Caleb S.
Caleb S.

A Comprehensive Guide to Write an Evaluation Essay

19 min read

Published on: Mar 24, 2023

Last updated on: Jul 19, 2024

evaluation essay

Writing an evaluation essay can be a daunting task. It's not easy to summarize your thoughts and feelings about a book, movie, or product into a cohesive, well-written paper. 

Even if you're a great writer, the thought of writing an evaluation essay can be intimidating. You want to make sure that you say everything you want to say in a clear and concise way.

We've written this detailed guide on how to write an evaluation essay. By following our tips and tricks, you'll be able to write a great paper that will show off your critical thinking skills.

So continue reading to learn what an evaluation essay is and how you can master the art of of writing yourself!

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What is an Evaluation Essay?

Looking for evaluation essay meaning? Here is an easy meaning for you.

An evaluation essay is a type of writing which involves providing an opinion on a particular subject. This can be done in different ways and differs from all other types of essays as it requires the writer to pass judgment on their topic rather than give a fact-based report or dissertation.

The most common types of evaluation essays are critical analysis and interpretive essays. In both types, the writer evaluates a particular subject based on their own opinion or perspective and then explains why they feel that way. 

The goal of an evaluation essay is to present both sides of an issue objectively and provide readers with enough information so that they can form their own opinions.

Evaluations are meant to be unbiased and should not contain any opinionated statements.  They must instead only focus on facts because this will help ensure that they won't come off as personally biased, which would make them unreliable for the intended audience.

Purpose of Evaluating Writing

Why are evaluative essays assigned to the students? 

The purpose of evaluating essays is to determine the quality and effectiveness of a student's writing. Evaluation helps instructors determine if students have achieved mastery level

  • Understanding of the material in question
  • Understood the main ideas or points being made, 
  • Can effectively express their own thoughts and opinions. 

Additionally, evaluation allows teachers to assess a student's ability to organize and present their thoughts in an effective and meaningful way.

How can you write the best evaluation essay? To do this you must be aware of its characteristics. 

Characteristics of Evaluative Essay 

There are five characteristics of an evaluative essay:

  • Present the subject in a descriptive and evaluative way
  • Assert an overall judgment by providing the reason evaluation within the thesis statement 
  • Support your reasons and points with evidence 
  • Provide counterarguments by responding to the opposition's objections and claims 
  • Establish credibility and authority by providing enough knowledge on the subject 

Elements of an Evaluation Essay

Before beginning to learn how to write an evaluation essay, it is must to get educated about its elements. So the four elements of evaluation essay are mentioned below along with a brief details… 

  • Subject 

An evaluation essay should start by clearly establishing the subject that is being evaluated. This could be a product, service, person, experience, or even an event. It is also important to explain why you have chosen this particular subject and what purpose it serves.

  • Is the subject suitable  for the assignment? 
  • Does it present an opportunity to explore a certain topic in greater detail? 

Consider these questions and make sure to provide clear answers.

  • Criteria

The criteria you use in your evaluation will depend on what you are evaluating and for whom you are writing the evaluation. It is best to provide clear and specific criteria that you can use to judge the quality of the item or service being evaluated.

This is usually based on certain factors such as quality, effectiveness, value, and/or suitability. It is important to provide a clear definition of these criteria so that readers are able to follow your analysis.

  • Judgment

Now it is the time to judge whether or not the standards have been achieved. Returning to our hotel example, you might start by assessing whether or not the establishment offers excellent accommodations. Is it sufficient? Or does it fall short of your high expectations? You may then move on to the other criteria.

  • Evidence

In order to effectively evaluate the subject, it is important to gather evidence in support of your evaluation. The evidence gathered should help to explain why the criteria are relevant and why the subject is being evaluated in a certain way.

If you reach the conclusion that the quality of food does not meet expectations, be ready to provide proof for why this is so.

It's common for each paragraph in an essay to address a different topic. In that paragraph, you should thoroughly explain the criterion, make relevant judgments, and provide supporting evidence.

Evaluation vs. Review - What are the Differences?

Some students have a misconception about how to write an evaluation paper. They think that it is the same as writing a review, but in reality, there are many differences between the two types of papers.

Although these two types of papers do have some similarities, there are also a number of differences between them that set them apart.

Below are the key differences between these two.

Evaluation Essay


Type of Evaluation

The topic is thoroughly analyzed and in depth.

