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Product Evaluation

Page history last edited by Jane Asher 8 years, 2 months ago


Product Evaluation Project 



150 total points: 

100 for written component

50 for presentation






WOW Ch. 9: "Evaluating an Experience"

WOW Ch. 14: "Visual Design"


Student Sample of Product Evaluation Project Presentation Video is available in Announcements on Canvas




Product Evaluation Project Checklist



Product Evaluation Rubric



Sample Works Cited Page for Product Evaluation Project






With a small group (or, if you wish, independently), you will compose and creatively present an evaluation of a new (within the last year or two) product, service, app, place, etc.



Your purpose is to convince your class members that they have a need for your chosen product and then persuade them to  purchase, use, visit, etc. the product, service, app, place, etc. that you have chosen. With this being said, you also want to make sure that you offer a critical  evaluation of your product. In other words, your overall purpose is to recommend your product and argue that it is the "best" available option (based on the criteria that you develop); however, you will also want to explore the short-comings of the product or ways that the product could be stronger (even the best products/options are not perfect).


In order to appeal to ethos, you don't want to ignore the drawbacks of your chosen product, but you certainly do not want to dwell or overemphasize them. Overall, you'll want to illustrate how the positive characteristics or features of the product outweigh any negative ones, and thus, you should leave your audience with the FINAL IMPRESSION that the product is still the best choice. In order to do this, you may need to discuss the positive and negative attributes of a few other comparable products (the competition).  


This assignment will be comprised of both an oral presentation and a visually-appealing written handout. Both of these components will focus on developing and supporting the evaluation argument that you present in your thesis (skeleton example: X is good because of A, B, C). You'll want to tailor your thesis statement to fit your topic.



Components of Project (2)



1.Written Element (100 points/500+ words)


Each group must design a creative handout that is easy to follow (use headers, bulleted lists, etc.), organized, and visually appealing.  You can complete this task by creating a hard (paper copy) and set it up like a flyer, brochure, advertisement, or any other creative way that you see fit. Or, you can complete this task by creating a digital source like a blog or web page. If you choose the latter, you must use an open (free) site that does not require a user account or subscription to gain access to the content you create.


 Note that regardless of the format you choose, you are NOT composing this assignment in the traditional format or layout of a standard MLA essay.


As you design your handout, pay attention to the following characteristics in order to ensure strong visual organization: 

  1. Proportion (WOW pg. 454)
  2. Arrangement (WOW pgs. 459-460)
  3. Emphasis (WOW pgs. 460-462)
  4. Originality (WOW pgs. 462-464)
  5. Page Design-Format, Fonts, Color (WOW pgs. 464-466)


The written component of this assignment must contain at least 2 pages of solid text (500+ words) and must include the following sections (with the following material):


1. Introductory Material

*about 15% of written material should focus on this task

  • Story/background about how you discovered or started using the product  
  • The need for the product (sales pitch to draw the audience in/present a problem that needs a solution) 
  • Description and purpose of the product
  • Necessary background about the product (what is it? who created it? when was it created? where to get it? cost? availability? etc.)


2. Evaluation Argument Thesis in which you identify specific (ethical, aesthetic, or practical) criteria for evaluation. Why is this product the best available option? Why should we use/purchase/download/visit it?

*about 5% of written material should focus on this task


Disclaimer: It's only one solid sentence and that's why I'm suggesting 5%; however, the success of your entire assignment is dependent on this vital task--a weak thesis statement paves the way for weak support (task #3 (70%). A Strong thesis statement sets you up for strong analysis and support in task #3. 


Your criteria for evaluation should be product-specific and include the types of factors that individuals typically use to judge products in that category.

    • this should be easy to identify, composed in  1 complete sentence, and contain a  list of criteria that is written in  parallel structure
    • Skeleton structure: X (product) is the best because A, B, C, etc. (criteria for evaluation)
            • You should purchase/use/visit X (product) because A, B, C, etc. 
    • this should be included in the beginning of the document as it will serve as a road map (a way to organize) the rest of the material
    • note: you should have at least 3 criteria for evaluation, but you probably don't want to have more than 4 or 5 



3.  Support for Evaluation Thesis

*about 70% of your written material should focus on this task


This should be organized to follow the order of your thesis statement.

    Criteria A (Strength 1) explanation, description, and support (use specific examples and details)

     Criteria B (Strength 2) explanation, description, and support (use specific examples and details)

     Criteria C (Strength 3) explanation, description, and support (use specific examples and details)

     Criteria D (if you have more than 3)


As you explore each criteria, remember that you purpose is to convince us of the value of your product (that we need it, that we should buy it, that we should use it). Therefore, as you individually analyze and support each criteria, you may find it helpful to include anecdotes (personal testimony/narrative) and other well-known ideas/information in order to appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos.


Your exploration of each criteria should be original--your own opinion that you are able to logically support with YOUR OWN IDEAS. Do not rely on the reviews of others or on other published reviews from the internet, books, or articles.  Do not read any outside reviews as this may lead to unintentional plagiarism (which is still cheating).  You may include statistics/studies for support, but make sure to credit your sources (see below), but use them sparingly. Your claims should be original, and the bulk of your support should be developed from your own ideas (not from statistics or studies).


