What do you need to do a good evaluation of something? Describe your process. What resources are required, and what skills are necessary?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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This question is a little vague, so I will interpret it one way, hopefully the way you need:

     Evaluating a piece of literature requires, first, placing it in literary history -- period, genre, author's development, etc.  Then you should make a preliminary statement about its large topic -- love, death, social change, etc. -- some large category based on your first reading.  Next, focus closer -- image clusters, tone, rhythms, etc.  Then start observing details -- how the author uses language choices, the order of information given the reader, etc.  And so on --the metaphor is focusing like a camera -- closer and closer -- The more attention to detail, the more "valuable."  Now, the term "evaluate" implies stating the piece's "worth -- its importance, its essential truths, its depth.  We could say, for example, that John Milton's Divine Comedy has more "value" than a poem by Edgar Guest.  Hope this helps. 

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