Critical Orientation Assignment Description

DUE DATE: February 4 before class!

This is your first blog assignment in which you will tell your audience about your chosen television show. The requirements of this blog entry are described below.


The blog entry should be written as a coherent whole with an introduction, a conclusion and several paragraphs in between, each of which has a topic sentence. The best blog entries contain links to other sites, embedded naturally in the text. The best blog entries also contain a variety of media to help hold the interest of the reader. Be sure you review my guidelines for writing blog posts.

In this blog post, you will begin to think critically about a television show of your choice. You will write a 1000 word blog post that answers the question “Why is this program worth studying?” Below are the steps you should use as you develop your critical orientation to your chosen show. You can also read more about this section of the Television Criticism project on p. 182 of the textbook.


  1. Select a program to analyze for the semester.
  2. Determine some questions that you want to ask about the program. What do you want to know about it? Why do you find the program interesting?
  3. Assess how you react to the program and make a list of those reactions.
  4. Read about the program online. Is there an official web site for the program? Look for episode summaries, clips from various episodes, names of characters, and information about the cast and other writers. Check for Nielsen ratings for the show. There may also be some books available that provide much of this information.
  5. Here are some questions to be considered as you write this post.
    • What attracted you to this program?
    • Do you identify with any of the characters?
    • Does the program have a personality or an actor whom you enjoy watching?
    • Are there relationships in the program that you find intriguing?
    • What interests you about the story or the contents of the program?
    • Is the program novel in some way, especially in comparison to other television programs?
  6. Articulate some reasons for why you find the show interesting.
  7. For each reason that you’ve articulated, find some examples in one or more episodes of the show that demonstrate or support the reason.
  8. Using your reasons, develop an arguable thesis statement that indicates why the show is worth studying.

Rubric for the post:

  • _____ 10 pts      Contains no spelling/grammatical errors or typos
  • _____ 10 pts      Is at least 1000 words and demonstrates considerable thought with regard to the questions posed in the assignment
  • _____ 10 pts      Contains an introduction and a conclusion, written for an audience that doesn’t understand what this assignment is about
  • _____ 10 pts      Contains an arguable thesis statement which indicates why the television show is worth spending a semester studying
  • _____ 10 pts      Contains multiple paragraphs, each of which has a topic sentence
  • _____ 10 pts      Contains appropriate visual media and links to other sources of information about the show
  • _____ 20 pts      The topic sentences of the multiple paragraphs in the post present a logical argument for why the television show is worth studying
  • _____ 20 pts      Each paragraph in the argument is supported by evidence from the television show (with actual examples)
  • _____ 100 pts   TOTAL

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