Definition and Examples of Evaluation Essays

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  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

An evaluation essay is a  composition that offers value judgments about a particular subject according to a set of criteria. Also called  evaluative writing , evaluative essay or report , and critical evaluation essay .

An evaluation essay or report is a type of argument that provides evidence to justify a writer's opinions about a subject.

"Any kind of review is essentially a piece of evaluative writing," says Allen S. Goose. "This type of writing calls for the critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation" ( 8 Kinds of Writing , 2001). 


  • "Without good reasons for liking or disliking certain things, students can never get beyond being passive receivers of marketing, fickle consumers without a basis for their opinions. Writing evaluation papers asks them to question why they feel the way they do." (Allison D. Smith, et al., Teaching in the Pop Culture Zone: Using Popular Culture in the Composition Classroom . Wadsworth, 2009)

How to Evaluate

  • "If you are evaluating a piece of writing, then you are going to need to thoroughly read the work. While you read the work, keep in mind the criteria you are using to evaluate. The evaluative aspects may be: grammar, sentence structure, spelling, content, usage of sources, style, or many other things. Other things to consider when evaluating a piece of writing is whether the writing appealed to its target audience . Was there an emotional appeal? Did the author engage the audience, or was the piece lacking something? ..."If you are evaluating anything else, use your head. You need to try, use, or test whatever thing you are evaluating. That means you should not evaluate a 2005 Chevrolet Corvette unless you have the $45,000 (or more) to buy one, or the money to rent one. You also need the know-how of driving a car of that power and a base of knowledge of other cars that you have tested to compare it to." (Joe Torres, Rhetoric and Composition Study Guide . Global Media, 2007)

Identifying Criteria for an Evaluation

  • " Make a list of prominent, widely recognized standards for judging your subject. If you do not know the standards usually used to evaluate your subject, you could do some research . For example, if you are reviewing a film, you could read a few recent film reviews online or in the library, noting the standards that reviewers typically use and the reasons that they assert for liking or disliking a film. If you are evaluating a soccer team or one winning (or losing) game, you could read a book on coaching soccer or talk to an experienced soccer coach to learn about what makes an excellent soccer team or winning game." (Rise B. Axelrod and Charles R. Cooper, Axelrod & Cooper's Concise Guide to Writing , 4th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006)

Ways of Organizing an Evaluation Essay

  • "One way to organize an  evaluation essay is point-by-point: describe one element of the subject and then evaluate it; present the next element and evaluate it; and so on. Comparison/contrast could be an organizing structure as well, in which you evaluate something by comparing (or contrasting) it to a known item. Culinary and music reviews often use this strategy.  Chronological organization can be used for evaluating an event (either current or historical). Sequential organization can be used when describing how something works and evaluating the effectiveness of the process, procedure, or mechanism. Spatial organization can be used for evaluating art or architecture in which you describe and evaluate one element of the artifact and then move spatially to the next major element to be described and evaluated." (David S. Hogsette,  Writing That Makes Sense: Critical Thinking in College Composition . Wipf and Stock, 2009)
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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
  • Friendliness
  • Punctuality
  • Ability to predict my needs
  • Calmness under pressure
  • Attentiveness

A Bed and Breakfast

  • Breakfast options
  • Taste of food
  • Comfort of bed
  • Local attractions
  • Service from owner
  • Cleanliness

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

how to write an evaluation essay

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]

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2 thoughts on “7 Steps for How to Write an Evaluation Essay (Example & Template)”

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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!

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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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How to Write an Evaluation Essay

Evaluation essay writing guide.

The main purpose of writing an evaluation essay is to present an overall view of the quality of a particular item, service, or business. It is natural for this type of essay to feature some element of the writer’s opinion, but when done correctly an it should not come across as opinionated.

When learning how to write this type of paper one of the most important skills to master is producing an evaluation that is unbiased and reasoned. Let’s look at some of the steps to complete the task.

Steps for Writing an Evaluation Essay

We’ve put together a brief outline of some of the most important steps to help with producing a well-structured paper.

