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This assignment seeks to develop your skills at writing a clear evaluation, developing a thesis supported by reasons and examples. You will also need to use the skills you practiced in Essays 1 and 2—writing vivid descriptions, using appropriate details, and analyzing your topic. Your purpose is to establish the strengths and weaknesses, or advantages and disadvantages, of your topic. Think of your audience as your classmates.
An evaluation essay requires you to make a judgment, identify the criteria used to evaluate your topic, and explain how your topic measures up to the criteria. Your thesis will support one side over the other (judgment). You will need to describe the subject for readers unfamiliar with it and give them a context for understanding the subject. The writing strategy of compare/contrast can help readers recognize and understand your argument. Your principal aim is to convince readers that your judgment is informed and based on generally accepted standards for this kind of subject. [See the resources “Writing a Compare/Contrast Essay” from Santa Barbara City College’s Writing Center, which includes worksheets, and the video “Comparison/Contrast Essays” from Smrt English for more information about structure choices.]
Please don’t write about animal rights, abortion, gun control, marijuana, or the death penalty, any of the topics of your previous essays, or the topics of the assigned readings.
1. Write an essay in which you compare and contrast two apparently dissimilar groups of people: for example, blue-collar workers and white-collar workers, runners and football players, readers and TV watchers, or any other variation you choose. Describe how the two groups differ and how they’re alike, but make sure you come to some conclusion about which group you favor and why.
2. Write an evaluation of a particular job or profession. Why is the job important? or unimportant? What skills and/or education are necessary? How does it compare to another, similar job or profession’s importance and needed education?
3. Choose one of the following topics for an evaluation essay developed by comparison and contrast. The topic you decide on should be something you care about so that the comparison and contrast is a means of communicating an idea, not just information.
• a car, cell phone, computer, or tablet
• a movie, novel, or television show
• an actor, musician, artist, or athlete
• a sports team, dance crew, neighborhood, or town