Evaluation Essay Assignment
Write a thesis-driven essay that evaluates a single work, using specific reasoning/evidence derived from criteria to support your stance.
This assignment should follow MLA formatting guidelines.
For this assignment, you will write an evaluation about some type of media product (a book, movie, album, video game, etc). You will develop a set of criteria on which you will base your judgment, and using those criteria, will explain your judgment to your audience.
Assignment in Detail
Your evaluation will be similar to the book or movie reviews you might read online, but you will need to tailor it for an academic audience. You will provide a balanced assessment, so you will need to discuss both the positive and negative aspects (strengths and weaknesses) of your text. That being said, your evaluation will probably be stronger if you do not write about something you love; you may not see the flaws. First, you will decide on a text. Then, you will create a list of criteria that you may consider using to evaluate the text. While making this list, you should consider the text’s rhetorical situation, such as its genre, audience, purpose, and stance. With the rhetorical situation in mind, ask yourself what factors would make this book, movie, etc. successful. Then return to your subject and see which of these criteria it meets, and which it does not, and find examples of ways it does or does not meet your criteria. Your essay should be guided by a thesis statement that states your overall evaluation or judgment of the text. Since no text is perfect and none are completely without merit, your thesis should balance the pros and cons; it should offer a judgment of the text but qualify it according to your criteria. The criteria you choose should be clearly defined at the beginning of your essay. You should also include a concise description of the text you evaluate toward the beginning of your essay, since your audience may not be familiar with your subject.
Note that summarizing the text should be a small portion of the final essay.
The bulk of your essay should attempt to persuade your reader to accept your judgment of the text. Thus, you will need to incorporate the most convincing and important reasons why your judgment is correct. You will also need to consider how to best factually support your reasons. Do not use any outside sources beyond your chosen text.
Some thoughts about this assignment
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