The topic is discussed generally and without any depth.

Type of Opinion

For the most part, it is unbiased.

It could be based on the writer’s personal opinion.


The writer must use pre-defined criteria.

The writer does not need any set criteria.


The essay must have substantial evidence to back the claims.

It is a personal view and does not need any evidence.


Citing and referencing the sources are important.

No references are generally required.

Evaluation Essay Outline

Understanding the evaluation essay format and creating an outline is important.

The essay format is based on the 5-paragraph structure that contains one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. 

Here is how to make an outline of your evaluation essay.

  • Introduction - Introduce the main theme or topic of the essay. Start the paragraph with a hook sentence and pique the readers’ interest.
  • Thesis Statement - Create a brief thesis statement and add it at the end of the introduction.
  • Body Paragraphs - Add at least three paragraphs in this section. Each explains one idea and gives supporting evidence to back them. You can also add more paragraphs if there is scope for it.

Each paragraph will follow the following structure.

  • Criterion
  • Supporting Evidence
  • Opposing Views

It is important that you add all these things into your essay so that your evaluation presents and explains a complete idea.

  • Conclusion - Restate your thesis statement here and explain the main points. However, keep everything brief and to the point.

This outline will be helpful for you when you write your evaluation essay. Follow it carefully, and you will have your essay done in no time.

If you need more help, check out this outline template.

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How to Start an Evaluation Essay?

Here are the essential steps to start your evaluation essay.

1. Choose the Essay Topic Idea

When you have to write an evaluation essay, the topic must be something that will give your opinion credibility and allow for a thorough analysis of what it is about. 

When choosing topics for critical evaluation essays, one should be familiar with the subject matter. Also, the quality of writing skills necessary when composing evaluative essays about particular subjects.

Therefore, choose a topic that is engaging for both you and your readers.

2. Develop the Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is a crucial element of an evaluative essay and should make it easy to evaluate the paper's arguments.

It must provide clear direction for where your evaluation stands on specific criteria so that you can distinguish between examples with differing levels of quality.

You need to be careful in citing only relevant information while supporting your points. 

3. Think about the Criteria for Your Essay

Once you have chosen the topic of your evaluation essay, it is important to consider what criteria will be used to evaluate the subject. 

How easy or difficult is it to explain your chosen topic or theme? If it is difficult, then you should divide it into multiple points that would help make this step easier.

Criteria should be objective and relevant. They must also be measurable so that the right kind of evidence can be collected. 

4. Research and Gather Supporting Evidence

Your opinion on a topic is not valid unless you have the support of physical or logical evidence.

You need to be able to back up your statements with facts that will allow people who read them to make their own assumptions about what they are reading and come to an independent conclusion.

Research the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen idea or topic and give a clear idea about it to your readers.

Otherwise, there's no point in arguing because nobody can agree if both sides don't provide any information.

Once you have worked through these steps, you can move forward to writing the essay.

How to Write an Evaluation Essay?

Here are the steps to write an evaluation essay.

1. Create an Outline of the Essay

After choosing the topic and researching it, make an outline for your essay. Follow the outline given above and create an outline for your evaluation essay.

Make it detailed and add everything you want to discuss in your essay for a more helpful outline.

2. Write a Strong Introduction

The first paragraph of an essay should be engaging not only to keep your readers engaged. However, also to establish what you're going to tell about and why they need this information. To do so requires a hook that captures their attention, like something important or less known statement, for them to continue reading the rest of it. 

3. Add a Thesis Statement

Evaluation essay thesis statement follows the introduction paragraph. It informs readers of what to expect from reading this essay and how it could affect your thinking about a certain matter.

4. Draft the Main Body of the Essay

The main body of an essay is the lengthiest part of the essay. It contains three paragraphs, but you can add more paragraphs if you feel that three paragraphs are not enough.

Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that tells the readers about one of the writer’s opinions about the topic.

However, make sure that you stay relevant and strong. If required, use compares and contrast techniques and make the reader agree with your point of view.

Add criteria, judgment, evidence, and opposing point of view for each idea. Make sure that you explain everything properly.

5. Write a Good Conclusion

The end of your evaluation essay is the conclusion part. It should be an opportunity to summarize what you have said or emphasize the most important points. You can also use this space as closure and reflection on everything discussed so far. Don’t forget to restate your thesis statement and how you proved it right.

