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Assignments to be completed before March 16:

·     Read p.110-123 in Chapter 7 of WTM.  This section will show you a nice model of the kind of critical thinking that goes into organizing and drafting an evaluation essay.  When you read “The Dating Game” student essay, note that it is NOT an evaluation essay.  It’s an advice essay.  Be sure your essay has something to evaluate.  Instead of giving advice on how to have a good date, the writer might have evaluated a particular date she had.  I’ll bet you could think of some interesting criteria for such an evaluation. 

·     Decide on something to evaluate.  Don’t be afraid of a fun, interesting, creative topic.  Fill out the evaluation sheet (Handouts > Other Handouts) to help you organize your essay.

·     Before Monday:  Post a very brief statement of what you’ll be evaluating the subject of your paper as.  Do not state what you are evaluating.  To use an example from class, if you evaluated Wal Mart, you might evaluate it as a place to buy household goods, or as a place to work, or as an environmentally responsible corporation, or as a place to have fun without spending money.   This is a crucial step because it determines what criteria you’ll use for your evaluation.  Any of the above in green are examples of what you might post for this assignment.  Post your statement in Discussions under the topic: “Evaluating As.”

·     After Monday, respond to two of your classmates “Evaluating As” postings, listing three to five appropriate criteria based on what they are evaluating their subject as.  Note that you do not need to know their subject in order to do this.

·     Write a rough draft of your Evaluation Essay.  Shoot for three pages (750 words) of writing.  Use the formatting handout (Home Page > Handouts > Other Handouts) as a model of how your draft should look.  Select, copy, and then paste your draft into a WebCT discussion posting under the topic: “Evaluation Essay Draft.”

·     As always, compare your answers to the sentence combining exercises with the sentence combining keys (Home Page > Sentence Combining Keys.  Pay particular attention to your application of punctuation rules in preparation for next weeks sentence combining mid-term quiz.

·     Watch “Mid-term Sentence Combining Review” in Presentations to prepare for a mid-term sentence combining quiz next week.

·     Complete the Sentence Combining Practice Test (Available Monday.)



Mindset paragraph: This is the opening of your essay.  It should get your reader interested in your topic and leave your reader with the feeling that you're an "expert," some one who knows what their talking about when it comes to the person, place, or thing you’ve chosen to evaluate.



Thesis statement: This usually comes at or near the end of the mindset paragraph.  Here, you state the main point of your paper by giving an overall evaluation of your topic.  You may choose to include your criteria in this statement.  A reader should know from reading this sentence whether you think your subject is great, lousy, or somewhere in between.



Topic sentences for each body paragraph: Topic sentences usually come at the beginning of a paragraph, telling the reader what the paragraph is going to be about.  In an evaluation essay, the topic sentence should proclaim your evaluation of your topic based on just one of your criteria.  Look at your topic sentences.  Do they include an evaluation?  Do they include a criterion? 



Support: Each topic sentence should be supported with specific details, facts, and examples that make clear to the reader how your observation came about.



Closing: In your closing paragraph, you should get back to the point you made in the opening thesis.  Now, though, you can make your point in a more confident and powerful way because you have already “proven” it to the reader.  End by suggesting how readers should act in response to your evaluation.



Sample Body Paragraph:

The nostalgic style and flare of the atmosphere at Ruby’s creates a great environment for fun family dining.  As diners enter they are greeted with music from the 1940s and 50s playing pleasantly in the background.  The old fashioned theme continues with charming décor throughout the dining area—classic pinup girls and Coke posters, vintage propeller planes, and old-style furniture.  Even the menu is tailored to the theme.  They serve old fashioned burgers, cherry Cokes, and classic malts topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  For birthday celebrations, costumed waiters and waitresses stop what they’re doing to sing a unique birthday song.  Then they crown the birthday boy or girl with a Ruby’s hat and present a special bowl of ice cream.

            List who or what you will evaluate:  Ruby’s

            List what you will evaluate this person, place or thing as: A restaurant for family dining

            List at least one other thing that could be fairly evaluated according to your criteria: Koho’s, Denny’s, IHOP






















50’s music and decor, vintage posters, airplanes, old fashioned costumes, birthday song, classic-style menu and food presentation.






























Pretty Good

















Very Good






  Overall evaluation (thesis):  Ruby’s diner is a very good place to enjoy dining as a family.