  • Choose your topic. As with any essay, this is one of the first steps . It may be the case that you are allocated a topic by your professor, but if not then we would advise choosing a subject that you are already familiar with. You are going to need to take an in depth look at the subject in order to make a judgement on its value, so it makes sense to choose something you already have some knowledge about.
  • Write a thesis statement. This is a key element of your essay as it sets out the overall purpose of the evaluation. In the thesis you should state the criteria being used to judge the item and state the value of the item . As with any essay, your statement must be apparent and to the point. You may find that you need to revise it slightly along the way as your essay takes shape.
  • Determine the criteria used to assess the product. Choose several different benchmarks in order to make your writing interesting. The criteria you choose will vary depending on what you are evaluating. For example, a software program would be judged using very different benchmarks than a clothing brand.
  • Look for supporting evidence. It is important to remember that an essay is not just your opinion. You will need to look for supporting clues from credible sources for each judgement that you make.
  • Draft your essay. Produce a first draft of your essay. At this stage the best course of action is to just write. Once you have something down on paper it is much easier to restructure it and flesh out areas that are not as strong as others.
  • Review, revise & rewrite. Once you have completed a first draft you must read over your work and make any necessary changes. You should be prepared to rewrite your essay a couple of times to get it just right.

A Closer Look at Criteria, Judgements & Evidence

At the core of every evaluation essay there are three important elements – criteria, judgements and evidence. Let’s explore these elements in more detail.

Criteria The criteria that you choose should establish what the ideal is for the product, service or brand that you are evaluating. They will help to demonstrate what should be expected as an ideal example of what should be expected. Think about the best possible example of a product of service of the same type. What would be their best characteristics? For example, for a hotel you would expect great accomodations, cleanliness, value for money and excellent service. Once you have those benckmarks in place they can be used to evaluate any hotel.

Judgement The judgement aspect is where you establish whether or not the benchmarks have been met. Sticking with our hotel example, you might start with judging whether or not the hotel meets the benchmark of having great accomodations. Does it meet, or exceed the quality you expect? Or does it fall short? You can then proceed with the other criteria.

Evidence Remember that you must provide clues to advocate your judgements. In our hotel example, if you make the judgement that the quality of food does not meet expectations, then you should be prepared to provide evidence to support why this conclusion has been drawn.

When structuring your essay, it is usual for each paragraph to deal with a different criterion. In that paragraph you should fully explain the criterion, make the relevant judgements and offer supporting proofs.

Evaluation Essay VS Review

One of the most common mistakes that students make with the mentioned type of paper is that they assume an evaluation is the same as writing a review. Although the two types of paper do have some similarities, there are also a number of differences that set them apart. The table below highlights some of those differences.

Tips for Writing a Great Evaluation Essay

Here are a few additional tips that will help you to produce a great evaluation essay that people will enjoy reading:

  • Give the Right Amount of Detail – Give plenty of detail regarding how you came to the conclusions that you did. Use supporting proofs and relevant examples to illustrate points if appropriate.
  • Make Sure What You are Evaluating is Precise – An effective introduction should clearly lay out what you are going to be evaluating and the criteria you are using to do so.
  • Help Readers to Agree with Your Opinion – If your evaluation is not prejudiced, then readers should agree with your conclusions and judgements. Offer enough information and evidence to make this easier for them.

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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.

4. Counterarguing: 

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.

Example Outline

Thesis: McAdoo’s is a fantastic family restaurant, offering young and old alike a great atmosphere, wonderful customer service, and a fantastic menu.

  • Introduction
  • 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.

Possible Topics

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
  • Categorizing
  • 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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How to Evaluate Essay Writing

Last Updated: April 25, 2020 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been viewed 34,893 times.

Essays are common assignments in high school and college. If you are a new teacher trying to evaluate student essays, then familiarizing yourself with the basic parts of an essay can also be helpful. Essays are usually broken into an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In some cases, an essay may also need to include a works cited or reference page. If you also need to assign a grade to an essay, develop a rubric and deduct a set number of points for items that are missing, incomplete, or incorrect.

Evaluating the Thesis Statement and Introduction

Step 1 Look for an attempt to engage readers.

  • For example, in an essay about the first day of classes at a new school, the author might engage readers by providing a vivid description of what it was like for them to walk down the hallway for the first time.

Step 2 See if you can tell what the essay is supposed to be about.

  • For example, if the essay is supposed to be about gun control, then the introduction should provide context for readers about this subject. This may be in the form of facts and statistics, an anecdote, or some background information on the controversy.
  • On the other hand, a narrative essay on the first day of class at a new school would need to provide a scene from that experience or some kind of background information, such as why they had to start at a new school.

