do you do this?
Well, start with a topic sentence.
For the criteria point ‘Impact on world history’ you can say something like: “Barack Obama’s impact on world history is mixed.”
This topic sentence will show that you’ll evaluate both pros and cons of Obama’s impact on world history in the paragraph.
Then, follow it up with explanations.
“While Obama campaigned to withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, he was unable to completely achieve this objective. This is an obvious negative for his impact on the world. However, as the first black man to lead the most powerful nation on earth, he will forever be remembered as a living milestone for civil rights and progress.”
Keep going, turning each evaluation criteria into a full paragraph.
4.7 Evaluation Paragraph Example
Let’s go back to our essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society .
I’ve decided to use the evaluation criteria below:
- impact on social interactions;
- impact on the media landscape;
- impact on politics
Naturally, I’m going to write one paragraph for each point.
If you’re expected to write a longer piece, you could write two paragraphs on each point (one for pros and one for cons).
Here’s what my first evaluation paragraph might look like:
“Facebook has had a profound impact on social interactions. It has helped people to stay in touch with one another from long distances and after they have left school and college. This is obviously a great positive. However, it can also be seen as having a negative impact. For example, people may be less likely to interact face-to-face because they are ‘hanging out’ online instead. This can have negative impact on genuine one-to-one relationships.”
You might notice that this paragraph has a topic sentence, explanations and examples. It follows my perfect paragraph formula which you’re more than welcome to check out!
4.8 How to write your Conclusion
To conclude, you’ll need to come up with one final evaluative argument.
This evaluation argument provides an overall assessment. You can start with “Overall, Facebook has been…” and continue by saying that (all things considered) he was a good or bad president!
Remember, you can only come up with an overall evaluation after you’ve looked at the subject’s pros and cons based upon your evaluation criteria.
In the example below, I’m going to use my 5 C’s conclusion paragraph method . This will make sure my conclusion covers all the things a good conclusion should cover!
Like the INTRO method, the 5 C’s conclusion method should have one sentence for each point to create a 5 sentence conclusion paragraph.
The 5 C’s conclusion method is:
- Close the loop: Return to a statement you made in the introduction.
- Conclude: Show what your final position is.
- Clarify: Clarify how your final position is relevant to the Essay Question.
- Concern: Explain who should be concerned by your findings.
- Consequences: End by noting in one final, engaging sentence why this topic is of such importance. The ‘concern’ and ‘consequences’ sentences can be combined
4.9 Concluding Argument Example Paragraph
Here’s a possible concluding argument for our essay question: Write an Evaluation Essay on Facebook’s Impact on Society .
“The introduction of this essay highlighted that Facebook has had a profound impact on society. This evaluation essay has shown that this impact has been both positive and negative. Thus, it is too soon to say whether Facebook has been an overall positive or negative for society. However, people should pay close attention to this issue because it is possible that Facebook is contributing to the undermining of truth in media and positive interpersonal relationships.”
Note here that I’ve followed the 5 C’s conclusion method for my concluding evaluative argument paragraph.
5. Evaluation Essay Example Template
Below is a template you can use for your evaluation essay , based upon the advice I gave in Section 4:
6. 23+ Good Evaluation Essay Topics
Okay now that you know how to write an evaluation essay, let’s look at a few examples.
For each example I’m going to give you an evaluation essay title idea, plus a list of criteria you might want to use in your evaluation essay.
