How to Write an Evaluation Essay in Classic English Literature

What is an Evaluation Essay?

An evaluation essay in classic English literature is writing that concentrates on a specific criterion of a thesis. The author is required to choose the criteria to discuss and use it to create a powerful evaluation essay based on it.

In the context of classic English literature, your evaluation essay will correctly analyze each part of the chosen criteria. Furthermore, it is essential to investigate and research your thesis, and provide as many examples to demonstrate it.

What Is Classic English Literature?

When someone talks about ‘classic literature’, they are talking about the works of the Greek, Romans and other civilizations, which had worldwide fame.  Grand masterpieces from Homer, Julio Cortazar and Erich Maria Remarque are examples of classical literature works.  But, when talking about classic English literature, the names of Edgar Allan Poe, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Jonathan Swift should not miss in the list.

Purpose of an Evaluation Essay

The purpose of writing an evaluation essay is to offer a viewpoint or opinion on a body of work or subject. The evaluation essay should start by providing a summary of the article followed by the use of a thorough and logical argument to present a viewpoint supported by evidence and examples. Naturally, an evaluation essay has many similarities to a persuasive essay, with the only major difference being that it is designed to present a more balanced argument.

The first thing to do when writing an evaluation essay is to present a judgement stated through a clear thesis. An excellent thesis statement determines the exact focus of an essay and helps the reader understand what the essay is talking about. Moreover, it presents the author’s viewpoint and henceforth each paragraph should assert this viewpoint to the reader.

Evaluation Essay Criteria, Judgement, and Evidence


Students have to choose criteria suitable for evaluating their topic.  Typically, identify the most powerful points supporting their ideas. For instance, the writer must identify necessary requirements to deliver the best evaluation. This process entails establishing the features of the subject matter. Consecutively, academic writing gives students tools for developing topic analysis benchmarks.


Students use judgement when establishing if essays meet set standards. Particularly, scholars start writing by assessing if their chosen topics meet the criteria set. For example, you may realize that the subject supersedes the initial parameters. In such a situation, the level of meeting the requirements lays the basis for evaluating the subject matter. Furthermore, the student can use judgement to evaluate the topic considering the set standards.


Excellent judgement essays have evidence supporting the judgement. Typically, authors must provide persuading information to support their claims. In the case of an evaluation essay, reliable information improves one’s general understanding. Every paragraph contains a distinct criterion and thoroughly illustrates the facts. Besides, successful evaluation papers have relevant judgement on subject matters. In turn, learners use evidence that provides readers with relevant supporting proofs.

How to Start an Evaluation Essay

Writing an evaluation essay is a great way to see how a certain concept or idea measures up. This particular type of writing provides critical insight into the principle under evaluation, and presents reasonable and fair evidence to make anyone reading the evaluation paper form an opinion.

It is easy to start an evaluation essay.

  • Choose a topic. You may be writing an evaluation essay on a movie or evaluating the services at a local restaurant. It does not matter what you write about, you need to present a critical judgement following certain criteria. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a topic you are familiar with or one you will have an easy time researching.
  • Develop a thesis statement. An evaluative paper’s thesis statement should define the overall purpose or goal of the essay. It should offer a clear direction to distinguish between relevant and criteria examples.
  • Consider the method used to arrive at your judgement. Are you facing difficulties evaluating your chosen topic at the start? If yes, you can choose several points of interest to make this step more manageable.
  • Collect supporting material and evidence to validate your point of view. Since you are the one to make the judgement on the topic, you have to support the argument to make your readers form their own opinion.

Think about your Criteria

Before you begin the actual writing of your evaluation essay, consider the criteria that would suit the evaluation essay in classic English literature.  To aid in defining all the criteria, look at the examples provided to use for your evaluation essay on a book.

Characters in the book. Are the characters detailed and authentic? Did the author make them seem natural? If in a real life situation, would the characters behave the same way? Do readers in general sympathize with or like these kinds of characters? Do they make the readers feel empathy or disgust?