6. Edit, Revise, and Proofread

Once you are done with the writing, proofread and revise it thoroughly. Do not submit anything without proper editing and proofreading. 

This final step is important if you do not want to lose your score because you did not add a ‘the’ at the beginning of the sentence.

All of these steps are important for writing a good evaluation essay. Follow them carefully and craft a winning essay.

Here is an evaluation essay sample;

“The Shining” by Stanley Kubrick

“The Shining” is one of the most obscure works by Stanley Kubrick, a horror film that recounts the tale of a family who has moved into a hotel called the Overlook and becomes terrorized by ghosts. The Torrance family's story centers on Jack, Wendy, and Danny throughout the movie. The original book, which Kubrick based the film on, was written by Steven King. The literary basis is quite thrilling and intriguing, and the film may be considered in much the same way.
Jack Torrance, a writer who has quit drinking, moves his family to a remote mountain resort in the film adaptation. The hotel is entirely isolated from the outside world due to the winter colder temperatures. All routes leading to it are buried under snow, therefore no cars can get through. The facility is currently shut. Jack needs isolation to write his next book, but he will also be the hotel's caretaker. The hotel was erected on a plot of property that had previously been used as an Indian burial ground. While Jack Torrance depicts the tale of a father trying to kill his family, the evil spirits influence him and he gradually becomes insane until he tries to kill his wife Wendy and son Danny but fails.
The primary and most important consideration when assessing "The Shining" is the atmosphere that was created in the movie. Kubrick was able to evoke a sensation of loneliness and alienation, as well as an ever-increasing sense of dread throughout the film. Despite all the opulence, the Overlook hotel appears to be a graveyard. The atmosphere is also enhanced with ghost scenes and depictions of how Jack becomes crazier as the story progresses. When Wendy looks at the manuscript that Jack had been writing during their family's stay at the hotel, one of the film's most frightening moments occurs. She notices that all of the pages are covered with just one sentence: "All fun and no play makes Jack a dull boy," at which point she knows her husband is completely deranged. The sense of dread and desperation intended by Kubrick is effectively conveyed, thus defending the film's merit.
Then again, with the exception of Jack Nicholson and Scatman Crothers, the acting is poorly executed. While Jack Nicholson was able to produce a depiction of a maniacal writer suffering from alcoholism, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd's performances as the Torrance family members were unnatural and fake-looking. Danny Lloyd is a good example of someone who doesn't get the full credit he deserves because he's young and inexperienced, whereas Shelley Duvall in this film isn't at her finest. In most action sequences, her performance appears to be manufactured, and at times inappropriate. This makes for a significant difference when contrasted with Nicholson's character, who has performed at a top-level in the movie.
The technical aspect is also crucial for film evaluation, and "The Shining" may be cited for its strong cinematography. The film provides a number of new ideas that had not previously been used or were seldom employed. The majority of Danny's stills were taken from the growth rate of a young boy. This method aids audiences in feeling more like a child and seeing ghosts and the frightening environment through his eyes. A Steadycam system was also used during filming. The device helps to keep the picture steady in dynamic settings. The moment Danny rides his bike throughout the hotel's corridors was captured with the use of this gadget.
"The Shining" is a fantastic horror film, directed by an illustrious filmmaker based on a famous writer's work. It depicts a thick atmosphere of sorrow and loneliness, which is important when conveying the story. During filming, technical gimmicks added to the good evaluation of the movie. Jack Nicholson's acting ability in playing the image of a lunatic writer who is realistic and genuinely frightening was one of the most significant factors in favor of "The Shining." Other characters are lost, however, because Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd appear synthetic in their roles.

Evaluation Essay Examples

Here are some evaluation essay examples for students. These will help you in writing a good evaluation essay. 

Evaluation Essay Topics

Here are some interesting evaluation essay topics that will help you write a good essay in no time.

  • Evaluate the role of smartphones in redefining long-distance communication.
  • How does social media affect our personal relationships?
  • What is the effect of the internet on the learning process of the students?
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning programs.
  • How do peer mentoring and tutoring affect learning?
  • How important is physical education in high schools?
  • Evaluate the reasons behind global warming.
  • Digital vs. Physical Textbooks: Which one is a better option for schools?
  • Analyze a historical movie and discuss its main themes.
  • Evaluate multiple works of the same writer and draw similarities between them.

Grading Rubric

Understanding the key grading considerations of a grading rubric is essential for evaluation essays. 

