This week, we’re setting ourselves up for an essay project next week. All I expe
This week, we’re setting ourselves up for an essay project next week. All I expect is to see a brief outline of an evaluation essay that you will write. What sets an evaluation apart from other types of writing is that it must contain the writer’s CRITERIA for judging an item. Anyone who has seen a movie that was highly recommended from a friend and didn’t enjoy it will understand this. They loved it. You just don’t enjoy RomComs or chase scenes or weepy movies about dogs. But your friend loves that! Hence the need for criteria. Maybe a movie needs to have a solid plot, a good soundtrack, and be well acted for you to enjoy it. THAT is your criteria. And that will be reflected in your thesis statement so your reader is aware of what’s driving your judgement.
Thesis: Jamaica is a great vacation destination as it offers world-class beaches, fantastic cuisine, and many opportunities for outdoor exploration.
Then, each point of criteria is covered in depth to provide evidence for your reader, point-by-point. This is done by dropping down each point of criteria and making it a topic sentence. Let’s continue on with the example from above…
Thesis: Jamaica is a great vacation destination as if offers affordable world-class beaches, fantastic cuisine, and many opportunities for outdoor exploration.
Paragraph One: Jamaica offers world-class beaches for vacationers on a budget.
Mention specific beaches and their attributes.
Different types of sand, water color, etc.
Compare to other quality beaches world-wide for expense
Provide research on cost of average trip to Jamaica vs. Hawaii vs. Fiji, etc.
Paragraph Two: Jamaica provides vacationers with tasty local cuisine influenced by island flavors.
“Tropical” fruits and seafood widely available.
Mention specific highly rated restaurants.
Dishes tied to culture and history of the culture.
Jerk seasoning, akee, etc.
Paragraph Three: Between its diverse terrain and history, Jamaica provides tourists with diverse opportunity for outdoor exploration aside from beaches.
Hope Botanical Garden and Zoo
Many craft markets
Hiking trails like Fern Gully
Note that different paragraphs have various levels of indenting indicating that the writer has more to say about certain points of evidence than just what is on the surface. This will likely change between a first outline and what you wind up saying in the essay itself. Do what you can for the outline. If you can provide me with what’s italicized above, I will be very happy. If you’re unsure what to evaluate, think of the last thing you purchased OR the last thing you watched, read, wore, ate, listened to, etc. that you had a strong reaction to. Be sure to include a thesis complete with criteria and that each point of criteria becomes the focus of/topic sentence for its own paragraph. Complete sentences are only expected for the thesis and topic sentences. Remember: it’s only an outline, not a full draft.
Don’t forget to have fun with it!