Justify an Evaluation



Essay 3 for English 1B: Justifying an Evaluation


The Topic


For the Justifying an Evaluation essay, you will be choosing one long, in-depth article or one complex work of literature, music, art, or film to evaluate.  Your opinion about the text or work you are evaluating is central to your essay, and you must have a definite opinion – do not write about something you cannot judge appropriately.  You must also be able to back up your judgment with analysis of the work or text and with specific details, examples, and comparisons.  Your essay will be detail-oriented and descriptive as well as analytic and evaluative.Your final paper packet will include all pre-work done in and out of class, a printed and annotated review or response to your text or article,at least one rough draft with peer editing comments, and your final essay. This assignment will be an in-class essay.




– Title and heading at top of first page

– Handwritten in class

– 750-1000 words

– In-text citations using MLA

– A Works Cited on its own page, using MLA formatting guides




-Clearly introduce the work or text you are evaluating – assume the reader has not seen the film

-Have a clear overall judgment(your personal opinion – use “I” in your thesis and throughout the paper)

-Give detailed and appropriate reasons (criteria) for your judgment and convincing support

Counter-argue against the opposite judgment and anticipate questions

-Support your evaluation with a professional review or response to the text or work.




For this essay, I would like to find one work or article and one critical response or review. Use the library resources to find this work or text based on the topic suggestions above.




  • Popular Culture.Choose one film, song, book, article, or artwork and evaluate its merits as a representation of a single theme, perspective, or idea. The basis or principle of evaluation should connect to representation or reflection of this conceptual understanding. Technical and artistic details of the work should be foregrounded. A review of the work needs to be discussed. Topics to consider: the upholding or undermining of a popular stereotype, the portrayal of an historical event or subculture, the exploration of a psychological problem, expression of a personal voice or experience, or the commentary on a genre or medium.


  • Choose an article that concerns the issue of bilingualism in the United States today. A response to this article must also be discussed.Topics to consider: the virtues and power of being bilingual, the challenges and difficulties of being bilingual, the nature of bilingualism and communication, the traditions and culture of bilingualism.


  • Food and Water. Choose an article that concerns the issue of food and waterin the United States today. A response to this article must also be discussed. Topics to consider: the rising cost of food and water, government subsidies, genetically modified food, junk food, local, organic, or farm-to-table food, ethical eating, the environmental impact of bottled water, future or present food or water scarcity, the merits and drawback of a particular recipe.


  • Choose an article that concerns the issue of sports and athletics today. A response to this article must also be discussed. Topics to consider: performance-enhancing drugs, athletic department budgets, physical dangers of professional sports, admissions procedures or pay of college athletes, gambling, the objectification of athletes, free expression and the role-model function of athletes.


  • National Security. Choose an article that concerns the issue of national security today. A response to this article must also be discussed. Topics to consider: domestic and foreign surveillance, drone strikes, civil liberties, torture and detainment of terrorist suspects, airport security, threat levels, preemptive war or intervention abroad.




If you find the SMG pre-work helpful, please use it as a guide.  If you have another method, use that.  You must have a substantial amount of pre-work, research notes, etc., as I will be looking at your draft materials when I grade your paper.  I want to see that you are researching effectively and organizing your thoughts before you write.

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