Here are some important factors that instructors typically consider when grading evaluation essays.


|- Read the essay thoroughly
|  |- Is there a clear thesis statement?
|  |  | - Yes —------------------------ |
|  |  |                       |
|  |  |                      ?
|  |  | - Evaluate the clarity and focus of the thesis statement
|  |      | - Is it specific and debatable?
|  |      |  |  - Yes —------|
|  |      |  |           |
|  |      |  |          ?
|  |      |  | - Assess the quality of the critical analysis
|  |      |      | - Does it demonstrate logical reasoning and evidence-based judgments?
|  |      |      |    | - Yes —-----|
|  |      |      |    |             |
|  |      |      |    |           ?
|  |      |      |    | - Evaluate the organization and structure of the essay
|  |      |      |    |   | - Does it have a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion?
|  |      |      |    |    |  | - Yes —----|
|  |      |      |    |                |
|  |      |      |    |               ?
|  |      |      |    |    |  | - Assess the quality and relevance of evidence used
|  |      |      |    |    |      | - Is there sufficient evidence to support the evaluations?
|  |      |      |    |    |      |  |- Yes —-----|
|  |      |      |    |    |      |   |             |
|  |      |      |    |              ?
|  |      |      |     |      |  | - Evaluate the clarity of expression and writing style
|  |      |      |     |      |      | - Are the ideas conveyed clearly and concisely?
|  |      |      |     |      |      |   | -Yes—-------------|
|  |      |      |     |      |      |   |               |
|  |      |      |     |      |      |   |              ?
|  |      |      |     |      |  | - Assess the effectiveness of the conclusion
|  |      |      |     |      |      |      | - Does it summarize the main points and leave a strong 
final impression?
|  |      |      |     |      |      ?      |  | - Yes —-------------------------|
|  |      |      |     |      |       |      ? |                   |
|  |      |      |     |      |       |                            ?
|  |      |      |     |      |       |      ?  | - End —------------------------|
|  |      |      |     |      |       |
|  |      |      |     |      |       | - Return to assess other essays
|  |      |      |     |      |       |
|  |      |      |     |      |       | - Return to assess other essays
|  |      |      |     |      |
|  |      |      |     |      | - Return to assess other

Evaluation Essay Writing Tips

Here are some helpful and easy-to-follow tips for writing a perfect evaluation essay.

  • Read the given material carefully and make important notes while reading and analyzing it.
  • Read each of the paragraphs carefully before transitioning to the next section.
  • Do not discuss points that only you find interesting; instead, choose something that will interest your readers.
  • Do not leave negative aspects but discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the said topic
  • Understand the pros and cons of the chosen topic. 
  • Maintain a consistent tone throughout the essay.
  • If evaluating a book or an article, notice the mistakes of the author and discuss them.
  • For a better evaluation, it is important to discuss the emotions that you may have while reading the work.
  • Do not add too many minor details and things that could not be backed with proper reasoning.
  • Read other reviews but try to maintain your own and unique tone and voice in it.
  • Express your thoughts clearly and concisely.

We hope you now understand what an evaluation essay is and how to write a critical evaluation essay. 

This is not all! We have also brought a helpful video for you to understand evaluation essay. So don’t forget to watch this:

To sum up, 

An evaluation essay is different from other essays. It requires you provide opinion on the subject instead of factual information or simply reporting findings. 

By reading our helpful guide, we hope that you have gained an understanding of the basics of evaluation essays and how to create them. So get started with your writing!

Although, if you're looking for someone who can help write an evaluative essay, visit out evaluation essay writing service now.

We specialize in providing authentic and custom writing assistance to everyone. With us, your essay comes with an A+ guarantee.

Every essay is written to meet the requirements of individual customers. Our custom essay service strives to offer our customers high-quality service at reasonable prices.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of an evaluation?

An evaluation is a systematic method that gives insight into the effectiveness of programs, practices, or initiatives. The information gathered can be used to make adjustments for these things to work better and achieve their goals.

What are the four types of evaluation?

Here are the four types of evaluation:

  • Process
  • Impact
  • Outcome
  • Summative Evaluation
Caleb S.


Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

Caleb S. has extensive experience in writing and holds a Masters from Oxford University. He takes great satisfaction in helping students exceed their academic goals. Caleb always puts the needs of his clients first and is dedicated to providing quality service.

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