Formulating Evaluative Statements

Formulating evaluative statements is a way of giving a better explanation to show the strength and weaknesses of something through writing. It presents a value judgment based on a set of criteria. It is the writer’s way of explaining why strength is a strength and a weakness is a weakness based on the evidence gathered (Belino, 2017). Further, according to Hernandez et al. (2017), an evaluative statement is an objective and tactful way of reacting to a text.

Since evaluations pass judgment onto works of authors, they must be written and expressed with care and after much diligence.

You learned earlier about the considerations you need to make when formulating evaluative statements, as well as the signal words that you may use. Now’s let’s put what you learned to the test. Per the text, formulate an evaluative statement and label it as either positive or negative, depending on the focus of the evaluation.

Text Evaluative StatementClassificationExample:
If you are not so smart, you should try to be a teacher.
The statement is very discriminative against those with average intelligence and teachers in general. Example: Negative
Only rich people can become medical doctors.Every person has something good to add to this world.No one is so poor that he has nothing to share.In posting things on social media, you must think before you click.We must all help to save the planet.Let’s analyze the following situation:

An employer received a curriculum vitae of an applicant who was a fresh college graduate. The company was looking for -someone who had a college degree, work experience, and skills. As the employer evaluated the credentials, though, he saw that what was lack-ing was work experience. The credentials were impressive—a student leader, an honor student, a volunteer in the community. He wanted to hire the applicant, but there was something missing: work experience. Hence, he wrote an evaluation and submitted it to his superior for consideration:

EvaluationExplanation“Applicant #23 has an impressive curriculum vitae for an applicant so young. He has an impressive academic background, with honors, and has had leadership experience, which is important in business. There is also experience in community outreach, which can help in our company’s corporate social responsibility thrusts.

However, the applicant lacks work experience, being a fresh graduate. Sadly, this is a minimum requirement in our company.

I am inclined to give the applicant a chance to work in our company, though, albeit on a contractual or project-based capacity. This way, he can gain work experience while utilizing his abilities to help our company.

This is submitted for your consideration.”

The evaluator began giving his feedback by mentioning the strengths. Always remember to begin with positives. The feedback was also short and concise, because it is expected that the audience—the boss—is a busy person and needs to make decisions quickly.Here, the evaluator mentioned the negative, but did not in any way insult the fresh graduate. The evaluator likewise mentioned why being a fresh graduate was a disadvantage.

The evaluator now gives his opinion (to hire the applicant) and gives a solution to the problem of lack of experience. He also mentions the benefits of the solution.

The example given above is a good way of expressing evaluation. Do not forget what you learned from the sample that in formulating evaluative statements, you must:

1. Begin with the positives.
2. Keep your feedback concise.
3. When pointing out negatives, focus on the situation, not the person. Mention, too, why it is a negative.
4. Provide a solution or suggested improvement to the negatives, as well as a justification about why the solution or suggestion will work.

Now that you have seen how evaluative statements are formed, are you ready to practice?

Belino(2017) proposed ways as to how to formulate evaluative statements in an objective and tactful way.

In this step, you have to examine which ideas are facts or opinions, make inferences or conclusions, and assess the overall quality of the text. These assertions usually contain evaluative languages such as useful, significant, important, insightful, detailed, up-to-date, comprehensive, practical, etc.

1. Counterclaim
A counterclaim is an opposition you make about the claim of a writer. You must recognize the value of hedges when you state your counterclaims.
2. HedgeA hedge is a word or phrase that minimizes the negative impact of criticism. When you are presenting your counterclaim, you are providing criticism since you are stating that the claim is not true. A hedge is used to giving a courteous tone in your writing. Hedges could come in different forms such as Modals – may, could, would, etc. Frequency adverbs – usually, generally, commonly Probability adverbs – probably, possibly, presumably.