Basic Elements of a Speech Evaluation Essay: a Manual for Students
In a speech evaluation essay, you should demonstrate the general quality of your own speech or the speech given by someone else. Evaluation is based on opinion. However, if you are effective in this type of writing, your evaluation will not seem opinionated or biased. On the contrary, your position will be reasoned and logical. How can it be done? When analyzing the speech, you should remember three key elements of proper evaluation: criteria, judgments, and evidence. A good speech evaluation paper should be based on these elements as well.
By establishing criteria, you define what the perfect speech should be. Your criteria should be clear and fair. The generally accepted requirements to giving speeches can be used as criteria for your evaluation.
In your judgment, you should evaluate whether the mentioned criterion is met. For example, you may analyze whether the speaker’s goal was achieved, whether the speech structure was effective, or whether the right visual aids were applied.
The evidence is used to support your judgment. These are specific details (for example, the reaction of the audience) and examples (like, quotations from the speech).
Each body paragraph of your speech evaluation essay should include one specific criterion, the judgment of what the actual speech was, and a variety of evidence supporting your point. The number of the body paragraphs of your paper will depend on the number of criteria you would like to analyze.
For example, your speech evaluation paper may have the following structure:
Grab the reader’s attention with a thought-provoking sentence. Present your thesis statement, which is the general evaluation of the speech. It is not difficult to formulate a proper thesis statement as soon as you have clear criteria, judgments, and evidence. If the speech meets most of these criteria, your evaluation will be positive, if not, your evaluation is likely to be negative.
In the body paragraphs of your paper, you may analyze some of the following aspects:
- Objectives of the speech;
- Content of the speech;
- Structure: the speech opening, body, and conclusion;
- Delivery skills and connection to the audience;
- Visual aids;
- Gestures and eye contact.
State your thesis in different words. Summarize your key points.
It is not so difficult to write a good speech evaluation essay if you remember the basic elements it consists of. Moreover, you should know all features of a good speech in order to evaluate it professionally.