How to Write Evaluation Reports: Purpose, Structure & Content

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  • 0:01 Evaluation Reports
  • 0:50 Content
  • 4:12 Structure
  • 5:48 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

How do you decide whether a program or product is effective? In this lesson, we'll examine the evaluation report, including what they are, how they are used in business, what information is included in them, and how they are organized.

Evaluation Reports

Shondra is a consultant, and she just got a very exciting phone call. The mayor of her town wants her to examine the town's program that offers free bus rides to senior citizens. He wants her to write a report letting him know if it is working or not.

Shondra will be writing an evaluation report, which is a paper that examines whether a product, service, or process is working, according to a set of standards. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate a product, service, or process, hence the name.

In Shondra's case, she will be evaluating the free bus ride program for seniors and deciding whether it is working. To help her out, let's examine what goes into an evaluation report and the two main ways evaluation reports are structured.


Shondra needs to evaluate the senior free ride program and then write a report for the mayor and town council. The report will offer a judgment on whether the program is working and a recommendation on whether to continue it or not.

Most evaluation reports include the same basic sections, though, as we'll see in a minute, they aren't always in the same order. The sections of an evaluation report are:

1. Introduction

In this section, the situation is introduced. For example, Shondra can explain that the purpose of the report is to evaluate the free senior ride program. She can explain what the program entails and that she will be evaluating it.

2. Background information

Shondra will want to make sure that everyone who reads her report has all the background information necessary to understand it. Here, she might want to include information about why the city instituted the program to begin with and where the funding comes from. In other situations, background might include something like technical information that is helpful when evaluating technology products.

3. Criteria

Shondra will also want to make clear the way she's evaluating the program. Cost will certainly be a factor for her evaluation, but so will how many senior citizens take advantage of the program. Further, two of the reasons the city instituted the policy was to lower the number of traffic accidents caused by older drivers and to increase the number of seniors who participated in town events. These, too, might be criteria against which Shondra evaluates the program.

In the criteria section, she won't actually evaluate the program. She'll just explain each criterion that she will use to evaluate the program.

4. Evaluation

After explaining each criterion with which Shondra is evaluating the program, she will want to explain how the program meets the criteria. In this section, she will want to include a subsection for each criterion and how the program meets, or does not meet, that requirement. For example, in the subsection on participation in town events, she can talk about how senior participation has increased and by how much.

5. Conclusions

In the conclusions section, Shondra will summarize how the program has lived up to its evaluation, or hasn't lived up to it. She might, for example, say that, even though the senior ride program costs the city a considerable amount of money, many seniors take advantage of it, which has led to a decrease in traffic accidents caused by older drivers and an increase in senior participation in town events.

Shondra might choose to create a summary table in this section with each criterion and how the program did for that criterion. That makes a nice, visual way to present information about the evaluation.

6. Recommendation

By this point, Shondra's opinion of the program should be pretty clear. But this is the section where she recommends that the program continue or not. Before this, she's evaluated it, but now she applies that evaluation. Based on her evaluation, for example, she might recommend that the city keep the program, even though it costs money.

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