Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Evaluation Skills

As a GP student you are expected to evaluate the different aspects of the topic, such as its pros and cons, merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages, benefits and losses, and so on in your general paper (GP) essays.

Evaluation means to juxtapose the arguments, weigh them and decide which one is stronger and more credible. For a good evaluation you should allocate weight or the rank the points on the basis of their importance and relevance. Discuss about the most important point in the beginning, a little less significant below it and so on.

Deciding which questions to attempt

Seriously speaking, your test of good evaluation skill begins right from here. You have to select the questions you are going to answer and this part is extremely important. If you choose a wrong question then you won't be able to answer it properly thus you'll refrain yourself from securing good marks (the ones you deserve!)

Read more about this on which type of questions should you attempt?

Deciding what to write

After deciding which question to attempt, you have to plan what to write. Here are some steps that you can follow:

  • First of all, jot down all your ideas concisely. Your ideas should include different aspects of the topic, such as its pros and cons, merits and demerits, advantages and disadvantages, benefits and losses, and so on. You can go on further to include the moral, environmental, and social implications of the given topics, i.e. all the arguments and counterarguments. This is also called brainstorming.

  • After that, classify all the ideas into some category and figure out which side is stronger, more convincing or you are going to argue for.

  • Then, on the basis of this write down your thesis statement. This is the single sentence which dictates your overall intention to the reader. This sentence is included in the introductory paragraph usually at the end.


After this procedure you need to determine

  • What would be your ultimate view on the subject matter? (-your thesis statement)


Note: It is a good idea to bear in mind the thesis statement while writing the entire essay.


  • What are the arguments you will be discussing in the essay? (-I recommend you to go for 3 to 4 arguments each having its own paragraph.)

  • The order of the importance of your arguments with strongest and most relevant argument placed on the top.

  • The most evident counterargument on the subject matter and what is your say about that. Also you can provide your alternative solutions to tackle with the problem.


Note: You should be aware that providing a counterargument is rather compulsory in GP essays. A paragraph with a counterargument provides a balance to the essay. By including this paragraph you prove that you are not ignorant of the limitations of your arguments and thus you are not a utopian; you express that you know the downside or the negative aspect of the subject. And irrespective of that your argument is the best match for the given circumstances.


  • What will you write in the conclusion part? What will be the impression of your conclusion to the readers? Is your conclusion in accordance to the arguments you discussed earlier or does it conflicts with them? Are you consistent in your opinion throughout the essay and have avoided immature arguments?


Finally, you should develop your conclusion on the basis of your whole essay. Your conclusion should echo your thesis statement to prove that you are consistent and firm about your arguments throughout the essay. It is the part where your evaluation and judgement should be reflected. I suggest you to summarize your essay as a whole and relate it to your thesis statement in a persuasive tone.

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