What questions do you have about the evaluation?
We evaluate, or review, everything from pizza, restaurants, movies, and even professors. Commentary and criticism of all sorts just happen. Doing them well is another matter.
Writing an Evaluation: It is one thing to offer an opinion, yet it is an entirely different matter to back up a claim with reasons and evidence. Only when you do will readers take you seriously.
- You are evaluating one or more representations of a monster or category of monster.
Explain your mission: Just what do you intend to evaluate and for whom? Are you writing for experts, a general audience, or novices? How much explaining do you need to do so that you audience follows you without getting annoyed with too much information.
- If it is a well known monster you do not have to go into detail to explain it to us. If it is one we would not generally know, you have some work to do to introduce and explain it.
Establish and defend criteria: Criteria are the standards by which objects are measured.
Successful presidents leave office with the country in better shape than when they entered.
When readers are likely to share your criteria, you need to explain little about them. When readers disagree or object, be prepared to defend your principles.
- Remember: Monster Theory (Seven Theses) is a great starting point for establishing criteria.
Offer convincing evidence: Evidence makes the connection between an opinion and the criteria for evaluation that supports it. Supply data to show that a product you judged faulty didn’t meet those minimal standards.
- The monster evidence should come from your primary sources of the monster. The movie, book, short story, video, etc.
Offer worthwhile advice: Some evaluations are just for fun. Done right, most evaluations and reviews provide usable information, beneficial criticism or even ranked choices.
- Make sure to answer the so what question? Why does this matter? What can we learn about society or ourselves by understanding the monster?
Revision: American Idol
Offer three separate critiques of points or paragraphs.
- Critical. Be direct or decisive on what was good or bad in the evaluation.
- Generous. Be generous and/or emotional in your reading and comments.
- Constructive. Offer evenhanded constructive feedback.
- Critical Thinking
- Clarity of Thought
- Analysis and Thesis
- Use of sources and works cited
- Images and Title
Fallacy Group Presentation
Purpose of Evaluations
Let’s look at an example evaluation for a movie.
Lisa Schwarzbaum is reviewing “The Hunger Games” movie.
- Does she acknowledge what her mission is and who her audience is?
- What criteria does she establish for it to succeed?
- Does she anticipate her audience’s questions and reactions?
- Does she address any differences between the book and movie?
- What is her grade or judgment of the movie?
In small groups, answer these questions.
- How does he introduce us to the topic?
- What is the purpose of each paragraph?
- How does he evaluate the movie?
- What is the final verdict?
IGN Dracula Untold Review