ENG 111 Essay 1: Evaluate a Nontraditional Text
Length: 2.0-4.0 pages (you will be penalized for anything outside this range), typed, double-spaced (Beware: Word sometimes adds extra space after you hit enter! You need to fix this!)
Font: 12 point Times New Roman or equivalent
Margins: 1 inch each side (Beware! The Word default is sometimes 1.25 on the sides.)
Info: Name, Instructor, Class, and Date on the top left (MLA rules)
Title: Something unique; centered; no special font treatment except MLA title capitalization rules
Page #s: Last name then #; top right of page (in the header area of the document, 0.5” from top edge of page)
Notes: * Use of the first person (I/me/my/mine/ours) is allowed but should be used sparingly, ONLY WHEN you are relating a personal anecdote.
* Use of the second person (you/your/yours) is not allowed (points lost for each instance).
* One outside source is required: the main/best/official website related to your chosen topic. For example, if you choose to write about Coastal Carolina Community College, you would cite Coastal’s official website. Therefore, you must include a signal phrase in your “teaching paragraph,” as well as an in-text parenthetical citation and a Work Cited page with the one entry. You must use MLA 8th Edition to format the entry.
Your assignment is to evaluate (review) a nontraditional text: a product, place of business (restaurant, salon, etc.), travel destination, museum, church, school, album, makeup item, sports team, music festival, haunted house… YOU HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS! There are several sample essays in EAA, and an entire chapter of the textbook is dedicated to how to write a review. Please review something that you have experienced fairly recently and already know quite a bit about. Assumed audience: someone who has heard of your topic but doesn’t know much about it and has not yet experienced it. Your reader is trying to decide whether or not to check it out.
Hook: capture the reader’s attention, be creative (narrative, description, etc.)
Introduction/“Teaching” Paragraph: objective (unbiased, no evaluation yet), share necessary background/historical info, provide relevant terminology/ definitions, may incorporate information from website
Thesis statement: overall value statement of experience, forecast chosen criteria (last sentence of introduction paragraph)
Body paragraphs (3): Choose three criteria upon which to evaluate your chosen experience. Each body paragraph should contain the following:
-Define the criterion (if needed)
-Put forth a claim in which you evaluate the experience with regard to that particular criterion; you must include a rating based on a chosen numerical or letter grade scale!!!
-Support your claim with a detailed explanation/description/analysis.
-Finish your paragraph with a smooth transition to the next paragraph.
Conclusion: Conclude your essay with a paragraph in which you put forth your overall evaluation/recommendation; you must include an overall rating based on a chosen numerical or letter grade scale! Should your reader participate in the experience? Why or why not? Is this product/experience more suitable for some than others? Explain. Why is this product/experience worth writing an essay about? What makes it so special/problematic? What is the most important thing for readers to remember about your chosen product/experience?
Work Cited Page: Required. One entry: website for product/destination.
- This is NOT a research paper. Avoid looking up reviews of your chosen topic to avoid the temptation of plagiarism.
- Read the essay draft aloud; ideally, read it aloud to a friend or family member. It is much easier to catch errors and moments of confusion in this manner.
- Begin by choosing your three criteria and composing the body paragraphs.
- When you give your rating/grade/score (overall and for each criterion), avoid the “would” verb tense. “I would give the customer service 4/5” is a weak construction. Replace it with “Due to X, Y, and Z, the customer service at [Restaurant Name] earns four out of five points.”
- The most common error on this assignment is to accidentally write a REPORT or a NARRATIVE instead of a REVIEW! A report is an expository, mostly objective description of an experience. A narrative is simply a re-telling of an event or experience. A review, however, is an analytical, systematic EVALUATION of an experience. You aren’t just telling your reader about your topic; you are JUDGING and MEASURING your topic in order to make an informed and compelling recommendation to your reader. An essay that does not identify and measure three clearly stated evaluative criteria will suffer major point loss!