Evaluation Essay: Example and Tips

If you are wondering what evaluative essay is, and how to write it, we have a simple answer for you. Evaluation essay equals review. This sounds more familiar and not that scary any more, right? You have probably written many of those before, but we will try to clear up some details and give you some useful advice.

Surely, you already had to make reviews of the read books. But today we will learn how to do it right. To study such a genre of writing as a review or evaluative essay, we turned out not accidentally. Working on a review as an evaluation statement, on the one hand, will enrich your vocabulary and the grammatical structure of speech with the means of expression evaluation. On the other hand, learning to recall will provide an opportunity to improve the ability to use the means of expression evaluation in speech, that is, create value statements.

Most often students come across the task of writing evaluative essays on books. In everyday life, we usually read reviews on movies or products before we buy them. They become very useful when we decide whether we want to spend our time and/or money on something. Besides, people like to share their opinion about things they like or dislike.

At the end of the article, we will give several examples of evaluative essays of different types (evaluating events, products, experiences, etc.)

What is an evaluative essay?

What is an evaluative essay? What is a review? It is an expression of one’s own attitude towards the listened, read, experienced; emotional assessment of the personal perception of the work, impressions of it with a justification: what in the work caused exactly these feelings and experiences. The main thing in the review is the expression of emotional-appraising, personal attitude to the subject of speech. The communicative goal of the review is to evaluate the subject of speech.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in a review it is necessary not only to express your assessment of the read (like – dislike), but also to argue it sufficiently. To motivate the assessment, the author can use expression of the attitude to the hero, his actions and behavior, a judgment about his character, attitude to life. In addition, if the response is positive, it can be noted that the topic raised by the writer in the work, some features of the plot, compositions expressing the ideological meaning of the work, etc., provoked interest.

Characteristics of evaluative essay:

  • Small volume
  • Specific topic
  • Use of polemical pointy statements, subjectivity of presentation
  • Free composition
  • Paradoxical and aphoristic, emotional speech
  • Mixing different layers of vocabulary
  • Stylistic figures: anaphora, antithesis, unionlessness, gradation, inversion, multi-union, parallelism, rhetorical question, rhetorical appeal, silence, ellipse, epiphany
  • Presence of art trails (metaphor, comparison, epithet)

Peculiarities of an essay of evaluation

The reviewer (author of an evaluative essay) deals primarily with novelties, about which practically no one has written, about which a certain opinion has not yet been formed. In the classics, the reviewer discovers, first of all, the possibility of its actual, cutting-edge reading. Any work should be considered in the context of modern life and the modern literary process: to evaluate it precisely as a new phenomenon. This topicality is an indispensable sign of the review.

Owning the genre of review requires a deep understanding of the material, its critical evaluation, evidence, logic, promotes the development of reading and speaking, enhancing your speech culture and intellectual development.

The review is dominated not by the emotionally-subjective (like – dislike), but the objective evaluation. The author acts as a critic and researcher. The subject of the study is a work as an artistic text, the poetics of the author, his position and means of expression (problematics, conflict, plot-compositional identity, character system, language, etc.).

What can be a subject of evaluative essay?

  • Movie
  • Actor/musician/band
  • Performance
  • Work of art
  • Book/article
  • Writer
  • Sporting event
  • Place/building
  • Technical device
  • Video game
  • Restaurant/café

As you can understand, anything you can see, hear or feel can become a subject of evaluative essay. There are basically four main categories of things, which can become a topic of evaluative essay: products, places, performances and experiences.

Choosing the topic for evaluative essay

What are the main principles of choosing the topic for an essay? They are:

  • The author should have a strong opinion about the subject, either positive or negative.
  • Choose something that has impressed you recently and you still have strong impression about. It is better if you can repeat your experience before writing an essay.
  • To write a good evaluation essay, the author needs to know much about this type of things in order to compare it with similar ones and understand its uniqueness.

