In order to evaluate something, you need to compare it with the best example of that particular thing. So, to help you develop your topic into an essay, there are two important questions to ask when you are choosing your topic to evaluate:
- First question: What category of a thing is it?
- Second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category?
What category is it?For the best evaluation essay, you want to compare your topic with things that are very similar, so try to narrow the category as much as possible. To get there, you want to keep on asking the question, "What kind is it?" What category does McDonald's fit into?
Answer to first question: Restaurant. (What kind of restaurant?) Fast food restaurant. (Better, but what kind of fast food?) Hamburger-serving fast food restaurant. (This is what you want!)
So if you were evaluating McDonald's, you would want to compare it to other fast food restaurants that mostly serve hamburgers.
Now the second question: What is the ideal example of something in that category? What makes that example better than others? Thinking about what you consider to be the very best example of something in the category of what you are reviewing can help you decide what criteria you will use, and also what judgement you can make. For example, here is a list of criteria my students have come up with for an ideal burger fast food restaurant:
- looks clean
- serves food fast
- makes it easy to order
- has great fries
- has options on the menu
- offers large drinks with free refills
- serves juicy burgers with lots of grease
- doesn't cost a lot of money
No two people will come up with exactly the same list, but most restaurant reviews look at the following criteria:
Answer to second question: A great fast food burger joint offers great service, atmosphere, and food at a fair cost.
Now you know what your paper is going to be about how close McDonald's comes to this ideal.
The Appalachian Mountain Club is seeking to sell its Fire Island cabin and the 1.4-acre parcel it sits on, much to the dismay of Long Island club members who use the facility for eco-friendly outdoor recreation.
The Boston-based nonprofit notified members of the New York-North Jersey Chapter of the AMC on March 2 that it was seeking to sell the cabin, located in Atlantique, on the edge of Great South Bay.
Regional members said they have been told by the AMC that the organization’s leadership will vote on the proposed sale on Thursday. Members pay a $100 annual fee to join the club, and pay additional fees to use specific AMC facilities.
“We had no warning that this was even being considered,” said Elizabeth Marinis, a member of the club who lives in Seaford. “We had no idea. I feel like there should’ve been some kind of process to reach out to the members.”
Members of the New York-North Jersey chapter have objected to the move and started a petition to stop the sale. They said they are organizing a protest at the AMC’s headquarters the day of the vote.
“The programs and experiences available at the Fire Island Cabin are unlike those at any other AMC property,” said John Maier, a sailing instructor at the Fire Island cabin. “Selling the property will only increase development in this precious ecosystem. It would be a direct negation of the mission of the AMC to turn the property over to private hands, and it would be unconscionable to do so without an open dialogue with the members of the AMC.”
AMC president and CEO John Judge did not return calls seeking comment, and it is unclear if the organization has a buyer for the Fire Island property.
The club’s board of directors released a statement on its website saying that it has been evaluating its various facilities in an effort to determine how much each location “contributes to organizational goals and mission.”
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“The Fire Island cabin raises some specific concerns, namely the residential character of the surrounding neighborhood, limited flexibility in lodging options and access, and its proximity to rising seas,” the statement said. “Given these concerns, the board is weighing AMC’s continued presence on Fire Island against the likelihood that increased investments elsewhere would allow us to engage more constituents in the outdoor recreation, learning, and conservation that lies at the heart of the AMC mission.”
The board said in the statement that it was considering expansion in Harriman State Park, located in Rockland and Orange counties, as an alternate opportunity for investment after the Fire Island cabin is sold.
The Fire Island property was donated to the AMC in 1928. Members of the New York-North Jersey branch say it is the only 100 percent volunteer-run facility that AMC operates.
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