6.1 Evaluation of Impact
- Evaluate the impact of global warming on the great barrier reef. Recommended evaluation criteria: Level of bleaching; Impact on tourism; Economic impact; Impact on lifestyles; Impact on sealife
- Evaluate the impact of the Global Financial Crisis on poverty. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on jobs; Impact on childhood poverty; Impact on mental health rates; Impact on economic growth; Impact on the wealthy; Global impact
- Evaluate the impact of having children on your lifestyle. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on spare time; Impact on finances; Impact on happiness; Impact on sense of wellbeing
- Evaluate the impact of the internet on the world. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on connectedness; Impact on dating; Impact on business integration; Impact on globalization; Impact on media
- Evaluate the impact of public transportation on cities. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on cost of living; Impact on congestion; Impact on quality of life; Impact on health; Impact on economy
- Evaluate the impact of universal healthcare on quality of life. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on reducing disease rates; Impact on the poorest in society; Impact on life expectancy; Impact on happiness
- Evaluate the impact of getting a college degree on a person’s life. Recommended evaluation criteria: Impact on debt levels; Impact on career prospects; Impact on life perspectives; Impact on relationships
6.2 Evaluation of a Scholarly Text or Theory
- Evaluate a Textbook. Recommended evaluation criteria: clarity of explanations; relevance to a course; value for money; practical advice; depth and detail; breadth of information
- Evaluate a Lecture Series, Podcast or Guest Lecture. Recommended evaluation criteria: clarity of speaker; engagement of attendees; appropriateness of content; value for monet
- Evaluate a journal article. Recommended evaluation criteria: length; clarity; quality of methodology; quality of literature review ; relevance of findings for real life
- Evaluate a Famous Scientists. Recommended evaluation criteria: contribution to scientific knowledge; impact on health and prosperity of humankind; controversies and disagreements with other scientists.
- Evaluate a Theory. Recommended evaluation criteria: contribution to knowledge; reliability or accuracy; impact on the lives of ordinary people; controversies and contradictions with other theories.
6.3 Evaluation of Art and Literature
- Evaluate a Novel. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
- Evaluate a Play. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; quality of acting; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
- Evaluate a Film. Recommended evaluation criteria: plot complexity; quality of acting; moral or social value of the message; character development; relevance to modern life
- Evaluate an Artwork. Recommended evaluation criteria: impact on art theory; moral or social message; complexity or quality of composition
6.4 Evaluation of a Product or Service
- Evaluate a Hotel or Bed and Breakfast. Recommended evaluation criteria: quality of service; flexibility of check-in and check-out times; cleanliness; location; value for money; wi-fi strength; noise levels at night; quality of meals; value for money
- Evaluate a Restaurant. Recommended evaluation criteria: quality of service; menu choices; cleanliness; atmosphere; taste; value for money.
- Evaluate a Car. Recommended evaluation criteria: fuel efficiency; value for money; build quality; likelihood to break down; comfort.
- Evaluate a House. Recommended evaluation criteria: value for money; build quality; roominess; location; access to public transport; quality of neighbourhood
- Evaluate a Doctor. Recommended evaluation criteria: Quality of service; knowledge; quality of equipment; reputation; value for money.
- Evaluate a Course. Recommended evaluation criteria: value for money; practical advice; quality of teaching; quality of resources provided.
7. Concluding Advice
Evaluation essays are common in high school, college and university.
The trick for getting good marks in an evaluation essay is to show you have looked at both the pros and cons before making a final evaluation analysis statement.
You don’t want to look biased.
That’s why it’s a good idea to use an objective evaluation criteria, and to be generous in looking at both positives and negatives of your subject.
Read Also: 39 Better Ways to Write ‘In Conclusion’ in an Essay
I recommend you use the evaluation template provided in this post to write your evaluation essay. However, if your teacher has given you a template, of course use theirs instead! You always want to follow your teacher’s advice because they’re the person who will be marking your work.
Good luck with your evaluation essay!
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 10 Critical Theory Examples
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 13 Social Institutions Examples (According to Sociology)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 71 Best Education Dissertation Topic Ideas
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 11 Primary Data Examples
2 thoughts on “7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)”
What an amazing article. I am returning to studying after several years and was struggling with how to present an evaluative essay. This article has simplified the process and provided me with the confidence to tackle my subject (theoretical approaches to development and management of teams).
I just wanted to ask whether the evaluation criteria has to be supported by evidence or can it just be a list of criteria that you think of yourself to objectively measure?
