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  • 1. Evaluation Essays “ I write to discover what I know.” Flannery O’Connor
  • 2. Judgment Making
    • Everyday we judge food, clothes, books, classes, teachers, TV shows, political candidates, films.
    • “ I like it or I don’t like it” are common phrases.
  • 3. Want to be taken seriously?
    • Provide valid reasons for your opinions.
    • Your reasons must be based on shared criteria that readers recognize as appropriate for evaluating the particular type of subject.
  • 4. Appropriate reasons
    • Must reflect the values or standards typically used in evaluating the thing under consideration, such as a film, a poker game or a car.
  • 5. Examples:
    • Acting, musical score and story line are common standards for judging a film, because the theatre was too cold or the popcorn too buttery are not.
  • 6. Valid Support
    • Using the support of experts in the subject is important because it deals in specifics.
    • Proper evaluation is intelligently rigorous—not general in nature.
  • 7. Importance of learning this genre.
    • College students have many opportunities to judge:
    • Critiquing a book or journal article, judge aspects of course work, assess the value of conflicting interpretations of a historical event or a short story, or evaluate your progress in a class.
  • 8. What do you think is important?
    • This is the basis of all Evaluation.
    • Reading and writing evaluations will help you understand your own values as well as those of others.
  • 9. How do you bridge the differences of conflicting opinion?
    • Show respect for other’s concerns despite your disagreement by noting the differences and countering them within your essay.
    • This is what counterargument is all about.
  • 10. Counterarguing
    • Important for winning your argument.
    • Yes, to evaluate something falls under the umbrella of Argumentation.
    • Without countering, you risk losing your reader’s attention or trust in your logic.
  • 11. Creating Common Ground
    • In order to engage your reader, figure out a way to create common ground—this is your hook—the thing that makes the reader want to read on.
  • 12. Creativity in Evaluation
    • Choice of subject matter, creation of common ground with the reader, careful choice of outside sources and quotes, use of showing techniques and active verbs, a strong sense of voice and choice of detail all demonstrate the use of creativity and show the reader you care.
  • 13. Where does the Imagination Fit in?
    • Einstein said, “The new idea is found in the imagination, not in the mind.” Of course, you must create a reasonable argument, but that does not mean to ignore your creative self.
  • 14. And, finally…
    • I will repeat the Flannery O’Connor quote found on the first slide: “I write to discover what I know.”
    • With everything you write, the writer should learn something about himself or herself. That is the powerful secret behind writing.