How to Write an Evaluation Essay in Film and Theater Studies

Writing guide
Posted on October 2, 2020

In case with the film and theatre studies, the number one task of the evaluation essay writer is to think analytically and critically about the chosen topic, from the opinion developed though analytical and critical thinking, as well as present this evaluation to the potential audience with strong supporting facts and criteria.

It is highly important to make sure that the tone of your evaluation paper is authoritative and trustworthy. In other words, it is critical for the author to have a deep understanding of both – the field of cinema and theatre studies and the topic under evaluation.

The learning area of film and theatre studies is very interesting and broad, which means you will be able to convey your message in any way you like the most. Plays, film making, stages, Hollywood – the variety of opportunities to complete and evaluation essay is impressive.

Identify Your Topic First

Before you write a sentence for your evaluation essay in film and theater studies, you have to choose the most suitable topic that you’d like to give your judgement about. Your judgement or point of view will be your thesis statement, and the supporting evidence that you’ll include will support your thesis statement. Keep in mind that you will have to place all information of the thesis statement into a single and simple sentence.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the topics that you can use for your film and theatre studies:

  • Evaluate folklore elements in the movies;
  • Evaluation of Alfred Hitchcock’s impact on the film industry;
  • Evaluate the stages of evolution of special effects in horror movies;
  • Evaluate the types of drama as a cultural phenomenon;
  • Evaluate the most unsuccessful films adapted for Broadway.

Prepare Before You Write

Before you evaluate any topic in the field of film and theatre studies, it is highly important to thoroughly research it. In the process of research, the author gets an opportunity to gain strong knowledge base that will provide him with a chance to give a more supported and informed judgement. For instance, if you’re writing an evaluation essay about the theatre in the age of William Shakespeare, your paper will be more persuasive if you supply it with some broad and narrow facts, such as theatres had no heating and all actors got wet when the weather was rainy. Or, you can also state that there was no time for rehearsals since the actors usually had six or more plays every week. All these facts will prove that you did some good research before writing the actual essay.

Do not forget to take notes as you work on your evaluation essay in film and theatre studies. Later, in the process of writing, you will be able to use the notes as the real backbone of your evaluation. Keep in mind that the more notes you have, the easier it will be to cope with the paper and format it according to the demands of your college professor.

What Are Your Criteria?

First of all, it is important to consider all the criteria that will be included into your evaluation essay (the body part). However, before you begin to write a professional essay, make certain to come up with the list of features that a perfect film may have. What are the most important points that you have to include? How to write my essay and evaluate film in it effectively? For instance, when analyzing the movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, you will have to consider the following criteria:

  • Characters. Are the characters of Benjamin Button and Daisy Fuller authentic? Do you think the way the film makers create their psychological portraits is natural? Do you think the characters would act the same way in any different situation? Do readers sympathize these characters?
  • The plot of the film. Is the plot logically built? Can you point out any situations that just don’t work together? Is the screen story well driven, dynamic, chaotic, etc.? Are the dynamics of the movies corresponding to the genre?
  • Relationships between the main characters. Do you find any internal motivations behind the actions of each character? Do the characters behave according to some standard scheme or make their decision unexpectedly?
  • The main idea of the film. If the idea new, original, ethical? Does the movie teach anything its fans? What is it that the film makers try to tell us?

When you’re writing an evaluation essay about film and theatre, it is recommended to consider any other things like settings, ideas, style and so on. If possible, you can compare one movie to any other created in the same genre area or by the same film maker. What is more, the author has to take into consideration the audience, and how these people will react to the topic.

Search for Information

At this point, you will have to take an important step – to watch the movie (in case with the story of Benjamin Button) even if you’ve already watched it some time ago. The point here is that the author needs fresh memories and impressions to do the most precise evaluation.

In case in the process of watching the film, you make sure to take notes, you will have a huge scope of materials that could be used for your future evacuation. Together with the facts that the movie provides you with, you will also have to look for some supporting information from different sources. In case with the movie ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, you will have to also read the book. If you believe that simply mentioning the movie title will do, it won’t. Ensure to check not only the publications or articles on your topic, but also evaluation essays written by the other college students. Thus, you will see what was already discussed, and won’t repeat it in your paper.

