What is evaluative writing
Having received an assignment to write an evaluative essay, students frequently question themselves what kind of paper it is. In short, an evaluative essay resembles the structure of the review paper. Actually, it can already be inferred from its very title “evaluative” – you need to evaluate something, or provide a critical analysis of some issue or problem.
Concerning the mode of evaluative essay writing, it can be funny, serious, sarcastic, honest, etc. depending on what you evaluate. As a rule, most often students get assignments to write an evaluative essay as a response to a movie, book, article, service at some venue, etc. Even the restaurant or café reviews that you read are an example of evaluative essay writing.
How to Choose a Topic
If you think that you are not creative enough to come up with an interesting topic for your evaluative essay, you are really mistaken. When writing evaluative papers, you do not need to provide an extraordinarily creative topic. You can evaluate just anything – even the service at the local library or the coffee shop.
Most importantly, you need to choose a topic that will be easy for you and interesting. For example, if you have an idea to evaluate the service at the local bank, but you haven’t a clue how the banks operate, then it’s not the best idea to evaluate this topic. Further, it is important that you have a strong feeling or viewpoint on the chosen issue (either for or against). The best advice is to write about your own experience that you have recently had and evaluated it.
Which Categories of Services/ Products to Choose from?
To ease you the task of writing, we will suggest you some ideas what you can evaluate in your essay:
- Movies/ theatre plays/ concerts/ other performances;
- Products you buy/ order from the Internet;
- Personal experiences you have recently had;
- Places you have been to;
- Functionality of devices you have used;
- Cafes/ restaurants/ pubs where you have eaten;
- Hotels where you have stayed.
How Is Evaluation Different from Discussion?
When you simply discuss a certain topic, you describe it or narrate as many details about it as possible. However, when you evaluate it, you choose specific criteria based on which you conduct this critical analysis. To put it simply, you need to have a specific base according to which you will judge or criticize your topic.
Here are some examples of the criteria:
- For restaurants/ cafes: atmosphere, music, service, price, food quality, etc.
- For books/ movies: plot, content, hook, actors/ characters, etc.
- Hotels and other places of accommodation: location, facilities, convenience, local transport, etc.
All in all, when providing evaluation writing, make sure that you do not select too many criteria for evaluation. Actually, the paper should be consistent and logical in structure. When you choose too many criteria, your essay has all chances of becoming messy and disorganized, so keep in mind that it’s better to evaluate something based on 2-3 criteria rather than on 5-6.