Film research paper «Django»

develop a research question and thesis on some aspect of the film.
Write a well-supported, thesis-driven essay of 5-7 pages (1250-1750 words) of text (Works Cited and any pictures do not count toward the page length of the paper), using the research you find through the library databases and other film-related sources.
Include a list of Works Cited formatted for MLA, and cite your sources within the text, also in MLA format.
Use 5-7 well-chosen references, at least half of which are peer-reviewed or published in reputable secondary sources. If you aren’t sure, ask. The best place to find these is the library database.
This paper is due on the last day of classes for the semester, December 11.
Hints and tips:

Your topic needs to stay centered on the film and not drift into generalities. Use the word society advisedly. When you need an example to support your thesis, look to the film or to one of your sources, not your personal experience of the world.
You can absolutely use photo stills to illustrate your point about visual elements. They do not count toward page count, however, and you must explain the significance of your pictures in the text of your paper.
Some important questions about films that might help you stay focused there are:
Why did the director make this choice? What does it mean to them, and what are they trying to communicate to the audience.
How are the actors performing the script to interpret the director’s vision of the film?
What kinds of camera work are used to tell parts of the story? (This is a question that normally appears on my final exams, fair warning).
How does the director use color or black and white as a way of telling the story?
Remember that in films, there are no accidents. It’s never raining by accident, never sunny by accident, the costumes aren’t an accident, the sets aren’t an accident. Everything that’s there is because the director wants it to be there. What are they trying to communicate with this film?
You must choose one of the films from the syllabus. I’ve said this repeatedly, and my patience with proposals on films not on the syllabus is wearing thin.
I’m serious about at least half of your sources being peer-reviewed. Weak sources make a weak paper. Papers without a Works Cited list will not pass. Papers whose Works Cited list consists of nothing but a list of links will not pass. Learning to use MLA consistently is a department standard for this class. The use of any Google results for student-help websites and paper mills is going to count against you. Use reputable sources only.
If the film was made after the TV era, check YouTube for interviews with directors or actors about that film. These are valid and really strong sources–anything directly from people involved in the film is a primary source. Hitchcock, for example, loved appearing on TV and did a lot of televised interviews. They’re easy to find.
As usual, this is a Turnitin paper. Those whose papers are plagiarized in whole or in part will fail, and there is no makeup on the final paper. Be very sure before you hit send.

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