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How To Write A Critical Evaluation Essay?

March 29, 2021 by

Critical evaluation and analysis are some of the most important things you learn in your undergrad/post-grad programs. For when you critically analyse a topic, you get a chance to approach it from different perspectives. Critical evaluation contributes to a more holistic academic development. It also encourages young academicians to expand their understanding and try to look at the text/topic from a different viewpoint.

Writing a critical evaluation essay is not a simple task. It requires meticulous planning and hours of reading and research. Here is a stepwise guide to help students write a detailed critical evaluation essay.

Step 1: Find your niche 

First things first, you need a topic to write on. Now, in most universities, the professor already has a list of topics for you to choose from. Pick a topic that appeals the most to you. However, I recommend students to also opt for relatively easier topics that wouldn’t take up a lot of your time or effort. Remember, you have a deadline to meet as well.

There are three main parameters when it comes to finding a good topic for writing a critical evaluation essay:

  1. scope for research and critical analysis
  2. easy and time-effective
  3. interesting and engaging

A critical evaluation essay gives you the space to go beyond the existing research and add your thoughts/opinions on the subject matter. It is a good medium to exercise your critical thinking skills and further extend or expand upon the work already done to find some new revelations.

Step 2: Read up on the existing research 

No research paper or essay can ever be written in isolation. You need to read up on all the work that has already been done in your field of study. The academic community is ever-growing, and it is important to be aware of the updates and changes made in your subject area before you venture into the topic.

Browsing through the existing research also reduces the chances of you accidently plagiarising someone else’s work. If you have a seemingly new idea, chances are, someone must have already thought of it and written a paper on it. You can borrow from their research and build up on it to prove or disprove your stance on the topic.

Critical evaluation is all about collecting different perspectives on the topic and then developing your arguments from them.

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Step 3: Collect relevant data

Data collection is a mandatory step in any piece of academic writing irrespective of your field of study. You cannot make claims in thin air without substantiating it with ample proof and data.

The existing research, contemporary studies, surveys, experiments etc. are a part of the data collection process. I often suggest students prepare a working bibliography during this process. It helps you keep track of the primary and secondary sources referred to in your paper.

Step 4: Sort through the information 

Reading up for a specific topic is an on-going process. However, not everything that you read will be used in your paper.  You need to sort through the information and find what is relevant to your subject.

The length of the essay also determines how in-depth you can go with the research. A critical evaluation essay usually stretches up to 1500-2000 words. You need to pick and choose from the different sources, studies, and statistics available.

This is where proper planning comes into play. You need to first list down the main aspects or sections of the research subject. Find your niche, an area of specialization and stick to it. Also, consult your professors or peers on the specific areas that need more elaboration or discussion depending on your coursework.

Step 5: Analyse the available resources 

Once you have a fair idea about what to include, you can plan out a rough blueprint of the essay. The first draft usually covers the main pointers of the topic. Here, you can talk about the context, background information and existing research in the subject field.

I often advise my students to work on the body of the essay first and then move on to write the abstract. The body of the article would contain your central arguments, sources, theories, and concepts used to prove or disprove the hypothesis.

Step 6: Structuring the essay 

After you have all your facts in place, you can begin to work on actually writing the essay. Now, academic writing is different from any other piece of work you’ve written earlier. For starters, the language is more polished and formal. This doesn’t mean that you cannot use first person pronouns or conversational language.

Academic writing, as defined by linguistics, is a way to effectively communicate your research to the reader. It is less about wanting to appear intellectual and more about discussing your research in a way that is readable and engaging for anyone reading it.

Every essay follows a set structure- an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. The introduction paragraph sets the background of the research topic. The main body is where you discuss the existing research and expand upon it to state your arguments. And in the concluding paragraph, you discuss the scope of the subject matter.


Step 7: Proofread like a pro 

Simply writing an essay is not the end of the job. The real work begins when you revisit the essay to proofread it. A simple tip that I offer my readers is- write first edit later. In fact, this is something even Natalie Goldberg talks about in her “golden rules of writing” handbook wherein she discusses various tips for young writers who want to improve their skills.

Proofreading is a tough job and requires meticulous planning. Of course, there are several proofreading platforms like Grammarly and Hemingway that highlights the typos and grammatical errors in the essay.

I would still recommend students to manually proofread their essays as well for structural and factual errors. Or if you are running out of time then you can outsource this to assignment experts who can proofread your content for you.