Step 3 Identify the “so what?”

  • For example, if the topic is declining bee populations, then the author might include something about how this will affect the food supply to get readers to care about the subject.
  • If the essay is about a memorable family vacation, then the introduction might explain how this vacation changed the author’s perspective.

Step 4 Identify the thesis...

  • For example, a paper about the benefits of recycling might include a thesis that reads, “Everyone should recycle because we have limited resources and recycling helps to conserve energy.”
  • A narrative essay does not need to have an argument, but there should be a sentence that describes the main point of the essay, such as, “My family’s trip to Turkey taught me about different cultures, cuisines, and religions, and I learned so much about myself along the way.”

Reading the Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Check that the essay includes the minimum number of body paragraphs.

  • There would only need to be 3 body paragraphs if the essay is meant to be a 5 paragraph essay. If the essay is meant to be longer, then it should have about 2 body paragraphs per page.
  • Multiply the total pages of the essay by 2 and then subtract 2 (for the intro and conclusion) to find the approximate number of body paragraphs a paper should have. For example, a 4 page essay should have about 6 body paragraphs.

Step 2 Identify the topic...

  • For example, if the topic sentence reads, “Polar bears require a large amount of food to sustain their body weight,” then the rest of the paragraph should expound upon what and how much polar bears eat.
  • For a topic sentence that reads, “The meal consisted of a hearty goat stew for the main course, and several traditional side dishes in a variety of colors, flavors, and textures,” the paragraph should provide additional details about the meal.

Step 3 Look for evidence...

  • For example, if a sentence reads, “Male polar bears weight between 775 to 1,200 pounds (352 to 544 kg),” then there should be a source for this information because this is not information that most people know. [3] X Research source
  • On the other hand, it would not be necessary to include a source for a sentence that reads, “Polar bears are large, white bears.”

Step 4 Note the use of descriptive language.

  • If a paragraph is describing a person, then the author might include details about the color of their hair, the sound of their voice, and the type of clothing they wore.
  • For example, an effective descriptive paragraph might read, “Judy stood a whole head above me, but she also had an impressive afro that added about 6 inches (15 cm) to her height. She wore black Converse, ripped white jeans, a cherry red, v-neck t-shirt, and a silver locket that contained a picture of her father. Her voice was deep and raspy, as if she had smoked for 20 years, but she had never even had a puff.”

Step 5 Watch for transitions between sentences and paragraphs.

  • Sequence: then, next, finally, first, second, third, last
  • Cause and effect: for this reason, as a result, consequently, thus, therefore, hence
  • Contrast or comparison: but, however, conversely, similarly, likewise, in the same way, also
  • Example: for example, for instance, in fact, to illustrate
  • Purpose: for this reason, to this end, for this purpose
  • Time or place: before, after, immediately, in the meantime, below, above, to the south, nearby [6] X Research source

Reviewing the End of the Essay

Step 1 Note how the author readdresses the thesis statement.

  • For example, if the essay was about the benefits of recycling and why it is important to recycle, then the conclusion might include a sentence that reads, “Despite all of the benefits of recycling and how easy it is to recycle, many people still don’t do it.”
  • For a narrative essay that begins with a description of how nervous the author was to walk down the hall on the first day at a new school, the author could make a similar return to the introduction. The conclusion might include something like, “That first day was terrifying and walking down the hall felt like walking to my doom, but I learned that I was not the only one who felt that way.”

Step 2 Consider what kind of impression the essay made on you.

  • For example, at the end of a narrative essay you might be left thinking about the vivid description of a favorite family meal.
  • An argumentative essay may leave you thinking about the moral dilemma raised by the author regarding gun control.
  • An expository essay about polar bears might leave you with a new appreciation for their size and strength.

Step 3 Make sure no new information is introduced.

  • If the conclusion does introduce new information, note this in your evaluation.

Evaluating Cited Sources

Step 1 Check for in-text citations if sources were required.

  • Make sure the citations are formatted according to the style guide listed on the assignment sheet, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.

Step 2 Verify that cited information is consistent with the original source.

  • You may not have time to do this for every single piece of evidence, especially if you have a lot of students. If this is the case, you could randomly check 1-2 pieces of evidence for each essay you grade.

Step 3 Review the works...

