Writing Evaluative Essays
Choose a subject that you know something about and about which you have an opinion
Decide what you overall judgment is: good or bad or a little of both?
Formulate a thesis that states your overall judgment
Or, more likely. . .
Some good but overall bad
Some bad but overall good
Build body paragraphs to support your thesis
Perhaps establish criteria for excellence regarding your subject?
Your own reasons and examples
Outside sources: facts, statistics, quotations from experts
Play the critic, but be informed and fair-minded
Consider using some of these development strategies
Cause and effect
While your primary purpose is to persuade, remember the possible purposes of any essay
Write an essay that evaluates a book, film, restaurant, sports team, product, or event
• Make a judgment about your topic and support it with reasons and examples
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When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source in your Works Cited.Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers, but often, these sorts of entries do not require any sort of parenthetical citation at all.
Sum up or restate your thesis or make the final judgment regarding the book. You should not introduce new evidence for your argument in the conclusion. You can, however, introduce new ideas that go beyond the book if they extend the logic of your own thesis. This paragraph needs to balance the book’s strengths and weaknesses in order to unify your evaluation. Did the body of your review have three negative paragraphs and one favorable one? What do they all add up to? The Writing Center’s can help you make a final assessment.
There’s no shortage of judgments in this review! But the student does not display a working knowledge of the book’s argument. The reader has a sense of what the student expected of the book, but no sense of what the author herself set out to prove. Although the student gives several reasons for the negative review, those examples do not clearly relate to each other as part of an overall evaluation—in other words, in support of a specific thesis. This review is indeed an assessment, but not a critical one.
Reviewing can be a daunting task. Someone has asked for your opinion about something that you may feel unqualified to evaluate. Who are you to criticize Toni Morrison’s new book if you’ve never written a novel yourself, much less won a Nobel Prize? The point is that someone—a professor, a journal editor, peers in a study group—wants to know what you think about a particular work. You may not be (or feel like) an expert, but you need to pretend to be one for your particular audience. Nobody expects you to be the intellectual equal of the work’s creator, but your careful observations can provide you with the raw material to make reasoned judgments. Tactfully voicing agreement and disagreement, praise and criticism, is a valuable, challenging skill, and like many forms of writing, reviews require you to provide concrete evidence for your assertions.
Topic: how incarceration disproportionately affect transgender community that put them at the risk of economic survival Extra Information: Each student will write a research paper that presents an original empirical piece of quantitative research based on the analysis of secondary data. The paper must follow the format of a political science journal article and should […]