From Gerald R. Lucas
📝 English Composition Writing FAQ 11011102📖

Evaluating Texts

While analysis and interpretation involve closely examining and making sense of a text, evaluation goes a step further to make a judgment about the text. In other words, evaluation involves assessing the value or quality of the text based on a set of criteria or standards.

When evaluating a text, you might consider questions like:

  • How well does the author support their argument or thesis?
  • How effective is the author’s use of evidence?
  • How well does the author communicate their ideas?
  • How does this text compare to other texts on the same topic?

Evaluation requires a critical and thoughtful approach, but it is also subjective to some extent, since different people may have different criteria or standards for what makes a good text. Nevertheless, evaluation can be an important part of the process of analyzing and interpreting texts, as it allows you to draw conclusions about a text and its value or significance.

When evaluating a text, especially an essay, there are several strategies that can be used:

  • Identify the main argument or thesis statement of the text and assess its strength and relevance to the topic being discussed.
  • Evaluate the evidence used to support the main argument or thesis statement, and assess whether it is convincing, reliable, and relevant.
  • Assess the logic and coherence of the text, and identify any fallacies or inconsistencies in the reasoning.
  • Consider the context in which the text was written, including the author’s background, purpose, and intended audience.
  • Evaluate the style and tone of the text, and assess how well it engages and communicates with the reader.
  • Identify any biases or assumptions in the text, and evaluate their impact on the argument and overall message.

By using these strategies, readers can critically evaluate a text and make informed judgments about its quality, validity, and relevance to their own research or inquiry.

Strategies for evaluating literature or a work of art may differ based on the type of work being evaluated. For example, when evaluating a literary work such as a novel, short story, or poem, one may consider elements such as characterization, plot, setting, symbolism, and themes. When evaluating a work of art such as a painting or sculpture, one may consider elements such as composition, color, texture, form, and subject matter. In both cases, critical thinking skills can be used to evaluate and analyze the work, along with an understanding of the context in which the work was created.

Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 04-30-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