Evaluation Essay


Unit 3: Evaluation Essay

Rough Draft Due: Submit Unit 3 (Evaluation Essay) to the dropbox labeled “Unit 3 (Evaluation Essay) Rough Draft” by Wednesday, April 14th at 9:35 a.m. (Central Time) (This essay must be completed according to the assignment guidelines outlined in the assignment sheet for the author to receive credit for completing the assignment and to be eligible to participate in the peer review session)

Final Draft Due: Unit 3 (Evaluation Essay) due in dropbox marked “Unit 3 (Evaluation Essay) Final Draft” by 11:59 p.m. (Central Time) on Wednesday, April 21st; no late Evaluation Essays will be accepted.

Purpose: In an evaluation essay, your goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of something by developing criteria, or standards to judge the thing, ranking those criteria in order to focus on the most important criteria, and then applying the criteria to evaluate how effectively the thing meets the criteria.

Think, for instance, of an album. If you were evaluating an album, then you would have to create criteria to evaluate the album. So, two of your criteria might be the number of awards that the album won and how many times the singer said the word “the.” If you were evaluating whether or not this was a great album, then you would have to rank the criteria by which criteria were the most important in determining if the album was great or not. In this case, the number of awards the album won would probably be more important in determining its greatness, so you would probably focus on that criterion rather than the amount of times the singer used the word “the.”

Tasks (How to write this essay):

  • Write a minimum of 6-7 pages (Must be a minimum of halfway down on the last page for it to count as a page). The essay must also include a correctly-formatted works cited page that does not count toward the 6-7 page minimum page count.
  • Write for an academic audience (no contractions, first- or second-person perspective, slang, or clichés).
  • The writer should start by choosing a genre of films. For instance, the writer could choose comedy, action, drama, science fiction, etc. Please use good sense in choosing your genre, so no “adult movies” or anything that could be considered inappropriate by another person who is reviewing your paper.
  • The writer should then choose three films from that genre. The three films are completely up to you. Just make sure that all of the films belong to the same genre.
  • The writer should then come up with a list of aesthetic and process criteria to evaluate these films. Explanations of what aesthetic and process criteria are can be found in Chapter 10 of your textbook. Then, the writer will rank these criteria from most important to least important in determining what constitutes a great film in the genre you have chosen. Please note that you will not use all of these criteria, so this part of the process, where you eliminate some criteria in favor of focusing on the most important criteria, is a very important step that you will not even explicitly mention in your paper. This is work that you must do before you even start writing the paper.
  • The essay’s argument (thesis) should focus on arguing that one film is a better representative of the genre you have chosen than the other two films and providing a minimum of 4-6 aesthetic and process criteria that should be used to evaluate films in this genre. You must have at least one aesthetic criterion and one process criterion.
  • Each body paragraph should utilize a topic sentence that argues that the film that is a more successful representative of this genre better addresses one specific criterion than the other two films. Please note that the paper is arranged according to criteria and not according to the films.
  • The author should then use at least one example from each of the three films in each body paragraph in order to support the argument in each topic sentence.
  • Citation: The writer should provide correctly-formatted signal phrases/attributive tags for all summaries, paraphrases, and quotations that reference material from sources, and correctly-formatted in-text citations must be provided for all paraphrases and quotations. Furthermore, the author should provide full introductions to sources the first time they are mentioned in the paper (author’s full name, the full title of the source, and a one-sentence summary of the main idea of the source), and a works cited page must document all sources and be formatted according to MLA guidelines.
  • Format: The essay should be formatted according to MLA guidelines, which are accessible in your textbook or through the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
  • Grammar and mechanics: Has ability to write using edited American English. Proofread and edit for issues that include, but are not limited to, those regarding spelling and word usage. Subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, run-on sentences, sentence fragments, fused sentences, absence or misuse of apostrophes, and absence or misuse of commas exemplify other problematic issues.

Skills (Learning Outcomes Achieved): Demonstrate understanding of and ability to read and respond to

the demands of the rhetorical situation (author, audience, and

subject) in both oral and written communication.

Read critically and analyze various types of assigned readings on

the basis of structure, pattern, and meaning in order to produce

original papers that show development of topic through

organization (such as topic sentence, support of the central idea

through details, and rhetorical patterns).

Invent, write, revise, edit, and rewrite formal essays in response

to readings which develop appropriate rhetorical patterns (i.e.,

narration, example, process, comparison/contrast, classification,

cause/effect, definition, argumentation) and other special

function(s) (i.e., literary analysis or research) while

demonstrating writing skills from process to product.

Produce final papers that show growth in principles of good

writing, such as organization (e.g., introduction/body/conclusion

or outlining), development (clarifying transitions between

sentences and paragraphs), unity (connected ideas), and which

demonstrate an understanding of the substance of the topic.

Complete at least one writing assignment that demonstrates a

limited use of MLA documentation form and basic research


Participate in collaborative work with other students via small

group discussions and presentations, workshop-style classes

devoted to particular issues (such as paragraph structure or voice

and tone), and produce, accept, and use constructively feedback

from writing instructors, other students, and other university

writers/instructors to take control of your own writing.

Create mechanically sound papers relatively free of errors in

grammar and mechanics.

Criteria for success: Please consult with the rubric for this assignment.

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