Examples of topics for evaluation essay

  • Transformers, the last knight. What a disappointment!
  • Surprises of Iphone 10
  • My impression after reading “To kill the mocking bird”
  • Broadway show is not a local theatre performance
  • Incredible graphics and poor plot of “The witcher”
  • Greatest band in the history of mankind
  • What is the strongest feeling?

Building an evaluation essay (on the example of book evaluation):

  • A narrative about readers’ passions of the essay, the history of his acquaintance with this work, the process of reading, etc. The thesis, which summarizes the evaluation of what has been read.
  • The reasoning, in which the argument is expressed, is based on the stated assessment:
    • the importance of the topic raised by the author and the problems raised in the work;
    • review (not retelling!) of the events depicted by the author, the most important episodes;
    • assessment of the behavior of the characters, their participation in the depicted events, attitude to the characters, their fate;
    • the outcome of the reasoning (thoughts and feelings of the author of the essay in connection with the read).
  • Generalization, in which the evaluation of this work is given in comparison with other works of the same author, expresses the intention to continue acquaintance with his work, contains an appeal to potential readers, etc. Thesis is an assumption about the historical and cultural value of the text under study.

What is the criteria of evaluation?

Criteria is the sign, the basis, the rule of making decisions on the evaluation of something to meet the requirements (measure). Criteria for the truth of knowledge are especially emphasized. There are logical (formal) and empirical (experimental) criteria of truth. The formal criterion of truth is the logical laws: everything that does not contain contradictions is logically correct.

The empirical criterion of truth uses the results of experimental data, for example: “object fitness criteria”, “object excellence criterion”, “reliability criteria of results”, “test sufficiency criteria”. The question of the criteria of truth, exhibited by different philosophical schools, deals with the theory of knowledge or epistemology.

Criteria of evaluation of an artwork (book, movie, painting, etc.)

By what criteria can you determine the value and quality of an artwork (film, book, painting, song, etc.)?

  1. The importance of a particular work against the background of its era. In the world of culture, there are a lot of examples of works that we would never have known about, if they had not appeared in an ideal place and time. On the other hand, do not forget about the works-trendsetter: there are works that are not very outstanding in themselves, but have had a huge impact on their direction, and have become the soil for future masterpieces.
  2. Criterion of “mass character” and “elitism”. On this issue, I can advise the works of Oswald Spengler, there is nothing to add to them. In short, there are several objective criteria for distinguishing mass culture from culture “not for everyone”. At the same time, this does not mean that all the “mass” works are bad, but for some people this criterion can be important.
  3. Criterion of skill. Understanding the subject, you can learn to allocate for yourself some professional criteria by which you can determine the skill of specific people working on the product. The higher the skill – the better the product (although there are also exceptions).
  4. Concept, background. This criterion is much more suitable for art nouveau and everything after that, but for these epochs, it is incredibly important. What did the author want to put into his work? What idea did he want to convey to the viewer? Is this idea worth telling? – questions that will help determine the value by this criterion.
  5. Your personal (and people you respect) impression. This is important enough for any work, but here you should be careful. For example, a large number of people like a “divergent” or “50 shades of gray”, but of course it is impossible to call it art. And if you, for example, love Hemingway very much and know that he respected Fitzgerald, then this may well be an objective criterion for an indirect assessment of the quality of the work.

Criteria of evaluation of a restaurant/café

The first impression (furnishing, atmosphere, design…).  The first criterion, which we estimate, is the first impression. This is what you first see when you come to the place. The first impression refers to the location, design, the availability and maintenance of its concept, interesting and unique ideas. In addition, we look at how clean the bathroom is, whether the furniture is broken (although there are places where this is part of the concept).

