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How to Write an Evaluation Essay on TV Shows

by Jake Shore

Even though there are several guidelines and specific formatting criteria that a professor, instructor or boss will expect from your evaluation essay, at the heart of a well-developed evaluation is your own unique and cutting opinions on a particular subject. TV shows come in many variations, but there are a number of similarities between all of them that allow you to evaluate and compare each one. By analyzing several universal dynamics shared by all TV shows, you will be able to evaluate them in an intelligent and thought provoking way and organize your opinions in an interesting and opinionated evaluation essay.

Genre & Audience

Begin writing your evaluation essay by pinpointing the specific genre of the TV show you’re evaluating, and identify the intended audience of that TV show. The genre reveals the TV show’s intent. If a particular show’s striving to be funny, it drastically alters your interpretation and evaluation of the show than a drama, mystery, thriller or news program would. The same is true of identifying the audience. You won’t form an opinion and evaluation for a show geared for children in the same way you will for a young adult or adult show. Once the audience and genre are identified, you can begin to form an opinion regarding the overall success of a TV show, and your audience will have a clear idea of what kind of show you’re critiquing.


An attribute that is at the heart of many great TV shows is great writing. In your evaluation essay, be sure to take a stance on the writing quality. It will benefit your essay to take a strong position on whether or not the story and central conflict are well developed and if the dialogue is natural and fluid. Be sure to use specific examples from the TV show when constructing your essay, and try to make each specific example significant and in-line with your position.


The actors are given the responsibility of physically interpreting and presenting the writing and have a great deal to do with how you feel about the overall success of a TV show. Make sure to form an opinion of whether or not the acting is realistic and believable. If you feel as though the acting is poor, explain in your evaluation essay why you feel this way with hard-hitting critique and relevant examples from the show.

Overall Quality

Something that you should be sure to address in your evaluation essay is your overall reaction to the quality of the TV show. If it is clear that the show is trying to be funny and culturally relevant, do you feel that it succeeds in these ventures with any kind of clarity and power? Your reader will undoubtedly want to know if you’d recommend the television program, and the central stance you take in your evaluation essay should clearly communicate whether or not you’d recommend the show to others.

About the Author

Jake Shore is an award-winning Brooklyn-based playwright, published short story writer and professor at Wagner College. His short fiction has appeared in many publications including Litro Magazine, one of London's leading literary magazines. Shore earned his MFA in creative writing from Goddard College.

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