Assignment Requirements

“Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

John F. Kennedy, Former US President

It is easy to have an opinion. It is easy to criticize. It is more difficult to think

thoughtfully and critically to develop an interpretation, and then to support

your ideas.

In writing your evaluation essay, you will choose a “text” that you can spend

some time with, get to know, and think deeply and critically about. Your

evaluation will offer thought-out commentary and criticism. You will develop an

evaluative thesis about your “text” that moves beyond liking or disliking. You

will then develop claims and support for your thesis about this “text.”

The word “text” has been in quotation marks because you will have some

freedom about what to evaluate. The key is that your text be small enough

to discuss in a four-page paper. That is, a TV show is too long to write about

in a paper this size, as is a novel, a movie or an album. A song, a poem,

a painting, an advertisement, even a product can be the right size for this

evaluation essay.

As with your narrative, this paper should have a rather narrow focus. You want

to choose the most important details to evaluate. The course textbook, HTWA,

has much more detailed information about what an evaluation essay is, and

how to write one.

Your assessment on this paper will be based on the goals of this unit:

  1. Find a relevant cultural text for analysis. Then, understand and think

critically about this text.

  1. Read rhetorically, paying attention to strategies of persuasion, the

purposes of an author or creator, and the effect of a text on an

audience. Analyze texts in order to better compose your own.

  1. Integrate other voices into your writing—through summary, paraphrase

and quotation. Use citations properly.

  1. Revise your evaluation so that it is clear, well-organized, and polished.



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