How to Write an Evaluation Paper - Step-by-Step Guide from Experts
Among the number of popular types of academic assignments, students should by no means overlook evaluation essay writing. In order to better understand how to write an evaluation paper, let us define it. An evaluation paper is an essay in which one assesses the quality level of a given object, company, service, facility, etc. One may evaluate a theory, the effectiveness or lack of such for a law or legislative initiative, governing institution, educational method, and so on. Yet, an evaluation is not performed merely by quoting the author's personal opinion. On the contrary, a proper evaluation essay will likely avoid any biased viewpoints. The process must be performed by means of introducing clear and reasonable criteria, against which the theory or method will be evaluated. In the best case scenario, it will be possible to provide the reader with precise figures, which would clearly express the results of the evaluation. Certainly, such an outcome is not always possible for a number of disciplines, including humanities. Thus working out a scale and developing the numerical expression of the evaluation is not compulsory, though is quite desirable.
At first, this may sound a tad too complicated. But let us illustrate it with an example. Say, an evaluation essay may be on the effectiveness of Barack Obama's second presidential term. Now, how exactly should we determine the effectiveness of Obama's office service during his second term in office? Giving opinions is not accepted in the academic community. Which is why you cannot just say "I don't like Mr. Obama and thus I find his service nasty." But what is a good criterion then? Well, there are two ways to go, at least two very obvious ones. We may use the completion of his election campaign agenda as a criterion. In fact, each promise Mr. Obama made is a criterion. Thus the entire agenda makes up a set of highly effective evaluation benchmarks. Another route to take is to look at the economic growth, social dynamics, and other similar factors as the assessment criteria. It is important to keep in mind that there were other factors beyond Mr. Obama's will and effort, which influenced the overall situation in the country. In both cases, we come up with quite inaccurate, but still indicative, figures to express our evaluation in numeric terms. In the first case scenario, one may count the number of promises made within the election campaign, and then calculate the percentage of the fully and partially fulfilled ones and those that were failed completely.
A Brief Step-by-step: Evaluation Essay Writing
We have found the answer to the question asked by the majority of students: "what is an evaluation essay?" However, there are two critical components of a good essay in general and of an evaluation essay in particular. Those are the content of the paper and its structure. The essence and the shape, if we put it in simpler words. Well, we are now clear on the content. But what about the structure and how does it relate to evaluation essay writing? That's where things get a tad more complex. In fact, they only seem to be complex to those who have never tried writing an evaluation essay. Let us try to describe the optimal sequence of actions briefly. First of all, you do the research. It is important to take notes while doing that. Write down the information you may need for your essay and remember the quotes. You have to inform your readers as to where the information cited by you needs to be checked out and where they can read up about the subject. In order to use space in an optimal way, citation styles were worked out. A citation style is a set of rules which allow you to provide your readers with the information about the sources you have used. Using a strict order of author/title/edition/page, a set of symbols, meant to separate pieces of information from one another, by reducing certain words to just one character, citation styles allow to include information about sources into very short notes, which then can be easily decoded by the readers. Thus, before you write your paper, and even prior to the research, you should consult your tutor about using the citation style in your essay.
Developing an Evaluation Essay Outline
Your next step is an assessment of your evaluation essay outline. Please, keep in mind that some professors require it to be submitted along with the paper, and some don't. It is wrong, however, to treat writing an outline as a mere formality. Putting your thoughts into the framework of the academic structure, you actually build up your essay's skeleton. This practice is essential for shaping your cognitive skills. This is why do not allow laziness to take control of you. Write an outline before you start on the essay itself. Once you have an outline, it goes to show that you can write much easier. Here is a very rough and generalized draft of an outline for an evaluation essay:
- General information on the subject
- Presenting your thesis
- Introducing your criteria
- Evaluation criterion 1
- Evaluation criterion 2
- Evaluation criterion 3
- Evaluation criterion 4
- Evaluation criterion 5
- Summary of information and overview of the criteria
- Conclusion (based on the thesis and the criteria)
Reflecting on How to Start an Evaluation Essay
Once you have done the research, developed your outline, and made up your mind as for your criteria, it is time for you to write the draft. For many, this point is a very challenging one. As soon as you begin, it becomes much easier to write. Yet, the take-off is a real trick.
Certainly, after you make the outline, you should begin writing your essay with an evaluation essay introduction. It needs to be not formal, but, on the contrary, intriguing and engaging. Consider starting your introduction paragraph with a hook, something that will catch your reader's attention and make them continue reading. The next thing is providing general information on the subject. That's where you buttress up your points of view by facts and properly quoted citations. Then your evaluation essay thesis statement comes. Try to articulate your main idea as clearly as possible. Lastly, you will introduce your criteria, a thorough analysis of which will form the body section.
The Body of Your Evaluation Essay
In this part, each paragraph is an introduction of a separate criterion. There will be a paragraph for every criterion you have. In some cases, when your essay is supposed to be a rather long one, it is possible to have two paragraphs for each criterion, or just some of them.
Do You Know How to End an Evaluation Essay?
Certainly, you finish your evaluation essay with a conclusion. But remember a few essential rules:
- The conclusion provides no new information;
- The conclusion contains no new citations.
A proper evaluation essay conclusion is expected to recap your thesis statement and your criteria.
In the conclusion part, present all the information very briefly and round off with the thesis restatement, saying that it proves to be right or wrong. It is generally accepted that you include a sentence about the feasibility of future research in this very field of study.
A Few Evaluation Essay Topics for Your Reference
Unfortunately, there are professors who are short on giving their students suitable evaluation essay topics. They expect you to show off your creativity and develop topics on your own. If it is challenging for you to work out an evaluation essay topic, we have prepared a good list of valid ideas for your evaluation papers. These topics can impede creativity and help you come up with a good topic suitable for your situation:
- Evaluate the effectiveness of your school's anti-bullying policies;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of applying modern technologies in the educational process of a junior school;
- Evaluate the reasonability of watching sports games on TV;
- Evaluate the progress the humanity has made in human sciences since ancient times;
- Evaluate the damage the cold war had done to the American economy;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the government's anti-terrorist measures since 9.11.
These are only a few topics we have in store. We are confident that now you can do more yourself. But just in case you still mistrust your powers, please consider making us your ongoing assistance. Our professionally trained writers will be happy to write an excellent evaluation paper for you!