Essay 3: Evaluation Argument

Write a two- to three-page (500 to 800 words) essay that attempt to change someone’s mind about the value of a specific cultural artifact (a novel, a play, a movie, a TV show, an album, a video game, and so on). Your evaluation should oppose the common or expected view of your artifact in some way. Write for an audience you expect to disagree with or express surprise at your evaluation. Somewhere in your essay you should summarize alternative views and either refute them or concede to them.

Your argument should follow the Criteria-Match structure outlined in Writing Arguments. You should determine what specific category your artifact belongs in, explain the criteria for excellence in that category, and argue that your artifact meets (or fails to meet) those criteria.

Your essay should include at least two sources. A primary source and at least one secondary source; your primary source is the artifact you will evaluate, and your secondary source or sources will be some kind of commentary on that artifact: a review, for example. Encyclopedias — including on-line encyclopedias like Wikipedia — will not count as a source. Use proper MLA documentation, including parenthetical references and a list of Works Cited.

Make your prose as clear and concise as possible. Don’t waste my time and yours trying to sound impressive. Organize your paper as a Classical Argument, with a self-announcing structure and an explicit thesis.

Peer Reviews:
Friday, November 22
(Bring THREE copies of your essay to class.)

Final Revision Due:
Friday, December 6
(Bring your Revised Draft, your First Draft with my comments on it, and all the Peer Reviews you received to class in a two-pocket folder.)

Major Essays

Page Last Updated: 20 November 2013