For your third essay, please choose between the following prompts:
1. Review a book
2. Review a movie
Please make sure your essay meets word count (750-1,000 words). Here are tips for formatting Essay 3:
Tips for Formatting Essay 3: Evaluation Essay:
The evaluation essay is very structured, like much of the writing one sees in the business world: headings are made very deliberately for the different goals of each section of the essay, though the logic of when to make new paragraphs or sections remains the same:
each part or section (or paragraph) of an essay supports the thesis and builds (or advances) the author’s argument in some distinct and effective way.
Here are the parts of an evaluation essay, so your essay should also have these parts (for Essay 3, totaling five paragraphs):
1.Paragraph one: Introduction of the subject (the movie or book, in this case)
*This section allows for the author to explain enough of the context about a subject, just like an introduction, that the reader needs to understand the major themes or aspects of the subject being evaluated. In the case of your essay, this includes an objective summary (emphasis on the word objective) of the content of the book or movie, like what one sees on the back cover.
Otherwise, the reader will not really understand later specific references: make sure this first paragraph tells enough so any later references make sense: it’s a good idea to read over the body of the essay, then return to the introduction to ensure it does contain all the information on the subject to make the rest of the paragraph clear.
2. Paragraph two: Criteria:
This paragraph contains the means by which the book or movie is going to be evaluated in Essay 3.
*A person can only be held responsible for what they say they are going to do. Meaning, if you make it clear what this evaluation is focusing on (to answer the questions in the prompt you picked), then that makes it clear what the essay will develop in later paragraphs: the reader can expect explanatory and illustrative detail to elaborate on the points mentioned in this paragraph.
For example, I might evaluate a book based on its potential success for teaching children about sharing. Or, I might review a website based on its accessibility to people with visual, auditory, etc. impairments. In either case, my decision about how to evaluate something is based on the criteria necessary to discuss the subject and what I am trying to do will dictate how I expand on these subjects later in the essay.
3. Paragraph three: Discussion of Subject:
This is a paragraph where you will demonstrate how well you know the subject, establishing your authority for evaluating it.
*This can include research on the subject, meaning what other reviewers have said about the book and movie, but it can also include direct quotes or references to parts in the book or scenes in the movie; aim to include two opposing views (1-2 typed line max). If you use someone else’s wording, make sure to put their words into quotation marks and cite them after the line that’s quoted, using the author’s last name and page number if you have it: (Fida 2).
If it’s another author’s idea, but not direct wording, please just include the in text citation after the sentence containing the idea. Remember that quoting an idea or a quote in text means that the essay should have a Works Cited page: you can feel free to see the citation portion of your textbook or email me for resources on how to cite if it’s a website.
Bring in other’s viewpoints helps to show that your assessment is relevant (by showing others are discussing it), it’s open minded (by researching the topic and not just assuming one side of the debate), and that the author is knowledgeable on the topic (which is why students include research in their writing).
4. Paragraph four: Assessment:
This paragraph does require the author using the previous sections of the essay (remember that all parts of an essay work together to prove a point) that establish the argument to finally make a judgment that actually answers the question in the prompt you selected.
*Remember that subjects are not black and white (logical fallacies from Week 4), meaning they aren’t all bad or all good: a glowing review or an overly negative judgment of a subject is considered one-sided in writing: it should be balanced, meaning weighing all possible assessments on the criteria: remembering my example of the book about sharing:
it may be that book contains strong illustrations that children will respond to, but it may contain hackneyed dialog that reinforce clichés about sharing. The book asks you to pick a book of movie you have thought about, so this paragraph should name the range of judgments that can be made on the book or movie (whichever you pick).
However, even though this paragraph is balanced, it must reach a conclusion on the subject, for example, I must say, although the illustrations are positive and inviting, the overall assessment of the work is that the message is vague, relying too heavily on the illustrations to distract from the weak conflict and one-dimensional situations in the book about sharing.
5. Last Paragraph, Paragraph five: Reasoning for Assessment:
This paragraph explains the assessment or conclusions you reached in the last paragraph—it explains the reasoning behind, including specific references to the book or movie that support the judgment reached in the last paragraph.
*Remember that a point is not a point (as noted perhaps in previous essays) until it’s specifically demonstrated with a specific type of evidence (Week 3). Therefore this paragraph should contain those examples to support the essay’s evaluation. In my example, I have to point to ways in which the plot and conflict are one-dimensional and why that’s ineffective to reveal the book’s overall message to children.