The purpose of an evaluation essay is to present an opinion or viewpoint on a subject or body of work. It should firstly provide a summary of the article in question, then using a thorough, well structured argument the writer presents a point-of-view supported with examples and evidence. By nature this essay bears many similarities to the persuasive essay, only is designed to display a more balanced argument
The first step in writing an evaluation essay is to provide a judgment asserted through a clear thesis. A good thesis statement determines exactly the focus of your essay and aids the reader in understanding what the essay is all about. Furthermore, it presents the point-of-view you are taking and hereafter each paragraph should work towards asserting this point-of-view to the reader. Consider the examples below, it is obvious which one provides the clearest definition of what the essay is about, and the argument it will present:
A: Abbey Road is an album by the Beatles.
B: Through the balance of classic song writing, experimentalism and the harnessing of musical technology, The Beatles created the masterpiece that is Abbey Road.
It is clear that B is the most successful in summarizing the subject matter evaluated in the essay, whilst also displaying the writer’s opinion and the stance the essay will take throughout the main body.
Writing an evaluation essay
For your evaluation essay to be successful in putting your point across you need a convincing argument. It is important to thoroughly research the subject matter or have comprehensively read and digested the body of work in question. For your essay to sound convincing it is essential that you know what you are clear and confident in the subject matter you are covering.
If the evaluation essay is to be successful you must back up your viewpoints using evidence. For example, if you are evaluating the faults of a text you must back up your observations with facts and quote from the source material to verify your statements. To further demonstrate your point you may also wish to compare your subject matter to a separate body of work to compare or contrast where its strengths and weaknesses lie.
An evaluation essay should show impartiality and therefore present a balanced argument. If a writer appears biased towards a subject then the argument is ultimately less convincing. As a result the essay will fail to persuade or convince the reader to agree with the ideas or views the writer is working to establish.
The evaluation essay will require a conclusion which summarizes the points made during the main body. It is important that your argument has been logically structured throughout; that each point made leads fluently on to the next and seamlessly through to the conclusion.
You should provide concrete and secure closure to your argument by ultimately leaving the reader absolutely convinced by your evaluation and each point should have in turn worked towards proving the viewpoints of your thesis justified and correct, through a fair and unbiased analysis.
Gender differences and biases have been a part of the normal lives of humans ever since anyone can remember. Anthropological evidence has revealed that even the humans and the hominids of ancient times had separate roles for men and women in their societies, and this relates tot the concepts of epistemology. There were certain things that women were forbidden to do and similarly men could not partake in some of the activities that were traditionally reserved for women. This has given birth to the gender role stereotypes that we find today. These differences have been passed on to our current times; although many differences occur now that have caused a lot of debate amongst the people as to their appropriateness and have made it possible for us to have a stereotyping threat by which we sometimes assign certain qualities to certain people without thinking. For example, many men are blamed for undermining women and stereotyping them for traditional roles, and this could be said to be the same for men; men are also stereotyped in many of their roles. This leads to social constructionism since the reality is not always depicted by what we see by our eyes. These ideas have also carried on in the world of advertising and the differences shown between the males and the females are apparent in many advertisements we see today. This can have some serious impacts on the society as people begin to stereotype the gender roles in reality.
There has been a lot of attention given to the portrayal of gender in advertising by both practitioners as well as academics and much of this has been done regarding the portrayal of women in advertising (Ferguson, Kreshel, & Tinkham 40-51; Bellizzi & Milner 71-79). This has led many to believe that most of the advertisements and their contents are sexist in nature. It has been noted by viewing various ads that women are shown as being more concerned about their beauty and figure rather than being shown as authority figures in the ads; they are usually shown as the product users. Also, there is a tendency in many countries, including the United States, to portray women as being subordinate to men, as alluring sex objects, or as decorative objects. This is not right as it portrays women as the weaker sex, being only good as objects.
At the same time, many of the ads do not show gender biases in the pictures or the graphics, but some bias does turn up in the language of the ad. “Within language, bias is more evident in songs and dialogue than in formal speech or when popular culture is involved. For example, bias sneaks in through the use of idiomatic expressions (man's best friend) and when the language refer to characters that depict traditional sex roles. One's normative interpretation of these results depends on one's ideological perspective and tolerance for the pace of change. It is encouraging that the limited study of language in advertising indicates that the use of gender-neutrality is commonplace. Advertisers can still reduce the stereotyping in ad pictures, and increase the amount of female speech relative to male speech, even though progress is evidenced. To the extent that advertisers prefer to speak to people in their own language, the bias present in popular culture will likely continue to be reflected in advertisements” (Artz et al 20).
Advertisements are greatly responsible for eliciting such views for the people of our society. The children also see these pictures and they are also the ones who create stereotypes in their minds about the different roles of men and women. All these facts combine to give result to the different public opinion that becomes fact for many of the members of the society. Their opinion and views are based more on the interpretation they conclude from the images that are projected in the media than by their observations of the males and females in real life. This continues in a vicious circle as the media tries to pick up and project what the society thinks and the people in the society make their opinions based upon the images shown by the media. People, therefore, should not base too much importance about how the media is trying to portray the members of the society; rather they should base their opinions on their own observation of how people interact together in the real world.