Work On Your Outline

A good evaluation essay isn’t difficult to read, relevant, properly structured and critical. You will have to choose the most suitable logic for your essay structure since there is no single format that can be used in this paper. On the whole, you will have to ensure your evaluation essay contains several logical sections, including the conclusion and the introduction. It is up to the author of the evaluation essay to decide how he or she is going to organize the chosen criteria. Pick the criteria that you will talk about in your paper and put it into your outline.
As an example of an outline, you can use the following scheme for your evaluation essay in films and theatre studies:

The Introduction

  • Attention grabber
  • Thesis statement (the main idea of the paper)
  • Criteria (your criteria will be discussed within the body)

First Body Paragraph

  • Topic sentence of the paragraph
  • First criterion

Second Body Paragraph

  • Topic sentence of the paragraph
  • Second criterion

Third Body Paragraph

  • Topic sentence of the paragraph
  • Third criterion


  • Concluding phrase
  • Here you have to restate the thesis statement that you provided within the introduction

As a rule, it depends on the topic that you use for your evaluation essay, but in general, you can use the outline given above. Just make sure to have a strong, detailed and logical outline before you start your evaluation process. Thus, you will make sure that you won’t go off topic and will logically proceed from one part of the essay to the other.

The Introduction

When starting an evaluation essay in film and theatres studies, the most difficult thing about it is to write an introduction that will make your readers interested and curious about what is going to happen next. The main purpose of the opening paragraph is to catch attention of your readers and briefly outline what your evaluation is, so that just a couple of simple sentences can show your written exposition and the target readers would like to keep on reading. Your introduction shouldn’t be wordy because thus, your readers will get bored right at the beginning of your paper. Close your introduction with a strong thesis statement that says what the main thoughts of your evaluations are.

The Body Paragraph

In your body section, you will have to include at least three paragraphs. Every body paragraph should include a topic sentence that illustrates what the passage is about. Keep in mind that you will have to prove every topic sentence with strong examples and evidence found in trustworthy resources. The author has to re-check data found for an evaluation essay in film and theatre studies to make certain every person who ever reads it, will agree with your evaluation and conclusions.

The Conclusion

Start your concluding paragraph with the restatement of your thesis statement. Just like argumentative or cause and effect essays, an evaluation essay must be provided with a conclusion that sums up everything that you said before. After you reminded your audience about your thesis statement, make sure to review all the key points discussed within the body wrapping up the closing estimation that you’d like your audience to get from your work.

After Writing

Have you finished your evaluation essay already? Now make sure to leave it for some time in order to take a break. After some rest, take a look at your work and read it from top to bottom. Have you included enough criteria to state your point of view? Or, perhaps, you have overused them and it is better to remove some? Is your essay easy to read? Can your message be clearly seen between the lines?

If you’re not sure about your editing or proofreading skills, you can approach your friend or relative that has strong writing talents, and ask them to review your paper and provide you with comments. Check all moments that should be fixed, and after that, do the last checkup – your evaluation essay should be free from format, punctuation or grammar mistakes.

Brief Recommendations for Writing a Perfect Evaluation Essay

Check some final recommendations that will help you to write a great evaluation essay about movies or theatres that not only your college professor but your class friends will like:

  • Make certain that your evaluation is precise enough. The best evaluation essay is the one that contains a detailed introduction that informs your readers about what you will be evaluating and what criteria you will use to do that.
  • Provide an adequate amount of details. Provide enough information that will tell your readers how you managed to come up with certain conclusions. It is highly important to give strong supporting evidence, examples and proofs in order to illustrate your judgement.
  • Help your audience to agree with your point of view. In case you give an unprejudiced evaluation in your essay about films and theatres, your target readers will find it easier to agree with your opinions and judgements. So ensure to give enough materials in order to guide your readers.

In colleges and universities, evaluation essays are among the most common assignments. The trick for writing the paper that will deserve the highest grades is to show your professor that you have done thorough research and considered both – the pros and cons of the topics before writing the final version of your project.

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