Writing Self-Evaluation Essays
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Now that I have completed the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth course Crafting the Essay, I feel I have tremendously grown as a writer. Even after submitting the first assignment, I looked back at a position paper I wrote for school that I received an A+ on, yet I saw several flaws I wished I had changed.
I feel I have significantly improved on my aspects of punctuation in grammar; the progressions Leslie suggested to me on said aspects synchronized with the grammar lessons taught in my English Honors class. I also feel that my vocabulary has developed extensively throughout the course, as well as my structural and organizational skills in my writing pieces.
While I have radically improved as a writer throughout the…show more content…
If I stutter whatsoever or blatantly recognize a fault in my piece, I change it immediately. I also wish I had less work outside of the course (such as schoolwork, housework, social events, etc.) so I could have spent more time on my pieces for it. Some of my pieces were started only a few days before the assignment was due, and I wished I had had more time to edit and proofread. I have gained many insights I have gained about descriptive and narrative writing over this course. The one that I will take the most away from the course is my realization of my own tone and voice that I possess in my pieces and how to apply them in a narrative. I have also learned how to develop a tone and voice for others when I am writing a piece from the perspective of them. There are significant contrasts between characters, such as the wicked, selfish Amber and the kindhearted, welcoming Horace from Assignment 3, and I have learned how to establish nuances in dialogue and activity to individualize my characters. Although this insight may not apply to analytical writing, it certainly applies to persuasive writing. Perhaps if I wanted to persuade someone in a letter, this course helped me realize the tone I would need to establish in that letter to have him or her come to the realization that they should do what I would like. Lastly, revision drastically strengthens my drafts. As a writer, when I start
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.