English 2121 Writing & Research
Richard Carr, Hennepin Technical College For this assignment, you will evaluate a movie or film (not a TV show; no concert films or documentaries; use good taste, please). The evaluation essay is kind of argumentative essay, and as such, you will argue that the movie is good, bad, a little of both, or something in between. This will tell the reader the overall value of the movie—your evaluation. While this essay is similar to the movie reviews we are accustomed to seeing on TV, in the newspaper and on the internet, our analysis will be more formal and our presentation perhaps more rigorous than the reviews found in the entertainment media. We will assume our readers are college educated like ourselves and that they are looking for focused, articulate film assessments.
In the course of your writing, you will make a number of judgments about the movie—this part is good, that part is bad—and taken together, these judgments will be your thesis, an overarching judgment, your overall evaluation. A thesis statement, remember, has two parts: a subject (i.e., the movie itself) and a predicate (i.e., what about it—your opinion). So your thesis is just your opinion of the movie—backed up by several specific judgments you’ve made about the movie.
In order to form your overall thesis and convince the reader to agree with you, it will be necessary to make a case for your position. You will do this by evaluating several different aspects of the movie. For instance, you could talk about the movie’s sets, music, plot and acting. After discussing each of these, you would add them together to make your thesis, which might be something like: “Although the sets looked cheap and the music was wrong for the time period, the exciting plot and brilliant acting overshadowed those flaws and made this a marvelously intense movie.” Clearly, in this example, a case has been made for a “thumbs up.”