Many many thanks for writing this!
Usually we would want to see evidence, but ask your teacher for what they’re looking for as they may allow you, depending on the situation.
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- 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays
To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.
Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.
This article is suitable for native English speakers and those who are learning English at Oxford Royale Academy and are just taking their first steps into essay writing.
Learn world-class essay writing and research skills on our Oxford Royale Summer School 2024
Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.
1. In order to
Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”
2. In other words
Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”
3. To put it another way
Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”
4. That is to say
Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”
5. To that end
Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”
Adding additional information to support a point
Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.
Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”
Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”
8. What’s more
Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”
Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”
Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”
11. Another key thing to remember
Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”
12. As well as
Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”
13. Not only… but also
Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”
14. Coupled with
Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”
15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…
Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.
16. Not to mention/to say nothing of
Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”
Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast
When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.
Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”
18. On the other hand
Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”
19. Having said that
Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”
20. By contrast/in comparison
Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”
21. Then again
Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”
22. That said
Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”
Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”
Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations
Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.
24. Despite this
Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”
25. With this in mind
Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”
26. Provided that
Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”
27. In view of/in light of
Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”
Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”
Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”
Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”
Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.
31. For instance
Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”
32. To give an illustration
Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”
When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.
Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”
Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”
Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”
You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.
36. In conclusion
Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”
37. Above all
Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”
Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”
Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”
40. All things considered
Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”
How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.
At Oxford Royale, we offer a number of summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , politics , business , medicine and engineering .
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19 Evaluation Essays
Evaluative arguments center around the question of quality. Is something good? Bad? Honest? Dishonest? Evaluative judgments are also about values—what the writer thinks is important. Sometimes the writer’s values are not the same as his/her readers’ values, so he/she has to bridge the gap by showing respect for the audience’s opinions and clarifying the points that they do and don’t agree upon.
An important first step in writing an evaluation is to consider the appropriate standards/criteria for evaluating the subject. If a writer is evaluating a car, for example, the writer might consider standard criteria like fuel economy, price, crash ratings. But the writer also might consider style, warranty, color, special options, like sound systems. Even though all people might not base their choice of a car on these secondary criteria, they are still considered acceptable or standard criteria.
To be taken seriously, a writer must have valid reasons for his evaluation. These reasons are based on criteria. Imagine choosing your attire for a job interview at a very prestigious law firm. You look at the jeans and t-shirts in your closet and immediately decide to go shopping. Why? Because the clothes in your closet don’t meet the criteria for the interview.
The Purpose of Evaluative Writing
Writers evaluate arguments in order to present an informed and well-reasoned judgment about a subject. While the evaluation will be based on their opinion, it should not seem opinionated. Instead, it should aim to be reasonable and unbiased. This is achieved through developing a solid judgment, selecting appropriate criteria to evaluate the subject, and providing clear evidence to support the criteria.
Evaluation is a type of writing that has many real-world applications. Anything can be evaluated. For example, evaluations of movies, restaurants, books, and technology ourselves are all real-world evaluations.
Five Characteristics of an Evaluative Essay
by Dr. Karen Palmer
1. Presenting the subject.
Presenting the subject is an often misunderstood aspect of an evaluative essay. Either writers give too little information or too much. Presenting the subject occurs in two different places in the essay.
First, the writer should give a brief introduction of the subject in the introduction of the evaluation. This introduction occurs in the second part of the introduction–the intro to the topic. At this point, the writer should simply name the subject and give a very brief description. For example, a restaurant review should include at a minimum the name and location of the restaurant. An evaluation of a vehicle might include the make, model, and year of the vehicle and any important features.
Second, the writer should give a more detailed description of the subject following the introduction in the background section of the paper. Here the writer could give a more detailed overview of the restaurant (the type of decor, type of food, owners, history), describe the vehicle in detail, etc. Striking a balance between giving the reader the necessary information to understand the evaluation and telling readers everything is important. The amount of detail necessary depends on the topic. If you are reviewing a brand new technology or a machine, specific to your line of work, for example, you will need to give readers more information than if you are simply reviewing a restaurant or a doctor’s office.