  • If you're in doubt about a source, use the information on the works cited page to find the original source and review it.
  • Remember that the format should match the assigned style guide, such as MLA, APA, or Chicago Style.

Grading an Essay

Step 1 Consider how well the essay addresses the prompt or question.

  • Some teachers and professors require students to rewrite essays that do not satisfy the basic requirements of an assignment. If you come across an essay like this, then you might want to meet with the student to discuss their options.

Step 2 Use a rubric

  • Before you assign points to the criteria, rank them in order of importance for this assignment. This will help you create a points system that relates to the goal for this assignment.
  • It's best to give your students a copy of the rubric when you make the assignment. This allows the students to understand your grading process and expectations.
  • Introduction
  • Thesis statement
  • Organization
  • Development of ideas

Step 3 Deduct points if an item is missing, incorrect, or incomplete.

  • For example, if you require students to include a thesis statement in the first paragraph to outline the paper’s argument, then you might deduct 15 points if it is missing, or 10 points if it is incomplete or incorrect.

Expert Q&A

  • It's essential to clearly communicate your expectations to your students. Include all of the information they need to earn full credit in the assignment sheet, including your rubric. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you are evaluating your own essay, use the teacher’s assignment guidelines to ensure that you have included all of the required elements of an essay. Ask your teacher if you are unsure. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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How to Write an Evaluation Essay

An evaluation essay is a piece of work which is asking you to identify, through careful examination and consideration, whether a piece of work, or a topic has significance, and the creation of a judgement on how good or bad the ideas or paper can be considered to be. Evaluation essays can be titled using the terms “assess”, “rate”, “judge”, and “weigh up”, but in all cases, the aim is to provide an effective and crucially objective, assessment of the book, article, piece of research, framework, or hypothesis.

Objectivity is vital, although your work should come to a conclusion, or an evaluation argument at the end. Your aim is to present all your evidence to demonstrate that you have undertaken a fair and unbiased assessment of the topic to arrive at your conclusion. This means that an evaluation essay should incorporate pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, and assessment from a range of diverse, and potentially conflicting perspectives. Your work should be positive, but critical in its analysis, giving an equal weight to the information presented.

Key Tips for Evaluation

  • Identify and use a clear evaluation criterion. For example, if you are evaluating a product you need to assess ease of use, fitness for purpose and cost. In the context of a peer-reviewed article or hypothesis, evaluation criteria can include methodology design, focus of the research, sample population and analysis, and presentation of results.
  • With your criteria defined, you need to develop an evaluation argument (or thesis statement) which will tell your readers your own perspective on the work being evaluated. Remember: your perspective should be based on your analysis of the work, not just your initial opinion.
  • Ensure your arguments are backed up with credible, reliable academic sources, which should all be clearly cited and referenced at the end of your work.

Evaluation Essay Structure

The structure of an evaluation essay is much like any other – an introduction, a body section, and a conclusion. What is important in an evaluation essay is that you clearly define each section and how you arrived at the conclusion. Follow our steps and you will produce the perfect evaluation essay.


Your introduction should be interesting, you want to engage your readers with a statement of intent that encourages them to read on. You should then give a short (2-3 sentences, no more) background to the work being evaluated; this ensures your readers recognise that you have knowledge in the area.

Once you have garnered their interest, you should paraphrase the essay question, for example, “this work aims to evaluate X through use of Y criteria and identification of strengths and weaknesses”. In this way you are able to demonstrate that you understand the question set.

Your introduction should end with an indication of what you believe your final evaluation will be, for example, “it is intended to demonstrate that…”. This thesis statement should incorporate a brief outline of what will be covered in the main body. Now you have got the interest of your readers and they are clear about the subject and direction of the work, you can move on to the body of the work.

Body of the Essay

The initial paragraph in the body of an evaluation essay should not launch straight into assessment. Firstly, an objective overview of the history and overall construct / paper being evaluated should be provided. Not only does this demonstrate knowledge of the area, but reaffirms that you understand what exactly is being evaluated (the paper, the theories, the conclusions drawn etc.).

Your subsequent paragraphs should be founded on your evaluation criteria. One paragraph for each point, with supporting evidence for or against the point. Start with a topic sentence for example, “Chomsky believes language is innate, a theory which has received mixed acceptance in the field of language acquisition.”.