The Plot. Is there a logical plot in the book? Are there parts of the books that do not connect logically? In your opinion, is the narrative dynamic? Is it suitable for the book genre?

The book’s main concept. Is the book’s main idea original or largely debated in other books in the world of literature? Is it intelligent and ethical? Is there a lesson from the work of literature? What message is the author trying to convey?

Character’s relationship. Is it easy to predict the book’s characters? Are the characters motivated to act in a certain way?

When you are writing a classic English literature evaluation essay, you can evaluate anything you are comfortable with, such as, writing style or ideas. Regardless of what you choose to evaluate, consider how your readers will react to your evaluation essay topic.

Look for Information

At this point, take time to read the book you want to evaluate. Even if you have previously read the book, when faced with an essay writing task, you require fresh thoughts and impressions. Therefore, you will discover more details that you need to evaluate and consider in the writing process. It is good to take notes while reading the book to have an idea of the book details when you finish reading.

Furthermore, during the reading process look for supporting information from various sources. It is not enough to just mention the book in the evaluation essay. For example, when evaluating ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare, other than mentioning the play you need to reference other materials from trusted sources, researches, and analyses about the topic. Also, it is essential to read previous evaluations done by university and college students. Therefore, strive to stay away from topics that have been discussed many times before.

In order to locate more information to use in your classic English literature evaluation essay, make sure you ask the following questions.

  • Are there additional sources to describe the subject in the best way possible?
  • Is the topic bad or good?
  • What type of readers will mostly be interested with the evaluation? Do they know anything about the evaluation?
  • Do you have evaluation criteria to apply in your paper? Are the criteria reasonable enough to support a negative or positive position?
  • What do you expect before approaching the topic?
  • What is good or bad about the topic?
  • Can you compare your topic to any aspect in the classic English literature?

Evaluation Essay Outline

The best classic English literature evaluation essay is relevant, critical, systematically structured, and easy to read and understand. As a general rule, evaluation essays do not have a standard structure. As an alternative, you will have to choose the most suitable logic for your story depending on your topic. Generally, the writer of the evaluation essay should divide it into logically arranged sections, which includes an introduction and conclusion. As an example, use the evaluation outline below for your essay in classic English literature.


Introduce your subject. The subject of the essay should be introduced with a complete paragraph. You can do this by providing through a big picture synopsis of the subject, talking about its influence on people, and reasons for evaluating it.  Remember to establish the criteria you will use to validate your thesis.

Develop your thesis statement. Write your thesis statement, which should include the general judgement and your supporting reasons.

Main Body Paragraphs

Reason One

The first criterion is to provide a topic sentence followed by your judgement. Ensure that you use transition words when moving from the thesis to the first reason. Support the first reason by providing valid supporting information through comparisons, statistics, expert testimonials, examples, and quotes among others. Talk about emerging objections and refute them. Your argument will gain strength when you address opposing views or objections and provide your reasons for refuting the objections.

Reason Two

The second criterion is to present a topic sentence followed by your judgement of the criterion. Just as in the first reason, use transition words appropriately to smoothly move from the thesis to the next reason. Provide valid support using examples, quotes, statistics, expert testimonials, and comparisons. If there are any objections, address and refute them to give weight to your argument. Also, provide reasons for the refutation.

Reason Three

The third criterion is to provide the topic sentence and a judgement of criterion three. Use transition words and sentences to move to the third reason. As in the other reasons, provide credible supporting information from reliable sources such as expert testimonials, examples, statistics, etc. Address emerging objections as underestimating the need to answer objections may weaken your ideas to make them lose basis.


Restate the purpose of the essay and your thesis statement. Do not write the thesis statement as it appears in the introduction; change the verbiage used. Since this is the last part of your evaluation essay, use the opportunity to make an impression on your reader. It is good to leave the reader with a powerful recommendation.

The Outline of an Evaluation Essay in Classic English Literature

Evaluation Essay Introduction

The primary purpose of an evaluation essay introduction is to state your thesis and an interesting criteria to your readers. The introduction paragraph word count depends on your college professor’s demands. Simultaneously, ensure the language you use is clear and easy to comprehend. Try and provide a strong thesis statement and pick criteria that will convince your readers. Remember to write a hooking introduction to keep your audience interested in the evaluation essay. It is an open secret that classic English literature is not an interesting subject, so it is upon you to make people want to read the entire paper.

