Montage: Reference and Film Essay

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Writing a Cinema and Media Studies Essay
Jonathan Cohn

Film Analysis Paper
• 5-­‐6 Pages • Due Thursday April 3 !

• Choose two similar scenes from two different films and compare how they present one specific theme.

• Analyze these two scenes at the level of cinematic technique in order to address how the two films grapple with an issue in different ways.

General Writing Tips
• Include a title (something catchy to pique your reader’s interest) and a subtitle (that points to your argument in some way and mentions your object of study, i.e. the film you are analyzing). For instance: A Cowboy in the Skyscraper: Die Hard and the Depiction of American Masculinity. !
• Put page numbers on your essay. !
• Spellcheck your essay before you hand it in.

• Do not use contractions in formal writing, i.e. write “do not” instead of “don’t.”

Referring to Films
• Film titles should be italicized. !
• The first time you mention a film title, it should be followed by the name of the artist and the year of release in parentheses. For example: A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951). After that, you can just use the title. !
• If the film title is long, you can also shorten it after the first time you mention it, i.e. Streetcar.

Referring to Films
• When writing about what happens in a work, use the present tense, for instance, “In Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005), Timothy Treadwell confesses his innermost secrets to the camera.”

• However, when writing about the work in its historical context, use the past tense: e.g., “Grizzly Man was a commercial hit.”

Referring to Filmmakers
• When you first refer to a filmmaker (or author, artist, singer, etc.), refer to them by his or her full name (i.e. Alfred Hitchcock).

• After the first time, refer to the filmmaker by last name only (i.e. Hitchcock).

• The same is true of your written sources. For instance, refer to Tom Wallis as Tom Wallis the first time you use his name. After that, refer to him as Wallis.

• You must have a clear, specific, and original thesis. Your thesis must be your argument about the film and how it functions.

• It should begin with the phrase, “In this paper, I will argue that…”

• Every claim you plan to make in your paper should at least be registered in the thesis.

• A thesis should…