Quality of service. The second, not less important criterion is service in the restaurant. And, in connection with the fact that the impression about the service very much depends on the waiter’s personality, and also the fact that not all institutions work with the concept of “quality of service” – this criterion is one of the most difficult for restaurants and cafes. Essential parameters when assessing the service are the goodwill of the waiters, unobtrusiveness, knowledge of the menu, the ability to advise dishes, and attentiveness. The most important parameter of a high level of service is the speed of service. When you come to the institution, you should not look for a waiter, wait for a menu, bill.

Food is the heart of a catering establishment. The third, and perhaps the main criterion is the kitchen. When assessing the kitchen, we look at the speed of cooking, their serving, the size of the portion and, the most subjective criterion, the taste of the dish.

Prices – availability of accommodation for guests. Price is the criterion that has caused us the most discussions. How can you estimate the cost of meals in the place, if everyone has a different purse thickness? The best advise here is to compare prices with similar places in the same city.

Example of evaluative essay #1. Impressions from the lecture by Damiano Antonazzo “The History of Italian Design”

On October 15, within the framework of the EDS-CLUB, Damiano Antonazzo, the leading representative of Italian universities of architecture, design and fashion, gave a lacture. Damiano Antonazzo is the head of the development of the DOMUS ACADEMY, Academy of Arts in Central and Eastern Europe. DOMUS АCADEMY is traditionally included in the list of the best international design schools. Among its teachers at different times were designers: Jeanfranco Ferre, Ennio Capaz (founder of COSTUME NATIONAL), Philippe Starck, and one of the famous graduates is Anna Delo Russo (editor of VOGUE Nippon).

The lecture “The History of Italian Design” was designed to reveal to the listeners a deep concept of Italian design, to tell about the prerequisites for the occurrence of such a phenomenon. Damiano fully revealed the “soul of Italian design”, which, in his opinion, consists of the main components: Creativity, Beauty, Innovation and Functionality.

Charming Damiano explained to his listeners how to combine these factors into an ideal design project: “There are three options for evaluating your project: yes, no, and WOW! “WOW!” – this is exactly what you need to strive for. ”

Damiano focuses the audience’s attention on the capacious concept of “Less is More”, which defines something more than just a direction in style. This is a whole philosophy of minimalism, followed by many modern designers: Karim Rashid, Tom Dixon, Fabio Novembre, Ron Arad and other legislators of modern design. In minimalism, it is necessary to cut off all unnecessary and use extremely simple geometric forms. The main characteristics of the concept of “Less is More” are economy, cheapness, ergonomics and functionality (full correspondence of the form to the content). In addition, minimalism is also characterized by individuality in full, despite the laconic and simplistic forms.

Creativity and rigor, according to Antonazzo, is the key to the success of a modern project, be it architecture, subject or graphic design! His vision of an expert of Italian design won the students and guests of the European School of Design, who attended the lecture. We hope that Damiano will gladden us with his visit more than once to share his experience and knowledge about the world of Italian design!

Example of evaluative essay #2. Best ebook of 2018

Despite the technical progress on electric cars and neural networks, many people like to read exclusively “analog” books – so that “paper smells”. Let the retrogrades slobber their fingers, turning the pages and inhaling the fragrances of dusty bookshelves; you decided to choose an e-book, and I will help you in this.

There are advantages and disadvantages of e-books. Any specialized device has both a number of advantages over more universal, and a number of disadvantages. So, what is better for reading books: a smartphone (or tablet) or an e-book?

Advantages of e-books:

  • Electronic “paper” (usually a display company E Ink), not requiring backlighting
  • Long battery life after battery charge
  • Specialized for reading software (“bookshelf”)
  • Quick start (click the button, read)
  • Typically, the life cycle of such devices is longer than that of a smartphone or tablets (rarely charged, there is no need for frequent updating of software and hardware)

The main disadvantages of e-books:

  • Due to limitations in display technology, the reader can not watch video or play games
  • The user is limited to reading software installed by the manufacturer
  • E Ink screens are quite fragile, it is advisable to take care of the hard case

Choosing the best E Ink-reader, we took into account several important criteria:

