Assignment for Final Research Paper
Purpose: This research paper demonstrates your ability to develop a sustained argument (7-9 pages) within the field of international film studies. Most importantly, you will make a specific claim or set of related claims regarding the cultural meaning, value, and consequences of an international film or films for audiences. You will make use of readings both from our course and your own research. Your evidence will include citing these readings as they illuminate specific means of a film or films; remember to respond to film as a medium. You can contextualize specific interpretations involving film pre-production, production, post-production, and reception with wider research, including the responses of academic, reviewer, and popular audiences and some comment on the particular historical and cultural contexts of reception.
Structure: The introduction should identify the film or films you interpret and the relevant production and reception history. Your central argument should be stated clearly in the first paragraph, and that thesis should indicate the structure of the rest of the paper. Your second paragraph should summarize key information about the film or films necessary for your subsequent set of claims and evidence. The rest of your paper should conduct your argument and demonstrate your evidence, both in terms of film interpretation and your use of secondary sources. Pay attention to the combination of image, action, editing, sound, dialogue, and narrative logic that constitute the film or films. This close reading should incorporate the use of secondary sources: reviews, academic essays, news stories, books, on-line posts. Finally, the conclusion should not summarize your argument—that is what introductions are for—but should clarify the consequences of your argument. What is the payoff for film, criticism, or audiences?
Format: 7-9 pages not including works cited, double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman, 1” margins, sources cited in MLA style, works cited page.
Suggested research: Pay attention to the approaches of critics read in our class in analyzing specific films, and review the close viewing practice and terminology of the scene description and analysis assignment as well as the article summary and analysis. Read external reviews available on the Internet Movie Database, and use academic resources from our library databases JSTOR and Project Muse.