The language used in your description can be evaluative. For example, a writer can use descriptive adjectives and adverbs to convey a certain impression of the subject, even before the claim is made.
2. Asserting an overall judgment.
The main point/thesis should be located at the end of the paper’s introduction. It should be definitive—certain, clear, and decisive. Asking a question does not pose a definitive claim. Giving several different perspectives also does not give a definitive claim. It is ok to balance your claim, though, acknowledging weaknesses (or strengths) even as you evaluate a subject positively: “While the Suburban is a gas guzzler, it is the perfect car for a large family….”
Providing a map of your reasons/criteria within the thesis is a great technique for creating organization and focus for your essay. For example, “While the Suburban is a gas guzzler, it is the perfect car for a large family because it can seat up to 9, it has a high safety rating, and it has the best in class towing capacity.” Not only does this example give a clear, balanced claim, but it also lays out the writer’s reasons upfront, creating a map in the reader’s mind that will help him follow the reasoning in the essay.
3. Giving Reasons and Support
After presenting the subject and providing readers with a clear claim, the writer must explain and justify his/her evaluation using reasons that are recognized by readers as appropriate. This occurs in the argument section of the paper and should be the most extensive part of the paper. Reasons should reflect values or standards typical for the subject. If a writer uses criteria that is not typical for the subject, he/she must be prepared to defend that decision in the essay. For example, “Buying local may not always be at the forefront of a buyer’s mind when shopping for eggs, but…” Each reason should be clearly stated as a topic sentence that both states the reason and refers back to the main claim. Going back to the suburban example, a body paragraph/section might begin with the following topic sentence: “One of the obvious reasons a suburban is great for large families is its capacity for holding that large family and all of their necessary traveling items.”
Following the topic sentence, a writer must include relevant examples, quotes, facts, statistics, or personal anecdotes to support the reason. Depending on what the subject is, the support might be different. To support a claim about a book/film, for example, a writer might include a description of a pivotal scene or quotes from the book/film. In contrast, to support a claim about gas mileage, a writer would probably simply give the information from the vehicle specifications. Support can come from a writer’s own knowledge and experience, or from published sources.
Counterarguing means responding to readers’ objections and questions. In order to effectively counterargue, a writer must have a clear conception of his/her audience. What does the audience already know or believe about the subject? Effective counterarguing builds credibility in the eyes of the audience because it creates a sense that the writer is listening to the reader’s questions and concerns.
Counterarguments can occur at the end of the essay, after the writer has made his/her point, or throughout the essay as the writer anticipates questions or objections. Writers can respond to readers’ objections in two ways. First, a writer can acknowledge an objection and immediately provide a counter-argument, explaining why the objection is not valid. Second, a writer can concede the point, and allow that, the subject does have a flaw. In either case, it is important to be respectful of opposing positions, while still remaining firm to the original claim.
5. Establishing credibility and authority:
A writer’s credibility and authority lead to readers’ confidence in your judgment and their willingness to recognize and acknowledge that credibility and authority. An author can gain credibility by showing that he/she knows a lot about the subject. In addition, the writer shows that his/her judgment is based on valid values and standards.
The writer’s authority is in large part based upon the background of the author—education, etc. Is the author qualified to make a judgment? For some subjects, like a film review, simply watching the film might be enough. In other instances, like evaluating the quality of newly constructed cabinets or the engine of a new car, more experience might be necessary.
The Structure of an Evaluation Essay
Evaluation essays are structured as follows.
First, the essay will present the subject . What is being evaluated? Why? The essay begins with the writer giving any details needed about the subject.
Next, the essay needs to provide a judgment about a subject. This is the thesis of the essay, and it states whether the subject is good or bad based on how it meets the stated criteria.
