Self Evaluation Essay Summary Writing

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

Stage I: Brainstorming/Self-Reflection

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 for review, reading aloud to yourself to catch errors or ideas that need expansion, giving your self-evaluation to someone else so who can offer suggestions or comments, or strengthening key ideas and phrases.  Faculty members are usually all too happy to review your drafts and make comments.

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 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

OK. Here is what I have written, please someone proofread it taking the guidelines above into consideration:

This Is Only the Beginning

This is my first year in the Linguistics department of Hacettepe University. I can easily say that this university is not quite what I expected it to be. I was hoping to improve myself in many fields, but this did not happen in the first year, since I had to deal with my courses more than anything else. However, my English dramatically improved thanks to the courses. I would like to evaluate this year in terms of how I improved my English skills (speaking, writing, reading and listening), while doing nothing about the other fields I was interested in (arts and sports).

First of all, I have been able to improve my expressive English skills thanks to a native speaker’s being our lecturer, and having courses on how to express ourselves better in English. Margaret was the lecturer of our writing course. I learned many new words, idioms, grammar structures and expressions in her classes, which would have me state my thoughts in a more comprehensible way in written language. Also, both in our writing and reading classes we had discussions about various controversial subjects that helped me improve my speaking skills. We were having phonetics at the same time, and as a student trying to attend all the classes, I improved my pronunciation. So, I can say that I am grateful for my department to help me meet my objectives in expressing myself both in spoken and written language.

Secondly, my receptive skills have also improved with the help of the courses like reading, literature, and listening comprehension. Even though I did not have much difficulty in reading and understanding course books, articles, reading passages and the like, I was rather poor at literal texts, or in other words, the figurative use of English language. By the help of our literature classes, I got over this problem, and now I can mostly understand what Shakespeare or Hemingway says. My listening skills, likewise, improved remarkably after having taken the listening comprehension courses. I was unable to differentiate between the words that resemble each other like “mate” and “made” before I took those courses. I can say that listening to someone speaking English has become one of the easiest tasks ever with the help of my lecturers.

Thirdly, even though there has been a big improvement in my English skills, I have not been able to deal with arts or sports, both of which are my main interests. I was hoping to have art lessons such as painting and music. However, all the courses are academic ones. Another deficit of my department –or of the university in general- is that there are not many sports activities going on. Because of these reasons, I felt rather “antisocial” in my first year in the university. As a result, not having done anything in these two areas is the only objective that I missed this year, but I am thinking of taking piano and karate courses next year from another university. If only my university gave more importance to these two areas!

Consequently, although I was not very content with the overall situation of the university this year, I must admit that my English skills have improved drastically within this year. I, however, still feel sad about not being able to take any courses from my areas of interest. Who knows, maybe this was only the beginning. Maybe, I am going to like this university better. Only time will show!

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