Quick Write

What questions do you have about the evaluation?


Evaluation Notes

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?

The Evaluation Essay

Purpose of Evaluations

Let’s look at an example evaluation for a movie.

The Hunger Games: EW Review

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?

Dracula Untold 2014 Roger Ebert Review

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?

Revision: American Idol

Offer three separate critiques of points or paragraphs.

  1. Critical. Be direct or decisive on what was good or bad in the evaluation.
  2. Generous. Be generous and/or emotional in your reading and comments.
  3. Constructive. Offer evenhanded constructive feedback.

Peer Review

  • Critical Thinking
  • Clarity of Thought
  • Analysis and Thesis
  • Use of sources and evidence
  • Clear Criteria and Judgment
  • Images and Title
  • MLA and Works Cited


Quick Write

Why are we writing an evaluation of a monster? What is the purpose of this?

Quote Sandwich

One of the most important skills you can learn in academic writing is how to incorporate sources. To help remember this, we will use the metaphor of the quotation sandwich.

1558700497-quotation_20sandwichThe Quote Sandwich. Introduce the Quote, Quote, explain the quote.

Do not drive by quote. When you quote or use a source you have to explain it and use it. The quote sandwich is why you cannot start or end a paragraph with a quote.


Possible sample outline to follow:

  1. Introduction leading to an evaluative claim.
  2. Criteria of evaluation stated, and, if necessary, defended.
  3. Subject measured by first criterion + evidence
  4. Subject measured by second criterion + evidence
  5. Subject measured by additional criterion + evidence
  6. Conclusion

Second sample outline with criterion introduced one at a time:

  • Introduction leading to an evaluative claim.
  • First criterion of evaluation stated, and, if necessary, defended.
    • Subject measured by first criterion + evidence
  • Second criterion stated/defended
    • Subject measured by second criterion + evidence
  • Additional criteria stated/defended
    • Subject measured by additional criterion + evidence
  • Conclusion

Points to Consider

Definition: Explain and define the monster you are writing about.

Mission: Explain your mission early on. Hook us with a good reason to continue reading.

Background: How did the monster come to be?

Culture: How the monster represents culture?  What cultural use does the monster serve?

Theory: How does the monster theory help us understand the monster or society?

Focal Point: Evaluate a specific monster representation not all of the representations. Use the other ones to help evaluate the main one.

Compare and Contrast: Examine the differences. Compare the strengths and weaknesses.

Judgment: How dies the monster meet the criteria for evaluation?

Purpose: Most evaluations provide usable information and beneficial criticism. After studying the monster and reading your essay, we should have a better understanding of the monster.

Keep it Simple: Choose a simple or predictable structure, criteria, and grading/evaluation.