The body of the essay will contain the criteria used to evaluate the subject. In an evaluation essay, the criteria must be appropriate for evaluating the subject under consideration. Appropriate criteria will help to keep the essay from seeming biased or unreasonable. If authors evaluated the quality of a movie based on the snacks sold at the snack bar, that would make them seem unreasonable, and their evaluation may be disregarded because of it.
The evidence of an evaluation essay consists of the supporting details authors provide based on their judgment of the criteria.
For example, if the subject of an evaluation is a restaurant, a judgment could be “Kay’s Bistro provides an unrivaled experience in fine dining.” Some authors evaluate fine dining restaurants by identifying appropriate criteria in order to rate the establishment’s food quality, service, and atmosphere. The examples are evidence.
Another example of evaluation is literary analysis; judgments may be made about a character in the story based on the character’s actions, characteristics, and past history within the story. The scenes in the story are evidence for why readers have a certain opinion of the character.
Job applications and interviews are more examples of evaluations. Based on certain criteria, management and hiring committees determine which applicants will be considered for an interview and which applicant will be hired.
Thesis: McAdoo’s is a fantastic family restaurant, offering young and old alike a great atmosphere, wonderful customer service, and a fantastic menu.
- Location–New Braunfels, TX
- History–old post office, restored
- Type of food
- Walking up to the restaurant–cool exterior
- Lobby–original post office doors, etc
- Tables–great decor–memorabilia from NB history
- prompt, courteous service
- refills, bread
- taking care of complaints–all you can eat lobster out–so price reduced
- land lovers
- Conclusion…If you’re ever in NB, I highly suggest stopping in at McAdoo’s and absorbing some of the great old world charm with some delicious food.
Possible “Get Started” Idea
- Evaluate a restaurant. What do you expect in a good restaurant? What criteria determine whether a restaurant is good?
- List three criteria that you will use to evaluate a restaurant. Then dine there. Afterward, explain whether or not the restaurant meets each criterion, and include evidence (qualities from the restaurant) that backs your evaluation.
- Give the restaurant a star rating. (5 Stars: Excellent, 4 Stars: Very Good, 3 Stars: Good, 2 Stars: Fair, 1 Star: Poor). Explain why the restaurant earned this star rating.
Time to Write
In this essay, you will evaluate potential obstacles to learning. Think about the health and wellness of a college student during an international pandemic. What do you need to be successful? Do you have access to resources? Are the GCC resources adequate to support the community and its students during the pandemic?
You will evaluate at least three campus resources. Your recommendation should clearly state which of the resources should be maintained, which should be improved, and which might be eliminated, if any.
Purpose: This assignment will demonstrate the understanding of how to do a thorough evaluation of an approved topic. Students will review the complex elements of the topic they have chosen. Evaluative essays call for the writer to assess a subject in light of specific and explicit criteria and to make a judgment based on the assessment.
Task: This assignment evaluates a campus resource.
Write an Evaluation Essay. For this essay, you will choose a clear topic, give a reason for the evaluation, use description and categorization, create evaluation criteria, use concrete evidence and demonstrate the “why” of your position.
Some topics to consider are listed here:
- Center for Learning
- Writing Center
- Math Solutions
- High Tech 1
- High Tech 2
- GCC Counseling and Career Services
- Fitness Center
Key Features of an Evaluation:
- Describe the particular phenomenon or work in a way that the rhetorical audience will understand and value.
- Present the criteria on which the phenomenon or work is to be evaluated clearly, persuasively, authoritatively, and often in an order indicating importance. Criteria can be categorized into three groups: necessary (crucial but not enough to meet your overall assessment), sufficient (meeting all of your minimum standards, including the necessary ones), and accidental (unnecessary but an added bonus to the necessary and sufficient criteria).
- Include concrete evidence and relevant examples from your personal experience and research illustrate the ways (usually in the form of assertions) the phenomenon does or does not meet each evaluative criterion. These fair and balanced assertions support the thesis statement.
- At least three (3) sources on the Works Cited; these could be from your personal experience, college web pages, public health information, or sources related to quality college resources.