You then move on to explain why the acceptance is mixed, using well researched and referenced sources. Continue this process for each element of your evaluation criteria, ensuring that you connect each one to the previous with phrases such as “in addition”, “moreover”, “furthermore”. This ensures that your essay has a cohesive and logical structure that your reader can follow. A key tip is to ensure each paragraph has a topic sentence, explanation and examples or supporting evidence.

Your conclusion should be focused on producing one, final argument which demonstrates how you have weighed up (evaluated!) all the evidence against your defined criteria. Importantly, the conclusion should never include new information but should be a summation of all that you have already written, in a coherent, effective way.

To achieve the perfect conclusion, you should refer back to the thesis statement and indicate whether it has been confirmed or rejected, which closes the circle of the essay and clearly indicates your final position.

A superb evaluation essay conclusion also indicates whether there is any body (or field) that should be concerned or interested in your judgement and any potential consequences of your evaluation. Evaluation essays that include consequences and interest show that your position is recognised as being based on the available information and that there may need to be further investigation of the issue in the future.

Key Phrases for Evaluation Essays

The author endeavours to prove…

…expresses a view that…to the effect that…

…seeks to criticise…

…having dismissed, the author then…

…provides excellent examples of…

Ultimately, for the author…

Appears to be saying that…

It could be argued that…

What is not considered is…

In general, I agree with this view, but also recognise…

From the evidence and evaluation, it does appear…

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Evaluation Essay

Caleb S.

A Comprehensive Guide to Write an Evaluation Essay

19 min read

Published on: Mar 24, 2023

Last updated on: Nov 30, 2023

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Writing an evaluation essay can be a daunting task. It's not easy to summarize your thoughts and feelings about a book, movie, or product into a cohesive, well-written paper. 

Even if you're a great writer, the thought of writing an evaluation essay can be intimidating. You want to make sure that you say everything you want to say in a clear and concise way.

We've written this detailed guide on how to write an evaluation essay. By following our tips and tricks, you'll be able to write a great paper that will show off your critical thinking skills.

So continue reading to learn what an evaluation essay is and how you can master the art of of writing yourself!

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What is an Evaluation Essay?

Looking for evaluation essay meaning? Here is an easy meaning for you.

An evaluation essay is a type of writing which involves providing an opinion on a particular subject. This can be done in different ways and differs from all other types of essays as it requires the writer to pass judgment on their topic rather than give a fact-based report or dissertation.

The most common types of evaluation essays are critical analysis and interpretive essays. In both types, the writer evaluates a particular subject based on their own opinion or perspective and then explains why they feel that way. 

The goal of an evaluation essay is to present both sides of an issue objectively and provide readers with enough information so that they can form their own opinions.

Evaluations are meant to be unbiased and should not contain any opinionated statements.  They must instead only focus on facts because this will help ensure that they won't come off as personally biased, which would make them unreliable for the intended audience.

Purpose of Evaluating Writing

Why are evaluative essays assigned to the students? 

The purpose of evaluating essays is to determine the quality and effectiveness of a student's writing. Evaluation helps instructors determine if students have achieved mastery level

  • Understanding of the material in question
  • Understood the main ideas or points being made, 
  • Can effectively express their own thoughts and opinions. 

Additionally, evaluation allows teachers to assess a student's ability to organize and present their thoughts in an effective and meaningful way.

How can you write the best evaluation essay? To do this you must be aware of its characteristics. 

Characteristics of Evaluative Essay 

There are five characteristics of an evaluative essay:

  • Present the subject in a descriptive and evaluative way
  • Assert an overall judgment by providing the reason evaluation within the thesis statement 
  • Support your reasons and points with evidence 
  • Provide counterarguments by responding to the opposition's objections and claims 
  • Establish credibility and authority by providing enough knowledge on the subject 

Elements of an Evaluation Essay

Before beginning to learn how to write an evaluation essay, it is must to get educated about its elements. So the four elements of evaluation essay are mentioned below along with a brief details… 

An evaluation essay should start by clearly establishing the subject that is being evaluated. This could be a product, service, person, experience, or even an event. It is also important to explain why you have chosen this particular subject and what purpose it serves.  

  • Is the subject suitable  for the assignment? 
  • Does it present an opportunity to explore a certain topic in greater detail? 

Consider these questions and make sure to provide clear answers.