4. Critical Angle (acknowledgement of the product's short-comings, glitches, weaknesses/what needs to be improved)

about 10% of written material should focus on this task

Even though your purpose is to recommend this product and offer a positive evaluation, it is important that you prove that you are a critical reviewer--that you appeal to ethos (show your credibility and expertise about this category of products). Even the best products are not perfect, and therefore, you can not simply ignore the very characteristics/features of your product that may need to be strengthened/refined/etc.  You can combine this critical discussion alongside your support (as you describe/analyze the strengths-#3) if it makes more sense to do it there. Or, you can do so separately. Regardless of where you decide to include your criticism, make sure that you do not let the negative aspects of the product outweigh the positive. Your job is to convince us that even though the product has these few (minor) flaws, it is still better than its competitors--it is still the best option.



Other information about handout:

  • use bullets and headers (instead of dense paragraphs)  to make the information organized and accessible

Compose header titles that directly coincide with the requirements in the assignment description so that readers can easily locate all the required information


  • This is meant to be creative, but you also want it to be professional. Thus, standard grammar/mechanics rules apply, and you'll want to make sure that it is proofread and polished. Note that lists/headers do not necessarily need to be written in complete sentences but that they must be composed in parallel format. You'll want to use a balanced combination of lists AND short paragraphs (written in complete sentences).


  • Your target audience is us (your class), so at times using the second-person point of view may be applicable. However, be careful not to over or mis-use it. 






2nd Component of Product Evaluation Project 


Presentation (50 points/5 minutes)


  • Each individual/group will do a short (5 minute) presentation for the class. It can be live or pre-recorded. 
  • Your purpose is to convince us that your evaluation is valid--that we need the product/service/app/etc. that you are promoting. Thus, you'll want to begin by describing a problem/need and offer your product as the solution to that problem.
  • During the presentation, you'll want to creatively present your evaluation to the class, but you also want to make sure that it is organized and easy to follow. Begin with a hook, provide some background on the product, clearly present your evaluation thesis, and then organize your  presentation to follow these criteria. Offer specific examples in order to support each criteria. To develop a fair evaluation, include your criticism of the product (weaknesses), but overall, make sure you leave us with a positive final impression (the desire to use/buy/visit, etc.)
  • **You will be distributing your handout to the class at the start of your presentation, or you will be directing us to your digital source. You'll want to use your written component as a guide to your presentation**. Do not just read your handout/web content to the class. The presentation should expand on/exemplify the points on your handout, and should do so in a creative way.




Other information about presentation:

  • The format of the presentation is up to you (the more creative, the better).
  • You may include audio/visual material (you can use the computer); however, make sure that you have everything organized and in working condition (IE: a document with links that you can scroll through). Practice to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  • You may use props, samples, posters, demonstrations etc.




Information on Research for Product Evaluation Project (written and oral) 

The evaluation argument and criteria must be originally composed by you; therefore, you will want to be familiar with/use the product in order to develop your evaluation.  In order to avoid the risk of plagiarism, do not read other people's opinions/reviews of the product before composing your evaluation thesis/criteria.


Even though you are required to develop your own original support (opinions about the product), you may need to consult websites/articles in order to gather some necessary background information or facts/stats about the product (especially for your introductory material).  Thus, you will probably consult the product's website to gather some of this information. You will want to paraphrase (put into your own words) all factual information that you gather from outside sources. Do not include anyone else's opinions or original ideas about the product in your project.    



If you include any visuals from outside sources in your handout, you need to include the name of the website/source in parenthesis underneath the image.



        (image from http://www.polar.com/us-en)   




Works Cited Page

You have to provide me with a list of all the sources that you use for your handout and presentation. This is called a Works Cited  page. Your Works Cited page does not need to list entries for all your images.  Your Works Cited Page should be formatted in MLA style, and the sources should be listed alphabetically with a hanging indent.


See page 570 in WOW for an example of what a Works Cited Page should look like. Note that the title (Works Cited) is centered, everything is double-spaced, and the page has 1-inch margins.


Page 558 in WOW "Citing Online Sources" lists the information that you are supposed to include in each of your Works Cited Entries:

Author. "Article/Page Title." Website Title. Publisher, Date Posted. Medium of Publication. Date of Access.


Follow example #20 on page 559 or #21 on 560 depending on the information you have for your source.



Because you will most likely be using pages from websites for your sources, your entries will look like this:


"Athlete's Foot - Topic Overview." WebMD. WebMD, 25 September 2014. Web. 6 July 2015.


Lundman, Susan. "How to Make Vegetarian Chili." eHow. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 6 July 2015.




Even though this assignment may require a bit of research, note that this is not a research paper. Research should be kept to a minimal. The purpose is to develop and support your own ideas (not piggyback on the ideas of others). 





If you don't have any ideas, here are some links and possibilities to get you thinking in the right direction



Search Website like these for ideas or decide on an app that you already use on a daily basis:




Personal Productivity Apps:



DIY Apps

Cooking Apps

Travel Apps



Mobile/Virtual Marketplaces/ Website Ideas:

Task Rabbit


Air B and B







Or, think about new businesses/services/dining options that have recently opened in metro Detroit

Like this new restaurant:



or, about new products that have just hit the shelves at the grocery store













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