For the Summer 2022 class, I am removing the interview requirement for the career essay. Three scholarly sources will be required but the interview WILL NOT be a requirement for this essay.
Guidelines :
***Note on film decade paragraph as a number of students get this wrong. Remember to focus on what was occurring during the decade the film was released not the decade the film portrays.
For example: Schindler’s List was released in the 1990s but portrays the late 1930s and early 1940s. The decade paragraph should be on the 1990s–what was occurring in America (or the world) that people would see this film?
Another example (in this decade):
**People, today, may flock to Marvel movies in search of a hero, an underdog, or a team of superheroes united. Superheroes fight the bad guys. In the current, divisive political climate of the 2010 decade, individuals may be seeking a way to fight back.
Assignment for Thesis :
Below you will find the “Film Thesis Example”:
Film Thesis examples:
Director Robert Wise’s version of The Day the Earth Stood Still was a ground-breaking cinematic achievement of the 1950’s presenting the theme of ___try for one word________ through characterization and setting.
Notice how the thesis ties in all of the essay elements?
P1- Intro (title, director, thesis)
P2-Decade (1950)
P3- Character/Characterization (from Literary Terms)
P4- Setting
P5- Theme
P6- Recommendation/Contribution (ground-breaking cinematic achievement)
Each paragraph should mention or relate back to the overall (one-word) theme. A movie may have several themes. Pick ONE to discuss in your essay.
**Film titles are italicized in essay writing. Also, you will need to cite your film in the Work Cited Section.
From Purdue Owl:
Recorded Films or Movies-List films by their title. Include the name of the director, the distributor, and the release year. If relevant, list two to four performer names after the director’s name. Use the abbreviation perf. to head the list. End the entry with the appropriate medium of publication (e.g. DVD, VHS, Laser disc).
Ed Wood. Dir. Tim Burton. Perf. Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette. Touchstone, 1994. DVD.
Title. Dir. First Last. Perf. First M. Last. Distributor, Year Published. Media Type.
Further explanations from guidelines:
Remember, your essay needs to be written in 3rd person and follow heading requirements found in the syllabus.
– 1st Paragraph: The Introductory Paragraph – Offer your overall impression of the film while providing the movie’s title, director and key actors. Then, provide a thesis where you state what you believe to be the film maker’s message – the Lesson Learned – you have taken away from this classic film. Remember, this will be a three-part thesis where you state the central focus of the essay and then preview the three areas you will be discussing: Characterization, Setting and Theme.
– 2nd Paragraph: Body Paragraph, Decade Summary – Provide a brief overview of the popular culture of the decade in which your film was made, with an emphasis on how your film may have been influenced by the events of that decade. How does this film “fit in” or contrast the decade movement? I do NOT want a book report or timeline of events. I am looking for an overall relation of the decade. (i.e. The 1960’s in American included racial tensions and civil unrest).
– 3rd Paragraph: Body Paragraph, Characters/Characterization – Discuss the characterization(s) of one or two of the central characters in the film. How did the actors portray these key character roles? Provide specific examples/scenes from the film as you develop this portion of the essay.
– 4th Paragraph: Body Paragraph, Setting: Discuss the film’s setting. How did this setting enhance the film maker’s message? Was it believable? Provide specific examples/scenes from the film as you develop this portion of the essay.
– 5th Paragraph: Theme/LESSON LEARNED: What was the message about life/the theme or the LESSON LEARNED conveyed within this Classic Film? How did the filmmaker convey this message to his audience?
– 6th Paragraph: Conclusion: This is your opportunity to sum up what you have learned and to make your recommendation regarding this film. Remain in 3rd person. Do not switch to 1st or 2nd person point of view. Why is this film a classic or what made this film ground-breaking at the time?
Research Essay Thesis and Peer Review Forum
Post your thesis statement for the upcoming Film Research
The focus of the thesis will be what you believe to be the film maker’s message – the Lesson Learned – you have taken away from the classic film you have selected and viewed. OR Focus on the Career guidelines for the career elements.
Write only the thesis, a single statement, which includes a preview of the areas you will use to develop the body of your essay (use parallel structure).
Check out the Film Thesis examples in this module (Word Doc).
Do not use 1st or 2nd person voice (I, me, my, you, your, us, our, we)
Once you post your thesis statement, use the following questions as a guideline and comment on two other classmates’ thesis statements.
Remember, your task here is to offer constructive criticism. Post early and allow yourself time for the peer review!
What is the writer’s thesis statement? Does it analyze the film? Is it debatable? (It should be.) What revisions would you suggest?

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