An evaluation essay is a type of writing that presents an overall view of the quality of a particular item, service, or business. It’s also called evaluative writing, evaluative essay or report, and critical evaluation essay. An evaluation essay can include the writer’s opinion but when written correctly, it is not necessary to include an opinion. In case you provide your opinions, you’ll need to provide relevant evidence to support them. Writing this type of essay can be challenging since it requires a writer to have good evaluation and reasoning skills that are not subjective.
Steps for Writing an Evaluation Essay
The following are some of the steps that will help you in writing an excellent evaluation essay.
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- Select your topic.The first step to writing an evaluation essay is to choose a topic unless you have been allocated one by your professor or instructor. If you have not been allocated a specific topic, it is recommended to choose one you are familiar with or passionate about. Choosing a topic you like will make your research easier and fun. It will also help you make a judgement on its value increasing your chances of producing an effective paper.
- Write a thesis statement.A thesis statement will be a vital part of your essay since it sets out the overall purpose of the evaluation. Your thesis statement should state the criteria being used to judge the item and state the value of the item. For your thesis statement to be effective, it should be as clear and specific as possible. It should cover what you will discuss in your paper, and it should also be supported with concrete evidence or facts.
- Determine the criteria you will use to assess the product.Choose several different angles in order to make your writing interesting. The criteria you choose will vary depending on what you are evaluating. Your evaluation criteria should accurately reflect differences between alternatives and all readers should be able to interpret the evaluation criteria in the same way
- Include supporting evidence.Your essay will lack credibility by just relying on your opinion. It is important to look for reliable and credible sources to back up each judgement that you make.
- Draft your essay.Create your first draft of the essay by just writing ideas as they come into your mind. Don’t try and write perfectly: stick to just writing notes, headings and bullet points that help you understand what direction you are going with your writing. Once you have something down on paper it is much easier to restructure it and remove areas that are not as strong as others.
- Review, revise & rewrite.After you have completed your first draft, ensure to read over the work and make the necessary changes. When you have finished your first draft you can review what you have written and identify topics that need further research.
A Closer Look at the elements of an evaluation essay
An effective evaluation essay is based on three core elements: criteria, judgements and evidence. Let’s explore these elements in more detail.
To prepare to organize and write your evaluation, it is important to clearly define the criteria you are using to make your judgments. These criteria control the direction of the evaluation and provide structure and justification for the judgments you make. They will help to demonstrate what should be expected as an ideal example of what should be expected. Once you have identified the criteria informing your initial judgments, you will want to determine any other criteria that should be included in your evaluation.
The judgement aspect will help you determine whether or not the criteria have been me or not. For example: in the case of evaluating a hospital, you might start with judging whether or not the hospital meets the criteria of providing great health care services. Does it meet, or exceed the quality you expect? Or does it fall short? You can then proceed with the other criteria.
Evidence will be crucial in backing your judgements. In our hospital example, if you make the judgement that the quality of health care services provided does not meet expectations, then you should be prepared to provide evidence to support why this conclusion has been drawn. When writing an effective evaluation essay, it is crucial for each paragraph to deal with a different criterion. In each of those paragraphs you should fully explain the criterion, make the relevant judgements and offer supporting evidence.
How is an Evaluation Essay different from a Review?
Sometimes students may assume writing an evaluation essay is the same as writing a review. Even though there are some similarities between them, they do have a number of differences. The table below highlights some of those differences.
|The topic is analysed thoroughly for an in-depth look
|Reviews offer more general look without in-depth look|
Opinion is unbiased and claims supported by evidence
Reviews can be entirely on writers opinion and don’t require evidence
Writer must use a defined set of criteria to judge the topic
Does not have any specific criteria and a writer can offer their own opinions
Must contain evidence to support the judgements made
No evidence required just the writer’s opinion
It is necessary to reference or cite sources used to make judgements
It is not a must to reference or include citations
Tips for Writing an Effective Evaluation Essay
Now that you have an idea on how to write an evaluation essay, here are a few additional tips that will help you to produce a great piece that will capture the attention of your readers:
- Provide enough Details – an effective evaluation essay will require you to provide enough details of how you came about the conclusions that you did. Strengthen your conclusions with relevant proofs and examples.
- Be precise in your evaluation – ensure your introduction clearly lays out what you are going to be evaluating and the criteria you are using to do so. Highlight your main ideas or thoughts and show the aim and relevance of writing your essay.
- Convince your readers to Agree with Your Opinion – ensure your evaluation is compelling enough to convince your readers to agree with your conclusions. Offer adequate information and evidence to make this easier for them to agree with your judgements.
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