Developing an Evaluation Essay

This paper asks you to develop an evaluation argument. Your evaluation will pertain to a hypothetical situation in which you have been asked to assess potential options and make a recommendation about which one your audience should choose.
Choose one of the following scenarios as your focus for this paper.
  1. A friend wants to get her twelve-year-old a cell phone and asks you for advice about which brand and model to get.
  1. One of your middle-aged instructors is interested in playing some multi-player games in her spare time and wants your advice about what technology or system to invest in to be able to play the games.
  1. Your elderly neighbor wants to become more tech-savvy and engaged and asks for your advice about which social media platform to start using first.
  1. Your employer at a local non-profit wants to update the security for your 6-person office and asks for your input about which malware-protection product to use.
  1. You are in charge of forming a new team of three superheroes to fight climate change and must make a recommendation to Congress about which three would be most useful and effective on the team.
  1. You may also propose your own scenario requiring you to develop an evaluation and recommendation (ideally related to some aspect of technology). Please confirm your choice with me first, though, before writing your paper.


Obviously, your audience will depend on your topic, but whatever your subject, you will need to consider your audiences needs, interests, concerns, limitations, resources, and goals. Don’t write directly TO your audience, though. Instead, think about the person or people described in the prompt as representing a larger group and write more broadly about that group and its needs. What that means is that you will write about that audience in third person rather than to a person in second person (i.e., use they and them rather than you).
For instance, in the next document I offer an example of a friend needing to buy a car for her teenager. I might introduce my essay with the explanation of my friend’s situation, but once I’ve done that, I would shift to referring to what parents and teens (not just my friend and her daughter) might need to consider.

Length & Structure

To do justice to your subject and to your audience, you will probably need at least three pages. Rather than focusing on meeting a certain word limit, however, please focus on writing a thorough and effective argument for your reader.
As for how to organize your essay, follow one of the two structures I’ve outlined in the next document. Begin by setting up the situation that is requiring a recommendation. What does the target audience want (i.e., what are the audiences values and desired outcomes)? What are the challenges to consider regarding this situation? You may begin with an anecdote about the specific person involved in the hypothetical scenario, but after you set up the situation, shift to third person.
After establishing this basic information, introduce the options. In some cases, these options are obvious (Apple or Android), but in others, youll have to research and narrow the listand explain how you decided on those options. For instance, there are many social media platforms (or dating apps, etc.), too many to discuss in this paper, so you would need to identify the main contenders that would be appropriate to consider for the target group and THEN evaluate just that short list.
Next, develop your criteria for evaluating these options and apply these criteria to the options. What key features is it reasonable or common to look for in ANY of the options youre considering? These criteria should be consistent across all the options. Applying these criteria to those options (a criteria match evaluation) is how you support your recommendation, which you can state either before or after you evaluate the options.
Lastly, include a Work(s) Cited page listing the source you used to develop your recommendation. Since we wont have review citations styles yet, do your best to include basic information about the sources (author, title, website, date, and URL) and format the page in a way that is clear and consistent.


The essay you submit should follow the formatting guidelines in the syllabus (double-spaced, first line of each paragraph indented, titled, with an appropriate header and page numbers).