Quick Tips For Constructing A Critical Evaluation Essay Outline

While it might appear from the wording of “critical” that you are supposed to condemn, this is not the assignment. A critical evaluation is “a thorough evaluation” of a subject. It is an analytical evaluation that defends a particular view or argument. The easiest way to do this is to think in terms of the debate team. On the debate team, you have two opposing sides each presenting argument. The best argument wins. In a critical evaluation essay, you are in control of the debate teams. You control who wins. Your dominant argument is the winning team.

To demonstrate this type of essay, I will use the topic of American Labor Unions.

  • Introduce your subject that you are talking about in your critical evaluation essay. Explain the objective of your argument. Let your audience know from the start that this is your position. For example, there are many pros and cons concerning the American Labor Unions, and I am going to focus on the positive aspects.
  • Critical evaluation looks at a subject in pieces. Break your subject up into manageable components that can be discussed individually. Using the example of the American Labor Unions I might discuss its various functions and how it affected the lives of the workers. I might also talk about what life was without the American Labor Unions. The individual components of this writing can then be used in the argument. This is where you defend your position.
  • Do not forget to offer the opposing arguments and defend against these arguments. This will strengthen your critical evaluation. For example, it can be argued that the Labor Unions in America’s history were corrupt. This corruption could be used as an argument to shut down the Labor Unions. But these same Labor Unions shortened the workweek to 40 hours and gave workers time and a half for holiday pay. This counter argument strengthens a pro-union position. Offering the counter arguments can win over readers who would otherwise not agree because they have their own opinion.

Finally, you bring it all together. You restate the objective of the essay. You recap the highlights found in your critical evaluation, your argument. You summarize and present a closing argument. The closing argument is your chance to change the minds of people with opposing views. It is an opportunity to bring people to your side who would otherwise have no opinion.

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Last updated: Dec 14, 2017