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How to Write an Evaluation Essay

Everybody is familiar with how to write an essay but what about how to write an evaluation? An evaluative essay is one where the author makes a review, judging whether something is good or bad and stating their reasons for this. Evaluation is a lot different to a description. When you assess something, you need to incorporate analytical techniques.

In order to familiarize you with an evaluative essay, take a quick read of a book, product or restaurant review. Your evaluative article will be somewhat like writing a review. Everybody loves to read reviews in order to understand something better and an evaluative essay can be either serious or funny, yet it needs to get your understanding and opinion across to the audience. If you have a satirical take on the world, you can use this as the perfect opportunity to showcase your humor. It’s really likely that you’ll have a great time writing the essay and the people who read it will have a fabulous time too.

Choosing a topic

So what are you going to evaluate? There is so much scope for choosing a topic, but keep in mind that you have a better chance of writing a good paper on something that you have a strong opinion about. You could harbor either positive or negative idea about something, yet make sure that you have a strong belief. It’s also best to choose to write about something that you’ve experienced recently so that you’re able to review it one more time before you begin your composition. With every topic, you’ve got to know what you’re writing. Choose a subject that’s true to you and resonates with your experience – after all, if you don’t do this, what are you going to write about?

Take a look at the following list of ideas that you can use to brainstorm a topic – what would you like to evaluate? Think about these points in order to get your synapses firing.

Finding Criteria For Use in Evaluation

How exactly are you going to turn your opinion into an evaluation? In order to do this successfully, you’ll need to determine some rules to use to base your judgment on. What criteria may you ask? These are the pieces of your chosen topic that you can make a judgment on as a good or bad thing. Think hard about the parts of the topic that you’re putting under evaluation.

Let’s look at some examples of criteria:

In order to find the best kind of criteria to base your valuation upon, determine what kind of topic you’ll be evaluating. In doing this you will find your criteria very easily. If you’re going to write about a movie, what genre is it – horror, thriller, romance? In order to immerse yourself in the topic, you can decide what you think would make a great movie in your chosen genre. If you’ve chosen to evaluate a romantic comedy, you may think that the best romantic comedies need to have funny actors, plotlines that are relatable and humor, various entertaining plot twists and a good chemistry between the actors. After this, you can assess your movie and see how it matches along with your criteria, providing specific examples of whether or not the film you’re evaluating has matched your expectations of the perfect movie.

How to Turn A Topic Into An Essay

So you’ve got your topic and you’ve got your criteria. You readily researched your topic and have good information about it, so how are you going to assess? In order to create the best evaluation of something, you need to make a comparison with the best possible example of that thing. Think about what category of an item it is and what would be an ideal example of something in that category.

In order to break this down a little more easily, let’s consider some examples of topics and how to turn them into the start of a good evaluation essay.

Example: Pizza Hut

What category is this? It should be quite obvious that this is a restaurant, so for the best evaluation essay possible, you’ll want to compare this restaurant to others that are similar in order to narrow down the category as much as you can. To do this, ask yourself what kind of restaurant this is – in doing this you determined it’s a fast food restaurant, so again what kind? It is a pizza fast food serving restaurant. Hey! We’re getting somewhere!

If you were to be evaluating Pizza Hut you would need to compare it to other pizza serving fast food restaurants. So what would be the ideal fast food restaurant that serves pizza in your mind? What would make that ideal place better than others? Through thinking about what you would consider being the very best in your category, you all building your mind up for a review where you can decide what criteria to use and what judgments to make. As an example, if you’re going to evaluate a fast food pizza outlet, your ideal pizza outlet would have the following criteria:

It’s going to be difficult for people to come up with the same list of criteria for a pizza restaurant, however, criteria will be based on the service, food, atmosphere, and value.

Now you should notice that your paper will focus on how close Pizza Hut resembles this ideal restaurant.

Organization and Collation

Using this comprehensive list of criterion above, it’s very easy for you to now outline an essay about your Imaginary fast food pizza restaurant. As with any good piece, the key is to come up with a compelling thesis statement. It should constitute the body of your work in a complete, clear and succinct manner.

Example thesis statement:

After you’ve gathered your criteria list, you can easily make a fast outline for your evaluative essay. Let’s consider the fast food pizza restaurant example.

Sample statement:

While you are boring your eyes out waiting around for a slice of flavorless pizza at most outlets, others are receiving a mouthwatering slice at Pizza Hut, one of the best places for pizza. Pizza Hut not only offers great food but also delivers it promptly, offering great value for money.

Now you have your thesis statement, arrange some topic sentences for each paragraph in short bullet point fashion.

Paragraph 1 – food service:

Paragraph 2 – restaurant atmosphere:

Paragraph 3 – food taste:

Paragraph 4 – value:

If you follow this quick format, you can plan your essay in no time and organize your thoughts in order to flesh out these points within your essay.

Ways of Organizing Your Essay

The format of your essay will be very important. After all, if your piece doesn’t have a coherent structure and the smooth flow, it won’t make a whole lot of sense. There are many ways you can organize your evaluative essay.

1. Compare and contrast

Think about your subject and compare it to something else in that genre. In order to save time, you can write about something everybody is familiar with. You don’t need to do an extensive matching piece, instead just make the observation as a prompt into your own judgment.

2. Framing

You can use a subject description in order to frame your essay. This will allow you to quickly enter the descriptive part. After you entice your reader, you can keep them in suspense. Conclude with your evaluation at the end of your frame.

3. Anticipation

In order to keep your readers interested, use an introduction to describe what you were anticipating before introducing the subject, then follow on to outline how you thought the subject was better or worse than expected.

