Writing a Self Evaluation

Overview | Writing a Self-Evaluation | Writing a Faculty Evaluation | Writing an Academic Statement

Stage I: Brainstorming/Self-Reflection

Brainstorming is the stage when you let your inner critic rest.

At first, don't worry at all about what your final evaluation is going to look like. Chances are that, throughout your studies, you've learned enough that it's hard to separate out the important parts from the parts that didn't affect your learning at all. To help sort that out, sit down and just write for ten minutes about your studies, your experiences, what you learned, what you think could have gone better, or any other information about your academic progress during this quarter that you think may be useful later on.

While writing, do not concern yourself with mechanical issues. Stream of consciousness writing will produce a draft only for your own use. Nobody else has to see this unless you choose to share it.

Our handout from Peter Elbow is an especially helpful guide during this stage of the writing process.

Stage II: Filtering

Now that you have a significant amount of self-reflection and brainstorming down on paper, you can filter through it to pick up key ideas, words, sentences, or concepts that you would like to use or highlight within your self-evaluation. At this point, you are working with an eye towards generating a very rough first draft that will eventually transform into your final self-evaluation for the quarter. 

The types of words, sentences, or ideas that you want to pick out are those that uniquely describe or articulate a significant aspect of your own learning or evolution.  Remember: the purpose of a self-evaluation is to document the significant learning that took place during the quarter. 

Stage III: Revision

Revising is a stage that can be as long or as short as it needs to be. It encompasses your second draft through your final self-evaluation and includes the next stage. Revising may take the form of visiting a writing tutor who can help you review your draft, reading your draft aloud to yourself to hear where you need to cut text, clarify the text, or add to the text, and giving your self-evaluation to another reader who can offer suggestions. 

Your aim with each successive draft should be to make incremental improvements towards a final document that expresses your achievements and strengths during the quarter. 

Stage IV: Evaluation

In the final stage, you need to evaluate what you've written in order to ensure that it is a document that can help you to reflect on your education in the future, and that you might want to include in your transcript if you so choose. Some things to think about include:

  1. What is the driving idea behind the evaluation?
  2. Does the evaluation cover or mention all that you feel that it should?
  3. Are there any unnecessary details?
  4. Does the introduction appropriately introduce and frame the rest of the evaluation?
  5. Is the paragraph structure clear and concise?
  6. Is the conclusion sufficient?
  7. Do you show and not tell? Is the evidence or description convincing and vivid? Do you detail the value of your learning?
  8. Is the evaluation interesting to read? Does the voice sound natural?
  9. What attitudes and qualities do you display within the evaluation? Are these consistent with what you wish to portray?
  10. Are there any places where sentence fluency and word choices could be improved?
  11. If you plan to include the evaluation in your final transcript, is it appropriate for its potential audience, such as a graduate school or future employer?

The questions above are the same questions that our writing tutors use to assess an evaluation draft.

Stage V: Final Check

As with any thesis-based paper, transcript-ready self-evaluations must meet certain standards. The checklist below will help you finalize your evaluation so that it shines.

  1. Final evaluations must be entered into the on-line record system on you’re My Evergreen. You’ll need to give a final printed version of your self-evaluation to your faculty.  All faculty are required to include student-self-evaluations in their professional portfolios. 
  2. Know the title of your program, course, or contract. The title on your evaluation must be complete and exact, so check the Academic Catalog or program syllabi if you’re unsure.
  3. Don't include course equivalencies in your self-evaluation. The document should describe your achievement, not the specific type of credit you earned.
  4. For transcript-ready self-evaluations, aim for length of one page per quarter. Save your dissertation for graduate school. If you’re having trouble with length, the Writing Center or Career Development can help you pare down your self-evaluation.
  5. Don't repeat the text of the program description or contract. This information will be included in your transcript.  Adding the text to your self-evaluation will be redundant.
  6. Check spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and all other technical aspects of your evaluation.

Submit an electronic copy of your final self-evaluation to the on-line record system in your My Evergreen.