As an extra credit assignment, students may write a film analysis of any of the movies on the Film Option list. For purposes of this assignment, the bulk of the analysis should concentrate on how the movie depicts the humanities of its time period. While we are only covering some of these disciplines in course, the humanities encompass all of the following: art, art history, drama / theater, literature, literary criticism, history, linguistics, languages, religion, law / jurisprudence, philosophy, music, archeology, architecture, ethics, dance, music theater, film, and digital media. Students may write about any of these and their depiction(s) in the movie chosen.
The 1-2 page paper (500 words minimum) should begin with a one-paragraph summary of the movie (that includes the title and year). Then, the body of the paper (several paragraphs with each organized around a main idea / topic sentence) should focus on the movie’s representation of the humanities of its time period. There are four general ways to approach the assignment:
- through explication—the unfolding of meaning through interpretation of a specific section of the film (one part illustrates the whole)
- through analysis—the process of separating the film into parts to better understand the whole (many similar parts illustrate the whole)
- through comparison & contrast—the study of two or more elements in the film (looking at similarities and differences to illustrate your point)
- through exemplification—the listing of possibly unrelated elements / details / pieces of the film to further your ideas or prove your point (many various factors, listed in a chosen order, to make a case).
You should then conclude the essay with a paragraph that talks about the accuracy of the representation(s) of the humanities in the film based on what you have learned / are learning in this course. Don’t just say the movie is accurate or inaccurate in its representation(s). Prove it / show it.
Students may do up to five (5) analyses for extra credit over the course of the semester, each due by posted deadlines on the course calendar for the particular unit. Each one is worth up to 1% of extra credit on final grades (making it possible to earn 5% of the final grade in extra credit). Credit will be assigned either as 0, ½, or 1. Each review will be submitted to Safe Assign to be checked for use of sources and plagiarism. Any assignment with higher than a 10% match will automatically be assigned zero credit. Otherwise, credit will be assigned based on thoroughness and accuracy. Focus on the movie not your opinion of it; whether you like the movie or not shouldn’t be included.
While writing this paper, make sure to
- interpret rather than summarize (I have seen the films)
- avoid plagiarism (if you quote anything from the film, do it accurately by listening to the movie and writing dialog down)
- proofread your work
- use MLA Format and Style (including a citation for your film)
This assignment was created and adapted from http://www.portlandwt.com/School/255extracredit.htm.