Academic Evaluations

Choosing a Topic for Evaluation

Sometimes your topic for evaluation will be dictated by the writing assignment you have been given. Other times, though, you will be required to choose your own topic. Common sense tells you that it is best to choose something about which you already have a base knowledge. For instance, if you are a skier, you might want to evaluate a particular model of skis. In addition, it is best to choose something that is tangible, observable, and/or researchable. For example, if you chose a topic like "methods of sustainable management of forests," you would know that there would be research to support your evaluation. Likewise, if you chose to evaluate a film like Pulp Fiction, you could rent the video and watch it several times in order to get the evidence you needed. However, you would have fewer options if you were to choose an abstract concept like "loyalty" or "faith." When evaluating, it is usually best to steer clear of abstractions like these as much as possible.

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Introduction