Step 8: Citations and bibliography 

Citations help you identify and refer to the source texts, journals and research papers you have used or borrowed from in your essay. There are different ways you can cite your sources depending on the subject matter and field of research.

For instance, APA in-text referencing is suited to scientific or stat-based papers. And MLA referencing is ideal for theory-based papers, literature reviews and detailed dissertations. If you are using in-text referencing, ensure that you add a reference list towards the end of the paper wherein you expand on the citations.

Also, after the conclusion, an annotated bibliography is mandatory. And if you want some extra brownie points, feel free to add little footnotes and annotations with each research material you are adding in the bibliography.

Quick Links And References 

So, there you have it- writing a critical evaluation essay is not all that tough, provided you know what to write and how to structure your arguments. The bottom line is, you need to do your research, have an open mind and keep your essay as unbiased as possible. Try to include all aspects of the topic and the multiple perspectives that you can find in your reading or research process.

APA in-text referencing guide 

Griffith In-text referencing guide

Citethisforme = Citation generator

Critical evaluation essay format 

Reach Out To Experts!

University essays are quite different from the ones you had back in high school. And students who are just starting college often find it difficult to keep up with these changes. Reach out to the essay writing services at Our subject-matter experts come from a wide range of industries, providing professional insights to your paper.




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Sociology homework help

The thing is, anyone would have a hard time justifying which of these two compounds they had made from using just an IR spectrum, even if they had both.
The structures are:
The peaks you should see based on the structure of the molecule (and based on what I have in my reference text, Techniques in Organic Chemistry, Mohrig) are:
##mathbf(“C”=”C”)## aromatic (stretch): ##1620~1440## ##”cm”^(-1)##; medium to weak; sharp
##mathbf(“C”-“H”)## aromatic (stretch, bend): ##3100~3000, 900~680## ##”cm”^(-1)##, respectively; medium to weak; sharp
##mathbf(“C”-“O”)## alcohol (stretch): ##1300~1000## ##”cm”^(-1)##; strong; sharp
##mathbf(“O”-“H”)## alcohol (stretch): ##3650~3200## ##”cm”^(-1)##; medium to strong; broad
##mathbf(“NO”_2)## nitro (stretch): ##1570~1490, 1390~1300## ##”cm”^(-1)##; strong; sharp
Here are two sample spectra run on a KBr pellet (I seem to recall them being a few thousand dollars each?):

You should notice that the spectra are very similar above ##”1700 cm”^(-1)##, except for the ##”O”-“H”## ALCOHOL stretches near ##”3200 cm”^(-1)##, which are STRONGER in the ortho spectrum.
Also, you may notice though is that the ortho spectrum is messier below ##”1700 cm”^(-1)##. Many of those peaks are still the same, such as at ##”1400~900 cm”^(-1)##, but some peaks, like the NITRO and ##”C”-“O”## ALCOHOL stretches at ##”1600~1300 cm”^(-1)##, have additional splitting and are STRONGER in the ortho spectrum.
That’s important; why are they stronger for the ortho isomer?
One thing you should remember is that peaks in IR spectra arise from a change in dipole moment during the sample analysis. You can probably imagine that changes in dipole moment are lessened when there is more symmetry in the molecule.
Not surprisingly, the main difference between the two compounds is thus the amount of symmetry they have—notice how the para isomer has a (##C_2##) symmetry axis right down carbons 1 and 4. The ortho isomer doesn’t have that.
The vector direction of the nitro group stretches on the para isomer is more symmetrical with respect to the vector direction of the hydroxyl group stretches than in the ortho isomer, which reduces the overall change in dipole moment during those stretches, thus weakening any peaks pertaining to those vibrational motions that are predicted to show up in the IR spectrum.
As a result, we see weaker peaks in the more symmetrical para isomer for the ##”C”-“O”## and ##”O”-“H”## alcohol stretches near ##1300## and ##”3200 cm”^(-1)## respectively, and for the ##”NO”_2## nitro stretches near ##”1600~1300 cm”^(-1)##.
Of course, had you not had BOTH spectra in front of you, you might not have been able to notice such subtleties. So, I wouldn’t say this is a practical way to approach the determination of which product you actually made more of during your synthesis.
You should also consider your ##mathbf(“”^13 “C”)## NMR spectra, as that would tell you more. The more symmetry you have on the molecule, the less number of carbons would appear to show up on the ##””^13 “C”## spectrum, and that should be a much clearer indicator than your IR spectra as to whether you made the ortho or the para isomer.

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