Englis Comp_Major Paper # 2: Evaluation

Englis Comp_Major Paper # 2: Evaluation
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English Composition I Major Paper #2: Evaluation

Objective: To evaluate in writing a subject that you advance yourself as competent to evaluate, and to effectively persuade your chosen target audience that your strong evaluation (judgment) of said subject is a studied, informed, reasonable and worthwhile one.

Requirements: Write an essay of roughly five typed pages of content evaluating one of the following, or any comparable evaluation subject of your choice:

• A film

• A television program

• A new product

• A piece of music or a work of art

• A school or work facility or policy

• A live performance or event of some kind

Description: Consult Chapter 13 in your textbook (“Evaluations”) for more information on this genre of writing; look at the examples there and in the Readings section. Examples appear in your assigned readings, as listed on the syllabus.

As evaluators, we are not just doing reviews. The subjects we choose are important, but our learning outcomes have a larger focus than just the chosen subject material. Instead, focus on the root word “value.” That is present because an evaluation conveys our values—what we think is good, bad, or important. When we say something is, for example, a “good book,” we are advancing our values: attempting to convince an audience that what we identify as “good” is also what they should identify as “good.” No one cares about our mere opinions; we are entitled to those, but so is everyone else. To convince others that ours are valid and should be taken into account by our readers, we need to argue their validity. To do this effectively, we must pay careful attention to choosing an appropriate target audience, anticipating the reasons that audience doesn’t already agree with us, and building credibility with them so they take our evaluation seriously.

When writing this essay, keep in mind the following:

• Establish clearly the criteria on which you are judging your subject.
• Anticipate other opinions—you may wish to preempt, engage or refute them. You’re writing to people who don’t already agree with you, so you will be doing at least one of these!
• Use comparison/contrast in this essay if it will help support your strong judgment. For example, you might compare a book to another, similar one, a film to its remake, or a particular product to its direct competition. Be well informed on potential points of comparison!
• Make sure that you use specifics from your own knowledge and experience (including factual information and details) to support your claims. Do not do research for this assignment. Choose a topic on which you believe you are qualified as an evaluator.
• Consider carefully the various means via which you build—or lose—your credibility as an evaluator.

Note the adjectives under Objective:

Studied—have you given this subject due consideration? Thought on it for some time and refined your view so it will withstand critique?
Informed—do you know enough information about this subject to convince people that you’re a credible evaluator?
Reasonable—are your conclusions logically sound so that others can follow your reasoning and draw similar conclusions?
Worthwhile—are you making this interesting and meaningful for your readers? Are you considering your target audience at every step? Does your writing convey values strongly enough that it has meaning even to those readers not interested in its specific subject material? (Remember, the greatest film reviewers are widely read by people who haven’t yet seen the film being reviewed—and may never see it. The true subject is not the film, but the assertion of values by the filmmaker, critic, and audience.)

Audience: For this essay, you will be writing with a specific target audience in mind. Be certain that you have given some thought to your target audience and “ideal reader.” For example, if you’re writing a review of a film for people who haven’t seen the film, you cannot spoil it for them! Also keep in mind that the readership during development of this essay will be your entire class, not just the professor. Your classmates will read and comment on your topic ideas with your indicated target audience in mind.

Essay Format Reminders:
• Use a standard font.
• Use 1-inch margins on all side of the essay.
• Give your essay an interesting and original title.
• Follow MLA standards for placement of your name, course information, the date, etc. on the first page.
• Number the pages by MLA standards. (Don’t bother putting a page number on page 1.)
• Double space throughout, as is standard for college writing, but do NOT leave extra spaces between paragraphs. Spacing should be consistent throughout.

Evaluation Subject Possibilities Discussion: February 28th

Draft Check-In due: March 6th ( already submitted to instructor)

Essay due: March 20th

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