The criteria you use in your evaluation will depend on what you are evaluating and for whom you are writing the evaluation. It is best to provide clear and specific criteria that you can use to judge the quality of the item or service being evaluated.

This is usually based on certain factors such as quality, effectiveness, value, and/or suitability. It is important to provide a clear definition of these criteria so that readers are able to follow your analysis.

Now it is the time to judge whether or not the standards have been achieved. Returning to our hotel example, you might start by assessing whether or not the establishment offers excellent accommodations. Is it sufficient? Or does it fall short of your high expectations? You may then move on to the other criteria.

In order to effectively evaluate the subject, it is important to gather evidence in support of your evaluation. The evidence gathered should help to explain why the criteria are relevant and why the subject is being evaluated in a certain way.

If you reach the conclusion that the quality of food does not meet expectations, be ready to provide proof for why this is so.

It's common for each paragraph in an essay to address a different topic. In that paragraph, you should thoroughly explain the criterion, make relevant judgments, and provide supporting evidence.

Evaluation vs. Review - What are the Differences?

Some students have a misconception about how to write an evaluation paper. They think that it is the same as writing a review, but in reality, there are many differences between the two types of papers.

Although these two types of papers do have some similarities, there are also a number of differences between them that set them apart.

Below are the key differences between these two.

Evaluation Essay Outline

Understanding the evaluation essay format and creating an outline is important.

The essay format is based on the 5-paragraph structure that contains one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. 

Here is how to make an outline of your evaluation essay.

  • Introduction - Introduce the main theme or topic of the essay. Start the paragraph with a hook sentence and pique the readers’ interest.
  • Thesis Statement - Create a brief thesis statement and add it at the end of the introduction.
  • Body Paragraphs - Add at least three paragraphs in this section. Each explains one idea and gives supporting evidence to back them. You can also add more paragraphs if there is scope for it.

Each paragraph will follow the following structure.

  • Supporting Evidence
  • Opposing Views

It is important that you add all these things into your essay so that your evaluation presents and explains a complete idea.

  • Conclusion - Restate your thesis statement here and explain the main points. However, keep everything brief and to the point.

This outline will be helpful for you when you write your evaluation essay. Follow it carefully, and you will have your essay done in no time.

If you need more help, check out this outline template.

Evaluation Essay Outline Template

How to Start an Evaluation Essay?

Here are the essential steps to start your evaluation essay.

1. Choose the Essay Topic Idea

When you have to write an evaluation essay, the topic must be something that will give your opinion credibility and allow for a thorough analysis of what it is about. 

When choosing topics for critical evaluation essays, one should be familiar with the subject matter. Also, the quality of writing skills necessary when composing evaluative essays about particular subjects.

Therefore, choose a topic that is engaging for both you and your readers.

2. Develop the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a crucial element of an evaluative essay and should make it easy to evaluate the paper's arguments.

It must provide clear direction for where your evaluation stands on specific criteria so that you can distinguish between examples with differing levels of quality.

You need to be careful in citing only relevant information while supporting your points. 

3. Think about the Criteria for Your Essay

Once you have chosen the topic of your evaluation essay, it is important to consider what criteria will be used to evaluate the subject. 

How easy or difficult is it to explain your chosen topic or theme? If it is difficult, then you should divide it into multiple points that would help make this step easier.

Criteria should be objective and relevant. They must also be measurable so that the right kind of evidence can be collected. 

4. Research and Gather Supporting Evidence

Your opinion on a topic is not valid unless you have the support of physical or logical evidence.

You need to be able to back up your statements with facts that will allow people who read them to make their own assumptions about what they are reading and come to an independent conclusion.

Research the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen idea or topic and give a clear idea about it to your readers.

Otherwise, there's no point in arguing because nobody can agree if both sides don't provide any information.

Once you have worked through these steps, you can move forward to writing the essay.

How to Write an Evaluation Essay?

Here are the steps to write an evaluation essay.

1. Create an Outline of the Essay

After choosing the topic and researching it, make an outline for your essay. Follow the outline given above and create an outline for your evaluation essay.

Make it detailed and add everything you want to discuss in your essay for a more helpful outline.

2. Write a Strong Introduction

The first paragraph of an essay should be engaging not only to keep your readers engaged. However, also to establish what you're going to tell about and why they need this information. To do so requires a hook that captures their attention, like something important or less known statement, for them to continue reading the rest of it. 

