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What is Evaluative Writing?

13.1 Establishing Evaluative Criteria

The key to effective evaluative writing is starting off with a clear and precise assertion. Your main assertion is what you will use to perform the evaluation. You may want to argue that a Chevy Tahoe is better than a Ford Expedition based on its horsepower, gas mileage, capacity, warranty, etc. Other evaluators might argue the difference between their towing capabilities. Whatever the main argument may be for your evaluative essay, make sure that your argument is clear.

  • Make sure you have a well presented subject. Without one, you will lose your readers.
  • Create a thesis statement. Thesis statements help you stay focused and help your reader to understand what is being evaluated or judged.
  • Give only information that is imperative to the decision making process. If it looks like unnecessary information, it probably is.
  • Do not be biased when creating an evaluative essay. Give both good and bad examples of the topic.

You are the “expert” in an evaluative essay. Support your opinions with facts, not whims.


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Expression and Inquiry by Christopher Manning; Sally Pierce; and Melissa Lucken is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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