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Essay #2: The Evaluation Essay

What makes something good? What makes something great? What makes something bad? These are the questions you need to answer to be able to explain whether something is worth while doing or why something should be avoided. We evaluate things every day, but the key to giving an effective evaluation is to explain clearly the reasons that lead you to make this evaluation.

For this essay, your task is to evaluate something that you do or encounter on your weekend/“free time”:

Sample Topics:



World of Warcraft


Google Chrome

An Album/ Podcast

An Arcade / Sport

A game/video game

An Ap

A TV Program … or any activity you can think of


Your evaluation should either be positive or negative opinion about why I should/should not do this on my weekends.


In a time when the government is interested in watching everything its citizens do, the facial recognition software in Apple’s Pictures provides an ethical dilemma because it removes an individual’s right to anonymity.


Your essay must use the standard structure expected of any academic essay:

  • An Introduction with a thesis at the end
  • At least 4 Body paragraphs each with a clear focus and topic sentence
  • A concluding paragraph that wraps up your argument
  • Be 4-pgs or longer


You need to evaluate your subject using three or more separate criteria. A paragraph should be devoted to each criteria.


Restaurant: food, service, appearance, price

Movie: plot, acting, special effects, directing

You also need to include a counterargument that consists of two parts:

1. The opposing opinion (If your evaluation is negative, the counter argument would be positive.

2. Your response to the counterargument

Your essay will be evaluated on how well it meets the requirements of the assignment and on its use of specific details, clear organization, and grammatical accuracy.


1. 1000 +words or about 4+ pages.

2. All drafts must be typed and double-spaced.

3. Size 12 Times New Roman Font

4. Have Name, Class, Date, Assignment, and Topic in upper left hand corner.

5. A title that is not GENERIC

6. All drafts, pre-writing, and outline must be turned in with the final copy of the essay

Assignment Requirements:

1. Final Draft

2. Rough Draft with Peer Review Comments

3. WRC Handout Sheet/Tutoring

Essay Requirements:

Ø An introduction that provides context on the topic, eases the reader into your essay, and has a “hook” that grabs people’s attention

Ø A thesis statement or controlling idea that takes a strong stand

Ø Transitional topic sentences that are clear, provocative, and develop your thesis and provide unity in your essay

Ø Body paragraphs that follow the PIE paragraph model

Ø Plenty of support from research: Remember you must have a minimum of 2 quotes from credible outside sources & one from a TED Talk.

Ø For each quote, please use the quote sandwich model (Lead-in, quote, and analysis of quote) discussed in-class

Ø Some analysis of all your supporting examples

Ø A conclusion that offers some ideas about what can be done about the situation

Ø Strong sentences that are both grammatically correct and sophisticated

Ø Use proper MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries.

Evaluation Criteria

A. Evaluation of Essay

I will use the following criteria to evaluate your evaluation essay:

  1. Have you stated your judgment clearly in the thesis that follows a topic + comment structure?
  2. Have you evaluated your subject using three or more separate and appropriate criteria or standards?
  3. Does the “P” of PIE have your opinion on how the subject of the evaluation meets a criterion?
  4. Does the “I” of PIE show how you backed up your evaluations with convincing reasons and support?
  5. Have you included a counterargument consisting of two parts: the opposing idea (reader’s objection) and your response to it (your refutation of the objection)?
  6. Have you described the subject for readers unfamiliar with it?
  7. Have you organized your essay clearly–introduction, body, conclusion; transitions; topic sentences?
  8. Are the sentences clear and correct (Remember: if an essay has six or more major errors per page, it cannot be awarded a passing score)?
  9. If appropriate, have you used the MLA documentation system correctly and used sources only from either the De Anza College databases or approved outside sources.
  10. Is the essay 1000+ Words?

I will score your final evaluation essay out of 200 points.

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