ESSAY #3 GUIDELINES
For this last and final essay for English #093, I provide below a few basic guidelines and requirements. You have followed some form of this for your other essays. Notice, however, how they apply specifically to cinema analysis.
v First paragraph contains the full title of the film (in italics and not in quotes) along with the full name of the director. Be sure the reader can also find your thesis clearly stated within this paragraph. Your thesis should consist mostly of one universal theme that you wish to discuss, one you found in the film. Although you may have recognized several universal themes, you need to limit the number to one, unless you can combine two that naturally go together.
v Second paragraph provides the reader with a summary or plot of the film. This paragraph should not take up very much of your essay. As with plot descriptions of all literary forms,
we report any action in present tense (verb) form. In addition,
spell all the main character’s names correctly. (You will find this on the Internet, on the copy that you make as part of this #3 essay packet.)
v The next several paragraphs support your thesis/main idea/central idea that you state in your first paragraph. Remember that all essays you have written and will write follow this general format. In Essay #3, you will certainly make references to the film, the story, in helping the reader follow your thinking. Also, be sure you note TWO SPECIFIC SCENES from the movie as examples for your main points. In addition, be sure to note (where appropriate), aspects of the film that help to make the story work, help the film, assist in showing the viewer a universal theme. (I talk about these later on.)
v In the next to the last paragraph, you may comment on a more personal note your reaction to the film, both if you particularly liked it, or if it didn’t “work” for you.
v The final paragraph should give your readers a sense of closure. If you go off on a new idea (as good as it might be!), this will cause confusion. Think about tying it into the body of the essay at some other point. Or if it just doesn’t relate to your thesis, then save it for another paper -J !
3. Stuck on a main idea/thesis? Talk with other students, listen to those
noted in class by others, or do more free writing in a focused free write spirit, and see what comes out for you, what you want to say, what theme intrigues you. Share with the class ideas that you do have, and even as you develop them, right through the peer review day.
Aspects/elements of film: In a film, many elements or aspects come into play that can contribute in the development of themes: character/character development, dialogue, script generally, plot, cinematography, the validity of film based on possible real life experiences (depending on the genre of film), even background music, etc. I am sure I have not covered them all, but these are the main elements or aspects. As a comparison, one uses setting, character development, writer’s voice, plot, etc. when providing literary interpretation or analysis for a novel or short story
REMINDER: DON’T USE ANY QUOTES OR EVEN SPECIFIC IDEAS FROM REVIEWS (INCLUDING INTERNET) UNLESS YOU QUOTE DIRECTLY AND/OR GIVE CREDIT TO AUTHOR, EVEN IF YOU SUMMARIZE/PARAPHRASE IDEAS FROM A WEBSITE. IF YOU DO AND WRITE AS IF THE IDEAS WERE YOU OWN, IT IS CONSIDERED PLAGIARISM, AND YOUR PAPER WILL RECEIVE AN F.
BRING 3 TYPED AND DOUBLE SPACED COPIES FOR PEER REVIEW. AS WITH ALL PEER REVIEW SESSIONS, FOR THIS SESSION YOU NEED TO BE PRESENT AND HAVE YOUR FULL ESSAY WITH FORU COPIES, OR YOUR FINAL GRADE IS LOWERED ONE WHOLE LETTER GRADE FOR THAT PAPER. Final “packet” is due last day of class. If you want your packet back, attach SASE with full postage.