Reading Assignment

From The Little Seagull Handbook with Exercises (LSH), read sections S-2, S-3 and P-1.  S-2 and S-3 cover fragments and run-on sentences, two of the most common major grammatical errors.  P-1 covers comma usage. Fragments, run-on sentences, and commas will all be covered on the upcoming mid-term. If you use any outside sources for this paper, you must cite them using MLA format.  You’ll need to read the MLA section beginning on p. 109 in LSH on how to use MLA format to cite sources correctly. You’ll need both internal citations within the paper and a Works Cited page at the end of the paper.  Using outside sources is optional for this essay; however, if you do decide to use an outside source, you MUST cite it. 

What is an evaluation essay?

An evaluation essay is an essay where you judge something (a book, a play, a movie, a band, a restaurant, a vehicle etc.) according to certain criteria.  Evaluations are also called reviews.  Evaluations can be found in newspapers, magazines, and websites evaluating (reviewing) almost anything.  For instance, food critics review restaurants, movie critics review movies, theater critics review plays; you get the idea.  Evaluations for products and services are also common; Consumer Reports is one magazine/website that is devoted entirely to product reviews. 

Writing Assignment  

Choose something that you want to evaluate. Complete some prewriting to generate ideas for a topic. Brainstorming a list of possible ideas would be a good way to start.  Maybe you have done some research lately on a product you’re planning to purchase (or have recently purchased). 

Once you have selected something to evaluate, complete more prewriting to select a list of criteria that you want to use to judge it by.  You need to give your reasons for evaluating it as you do because often your evaluation will affect your audience’s action.  Your classmates and I may go see the movie, read the book, or buy the product based on your positive evaluation (review).  If your evaluation is negative, the opposite may be true.

Once you’ve selected your topic and criteria, begin drafting. I encourage you to look at evaluations/reviews in newspapers, magazines or online to see how other evaluators have evaluated similar topics.  However, I caution you to make sure that your content comes out of your brain and not from an outside source.  If you choose to incorporate other reviews into your evaluation, you need to cite your sources both within the essay (in-text) and at the end of the essay with a Works Cited page using MLA format.  Since you will be required to use outside sources for a later essay, you don’t have to use any outside sources for this one. I do submit all of your essays to, a plagiarism-checking website.  If you use outside sources and don’t cite them, you will receive a zero for plagiarism.  The easiest way to avoid plagiarizing is to not use outside sources, period.  If you do choose to incorporate one or more cited sources into your essay, make sure the outside content takes up less than 20% of your paper.  In other words, even when you use an outside source, 80% of your content should still be your original ideas. 

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