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How to Write an Evaluative Essay

Purpose or Goal

As written assignments, evaluative essays are good for helping students learn how to think about and analyze things in a critical manner. This is their primary goal. Furthermore, students learn how to identify and provide suitable examples in support of any arguments they put forward. In most cases, writing evaluative essays are not a huge challenge for students. It is for this reason these assignments are given to students from the early stages of their respective courses.  

Tone of an Evaluative Essay

Tone is a key element in writing an evaluative essay. Setting the right tone is hugely important since this affects how well a paper is understood in its entirety. In the event the writer chooses a tone that is too positive or too negative, readers are very likely to cast doubt on the work. Hence, a primary objective for the writer is to adopt a tone that is free of bias. An evaluative essay that is not prejudiced in tone will enable readers to judge the subject matter in an impartial manner.   

Introduction Paragraph

In an evaluative essay, the first or opening paragraph should present the issue to be examined or evaluated. Moreover, the writer should provide some information on the background of the subject or topic. If, for instance, you are evaluating J D Slinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, it is important to say when the book was written, what its key theme is, and say why it is popular with readers. You may also provide other snippets of information about the background. 

Developing a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the cornerstone of an essay and it should explain why you chose to evaluate a particular subject. You may additionally mention the various aspects you intent to evaluate. The Catcher in the Rye is, for example, a well-known text that explores several topical and controversial issues. It is aimed at all-age readers – adults and younger people alike – and its theme concerns identity and the alienation of teenagers.   

Main Body Paragraphs

You should begin each paragraph in the body of your essay with a clear, eye-catching topic sentence that deals only with one point or idea. And every single body paragraph should relate to your central thesis statement. It is important to make sure all paragraphs transition smoothly from one to the next to enable readers to move logically from one point or idea to the next one. It is also essential to find credible and reliable sources to support any arguments you make. These can include articles by subject matter experts or the famous works of renowned critics. Remember to list every source you use in an end-of-paper reference list.  

Closing Paragraph - Conclusion

Every evaluative essay should end with a well-reasoned conclusion that sums-up all the main points from the entire paper. Additionally, you may make a few recommendations in this paragraph. In particular, you may want to recommend J D Slinger’s book to a certain age-group of reader e.g. adults and teenagers are those who are most likely to benefit from reading The Catcher in the Rye, but, in your opinion, there may be others.

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