Interpretive Analysis Essay
PurposeThe purpose of this assignment is to produce an essay that critically analyzes a course film by synthesizing what you’ve learned this quarter about how film comments on the human condition and how film style and narrative communicates this message. The synthesis of research, critical analysis, and close textual/formal analysis in this essay is one of the primary skills needed in all Humanities writing, and the argumentative and writing skills required for this assignment will be essential for succeeding in your post-graduate career(s).1) Skills/Knowledge: As a result of completing this assignment, you will be able to:a. Critically analyze a film by understanding how it communicates through formal and
narrative techniques.b. Relate film to topics in the humanities.c. Conduct research specific to the field of film studies.d. Synthesize research, critical analysis, and close textual/formal analysis into a cohesive argument about the relationship of a film to the human condition.e. Create a strong example of persuasive scholarly writing.
1) Develop a topic and argument of your choosing, but consider the following questions: What are the central meanings of the film and how does the film create them? How does the film use style and narrative to produce these (potential) meanings? In making these meanings, how does the film relate to and provide commentary on the humanities and the human condition? Use our previous assignments (Annotated Bibliography; Thesis and Shot
Analysis) as examples of how to begin writing this essay.2) Requirements for the essay:
a. Choose any screening from this quarter of Film 214 to analyze.b. Include a thesis that makes a strong and clear claim about the meanings of the film. It should look something like the following: “Boyz n the Hood (Singleton, 1991) draws on techniques of neorealism, including location shooting and the casting of non-professional actors, in order to provide a harsh commentary on the black experience in 1980s South Central LA.”c. A title that clearly and accurately reflects the content and argument of the essay.i. A strong title should clearly indicate the topic of your essay, and it should include the title of the film you’re analyzing. Be as specific as possible here.d. Pay attention to organization. The essay should be logically structured, with each body paragraph providing support for essay’s central thesis. Each paragraph should feature smooth transitions and clear topic sentences.e. Research/Sources: Use everything at your disposal to make your argument more persuasive. You will find it helpful to refer to lecture/discussion notes, PowerPoints, and class readings. The strongest essays will also make reference to outside research.
Research is not required, but it is strongly encouraged. “A” level papers will
incorporate credible research.i. Extra Credit Opportunity: Annotated Bibliography
1. Up to 5 points for each new annotation that wasn’t included in the Annotated Bibliography assignment (up to 15 points)f. Consider all of the major units we explored this quarter: the humanities, context, style, narrative, and meaning. The strongest essays will find ways to incorporate all of these topics in a clear, focused manner.g. Length Requirement: 1000-1200 words. Please include a word count on the first page.
The Topic: What roles did African American Women
play during WW2.
1) Choose a broad topic
2) Identify a problem associated with your topic
3) Raise a question to explore from the identified problem
4) Make an hypothesis that directly addresses the question raised from the identified problem
5) Analyze the assumptions made within your stated hypothesis
6) Divide areas of research into subtopics among group members to explore in greater details aspects of your hypothesis that will be developed into a thoughtful argument
7) Discuss the conclusions drawn from addressing the assumptions made in your research with the empirical data, (i.e., evidence) provided from your research
8) Five sources each from either primary, secondary sources, or peer reviewed scholarly journals must be used by each student contributing to the project
9) Although this is a collaborative effort, each student is responsible for his/her own research and reference page
10) APA format is required
11) Research should be presented in Power Point or Prezi format and groups should present their slides collectively with each participant identifying his/her area of research within the contributing subtopics related to the project
12) The topic should be properly introduced, the problem clearly identified, as well as the question raised concerning your problem and the hypothesis to be explored that forms the basis of your research
13) Conclusions should be drawn from addressing the initial assumptions made about your research and the eventual outcomes received that were either supported or rejected by the evidence retrieved by your research
14) There should be an average of four to five slides contributed per student in addition to a reference page
Topic: Racism in America
Problem: Racism persists in America despite slavery having ended 150 years ago
Question: How does America’s colonial past effect race relations today?
Hypothesis: The institutionalization of slavery within the colonies was due in part to Eurocentric thinking, the desire for profits, an existent slave trade in Africa, and a newly conquered vast and undeveloped land; these factors contributed to the development of a stratified society built on a color caste system that was never fully eradicated and continues to effect black Americans today
Subtopics: Could include exploring how racism and institutionalized slavery was created in America, making connections between America’s historical past and racism embedded within the nation’s institutions, examining current racial disparities within various social institutions, analyzing the effectiveness of civil rights’ legislation in addressing racial disparities, exploring the treatment of blacks in America as well as the perception of how they feel they are treated, and making a comparison between white perceptions of racism and actual outcomes and disparities between the races
Conclusion: Compare the results of your collective research against your hypothesis. Does the evidence gathered support or reject the assumptions made by your hypothesis? Discuss why the research conducted was valid in proving or disproving your stated hypothesis. Were there any assumptions or evidence that may have been overlooked that would have affected your outcomes and produced different results?
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