The Evaluation Essay
The purpose of an evaluation essay is to demonstrate the overall quality (or lack thereof) of a particular product, business, place, service or program. While any evaluation involves injecting some form of opinion, if an evaluation is done properly it should not come across as opinionated. Instead, the evaluation should seem reasoned and unbiased.
The key to making this happen, and therefore the key to a good investigative essay, is establishing clear and fair criteria, judgments and evidence.
Criteria (the plural of criterion) means establishing what the ideal for the product, place or service should be. It means demonstrating what one should expect as the ideal outcome, Having clear criteria keeps an evaluation from seeming like an opinion. For example, if you are evaluating a restaurant, you want to establish the criteria (quality of food, service, price, cleanliness, etc.) that any good restaurant will adhere to; this criteria can then be applied to the specific restaurant you are evaluating.
The judgment is the establishment of whether or not the criterion is met. In other words, the judgment is what actually is. Using the example from above, if the first criterion for evaluating a restaurant is the quality of the food, the judgment states whether or not the particular restaurant offers food that meets or exceeds this stated quality.
The evidence is the details offered to support the judgment. If your judgment is that a particular restaurant does not consistently offer quality food, you need to support this with a variety of evidence to show how the judgment was reached.
Generally, each body paragraph of an evaluation essay is going to focus on one specific criterion, which should be fully explained, followed by the judgment and a variety of evidence offered as support. Because of this, it is important that any evaluation contains several different criteria, judgments and evidence.
An overall thesis should also be offered. For an evaluation essay, this thesis is the overall evaluation of whatever is being evaluated. Once again, if the criteria, judgments and evidence are clear, the overall thesis should be, as well. For example, if the restaurant meets most of the criteria laid out in the essay, the overall evaluation should be mostly positive, whereas if the most of the criteria is not met, the evaluation will be mostly negative.
When selecting a topic for an evaluation essay, it is important to focus on a specific business, service, product or policy. In other words, evaluate a specific class (English 121 at Aims) rather than evaluating a range of similar classes (all Aims' writing classes). Writing about a topic that you know about is also helpful. That makes it easier to establish the appropriate criteria, judgments and evidence.
How to write an essay on evaluating a product
This essay will go through some general methods of comparing and evaluate products, and what you can do to make yourself a more informed and better shopper.
First, establish a common ground with the reader
We live in a commercial world. We are inundated with commercialism and consumerism. Most everything we use and consume is branded in some way and we are forced to be materialistic consumers. You go out to eat; do you order the pasta, or the fish? Do you purchase the red shirt or the green shirt? How about the plasma TV, or the new laptop? We live in a world of consumer choice. This can be very overwhelming.
Present real-world product evaluation strategies
If you are looking for a product from a certain company, learn about the company, what levels of quality the company adheres to, what their trademark features are, what their general level of price is.
In today's world how do you evaluate a product? What is it that you look for when you are going to purchase and item? First off, it depends. Each product is different and required different valuation criteria. If you are a collector you know a certain product or product line very well; you know the distinguishing marks of the company, the value of the product the expected level of quality. Do your homework. If you are looking for a product from a certain company, learn about the company, what levels of quality the company adheres to, what their trademark features are, what their general level of price is. The worst thing that could happen is that you go to purchase a product and realize its way out of your price range.
Comparative shopping online - the best way to start research
If you are comparing several products, the easiest and best way to do that is to compare products online. First, you learn about the companies as described above. Then learn about the specific type of product you are comparing. For instance computers, learn what you are looking for in terms of features and what those features cost. Many times you can find product reviews online. They generally range from great to horrid, but in many cases use your best judgment and look at the median level of quality described. Look at your options and what values they have. Many times companies will offer similar computers with different prices based on what comes with the computer or what additional features the company can offer you, these all contribute to the value of the product. Once you've compared and looked at the features and educated yourself you are ready to make the purchase.
Make a real-life product comparison
Let's compare a few products. A Gibson Les Paul guitar against a Mexican built Fender Stratocaster guitar. For these items you may look at the sound of the guitar, the prices, the way the guitar will be used what types of music will be played. Each has a purpose and a reason. The more expensive Les Paul will be American built and of higher quality, the Stratocaster is the Mexican built version of a Fender Stratocaster. Even within the Fender Company, Mexican Stratocasters are less expensive than American built ones. Now comparing Stratocasters to one another, unless you must for some reason have the top end model in many cases the Mexican Stratocaster will serve every purpose just as well as the American, and may be a better deal for you because it is less expensive. All things have a reason.
Not all products are equal, but if you educate yourself about your potential purchase, you can better evaluate your product to make the best possible purchase.
To conclude, educate yourself about the product and the company and you can make the best informed decision. Not all products are equal, but if you educate yourself about your potential purchase, you can better evaluate your product to make the best possible purchase. Do your research, compare online, and learn what marks of quality and standards of value exist for the product. You will learn what the cost is, and then you can make the most informed purchase possible.