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English 104:  Arguments of Evaluation
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English 104: Arguments of Evaluation

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Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.

Presentation delivered to the English 104 class at Victor Valley College.


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  • 1. Arguments of Evaluation English 104
  • 2. Understanding Evaluations Evaluative arguments rely on judgements and appraisals, often regarding quality or performance Informal evaluative arguments take place daily Examples: awards shows, beauty pageants, best- or worst-dressed celebrities, literary prizes, political opinion polls, elections
  • 3. Understanding Evaluations You’re entering into an argument of evaluation when you: Make a judgement about quality Example: Citizen Kane is probably the finest film ever made by an American director. Challenge such a judgement Example: Citizen Kane is vastly overrated by film critics. Explore criteria for evaluative judgements Example: Criteria for judging films are evolving as the production and audiences of films become ever more international.
  • 4. Criteria for Evaluation Criteria for evaluation: the standards that are established for judgement When formulating an argument of evaluation, be aware of the criteria that you’re using Example: What exactly makes an idea, a work of art, or a product “good” or “bad”? What exactly makes a person a “good” or “bad” candidate?
  • 5. Characterizing Evaluation Quantitative Evaluations – rely on hard evidence, i.e. criteria that can be measured Example: A car is faster, smoother, quieter, or more fuel- efficient than another. Qualitative Evaluations – rely on criteria that cannot always be measured objectively, such as values, traditions, and emotions Example: A car is more beneficial, more convenient, more attractive, more ethical (eco-friendly) than another.
  • 6. Characterizing Evaluation An argument of evaluation might make use of both quantitative evaluations and qualitative evaluations Example: What makes a movie great? Quantitative evidence: Overall revenue, box office sales, popularity polls, number of awards won Qualitative evidence: Societal impact, cinematic technique, dramatic structures, intelligent casting, acting styles Convince the reader to accept the markers of quality that you have chosen and defend your criteria of evaluation
  • 7. Developing an Evaluative Argument Once you’ve established a claim, pay special attention to the criteria and evidence you’ll use to support it Anticipate readers asking difficult questions Example: Claim: Apple’s iPad is a top-selling personal technological device because of its amazing performance. Anticipated reader questions: What exactly does that mean? What makes the iPad “amazing”? Quantitative Evidence: iPad gives access to email and the Web, has high- resolution screen, many applications, is also an e-reader Qualitative Evidence: iPad user’s experience, enjoyment, feelings of productivity (can be supported using owners’ testimonies)
  • 8. Developing an Evaluative Argument Presenting Evidence Generally, the more evidence in an evaluation the better, as long as the evidence is relevant and well explained Select evidence that is most likely to influence your readers Usually, the best evidence is specific, detailed, memorable, and derived from credible sources
  • 9. Developing an Evaluative Argument Extras Designs and visuals Example: Tables, charts, graphs, or infographics Can help to illustrate quantitative evidence, such as statistics Helpful when comparing items Can make the information more accessible to readers
  • 10. Works Cited Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s an Argument with Readings. 6th ed. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013. Print.