Evaluation Essay



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  • 1300-1500 words (plus a correctly formatted APA cover page and References page)
  • 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Double-spaced lines
  • In-text citations (as appropriate)
  • 3rd person point of view


WHAT: Using the short story (Uncle Jim Called), argue how well the author has succeeded in a specific literary task, such as character development, plot twist, or use of sensory details (sight, smell, sound, taste, touch).




  1. Read and reflect on the story or poem and decide upon a single aspect you believe makes it interesting or special. For example, you might consider one of these elements for a short story evaluation:


story’s development of a particular character;

author’s use of metaphor in the story;

story’s use of sensory details to affect mood.


*I chose character development, emotional effect, and techniqueto argue this short story* If it is too many you may cut down to two genres*


  1. Brainstorm and make notes about your evidence–parts of the story or poem in the form of quotations, paraphrases, or summary–you intend to use to prove how well the author succeeded.


  1. THESIS: Write a thesis statement representing your ideas about the selected component. The thesis must be clearly written, provide a debatable position, and offer an appropriate qualifier(s).  Here’s an example: “In the book, The Girls with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson, the author, uses detail, dialog, and plot brilliantly to develop the character of Lisbeth Salander and make the reader care about what happens to her.”




  1. Introduce topic and present thesis: In an introductory paragraph, summarize background information on the literary task and author; include your essay’s thesis statement as the last sentence of the introduction.


  1. Support thesis with body paragraphs: At the start of each paragraph, write a strong topic sentence that connects to your thesis statement. Develop each paragraph with facts, details, examples, or reasons from the text to support each of your topic sentences.


  1. Conclude your essay: Summarize the main points of your essay and explain how your conclusion connects to your thesis statement.


*QUESTIONS to consider: – did Glenn’s father, Matty, beat him? – was Glenn’s father, Matty, in WW2 and how did it affect him? – what is the difference between Glenn’s mother’s family and Glenn’s father? – is the doorman “real”? – is Glenn really ever coming back to the apartment if he thinks “home” is in the “cold” place (park)? – did Glenn’s relationship with his wife really improve? – what’s with all the drinking? – how about the long soliloquy at the end – what does Glenn want his daughter & wife to know? – is Glenn a good father & husband? – why was Glenn alone in the apartment and not with his wife and daughter?


  1. REVISE the entire document several times to ensure you have conveyed your thoughts clearly, you have developed your paragraphs with details, facts, reasons, examples or evidence, and you have shown logical transitions from one paragraph to the next.

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