EVALUATION ASSIGNMENT Paper 4 (modi&ied from English Dept. handout).
To construct an evaluative argument, we will focus on the following strategies:
— developing a statement that makes a claim about the quality of x or the nature of a problem
— discovering and presenting criteria for evaluating x; and/or analyzing x by consequences
— presenting details about x to show how it does or does not >it the criteria and/or how it can
be assessed by consequences
Here are some sample rhetorical contexts:
–You might evaluate some aspect of current politics; for example, you might consider a
present-day politician. Does this person measure up to the democratic ideals of his or her
position? (Be sure to not get carried away by personal preferences; keep a broad audience in
mind). Such an argument might appear as an op-ed piece in a newspaper, or an article for a
national newspaper or journal.
–You might evaluate the nature of an ongoing social, economic, moral, environmental or
other civic debate. For example, do the economic bene&its of fewer environmental
regulations override safety concerns? You might write to the EPA or to your congressional
representatives directly to convince them. What is the overall value of the MeToo
movement? Are there any downsides? Do the positives outweigh the negatives, or vice
versa? Should celebrities be involved in politics, or is entertainment a separate social
category? You might write a newspaper article, or more directly, address a celebrity or
organizers at a speci&ic venue.
— You might research and evaluate some aspect of dormitory, social or academic life, past or
present, at Penn State: noise or crowded conditions in dorms. Should free speech override
issues of safety and civility on campus? Is there a the need for the Women’s Centre or the
Diversity/LGBTQ centre at Boucke for providing resources for students? Should the
‘tradition’ of St.Patty’s Day celebrations be continued without restrictions on campus? You
might write a letter to the USG president, or PSU’s President. Or you might draft an article
for the local paper, the CDT, or The Collegian.
— You might evaluate the quality of a current sports team at PSU. For example, you might
evaluate whether the team has the potential for a winning season. Again, perhaps consider
The Collegian or local paper as your intended forum.
–You might make an overall evaluation (aesthetics, economics, ethics) of a musical group or
an individual to explain why they should (or should not) be invited to play at the BJC. You
might address your evaluation to administrators, or to a wider audience in a public context,
such as in the Arts and Entertainment section of a paper. You might evaluate whether
religious individuals and groups should operate freely on campus (the Willard preacher; the
anti-abortionists outside the HUB).
As the examples above indicate, you need to have a purpose for your evaluation, and to direct
your essay to a particular audience. You are trying to get that particular audience to accept
your position by examining the nature and consequences of your subject. Your credibility is
important, as in all good arguments.
My proposal is
Why SAT should be optional for all colleges