- Articulate a clear argument (usually in the form of a thesis statement) about whether or not the object or phenomenon meets the criteria on which it is being evaluated.
- Demonstrate an ethical approach to the process.
Key Grading Considerations
- A clear reason for the evaluation
- Use of description
- Clear evaluation criteria
- Concrete evidence & Examples
- A clear argument presented (Thesis)
- The establishment of ethos (balanced argument)
- Secure closure to the argument (conclusion)
- Three (3) sources minimum
- Key Features are included
- One inch margins
- Typed and double-spaced
- The heading is double-spaced on the left side of the page (includes name, my name, class, date)
- Upper right-hand corner has last name and page number (EX: Dewey 1)
- The font is Times New Roman, size 12
- The title is original and is centered one line under the heading
- Works Cited page lists outside sources in MLA format
- Descriptive Language
- Correct, appropriate, and varied integration of textual examples, including in-text citations
- Limited errors in spelling, grammar, word order, word usage, sentence structure, and punctuation
- Good use of academic English
- Demonstrates cohesion and flow
- Works Cited page has hanging indents and is in alphabetical order by author’s last name
- Content Adapted from “Five Characteristics of an Evaluative Essay” from The Worry-Free Writer by Dr. Karen Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
- Content Adapted from Susan Wood, “Evaluation Essay,” Leeward CC ENG 100 OER, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
- Original Content contributed by Christine Jones “Time to Write” licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
English 101: Journey Into Open Copyright © 2021 by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Evaluative language includes positive , negative or neutral words and expressions that convey a judgement or an appraisal. The use of such language indicates your considered attitude to the particular topic – that is, your critical position.
Evaluative language examples accodions
Evaluative language expressing negative criticism.
Examples of evaluative language expressing negative appraisal:
- Researchers have challenged the validity of the poll results.
- The methodology applied in the experiment is problematic on two counts.
- Dynon (2022) fails to account for the contradictory results.
- There is inconsistency between the line of argument and the evidence provided.
- There are limits to Bailey’s (2021) application of theory.
Evaluative language expressing constructive criticism
Examples of evaluative language expressing constructive criticism:
- Shwartz’s (2018) comprehensive study revealed useful insights on learning design theory.
- The photo lab experiment was ground breaking .
- Sharma’s (2022) arguments were far more convincing than those of Degani’s (2021).
- The independent report on government spending was timely .
- The study was interesting and persuasive .
Hedging and boosting – expressing certainty
Hedging, also called “cautious language”, can be used to indicate levels of certainty and make your critical position sound qualified and well-reasoned. There are many reasons why you might use hedging:
- Distance your position from another author or proposition.
- Giving a qualified explanation or hypothesis.
- Explaining results.
- Discussing implications, interpretations, recommendations, cautions, the future.
- Avoiding over-generalisation.
You can express low , medium or high certainty to consolidate your critical position. Expressing high certainty is called boosting. Hedging is expressed through the use of modal verbs and qualifiers like adverbs of probability.
Modal verbs include: may , can , must , could , appear to, will and should .
Adverbs of probability include: sometimes , probably , definitely , possibly , generally , never .
- Low certainty
- Medium certainty
- High certainty
Examples of hedging expressing low degree of certainty:
- It is possible (adverb) that the results are incomplete.
- The data reported may (verb) support the initial hypothesis.
- Such raw data is seldom (adverb) reliable.
- The results suggest (verb) several implications.
Examples of hedging expressing medium degree of certainty:
- It is likely (adverb) that the results are incomplete.
- The data reported appear to (verb) support the initial hypothesis.
- Such raw data is generally (adverb) reliable.
- The results should indicate (verb) several implications.
Examples of hedging (boosting) expressing high degree of certainty:
- It is certain (adjective) that the results are incomplete.
- The data reported must (verb) support the initial hypothesis.
- Such raw data is increasingly (adverb) reliable.
- The results emphasise (verb) several implications.