Evaluation Essay Body

Experts opine that the body of an evaluation essay is the heart of the paper. However, you should remember that an evaluation essay functions like the human body, which needs all body parts to function efficiently. The body of a college evaluation essay should be descriptive. In this section, the author describes and examines in detail the evidence obtained at the research stage to support the thesis statement and the criteria.

In classic English literature, an evaluation essay also provides an opportunity to present a counter argument to enable you discuss all parts of the topic. Strive to provide a reliable body for your evaluation essay and ensure that it does not lack essential elements and facts.

Evaluation Essay Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph of an evaluation essay should be strong, straightforward, and logical. Restate your thesis statement you introduced in the introduction and rewrite the criteria. But, do not copy and paste the thesis statement or criteria; rephrase the statements. Remind your audience about your evaluation points and key arguments. In other words, use the conclusion of the essay to make a final evaluation of the book or some of its parts.

Evaluation Essay Conclusion Sentence Examples

Your concluding statement is your last chance to speak to your readers. You should convince them, emphasize your viewpoint, or make them see your point of view as an authority in the subject.

The end of your essay should elicit completeness and provide closure. But, you should also provide your reader with all they need to make an opinion or incite them to desire to learn more. To create a sense of closure, you can choose to:

  • Conclude the essay by linking the opening statement with the final paragraph. You can do this by restating the main point that you established at the start by rephrasing the points.
  • Conclude with a sentence that preferably contains single syllable words. Use of simple language helps in conveying the impact of understated drama.

To conclude a discussion and leave room for more thought, you can choose to:

  • Conclude with a reference or quote from a secondary source. It should emphasize your primary argument or offer an alternate perspective.
  • Conclude by defining one of the key terms used in the argument
  • Conclude by looking at the inferences of your analysis. What insinuations are you making in your argument?

No matter what you do, do not end your essay in the following ways:

Do not only paraphrase or summarize your essay. Although it is helpful to summarize your argument, especially for an essay above 10 pages in length. But, for shorter essays, it is not necessary to restate your main points.

Stay away from phrases such as ‘in summation’ ‘in summary’ ‘in closing’, etc. These phrases are helpful when delivering oral presentations, but when the reader is reading the essay, they will be able to determine the end of the essay. Therefore, there is no need to tell them the obvious.

Avoid the need to apologize for knowing what you know. If you extensively research your topic, you will know so much about it such that it won’t fit in a five or ten page essay paper. Due to this, as you finish your essay you may have reservations about the content therein. On the other hand, insufficient research on your topic will leave you with reservations on your capability to finish the paper. Try and restrain from succumbing to your doubts as they will only irritate and distract the reader. Avoid phrases such as ‘this is only one approach’ or ‘there are better ways’ etc.

Proofreading and Editing   

The last step when writing an evaluation essay is proofreading. You can start by reading the entire paper severally to ensure that you have covered all the instructions. In this case, check your paper for common spelling and grammatical mistakes. Essentially, writers must get rid of grammatical errors that lower your paper’s quality.

Successful students depend on their peers to proofread their work. When you allow other students to proofread your work, they will identify hidden mistakes. Furthermore, scholars use critiques issued to improve written compositions to sharpen their evaluation essay writing skills. Therefore, students should adopt peer-reading for editing or proofreading their papers, increasing the general flow of information in essays.

Final Thoughts

To write a quality and logical evaluation essay in classic English literature, take your time in researching, thinking, comprehending and writing clearly. With thoughtful brainstorming and preparation, evaluation essays can be interesting and inspiring to work on. Students are assigned evaluation essays to assess their ability to respond quickly, evaluate literature aspects, settings, plots, characters and evaluate their excellence in thoughtful writing. This makes evaluation essays an essential part of the academic program, especially in the study of Humanities.

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