Artz, N., Munger, J., and Purdy, W., “Gender Issues in Advertising Language”, Women and Language, 22, (2), 1999.
Bellizzi, J. A., & Milner, L. “Gender positioning of a traditionally male-dominant product”, Journal of Advertising Research, 31(3), 1991.
Ferguson, J. H., Kreshel, P. J., & Tinkham, S. F. “In the pages of Ms.: Sex role portrayals of women in advertising”, Journal of Advertising, 19 (1), 1990.
The word "critical" has positive as well as negative meanings. You can write a critical essay that agrees entirely with the reading. The word "critical" describes your attitude when you read the article. This attitude is best described as "detached evaluation," meaning that you weigh the coherence of the reading, the completeness of its data, and so on, before you accept or reject it.
A critical essay or review begins with an analysis or exposition of the reading, article-by-article, book by book. Each analysis should include the following points:
- 1. A summary of the author's point of view, including
- a brief statement of the author's main idea (i.e., thesis or theme)
- an outline of the important "facts" and lines of reasoning the author used to support the main idea
- a summary of the author's explicit or implied values
- a presentation of the author's conclusion or suggestions for action
- 2. An evaluation of the author's work, including
- an assessment of the "facts" presented on the basis of correctness, relevance, and whether or not pertinent facts were omitted
- an evaluation or judgment of the logical consistency of the author's argument
- an appraisal of the author's values in terms of how you feel or by an accepted standard
Once the analysis is completed, check your work! Ask yourself, "Have I read all the relevant (or assigned) material?" "Do I have complete citations?" If not, complete the work! The following steps are how this is done.
Now you can start to write the first draft of your expository essay/literature review. Outline the conflicting arguments, if any; this will be part of the body of your expository essay/literature review.
Ask yourself, "Are there other possible positions on this matter?" If so, briefly outline them. Decide on your own position (it may agree with one of the competing arguments) and state explicitly the reason(s) why you hold that position by outlining the consistent facts and showing the relative insignificance of contrary facts. Coherently state your position by integrating your evaluations of the works you read. This becomes your conclusions section.
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Briefly state your position, state why the problem you are working on is important, and indicate the important questions that need to be answered; this is your "Introduction." Push quickly through this draft--don't worry about spelling, don't search for exactly the right word, don't hassle yourself with grammar, don't worry overmuch about sequence--that's why this is called a "rough draft." Deal with these during your revisions. The point of a rough draft is to get your ideas on paper. Once they are there, you can deal with the superficial (though very important) problems.
Consider this while writing:
- The critical essay is informative; it emphasizes the literary work being studied rather than the feelings and opinions of the person writing about the literary work; in this kind of writing, all claims made about the work need to be backed up with evidence.
- The difference between feelings and facts is simple--it does not matter what you believe about a book or play or poem; what matters is what you can prove about it, drawing upon evidence found in the text itself, in biographies of the author, in critical discussions of the literary work, etc.
- Criticism does not mean you have to attack the work or the author; it simply means you are thinking critically about it, exploring it and discussing your findings.
- In many cases, you are teaching your audience something new about the text.
- The literary essay usually employs a serious and objective tone. (Sometimes, depending on your audience, it is all right to use a lighter or even humorous tone, but this is not usually the case).
- Use a "claims and evidence" approach. Be specific about the points you are making about the novel, play, poem, or essay you are discussing and back up those points with evidence that your audience will find credible and appropriate. If you want to say, "The War of the Worlds is a novel about how men and women react in the face of annihilation, and most of them do not behave in a particularly courageous or noble manner," say it, and then find evidence that supports your claim.
- Using evidence from the text itself is often your best option. If you want to argue, "isolation drives Frankenstein's creature to become evil," back it up with events and speeches from the novel itself.
- Another form of evidence you can rely on is criticism, what other writers have claimed about the work of literature you are examining. You may treat these critics as "expert witnesses," whose ideas provide support for claims you are making about the book. In most cases, you should not simply provide a summary of what critics have said about the literary work.
- In fact, one starting point might be to look at what a critic has said about one book or poem or story and then a) ask if the same thing is true of another book or poem or story and 2) ask what it means that it is or is not true.
- Do not try to do everything. Try to do one thing well. And beware of subjects that are too broad; focus your discussion on a particular aspect of a work rather than trying to say everything that could possibly be said about it.
- Be sure your discussion is well organized. Each section should support the main idea. Each section should logically follow and lead into the sections that come before it and after it. Within each paragraph, sentences should be logically connected to one another.
- Remember that in most cases you want to keep your tone serious and objective.
- Be sure your essay is free of mechanical and stylistic errors.
- If you quote or summarize (and you will probably have to do this) be sure you follow an appropriate format (MLA format is the most common one when examining literature) and be sure you provide a properly formatted list of works cited at the end of your essay.
It is easy to choose the topics for critical essay type. For example, you can choose a novel or a movie to discuss. It is important to choose the topic you are interested and familiar with. Here are the examples of popular critical essay topics:
- The Politics of Obama
- The Educational System of US
- My Favorite Movie
- Home Scholl
- “The Match Point” by Woody Allen
- Shakespeare “The Merchant of Venice”
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