Sample Evaluation Essays
- 1. Type the writer's name and the title of the sample
essay you've chosen to use for this assignment. Then, list the
criteria the writer states he or she will be using for the evaluation.
- Further information: The writer should identify the criteria
in the introduction to his or her essay.
- 2. Locate the writer's thesis claim and paraphrase the
claim. Then, evaluate the strength of the thesis claim: Does
the thesis state that the essay being evaluated meets all the
criteria, some of the criteria, or none of the criteria for a
good argumentative essay? Does the thesis clearly offer 2-3 reasons
in support of the claim?
- Further information: The writer's thesis should be in the
introduction, though there's a chance that it appears (incorrectly)
at the end of the essay instead. The thesis should take a position
on whether the essay being evaluated meets the criteria for good
argumentative writing and offer at least 2-3 reasons why.
- 3. Does the organization of the essay follow the order
of the thesis? Explain how the writer does or does not offer
such an organization, offering at least 2 examples.
- Further information: If there are three reasons listed in
the thesis, the body paragraphs of the essay should address each
of these reasons in turn. Signal phrases and transitions between
body paragraphs, as well as clear topic sentences at the start
of each paragraph, also help to organize the essay's argument.
- 4. Does the writer use specific examples from the essay
to support his or her evaluation? Indicate 1-2 places in the
essay where examples are used effectively or are missing.
- Further information: The writer needs to cite examples as
evidence in support of the stated claims. Direct quotes or references
to particular aspects of the essay are best.
- 5. Does the conclusion of the essay do a good job of reminding
you what the writer's overall opinion on the essay was? Offer
an example of what works well, or indicate what needs to be added
- 6. Does the writer enter the debate or does he or she
stick to analyzing the argument? Offer an example to support
- Further information: As the phrasing of the question suggests,
the writer should not enter the debate or pass judgement on the
topic (i.e. mandatory motorcycle helmet law or whether Time Warner
is "the leading cultural polluter"), but he or she
should instead evaluate how well the author argues for his or
- 7. If we were to rank this sample essay alongside the
essays we evaluated for class last Tuesday ("Bloody Ice,"
etc.), where would it rank on that scale of 1 to 5?
- Further information: Remember to keep in mind our list of
criteria for good argumentative writing and the rankings we decided
upon in class as you write your response to this question.