  • Type of screen (maximum comfort for the eyes and image quality)
  • Comfort when used (dimensions and weight, whether it is convenient to read this “book”, whether it works for a long time, whether there is protection from dust and moisture, backlighting)
  • Reliability and stability of the hardware and software (whether it hangs, works quickly, etc.)
  • Cost (reasonable price / compliance with our requirements / quality)
  • Availability (how easy it is to buy a reader)

In our opinion, the best eBook is Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. Since the release of the first reader by Kindle, there has passed more than ten years, and generation after generation they still remain the best readers. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a reliable “reader” with an excellent touch screen E Ink Carta (6 “, 300 ppi), backlighting and long battery life. In addition to access to the largest and most popular bookstore, the reader supports * .mobi (unprotected), * .pdf, * .txt, * .prc formats. A small number of supported formats are offset by the abundance of * .mobi books on the Internet. They, like the * .docx documents, do not even need to be copied using a cable – just send them to a special mail address and they will appear in your library, besides there are many additions to browsers, services for sending files, web pages to the reader . Purchased books are available not only on the reader, but also in the cross-platform application Kindle, and synchronizes the place of reading, bookmarks, notes.

Evaluative essay example #3. Wonderful Yellowstone

Yellowstone is a park full of wonders. It enchants you, and you walk along its paths amidst geysers, boiling clay and hills of sky, trying to catch every sigh of the earth under your feet. Two full days we discovered the wonders of Yellowstone Park. We wandered along the sandy paths, climbed steep hills, listened to boiling clay, drove away annoying crows, saw deer and buffaloes, waited for the appearance of a grizzly bear.

If we talk about every minute and every step in the park, it will take a very long time. The park is really unique. I will tell only about a few of my most memorable moments.

A couple of days before our visit to Yellowstone in the press there were reports that the bear attacked tourists in this park. Not surprising. Tourists are so crazy that they are ready to jump into the hands of a bear. They wait for the grizzly, whistle to them, professionally photohunt at the bears. I have the same goose bumps running from one glance of the bear!

“In addition to the friendly buffalo and beautiful, smelling of gray geysers, I remember the boiling white clay. It is alive! In this park the most unpredictable in the world geysers… hills of colorful crystals, grass, ashes, mountains of the most bizarre forms, ice, forest … These mountains are so soft as if they are boiling like potatoes in a pot, and their color is similar to the color of the sky during sunset. Therefore this place is called the Wonderland, and thousands of tourists and travelers rush into this park every summer and, as if enchanted, wander about it,” wrote the American natural scientist, writer and wildlife advocate John Muir in 1885.

Despite the seemingly rampant and unpredictable nature of the geysers, everything seems to have been studied in Yellowstone, and even the time when the main geyser of the park erupts – “Old Faithful” – erupts. In fact, the Old Faithful geyser is not the largest in the park. It is simply the most studied and most regular in the eruptions among the more or less large Yellowstone geysers. With an interval of 35 minutes to two hours, Old Faithful erupts at a height of 30-60 meters. By the way, it smells like … rotten eggs, that is, sulfur.

Buffaloes are abundant here. Approaching them is forbidden, but what are the prohibitions for – it’s right to know them and not to do them? We were not the only ones who wanted to be photographed against the buffalo.

Two nights we spent in a wooden house somewhere in the forest near the border of the park. It was interesting, and strange, and even a bit scary. It’s strange – because of only a few nearby houses, only two were inhabited. It’s deserted, quiet, the Internet does not work, there’s a fireplace in the house. During the check-in, we were warned that it is best to go for walks with an “anti-bear” nebulizer and, if necessary, direct the nebulizer directly into the face of the bear.

A bit scary – because once out for a walk, we found a bear trail. And only then they told us that just this night the she-bear was pacing around here in search of food for her cubs. Yes, a little scary!

I saw the land of golden color and all shades of ocher for the first time. It is fantastic!