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Writing assignments: You will be required to write five 1-page papers in response to the assigned films. These short papers should be in standard form and will be graded for both form (grammar, spelling, mechanics) and content. For each paper you will need to not only answer the question but also (briefly) respond to an idea from one detailed review of the film that is related to the central claim in your answer. (A review that simply states an opinion and does not explain why the film is recommended or not recommended is not appropriate for this assignment.) You will find links to reviews on Wikipedia, and you can also find reviews in open access online academic film journals. For links to the journals look here, or use our library’s database. But for these short papers it is also always acceptable to use movie reviews from such websites as this one. It is also excellent to use reviews or critical essays from film journals that are not open access or from books in Film Studies, but that usually requires ordering a copy of the essay or book from the library, so it will require advance planning.
Each short paper should have a title and be organized to introduce and support one idea or two closely related ideas. Please do not go over 1 page. No late short papers will be accepted for a grade, except by special permission.
One-page paper warning: Avoid generalizations, especially about history (or race, gender or sexuality) that are not (or cannot be) supported by factual data.
You will also be required to write an 8-10 page research paper. The research paper topic will need to include at least two of the assigned films, but otherwise is up to you, so long as you follow the guidelines in
A Short Guide to Analyzing Film. In this research paper you should make an interpretive claim about the films and then devote the rest of the paper to supporting that claim. You should have at least three sources for the paper. The sources must be either academic essays or reviews in film journals, NOT magazines or the movie review websites that are acceptable as sources for the short papers. Please see the information above about how to find academic reviews and essays on film. You must discuss an idea or ideas from each source and relate it to your own ideas, do not simply quote from the source. Please refer to the
Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism to see how to use and document sources correctly.
Late work: If circumstances force you to turn work in later than the due date, you will not receive a penalty in the way of a lowered grade; however, I will grade late papers at my convenience, and this may limit your ability to revise the research paper. You can't turn in a revision until I have returned the original one, so you can learn from comments. No late papers will be accepted for a grade after Thursday, April 27.
Revisions: The revision grade will replace the previous grade. Revision is optional. Revision grades will replace the previous grades, but the revision will be accepted for a grade change only if it is turned in by the due date on the syllabus. No late revisions will be accepted. You must turn in the MARKED original with your revision, so PLEASE save the marked paper when it is returned to you. Failure to address all marked comments in the revision will result in no change of grade. I will be very happy to help you with the revision, just ask!
Grades: The average of the grades for the short papers will count as 1/2 of your grade and the research paper as 1/2, prior to adjustment for attendance and participation. Work will be graded on a twelve point scale (A+=12, F=0).
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