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7. Focusing on language and evaluation

Evaluation is a key aspect of both description and analysis. In fact language is rarely ‘neutral’ in the sense that it always indicates a particular perspective or judgment.  It is important to think about the language that you use when writing. Some uses of language are more obviously evaluative than others: for example if you say something is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ the words clearly indicate your positive and negative evaluation. However, many words carry evaluative overtones which are not so obvious and it’s important to think carefully about the words you choose to use and why.

Read the text below from an assessment report written. Highlight  any words or phrases that you consider carry an evaluative overtone.

At the time of the assessment, M was engaging with a mentor. It is positive to note that she no longer feels that she requires this service anymore. However, the assessment completed by another Local Authority in June, does highlight that M was struggling with her peer relationships and relationship with her mother. Therefore placing C into the household will take away the time that Mum can spend with M which could impact on their fragile relationship.