3. Add a Thesis Statement

Evaluation essay thesis statement follows the introduction paragraph. It informs readers of what to expect from reading this essay and how it could affect your thinking about a certain matter.

4. Draft the Main Body of the Essay

The main body of an essay is the lengthiest part of the essay. It contains three paragraphs, but you can add more paragraphs if you feel that three paragraphs are not enough.

Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that tells the readers about one of the writer’s opinions about the topic.

However, make sure that you stay relevant and strong. If required, use compares and contrast techniques and make the reader agree with your point of view.

Add criteria, judgment, evidence, and opposing point of view for each idea. Make sure that you explain everything properly.

5. Write a Good Conclusion

The end of your evaluation essay is the conclusion part. It should be an opportunity to summarize what you have said or emphasize the most important points. You can also use this space as closure and reflection on everything discussed so far. Don’t forget to restate your thesis statement and how you proved it right.

6. Edit, Revise, and Proofread

Once you are done with the writing, proofread and revise it thoroughly. Do not submit anything without proper editing and proofreading. 

This final step is important if you do not want to lose your score because you did not add a ‘the’ at the beginning of the sentence.

All of these steps are important for writing a good evaluation essay. Follow them carefully and craft a winning essay.

Here is an evaluation essay sample;

Evaluation Essay Examples

Here are some evaluation essay examples for students. These will help you in writing a good evaluation essay. 

Evaluation Essay Example

Evaluation Essay on a Movie

Employee Self Evaluation Essay Example

Evaluation Essay Example PDF

Critical Evaluation Essay Example

Source Evaluation Essay Example

Evaluation Essay Topics

Here are some interesting evaluation essay topics that will help you write a good essay in no time.

  • Evaluate the role of smartphones in redefining long-distance communication.
  • How does social media affect our personal relationships?
  • What is the effect of the internet on the learning process of the students?
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning programs.
  • How do peer mentoring and tutoring affect learning?
  • How important is physical education in high schools?
  • Evaluate the reasons behind global warming.
  • Digital vs. Physical Textbooks: Which one is a better option for schools?
  • Analyze a historical movie and discuss its main themes.
  • Evaluate multiple works of the same writer and draw similarities between them.

Grading Rubric

Understanding the key grading considerations of a grading rubric is essential for evaluation essays. 

Here are some important factors that instructors typically consider when grading evaluation essays.

Evaluation Essay Writing Tips

Here are some helpful and easy-to-follow tips for writing a perfect evaluation essay.

  • Read the given material carefully and make important notes while reading and analyzing it.
  • Read each of the paragraphs carefully before transitioning to the next section.
  • Do not discuss points that only you find interesting; instead, choose something that will interest your readers.
  • Do not leave negative aspects but discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the said topic
  • Understand the pros and cons of the chosen topic. 
  • Maintain a consistent tone throughout the essay.
  • If evaluating a book or an article, notice the mistakes of the author and discuss them.
  • For a better evaluation, it is important to discuss the emotions that you may have while reading the work.
  • Do not add too many minor details and things that could not be backed with proper reasoning.
  • Read other reviews but try to maintain your own and unique tone and voice in it.
  • Express your thoughts clearly and concisely.

We hope you now understand what an evaluation essay is and how to write a critical evaluation essay. 

This is not all! We have also brought a helpful video for you to understand evaluation essay. So don’t forget to watch this:

To sum up, 

An evaluation essay is different from other essays. It requires you provide opinion on the subject instead of factual information or simply reporting findings. 

By reading our helpful guide, we hope that you have gained an understanding of the basics of evaluation essays and how to create them. So get started with your writing!

Although, if you're looking for someone who can help write an evaluative essay, visit out evaluation essay writing service now.

We specialize in providing authentic and custom writing assistance to everyone. With us, your essay comes with an A+ guarantee.

Every essay is written to meet the requirements of individual customers. Our essay writing service strives to offer our customers high-quality service at reasonable prices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an evaluation.

An evaluation is a systematic method that gives insight into the effectiveness of programs, practices, or initiatives. The information gathered can be used to make adjustments for these things to work better and achieve their goals.

What are the four types of evaluation?

Here are the four types of evaluation:

  • Summative Evaluation

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