film analysis draft+ full paper

Film Analysis
One of the ways we learn ideas about our social structures is through the media in general and film in particular. Just as movies reflect prevailing beliefs, attitudes, and values of the cultures that produce them, they are also powerful socializers that shape and solidify cultural norms. Similarly, movies are outlets that serve to perpetuate and reinforce dominant cultural narratives as well as provide opportunities to subvert them. Thus, it is both possible and necessary to simultaneously enjoy the media we consume while critically examining its content. In this paper, you will apply a gender analysis to a film and develop a defensible argument that is grounded in course material (rather than in personal opinion or experience).
Paper Guidelines

Your paper must begin with an introduction that:

Provides a “big picture” overview of the film you selected, specifying:

the title (movie name is italicized);
year it was released;
a general summary of the movie’s plot and main characters

Concludes with a strong thesis statement* that clearly asserts what you are going to argue in your paper.

Next, the body of your paper contains your analysis.

You must have 2-4 body paragraphs in which you develop your argument and support your thesis.  You must offer reasoning, using evidence** and details, that support your thesis.

Basic structure of building your argument: assert and support. As far as this paper is concerned, there are no “wrong” arguments; there are, however, unsubstantiated or unsupported claims (consider these equivalent).
Be very careful that you are not simply providing an extended summary of the plot or describing character actions and attitudes – this is not analysis. Similarly, do not become bogged down in definitions, long explanations of concepts, or anything else that takes away valuable space for analysis and individual thought/evaluation. While it is necessary to set context, be mindful of space.

Your analysis must meaningfully integrate several concepts from our course.
See  for some guiding questions you may decide to explore for your analysis. 

Finally, end your essay with a conclusionthat:

restates your thesis,
summarizes your overall argument and key evidence you used to support it, and
provides a sense of closure.  (This is not a place to make new claims or introduce new evidence.)

You must include in-text citationsdocumenting use of sources. 

 
*What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is a sentence or two that clearly asserts and structures your overarching argument of your essay. It is a debatable perspective that you can support and defend, rather than a statement of mere fact.
The argument made in your thesis must be supported in your paper with evidence and analysis. As such, a good thesis statement needs to be narrow enough for you to support in your paper convincingly.

 
**What counts as evidence?

For our purposes on this paper, evidence will consist of examples from the film AND course concepts.
Draw on specific examples from the film and content from our course. In doing so, select only the most relevant pieces of evidence to support your ideas.

For example, select one to two examples from the film that bestillustrate the particular concept you are describing or point you are trying to make. Including too many examples (and/or unessential details about the movie) will undermine clarity and focus.

 
IMPORTANT NOTES:

Film selection

The feature film must be fictional. It is okay to select a movie that is a fictionalized biography.
Documentaries are not permitted for this assignment.
If you are interested in using a series, rather than a film, you must receive approval at least 1 week before the assignment deadline.
Otherwise, you have free reign to select the movie you will use for this assignment without prior approval.  Just be sure that you can meet the parameters of this assignment. (If you are feeling stuck, a list of possibilities is provided below.)
If you select a movie that you have seen previously, watch it again. It is important that you approach the movie with a “fresh” perspective that allows you to focus on the specific parameters of this assignment using tools you have gained this semester.
If your film takes place in or centers a culture that you are not knowledgeable about, please be mindful of different cultural norms and do not operate on stereotypes, generalizations, or projections of western ideals, etc.  My suggestion is to only pursue this direction if you are willing to learn a little more about cultural variations to provide appropriate context for your analysis.

This assignment is NOT a summary or review of the movie – you are using a movie of your choice to demonstrate your knowledge of course concepts through a critical gender analysis. Accordingly, the bulk of this assignment is centered on course concepts, not the film’s plot, cinematic features, or how much you liked/disliked the movie. Be sure this focus is clear in your paper.
It should be clear how your understanding of the concepts you are examining is guided by course material.
Any source that you use to inform your ideas and/or use as support in your paper must be cited.  

No outside sources or additional material beyond what is included in our course are needed to complete this assignment. However, if you doconsult or draw on ANY other source while completing this assignment, you must cite the source. Failure to do so is plagiarism.
In nearly all cases, your sources need to be suitable scholarly sources (not general dictionaries or websites, etc.).
Remember that both direct quotes AND paraphrasing need to include a citation. 

Be sure that your essay focuses on a main idea (clearly stated in the thesis). Narrow your topic so that you can maintain focus and develop your ideas well. 

However you choose to approach your analysis, you will be most effective if you maintain a tight focus on your central thesis and build support for that argument.

It is okay to write your paper in first person (using “I” statements); however, do not include personal anecdotes, experiences, or opinions as “data” to make an argument.
Formatting:

No title page is needed
Double-space
12-point, Times New Roman (or some equivalent) font 
Include a reference list of sources you cited in your paper

 
POSSIBLE FILMS THAT WILL WORK WELL FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT:

Moonlight
I, Tonya
Hidden Figures
Real Women Have Curves
Pariah
Roma
If Beale Street Could Talk
Boyhood
Crazy Rich Asians
The Wolf of Wall Street
Tangerine
Students also often select a “childhood favorite” (such as a Disney movie or Indiana Jones) to (re)examine through a gendered lens (there is *lots* to work with if you pursue this direction) 

Although an attempt was made to include a range of films, there is generally a lack of diverse representation (especially in terms of gender variant roles and/or actors, but also sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, able-bodiedness, etc.). Largely, this reflects the lack of representation in mainstream feature films revealing larger disparities in funding, distribution, etc. Or, when members of minoritized groups are portrayed, it is almost exclusively in the context of hardship, trauma, and hopelessness. There has historically been very little space for minoritized representation (i.e., erasure) and/or that exists outside of a deficit framework. Please keep this in mind during your analysis.  
 
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In preparation for the , you have two options for developing a plan (choose ONE):

Option 1: Plan for Content

The movie you will use for your analysis
A draft of your thesis and the premise of your argument
What supporting evidence you think you will use
Course concepts you plan to highlight 
Specific questions you have about completing the paper
(You can also submit a more complete outline or draft of your paper for feedback.  Remember, the more substantive content you have, the more directed feedback we can offer.)

Options 2: Plan for Completion

The movie you will use for your analysis
A schedule outlining when you will watch your movie, conceptualize your paper, draft your paper, and finalize your paper to submit
Describe what barriers you anticipate encountering (for example: procrastination). Be as specific and realistic as possible.
Describe what you can do to overcome those barriers. Be as specific and realistic as possible.  
Specific questions you have about completing the paper

 
Whichever option you choose, you must:

specify the option
address all of the bullet points listed under the corresponding option (using bullet points in your submission is acceptable!)

 

Check Your Work Before & After Submitting…

It is a good idea to re-read the assignment instructions and your work again before you submit. Refer to the grading rubric to see how your submission will be assessed. Try to evaluate your work using the rubric to determine if any changes need to be made 🙂
It is your responsibility to ensure that your submission is on time and successful. Be sure to take a screenshot of your successful submission for your records.
Remember, your document must complete its upload by exactly 11:59pm-MST on the due date or else Canvas will mark it late, and you will be ineligible to earn points for this assignment (unless you indicate in your submission or a comment that you are using your LHP — remember, you have 2 for the semester; be sure to keep track of this).