4. Analysis using criteria

Within this type of essay, you can introduce the subject and explain why you want to assess it, what kind of competition there is and how you gathered sufficient data for evaluation. After this, you can arrange your criteria in chronological order or in order of greatest importance.

5. Genre definition and comparison

If you are using this structure, you could start by writing a description of typical expectations you have for your subject, whether it be a piece of music, a club, restaurant, movie or any other subject. After you have described the typical item, you can explain how this subject either deviates from the norm or exemplifies it. This kind of structure can work well if you’re writing a satirical piece or talking about a thing that normally defies conventions.

6. Causal analysis

Here, you can measure what effect your subject has on an audience and write about it. In what ways does your case create a certain impact on its audience? There are numerous things that you can describe, usually talking about how the subject makes people feel.

7. Chronology

If you take this structure as your base, you can explain to people an order in which something happened. This could prove particularly useful if your item is a performance, e.g. you could outline each stage of the play as it panned out, evaluating and is discussing each stage.

8. Visual analysis

Often if you’re looking to evaluate pieces of art, this structure could work well for you. Talk about how your subject is visually appealing. Mention how the composition, foreground and background, focus, arrangement, cultural references, symbols and other static parts work in harmony to create a visual effect. There are plenty of scopes to talk about medium and tools of the artist. When describing a painting, for instance, one could talk about the texture, color, pattern, shape and different media used. Whatever you write, you can analyze all of these details and elaborate on them, referring to historical and cultural context. In the end, you can paint your own picture about how everything you analyze comes together to bring overall meaning. Why has this piece made an impact on you? This is one question you will have to answer to within your essay.

9. Social contexts and stories

If you take an image and analyze how it is effective, you can create an analysis based on social context and story. In general, an image is some sort of emotional event or a historical event that has made an impact. Your analysis can focus on the ways that this image has demonstrated and contributed to the emotions of people, debating exactly how it has done this. There is a lot of scope for analysis with this kind of structure.

As with any of these structures, you’ll soon find that the essay becomes easier to write, however, how are you going to make it stand out? A great way would be to vividly describe what you’re analyzing, using a series of colorful verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Entice your reader and make them feel like they have experienced the same things as you through the use of style and imagery. As with any good essay, the introduction needs to pack a punch to hook the audience in, so let’s look at how to write a good introduction, continuing on with our example of the pizza restaurant.


The introduction is really one of the most important parts of your essay. Without a decent start, you might as well just take that piece and throw it in the bin! The introduction should work to outline your main points in the simple and coherent manner. Within the opening paragraph, you need to provide your thesis statement. Work the introduction as a sort of protective cover for your thesis statement, introducing that statement within it.

There are a lot of good ideas that you can use to introduce your essay, yet if you are unsure about what to do then take note of some of these prompts for a good introduction:


So, how about your conclusion? The end of your essay will be rather like a summary. What does this mean? One of the most important things is that it should not include any new information. By the time you reach your conclusion, you should have already outlined everything that you wanted to describe in your essay. The end is a time to wrap up and not introduce any new detail. The conclusion is also a time to relay to your thesis statement. Bring in what you started with initially, making your essay conclude and bringing the structure to a logical coherent ending.

As with the introduction, there are many ways to conclude and numerous styles for a conclusion stop take note of some of these prompts to help you formulate the perfect conclusion:

Top Tips

Looks like your essay is really on its way, but how are you going to keep readers interested?

With any topic, you can have a tendency to go on and on, describing and evaluating everything you know. However, it is important to be frugal with your use of words. Provide the right amount of data for your reader to make an opinion, or agree with your judgment. Often it is better to be concise and precise than to ramble on and have your point diffused. You need to make sure that you decide exactly what your point is before you start writing.

Help guide the reader into agreeing with your evaluation stop a lot of the time. People enjoy reading reviews because they can get help about whether they would like the thing being reviewed, so make sure that you provide details as to why someone should agree on the same way as you.

It may feel like an evaluation is a lot like a summary, however, you will want to write a review including evaluative techniques. Talk about how things have changed over time, differences in opinions and the reasons for your evaluation. As with any essay, make sure that your points are clear. With a great structure, you’ll be able to make your evaluation crystal-clear for the reader.

This with any judgment that you make, you should say exactly what you think. There is no reason to shy away and conform to what the consensus is. Include the main ideas within your thesis statement. It may help to define the audience that you are addressing, and specifically note the evidence, criteria and judgment characteristics for each point that you make in your plan. With your subject, don’t pick too many things to discuss in your evaluation. It is better to be concise and precise than to ramble on unnecessarily.

The more opinionated the better! This is true to some degree, though you don’t want to be obnoxious in your approach. Don’t forget that the more passionate you come across, the more interesting your evaluation will be to read. Your passion can come across using your style and opinion about a subject. It could be that your beliefs on the topic are varied; you may like some parts and dislike some others, so mention this if this is the case. It is good to argue one side, but you need to be intelligent about this. If there are no good reasons to debate your side, it won’t come across well.

While you’re talking about each of your judgments, you really need to back them up with interesting, specific and convincing data. Most importantly, however, back up opinions with examples, evidence, and logical reasoning. Try to describe a subject with quotes, anecdotes and other forms of confirmation. If you are trying to counter argue, you need to provide reasons as to why. Without evidence, your opinions aren’t going to be so robust; or rather people won’t believe what you’re writing.

Final Thoughts

So what are you going to evaluate today? There are so many things that you can write about, but take note of all that’s been discussed here. Choose something that you’re passionate about, or have a strong opinion on, without losing sight of structure and coherence. Whatever you’re going to assess, make sure that it is a credible valuation, so give reasons and evidence your opinion. Hopefully, after reading this piece, you’ll manage to get your point across to the audience.

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