How to Write an Assessment Essay

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How to Write an Assessment Essay

Writing an assessment essay involves writing a critical analysis of something or someone else.  Since you may be learning how to write an assessment essay of someone else's writing, it is important that you keep such in mind as you read through the person's article.  Then, if any part of the report stands out to you or causes you to ask questions in your mind, make note so that it can possibly be included in your essay later.

As you read through the report, there are several questions you should have in the back of your mind and that you should be trying to answer.  Some of these questions include:

  • What is the purpose of the report?
  • What are the counterarguments to the points the writer is making?
  • How effectively is the writer using information that is known about the subject?
  • How well has the writer organized the material?
  • Are there any aspects of the article that should have more detail or be supported with further evidence?

If the report you are assessing is one that was written by a classmate in response to material covered in class, you should also be looking to see if the writer has included information that has been discussed in the class.

With these questions all in mind, you should read through the report quickly at first.  When you run across parts of the article that you think are particular good, make note of such sections.  Similarly, if some areas are weak or require further evidence, make notes of these sections, as well.  In addition, make notes of the parts of the report you found to be the most engaging as well as the parts you found to be more boring.

After your quick read-through, read through the report at a slower and more careful pace.  As you re-read assessment essays, try to formulate reasons for the way you have responded to the document.  In addition, try to determine what the author might have done in order to improve upon the report or to better convince you of his or her viewpoint.

Now that you have a clear idea of your views on the report, you can begin the actual writing process.  The first paragraph of your assessment essay is the introduction.  Here, you will introduce the reader to the work that you are about to discuss while also presenting your thesis statement.  Your thesis statement is the one sentence that tells the reader what the rest of the report will be about.  All subsequent sentences and paragraphs will then serve to support this thesis.

The paragraphs that follow the introduction paragraph comprise the body of your article.  First, you should briefly summarize what the original essay was about.  This summary usually should only require one paragraph, as it is meant to provide the reader with only a brief overview.  The remaining paragraphs of the body should discuss your analysis of the report while providing reasons for your viewpoint.

Finally, your last paragraph will be the conclusion.  Here, you should restate your thesis in a manner that is different from the introductory paragraph.  You should also summarize your views without introducing information that was not already previously discussed in the body.

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